Honda City is a subcompact car which is very popular in East Asian countries. It is best described as stylish, roomy and fuel efficient. Due to its spacious legroom, the first model was a three door small hatchback that became instant hit in Japan. The spacious interior was comparable to many four door sedans. Japanese were also impressed by its stylish looks and low cost which laid the foundations of success for City brand.
Death & Rebirth of City Brand
Design changes and management problems quickly overtook its fame and the City lay forgotten between 1986 and 1994. Its revival in 1996 was also quick like its predecessor. The new model was based on Honda Civic platform and came equipped with 1.5 L VTEC engine. Once again, legroom and trunk space was widely enhanced by transferring fuel tank under rear seats to front seats. This modification proved a catalyst for Honda City sales because customers once again preferred roomy interior and excellent fuel economy, as compared to its competitors in South Asian markets, Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla. Nowadays, it is mainly produced in Pakistan, Thailand, India, Malaysia, Philippines and Indonesia. This third generation Honda model is based on D-series engines, namely 13D and 15D. Although, the power of these engines has been somewhat reduced but still Honda City excels in weight to power ratio. The output of 15D engine type is approximately 115 hp supporting a weight of nearly 985 kg. By contemporary standards of small compact sedans, Honda City can reach from 0 to 100 km/h in an impressive ten seconds.
Fourth Generation Honda City
The success of third generation Honda City prompted engineers to make significant changes in outer structure which made a revitalized fourth generation model, even more admirable. In 2002, China experimented with the new model by naming it Honda Fit. Subsequently, new City models were first introduced in Indonesia and then promoted in other markets, including Singapore. The redesigned model offered bold exterior looks including headlights, foglights, bumpers and headlamps. Moreover, the chasis was extended to provide additional features that were not present in Honda Fit. Both manual and automatic i-DSi and VTEC came equipped with alloy wheels and standard equipment. It also has CVT gearbox which is a seven speed transmission with override capabilities utilizing paddle shift button, which is very rare for a vehicle in its class.
Now, fifth generation Honda Civic has the distinction of production outside of Asian markets, in Brazil. The distinct feature of this fifth generation Honda City is range of different classes and environmental friendly ethanol variants. From its rapid progress, it seems that Honda City is destined to stay for long term.