Honda City Review – The subcompact sedan that fits any lifestyle

Honda debuted the all new 5th generation City subcompact sedan back in November 2013. Sales in Thailand and the ASEAN region started the following 1st quarter in 2014. Meanwhile, in Taiwan the car debuted at the 2014 Taipei International Auto Show in December 2013 to gauge interest from the audience. It was decided that Taiwan will reintroduce the City again due the subcompact offerings from competition, i.e. Toyota Vios, Nissan Versa, and Ford Fiesta. The last time the City was sold in Taiwan was the 3rd generation from 1996-2001. The Honda City returned and officially went on sale June 30, 2014.

Style & Specs:

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The new City incorporates Honda’s new corporate style front end. The rear taillights mimics the Acura TSX/Accord Euro in a way. The exterior style is not much to look at compared to the new Fit or the Accord. As with the Fit, the City is very spacious for the driver and the passengers. The City’s length is 4,440 mm (175 in), wheelbase is 2,600 mm (100 in), and the width is 1,695 mm (66.7 in).  Only the length and height increased 2 inches and 0.7 inches respectively. Shoulder, leg, and knee room have been increased 40mm, 60mm, and 70mm respectively. Storage bins are everywhere in this car, much like the Fit anything can be hidden, if needed. New features include the auto on/off headlights, backup camera, and a touch screen infotainment system. In addition, there is Bluetooth and USB connectivity along with four power outlets. The car can also sync up with iPhones (other smartphones do not sync for some reason), which allows you to take music playlists and play them on the car’s audio system. The climate control is touch-panel. The City also includes an eight speaker audio system and an optional GPS integrated in the touchscreen infotainment system. As with most Hondas the build quality is excellent, the dashboard includes soft touch materials and stitching, giving the car a higher ending feel. The rear passengers can rejoice with rear A/C vents and enough space to stretch the legs. Also on the driver’s seat back there is a folding tray table for anyone that wants to place small items on it.

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The all new City is powered by a 1.5L DOHC i-VTEC motor with direct injection being new for this generation. The horsepower is rated at 117hp at 6,600 rpm and 107 lb ft@ 4600 rpm. The 5 speed automatic that was in the previous generation City has been replaced by a more fuel efficient CVT transmission. Paddle shifters are included for those who want to enjoy the drive more. The prices of the City range from $21,750 USD (NT$659,000) for the VTi and $23,050 USD (NT$699,000) for te VTi-S. These prices makes the City more expensive than a comparable Toyota Vios sedan at NT$600,000 ($19,800 USD) or the Ford Fiesta 1.0L Ecoboost at NT$588,000 ($19,400 USD). The City maybe pricier than its rivals, but it includes more standard features, such as 4 airbags versus 2 airbags on the Yaris.

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On the Road:

So how does the all new City drive on the road? This maybe considered a Fit sedan by some and driving it make seem like the same, but with the added trunk and weight it makes the car handle slightly different compared to the Fit. The moment the light turns green and hitting the gas, the City accelerates fairly quick, albeit the CVT makes the car more noisier that it appears. The car does not seem as rev happy as the Fit or even the Civic. The engine seems to get stressed when pushed hard constantly. When driving on the highway the City has some noticeable wind noise and road noise, but at highway speeds the car is very stable and passing big rigs is no problem at all. When it comes to maneuverability around tight spaces in the urban jungle, the City’s tight turning radius makes it a breeze to drive around town. However, when taking some turns there is noticeable body roll.

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3.5 out of 5

Although not as fun to drive as the Fit, the City does give buyers another option when it comes to a subcompact sedan. Not every person is interested in driving a hatchback and may prefer a car with a trunk. Just like its Fit sibling the City is frugal on gas, roomy, and loaded with tech. The outdated Toyota Vios and Nissan Versas may still be the most popular in Taiwan, however, the City is a welcome addition to the competitive subcompact field.

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