2020 Honda City RS Review: City Heat [w/Video]

5.Driving Experience

When it comes to compact sedans, the traditional expectations range from ‘Oh it can get me from A to B’ to ‘Oh it’s perfectly competent’. On paper, the City seems to be more of the same – after all it has the same CVT and 1.5-litre engine as the previous one, no there’s no 1.0-litre turbo since it would have made the car at least S$10k more expensive.

In practise, it’s probably the best driving compact sedan we’ve ever tried, out of the box. It’s still not a fast car, but it is relatively sprightly and quick with a 0-100km/h time of 10.9 seconds compared to 12.8s for the Vios and 13.3s for the Attrage.

The City’s never a chore to drive, the seats and cockpit ergonomics are flawless, while the refinement below 100km/h is excellent as well. The ride quality is generally good, it does get a little unsettled over really rough roads, but it still rides far better than similar sized SUVs.

As a daily driver, it’s almost sin-free – besides the slightly vocal engine drone – since it has all the things that make a good city (ahem) runabout: Great visibility, easy-to-judge dimensions, perky low end acceleration , and excellent fuel efficiency. Hitting sub-6.0L/100km should be easy, especially if you turn on the Eco drive mode.

But putting the heat on the City in a small handling course is where it shines. While the car has the familiar compact sedan suspension setup (McPherson front, torsion beam rear) it handles like it looks, with a surprisingly deep well of capability and grip, and it actively engages you in the process, something few other sub-$100k cars can boast. 

Continue to 6. Competition and Pricing

2020 Honda City 1.5 RS Review
1. Introduction
2. Design and appearance
3. Interior and features
4. Space and practicality
5. Driving Experience
6. Competition and Pricing
7. Conclusion and Video Review

about the author

Derryn Wong
CarBuyer's chief editor has a keen interest in all things mechanical, technological, animal and mineral. He's particularly fascinated by eco-cars and cars which make no logical sense. An avid motorcyclist and photographer, he also enjoys cats.