It’s only slightly more than a week to the press day of the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show, where the fourth generation Honda Jazz (also known as the Honda Fit in Japan) will make its world debut. Now, it appears that the Jazz’s sedan sister – the Honda City – is also just around the corner. Thailand’s Headlightmag reports that the new City will launch in the Land of Smiles in November this year.
The ASEAN debut of the new City isn’t the only big news, though. The local website reports a major change in the tried and tested City formula – it is said that Honda will be switching from a 1.5L naturally aspirated engine to a downsized turbo engine. It will be a boosted 1.0 litre three-cylinder VTEC Turbo mated to a CVT. If so, the City will follow the Civic and CR-V (1.5T for both) down the downsizing route.
Going for a small turbo engine helps the new City comply with Thailand’s Phase 2 Eco Car criteria, which is stricter in fuel economy, emissions and safety terms. Among the criteria are Euro 5, CO2 emissions below 100 g/km, fuel consumption not exceeding 4.3 litres per 100 km (23.25 km/l), and ABS/EBD/BA/VSA standard across the range.
In addition to the 1.0L turbo triple – which has been used in the Civic in Europe and China for a couple of years now, as sampled in 2015 – the City is also set to be available globally with the dual-motor Intelligent Multi-mode Drive (i-MMD) hybrid powertrain, which is yet to be revealed.
Next week’s debut of the new Jazz will give us strong hints of the new City’s looks. From spyshots, we’re expecting a softer, more rounded five-door hatchback compared to the outgoing Jazz GK’s relatively aggressive styling. Expect a friendlier face and a more organic shape. The images above are renderings of the City from early 2018, inspired by the new Honda Insight.
The outgoing City has been Honda Malaysia’s best selling model since it surfaced in 2014 (facelifted in 2017), and sales have been going strong despite despite its age and the emergence of younger rivals. It should solider on healthily before the baton is passed – should be awhile more, though.