Evolution of Honda City in Southeast Asia: First Entry Version vs Latest 5th Generation

What changes has one of the most beloved car of the region gone through in the years till now

One of the most iconic cars of South East Asia is without a doubt the Honda City. It has carved its place as the favorite of every household by bringing great value to the compact sedan segment in the region. Seven generations were made and sold by Honda, but the third generation is known as the first generation Honda City in South East Asia.

The Honda City was first conceived in Japan back in the year 1981 as their smallest available car and sold amazingly well back then. It was discontinued after a couple of years until being revived in 1996. This is the same year it was introduced in the region of South East Asia. 

All the generations of the Honda City share a common theme of being an affordable car with all the needed amenities so that everyone would be wanting to buy it.  It gave the people an opportunity to have a nice vehicle even if they were not in the position of buying the smallest and least expensive Honda model, which was the Civic. 

First Generation Honda City

This was the first generation of the Honda City in South East Asia which was released back in 1996. It was based off of the EF platform of the Honda Civic. The car was available in 1300 Cubic Centimeter (CC) and 1500 CC engine options in either a manual or automatic transmission. Its engine was a 16 valve B series fuel injected one. Strong competitors at the time were the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, and the Suzuki Margalla. 

Then came a face lifted version of the same car in the year 2003. One main reason of the car’s success was that it was really affordable both in terms of gas mileage and maintenance but had modern features such as power windows and air conditioning. This had then created a lot of competition in the compact sedan segment.

Second Generation Honda City

South East Asia was blessed with a completely new Honda City in year 2002, in which the focus was seen to be on making a well-designed car as well as being true to its theme of affordability. This new model was given even better luxury features and trim options. The engine was based off of the twin spark dsi engine that had a total of 8 spark plugs. This new innovation gave it outclass fuel average that everyone was a fan of. 

The rear foot well was created as a flat one so the new city was having more than ever space in it. A beautiful beige interior was given in this model. In the year 2005, it got a much needed facelift and many other features such as vtec technology, CVT automatic transmission, and rear disc brakes. This model was received very well in the public and people still seem to be having these models in pristine condition. 

Third Generation Honda City

Honda City made its place as the dream car of many people in the region with the help of this model that they introduced in the year 2009. This came in two engine types that were a 1300CC or a 1500CC and transmission options were consisting of a 5 speed manual or a PROSMATEC auto transmission. This is the model in which most modern safety features such as airbags, Antilock Braking, EBD, and immobilizers were introduced in the Honda City. It is still quite controversial that these safety features were not given to some countries and not others. 

Fans of the Honda City became lovers of it after they were introduced with this model and it is still known for its stable ride and fun quirky features that were never before seen by anyone.

Fourth Generation Honda City 

This year’s Honda City was a complete redesign with a fresh and trendy look. The front end now had a distinct look with the help of its merging grill and headlamps. The bumpers were exceptionally well designed as well. Never before seen luxurious features were available in the car that shook its fans to the core. It had climate control, rear air conditioning vents, and keyless entry with push start. These were features that were unknown to the City and had only been kept for higher end models.

The car also got introduced with a hybrid model and the same car was being rebadged and sold under the name of the Honda Grace in other countries such as Japan. Once again it was pretty controversial that this model had only been released in some countries and not in all of them. Others had to keep going with the same model introduced in 2009 but with limited cosmetic changes and engine options.

Fifth Generation Honda City

Honda’s latest model of the City brand was released in South East Asia in November 2019. This was an excellent effort by Honda to outgrow and outdo itself. The plan has worked in many aspects up till now. New shape of the City is quite larger and much different than the conventional and thematic shape seen in all the other Honda City Models. 

It had been given a 1.0 liter three cylinder turbo charged engine and another variant was offered with a 1500CC hybrid engine. Once again it had features which were never before seen in the Honda city, these included automatic climate controls, a sunroof, automatic visors, and a power controlled driver’s seat. 

The safety of this new model had also been heavily updated as it included a total of six airbags in it. The changed shape of this model year had a few complaints from its customers that its stability was not as good as it used to be and the car now tries to roll a little as the driver tends to turn it. This has had its effects on the drive of the car.

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