Car Review - Honda City 1.5 RS i VTEC (A)

The new Honda City delivers additional space and improved driving comfort and quality to augment a highly practical and sensible compact sedan package.


City 1


The Honda City has always been an appealing option for drivers looking for a sensible, practical and affordable compact sedan. Now, in its fifth generation, the new Honda City aims to further amplify its value proposition with more space, improved comfort and new technology.

Is it worth your money?



There's a lot that's new on the Honda City. It's grown bigger - 111mm longer, 55mm wider but 10mm shorter than its predecessor. This stretched proportions, along with the thicker and longer nose, give the City a look that most definitely echoes its larger siblings, the Civic and the Accord. The car also now has LED head lights, although there's no automatic light function.

While it's not particularly handsome or striking, the new City looks pleasant and a little more grown up than before. This here is the RS variant, which receives the Ignite Red Metallic colour and black hi-gloss details on the door mirrors, grille and spoiler.


City 2  City 3


The increased proportions definitely show in the cabin. Notably, legroom at the back is extremely good for a car in this class. Honda made the front seats slimmer, so rear passengers enjoy legroom that is comparable to a class above. Also, the City has a generous 519-litre boot.

The locally-fitted 7.0-inch Display Audio system is functional, if unremarkable. You get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as access to a multi-view rear-view camera (an optional top-up on non-LX models), but beyond that the functions are fairly rudimentary. That said, the new air-con controls look pretty modern and function well and the air-con is strong both front and rear.


City 4


And while interior build quality is relatively good, the build materials are definitely on the tacky side. There are lots and lots of hard plastics used throughout the cabin, and that, unfortunately, takes away from some of the perceived quality of the car.

This RS variant gets 'soft pads with a cushion layer', according to the press materials, and those are already few and far between.



Where the City feels most improved is on the road. The new City sits atop Honda's Advanced Compatibility Engineering body, which uses an ultra-high tensile strength steel frame. This brings improved rigidity to the body, and translates to a much more composed and smoother drive.

Coupled with an improved suspension setup, the City is admirably comfortable and refined on the road. Ride comfort is high, and overall noise insulation is also pretty good. When cruising along at 80km/h with the revs under 2,000rpm, the car is really quiet. The steering is well-weighted, and the City also steers through bendy roads with composure and accuracy.


City 5  City 6


However, press your foot hard to the floor and you're greeted by more noise than actual accelerative force. The City is powered a 1.5-litre engine putting out a rather meek 119bhp and 145Nm of torque, paired to a continuously variable transmission. Driven lightly, it's actually quite smooth and easy-going. However, the car is definitely lacking a turn of pace.

Expectedly, fuel economy is very good. Honda quotes an optimistic 17.9km/L, but we achieved 15.2km/L on fairly normal driving.



There's no denying that the new fifth generation Honda City has been improved in significant ways. Most notably, it's more refined and comfortable to drive. Internationally, the City is also offered with a turbocharged 1.0-litre engine, which would definitely bump up performance (it has 1 more bhp and 28Nm more torque), but that engine choice isn't available in Singapore.


City 7


As it is, the City is still a fairly good choice for $92,999 (as of 8 October 2020). It's a little lacking in straight-up power and the cabin materials aren't great, but beyond that the City delivers good functionality and everyday usability. Importantly, you get space that definitely outsizes other cars in this class, and is comparable even to cars one class above. And, you're getting a Honda, so it's going to be reliable and hold good resale value.

So yes, the new City is still worth the money.

Not sure if 119bhp is enough for this Honda City? Why not watch our video review to see the car in action?

Link to video -


Credits: sgCarMart. Author: Desmond Chan 

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