Honda City

Striv­ing to be­come even bet­ter

Top Gear (Philippines) - - Shakedown - Words and photography by Ian Mag­banua

Here’s a guide to nav­i­gat­ing the ins and outs of the City

Like its sib­lings, the City in facelifted form reap­pears to flaunt Honda’s lat­est de­sign sen­si­bil­i­ties. It’s a wel­come change, and though the more ob­vi­ous tweaks are seen out­side, there are small but sub­stan­tial ones wait­ing to be dis­cov­ered.

There’s a new hon­ey­comb mesh un­der­neath a chunky chrome grille that an­gles back. The gap­ing hexag­o­nal maw, ac­cen­tu­ated by re­shaped head­lamps with new LED DRLS, gives the fas­cia an air of ag­gres­sion that is aligned with the big­ger Civic’s styling. This VX vari­ant is equipped with halo­gen lamps; the topof-the-line VX+ has LED light­ing units. The tail­lights are un­changed, but a new rear bumper sports a hon­ey­comb mesh in­sert on the lower part, sharp­en­ing the body lines fur­ther.

In­side are seats clad in black fab­ric, with the top-of-the-line VX+ still get­ting the all-leather treat­ment. There is great vis­i­bil­ity out of the cock­pit in any di­rec­tion, and de­spite this be­ing my first time in a fourth-gen­er­a­tion City, I find it easy to just fall into the driver seat and work out a good driv­ing po­si­tion, aided in part by the tilt-and-tele­scopic tiller. The seats have good lum­bar and thigh sup­port, al­though the shoul­der area is a bit tight around my wide-ish frame. As in the out­go­ing model, only the VX+ gets

60/40 split-fold­ing rear seats. The VX’s bench-only rear ac­com­mo­da­tions is im­pres­sive for a B-seg­ment car, and the com­fort is def­i­nitely still there.

There’s a new 7in touch­screen Honda AVN (Au­dio Vis­ual Nav­i­ga­tion) sys­tem with a more up­scale-look­ing user in­ter­face, and A/C touch con­trols car­ried over from the pre-facelift model. I find the lack of tac­til­ity a bit bur­den­some, though, es­pe­cially when you need to fid­dle with the con­trols while keep­ing your eyes on the road.

The en­gine nets an im­pres­sive 11.1km/L in mixed con­di­tions, de­spite my us­ing Sport mode and the pad­dle shifters dur­ing most of my seat time.

The new City fea­tures sub­tle changes that make the most of its hand­some lines and bring it up to spec along­side its sta­ble­mates. It’s nice to see Honda con­tin­u­ously im­prov­ing on a great prod­uct, and we’ll just have to wait and see if there are still undis­cov­ered se­crets with the cur­rent plat­form, or if some­thing brand-new and ex­cit­ing is just around the cor­ner.

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The new 7in touch­screen looks smarter

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