The Honda City is up for a generation change in 2020 and the latest reports suggest that the current generation model may keep it company on the showroom floor. Honda may maintain a price gap of about Rs. 30 - 40,000 between the two models. A cheaper starting price to get a Honda City could help them attract a few more buyers to the dealerships. The new one might sell as just ‘City’ while the older one could get a suffix to differentiate from the pricier model. Hyundai and Maruti Suzuki have done a similar thing in the past with Xcent Prime and Maruti Suzuki Dzire Tour.
The Honda City is not only the most successful Honda car in India but also the most iconic as it’s the longest-running nameplate currently available in India that never took a break. Despite the craze around SUVs and crossovers, the City continues to put cash in Honda’s accounts. After all, this is the car that earned Hondas the ‘reliability’ and ‘built-to-last’ bumper stickers.
Now a cheaper model may add a few customers but it could dilute the City brand. To safeguard that, Honda, reportedly, won’t open sales to commercial buyers but will consider selling to bulk buyers on a case-by-case basis. A CNG model may also be under consideration similar to Yaris.
In terms of powertrain, expect the current, tried-and-tested, 1.5-litre to chug along. Internationally, the Honda City 2020 is also available with a 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine, but it may not make it to our market. Hyundai, Kia, Volkswagen, Renault and Nissan are betting on smaller, turbocharged engines for better drivability, lower taxes and higher efficiency. Honda and Maruti Suzuki appear to focus on bigger displacement over wider and more useable torque band of a turbocharged engine.