Honda will try to rectify most of the hitches in the City, with its 2017 facelifted avatar, as it has to arm itself to fend off the upcoming next-gen Hyundai Verna and the facelifted Maruti Suzuki Ciaz.
The Honda City has always been an eminent nameplate in the mid-size segment ever since its inception in India. Now, the mid-life update of the fourth-generation model will soon see the light of day and is one of the most anticipated launches of 2017.
When the fourth-gen model was launched in the year 2014, it was assigned to dethrone the then popular and most-selling Hyundai Verna. And now when Hyundai will launch the all-new Verna next year (made its global debut in China this year), Honda is also prepping the City for its mid-cycle update to fight back.
Maruti is expected to introduce the facelifted version of the Ciaz as well in 2017, which became more popular post the introduction of mild-hybrid tech with its diesel motor. Apart from competing with these two arch rivals, the 2017 City will also go up against the thoroughly updated Skoda Rapid, the upcoming VW Vento Highline Plus, and others. Here’s what we expect from the 2017 Honda City.
The City’s design has always taken inspiration from that of the Civic, and the fourth-generation model was no different. With the facelift in the pipeline, the City has again adapted design cues from the latest tenth-generation Civic, which is also India bound.
Deciphering from the teaser images released in the Thailand market, it is clear that at the outset, the City gets a new sleek chrome grille, which intrudes into the headlamps like the Civic and the Accord, along with a honeycombed mesh. The headlamps feature LED lighting with integrated daytime running LEDs. At the rear, the Thai-spec car features near identical tail lamps, but the Indian-version is likely to feature an LED unit. Both the bumpers will be redesigned, while the sheet metal will remain the same.
We believe that the City will also get a larger set of tyres – 16-inch – compared to the current 15-inchers and might ride on machined alloy wheels.
Unlike its exterior, the interior of the City will see subtle changes and the major highlight will be the new infotainment system. Honda offered an all-black option with the City this year and it is likely to be carried forward to the facelifted model as well.
(In Picture: Outgoing Honda City)
Speaking of the infotainment system, Honda is expected to offer a large screen, capacitive touch-based unit with the 2017 City. In all probability, it will be equipped with support for both Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto. To put things into perspective, the new Verna will come with the same and the Ciaz already offers Apple CarPlay, while it's just a matter of time before Maruti Suzuki offers Android Auto as well (the same unit offers Android Auto in the upcoming Ignis).
(In Picture: Outgoing Honda City)
Apart from this, the 2017 City might also get an updated instrument cluster – probably with a new driver info screen, which is offered in the Jazz in several global markets – as the current one is shared with the 2016 Amaze. The rest of the features of the outgoing model will be carried forward, such as the push-button engine start-stop, touch-based climate control unit, leather upholstery (both beige and black), sunroof, and others.
In terms of safety, the outgoing model comes with dual front airbags along with ABS and EBD as standard. And it lacks severely behind the current Verna, which offers a total of six-airbags. We believe that the top-end versions of the facelifted City are likely to come with six airbags, while dual front airbags will be standard across the range.
The 2017 City will carry forward the current set of powertrains – 1.5-litre petrol and diesel – in a similar state of tune. The 1.5-litre i-VTEC petrol is likely to borrow the new six-speed manual from the BR-V, while the CVT with paddle shifters will be carried forward. The diesel will continue with the sole six-speed manual option like the outgoing car. Honda is likely to reduce the NVH levels of the diesel variants with improved insulation.
With all these aforementioned features, additions such as the LED headlamps, new infotainment system, six-airbags, and others will make the upcoming model slightly costlier compared to the current one. The facelifted City is expected to launch in the next couple of months before the new Verna and the 2017 Ciaz.