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Test Drives
22 Sep 09 16:15
The All New Honda City i-VTEC goes Urban Chic & Sporty
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The Complete CITY Car - But they forgot the cigarette lighter!
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There is something about HONDA with the iconic, metallic big H logo or the winged bike symbol. Something solid, yet stylish, a tad exclusive and here in Thailand perhaps the most European looking of all the Japanese sedans available, only excluding Lexus, which is a different animal. Different species.

A case in point is the new premium looking large, sedan Honda Accord and Honda's new compact SUV, the redesigned Honda CR-V(without the protruding spare wheel), the new 2 liter dynamic Civic, and the clever innovative Honda Jazz' and it's bigger sibling the all-new Honda CITY. Built on the same 1,500 cc engine platform. Honda's Global Small Car platform.

The previous Honda City, the odd ball family saloon, the ugly duckling with its out of proportion, tall body and that big butt and those small wheels - a Honda we had never seen before!

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The year was 2005. A Honda City car for the developing markets in Asia assembled in India, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines and Pakistan. The ugly duckling sold well despite its unorthodox design.

Flash forward to the next generation or as they say the all new City which means not just a facelift, or a minor change (nano change). But a completely redesigned new vehicle.

Here the Honda designer have delivered a fresh arrow shot dynamic concept. A bold compact and distinctive look. In motoring babble cab forward style. Smooth, elegant fluid lines. In the front you'll notice the arrow head nose and drawn like the archer's bow archers bow. The front grille is the most part distinctive design element with a three-slat grille and the tapered head lamps.

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The tense look and dynamic energy of a drawn bow, ready to fire, waiting to be released...

Completely gone is the 'ugly duckling' appearance here is a tighter yet slightly longer (2,5 cm), a tad wider and lower Honda City.
Ever the door (rear view mirrors) have increased 15 percent in size offering more visibility.

Combined with the short, sporty rear deck. The European look. Take note of the square tilted crimson and white tail lights. There is a slight BMW resemblance here.

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Step in side. The interior is neat and tidy. The two color combination looks stylish. The front seats, and rear seats are well padded and supportive, what you would expect from Honda.

Anti reflective material in the dashboard everything feels user friendly. Well designed knobs, switches and enough cubby holes for the storage of all those miscellaneous items. And a charger for your "BB" Black Berry hi-tech mobile phone. Everything except the lighter. No cigarette lighter! Did they forget the cigarette lighter.
Fay Chekk, Mai Mee or what?

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Grabbing the solid, chunky and well finished three spoke, steering wheel you immediately get the Honda feel, kind of premium, functional everything is in its place. The wheel features Honda's signature mesh inserts and and audio controls.
All Honda's have great steering wheels with paddle shifts a la F-1 Ferrari. These are high-tech multifunction steering wheels complete with integrated audio systems AM/FM, CD's controls.

The City is also MP3 capable has USB port and Made for iPod. Music all the way.
During our test drive as we were overtaking vans, trucks and enormous double-decker charter buses our Honda City with 120 horsepower on tap never felt slow.

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The new Honda City engine is a compact 1.5 liter i-VTEC, the same engine technology you'll find in all the Honda's; CRV, Civic, Jazz and Accord.

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This little preppy engine is mated to a smooth shifting 5-speed automatic. The new City is sold in Thailand in three variants: S, V and SV.

The S and V variants come with a beige interior while the top of the line SV model comes with a dark interior and all 3 variants also offer different alloy wheel designs.
Six colors are available Habanero Red Pearl, Deep Lapis Blue Metallic, Alabaster Metallic, Polished Metal Metallic and Bold Beige Metallic and Crystal Black Pearl.
On test-drive consisted of day one city driving. Stop'n'go Sukhumvit, Emporium with parking in the deep basement ( third floor). Piece of cake. The compact size makes it easy maneuver. It fits well in limited spaces.

And the big mirrors give you adequate posterior view in tight spaces. A City car, par excellence!

Second day. Expressway driving. Elevated motorway to Chonburi (Pattaya) town. Here we were cruising at 120 kph without pushing the 1.5 liter engine, too much. And the paddle shift a la Ferrari F-1 is instant fun - instant shifting. When passing, overtaking you feel like Kimi Raikkonen!

With 120 iVTEC horsepower on tap. And 14 kpl fuel consumption and more when using the kick-down mode. Shift down from 5th gear, 'wroom, wroom'.. goes the engine as we overtake pick-ups, vans and enormous two story charter buses on their way to the sea-side.

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The brakes were also tested when wayward 'tuk-tuk' suddenly appeared from nowhere. For a little car there is plenty of stopping, ABS stopping power. Safety comes with dual front airbags and a G-Force Control reinforced chassis.

The spic and span four-lane Chonburi by-pass soon disappeared in the rear mirror.

Ten minutes later were parked next to a white Honda Accord with Bangkok plates on level two Pattaya Festival.

A new Honda City, Honda Accord sedan in a shining new
South Pattaya Department Store cum Shopping mall what a coincidence!

CarSanook!
Verdict:

The all new Honda City has got the continental looks, is excellently built and packaged with high-tech 120 horsepower 1,500cc engine to power it. Good bye ugly duckling and welcome the arrow shot!

But they forgot the cigarette lighter! Having said that, who needs a lighter in a car. Who needs to smoke in a car, anyhow?

And the price: 694,00 THB

Excellent, Honda City the non smoking sedan!


www.honda.co.th/city

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