Top Gear Philippines

Like its siblings, the Honda City in facelifted form reappears to flaunt Honda’s latest design sensibilities. It’s a welcome change, and though the more obvious tweaks are seen outside, there are small but substantial ones waiting to be discovered.

There’s a new honeycomb mesh underneath a chunky chrome grille that angles back. The gaping hexagonal maw, accentuated by reshaped headlamps with new LED DRLS, gives the fascia an air of aggression that is aligned with the bigger Civic’s styling. This VX variant is equipped with halogen lamps; the top-of-the-line VX+ has LED lighting units. The taillights are unchanged, but a new rear bumper sports a honeycomb mesh insert on the lower part, sharpening the body lines further. 

Inside are seats clad in black fabric, with the top-of-the-line VX+ still getting the all-leather treatment. There is great visibility out of the cockpit in any direction, and despite this being my first time in a fourth-generation City, I find it easy to just fall into the driver seat and work out a good driving position, aided in part by the tilt-and-telescopic tiller. The seats have good lumbar and thigh support, although the shoulder area is a bit tight around my wide-ish frame. As in the outgoing model, only the VX+ gets 60/40 split-folding rear seats. The VX’s bench-only rear accommodations is impressive for a B-segment car, and the comfort is definitely still there.

There’s a new 7in touchscreen Honda AVN (Audio Visual Navigation) system with a more upscale-looking user interface, and A/C touch controls carried over from the pre-facelift model. I find the lack of tactility a bit burdensome, though, especially when you need to fiddle with the controls while keeping your eyes on the road.


The engine nets an impressive 11.1km/L in mixed conditions, despite my using Sport mode and the paddle shifters during most of my seat time. 

The new City features subtle changes that make the most of its handsome lines and bring it up to spec alongside its stablemates. It’s nice to see Honda continuously improving on a great product, and we’ll just have to wait and see if there are still undiscovered secrets with the current platform, or if something brand-new and exciting is just around the corner.

SPECS: Honda City 1.5 VX Navi

Price: P913,000

Engine: 1.5-liter petrol I4

Power: 118hp @ 6,600 rpm

Torque: 145 Nm @ 4,800 rpm

Transmission: CVT 

Layout: FWD

Seating: 5

Score: 16/20

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subcompact sedan Honda Honda City test drive
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