5 Things To Know About The New Honda City

3. There’s no turbocharged 1.0 variant because of VES – but you might be able to get a manual 1.5

The City’s 1.5-litre naturally-aspirated engine

As reported in our Singapore debut news story for the new City, Singapore gets only the 1.5-litre non-turbo engine, which makes 121hp and 145Nm of torque. Fuel efficiency is 5.6L/100km and CO2 emissions are 135g/km. 

In Thailand, the Honda City also has a 1.0-litre turbocharged model which has 122hp and 173Nm of torque, meaning it’s technically COE Category A eligible in Singapore.

However Honda Singapore revealed that because of the VES and its multi-band pollution scoring system, the 1.0 fell afoul of one band, meaning if sold here the 1.0 turbo would be at least S$10,000 more expensive than the 1.5 is currently. 

Standard City means a CVT

Another interesting nugget is if you yearn to work out your left hand and left foot and swap gears yourself, buying a manual version is not entirely out of the question, even if it doesn’t appear in Honda’s price list.

The 1.5 manual has been homologated by Honda Singapore, with the majority of sales expected to go to driving schools. So if the time is right and those entities happen to be buying their fleets, you could get yourself a manual fifth-gen City. Interestingly, the manual isn’t as efficient (5.9L/100km and 135g/km) as the CVT , showing how tech has really progressed in this department.

4. The RS is sportier, but the SV doesn’t come up short 

There are two variants of the City, the SV (S$89,999 with COE) and RS (S$92,999 with COE). Honda says order books are now open and it expects deliveries to begin in September.

The RS is the sporty variant, but the cool thing is, it’s actually faster than the SV. 

RS dials

That’s usually not the case for different trim levels with the same drivetrain, but Honda pegs the 0-100km/h at 10.3 seconds for the RS, 10.4 seconds for the SV, with top speed of 199km, and 196km/h respectively.

RS interior

As mentioned in our earlier story, the RS gets the go-faster-looking bits including the Ignite Red Metallic paint option, LED front fog lights, piano black detailing on the mirrors and front end, and a black boot-lid spoiler. Inside, there’s red-stitched upholstery, red-lined instrument dials, paddle shifters, and sport pedals.

RS left, SV right – the differences are hard to see from afar but you can make out the chrome strip atop the front badge on the SV, while the RS’s is black

It also has larger, 16-inch wheels in a different design (15-inches on the SV) and six airbags instead of four. 

SV dials
SV interior

However stepping into the SV from the RS doesn’t show up a huge gulf in the experience, the cabin is largely the same, while the visible feature set is as well. We’ll wait until a test drive of both cars to make the final verdict, but it already looks like a close call on paper. 

5. The City has matured tremendously, but should you choose a Civic? 

Taking in the points we’ve covered so far, you can see quite clearly how far the City has come. But there’s a (literal) price to pay, since the City is now an S$89,999 with COE car at its cheapest – the Civic 1.6 is not far off at S$96,999 with COE, and CarBuyer rates it as one of the best sedans in Singapore no less. 

“Target customers for the City are those who are ambitious, upgraders, and who want to upscale their life,” says Satoru Azumi, the Large Project Leader (Chief Engineer) for the Honda City. That means Honda’s aiming at those who are changing from a second hand car, or perhaps a less expensive brand. 

For now, our advice is, if you don’t need the extra space (or really want Remote Start) then the City is the one to choose. In 2021, when the next-gen Civic appears its price could go up accordingly, and that’s when the fifth-gen City might make even more sense. 

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.