The current Auto Developing Policy 2016-21 attracted a slew of new participants to the market, as well as significant local investment, resulting in a wide selection of new goods for customers. The car industry has been in full swing since mid-2019, when KIA began local manufacturing of its model lineup. We saw new items one after the other, which kept customers on their toes and piqued their interest. Honda City is the location this time.
Although the new companies and their model lineups are flamboyant and appealing, there is one other long-running model in our market that has always been a topic of debate, whether in a positive or negative light, and you can guess what it is: “The Honda City.” Despite the fact that Civic is the flagship model for Honda Atlas, the Honda City has been the show-stopper and bread and butter for Honda Atlas Pakistan Limited [HAPL]. A market customer has been on the lookout for any hint of news concerning the replacement of the already available Honda City. People still speak about the City and want to know more about it, no matter how harshly it is condemned.
6Th Generation On Its Way
According to original sources, Honda Atlas expected to launch the GM6 by the end of 2020, however there were operational difficulties due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Although there was proof that GM6 City was being developed, there were also numerous strong reports that 7th generation City was being developed. After more than a year of speculation, anticipation, predicting, and daily rumors’, Honda Atlas has finally launched a social media teaser campaign, and predictions have begun once again. The second teaser image arrived in the form of a brief video clip that displays a DRL on the front headlight and some photoshop manipulation, and one may guess what it is.
Customers in Pakistan are almost certain to get a replacement for the 5th generation Honda City in the near future. Although this is excellent news because it is not another makeover, as has been the case in the past, the controversy and disappointment has returned, this time far earlier than the model’s premiere. The reason for this is that a discontinued model is being introduced for the second time.
While Honda Atlas is using shadow images to tease us and will continue to do so until its unveiling, this future model is not new to us, even in Pakistan. In Pakistan, the same generation of City is imported as a used JDM/Japanese Domestic Car with hybrid engine, and the model is called as Honda Grace. Personally, I believe that Honda Atlas has thoroughly tested its locally produced 6th generation Honda City on Pakistani roads. Atlas may never have needed to conceal it with camouflage because it resembles another Honda Grace currently on the road.
Honda City Dimensions
Honda R&D Japan worked with Honda India to develop the 6th generation. The new model is based on the same platform as the current 5th generation, but with some improvements and updates. The 6th is an out-of-production model, but it will be new to us. On a scale of length, width, and height, the 6th generation is 4442mm long, 1694mm broad, 1477mm high, and has a 2600mm wheelbase. The model has a 165mm ground clearance. The current City is 4395mm long, 1695mm wide, 1480mm tall, and has a 2550mm wheelbase. This means the forthcoming City will have a slightly larger footprint and a 2′′ longer wheelbase.
These dimensions aren’t great, but they do boost passenger space, particularly in the back seats, where legroom is improved by 60mm. The exhaust system has also been changed to assist optimize the vehicle’s floor utilization while also decreasing contact with the ground surface on bumps. Another significant change is the relocation of the gasoline tank to a new place under the front seat of our contemporary City. The tank is now moved in the traditional manner, such as behind the rear seats in the GM6 City. This helps to enhance the front and back sitting placement, as well as the occupants’ view and comfort.
The trunk capacity is class-leading with 510 litres, up by 4 litres from the previous version. Overall, we will undoubtedly have a better experience in terms of space. With the addition of high-strength steel, Honda upgraded the GM6’s construction and chassis, making it more rigid, lighter, and stronger.
Honda City Exterior
As I previously stated, the model is not new to us, and we have seen it before as JDM Grace. As a result, it may not be as appealing to the general public as new models, which can become interesting following their introduction. Overall, the GM6 City is a development of the preceding City 5th generation. In 2017, the model received a makeover, around a year after the launching of the 10th generation Civic. On the front, the facelifted City showed a design influence from the Civic X. The facelift received a new honeycombed front grill and a Honda front chrome panel that runs the length of the vehicle, which Honda refers to as the Honda Wing. The new chrome extends all the way to the top of the headlights. In comparison to the prelude lift, the City retains the same short front overhang with sloping hood and a redesigned bumper that is now more angular and dynamic.
The redesign also includes a new headlamp design with LED DRL and LED fog lamps. On the side profile, a character line runs all the way from front to back, sloping upwards but now more apparent than on the 5th generation City we have. A new bumper and optionally LED taillights with a chrome strip are now available for the rear end. The trunk has been remodeled to have a larger opening. On Pakistani models, the high-mounted stop lamp that sits on top of the parcel shelf will be standard.
We may anticipate the similar appearance in Pakistan, but there’s a chance we won’t receive LED headlights on any of the versions [the teaser headlamp is for halogen headlamp with DRL] and LED taillights on any of the versions. Typical halogen headlights with DRL and regular halogen fog lights are expected. Honda Atlas could also choose to save a few features for their own facelift, which we may see in a few years. I’m hoping Atlas gives us the choice of LED headlights and taillights at the introduction of City, at least on the fully equipped variant.
Honda City Interior
I understand that we are in the year 2021, and this inside may lack a wow factor and be too boring, but when this City was first introduced in 2014, it was praised for having superior packaging than the previous generation, which we are now enjoying. Road noise, harshness, and vibration are reduced in the GM6 City thanks to enhanced materials and design. The Honda brand concept of Man Optimum-Machine Minimum was employed for maximum occupant comfort and minimal clutter in terms of the components, with a driver-focused dashboard with simply accessible controls. The overall interior room was enhanced by increasing the wheelbase. A new steering wheel and three-ring instrument panel with a multi-information LCD display have been added to the vehicle.
We may expect the similar layout, although with some differences depending on the trim level. Top versions will include a digital control panel for single zone climate control, while low versions will feature traditional knob controls. Even in its most basic configuration, it is a step up from the previous model. On the higher variants, we may anticipate a double-din 7′′ screen head-unit with Bluetooth connections, while the cheapest model will have a standard radio with a 3′′ LCD display and phone connections. A multi-function steering wheel, as well as four or six speakers, will be offered.
Power windows with auto door lock, power folding side view mirrors, keyless entry with push button start, rear AC vents, 60:40 split back seats with central armrest, leather or fabric seats with driver seat height adjustment, cruise control, tilt steering adjustable s, front central armrest, and USB ports will all be available, depending on model levels. The majority of these will be included in our forthcoming City. Sunroof, automatic day-night rearview mirror, and smart trunk lock are all available on international models. I’m hoping to see it on the PK Domestic model as well, but it seem to be less likely.
Honda City Engine
The GM6 engine is a carryover from the previous model, with minor upgrades. The two engine options should be expected. A 1.5L SOHC i-Vtec inline 4 with about 118HP at 6600 and 145NM of torque at 4600. I’m not sure if Pakistan will utilise the improved 1.5L engine / L15Z that debuted in the GM6 City overseas or the present engine / L15A that debuted in the 5th generation City.
The suspension, like the rest of the mechanicals, is carried over, albeit with improved suspension geometry and a more balanced chassis. The front suspension is MacPherson Strut with Stabilizer, while the rear suspension is a high-rigidity H-shaped twist beam. The electric power system has been retuned and enhanced structurally, with less vibration. Overall, the redesigned suspension, steering assembly, and more robust chassis [ a 24 percent improvement over the previous generation ] increase ride handling, comfort, and road dynamics significantly. There will be disc brakes on the front and drum brakes on the back, and the braking system will be improved for a more linear brake feel.
In terms of safety, the current Honda City is toward the bottom of the list, but that will soon change. The next model is built on Honda’s ACE [Advanced Compatibility Engineering] platform, which is the brand’s design foundation. Two front airbags will be standard on the forthcoming model. Vehicle Stability Control and Traction Control are also included. I’m hoping that will be standard across the whole model series. Hill-start aid, as well as ABS with EBD, will be included in the safety package.
City Honda has also changed the design of headrests to assist limit neck damage and prevent crashes. On the variations that will be fitted with a double din head-unit, parking sensors and, of course, a backup camera will be visible. City has side curtain airbags in some outside markets, but I doubt our future City will have them. Overall, this will be a significant upgrade over the previous model.
Variants & Pricing
Finally, the price; when City was the only player in the game, Honda Atlas could charge whatever they wanted, but that is no longer the case. The B-Segment is dominated by Yaris and Alsvin, with SAGA as an additional choice, albeit it is not a direct competitor. Alsvin still has to show itself as a new brand and product, while the Yaris has dominated the market, and Toyota Indus is working overtime to meet Yaris demand as rapidly as possible.
As of now, we can say that Yaris has a segment monopoly, and Atlas would have to tread carefully if they want to break it. The experts have estimated that the base model of the future Honda City will cost around 2.5 million rupees and the top-of-the-line 1.5L Aspire CVT will cost around 3.1 million rupees. Keep in mind that the standard 1.3L manual City model costs PKR-2.449 million, while the top-of-the-line 1.5L Aspire costs PKR-2.859 million.