Honda City Hatchback now jazzing up the hatchback market

It’s an end of an era, so they say. The Honda Jazz, which entered the Philippine market in 2004 as a small hatchback that enticed first-time car buyers and veteran drivers alike, has now officially left the automaker’s local lineup.

But the subcompact hatchback isn’t leaving a hole in Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. (HCPI)’s range – out goes the Jazz, in comes the all-new City Hatchback. Released in Thailand last year, the City Hatchback aims to fill the void that the Jazz has left in the ASEAN market.

Now, it’s officially in the Philippines, and here’s a rundown of what you can expect from the all-new model.

Exterior

To nobody’s surprise, the Honda City Hatchback RS mimics the City RS sedan, especially on the front end. This means it gets the glossy black grille, the whisker-like fog-lamp accents, the LED regimen, and the coveted RS badge. It also gets the set of 16-inch RS Design two-tone dark chrome alloy wheels.

The deviation from the City sedan is found at the rear, of course. While the BMW-esque LED taillights are still there, the City Hatchback gets a fifth door that slightly slopes towards the tapered roof. It also has a differently styled rear split cladding on the bumper as opposed to the diffuser type of the sedan.

Interior

Inside, the seats are upholstered by a combination of leather and suede but with a touch of a neoprene red material for a sporty look. There’s also a bevy of red accents found in the cabin to represent the RS badge, including the markers around the gauge clusters.

More importantly, the City Hatchback adopts the ULTR configuration found in the outgoing Jazz, which features flexible seat configuration to maximize cargo hauling. So yes, you can still probably haul a surfboard inside a City Hatchback, but we have yet to actually try (or buy a surfboard for that matter). 

Overall, the default trunk space is listed at 289 liters, but folding the rear seats reveals 841 liters of usable flat space. A removable tonneau is standard, as well, so privacy for your cargo is guaranteed.

Tech & Safety

As expected for a sole, top-spec RS variant, the City Hatchback has all the bells and whistles that Honda can think of adding into this segment. All controls are electronic, except for the seat adjustment, while the air conditioning, albeit automatic, retains the more preferable physical knobs.

The crown of the cabin Honda’s new version of 8-inch infotainment with touchscreen display; no knobs but there are physical buttons for volume. It has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, while the sound is routed to eight speakers including a pair of twitters at the back.

Lastly, the City Hatchback comes standard with cruise control, which basically makes up for its hefty price compared to its segment rivals—that, along with the red illuminated push-start ignition.

Safety-wise, Honda didn’t cheap out on the City Hatchback RS as it gets a full set of airbags, five three-point seatbelts, ABS with EBD, hill-start assist, stability control, emergency stop signal, ISOFIX tethers, and security alarm with immobilizer.

Engine & Mechanicals

Powering the City Hatchback RS is the same mill found in the sedan – the 1.5-liter DOHC I-VTEC gasoline engine that churns out 121 metric horses and 145 Newton-meters of torque. It’s mated to a CVT but paddle shifters are standard since this is an RS.

MacPherson struts are found in the front for dampening, while the rear axle is connected to a torsion beam suspension setup. The front wheels are fitted with disc brakes while the rear end gets drums.

Ground clearance is at 134mm while the overall curb weight is just 1,141 kilograms.

Pricing

The all-new City Hatchback is available with a suggested retail price of P1,115,000. Due to the Safeguard Measures having an additional levied tax of P70,000, HCPI will also be implementing a deposit amount of P13,000 to reduce the burden on the customers. White Pearl paint color option is available for an additional P20,000.

The 2021 Honda City Hatchback is available at all 38 Honda dealerships nationwide starting today, April 20, 2021. 

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