Modern Living

Driving in the City

MISS TECH - Kathy Moran - The Philippine Star
Driving in the City
Honda City in the city: Parking and driving on the smaller roads of the metro is a joy in the all new Honda City RS. (Inset) A beauty within: Driving safely is easy to keep track of with the lovely dashboard.
STAR/ File

It was mid-March 2020 when out-of-town driving and cruising the countryside became a thing I used to do. Driving, one of my fave pastimes, became unsafe and staying indoors — safer.

Much of my driving, to this day, because of the pandemic, has been within the city.

This is why my appreciation for the sedan and city-driving cars has grown.  The new Honda City 2021, which was launched late last year, is one such sedan.

The Honda City RS with its size and power has made me appreciate city driving and all its stops and turns in the new shortcuts I continue to discover.

The look

The Honda City RS is a youthfully styled car (at least, as far as I can see) with its glossy black paint details such as the front grille, and side mirrors. The dark details on the bodywork make the car cooler and sportier.

The design of the Honda City rear lights is really an impressive highlight with modern LED edges.  I think of it like a compact sports car — that even little ladies like me are welcome to drive because it is really so comfy.

Its interior is practical and modern — not built too low like other sports cars and that makes it easy to get into and exit from.

The City features a straightforward dashboard layout that looks simple yet it makes the cabin more premium looking. The arrangement of buttons on the center console is nice, and didn’t confuse me even if when I first sat inside the car.  The vehicle functions on the center console are well arranged as well, which makes for a clutter-free interior that helps to give you good forward visibility when on the road. Holding the steering wheel is a pleasure because it has a good grip, and looks really cool.

The rear passenger area seems to offer good leg- and headroom. But, to fully maximize and enjoy the rear passenger area, it’s better if there are only two individuals seated at the back.

Under the hood

A new 1.5-Liter 4 Cylinder DOHC i-VTEC engine provides an ideal balance of performance and fuel efficiency to power the all-new City. Coupled with Continuous Variable Transmission (CVT), this powertrain is able to produce up to a maximum power output of 121ps at 6,600 rpm and a maximum of 145 Nm of torque at 4,300 rpm.

What impressed me as I drove down the streets of the metro is Honda’s Eco Assist System, which consists of the ECON mode and Eco-Coaching Ambient Light to help encourage drivers to drive more efficiently.

A work call came in while I was on the road and when I pulled aside to talk, the conversation was clear inside the car with the City’s lessened noise and vibration.

Moreover, I was told that this is the first City to adopt spray polyurethane foam insulation at the bottom ends of the pillars, and it has 3.5 times more sound absorbers for the engine as compared to the previous model.

As Honda continues to strengthen its “safety for everyone” global campaign, the All-New City continuously prioritizes safety through Honda’s G-force Control (G-CON) Collision Safety Body that enhances impact absorption for the added protection of passengers in the event of a collision.

Other standard safety features are the Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) with Agile Handling Assist (AHA), Emergency Stop Signal (ESS), Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), Hill Start Assist (HSA), and Power Door Locks with Speed Sensing Auto Lock.

The 1.5 RS CVT is equipped with a Multi-view Rear Camera with dynamic guidelines, something I have learned to appreciate so much more when the parking spaces I enter or streets I drive through are narrow and small.

It is no wonder that with all these safety features, the all-new City has a five-star ASEAN NCAP safety rating — for as it gives driver better safety and peace of mind driving when on the road.

The last word

I like that the City’s sporty looks catch the eye of all I pass by on the road — who see an older driver behind the wheel. The redone interior of the City features a more refined finish that’s coupled with RS-specific trims that make it more youthful-looking.

The 1.5-liter gasoline engine has all the power it needs to get ahead of slower-moving vehicles or tricycles on the road at a moment’s notice. The inclusion of paddle shifters on the City RS offers an option if driving a more performance-oriented car is what you desire.

The City RS is more than just a sporty-looking subcompact sedan, and it is best as a car driven daily — on the city streets.

Drive on.



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