2021 Honda City raises the gameFriday, July 23, 2021
BY RORY DALEY
THE 2021 Honda City hits the ground running with an all-new philosophy to deliver the expectations of the brand at its end of the sub-compact car market, not just for new buyers, but to loyalists.
Approach the City and the sharp attractive styling makes the small sedan appear much like its bigger brother, the Civic. A large part is due to the solid wing face, the Honda grille design now across all its models. Visually, the dimensions will have those familiar with Hondas looking back at the fifth and sixth generations of the model. Sixteen-inch alloy wheels are standard.
But the nostalgia stops there, as the City is as modern and upscale in this iteration. Keyless entry makes accessing the upmarket interior a snap. Having the ability to remote start adds to the premium feel. Slip into the comfortable seats and that sensation continues throughout the cabin. The interior design language is helped by an ergonomic layout, material variety, and the small touches like a silver-rimmed instrument binnacle with its classy font. There's solidity to the switchgear. Storage is plentiful featuring multiple phone spaces, cubbyholes and cup holders. The trunk is a button press away for larger items. Passengers will have no problems with space and those in the rear can enjoy creature comforts such as rear vents and their own power sources.
Cabin refinement is good, allowing all to enjoy the infotainment run by the eight-inch touchscreen. The screen is large, clear and responsive, a boon once Android Auto is connected. This brings the Google navigation maps to life and moving through menus a breeze. Shift into reverse and the screen switches to the reverse camera. Steering wheel-mounted controls help with calls and audio control. Two USB ports up front means connectivity while another device charges. Audio quality will satisfy most audiophiles. Those rocking iPhones won't have a problem as Apple CarPlay is also standard.
Of course, Honda made their name on providing the correct mix of economy and sport. The City is a more engaging drive than class rivals. The 1.5-litre engine works in concert with the CVT for smooth shifts and quiet cruising, especially when the cruise control is operational. In urban confines, the Honda City sips fuel as it glides over rough pavement. On the highway it's stable, effortlessly passing the miles away. On B-roads, the trademark Honda handling comes into play. The City always exudes confidence on narrow country lanes feeling light and agile with direct steering. The chassis' suppleness works in those conditions too, never upsetting the car. There's more than enough power and the engine has that characteristic revvy Honda nature. Those using it as a family vehicle, or first-time drivers, will also enjoy that confidence in safety due to standard airbags, Anti-Lock Brakes and Vehicle Stability Assist.
The Honda City has slightly grown in size for its fifth generation, but with good cause. Honda's Man Maximum, Machine Minimum philosophy has resulted in an interior space where ample space, an ergonomically designed cockpit, and an adherence to the chassis fundamentals come together beautifully to give drivers a quality experience in a comfortable practical sedan that's fun to drive and packed with features from vehicles a class above.
TALE OF THE TAPE
MODEL: 2021 Honda City
ENGINE: 1.5-litre, four cylinder — 120bhp/107lb-ft
DRIVETRAIN: CVT/front-wheel drive
SUMMARY: Honda injects what makes the Civic so great into its smallest sedan.
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