UNDER the usual circumstances of the new normal, Honda launched the all-new, 5th generation Honda City through a Facebook (or the steadier YouTube) livestream. Those of us so blessed, had a spectacular DIY burger in one hand and a cold brew in another hand while we witnessed the event on a large screen TV.
This all-new City—Honda’s most popular vehicle in the Philippines—with its new DNA-aligned exterior design, outstanding interior space, and advanced technologies, is what the Japanese car maker considers as one of the expressions of its “2030 vision of leading the advancement of mobility and enabling people around the world to improve their daily lives.”
Honda Cars Philippines Inc. considers the City its commitment to providing mobility to Filipinos, thus timing the launch with the company’s 30th year in the Philippines. The City is tasked to continue the brand’s market presence and expansion.
A new compact car idea
As a young boy I was introduced to the City via the Honda Media Challenge. My father was one of the participants and thrice category winner, once a class champion in that craziest of activities of Honda. The Media Challenge was so well run that it was replicated through the region. It started from a small run-around the dirt circuit race to a full rally that saw cars crash and tumble.
The Honda City, which was first launched as an exclusive model for the Southeast Asian market. After its first three years as a small Civic-based sedan, it has become HCPI’s best-selling model over the years. Its concept was simple–a car of small exterior proportions with a spacious interior and a gutsy engine. Digging from the parts bins of previous Civics produced the first City. But that was just for starters.
Since 1996 there have been 131,000 units sold in the Philippines. Not bad for a car that was based on the previous generation Civic platform, small and compact in a market then of steadily larger cars. It was the season on the “plus-sized” sedan, but the City kept to its roots as a compact of slimmer proportions. That helped it keep it consistent—every model reflected its core values of smart style, outstanding interior space and strong commanding presence.
And amazingly, each generation became sportier and sportier until it came a time when it received a monicker of “little Civic,” a name it didn’t like. For by that time—about the 3rd generation of the car, it was it’s own. Through its sportier exterior, and comfortable and spacious interior that surpasses other subcompact sedans in the market, the City was truly an Asian sedan.
This all-new City’s exterior boasts a cutting-edge sleek design. With its thick long nose, lowered full height, and widened full width, It is now longer by 111 mm, wider by 54 mm, and lowered by 10mm, compared to the 4th generation City. A flashy chromed front grille that is paired with a new front bumper is now even more stylish with its new LED Daytime Running Lights (DLR) across all variants. Honda calls it the “integrated solid wing face.” I think the better word is “astig.”
More “astig” is the horizontal character lines inspired by the “Katana Blade In Motion” that is nicely finished with new and sharp LED taillights for all the variants. I have not seen the inside for myself but the launch literature describes it as “emphasizing high-quality textures and functional approach to achieve sophistication and comfort for both driver and passengers. Inside, it features a spacious cabin with soft pads and polished textures, plus accents to further enhance its high-class sedan feel.”
For a more convenient driving experience, it retains all of its power features like the adjustable door mirrors across all variants. The power-folding door mirrors with integrated side turn signals are standard on the 1.5 RS CVT and 1.5 V CVT variants.
The interior styling of the all-new City emphasizes high-quality textures and a functional approach to achieve sophistication and comfort for both driver and passengers. The spacious cabin is replete with soft pads and polished textures, plus accents to further enhance its high-class sedan feel.
Adding to the comfort and advanced features, it gets an upgrade with its new “One Push Start System” across all variants. The “Smart Entry Keyless Entry System” are reserved for both the 1.5 RS CVT and 1.5 V CVT, and a standard keyless entry for 1.5 S CVT and 1.5 S MT variants.
Furthermore, this new Honda is now equipped with an 8-inch advanced touchscreen display audio with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto & WebLink, that is now available in 1.5 RS CVT, 1.5 V CVT and 1.5 S CVT variants.
Elevating comfort further, it is also inclusive of a new air conditioning design with rotary knobs, digital display & illumination. The center console offers an ergonomic design that allows passengers to have their essentials within reach.
On the other hand, the 1.5 V CVT emphasizes a posh and sophisticated interior with Ivory accents and a high quality full black interior for the1.5 S CVT variant.
Rear passengers also get to enjoy additional comfort through the expanded legroom and knee clearance. On top of that, the 1.5 RS and 1.5 V CVT variants now include new Rear Ventilation to further enhance the comfort provided for rear passengers.
Quietly it moves
Similar to recent Honda City models, Honda’s Eco Assist System, which consists of the ECON mode and Eco-Coaching Ambient Light is still available to help encourage drivers to drive efficiently. In addition, all passengers can enjoy their conversations inside the car with its lessened noise and vibration.
Moreover, this is the first City to adopt spray polyurethane foam insulation at the bottom ends of the pillars, and the amount of sound absorber adopted for the engine undercover is 3.5 times more compared to the previous model. The thickness of the body is increased and stiffeners to suppress vibration are placed in each position to provide a quiet vibration-less cabin with a high-quality feeling.
Under the hood and chassis
It is powered by a new 1.5-Liter 4-cylinder DOHC i-VTEC engine to provide an ideal balance of performance and fuel efficiency. Coupled with Continuous Variable Transmission (CVT), this powertrain is able to produce up to a maximum power output of 121ps at 6,600 rpm and a maximum of 145 Nm of torque at 4,300 rpm. For those who prefer driving a Manual Transmission, a wide-range 6-speed manual transmission option is available for the 1.5 S MT variant.
As Honda continues to strengthen its “safety for everyone” global campaign, the upgraded City continuously prioritizes safety through Honda’s G-force Control (G-CON) “Collision Safety Body” that enhances impact absorption for the added protection of passengers in the event a collision occurs.
To add to this, customers may expect top-notch collision safety performance on the All-New City through its advanced safety features that are now available across all variants. This includes Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) with Agile Handling Assist (AHA), Emergency Stop Signal (ESS), Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), Hill Start Assist (HSA), and Speed Sensing Auto door locks.
Moreover, the 1.5 RS CVT and 1.5 V CVT variants are equipped with a multi-view rear camera with dynamic guidelines. The front driver and passenger airbags are now supplemented by side airbags which are now standard across the range.
With these superior safety features, the All-New City boasts a 5-star ASEAN NCAP safety rating as it gives customers better safety and peace of mind on the road.
Now available in RS version
In recent history, Honda has been suffixing the letters “RS” to the Civic, Brio and other youth-targeted models. Same-same for the City which receives its first RS badge to indicate how it inherits and embodies Honda’s sporty DNA.
Thus, despite its already well-known “racing” pedigree, made solid by the Honda Media Challenge activities of the Jurassic era, it is, for the first time in the Philippine market, available in a 1.5 RS CVT variant.
Does that badge give it anything else than a sportier and more premium look?
Well, the RS variant comes with a complete set of sporty upgrades including a high gloss black front grille with RS logo emblem, sporty front bumper and grille. To the usual ensemble front and rear taillights, the blackened folding door mirror, integrated side turn signals, gloss black trunk spoiler with RS logo, and newly designed sporty 16-inch alloy wheels.
Not sporty enough?
Well, how about a cabin that is fully equipped to reflect a complete look of sportiness? A combination of newly designed leather and suede seat material with black and red stitching interior trims, new sport pedals, eight (4 + 4 Tweeters) speakers, and a multi-information display with red illumination that are exclusively available for the 1.5 RS CVT variant.
It is also now equipped with a new Remote Engine Start, which is a first-time feature for the City, while Paddle Shifters are also offered for an engaging driving experience.
Pricing and colors
The 5th generation Honda City 1.5 RS CVT retails at a special introductory price of P1.048M, while the V CVT is P968K, the S CVT costs P 878K and the S MT at P838K. These prices, according to Honda are good until
There are 6 different colors, the list is below. For the special Platinum White Pearl an additional P20K will be charged.
- Ignite Red Metallic (new color; 1.5 RS CVT, 1.5 V CVT, and 1.5 S CVT)
- Platinum White Pearl (new color; 1.5 RS CVT and 1.5 V CVT only)
- Modern Steel Metallic
- Taffeta White (1.5 S CVT and 1.5 S MT only)
- Lunar Silver Metallic (1.5 V CVT and 1.5 S CVT only)
- Crystal Black Pearl
From October 22 to December 31, 2020, all current Honda owners who will refer an All-New City buyer will receive P5,000 worth of e-gift certificates for every successful referral. Interested referrers may visit www.hondaphil.com/promos/referral-program for more information.
And yes. As per the DTI, terms and conditions apply.