It may be true that there’s “no such thing as bad publicity”, and in that case the 2020 Honda City has undoubtedly made a mark with its bold 253 Nm advertisement. But after seeing the car in full for the first time yesterday, we think that the all-new B-segment sedan truly deserves to be in the spotlight now that it’s launched in Malaysia.

And a big part of the reason is the Intelligent Multi-Mode Drive (I-MMD) powertrain underneath the bonnet of the flagship Honda City RS e:HEV variant. Unlike a traditional series hybrid architecture, the 1.5-litre naturally-aspirated mill does not actually power the wheels for the most part. Instead, it functions largely as a power generator in conjunction with an integrated generator motor.

For propulsion, a larger electric motor (called Traction motor) sends 108 hp and 253 Nm to the front wheels; the City RS drives via electric power for most driving situations, which means the full torque is available from 0 rpm engine speed. At highway cruising speeds, a lock-up clutch links the engine directly to the wheels via a single-speed gearbox as it is more efficient at that speed.

All other variants meanwhile are powered by a new dual overhead cams (DOHC) 1.5-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engine, which makes 121 hp and 145 Nm of torque, and is paired to a CVT gearbox.

Looks are subjective, and in our opinion the fifth-generation Honda City does look quite sharp – especially in the RS trim. But what’s less subjective is the overall build quality and equipment list, which you can gauge a feel for yourself via the video above.

We still don’t know the price for the top-of-the-range City RS variant yet, but the rest of the line-up starts at RM74,191 for the S variant, up to RM86,561 for the V variant – all inclusive of the sales tax exemptions valid until the end of the year.

With the 2020 Honda City now launched, which will you choose between the all-new Nissan Almera, Toyota Vios, and this?

[p.s. – I’ve made an unfortunate slip-of-the-tongue error in the video where I referred to the car as the Honda Civic at 4:20. Many apologies!]


GALLERY

2020 Honda City V

2020 Honda City RS


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Woon
Believes that a car is more than just numbers and facts, it's about the emotions they convey. Any car can be the right car for someone, but he'll probably pick a hot hatch over anything else.