Simon Lai road tests and reviews the 2014 Honda City VTi.
Honda is one of those brands that possesses a consistent range with mainstays like the Accord, Odyssey and CR-V. It’s time to have a look at another of these offerings in their small car category, the City VTi.
I drove the auto version on the new Honda City for a week which starts at $17,990; the 5-speed manual comes in at $16,490.
The 1.5L petrol engine has an output of 88kW and 145Nm which equates to sluggish low down acceleration but is cruisy once it gets going.
It’s even less lively when you select the Econ driving mode which is there to save on fuel. Using a combination of both I still averaged 7.1L/100km during a weeks’ worth of driving compared with the official fuel economy of 5.7L/100km.
The City retains the look of previous incarnations but now possesses a deep, straight groove moulded into the side of the car. On the roof is a shark’s fin antenna adding to the sleeker overall design.
The interior is average with fabric seats and plastic trims, but being a Honda the fit is up to standard. Driver’s side leg room is quite limited however; space in the back is surprisingly generous even with the front seat all the way back.
To the dash and the gauges are bordered by attractive blue lighting and the central speedometer has two smaller blue lights at 10 & 2 o’clock which reward you by turning green if you’re driving ‘economically’.
The touch screen is similar to ones found in other Honda models with fewer and simpler options. Responsiveness isn’t the best with a bit of a lag after selection and the sensitivity was also on the hard side.
The A/C controls are firm and simple to use but the re-circulation selector doesn’t fit in with the contemporary design of the dials. While the steering wheel controls are intuitive and ergonomic.
My other minor gripe is the awkward position and operation of the gear stick release button. The button needs to be pushed a fair way to engage at a downwards angle making quick shifts difficult.
Visibility is good all round with the exception of the rear windscreen. There is constantly a strong reflection of the interior which I found more noticeable than in other vehicles. I’m not sure if it’s caused by the pale coloured parcel shelf or the angle of the window? Either way it’s a distraction.
Boot space is reasonable and contains two release latches to conveniently let down the rear seats increasing the storage space.
The City has front, side and curtain airbags but the VTi is yet to be tested and thus doesn’t have an ANCAP Safety Rating.
The Honda City VTi may be a no frills small car but is a decent, no-fuss option that will get you from A to B for an affordable price.
NUTS and BOLTS
Engine: 1.5 litre petrol producing 88kW and 145Nm
Transmission: CVT automatic or five-speed manual
Safety: Not tested