The Honda City is a subcompact and compact car manufactured since 1981 in Japan. There was a 3-door hatchback City sold in Australia among other countries, which were eventually retired in 1994. However, the nameplate was later revived in 1996 for use on subcompact 4-door sedans manufactured primarily for developing markets but would subsequently be introduced in Australia. Models built from 2002 are based on Honda’s Global Small Car Platform.
First Generation (1981-1986)
The first Honda City came in three model codes - AA, VF, and FA - which were used for the sedan, van, and Wider Turbo II (introduced in 1982), respectively. They were built on the "Tallboy" design and launched in 1981. At the time of its introduction, the 3-door hatchback City was Honda's smallest car, manufactured without complying with Japanese Government Kei regulations. It was shorter than the Civic but longer than the N360.
The powertrains used in the first generation were a 1,231 cc 4-cylinder inline-four Honda ER petrol engine. The Wider Turbo II still used the same engine, only that it was a turbocharged version that produced 49 kW of power. The Honda City cars sold in Australia came with a 5-speed manual gearbox.
Second Generation (1986-1994)
The second generation, designated as GA1 and GA2 (this is after the 1989 update), replaced the City series AA. Honda discontinued the convertible and turbo models, although sales continued for a while. Most of the sales were made in Japan, with other markets being left open until 1999 when Japan introduced the Honda Logo.
Honda made significant changes in this remodel. The car was now lighter, restyled to resemble the first-generation Honda Today, and its exterior dimensions and engine size mirrored the first-generation Honda Civic. The car was fitted with a 1.2L SOHC straight-four 16-valve D12A engine, which could generate up to 56 kW at 6,500 rpm. An upgrade in October 1988 increased the engine capacity to 1.3L and came with a single carburettor and Hoda’s PGM-FI fuel injection mechanism.
Third and Fourth Generation (1996-2009) - Not Sold In Australia
From 1996 to 2009, Honda continued to produce the City model but did not release it in Australia. Instead, Honda exclusively marketed the third generation (1996 to 2002) in the South-East Asian market. Development by Honda continued, which finetuned the engines, updated the suspensions, and improved the exterior and interior features.
Fifth Generation (2008-2015)
The fifth-generation City, manufactured in Japan, Turkey, Thailand (Thai-built Citys are the ones sold in Australia), Pakistan, and Brazil debuted in Bangkok, Thailand. What followed was a series of launches in several countries. This generation had several trim models depending on the market requirements. In Australia, the available trim models were the VTi and VTi-L.
The VTi, which is the base trim, came standard with a trip computer, central locking system, cruise control, among others. The VTi-L added features like 16-inch alloy wheels, leather steering wheel, and front fog lights. Both trims share a 1,497cc 1.5L i-VTEC 4-cylinder petrol engine rated at 88kW and 145 N.m. You can opt for one with either a 5-speed automatic transmission or manual gearbox.
Sixth Generation (2014-present)
The sixth-generation City, unveiled in India, is the second model after the Honda Fit/Jazz to incorporate the "Exciting H" design. In addition to the design changes, it also includes premium equipment and kits, including a reverse camera, 5-inch LCD with navigation, multi-function steering wheel, and Bluetooth audio, among others. In Australia, this generation carried over the trim models and engine used in the previous production. The transmission choices include a CVT automatic or a 5-speed manual gearbox.
Seventh Generation (2019 - present)
The seventh-generation City premiered in November 2019 in Bangkok. We at Carpart.com.au will be on the lookout for the latest news about it and inform you when sales commence in Australia. We know you may want to upgrade, so instead of having two Citys, why not find someone who can buy your old model at a reasonable price? Contact us today and let us help you buy or sell used Honda City cars in Australia.
- Eric Anyega