Honda Malaysia has officially launched its all-new 2014 Honda City today with four new variants on offer.
Performance and fuel economy:
Much like its competitors, each of the new Honda City variants will rely on its tried and tested 1.5-litre SOHC i-VTEC engine. There is, however, a few updates to the four-cylinder engine and an all-new Earth Dreams CVT transmission. The updates leave the City with 117hp (@6,600rpm) and 145Nm of torque from 4,600rpm.
Compared to the previous model with a five-speed automatic transmission, Large Project Leader (Honda's equivalent of chief engineer) Mr. Kazunori Watanabe explained that the new CVT offers better acceleration and fuel economy than the outgoing model.
Fuel economy is said to be 'best-in-class', at 17.56 km/litre under European ECE R101 drive cycle.
Honda has a lot to be proud of with regards to the overall look of the new City. It is very sharp. Starting from the front end, Honda’s new platinum chrome grille screams for attention. The front bumper is also a completely new arrangement which sees front fog lamps inside two Mercedes-Benz A-Class-like powerdomes.
The key highlight of the City’s new interior is its maximised spaciousness, which is something only an actual experience in the car can elaborate: this car feels huge, and goes toe-to-toe with D-segment vehicles. Mr. Watanabe went on to explain that the all-new City has a cabin space slightly larger than that of a Toyota Camry!
This was achieved by employing something which he jokingly described as 'Honda magic,' the offer D-segment like cabin space within a B-segment body structure. Watanabe explained that by packaging the engine bay more efficiently, Honda is able to move the dashboard further forward, thus freeing up more legroom.
The piano-black finished dashboard nicely complements the three instrument gauges, which unlike the Vios aren’t just colourful stickers, but proper back-lit set of instruments.
The front fascia features an Auto AC Touchscreen Control panel, which sits beneath a larger seven-inch Advanced Integrated Audio Screen. While a rear-view camera’s display is shown here, iOS and Waze users will be happy to know that the seven-inch screen also has a feature called MirrorLink, which lets you pair your apple devices to your car, and share its displays with it – this is done via a HDMI cable.
Moving to the rear, Honda Malaysia proudly highlights the City’s rear air-conditioning, and the availability of two power points in the rear center console (there's one power outlet in front).
As mentioned earlier, the top-two E and V variants offer many class leading safety features. Apart from the active and passive safety features mentioned above, it should also be noted that the City is designed to meet Honda's stringent G-CON safety standards, which Mr. Watanabe explained is actually more stringent than Global NCAP's requirements.
Besides designing the City to score a maximum five-star rating in the usual NCAP frontal off-set, side- and pole-impact collision, Honda's internal G-CON standards require the City go under several additional tests which are even more severe than NCAP's.
For example, the City also tested against a rear-moving barrier which is not tested by any Global NCAP organisation including EuroNCAP. It is also tested against multi-directional collision with vehicles of different sizes, like a larger SUV .
While the City has yet to be officially tested by any NCAP organisation, Honda is confident of achiving the highest five-star rating. Of course, five-star rating is only applicable to models equipped with VSA (E and V variant) as electronic stability control is a compulsory requirement for a five-star rating.
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