The next generation of Honda’s bestselling car, the City is slated to be unveiled next month at the Tokyo Motor Show. The new model will get a refreshed design, extra space, premium features and electronic gadgetry to win back its numero uno position in the C-segment. The City has been the market leader for over a decade in the C-segment, while being the volume puller for Honda in a hatchback friendly market. The City only recently lost its top spot because of the paradigm shift in the market favouring diesel engines thanks to the escalating petrol prices. The new Honda City plans to dominate the market, taking back the top spot from the Hyundai Verna.
The new City is based on the Jazz hatchback platform and will have flowing lines on the exterior to make it more appealing to the Indian buyers. The bigger wrap around headlamps with projector lights for a cleaner appearance along with integrated LED tail lights on the rear will be part of the new City’s design. The all new City will also be bigger than the outgoing model in terms of space on the inside. Expect better legroom for rear seat passengers in the 2014 Honda City. This will also help Honda differentiate the City from its sub 4-metre Amaze sedan. The interiors are expected to be completely refreshed, while taking cues from the 2014 Jazz that was launched earlier this year.
The 2014 Honda City will be offered with both petrol and diesel engines. Doing duties will be the 1.5-litre i-VTEC petrol engine while the 1.5-litre i-DTEC diesel engine from the Amaze will be offered albeit in a higher state of tune. The current i-VTEC engine makes 118 BHP of power while the i-DTEC engine will carry variable geometry charger to support the additional weight of the City. The power figures are expected to be in excess of 100 BHP on the diesel motor. The diesel mill will be the volume puller on the City.
Honda hopes to have their fortunes changed with the City, like they did with the Amaze. The new City will be offered in six to eight variants along with a manual as well as automatic transmission option. The higher variants will pack in more features and electronic gadgets, and will be an alternative to the now discontinued Civic, till the new Civic is launched.
Honda has been doing well thanks to its compact sedan, the Amaze with over 69 percent of sales growth with 59,617 units sold between April and September this year, out of which the Amaze has clocked in 35,000 units alone. The Indian launch date of the next generation City has not been revealed but expect the sedan to be launched in mid 2014. Honda will first launch the MPV Mobilo and the 2014 Jazz in India. The new City’s mainstay in the market will also be dependent on how Honda prices it. The new Honda City will be competing with the Hyundai Verna, Ford Fiesta, Volkswagen Vento and the next generation of Maruti Suzuki’s SX4.