While old-school compact sedans are best exemplified by the previous-gen versions of the City and its arch rival, the Toyota Vios, there still is one example still on sale: The Mitsubishi Attrage, read our review to see what the least expensive Japanese sedan gets you these days.
Honda has managed to pull off quite a feat here: Getting something that’s relatively narrow, tall, and not very long (i.e. every compact sedan) to look sporty and appealing, and closer to its big brothers the Civic and Accord.
Most of that is achieved by drawing your eyes to the front end, which is purposeful-looking thanks to the squint-like LED headlights (all the lights are LEDs), the dark gloss section that holds the Honda logo and RS badge, and the air-intake section below.
There’s also maturity here, this is no boy-racer wagon: The character line that runs from the headlights and all the way to the rear makes the car look lower, avoiding the more slab-sided look of its predecessor.
This is the RS model, which is the sportier, higher-spec model for Hondas (like the Jazz RS here) and the first time it’s been offered on the City. But the lower-spec SV model looks largely the same, even if it does miss out on the sportier grille/intake elements, the black front ‘eyebrow’ and the bootlid spoiler.