New Facelift Honda City Test Drive Stories at Esplanade Penang
Another sunny Saturday, I’ve landed myself and my girlfriend at Honda Showroom, Upper Penang Road just opposite the E&O Hotel to test drive the all new facelift Honda City. I have being eager to drive the car since long time ago but was too busy for that.
The new facelift Honda City with new sporty rims, front and rear bumper and the rear light on the exterior. The tires profile remain the same, 185/55/16 with refined 7 spoke rims. Rear lights refined from square red boxes light into stylish red line light. Even though this round is only a minor facelift version, but the improvement do make the car look so much appealing.
Even the new Modulo bodykit seem looks so much better than the previous one. The Modulo kits give the sharper and refined outlook to the Honda City.
In the showroom lobby, I told the salesman that I wanted to try the new Honda City, and he requested my Mykad and driving license for photocopy to get the test drive procedure done. Then we went for the test drive. Upon open the Honda City door, I feel the door have is solid and loaded just like opening a pricey European car. The door handle come in chrome color which make the car look more elegance too.
Inside the cabin seat is spacious for someone like me with height around 170cm, I do not have problem adjusting the seat according to my comfortable seating position. Sound proof is also good in this car, because I barely hear any external noise outside from this car once I am close the car door.
The Honda City engine start up smoothly after twisted the key in the slot, though no push start button feature in this car.
Even though the interior’s outlook is sporty,but the dashboard come in only single tone, black color dashboard and black fabric seats which make the interior look dull. The seats a spill free seats, definitely a plus point to this car especially for some like me love drink inside the car while driving.
The car steering provides firm control feeling to the car and is light weight at the same time too. Unlike Naza Kia Forte, the Naza Kia Forte steering is not responsive and firm feeling as Honda City. The steering is equipped with audio controller as well as paddle shift which make the driving more convenient and fun.
The audio system is easily accessible to operate because the audio buttons are well organized on the dashboard. The audio system come with USB and AUX features too. The audio system come with 6 speakers with crystal clear sound.
The panel meter come with blue sporty illumination as well which make the car look so pleasant to drive especially for me. There is ‘ECO’ mode for this facelift Honda City too, the ‘ECO’ lamp will light up when the driver is driving fuel efficiency behavior. In fact, I like the this car panel meter illumination so much if compared to my Toyota Vios.
The Honda City interior special design allow us keep many stuffs in the car. Practically we can put the whole umbrella medium size into the driver door’s storage. This is convenient for the driver during the rainy day. The driver can straight away pull the umbrella from his/her seat and walk out from the car.
Upon explored everything in the car, we started driving the car to the main road for test drive. The salesman only allowed me to drive from the showroom to the Esplanade Penang and make a turn and go back to the showroom. I don’t like the rule because I can’t push the car to the max due to short distance test drive route.
During the test drive, I managed to test the car performance by fully stepping on the gas pedal to the floor. Guess what? The car accelerate smoothly and the engine don’t sound struggling when the meter needle in the panel meter was hitting the red line.
Acceleration with the car ferrying 2 guys and a lady wasn’t a problem with Honda City. The torque come out from this 1.5 I-VTEC engine with 120 PS@ 6K rpm 145Nm@4.8K rpm was powerful enough for this car in every driving condition. The initial acceleration at early gear wasn’t as powerful as my Toyota Vios but the acceleration torque are better and more powerful after the Honda City hit at higher speed (above 60km/h).
Even though I only get the test drive the Honda City in short route, I managed to try out the 5-speeds paddle shift transmission. The paddle shift transmission very responsive compared to Naza Kia Forte 1.6.
During ‘Drive’ mode, the paddle shift still working but with ECU control the gear revving limit and gear shifting. This mean we still able to down-shift the gear with paddle shift but at appropriate mid RPM, at between 2-3K RPM. The ECU will automatic switch back the gear to appropriate gear according to the car’s speed. But when I engage into ‘Sport’ mode, things work differently. The car in the fully manual gear mode, we can revs the car to highest RPM with any gear until 6.5K RPM (electronic limited to this max RPM).
The transmission won’t automatic switch to any gear in whatever speed you are, you have to switch by yourself in the S-mode. That mean you can even drive at 10km/h speed with 5th gear! That was fun. Well, that is the paddle shift that I really wanted, is like almost like driving manual shift mode car.
Handling is great, but I can’t comment much here as I don’t get to drive the car at high speed.
Safety feature include 2 air-bags, ABS, EBD and BA which full-fill the international safety requirement.
Overall, Honda City a great car with great performance and fun to drive car. But the car is lack of high technology features such a key-less entry, auto rain sensor, auto light sensor and many more. Unlike Korea cars, where they have packed those high end features into the cars yet still have the close price as Honda City.
Below is the maintenance Schedule for Honda City – Click the picture to enlarge it.