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Honda City Facelift Review: The Return of The King of Sedans

Honda City has been one of the best-sellers when it comes to value for money sedans and in its latest avatar, it's better than ever.

Manav Sinha | News18.com@manav_sinha

Updated:March 8, 2017, 5:15 PM IST
Honda City Facelift Review: The Return of The King of Sedans
The 2017 Honda City Facelift. (Photo: Siddharth Safaya/News18.com)

Whenever we talk about value for money sedans in India then the Honda City almost always makes it to the list and there’s a good reason for that, as the car is known for promising a host of features along with a good driving experience. It has been a success story for Honda since 1998 and after selling over 6 and a half lakh units since then, and 2.2 lakh units of the previous generation itself, the City has come back again with a facelift. But, is it still the king of sedans? Let’s find out.

The Looks

Being a mid-life facelift, it gets a few nips and tucks on the outside. The front is a bit sportier and gets a new grille that sports a thick strip of chrome and brings the design language of the new City in line with the latest generations of the Honda Civic and the Accord.

The rear bumper has been updated too and looks sportier than before. There’s also an addition of a boot lid spoiler and the tubeless radial tyres are now wider with an 185/55 profile at the top-end ZX variant offering. This makes the car have a more aggressive stance when looked at from a distance.

If you are fond of LEDs then there’s plenty to suit your taste as the headlamps, fog lamps, tail lamps, the stop light on the spoiler, license plate lights and even the interior lights are all LEDs. Keep in mind, though, that the all-LED headlamp cluster is only available in the ZX and VX variant but the Led daytime running lights (DRLs) are standard across all variants.

Honda-City-FrontThe 2017 Honda City Facelift gets an updated front-end design. (Photo: Siddharth Safaya/News18.com)

The side profile of the City remains the same but now gets new 16-inch diamond cut alloy wheels and the 510-litre illuminated boot space is impressive.

The changes on the inside of the car are less radical as compared to the exteriors but score full marks on the need based on functionality. It comes with several compartment spaces throughout with some clever placements like the bottle holder in the rear armrest, storage bin inside the armrest and a neatly tucked in coin holder pocket for the driver near the steering wheel.

The steering is height and reach adjustable and the driver seat is height adjustable.

The changes inside the cabin include the inclusion of a 7-inch infotainment system, which Honda calls Digipad, and the one-touch electronic sunroof.

Honda City, Honda City Facelift, 2017 Honda City, Honda Cars India2017 Honda City facelift comes with new diamond-cut alloy wheels. (Photo: Siddharth Safaya/News18.com)

What’s Cool?

Honda’s approach to the facelift has been smart as they have updated the car with the required features and not fiddled around with things that was already good, which means it gets the tried and tested 1.5-litre i-VTEC petrol engine that’s available with a choice of a 7-speed CVT transmission or a 5-speed manual. There’s also a 1.5-litre diesel engine offering that comes with a 6-speed manual transmission setup.

The i-VTEC engine is capable of delivering 119 PS of power and 145 Nm of torque. The i-DTEC diesel engine, on the other hand, delivers 100 PS of power and 200 Nm of torque.

There hasn’t been a lot of mechanical changes on the new City and hence, the car feels similar to the previous generation model when it comes to the driving experience, which means the car does well in almost every driving condition and gave no chance for us to complain. We tested the Petrol powered ‘ZX’ variant with the CVT transmission.

Honda City, Honda City Facelift, 2017 Honda City, Honda Cars IndiaThe Honda City gets the tried and tested i-VTEC and i-DTEC engines. (Photo: Siddharth Safaya/News18.com)

The cabin feels more plush and premium than before and the party piece has to be Digipad’s Wi-Fi support which allows you to connect to a hotspot connection and browse the internet. The Infotainment system also gets the usual Bluetooth telephony, AUX, USB and voice command support along with an HDMI input. The touch response is smooth and the user-interface is easy to get used to.

There’s a rear AC vent too which gets two power ports for extra convenience. The cruise control is just the cherry on top.

Also Read: Honda BR-V CVT Review

The Honda City gets dual airbags, ABS and EBD as standard too and the top-end ‘ZX’ variant comes with six airbags.

Honda-City-Tail-lightThe 2017 Honda City comes with LED tail lights in the top-end variant. (Photo: Siddharth Safaya/News18.com)

What’s Not So Cool?

The software used by Honda’s Digipad has been made in India and for India and even though it comes loaded with features, it does not support Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. There is MirrorLink on offer, though, but the support for these would have been easier for them who are used to the interface provided by the Android Auto or Apple CarPlay.

Honda City starts at a base price tag of Rs 8,49,990 for the petrol model and Rs 10,75,990 for the diesel model but misses out on a few features here and there. The top-end model with all the bells and whistles go well over Rs 13.5 lakh for both petrol and diesel which may sound a bit too much for a car of this segment. Hence, we would recommend going over the variant layout in detail before finalising on the right variant.

Honda-City-HeadlihghtsThe 2017 Honda City gets LED daytime running lights as standard. (Photo: Siddharth Safaya/News18.com)


The Honda City has been dominating its segment for years and has faced a challenge only from the likes of the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz and the Skoda Rapid.

The Maruti Suzuki Ciaz comes at a more accessible price tag and the Skoda Rapid recently got itself a facelift too.

Also Read: Skoda Rapid Facelift Review


Overall, the City has come back in a sportier avatar and the addition of all the features it gets makes it a better package as a whole and manages to tick all the boxes when it comes to the requirements of the customer in this segment, but all of it comes at a price.

But when it comes to offering value for money, then the Honda City leaves us impressed and makes it definitely worth checking out.

Also Read: Maruti Suzuki Ciaz SHVS Review

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| Edited by: Manav Sinha
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