By Fung Yu
Author’s Note: This article uses virtual reality technology to provide an immersive experience. Adobe Flash 10 or higher is required to view the 360-degree VRs. Average VR size is 2.5Mb each.
January 7, 2009 saw Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. launch the all new City. The much anticipated third generation Honda City, following the recent success of the new Jazz, completes Honda’s all i-VTEC line-up and reinforces its claim in the passenger car segment.
Taking inspiration from an arrowshot concept, the new City ascertains sleek and powerful stance from any angle. It features streamlined grille, sharp headlights harmonization, smoother contours and a 15-inch tire size to enhance its overall sporty appearance. With cutting-edge design and technologies that set new standards in its class, the City merges modernism with practicality for an ultimate driving pleasure, forever changing the rules on how subcompacts should be.
Sharing the same powerplant as the Jazz, the i-VTEC engine of the new City delivers maximum power output of 120ps at 6600rpm and 100ps at 6000rpm for the 1.5 liter and the 1.3 liter variants respectively. The i-VTEC engine technology delivers power and torque intelligently, thus contributing to a fuel efficient driving performance. Further fuel efficiency is enhanced with a 5-speed automatic transmission to reduce engine revolution and stress. An F1-inspired paddle shift (available only for the 1.5E variant) enables manual shifting of gears without the clutch to deliver superb driving pleasure of a manual transmission.
Retaining its compact form despite the increase in interior and trunk space, the all new City radiates a refreshing atmosphere with careful selection of materials and design. The spacious interior creates a relaxing ambience filled with strength and character. It instantly relaxes and cools down passenger auras as soon as they get in. Complimenting the City’s relaxing air is an advanced audio system that is compatible with iPod and other MP3 players via USB and AUX ports. A multi-information display in the instrument panel also makes it possible to easily track fuel consumption with the fuel economy and range indicators in LCD.
The new City conforms to EURO 4 level emission standards, a G-CON body structure, ABS with EBD and Brake-Assist comes standard, plus dual SRS airbags are available for the 1.5E and 1.3S variants. The City continues to be manufactured in Honda’s Sta. Rosa plant in Laguna, a testament of Honda’s confidence in local manufacturing operations and commitment to the Philippine government and the Filipino people.
Our 2-day media test drives of the Honda City in the serene province of Bohol toke us on a tour of its prime tourist attractions. On the first day we visited the Clarin Ancestral House in Loay with no less than the former mayor, Mr. Olegario Clarin Jr. as our guide; after which we proceeded to interact with the tarsiers, the world’s smallest primate, near the town of Loboc; a sumptuous buffet lunch awaited us aboard the boat in the Loboc River as we cruised down its emerald waters while being serenaded with folk songs; a stop at the Baclayon Church, one of the oldest stone churches in the Philippines; picture taking in the Blood Compact Commemorative Shrine in Barangay Bool; and finally to the classy Amorita Resort in Alona Beach, Panglao Island as we spent the night in total bliss and tranquility.
The following day’s drive to Bohol’s best attraction, the Chocolate Hills, fueled us with excitement that morning. The new City was really put to the test in the 3.5 hours drive that took us crossing the municipalities of Dauis, Baclayon, Alburquerque, Loay, Dimiao, Valencia, Garcia Hernandez, Jagna, Duero, Guindulman, Candijay, Alicia, Pilar, Siera Bullones, and finally to Carmen (site of the Chocolate Hills view deck) on paved coastal roads. The long and relaxing drive on the new City certainly made me appreciate this car even more. Even with the searing heat of the mid-day sun, the increase airflow of the car kept us in cooling comfort. Overall, majority of the car features performed flawlessly, and the drive was indeed one of rule-changing comfort, performance, safety, and style.
You can read my related article on Bohol here
All VRs taken on March 2-3, 2009. The author can be reached at: email@example.com