The fifth-generation Honda City has finally broken cover as the C-segment sedan made its global debut at a special event in Thailand. The all-new offering looks evolutionary over the outgoing version, playing on the strengths of the current model while improving on space, quality and powertrain. The 2020 Honda City gets a turbocharged motor this time for the Thai market to meet the local Eco Car Phase 2 regulations, and this motor is likely to remain limited to the South East Asian markets. The new generation City will make its way to India sometime next year and is likely to continue being offered in petrol and diesel powertrains.
The fifth-generation Honda City continues to retain the executive sedan look that the model is known but gets a more rounded appearance than the current model. Significant changes are aplenty including the new Honda Solid Wing face that takes inspiration from the larger Civic, adding a chunky chrome bar upfront linking the "jewel eye" LED headlamps. The three-part bumper is neatly contoured and works at the rear too with inlets at either corner. The profile view will remind you of the current generation City but there is a new distinct character line that starts from the headlamps all the way till the wraparound taillights, above the door handles. The LED taillights look distinctive with the U-shaped signature light.
The 2020 Honda City has also grown in proportions and is now over 100 mm longer, while the width has increased by 53 mm. The height though is now lowered by a good 28 mm that makes for a sleeker looking sedan. Interestingly, Honda has also trimmed the wheelbase on the new City by 11 mm, despite the overall increase in length.
Inside, the new generation Honda City gets plenty of upgrades including a new layout for the dashboard that has been influenced by the new generation Honda Jazz. It looks extremely clutter-free over the older model with the new vertical-style air vents and a larger touchscreen infotainment system in the centre. The climate control switches are positioned just below that, while the switches have been replaced with touch-sensitive controls. The steering wheel is new as well and carries with the three-spoke unit getting a small centre and angular controls mounted on the wheel instead of the round units seen on the previous models. The handbrake, gear lever and cupholders remain unchanged in terms of positioning. In terms of features, the car comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Honda Connect infotainment, leather upholstery,
The big update on the new-gen Honda City is the new 1.0-litre turbocharged engine that develops 120 bhp at 5500 rpm and 173 Nm of peak torque between 2000-4500 rpm. The 998 cc motor uses a BorgWarner single-scroll turbocharger, dual Variable Valve Timing Control (VTC) and Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC). The new engine replaces the 1.5-litre naturally-aspirated i-VTEC motor in Thailand making it the only engine on sale for the market. Furthermore, the motor is paired with a 7-speed CVT with no option of a manual gearbox. The transmission does come with a manual mode and there are paddle shifters on offer as well.
Honda will also introduce the 1.5-litre petrol engine with the i-MMD mild-hybrid tech from the new Jazz on the new generation City. Details of the powertrain have not been announced but we do expect to hear more about it later.
In a bid to meet the stringent emission norms in the Thai market, Honda had to develop the new engine emits below 100 g/km of CO2, while the fuel efficiency stands at 23.8 kmpl, which is higher than the minimum requirement of 23.25 kmpl. The Eco Car Phase 2 also mandates features like ABS, EBD, Brake Assist as standard, across all variants of the City. The car also comes with six airbags, multi-angle rearview camera, Vehicle Stability Control and hill start assist.
In Thailand, the new Honda City is being sold in four trims - S, V, SV and RS with the latter being the sportier one. We expect the car to arrive next year with a number of bells and whistles. The City is a strong seller for Honda Cars India, and the new-gen version is likely to keep the momentum going.