Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. (HCPI) after unveiling the 2021 Honda City in October of last year, recently invited members of the motoring media to a one-day test drive from Bonifacio Global City (BGC) to the mountains of Tanay, Rizal passing by Antipolo City and then going back to BGC.
While the all-new sedan has plenty of new tech features, one of the distinguishing aspects of the new City is its upgraded powertrain. The all-new City now uses a Dual Overhead Cam (DOHC) 1.5-liter i-VTEC engine versus the previous model’s Single Overhead Cam (SOHC) engine. Though the upgrade only resulted in an additional 1 horsepower (121 PS @ 6,600 RPM), the improved power delivery of the new DOHC engine is very evident in hill climbs such as when trekking the twisty Teresa portion of Tanay.
The upgrade to DOHC has made the City a versatile road warrior veering away from the notion that this is just an economy people’s car that is adapted only to city driving. Because of the higher number of valves per cylinder – a dual camshaft engine will often have better fuel efficiency than a single camshaft engine despite the improved performance.
Now as far as fuel economy is concerned, I was able to achieve an average figure of 15 to 18 km/l, which is superb for a subcompact sedan. We’re scheduled to have the all-new Honda City for a longer duration this month so it’ll be easier to us to report our real-world fuel economy
Handling-wise the all-new City’s longer, wider dimensions and lower ride height have generally resulted in a sportier feel when compared to previous models. In terms of stopping power, the all-new City has ventilated front disc brakes and then rear drum across all variants, though it would be better if the City had rear disc brakes since these are less likely to warp and offer a better stopping power.
During the actual photoshoot location on the hills of Tanay and in Antipolo Pinto Art Museum Restaurant, I noticed that the all-new 2021 Honda City has one of the most well-rounded contours in the subcompact segment. Compared to its previous models, the shape of the body has been improved superbly. The proportions make it seem larger than it is, though at a little over 4.5 meters long, the City is now about as long as the FD Civic. Oh, how times have changed.
The longer and wider dimensions have also resulted in an interior that feels spacious. Legroom and headroom are excellent, plus the materials used are of higher quality compared to its rivals. Sure, most of the panels are finished in hard plastic, but at least the graining is superb and it feels solidly built. Higher variants even get a soft-touch dashboard, while the RS CVT gets red stitching and leather + suede upholstery.
The amount of standard features you get is quite good. All variants come with Bluetooth, while the S CVT and above gets a Honda OEM 8-inch touch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Push-button start is also standard across all variants, while the V CVT and RS CVT adds the benefit of passive entry.
As for safety, Honda has equipped the City with four SRS airbags, electronic stability control, emergency stop signal, and hill start assist on all variants. Stepping up to the mid-level V CVT adds a multi-angle reverse camera, while the top-of-the-line RS increases the airbag count to 6. In addition, Honda’s Agile Handling Assist (AHA) torque vectoring system is equipped as standard on all City variants.
In summary, the all-new 2021 Honda City, with all the listed high-tech features, can now surprisingly equate itself to its longtime big brother, the Civic in terms of what it can offer. Once again, the all-new 2021 Honda City is still one of the best all-rounders in the subcompact sedan segment. The all-new City is now available in dealers with the following prices:
- 1.5 S MT: P848,000
- 1.5 S CVT: P888,000
- 1.5 V CVT: P978,000
- 1.5 RS CVT: P1,058,000