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Has the 2021 Honda City Hatchback already won the cool factor against the Yaris?

Sanjay · Feb 1, 2021 02:00 PM

2021 Honda City Hatchback Front 3Q View with girl

Look, we get it - cool cars are nice to look at and in most cases, just as great to drive. Except there’s one problem - they’re usually just out of reach for the average Malaysian. But a certain Japanese carmaker is adamant to bring back the cool factor with the 2021 Honda City Hatchback.

So what’s good with the City Hatchback? 

2021 Honda City Hatchback rear 3 quarter view, with girl standing beside

Hopefully this Sonic Grey Pearl colour makes it here - Civic Type R colours never looked better!

It made its world debut in Thailand in November, effectively bringing back a name that was last seen 27 years ago in 1994. But where this name is reignited, we wave goodbye to another - the City Hatchback supersedes the Honda Jazz in our region.

2021 Honda Jazz front 3 quarter view, blue colour

Cute as it is, we're not getting the GR-generation Jazz here.

Why? Read more here: Malaysia confirmed to end Honda Jazz with City Hatchback – wise move or foolish?

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2021 Honda City Hatchback in white, side view, with girl standing beside

What a beautiful sight. The car is nice too.

But enough about goodbyes. The City Hatchback is here to go head-to-head against the runaway Toyota Yaris, and of course Honda cannot make the hatch any lesser of a car than the Jazz was. 

2021 Honda City Hatchback in white with Modulo bodykit, rear 3 quarter view

Pictured with the optional Modulo kit.

Cue choice features like a sharply-designed exterior (does the rear remind you of a Mercedes-Benz A-Class too?) that's made better with the addition of an optional Modulo kit, as pictured here.

2021 Honda City Hatchback interior view

The interior is pretty much a carbon copy of the sedan.

Inside, there's a few practical touches such as an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support and a multi-function steering wheel. 

2021 Honda City Hatchback rear seats, ULTRA Seats configuration

The Ultra Seats in Tall mode, one of four different folding modes.

Another thing that's multi-functional are its seats - yes, the Jazz's practically-magic, multi-way foldable Ultra Seats return in the City Hatchback.

2021 Honda City Hatchback rear seats folded flat, ultra seats configuration

The Ultra seats offer four different folding modes (Utility, Long, Tall, Refresh) and Honda says you can even shove a kayak in there when folded appropriately.

2021 Honda City Hatchback ultra seats available configurations, four modes

Curious about Ultra Seats? Read this: This is how useful the Honda Jazz’s Ultra Seats are! Myvi what?

What about performance?

2021 Honda City Hatchback 1.0-litre engine, VTEC Turbo

The Thai-spec car's engine

The Thai-spec City Hatchback gets a 1.0-litre, turbocharged three-cylinder i-VTEC petrol engine that makes 122 PS and 173 Nm, mated to a CVT.

2021 Honda City Malaysian-spec engine, four-cylinder naturally-aspirated engine

The Malaysian-spec City sedan's engine

Seeing that that engine was made to comply with Thai’s strict EcoCar regulations, the Malaysian-spec City Hatchback will most likely feature the same 1.5-litre mill we see in our Honda City sedan.

Here’s how that'll fare with the Yaris:

Performance comparison
2021 Honda City Hatchback 2021 Toyota Yaris

1.5-litre, naturally-aspirated four-cylinder

121 PS / 145 Nm


1.5-litre, naturally-aspirated four-cylinder

107 PS / 140 Nm


2021 Honda City Hatchback in white, with modulo kit, rear spoiler detail shot

In addition to the naturally-aspirated mill, we can also expect the City Hatchback to feature the same trick i-MMD powertrain as the yet-to-be-priced City RS. 

Check out: Here's why the City RS with i-MMD doesn't need a gearbox

2021 Honda City RS driving on track, in red

We've driven the City RS. Here's our review!

Wait..power is one thing, what about dimensions?

2021 Honda City Hatchback vs 2021 Toyota Yaris side view

Meanwhile, both cars are almost equally-sized, check out the breakdown below:

Dimension comparison
Car 2021 Honda City Hatchback 2021 Toyota Yaris
Length (mm) 4,349 4,145
Width (mm) 1,748 1,730
Height (mm) 1,488 1,475
Wheelbase (mm) 2,589 2,550

Prices - aimed at the Yaris

2021 Honda City Hatchback Modulo wheels with red detailing

Over in the Land of Smiles, the City Hatchback's prices range from THB 599k (~RM 81k) to THB 749k (~RM 102k), slightly dearer than the Yaris which starts from THB 549k (~RM 74k) to THB 679k (~RM 92k).

City Hatch or Yaris?

2021 Honda City Hatchback in Sonic Grey Pearl, front view, tight shot

It's unmistakeable that the City Hatchback is one of the most hotly-anticipated models launch in Malaysia this year. 

2021 Honda City Hatchback in red, rear three quarter view

By every account, it should be - this small car may very well be Honda Malaysia's biggest launch of 2021. 

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Senior Writer

With humble beginnings collecting diecast models and spending hours virtually tuning dream cars on the computer, his love of cars has delightfully transformed into a career. Sanjay enjoys how the same passion for cars transcends boundaries and brings people together.

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