The Honda City continues to be the most comfortable sedan for enthusiasts

Honda City Diesel Long Term Review

Car Tested: Honda City i-DTEC ZX
Kms Done: 2484 kms
Test Started at: 3195 kms
Test Concluded at: 5679 kms
Mileage: 17.15 km/l, 19.1 km/l (best), 15.2 km/l (worst)
Fuel Consumed:- 144.83-litres
Total Fuel Cost: Rs. 14,338/-
Fuel Cost Per Km: Rs. 5.77/-

Superb comfort and ride quality combined with a frugal and smooth diesel engine make the Honda City a fantastic sedan

I am very familiar with the Honda City as a car because I own the 4th generation model and I have driven the 5th generation on a number of occasions too. In fact, I have driven the 3rd generation also a lot of times while I learnt driving on a first-generation City. Now, I was aware that the 5th gen City is better than the 4th gen in a lot of ways but I really wanted to spend time with both the cars together and find out in which areas does the new one excel and whether the 4th gen still feels fresh or not. The Honda City diesel arrived in our long term for a few months and I kept the car for a month and drove it for around 1000 kms to get to know it better.

The new City offers better fit and finish, nicer materials and an improved infotainment screen

The new City is slightly bigger than the one which I have and it is also slightly bigger than the old Civic which we had in India. Yet, once you start driving it, you become familiar with the dimensions in no time and the sedan is fairly easy to drive around. The quality of the interiors does feel better than the previous generation and all the components seem tightly put together. The top part of the dashboard has some soft-touch materials but otherwise, there are hard plastics galore in the cabin. We didn’t face any rattling issues with the car in its duration with us. The steering wheel is just the perfect size too. The sound quality from the stock speakers felt better than the speakers of my City and the new touchscreen is much improved too, yet I feel it could have been done with a more polished user interface.

Excellent ride quality along with comfortable seats make the City a chauffer-driven owner’s delight

Honda always gets the seats of their cars done right and the 5th gen City is no exception. The front seats are large enough and offer brilliant comfort while the rear seats offer a great experience too. I used this car mainly for office commutes and a couple of joy drives and loved the seats. In fact, even the ride quality is better than the 4th generation in a lot of aspects. It is softer and the suspension gobbles up potholes easily. The suspension is also quieter than the old car’s unit. Because the ride is comfier, you get a little less tired after spending a couple of hours in traffic. In comparison, the 4th gen City’s ride feels stiffer and the car tends to move around a bit on sharper uneven patches too.

The LaneWatch camera is very useful at times

The diesel engine is a bit noisy but offers linear power delivery and excellent fuel economy

But, I found the 4th gen to be a better handler. The vehicle feels more eager to dart into turns and the stiffer suspension induces less body roll. The steering of the 4th gen does feel a tad too light at high speeds though, something which has been corrected in the 5th gen. Initially, I found the LaneWatch feature very gimmicky but started liking it later on when I made good use of it. We had just finished shooting the Tata Punch and I was heading home when it started raining cats and gods. It was around 7 PM and visibility was seriously limited, especially in the ORVMs. I wanted to take a left exit from the highway but couldn’t really see in the mirrors clearly so when I turned on the left indicator, the LaneWatch display came up and I could see a scooter’s headlight in it!

The diesel motor provides superb driveability and acceleration without any turbo lag

Honda has very good engines available with the City. In fact, the very reason I bought my City was the petrol engine which always leaves my face plastered with a smile every time I redline it up to 7000 RPM. Sure, the new City gets a new petrol engine but again it is very good. But, our long term test car was the diesel variant. This 1.5-litre i-DTEC engine isn’t the most refined engine per se but what it offers is an excellent blend of driveability and fuel economy. The engine has barely any turbo lag and offers good in-gear acceleration. It won’t push you back in the seat when the turbo spools up but it offers very linear power delivery which makes city driving extremely easy. I managed to get around 17 km/l during the course of the car’s duration with me which includes some highway driving and some runs in very heavy traffic. If you take the car out for a longish drive on the highway, you can expect 20 km/l easily.

The City remains a great all-rounder and one of the most enjoyable C-segment sedans to drive

The Honda City is a very sorted package really. Gets more features than before, is very comfortable and comes with two really nice engine options. A diesel automatic variant would have been like a cherry on the cake but that is sorely missed here. Apart from that, it’s easy to see why the City sells in such good numbers. It is a very hassle-free car and won’t really give any sort of mechanical trouble in the long run too. Whenever the facelift comes in, Honda should make the interior feel a bit more premium so as to draw more buyers to the sedan. We have now bid farewell to our test car and I’m really missing its high fuel efficiency!

Both rows of seats offer superb comfort while the soft suspension setup soaks up all the bumps

What’s Cool

  • Premium and classy design
  • Feature-loaded and comfortable cabin
  • Frugal and responsive diesel engine
  • Seats are top class
  • LaneWatch camera comes in handy several times

What’s Not So Cool

  • No diesel automatic variant
  • Quality of materials used at certain places could have been better
  • Infotainment system could have been more polished
The steering is not only of perfect size but also weighs up well at high speeds

Further Reading –

Honda City Diesel Long Term Review – First Report

2020 Honda City Review

2020 Honda City Video Review

2020 Honda City Review In Hindi [Video]

2020 Honda City vs Hyundai Verna Comparison [Video]

2020 Honda City vs Hyundai Verna – Shootout

Honda City vs Hyundai Verna Hindi Comparison [Video]

Honda City vs Skoda Rapid Comparison In Hindi [Video]

History Of Honda City – VTEC Kicked In Yo! [Video]