Wednesday, May 31, 2023
HomeFeatured ArticlesGoMechanic Fun ReadsHonda City: A Lookback into India's Favourite Sedan

Honda City: A Lookback into India’s Favourite Sedan

The world was busy playing with toys. People were fed up to adjust in small cars. This is when Honda decided to give something to the world we live in. The legendary sedan, Honda City was born. But like human beings, the newborn car was small too. Yet it could fit in 4 adults easily. Confused? Let’s start from the beginning.

1981 – A Legend Born

A 3.4m small car from Honda got the nameplate of City in 1981. Even after being so short in length, the car had enough room to fit in four adults. The first Honda City was indeed a hatchback. What added to the bling was a 50cc ‘foldaway’ scooter designed to fit in the trunk of the car. Yes! a scooter inside a car, Honda’s innovation has always been this excellent.

Honda City and the Motocompo
Honda City and the Motocompo

Then in the following year, Honda City Turbo was introduced. It was powered by a turbocharged version of the 1.2-litre Honda ER engine.

This 2-door version of the City was sold to the European markets with the nametag of Honda Jazz as the City name was trademarked by Opel at that time. It was also sold as a van in Australia and was locally manufactured in New Zealand. This generation never made to our shores. This is the reason you might have not known about the Motocompo. Now you know! The production of this gen ended in 1986.

1987 – A newer hatchy City

Honda City - Still a hatch
Honda City – Still a hatch

Honda City we know today was still a few years ahead. This was still being offered as a two-door hatchback with the convertible model discontinued now. It was a famous car in Japan and the City was being sold through the Honda Clio dealerships, the division for selling premium cars. Honda Accord, Legend and Concerto were all sold through this channel. The car was powered by a 1.2-litre SOHC in-line 4 cylinder engine which produced around 75hp of power. The engine was mated to a 5-speed manual transmission and the four-speed automatic was offered as an option. Then the times changed. The segment changed. The City was now sedan. But when?

1995 – The Third Gen Honda City | Sedan Finally! 

Honda City 3rd Gen | First Gen For India
Honda City 3rd Gen | First Gen For India

This year saw the 3rd gen of City to feature the sedan look of what we know of. The compact car was now a subcompact 4-door sedan. It was powered by a highly advanced 1.5-litre VTEC engine that could make the sedan go from 0 to 100kmph in less than 10 seconds.

In India, this third-generation was introduced as the first generation of City. It was sold in India from 1998 to 2003. Production of the sedan started at the Greater Noida’s plant in 1997.

2004 – India’s Second Generation | City was only getting BETTER

Honda City Second Generation For India
Honda City Second Generation For India

The design became sleeker, there were minimalistic cuts now. The front grille was more futuristic. The City ZX was introduced in India in 2004. This time the Honda had two options: 1.5-litre i-DSI and 1.5-litre i-VTEC. The transmission options were 5-speed manual and a CVT. This model was sold in India between 2004 and 2008.

2009 – The Most Premium Honda City Ever

Honda City 2009 - Most Premium Ever
Honda City 2009 – Most Premium Ever

Till date, the Honda City was a premium offering from the company. But the 2009 version was more than just premium. It was the most premium. It came with a sunroof and paddle shifters with the CVT automatic transmission. The VTEC engine was also upgraded to an i-VTEC engine which now could churn out 117hp of power and 145Nm of torque. It had a fuel mileage of 16.8kmpl which was good enough for a sedan.

2014 – The Most Fuel Efficient Ever

With Diesel This Time
With Diesel This Time

This generation of Honda City came equipped with a 1.5-litre diesel engine that could produce 98hp of power and 200Nm of torque. But what is so astonishing about that? The power figure was not the point to be noted. The USP here was the staggering 26kmpl mileage of the car. This was the first time City got a diesel engine. The diesel engine brought back the sales company lost due to the rivals. The diesel burner gave Honda City a new life.

2017 – A Minor Facelift

2017 Facelift
2017 Facelift

Due to the introduction of BS4 norms in India, Honda had to give a minor facelift to the 2014 generation. The 2017 facelift had the same engine specs but now had revamped LED headlamps, a new grille and a new bumper too. It also had a new 7-inch advanced infotainment system with Mirrorlink smartphone connectivity, HDMI-in port and a lot more to offer. The fuel efficiency of the diesel engine is 25.6kmpl.

2020 – The All-new Honda City

2020 Honda City
2020 Honda City

The all-new Honda City 2020 has already been launched in Thailand and is expected to reach our shores soon. With the new-gen you can expect:

  • Well following the footsteps of its predecessor the new 2020 Honda City feature a 1.5-litre petrol engine pushing the actual power output to 119hp. The only major update on the engine will be the BS6 update.
  • We can expect the engine to come mated to either a 5-speed manual or a  CVT automatic gearbox option.
  • Rumour also has the there will also be a 1.5-litre diesel unit as well capable of generating up to 100hp. However, somewhere done the line there we could see 1.5-litre petrol with mild-hybrid tech as well.

For the interiors you can expect the Honda City 2020 to get:

Honda City 2020 interior
Honda City 2020 interior
  • Talking about the Interior we can surely expect the 2020 Honda City to feature a newly designed dashboard, steering wheel and out of the box electric sunroof.
  • On the outside, the 2020 Honda City will feature a new set of LED headlamps, a new front bumper, vertical fog lamps and a lower intake. Additionally, the grille will also get prominently larger than the outgoing variant.

The sedan has scored a staggering 5-star rating at the ASEAN NCAP ensuring that the car is comfortable as well as safe for the occupants.

Till then, Honda has upgraded the fourth-gen City to comply with BS6 emission norms. The diesel engine has been discontinued.

So this is how India’s favourite sedan has travelled through history to reach the epitome of sedans. Honda City seems to have a long and bright future ahead. What do you think? Let us know in the comments section below.

Ritvik Gupta
Ritvik Gupta
Ex-Technical Content Developer at GoMechanic | Automobile enthusiast with a knack to decode it for everyone | Automobile Engineer by passion



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Trending Articles

GoMechanic Newsletter

Subscription Form (#3)