2023 Honda City facelift debuts in India – mild design changes, updated safety kit

After a couple rounds of leaks this past two weeks, the 2023 facelift for the fifth-generation Honda City has finally made its debut in India, where it’s offered in four variants, priced between INR1.149 million (approx RM62k) and INR2.039 million (approx. RM110k).

As we’ve seen from the leaks, visual changes here are very minimal. Updates include the new front grille, which was given a slight refresh with a new diamond pin-style honeycomb mesh insert, paired to a slimmer chrome trim above. The bumpers both front and rear have also been redesigned – the latter now featuring a carbon fibre-wrapped diffuser-like element for a more aggressive appearance.

The lip spoiler on the boot lid is new, as are the alloy wheels. Tying up the changes is the new Obsidian Blue Pearl exterior paint colour, joining the existing Radiant Red Metallic, Platinum White Pearl, Golden Brown Metallic, Meteoroid Grey Metallic and Lunar Silver Metallic.

Updates on the interior are also similarly minimal, as most of the dashboard architecture and equipment remains unchanged from before. On the latter, they will ultimately depend on the variant chosen, but highlights here include an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support, an electric sunroof, as well as a wireless charging pad.

The main highlight of the 2023 Honda City facelift comes in the form of an updated feature set for its Honda Sensing advanced driver assistance suite. The new system adds on the low-speed follow function to the adaptive cruise control feature, plus a new lead car departure alert, to go alongside the existing suite of features such as autonomous emergency braking, lane keep assist, and auto high beam.

Over in India, the 2023 Honda City facelift will be offered in two powertrain options: e:HEV hybrid, and a regular 1.5-litre inline-four petrol mill – the former now also available on a new ‘V’ variant. The B-segment hatchback was previously also offered with a small turbodiesel engine, although that option has been eliminated on the facelift due to the introduction of stricter emissions regulations in the nation.

The e:HEV hybrid system is identical to the one on our Malaysian Honda City RS, featuring a 1.5-litre Atkinson-cycle inline-four petrol engine underneath the bonnet, making 98 hp and 127 Nm. However, the wheels are primarily driven by the electric motor only, which is rated at 109 hp and 253 Nm; the engine primarily functions as a generator for the hybrid battery.

On the pure internal combustion engine front, the returning 1.5-litre i-VTEC inline-four mill still offers the same 121 hp and 145 Nm of torque, with power sent to the front wheels via either a six-speed manual or CVT gearbox, depending on variant.

READ MORE: Performance Head-to-Head – Nissan Almera vs Honda City vs Toyota ViosA


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