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2014 Honda City: First Drive
There are cars and then there are cars. The City has always had something about it that makes it the latter. There is always something special about the introduction of a brand new generation of a Honda City, and the new avatar is no different. Launched first in 1998, the new 2014 Honda City will be the 4th all-new generation (7th if you consider facelifts) of the car. The City has always been Honda’s top selling car and has quite a reputation of being one of the most loved and desired cars in the sub-10 Lakh range of the Indian automotive sector. We take the new City in both Petrol and Diesel avatar for a quick spin to tell you what it is all about.
Although the new Honda City looks more like an evolution as compared to a revolution, there is a lot more than meets the eye. Honda has applied its ‘H Design’ concept to the new City following its recent global design direction. The new City borrows a lot of design elements from the likes of the global Honda Civic while maintaining a distinct Honda City feel. The new 2014 Honda City features much sharper lines and more aggressive lines and angles when compared to the previous generation City. There is also a noticeable difference in the overall stance of the City, mainly due to the longer wheelbase of the car as compared to the older outgoing City. But, the car certainly showcases what is unmistakably a ‘Honda City’ look to it.
The Honda City perhaps looks best when viewed from the front. With a large horizontally placed chrome slat, the Honda City’s front grille displays a sense of luxury, a much needed feature in a car that will cost about Rs 10 Lakh or thereabouts. There is a very interesting styling feature just below the chrome slat that runs across the grille structure giving it a touch of additional character. This little styling feature accentuates itself best on one of the lighter paint shades like the silver or white of the 6 paint shades available. The front bumper is extremely well styled with a lot of sporty attributes. The lower part of the bumper has two very distinct edges that look phenomenal although there are certainly some concerns about how these would suffer from dents or chips while parking considering that they appear to be the furthermost points of the new Honda City. The fog lamps too are enclosed in two very aggressively angled grilles that further accentuate the sporty pretentions of the Honda City. The front fascia then is a perfect blend of a saloon that has both luxury and sportiness embedded into its DNA.
From the sides, the new 2014 Honda City has a deep and distinctive shoulder line that initiates itself from the rear tail lamps and angles itself downwards towards the front wheel arches. Although this design feature masks itself in the darker colors, the lighter colors like silver demonstrate it exceedingly well. There is also a slightly controversial styling aspect of the new Honda City which originated from the front bumper and makes its way to the windscreen but one does get used to it soon. The biggest difference in the Honda City visually though is the rear. As many have pointed out, there are a lot of BMW inspired touches on the rear that really make the Honda City stand out. The large horizontally placed tail lamps connected by a large chrome accent piece on the boot looks spectacular in every sense of the word. The tailgate itself although a little tall, is very well crafted and is much wider than the last few generations. This in turn means that the loading bay on the new Honda City is much wider than before and therefore has more boot space. One of the biggest customer oriented feedbacks that we received from older Honda City customers was the lack of enough lit-up areas in the tail lamp which in some cases were actually safety concerns. That issue too has been addressed with the new tail-lamp cluster which although we expected to have LED tail-lamps has stuck to a more conventional setup.
One of the biggest disappointments though in terms of design are the new 15 inch alloy wheels. Not only do they feel small and under designed as compared to the rest of the car but they also look quite boring. In fact, we would gladly swap these wheels for the ones that came in the older City or the optional two-tone V-Spoked wheels that were offered on both the Honda City and the Honda Jazz. The skinny 175 section tyres too make the Honda City look a little disproportionate. We expect a lot of owners to swap these wheels and tyres out immediately with either aftermarket or Honda dealer provided wheels.
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