The premium hatchback based on the 5th Gen sedan swaps out the boot for a hatch door, and a more pronounced hatchback stance.
The Honda City sedan has been doing well in India and the latest gen has taken things up a notch which lets the Japanese car maintain a strong foothold in the segment, riding atop its much loved comfort and performance. Over across the Bay of Bengal in Thailand however, a now avatar of the City has dropped, a hatchback and the first carrying the name badge. The car retains almost all of the sedan’s design but instead of an elongated boot lid, there is a hatch back door.
Based on the fifth gen Honda City, the hatchback even attempts to retain the rear tail lamps from the sedan. For once, the stance of the city is more heightened, and an avid petrolhead would spot the hatchback from the front in glance, the boxed up frame also allows the City hatch to be a bit more sporty than its Sedan version dares to. The rear of the car is tastefully designs and one can feel the comfort and elegance that Honda decided to design it with to give it the signature City look. Same as the sedan, it features projector headlamps, LED DRLs, the wide chrome grille and shark-fin antenna at the top.
Inside the car, the basic interior setup remains the same, the change is the color of the interior which is available in a blacked out interior and fabric seats which are sport oriented rather than the plush leather seats in the sedan. The infotainment system is 8in, smart connectivity using the Honda smartphone app and also 3-point camera system. There is also a RS model which adds sport-oriented touches to the exterior including black grille, sporty spoiler and RS insignia as well as the interior of the car. The seats feature 60:40 split to enable easier cargo loading.
The City Hatchback is powered by a 1L DOHC VTEC which is turbocharged making 122hp and 173Nm of torque, which puts the car fairly above the Indian version of the sedan in performance numbers, and gives the car a sportier premium hatchback appeal. The RS model is powered by the same engine. The CVT-Continuously Variable Transmission is available with steering mounted paddle shifters, which allow for more hands-on gear changes.
The City Sedan is the highest selling car in its segment since it was launched more than two decades ago in India. Today starting at INR 10.9 for the base model, it is often considered the single reason for Honda’s success in the country. Earlier equipped with the i-VTEC engine but now available with diesel and the extremely smooth CVT auto transmission, the City has progressed onto a new segment that it completely dominates. Often the levels of comfort from the car are compared to sedans above the 20L range, such is the ride quality offered by Honda.
The Honda City Hatchback, if brought to India, will be a pioneer in creating a different niche for itself in the above 15L range, as no hatchback exists that caters to Indian market. The premium hatchback segment in India currently consists of the Suzuki Baleno and Tata Altroz which cover the sub 10L range, but the City hatchback combines the excellent build quality of honda with the premium features and the powerful engine to provide something truly unique. There are no intimations if the car will make it to India, but if it does it is expected to be priced from INR 15-20L with three variants, the S+, SV and the top RS trim.
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