The very first car I owned, way back in the 1980’s was a Honda. It was a white 2nd generation hatchback Civic and I still can remember how thrilled I was when I took my first drive in my first car. Years later, I bought another Honda Civic which I absolutely loved and I kept it for more than 5 years before changing it for a Honda CRV. So you see, Honda and I went a long way and I have good sentiments about this brand.
So when I was invited to participate in a special drive event for the All-new Honda City, of course I jumped at the opportunity. This 4th Generation City is highly popular in the B-segment, receiving more than 10,000 bookings within a month of its official launch in late March 2014. Since its world debut in 1996, the City has chalked up some very impressive milestones. In fact, the City has become the benchmark for comfort, spaciousness and advanced technology within its class.
The recent City Bloggers Drive was an eventful one. I arrived early and after a hearty breakfast at Rail Canteen, there was a welcome session by Honda which included a presentation on the City. From the slides shown, I couldn’t wait to see the real stuff when we proceeded to check out the 3 cars lined up.
We all got a first-hand look at the spaciousness of the City, the 6 airbags, the sleek dashboard with easy-to-manouver controls and its immaculate i-VTEC engine. I was particularly impressed by its 7” display audio, steering audio switch and the hands-free telephone steering switch. The multi-functioning steering wheel has everything within easy reach – definitely a great thing to have when you need to keep your hands on the wheel and eyes on the road when driving.
In fact, there are many impressive features in this all-new City. On the outside, I love that shark fin antenna which gives it a certain sporty appeal. The stylish interior, besides exuding plush comfort, also houses many innovative electronic smart features which used to be exclusive only in higher range European marques. The rear air conditioning is brilliant (for the E & V models), especially for this car segment. Convenient and practical features such as Smart Entry, Push Start Button and Cruise Control are all standard features for some of the models.
A lot of thoughts and care have gone into the design of the City. I like how they have included 3 power sockets, 2 USB ports and arm-rests with cup holders – such essential stuff especially when going on a long journey. If you love music like I do, you will love the 8-speaker audio system in the City for its sensurround effects.
The cabin and trunk space of the City was quite a surprise to me, albeit a pleasant one. From its compact design, you can’t really judge the spaciousness until you actually experience it. A 6-footer with long legs can sit comfortably in the back seat with leg room to brag about.
The trunk in the City is much more spacious than it looks. Its large 536-litre (based on VDA method) capacity can easily fit up to four 9-inch-wide golf bags! Now that sounds more like a SUV’s trunk to me but hey, the City can accommodate it just as well. If more space is needed, the rear foldable seats can be folded up to a 60:40 split as an extended luggage area.
So we drove the City to Putrajaya Marina Complex for some watersports activities. And guess what that was? It’s flyboarding yo! If you have watched how this is done, it may seem like such an easy task… but let me tell you, it is not! For someone who has never tried it before, it sure was tough. Some of us managed to master the technique and were thrusted into the air, hovering above the water IronMan-style while some of us failed miserably. But the jet-skiing and stand-up paddling were fun too!
After a fun and wet time at the marina complex, we headed to lunch at Dengkil Seafood Restaurant. The good folks at Honda truly fed us well. After a delicious seafood lunch, we drove to the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang (MAEPS) carpark where we were given a chance to test the City’s performance and its safety features.
First up, we put the City’s Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) to the test. We drove the City to the full throttle’s limit and upon reaching the marker, we slammed on the brakes fully to bring the car to a standstill. The ABS helps to prevent the wheels from locking in emergency braking situations and on slippery road surfaces. It increases vehicle stability and control during deceleration to help avoid accidents.
Another safety feature is the Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) that improves a vehicle’s stability when driving in unexpected situations or during tight cornering, the VSA system stabilizes the vehicle by reducing under/over steering. To test this, we were instructed to drive at high speed and then to suddenly swerve into the next lane. With the VSA, I felt the City did extremely well in staying stable and on track.
A further smart feature of the City was its Emergency Stop Signal where the rear brake lights and hazard lights will automatically flash when the City detects sudden braking at unexpected road conditions or situations to warn other cars.
The above tests all go to show how seriously Honda views safety for its cars. Not only that, innovative design, comfort and space are all part and parcel of this best-selling sedan. Oh did I also mention its fuel-saving feature? Press the green button “Econ” mode and its improved fuel economy goes as much as 17.56km/L.
The All-New City is available in 5 colours: Modern Steel Metallic, Alabaster Silver Metallic, Taffeta White, Crystal Black Pearl and the new Brilliant Sporty Blue Metallic. The City comes with a 5-year unlimited mileage warranty, while the service interval is 10,000 km.
Thank you, Honda Malaysia for a fun day with the All-New City where I got to experience hands-on all the great features of this power-packed sedan.
For price listing click on this link:
For more information on the All-New City or to book a test drive, visit any of the 82 dealers nationwide or call Honda’s toll-free number 1-800-88-2020 or visit www.honda.com.my