At RM 106k, the Honda City RS is only RM 3k cheaper than a Civic - which to buy?

Eric · Mar 15, 2021 11:50 AM

At RM 106k, the Honda City RS is only RM 3k cheaper than a Civic - which to buy? 01

After a 6-month wait, Honda Malaysia has finally revealed the price of the 2021 Honda City RS e:HEV hybrid variant. The range-topping City is priced at RM 105,950.

Also Read: 2021 Honda City RS e:HEV, price confirmed from RM 106K

At RM 106k, the Honda City RS is only RM 3k cheaper than a Civic - which to buy? 02

You read that right – prices of the top-spec Honda City have breached the RM 100k mark, almost touching the larger C-segment Honda Civic 1.8 S' price (RM 109k).

Why is the City RS so expensive? The earlier City Hybrid was much cheaper

At RM 106k, the Honda City RS is only RM 3k cheaper than a Civic - which to buy? 03

The main reason is that City RS e:HEV’s advanced two-motor i-MMD (Intelligent Multi-Mode Drive) full-hybrid powertrain costs a lot more than the GM7-generation City Hybrid’s single-motor Sport Hybrid i-DCD (intelligent Dual-Clutch Drive).

At RM 106k, the Honda City RS is only RM 3k cheaper than a Civic - which to buy? 04

In fact, unlike the GM7-generation City Hybrid, the new City RS e:HEV is driven by the electric motors most of the time, including from start and regular urban driving. The City RS e:HEVs' petrol engine only kicks in to recharge the batteries or at higher speeds.

At RM 106k, the Honda City RS is only RM 3k cheaper than a Civic - which to buy? 05

Even the transmissions are vastly different. While the previous-generation model featured a seven-speed DCT automatic, the new City RS e:HEVs’ powertrain is vastly different, as it does not have a conventional gearbox per-say.

At RM 106k, the Honda City RS is only RM 3k cheaper than a Civic - which to buy? 06

Also Read: Review: Driving the world’s first 2020 Honda City RS with i-MMD in Malaysia

Instead, the new City RS e:HEV gets an E-CVT, but that’s just in name, as the actual transmission is far more complex than a CVT.

Also Read: Here’s why the all-new 2020 Honda City RS with i-MMD doesn’t need a gearbox

But that’s just powertrain

At RM 106k, the Honda City RS is only RM 3k cheaper than a Civic - which to buy? 07

You’re only half correct, as that is just the powertrain-side of things. There's more to it.

At RM 106k, the Honda City RS is only RM 3k cheaper than a Civic - which to buy? 08

The GM7-generation City Hybrid drove really well

Recall that when Honda Malaysia introduced the previous GM7-generation City Hybrid, its equipment largely mirrored the mid-spec City 1.5 E. As such, it only received two front and two side airbags, bringing the total airbag count to four. The range-topping 1.5 V variant added curtain airbags, bumping the airbag count to six.

At RM 106k, the Honda City RS is only RM 3k cheaper than a Civic - which to buy? 09

But the new City RS offers a more refined driving experience

However, with the new City RS e:HEV, Honda Malaysia has redesignated the hybrid model as the range-topping variant. It's RM 19k premium over the City 1.5 V, putting it dangerously close to the C-segment Honda Civic 1.8 S in terms of pricing. 

Also Read: FAQ: All you need to know about the all-new 2020 Honda City (GN-series)!

At RM 106k, the Honda City RS is only RM 3k cheaper than a Civic - which to buy? 10

Apart from the advanced powertrain, the RM 19k premium adds the Honda Sensing ADAS suite and Honda LaneWatch camera - two features never seen before on a non-national B-segment sedan.

Also Read: Here's why the new Honda Civic FC facelift's LaneWatch is better than blind spot monitor

It gets features like:

  • Forward Collision Warning (FCW)
  • Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS)
  • Lane Departure Warning (LDW)
  • Lane Keep Assist System (LKAS)
  • Road Departure Mitigation (RDM)
  • Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC)
  • Auto High Beam (AHB)

The City RS e:HEV's ACC is only operable from 30 km/h, while the higher range Civic, CR-V, and Accord's ACC with LSF is able to bring the car to a complete stop. The system does not work in stop-go traffic situations. Below 30 km/h, the ACC will turn off and the driver will need to take over the driving. 

RM 100k+, I can buy Honda Civic leh

At RM 106k, the Honda City RS is only RM 3k cheaper than a Civic - which to buy? 11

Range-topping Civic 1.5 TC-P pictured

Of course, we are aware that the smaller B-segment Honda City RS e:HEV is only RM 3,000 less than the C-segment Honda Civic, but the latter is rather poorly-equipped.

At RM 106k, the Honda City RS is only RM 3k cheaper than a Civic - which to buy? 12

Barring the customary six airbags and stability control, the Civic 1.8 S lacks the Honda Sensing ADAS suite and LaneWatch camera; only the range-topping 1.5 TC-P variant offers these features.

At RM 106k, the Honda City RS is only RM 3k cheaper than a Civic - which to buy? 13

The Civic 1.5 TC-P costs RM 25k more than the entry-level model – quite a substantial amount over the Civic 1.8 S, mind you.

Also Read: Review: 2020 Honda Civic FC 1.5 TC-P facelift – still better than the Corolla Altis and Mazda 3?

Conclusion – The City RS e:HEV still makes sense for some

At RM 106k, the Honda City RS is only RM 3k cheaper than a Civic - which to buy? 14

As pricey as it may appear, the Honda City RS e:HEV still has a lot going for it. 

We reckon that the RM 106k asking price is justifiable, seeing that the City RS e:HEV offers C-segment-like comfort levels and safety features.

At RM 106k, the Honda City RS is only RM 3k cheaper than a Civic - which to buy? 15

Granted, the Honda Civic is one segment above the City and offers a larger-but-more-simple powertrain, but for what the City offers in its RS trim, it’s hard to argue with its sophisticated i-MMD powertrain and Honda Sensing ADAS suite.

At RM 106k, the Honda City RS is only RM 3k cheaper than a Civic - which to buy? 16

The icing on the cake is the City RS e:HEV’s 253 Nm of torque – more than the Civic 1.8 S and Civic 1.5 TC-P. How’s that for bragging rights?

As impressive as the City RS e:HEV may be, it is still a City - a smaller B-segment sedan compared to the Civic.

Opt for the Civic, you'll get a slightly bigger boot (519 litres vs 410 litres) and more shoulder room for the rear occupants. On top of that, the Civic nameplate portrays a better image than the City, at least for some buyers.

Also Read: Latest all-new 2020 Honda City ad fires shots at Vios, Camry, and Bezza!

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Up to 20% higher than average trade-in price

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