Published on November 17th, 2021 | by Subhash Nair0
Honda City Hatchback Previewed At Sepang
Honda Malaysia held a small event yesterday at the Sepang International Circuit to give us a preview of the upcoming City Hatchback. The Honda City Hatchback replaces the Honda Jazz in Malaysia and does battle with the Toyota Yaris and Mazda 2.
At the event yesterday, two variants were shown and we were allowed to drive both cars, with limits on photography and videography. These variants are the V and RS. The V spec is a traditional petrol model while the RS spec comes with the e:HEV hybrid powertrain. There will be additional S and E trim levels of the standard petrol model at launch and equipment will most likely mirror what’s available for the City sedan in Malaysia.
Just like in the new City sedan, the petrol variants get a 1.5L DOHC VTEC petrol 4-cylinder that sends 121PS and 145Nm of torque to the front wheels via a CVT. The RS model gets an e:HEV powertrain, which consists of both a 1.5L DOHC VTEC Atkinson cycle petrol 4-cylinder and an electric motor. Power is mostly derived from the electric motor, which is rated at 109PS and 253Nm of torque. However, during high-speed cruising, the petrol engine directly drives the wheels.
How does it compare against the City sedan?
While it would be easy to dismiss the City Hatchback as a mere bodystyle change, there are a number of appreciable differences between this and the familiar sedan variant.
The most appreciable difference is the presence of Ultra Seats. Ultra Seats are a Honda-speciality and allow for FOUR seating positions. Either with the front seats both reclined back with their headrests removed for a makeshift bed (relax mode), with the front passenger seat reclined back with its headrest removed to stow long objects in the cabin (long mode), with the rear seat benches tucked upward to stow tall objects (tall mode) or with the rear seats folded down flat for an extended trunk (utility mode). Needless to say, Ultra Seats are a lot different to the seats available at the rear of the sedan model.
Another difference is the improved torsional rigidity and the improved NVH characteristics thanks to an increased use of sound deadening materials. The new City Hatchback is marginally quieter at speed versus the sedan version. During our short test drive, we found the City RS e:HEV to be slightly quieter than the sedan model, but we did not drive them back to back.
Other small differences include black trim for the front air-cond vents (instead of grey trim), and a slightly wider LaneWatch camera.
Another minor difference on the hatch models is that the petrol variant gets the honeycomb style front grille found on the RS variant. A difference, more conventional grille shape was used on the petrol-powered City sedan models.
Finally, there are the new colours. Honda Malaysia is offering the all-new City Hatchback RS in two exclusive colours:
Meteoroid Grey Metallic and Ignite Red Metallic. These may not be the official names for the Malaysian versions, but this is what the Thai website calls them.
More details will be revealed soon when the vehicle is launched before the end of 2021.