The hatchback is a premium offering, and comes with a massive list of features and convenience in addition to the world class quality which can give it an edge against these similarly featured vehicles.
India currently does not have a designated Premium Hatchback on sale, the Suzuki Baleno and the Tata Altroz being the most ‘Premium’ offerings if you’re looking at anything below INR 15 Lakhs, and if you have a bigger budget then there is the Mini Cooper which starts at INR 40 Lakhs. The segment is virtually non-existent per se, and Honda can fill the gap with its new City Hatchback. Placed above the Jazz, it is larger in dimensions and much more equipped, similar to the City sedan sold here.
Now the Hatch was launched not so long ago, but its success is immense in Thailand where it was first launched. Offering the premium interiors and features of the sedan that has enthralled the country for a long time, in a much sporty build. The Hatch looks almost the same as the sedan, but with an almost upright rear end which has the familiar tails lights too, the ride height is also increased to give it a sportier stance. The drivability of the car has also been tilted towards a tinge of sporty character.
The car is powered by a 1 litre turbocharged engine that makes 122 horsepower that give plenty of grunt for good acceleration, this is mated to a CVT or a 7-Speed steering mounted paddle shift. This gives it more power than the sedan version sold in India, and more than a lot of other vehicles in the segment that makes it a strong competitor. Although a manual gearbox is not offered in Thailand, it may not matter as the automatic variants are very popular in India now, Honda cars even more so because of their brilliant engines and excellent fuel economy.
The interior matches the sedan, but with a few more features for the Thailand spec, there’s a new 8 inch infotainment screen which comes with all the connectivity features. The seats are ergonomic and the rear ones feature a 60:40 split with massive configurability, premium leather trim seats, sunroof. There’s also the RS trim which adds red and black contrast interiors to the car, as well as red accents around the exterior.
Currently the INR 15 Lakh plus segment does not have any hatchback or even a sedan save Honda’s Civic. The introduction of the Hatchback in this segment with its premium features, brilliant ride quality and filled with a plethora of class-leading technologies will enable the car to combat the likes of the Hyundai Creta and the Kia Seltos which currently under 20 Lakhs are the only vehicles which offer the said premium features, if priced correctly in comparison to these vehicles, may be able to garner quite an audience. Honda is famed for its durability and passenger oriented utility features which will give this City Hatchback a good bet for India and they should consider it as soon as possible.
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