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Car review: With new City, Honda redefines entry-level sedan segment

Wednesday, 8 January 2014 - 12:57pm IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: DNA

Pricing: (ex-showroom, Delhi)
Variant    Petrol (INR)    Diesel (INR)
E MT       7.42 lakh          8.62 lakh
S MT       8.04 lakh          9.24 lakh
SV MT     8.49 lakh          9.66 lakh

The 4th generation Honda City is more than just a new car as it redefines the benchmark in the ‘people’s sedan’ segment with élan.

Honda showcased the 4th generation Honda City a couple months ago; however, it is only now that the car has officially been launched in the market.

With over 9,000 pre-launch bookings, the new City has garnered a sizeable amount of interest among customers and the driving force behind this aspect is the diesel variant, which is touted to bring in the numbers for the brand.

The 1.5 litre diesel mill is essentially the same unit fitted in the Amaze. But it has been mated to a 6-speed transmission in the City. Incidentally, the diesel City is also the most fuel-efficient car in the country capable of delivering 26 kilometre to the litre as tested by the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI). The petrol option is the tried and tested 1.5 litre i-VTEC unit, which also delivers amazing efficiency. However, it is the automatic version that shines as it delivers an ARAI tested 18 kmpl, more than its manual transmission counterpart.

For a sedan of this size, Honda is offering mileage of a small car in a premium entry-level sedan.

It also has managed to keep the pricing of the new City very competitive. If you look at the petrol variants,  the pricing difference with the outgoing model is almost negligible and Honda has been able to achieve this by offering a higher level of localisation on the product.

Illustrating this is the high level of equipment available on the car including features such as the start/stop button, touchscreen air-conditioning controls, rear A/C vents and shark fin antenna. The striking package combined with Honda’s legendary reliability is a potent mixture that has reset the benchmark for the competition and taken the bar even higher. 

For Honda, this might not be such a new thing, for the company redefined the entry level sedan segment with the launch of the City in 1998 and has dominated this segment over the past decade. With the new City, the game is surely being taken to a new level.

Hironori Kanayama, president and CEO, HCIL said, “At Honda our goal is not just to create great products, but to offer unparalleled experience to our customers. With the best petrol and diesel technologies available in the City, we are very confident about the success of the model which will significantly contribute to our business growth in India.” 

With a target of over 170 dealerships by March 2014, Honda is gearing up for a strong run in the market.with the new City. In fact, the company is also looking at expanding their market base to include B and C category towns as the diesel version is bound to find buyers in these cost-sensitive markets as well.

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