Monday, September 1, 2014

Used Car Review - Honda City (2009-2014)

Can't afford the new model? Myk Belmonte let's you drool with this vehicle while you earn.

2009-2014 Honda City

Who wouldn't knew that one day, sub-compact cars grew in exterior size that rivals their older siblings in terms of interior space 15 to 20 years ago. So the Corolla Big Body and Civic EK we used to have rivals the 15 to 20 year old Corona and Accord respectively, with the former two having larger engines. Time flies so fast, my friend.

Unveiled in September 2008 in Bangkok, the fifth generation City (the third generation offered in the Philippines) was offered in a multitude of engine and transmission options, depending on the market conditions. And for the first time, it is assembled in Argentina and Brazil which meant that it has broader ambitions to boot.

The first month of the year 2009 had everyone surprised with the third generation model being launched locally, especially it was leaps and bounds of the model it replaced. No more iDSi engines and a rear folding bench (except it was only exclusively available for a certain variant in 2013), it was compensated with VTEC technology and a larger cabin. Until 2011, available models include the 1.3 A (discontinued in the 2012 update), 1.3 S, and the 1.5 E. In April 2013, two spin-off models of the 1.5 E namely the 1.5 EL and 1.5 ENC were made available.

Value and Costs
For just between P400,000 to P600,000, one can get a late model unit without the effects of first year depreciation associated with a brand new car. Prices are slightly higher than the competition, due to its "premium" status.

Unlike the previous generation model, there is no CVT transmission present which means less worries. Maintenance costs are similar to its contemporaries, which is a good thing.

Exterior and Interior
Stare at it, and you'll say that it is taller and larger than the model it replaced but the good news is, the inside proves it. To distinguish the A from its higher siblings, it carries steel wheels unlike the alloys of the upper echelon.

Huge expanses of interior space reserved for both humans and cargoes greets everyone. Do remember that the integrated audio system is not available in the 1.3 A, but all units have top notch quality and that premium feeling interior that is somewhat neglected in this category. The 2013 update brought the 1.5 EL having leather seats while the 1.5 ENC carries a 60/40 split bench, ISOFIX child seat, stability control, and a seatbelt reminder for both driver and passenger.

As the drill in the sub-compact sedan category, there are two engine options to serve both sides of the spectrum. The first (and probably the most common one) option is the L13A 1,339cc having 100hp at 6,000rpm and 127Nm at 4,800rpm but carrying VTEC technology as opposed to its predecessor of the same size. Going for this gives you the necessity to rev hard to attain decent acceleration, compared to the Toyota Vios of the same engine size. Our pick would be the L15A7i 1,496cc with 120hp at 6,600rpm and 145Nm at 4,800rpm that can only be paired with an automatic transmission. The 1.5 is at ease to motivate the car without any worries.

Driving Impressions
Being behind the wheel of a third generation City is a pleasurable experience, with expanse and unobstructed view outside plus it is a comfortable vehicle to be in, thanks to the large space. Handling is fine enough for a Honda.

It had been months since a new City was released, and the previous generation model was one fine car especially it didn't fell to the pit of mediocrity. If you have no money for a new City, you can console yourself for the meantime with this one.

The Good:
  • Spacious
  • Plenty of features
  • Reliable
The Bad:
  • 1.3 engine needs to be revved
  • Not that flexible
  • No base models
The Pick: 1.5 E

Engines: 1,339cc L13A i-VTEC and 1,496cc L15A7 i-VTEC I4 gasoline
Power: 100hp @ 6,000rpm (1.3), 120hp @ 6,600rpm (1.5)
Torque: 127Nm @ 4,800rpm (1.3), 145Nm @ 4,800rpm (1.5)
Fuel Consumption: 9-12km/L (city), 10-14km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies)
Transmission: 5-speed manual, 5-speed automatic
Suspension: Front independent McPherson strut, rear torsion beam

Price (New): P686,000-P880,000
Price (Now): P400,000-P600,000
Rivals: Chevrolet Aveo, Ford Fiesta, Hyundai Accent, Kia Rio, Mazda 2, Nissan Almera, Toyota Vios
On Sale: 2009-2014

Honda Cars Quezon City - (02) 712-6850
Honda Cars Pasig - (02) 988-1288
Honda Cars Kalookan - (02) 366-5617

Photos from

No comments:

Post a Comment