Honda City First Drive 2023 | Not Just Skin Deep
- Mar 9, 2023
- Views : 783
The Honda City is one of the most important products for the Japanese carmaker in India. So, it’s only natural for Honda to update its bread-and-butter sedan for 2023, almost three years after the fifth-generation City debuted in the country.
However, the competition has become stiffer with the arrival of the Volkswagen Virtus and Skoda Slavia, while the all-new, 2023 Hyundai Verna is just around the corner. So, how does the 2023 Honda City improve over the pre-facelift model? We take a deep dive into the two models to see what’s changed:
The average person might find it hard to spot the visual changes between the new and old City, so here’s some help. At the front, the 2023 City has a revised front grille that boasts a sleeker chrome bar than before. The new honeycomb mesh front grille lends the new City a sportier aesthetic. Lower down, the bumper design has been subtly revised to include a new splitter element at its base.
The fog lights and their surrounds have also been revised, and the City now gets an Obsidian Blue Pearl paint shade option. Move to the sides, and the new City’s multi-spoke, dual-tone alloy wheels keep things fresh. Other than that, the sedan’s overall silhouette is unchanged.
The rear-end styling isn’t dramatically different, either, with the same split LED taillight setup as before. The revised rear bumper now features a carbon-fibre-wrapped faux diffuser at its base, which, along with the boot lid spoiler, adds to the 2023 City’s sporty character.
Dashboard of new City (top) vs older, pre-facelift City (bottom)
It’s a game of ‘spot the differences’ inside the new City. The layout of all the controls is exactly the same as before, and even the eight-inch touchscreen is no bigger, although it does get new themes and much-needed wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The new City packs more features and creature comforts than before, such as rain-sensing wipers, a wireless charger, seven-inch MID and Honda Connect connected car tech with Amazon Alexa compatibility.
As before, the City continues to be offered with a sunroof, automatic climate control, eight-speaker premium sound system, auto headlights and ambient lighting. Ventilated seats have sadly been given a miss though.
Honda has given the ICE-only City a major boost in safety with the addition of its Honda Sensing suite of driver-assistance features (ADAS). Honda Sensing was previously limited to the City hybrid, and adds functions such as forward collision mitigation, lane-keeping assist and adaptive cruise control to the sedan. The City continues to get up to six airbags, stability control, hill assist, ISOFIX child seat mounts, a lane-watch camera and tyre-pressure monitoring system (TPMS).
The 2023 Honda City’s powertrains are now compliant with the upcoming RDE (BS6.2) norms and can run on E20 (ethanol-blended) petrol. The ICE City continues to get a 121PS, 1.5-litre i-VTEC petrol engine paired with a six-speed manual or CVT automatic.
The previous City used to offer a 100PS, 1.5-litre diesel engine option as well, but the facelifted sedan no longer gets the i-DTEC oil burner.
Meanwhile, the City strong-hybrid still gets a 1.5-litre Atkinson-cycle engine paired with an e-CVT. The strong-hybrid system makes 126PS (combined) and offers 253Nm of e-motor torque.
Of course, the updates come at a cost, and the 2023 Honda City is now pricier by up to Rs 50,000 compared with the pre-facelift sedan, depending on the variant. However, its base price is lower, owing to a new entry-level SV trim that makes the City Rs 38,000 more affordable.
The City hybrid sedan, previously limited to a single fully-loaded trim level, now gets a new entry-level V variant as well, making the strong-hybrid sedan more accessible by Rs 1 lakh.
The ICE City retails between Rs 11.49 lakh and Rs 15.97 lakh, while the City strong-hybrid costs from Rs 18.89 lakh to Rs 20.39 lakh
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2023 Honda City vs Maruti Ciaz vs Skoda Slavia vs Volkswagen Virtus vs Upcoming Hyundai Verna: Dimensions, Specs And Features Compared
The Honda City and its hybrid version get subtle updates for 2023, improving on the same formula instead of reinventing the wheel. How will it hold up to the VW-Skoda newcomers or the all-new Verna? Watch our Honda City video review to find out.
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