Honda has finally come back to earth with sharper prices for most new models. The City is competitive, from $15,990 plus on-roads. But, cheekily, auto adds $2500 when most makers charge $2000. The City also has dearer scheduled servicing and uses more fuel, according to the official rating label. The Honda City is a sharp design inside and out and has a premium look and feel. Inside, the perception of quality is better than in the Mirage, even though the materials are similar. The Honda has more room for heads, shoulders, knees and toes, and a cavernous boot. The official fuel rating label says 5.7L/100km, which is good but not as good as the three-cylinder Mitsubishi. The trade-off is the 1.5-litre engine in the Honda has a little more oomph,
which is better for hills. Or car park ramps. Six airbags, stability control and a five-star rating. Best of all, the standard rear-view camera helped set a benchmark for the car industry, given it’s so cheap. Just to be picky, the image quality is a bit milky and rear sensors would complete the package. That’s the only reason it didn’t get five stars. Not as plush or as quiet as you might expect for a Honda. But this is the cheap and cheerful end of the market. It’s easy to drive. Buy the Mitsubishi if you need to make a lot of U-turns. It has a much tighter turning circle, 9.6m versus the Honda’s 10.6m. In the small-car world this difference is massive.
FOR THE FACELIFT
The City is pretty much spot-on, straight out of the box. A better quality camera and rear sensors would be welcome. And there’s room to trim $500 off the price of the automatic, and halve the servicing costs.