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Diesel Domination

Friday, 24 January 2014 - 10:54am IST | Agency: DNA
Honda is looking at covering lost ground with the introduction of its Honda City Diesel. With this car, it's not just about a diesel offering, but about raising the game to a whole new level.

Quick Bits
Honda City Diesel
Rs 8.62 – 11.10 lakh

Honda City Petrol
Rs 7.42 – 10.98 lakh

(ex-showroom, Delhi)

When Honda introduced the City in 1998, the car went on to become the bestseller in its segment and more importantly it set the standard for midsize sedans. Competitors pitted their products against the City but couldn’t quite match up to it. A chink in the City’s armour though, was the lack of a diesel option and when petrol prices started to spiral skywards, diesel engined versions of the competition made further inroads and the City found itself losing its position as a segment leader. Honda knew the answer was a diesel heart and with the 4th generation version, the company has finally fitted in the 1.5 i-DTEC under the hood.

It’s clear that Honda is taking the fight straight to the competition and not settling for a high-headed strategy. Everything about the new car has its roots in what customers have come to expect from a vehicle of this class. Starting with the styling, the car is more of an evolution of the previous model. Dominating details on the exterior include the large chrome bar across the grill, the sleek headlights, a sporty front bumper, and a contoured hood. Highlights on the rear include the large taillights and a dash of chrome. Overall, the car looks more mature than its predecessor yet retains a sporty attitude that works well enough to classify the new City as a rather handsome car.

The interiors are definitely the highlight when it comes to the new City’s styling. Honda’s ‘man maximum, machine minimum’ mantra can be experienced first-hand in the cabin of the new City.

The car now measures 4440mm in length, 1695mm in width and 1495mm in height. While these dimensions are almost identical to the outgoing model, the new car’s wheelbase has been increased by 50mm to 2600mm which has led to freeing up a lot of space inside resulting in exceptional seating space for five. While this has been a virtue of the City since its 2nd generation model, the 4th generation takes it up a notch.

Powering the diesel version of the Honda City is the 1498cc, four cylinder, DOHC, i-DTEC diesel mill, which incidentally is the same unit that Honda offers on the Amaze compact sedan, albeit for the fact that in the City it is mated to a 6-speed transmission. Capable of making 100PS @3600rpm and 200 Nm @1750rpm, the engine offers a refined drive and power is delivered in a linear fashion – the City is capable of going from 0-100 km/h in 14.06 seconds, which is rather decent. The 6-speed transmission is a dream as well and typically Honda in the manner in which it slots into gear. While a bit of the diesel noise does creep into the cabin, the car is an absolute blast to drive without having to worry about the fuel bill for it returns a stellar ARAI claimed 26kmpl.

The ride quality and handling remain strong points of the Honda and it takes more than some spirited driving to get this car to lose its bearing.

Priced rather aggressively, the new City is no longer going to be a niche player in the market.

Armed with a petrol, diesel and an automatic version, Honda is looking at a larger market segment as well as targeting B and C category towns. No doubt it is the diesel that will drive the City back to a leadership position. The car has raised the bar and established a new standard among midsize sedans. Read the complete story on www.zeegnition.com

Editor’s Take
For long the gold standard in the mid-size sedan segment, the first three-generations of the Honda City waged a winning battle against every rival armed with petrol-sipping engines which were able to take the battle even to the diesel-engined brigade. And now in its latest fourth-gen avatar, the City with its state-of-the-art i-DTEC diesel that not only re-writes the rules of the game but also makes it the one by which every other rival will be measured. Yes it is that good but the even more humbling aspect is that if Honda wants it could be made even better still!

fast facts
Honda City Diesel
Engine:
1498cc DOHC i-DTEC, Inline-4
Power: 100PS @ 3600rpm
Torque: 200Nm @ 1750rpm
Transmission: 6-speed, Manual
Fuel efficiency: 26kmpl (claimed)
Key features: Start/Stop button, High-end audio system with 8 speakers, Touchscreen air-conditioning control system, Keyless entry, Sun roof, Rear view camera.


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