Honda is back, with the 2012 City
What is it:
The 2012 edition of Honda’s popular B-segment sedan. The timing couldn’t be better, as Honda badly needs to strengthen its market position. Among the Japanese carmakers, the floods in Thailand disrupted Honda’s more than anyone else’s, so the presence of the new City is an indication that supply is returning to normal. With Philippine sales of approximately 68,000 units, the City is Honda’s best-selling model.
The third-generation City’s sleek and modern design is one of the pillars of its appeal, so Honda decided to spruce it up for this facelift. There are the usual upgrades to the grille (now chromed), and bumpers, now wider and “more masculine” according to Honda. The rear bumper features a diffuser, similar to that on the City’s sibling, the Jazz. With the facelift, the City remains one of the most appealing and modern cars in the segment.
Inside, the City receives an update, as well. There’s a smattering of chrome accents on the center console, and the instrument cluster now features blue and white lighting. New on the instrument panel is an Eco Drive indicator lamp, which lights up when the driver is driving less madly and more efficiently. An instantaneous fuel economy meter is still there. Honda reckons that this will help customers become motivated toward more fuel-efficient driving. The audio system features USB and auxiliary jack connectivity, as well as steering-wheel mounted audio controls.
Engine and transmission:
Thankfully, the super-smooth iVTEC engines are still under the hood. There are two displacements: 1.3 liters, with estimated 100 hp and 127 Nm; and 1.5 liters, with estimated 119 hp and 145 Nm. Either one propels the City sufficiently well, with the 1.5 giving extra passing power suitable for the highway. The 1.3 is available with a five-speed manual gearbox or a five-speed automatic, while the 1.5 comes with the automatic. Paddle shifters are standard on the 1.5-liter. We expect fuel mileage to remain at the top of its class. It will be a cold day in hell (aka EDSA) when a Honda engine gets less than exemplary fuel mileage for the conditions.
City uses a McPherson strut suspension up front and a torsion beam suspension at the rear. The previous settings provided a satisfactory mix of handling and ride comfort. The 1.5-liter City gets five split-spoke alloy wheels. The good news is that ABS and EBD brakes are standard on all models. Cabin space is the roomiest in class, with an enormous trunk capable of swallowing several large suitcases.
By including ABS and EBD brakes, dual airbags, and with the available steering wheel controls and paddle shift, the City is positioned at the higher end of the B segment. The price bears this out, at Php 746,000 for the 1.3 S MT; Php 786,000 for the 1.3 S AT; and Php 836,000 for the 1.5 E AT. The City is suitable for those seeking a thrifty car without skimping on the safety and convenience features.
At Honda Cars Philippines’ world-class Sta. Rosa, Laguna, plant. The City remains proudly Philippine-made, using imported and local components.
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