Car News

The 2023 Honda City facelift has big changes under the skin

Will these improvements reach local versions?
2023 Honda City facelift
PHOTO: Honda

Believe it or not, the current-generation Honda City made its world premiere about three years ago. If we were to follow Honda’s product cycles, that means this (not so) subcompact sedan is due for a bit of an update. So, for 2023, the Japanese automaker has done exactly that.

It looks...mostly the same

2023 Honda City facelift front

If you were expecting a huge jump in design for the 2023 City, now isn’t the time for that. This is, after all, a minor model change. For its exterior, changes are relegated to its bumpers, grille, wheel designs, and additional color options.

The front bumpers have been smoothened out around the corners, while the grille adapts a similar design to the all-new Civic with its new pattern. And while the new grille looks bigger, it’s just an illusion created by the slimmer chrome trim piece. As for the rear, the bumper gets more defined corners and a diffuser.


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Okay, what about the inside?

2023 Honda City facelift interior

Like the exterior, the interior looks largely identical to the pre-update version. However, higher-spec versions get a new instrument cluster. It adapts the Civic V’s partially digital display that allows it to show more information to the driver. Lower-spec variants receive the same cluster as before. As for the tan interior, that’s likely just for Indian and South African markets.

So, where exactly are these big changes?

2023 Honda City facelift Honda Sensing

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While Honda didn’t touch the car’s design that much, it did give it a big boost in features and technology. For instance, higher trim levels gain the clever LaneWatch system, along with wireless charging, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a new reverse camera, and even rain-sensing wipers.

But the most significant update here is the addition of Honda Sensing. Yes, even City gets the brand’s active safety package standard these days, at least for the top variants. That means it gets adaptive cruise control, collision mitigation warning, lane keep assist, and lead car departure warning.

Any new engines?

2023 Honda City facelift engine

Nope. The City carries over unchanged in the powertrain department. It continues using the familiar 1.5-liter i-VTEC engine that make 119hp and 145Nm of torque. There’s a hybrid option too with a total system output of 124hp and 253Nm of torque. Transmission options for the non-hybrid versions remain the same, namely a six-speed manual or a CVT.


Interestingly, the hybrid version gets disc brakes at the back, but the petrol models stick to drum brakes. How we wish the non-hybrid model got that rear disc upgrade too.

When is the Philippine launch?

2023 Honda City facelift variants

There’s no word yet for the new City’s local launch just yet. But given that it remains a popular choice in the country, you can bet that Honda Cars Philippines is working double time to bring it in here as soon as possible.

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PHOTO: Honda
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