Honda City 1.5 LX i-VTEC Review
A citizen's car

Story by Raymond Lai, pictures by Azfar Hashim
13 Dec 2008

The City grows up and gets more sophisticated  

Intro & exterior

The Honda City has come a long way since I first drove one back in 2002. The model that I drove was the first generation, face-lifted version with the brilliant 1.5-litre VTEC engine. Its looks were inoffensive, it drives well enough and the performance was a sensation for a budget model. But everything turned pear-shaped when I started to scrutinize the interior and overall quality – the City sure had some rough metal edges on its panels, and it just felt Spartan inside.

Well, the first City was still in its early days when it comes to Thai-produced cars. The new, third generation City driven here, is what I call progression – it is certainly a quantum leap forward when compared to the first generation model I drove six years ago. The latest City is a hugely important car for Honda, as it will be the first time the compact saloon will venture out of Asia to Australia and other markets.

Visually, the new City is a striking compact saloon, especially at the front. The nose treatment, inspired by the FCX Clarity fuel cell car, is both unique and refreshing. It isn’t easy to get the proportions right for a saloon as compact as the City (the last generation model was concrete proof) but Honda’s designers have done really well to give it a purposeful stance. And somehow if you were to really take a longer look at its tail lights, you will notice how closely it resembles the BMW 3 Series’.

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Engine Capacity 1497cc
Engine Type Inline 4
Compression Ratio 10.4:1
Bore x Stroke (73x89.4)mm
Power 120bhp @ 6600rpm
Torque 145Nm @ 4800rpm
Power to Weight 104.3 bhp per ton


Acceleration 12.2s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 185 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 15.2 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 5 -speed Auto
Drive Type FF


Body Type Sedan
(L x W x H)
(4395 x 1715 x 1470) mm
Wheelbase 2550 mm
Turning Circle 5 metres
Kerb Weight 1150 kg
Boot Capacity 502 L
Fuel Tank Capacity 42 L


Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Discs