Given that the RS hybrid variant has yet to be given a price and is expected to be introduced in January 2021, we’re focusing on the petrol-only variants and why we think the V variant is the best bang for buck.
It’s quite a sum over the base variant, why is it the best value?
The S variant gets halogen headlamps, 4 speakers, 4 airbags, fabric seats, a standard audio unit with Bluetooth connectivity and manual air conditioning.
Moving up to the E variant which is priced at RM 81,664, noteworthy items for the additional RM 7k gets you automatic air conditioning, 8-inch touchscreen infotainment with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, and a reverse camera.
Yes, these features are nice to have but what’s even nicer are 16-inch wheels, LED headlamps with LED fog lamps, full leather interior, 8 speakers, and more importantly – 6 airbags and Honda LaneWatch.
All these for about RM 5k on top of the E variant and the difference in monthly installment isn’t that significant. So why not treat yourself to a nicely equipped Honda City?
What about its rivals?
The Honda City and Toyota Vios are powered by a 1.5-litre 4-cylinder naturally aspirated engine while the Nissan Almera gets a 1.0-litre 3-cylinder turbocharged engine. All three cars are equipped with a CVT that sends power to the front wheels.
Although torque is slightly down compared to the turbocharged Almera’s 152 Nm, the Honda City has the most power here with 121 PS, which should translate to a healthy rate of acceleration.
In terms of exterior dimensions, the Honda City is the longest of the three but wheelbase sits in between the Almera and Vios. The 2,600 mm wheelbase is identical to the model it replaces.
Honda's wizardry of interior packaging continues with class-leading interior space. Plus, boot space is also the largest here at 519 litres, compared to the Vios’ 506 litres and Almera’s 482 litres.
The Honda City is the only car here to support both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Nissan Almera only has Apple CarPlay connectivity. The Toyota Vios has neither.
As for safety, the Vios claws back some browning points with its 7 airbags, BSM, RCTA and 360-degree camera. The Almera one ups the Vios with FCW and AEB. Meanwhile, the City gets Honda LaneWatch.
Looking at 2020 Honda City’s lineup, we think the V variant is worth the premium over the lower rung variants for the specs and features it offers. Compared to its rivals, it has the most spacious interior and largest boot whilst matching them in the terms of equipment level.