All-new Honda City RS test drive review

All-new Honda City RS test drive review

When the previous Honda City arrived in Malaysia, the compact car segment was taken by surprise with an attractive well-built compact middle-class sedan. It had just two rivals, the Toyota Vios and Nissan Almera.

Then the competition moved their game up and gave Honda Malaysia a run for the money. Now comes a brand new Honda City with e:HEV technology.

New CITY test drive

This is the all-new Honda City (we are test driving the top version which is the RS) and it is electrified and this is why it is called ‘e-HEV’.

First impressions are encouraging. This City RS’s exterior has been given a well-judged makeover where all panels are new and nothing seems to be carried over from the previous City and the result is unashamedly sporty with hints of luxury in its materials and presentation. Cabin material quality falls right with the European competitors with quality plastics on the dashboard as well as the door panels.

new CITY features

The driver gets the new infotainment system which we first experienced in the new Honda Accord (yes, what you see in the more expensive Accord is available in this City RS). All driver-related information can be found in the instrument panel. The top centre tablet-like display houses communication, entertainment and navigation. The driver gets a newly designed instrument cluster that carries an analogue speedometer with digital instruments included in between.

All-new City instrument panel

It shows status info like temperature, fuel level, gearshift information and odometers. The front seat design is new and offers good comfort with a new interesting material combination. Rear seating is good for 3 adults and offers very decent head and shoulder room.

All-new City engine

Push the starter button and the all-new 1,498cc four-cylinder Atkinson Cycle petrol-powered engine spins into life when needed. Yes, only when the battery power is low does the petrol engine start up. Otherwise, it is the electric motor that moves this City RS from ignition until the petrol engine is needed to charge up the battery pack to run the motor.

Sounds complicated? Well, do not worry, it all works seamlessly without any input needed from the driver and has the drivers best interest when in motion.

All-new City front seat

At idle it is quiet and at the most, you might hear a slight ‘whirring’ sound coming from the electric motor. We took our first drive out on the open highway and almost immediately we noticed its traction and steering feel was impressive and there was hardly any torque steer as the full 253Nm of torque was summoned by us.

All-new Honda City RS specs

Yes, you can get the power delivery of a large 2.5L sedan with both the petrol engine and electric motor working harmoniously together for your enjoyment. However, do not get carried away with its power delivery as it also means the fuel-sipping qualities of the City RS will be less effective.

All-new Honda City RS gearbox

As we drive around uneven city roads which have been neglected by the town council, the bumps and cambers are shrugged off with casual disregard, while the City RS provides a surprisingly compliant ride.

All-new Honda City RS rear seat

So what we have here is a more sophisticated family sedan than in the previous City. The cabin is a step up in quality, the ride is much improved and there is a more mature feel to the powertrain.

This new CITY, therefore, is undoubtedly a more accomplished car than its predecessors and one that will impress any driver who takes it for a test drive.

Honda City e:HEV RS Specifications

Honda City e:HEV RS Specifications

Engine: Inline-4, 16-Valve, DOHC, Atkinson Cycle

Capacity: 1498cc

Gearbox: CVT (automatic)

Max power: 98PS @ 5,600-6,400rpm (Electric – 109 @ 3,500-8,000rpm)

Max torque: 127Nm @ 4,500-5,000rpm (Electric – 253 @ 3,000rpm)

Top Speed: 177km/h

0-100 km/h: 9.9seconds

Price: RM105,950.45

Daniel Fernandez

Daniel Fernandez

22 years as a motoring journalist starting with Asian Auto magazine as writer for one year and the following year editor for 10 years. 12 years as a online media owner, 10 years on radio with very own auto news and reviews radio show starting with LITEFM for 7 years and the last three years with BFM.

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