HONDA CITY

The Courier-Mail - Motoring - - Head To Head -

VALUE

DE­SIGN

TECH­NOL­OGY

SAFETY

DRIV­ING

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.

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