Honda City: Soft ride – big boot


The Light Car category is the second smallest in Australia.  Only the Micro class are smaller.  There is a good range of cars in the category going from the sublime to the ridiculous – Selling well is the Hyundai i20, the Mazda 2 (about to be replaced), Toyota Yaris (still going well with the current model that has been with us for 3 years).  Good cars that selling OK (Ford Fiesta) and the bargain basement vehicles such as the Proton S16.

Most are hatches not sedans.

Honda calls its hatch in this class, the Jazz; and the Sedan it calls the City.  Last year Honda sold over 5,700 Jazz hatchbacks and only 679 City sedans. That’s outselling the sedan nearly 81/2 to one.

So far this year the sales of the sedan model it’s less than three to one.

Ian Crawford and I have been driving the new Honda City Sedan to see if it is that good.

Ian, one big factor in the favour of this car is the space for rear passengers and in the boot.


  • Front leg room is reasonable but rear leg room is surprising even with the front seats right back.  The boot is huge.
  • Dash lay out is minimalist – not cluttered with a lot of buttons and knobs
  • Base model VTi has some good standard features
    • Reversing camera
    • 7-inch full-colour capacitive touch-screen – I didn’t find the operation of changing a radio station as all that easy
    • Bluetooth® phone and audio streaming
    • customisable wallpaper
    • HondaLink Navigation# compatibility
    • mp4 movie file play
    • Siri™ Eyes Free+ mode
    • smartphone app integration
    • vehicle information (fuel economy, trip computer)
    • VTi-L
      • Chrome accents –
      • Leather-wrapped steering wheel – •
      • Leather-wrapped gear shift knob
      • 8 speakers instead of four
      • Alloy Wheels
      • Smart keyless entry
  • Same cloth trim for both grades
  • One engine 88kW/145Nm four-cylinder
  • lacks grunt – its overall package gives it the feel of a bigger car and so the performance from the 1.5 litre engine can be a bit disappointing – The engine has to work hard if you rev it but it feels relaxed and quiet at practical city levels.  The CVT doesn’t make a lot of noise but it felt the weaknesses of driving with this type of gear box (the feeling like a slipping clutch) a bit more than most.  I had the up market VTi-L with paddle shifts that give seven stepped gears if you want to act like a normal automatic.  It didn’t seem to want to stay in manual and reverted to automatic very quickly.
  • Manual on the base model with a CVT as an option
  •  5.8 litres per 100 for the manual and 5.7 for the automatic
  • Driving – first turn of the wheel at reasonable but not excessive speeds gives a chirp from the tyres.  The ride is over-all quite soft which is good for speed humps.
  • The looks – cute boot, the passenger cabin in the middle of the car looks slightly over large from the front 3/4 angle, a bit like some earlier models of the Toyota Yaris although the Honda cabin did not stick out as much.  The front is quite modern with nothing outrageous although the large chrome piece across the front of the grill is a bit over the top.
  • Jazz is $1000 cheaper

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