$16,490 – $20,490
Good: Roomy interior; refined driveline. Honda reliable nameplate.
Not so Good: Feels and drives like a Supermini (unfortunately), but for the same price you could be in a Small class sedan with a bigger engine.
Design and Engineering
Good : Arriving Down Under in February 2009, the Honda City’s smart, distinctive styling will appeal to a different target market than the funky Jazz hatchback; typical quality Honda build.
Receiving a mid-life facelift in May 2012, the City line-up received a number of tweaks both inside and out.
Both variants received redesigned brake lights, revised front and rear bumpers and a new chrome ‘look’ grille.
The VTi received a new rear micro antenna while the VTi-L received a set of new look 16-inch alloy wheels.
Not so good : Basically, it’s kind of a Honda Jazz with a boot. Whilst the Honda City is noticeably longer due to a stretched wheelbase, the width stays the same – so it’s narrower inside compared to similarly priced larger sedans.
Interior and Styling
Good : The comfortable seats are positioned high ensuring good visibility; rear seat space offers plenty of legroom and decent head room; boot space is fantastic, is’t even larger than a Commodore! With 60/40 split folding rear seats for carrying longer items.
The mid-life facelift in May 2012 saw a number of tweaks both inside and out.
Inside, both variants received aluminium-look treatment for the interior panels and trim, while the VTi-L got a little bit more blinged out with chrome look treatment to the audio and climate control.
Not so good : Missing the myriad clever compartments of the Honda Jazz Hatch; The dashboard has too many hard & cheap looking plastics and rear seats don’t fold fully flat.
Good : The smooth 1.5-litre engine sits happily at highway speeds while road noise is kept to a minimum in the cabin.
Honda’s 1.5-litre that is also featured in the Jazz produces 88kW at 6600rpm and 145Nm at 4800rpm when mated to a 5-speed manual (5-speed automatic optional).
Not so good : 145Nm of torque is nothing to excited about – if you purchased the city for the big boot and intend to fill it, then the Honda City might struggle.
Ride and Handling
Good : On most roads the City’s suspension provides a comforting ride, soaking up most bumps and pot holes seen on our unique Australian roads.
Not so good : The electric power steering lacks feedback which is a turn-off for driving enthusiasts. However, in Honda’s defence the Honda City isn’t meant to be a sports car; Handling is only competent.
Buying and Owning
Good : Excellent fuel economy for a vehicle with this much interior space; A full size spare tyre instead of the now all-too-common space saver wheel and six airbags as standard!
Not so good : Once price is taken into consideration the Honda City struggles to compete against a number of larger small family cars that are priced similarly; no Electronic Stability Control (ESC).