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2020 Honda City Review, Road Test – Petrol & Diesel – Video+Text

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Honda City needs no introduction. It has been the benchmark in the segment with its all-rounder capabilities that it offers. Be it space, safety, dynamics and other things, Honda seems to offer it along perfectly well in the mid-size sedan segment. It remains untouchable despite heavyweights continue to disrupt its pole position. A lot of them continue to try hard and a lot of have perished and disappeared.

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The City has remained the heart and soul of the customers. Be it new or recurring. Honda City also has a fan base for many reasons and it served customers up the ladder and down with Amaze and Brio smaller version of City and Jazz as well. All New 2020 Honda City is set to be even more exciting as Honda promises to up the bar this time around. Let’s find out what Honda has to offer!

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The design this time around is all new and it is a very quintessential sedan like many of its European and American rivals. A car which has to do well in Asian markets primarily is taking inspiration from another part of the world and that is approved by Japan shows the global approach this time Honda has had for the 2020 City. The front design resembles to the Honda Accord and Civic sold in USA.

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The rear is very Japanese indeed with its flowing tail-lamps. Every light in the head and tail lamp is LED and it does look very good on the car. The clean lines and good metal to glass ratio makes this car quite impressive and sophisticated in its class where most manufacturers continue to do in your face designs.

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Exceptional leg, head, knee and shoulder room makes the Honda City segment benchmark in its class. With quality levels going up along with features list this does make the City a fantastic place to be in the front or at the back. With a 506l boot space, the car makes storage for road trips and long weekends easy. A long feature list on the Honda City has made it quite an attractive package which includes Full LED Headlamps with 9 LED Array Inline Shell, Integrated LED DRL, L Shaped LED Turn Signal and distinct Z- shape 3D wrap-around LED tail lamps with Uniform Edge Light and One-touch Electric Sunroof.

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2020 Honda City is equipped with Next Generation Honda Connect with Telematics Control Unit (TCU) standard across all grades with a 5-year free subscription. it has 32 features such as voice commands to Alexa, the cloud-based voice service from Amazon, customers can remotely access features such as car AC On/ Off, door lock/ unlock, check fuel status, locate the car.

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When it comes to safety, The City gets ACE™ body enhances self-protection while mitigating damage to other vehicles in the event of a collision. A host of active and passive advanced safety features like 6 Airbags system, ABS with EBD and Brake Assist, Vehicle Stability Assist with Agile Handling Assist, Hill Start Assist, Honda Lane Watch™ camera, Multi-angle Rear Camera, Emergency Stop Signal, Tyre Pressure Monitoring System, ISOFIX compatible Rear Side Seats with Lower Anchorages & Top Tether, and Immobilizer with anti-theft alarm.

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The City also gets Walk Away Auto Lock feature, Remote Engine Start (in CVT) & Keyless Window Remote Operation, Fully Automatic Climate Control with Max Cool, Click feel AC dials with red-blue elimination, Rear AC vents with Charging Ports, Driver Seat Height Adjuster, LED map and Rear reading lamps.

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The main screen is a 20.3 cm and has Apple Car play and Android Auto. More features include a 17.7cm HD full-colour TFT meter with Multi-function driver information interface with G-meter, Digital Speed and Cruise Control display, Web Link smart connectivity, 8 speakers premium surround sound system sounds good, Ambient Lighting and LED Interior Lamps. The Digi pad 2.0 works better than before.

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2020 Honda City is powered by new 1.5L i-DTEC DOHC Diesel engine mated to the 6-speed manual transmission. It delivers the best balance of powerful performance and high fuel economy with 100 PS @ 3600 rpm power, 200 Nm @1750 rpm torque. Application of exhaust gas after-treatment system with NSC (NOx Storage Catalyst) and DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter) has been done to meet the challenging target of particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emission in diesel engines. Steering Mounted Paddle Shifters is offered with the CVT.

The petrol felt smoother, quite than before. The SOHC unit was refined well enough but the DOHC unit here has made it even better. The scream at the top-end around 4500 RPM all the way till 7000 RPM still exist in a racier way and less raw way than before. NVH level has gone down drastically which has made the driving experience even calmer when you are driving normally or stuck in traffic. The manual gearbox is slick, smooth and feels more reassuring than the last gearbox to use. Clutch is light too with a short-throw making it easier to drive. Power in the lower end is better than before and the mid-range and top-end continue to be ballistic if you redline all the gears and go through the CVT entirely. All of this makes the City a powerhouse of fun and excitement and delivering top-notch driveability at the same time.

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CVT is also better than before with a petrol motor. Rubber band effect has been reduced and it syncs in perfectly with the 1.5 litre motor as always. Shifting seamlessly into the 7 steps or while using the paddle shifters making things sportier when required. If you want the opposite of the same, you can switch by pressing the ECON button and make throttle response and engine mapping more relaxed and more tuned towards efficiency. Best when stuck in bumper to bumper traffic. Diesel continues to have excellent low and mid-range torque and BHP which means driving in the city and highway is great most of the time.

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Top-end is good but isn’t as free-flowing as petrol or any other diesel cars in this segment. Honda City diesel has a high top-speed, it just, it takes time to reach. Efficiency in both petrol and diesel is consistent throughout the driving cycle of highway and city. We almost got 13 km/l while driving sedately in the city and 16 km/l on the highway in the petrol car. Diesel returned over 22 km/l which is above most hatchbacks.

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Dynamically, the chassis has great stiffness and that allowed Honda to soften up the suspension which made ride quality great for our roads. This meant that last level of fun to drive was lost a bit and there is a bit of body roll in the car which isn’t expected from the City. However, it is well controlled and not in excess like its rivals. Steering is good in terms of feedback and weighing up on the highway and not as great as expected. Brake pedal bite is good but the travel can get longer in emergency braking situations. Tyres are on the skinnier side but with enough contact patch on offer and well gripping rubber, it comes together well enough.

2020 Honda City Review, Verdict

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Honda City does have almost everything you could ask for. Be its standard equipment, safety, efficient engines and a balance of fun and comfort while driving. Sure, it lacks some features but they are ready to put on as accessory if you like to have them. However, with this price, we expected it to be standard on top-end variants. Honda still hasn’t offered an automatic diesel which should follow in some time of early 2021. What you get is Honda’s fuss-free sales, service, reliability and resale value which is segment best. A true blue popular model continues to get what it deserves and Honda has made sure this time yet again that the City remains at the top of the hill and it continues to be watching others from there, as they trying to catch up.

2020 Honda City Review
  • Design
  • Interior
  • Features
  • Space
  • Safety
  • Practicality
  • Performance
  • Dynamics
  • Value
4.7
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