Owners love the ‘City-pid mode’ of their frugal sedan

Tessa R. Salazar

No matter how chaotic or volatile the fuel markets are, the key to fuel-efficient driving is to remain in a state of “zen” behind the wheel. Be calm. Be steady. Let your feet be as light as a feather on the gas pedal, and think two or three vehicles ahead.

And it helps immensely if you drive some of the most fuel frugal vehicles around, like the Honda City, which has carried this reputation over to its newest iterations.

I myself have experienced how the City has kept the standard of fuel economy high over the years. In 2014, during a run of the City 1.5 VX and 1.5E variants from Bonifacio Global City to Subic Bay in Zambales, these vehicles yielded 25.3 kms per liter. My co-driver and I turned out a respectable 24.1 km/liter. In 2017, the Department of Energy held its own eco-run on multiple auto brands. The City showed 23.91 km/liter, good for fifth spot in the gasoline engine category.

From 2018 to 2021, I ran my own fuel runs of the various City variants in and around the NCR. I got a consistent 24 or 25 kms/liter on the highways.

I asked actual City owners to see if, in the long-term, they too experienced the same kind of fuel economy with their own vehicles. In 2021, I asked Adrian Macalino, who owns a 2015 Honda City VX which, as of this writing, had already logged 80,000 km, what his best eco-run was, and he said he recalls getting around 21 km/liter on Eco driving mode.

Just recently, after test driving the latest City RS sedan and getting a personal all-time best of 26.3 km/liter on a 26.4-km run on the Skyway (that’s technically burning only one liter of gasoline for nearly the entire stretch of the Skyway, from the Quezon Avenue on-ramp in Quezon City to the Alabang, Muntinlupa exit), I asked the administrators of the Honda City Club Philippines to share their own fuel economy runs and ownership experiences.


Marcelo T. Prepose Jr, 28, one of the owners of Syndicate Customs, a shop that specializes in body kits, body paints and carbon fiber works, owns three Honda City sedans: A 2016 GM6; a 2010 GM; and a 2006 GD. He said he plans to buy a fourth.

Marcelo: Up to 18 kms/liter on the highway.

He calls his 2016 GM6 “Kyrie”, and its odometer shows over 97,000 km. Marcelo says this car gets up to 18 km/liter on the highways, “considering I already installed sound setup and full exhaust system.”

In city driving during heavy traffic, Kyrie is still able to go with up to 13 km/liter.

“Now that fuel prices are high, I always use my City for its Eco mode. I turn on the Eco mode during heavy traffic and turn it off during freeway runs,” reveals Marcelo.

Let the ‘matic do its magic

Josephine Mae Laforteza, 33, an area manager of an insurance company, owns a 2019 City E CVT, which already has over 73,000 km in its odometer.

Josephine reveals that her daily car gets 13.8 km/liter on a mix of highway and city driving, with a “full exhaust and open air intake” setup factored in.

She adds that her City has had its fair share of long-distance trips. She discloses that she previously covered the South Luzon area, encompassing Makati all the way to the Bicol provinces.

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Over 73,000 km in odometer of Josephine’s City.

“In my travels to Bicol, my fuel consumption was around 19 to 20 km/liter, which is technically one full tank for a round trip travel between Manila and Bicol,” Josephine says.

She also believes that a “zen” mindset generates the best fuel economy. “It’s always your driving habit that can help you maximize your fuel consumption. If you know that the traffic is really bad, skip stepping on that gas and let your City cruise freely. After all, it’s an automatic transmission.”

Amped fuel economy via carpooling

Jeanina Aure, an IT engineer, owns a 2016 City VX Navi CVT, which has been her daily car and has run for over 105,000 kms.

21 km/liter in highway drives for Jeanina.

“Even when I travel to Bicol, Quezon province, Batangas, Subic or Baguio on rest days or holidays, I use my City,” says Jeanina.

Like the other City owners, Jeanina switches mostly to Eco mode in heavy traffic. On the highways, she says she usually gets a fuel mileage of 21 km/liter, and 13 km/liter in city drives.

Jeanina amplifies her City’s fuel economy by maximizing her trips. “I drive only when I have my family or friends to carpool with me, instead of using one car for each of us,” she reveals.