By on September 19, 2008

While Americans apparently go ga-ga for Honda’s Fit hatchback, other parts of the world get a Fit-based (or related) Honda City. While the City doesn’t share body panels with the Fit, they ride on the same light and compact platform. With the same 120 horsepower 1.5 liter 4-banger available in many markets, the City would be pretty zippy too. Frankly I think the City looks much better than the Fit – even if you have to give up beloved hatchback utility. I might go so far as to say it’s the best looking currently produced Honda sedan. The interior is a step up, as well. Honda would have zero problem selling these by the bushel in the U.S., but then they can’t even keep up with demand for the Fit right now. And a City sedan might just cannibalize Civic sales even more than the Fit already is (though the Civic is keeping up by cannibalizing Accord sales, it’s all good, as they say). Click on over to Carscoop for a full gallery.

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31 Comments on “New Honda City Sedan Actually Pretty Cool...”


  • avatar
    Usta Bee

    It looks like the Volt.

  • avatar
    Justin Berkowitz

    Perhaps, but it’s not made out of clay.

  • avatar
    mocktard

    It looks like the Yaris.

  • avatar
    Brian E

    Perhaps, but it’s not made out of clay.

    Heh heh heh.

    I can’t believe how the media has lapped up GM’s supposedly “unveiled” “real” “we swear it’s not still a concept” “subject to change without notice” Volt. GM is playing the media very, very well and they are not calling GM on it. Can we get a media deathwatch – or at least a Volt deathwatch – on this?

  • avatar
    ppellico

    Justin…pretty funny about the clay.
    Rember the Tucker!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tucker:_The_Man_and_His_DreamI never liked the Fit.
    Looks horrible with the squared back and anvil nose.
    THIS car looks good!

  • avatar
    JJ

    While Americans apparently go ga-ga for Honda’s Fit hatchback, other parts of the world get a Fit-based (or related) Honda City.

    Luckily, Europe isn’t one of those parts, because we just get the Jazz (hatchback), which is the Fit, with very slightly different styling.

    Although maybe in Southern-Europe (ie, Spain/Portugal) and/or Eastern Europe this thing would do well, since they’re very big on small sedans in those parts for some reason, while in the rest of Europe a small sedan is usually frowned upon (hatchbacks and wagons rule).

  • avatar
    detroit1701

    Yeah, yeah.

    Justin — I think we need to be clamoring for GM to bring us its real competitor to Honda’s sub-Civic (Yaris, Mini, etc etc) lineup — the Opel Corsa. Rave reviews, funky interior, a cut far above the Daewoos — why don’t we have it? GM’s lame, silly excuse about “crash standards” is so 2006. Would it be possible for someone at TTAC to do a review? TTAC’s European vacation? Clark?

  • avatar
    thalter

    At least it doesn’t have the Civic’s horrible double-decker dashboard.

  • avatar
    Justin Berkowitz

    @Detroit1701:

    The Corsa is very cool looking. I’m going to drive the OPC/VXR version with 197 horses in about a month. Will post a review, natch.

  • avatar
    1996MEdition

    This car should actually be the Civic, which has ballooned to the size of the Accord, which has ballooned to the size of…..

    thalter….in agreement about the dash-dashboard….although I like being able to glance over at the Civic next to me and see the huge digital speedo reading

  • avatar
    Redbarchetta

    Very cool looking, like a mini Civic. Makes me wish they would bring it here, but the hatch would be so useful too, why can’t that make the front of the fit look like this, except maybe change that big plastic grill to something different. I like the interior simple, decnt look and functional.

    I don’t really see the Volt in it, except for the shape of the lights, a little.

  • avatar
    thetopdog

    I think it’s pretty ugly, but it doesn’t make much sense to not sell it in the US. Don’t most manufacturers make sedan versions of their compact hatchbacks solely for the US market?

  • avatar
    jaje

    The age old strategy of not bringing a major redesign of a great platform (not a pathetic rebadge like the G3 to the Aveo) such as a 5 door hatch to a 4 door sedan just b/c of potentially cannibalizing sales is asinine. It would reduce some Fit sales but not cut them out completely. It would give a nice option to those who wound up buying a Yaris Sedan b/c they preferred the Fit but didn’t want a hatchback. Cannibalized sales across models is not all bad as long as the product brings in a lot of new customers too.

  • avatar
    Stingray

    +1 on redbarchetta:

    Looks like a mini Civic. And very nice at that.

  • avatar
    rtt108

    Honda needs to sell this in the US as the Civic, re-name the Civic as Accord, re-name Accord as … QE2 ?

    … and add a full station wagon version for all of them.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Frankly I think the City looks much better than the Fit

    Why would you get this? Unless you’re really concerned about smash-and-grabs, there’s so many problems, functional and aesthetic, that I can’t really figure out where to start.

    I mean, really, small sedans always look dorky. Even the best of them (the Yaris-nee-Belta with a bodykit) looks ever so slightly wrong next to the hatchback. The Versa, Accent and Rio sedans look far, far worse.

    The hatchback Fit does look like a sporty minivan that got left in the drier for a bit too long, but at least the shape is cohesive; the City looks awkward from the B-pillar backwards. Other than the front end styling (the new Fit has a chipmunk look to it) the City’s just not well-shaped, and this it’s best angle; from the side or rear 3/4 it’s rather Echo sedanish.

    Maybe you could make an argument for cargo space with the seats up, but that doesn’t apply to the Fit, whose low load floor makes even the hatch quite capacious. Plus, the trunk opening on these cars is typically so uselessly small that even if the space is larger, you can’t use it effectively.

  • avatar
    shaker

    Quite nice, really (but I’m a sucker for anything in that shade of blue).

  • avatar

    I think Honda’s current styling theme is an odd mess of pudgy lines; But I can agree it does look beter than the Fit. Come to think of it, isnt the size of that thing the same size of the Civic 10-15 years back? Of course they’ll never sell it here. If it does happen all we’ll get is the americanized, McDonalds-McFatass tailored versions.

  • avatar

    It looks ok. A bit too busy along the side panels, going a little Pontiac there. I wish it were cleaner.

  • avatar
    HarveyBirdman

    I agree that it’s the best looking Honda sedan right now. I just can’t stand their current crop of designs for the US market; this would be a huge improvement for the brand if it came stateside. In fact, knowing the purchase preferences of Americans, I imagine this would outsell the Fit, and command a premium as well. How many of the City’s markets have buyers who are willing to shell out a premium for this car?

  • avatar
    joeaverage

    I’ll take a wagon or hatch version please. Tiny trunks are not very useful. Rear seat occupants being able to reach back and get something from the cargo area (kids = games, books, mags) is great. Same for hauling the family dog to grandma’s house.

  • avatar
    design89

    All new honda and Acura products
    have that “Transformer` looking nose.Starting to warm up to it.

  • avatar
    jpc0067

    I like the Civic and consider myself a middle-aged SI apologist. And I love the looks of this car. Versa has a sedan/hatch (the hatch even launched first), as does Yaris. Why not bring the City as the Fit sedan? All they could do is make money. I guess at the expense of making even more money? I dunno, if you’ve priced a Civic lately your almost always close to $20000 OTD, when most folks would rather pay $15000 for a commuter, especially in unstable economic times. The small-small sedan is a hole in Honda’s lineup, IMO. And this would get Honda even more conquest sales I think, i.e., get a better job, then get a better Honda (and get great trade in on this one). It sure is less of a penalty box than the Yaris (based on pics only).

  • avatar
    Justin Berkowitz

    psarhjinian :
    September 19th, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    Why would you get this? Unless you’re really concerned about smash-and-grabs, there’s so many problems, functional and aesthetic, that I can’t really figure out where to start.

    So yeah, you are right. I think hatches are infinitely more practical than sedans (I own one as well!). And whenever a manufacturer only sells a sedan version of something – of anything – in the US, I am among the initial whiners that it should be a hatch here as well.

    So what gives? Well I think it looks better than the Fit, even if I feel the Fit is a preferable or superior car.

    I prefer the front end, the door handles, the proportions, etc. Even on a dorky small sedan. The Fit – and the American Fit in particular – is just a little off. I did a blog on this some time back actually.

  • avatar
    akitadog

    Justin: The Corsa is very cool looking. I’m going to drive the OPC/VXR version with 197 horses in about a month. Will post a review, natch.

    Ooohhh, If they brought the Corsa OPC over, I’d drop my GTI in an instant. It would be the perfect replacement to my old gremlin-infested Cooper S. I’d make it my daily driver, as I’d then have an excuse to get a RWD toy. The GTI was the closest to the MCS I could find, but I really wanted to stay MINI-sized. Hopefully it wouldn’t be too expensive, say 14-15ish for a base Corsa and 18-19ish for an OPC (to get any to sell here). I await your review with bated breath.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    I prefer the front end, the door handles, the proportions, etc. Even on a dorky small sedan. The Fit – and the American Fit in particular – is just a little off. I did a blog on this some time back actually.

    I understand–and agree about–the bumper requirements doing odd things to the Fit’s nose but I think the rear three-quarters of the City more than even the score. It’s not as bad as, say, the Echo or Aveo, but it’s nasty for sure.

    The blog post you reference is interesting: I’m not sure why Honda felt they needed to do this, as the Yaris most certainly does not sport a larger schnozz in North America. I recall that a lot of engineering went into the Yaris’ bumper and fascia to minimize low-speed crash damage (breakaway points for the headlights, the bumper, etc) but I’d figured Honda would have tracked anything Toyota had done.

  • avatar

    I own a Honda and I think this City is pretty bland, tbh. The interior panel looks craptastic; definitely a step backwards for them.

  • avatar
    Johnster

    I like this! I would buy one as a replacement for my 2004 Civic Sedan! A coupe version would be great!

  • avatar
    qa

    I guess the US market favors sedans. My client had a City when I lived overseas but when the Jazz (Fit in the US) came out, the hatchback quickly overtook sedan sales. I think maybe because streets are narrower there and parking is limited. The “City” didn’t “Fit”.

    Oh and the Jazz for some reason looks nicer than the Fit. Probably something to do with US spec bumpers and lights.

  • avatar
    Dimwit

    The big problem that Honda has is lack of production space in NA. If they build it here they would have to scale back an already great seller. Importing such a basic car wouldn’t be prudent at that price point and Honda is prudent over everything else.

  • avatar
    Nemphre

    I’m with Justin. Normally I would prefer a hatchback over a sedan any day, but I would buy this over a Fit simply for the styling and the interior. This is the only time I’ve wished for a sedan version of something to be offered in the US.


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