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Honda City
2009-2010 Honda City (GM) VTi-L sedan (2011-01-13).jpg
Manufacturer Honda
Production (CO2) 1981–1994
Assembly Ayutthaya, Thailand
Alor Gajah, Malaysia
Lahore, Pakistan
Guangzhou, China
Campana, Argentina
Greater Noida, India
Sumaré, Brazil
Santa Rosa, Laguna, Philippines
Adapazarı, Turkey
Class Subcompact

The first generation Honda City was a subcompact car manufactured by the Japanese manufacturer Honda from 1981. Originally made for the Japanese, European and Australasian markets, the City was retired in 1994 after the second generation.

The nameplate was revived in 1996 for use on a series of compact four-door sedans aimed primarily at developing markets, first mainly sold in Asia outside of Japan but later also in Latin America and Australia. From 2002 to 2008, the City was also sold as the Honda Fit Aria in Japan. It is a subcompact sedan built on Honda's Global Small Car platform, which it shares with the Fit/Jazz (a five-door hatchback), the Airwave/Partner (a wagon/panel van version of the Fit Aria/City), the Mobilio, and the Mobilio Spike—all of which share the location of the fuel tank under the front seats rather than rear seats. By mid-2009, cumulative sales of the City has exceeded 1.2 million units in over 45 countries around the world since the nameplate was revived in 1996.[1]

In 2011, the City is also sold as Honda Ballade in South Africa.

First generation (1981–1986)Edit

Body style 2-door convertible
3-door hatchback/van
Layout Front-engine, front-wheel drive
Engine 1,231 cc ER I4
Transmission 4-speed manual
5-speed manual
4+3-speed Hypershift manual
3-speed Hondamatic automatic
Wheelbase 2,220 mm (87 in)
Length 3,380 mm (133 in)–3,420 mm (135 in)
Width 1,570 mm (62 in)–1,625 mm (64.0 in)
Height 1,460 mm (57 in)–1,570 mm (62 in)
Curb weight 640 kg (1,400 lb)–810 kg (1,800 lb)

The first Honda City (AA for sedans, VF for vans and FA for the wider Turbo II and Cabriolets) was introduced in November 1981 with the innovative "Tallboy" design; of unusual height it enabled four adults to fit comfortably in the very short City (under 3.4 m/11.2 ft).[2] Produced as a 3-door hatchback in a variety of trim levels, the City was also available together with the Motocompo, a special 50cc 'foldaway' scooter designed to fit in the City's small luggage area. At the time of its introduction, it was Honda's smallest car, while not being in compliance with Japanese Government kei regulations. It was longer than the Honda N360 by 383 millimetres (15.1 in), but shorter than the Honda Civic first generation by 171 millimetres (6.7 in).

File:Honda City Cabriolet 001.JPG

The Honda City Turbo was introduced in September 1982. It was powered by a turbocharged version of the 1231 cc Honda ER engine. A Pininfarina designed drop-top Cabriolet utilized the wider fenders and bigger bumpers of the Turbo II "Bulldog", but was only normally available with the naturally aspirated 67 PS (49 kW) engine. There was also a Pro-series of van versions with either two or four seats. A high-roof "R Manhattan Roof" version with a 10 cm taller roof also appeared.

Exports of the City were primarily to Europe (where it was renamed Honda Jazz, due to Opel having trademarked the City name), Australia (in two-seater 'van' form, to circumvent Australian import restrictions on passenger vehicles at the time) and New Zealand (where it was locally assembled). Production ended in late 1986 with the introduction of the GA type City.

Second generation (1986–1994)Edit

City Series GA1, GA2
Honda City 1988.jpg
Successor Honda Logo
Honda Capa
Class supermini
Body style 3-door hatchback
Layout Front-engine, front-wheel drive
Engine 1,238 cc D12A I4
1,296  cc D13C I4 Carb
1,296  cc D13C I4 PGM-FI
Transmission 5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
Wheelbase 2,400 mm (94 in)
Length 3,560 mm (140 in) (GA1)
3,605 mm (141.9 in) (GA2)
Width 1,620 mm (64 in)
Height 1,335 mm (52.6 in)
Curb weight 680 kg (1,500 lb) (GA1)
780 kg (1,700 lb) (GA2)

Honda replaced the original City series AA in November 1986 with this generation (designated GA1), and again with an update in 1989 (GA2). This model was produced until 1994. The Fit name also first appeared as a trim variant of the City. There was no convertible model, with both the convertible and Turbo models of the previous generation continuing on sale for a little while.[3] In most markets aside from Japan, the City's market position was left open until filled by the Honda Logo in 1999.

October 31, 1986 the second City was introduced with the slogan "City of talent." in Japan, and was available at Honda Clio dealerships. The Honda Clio dealership chain was being positioned as Honda's purveyor of luxuriously equipped vehicles like the Honda Legend, the Honda Concerto, and the Honda Accord, and this generation City enabeled Clio locations to sell economically priced vehicles normally found at Honda Primo.

In this remodel, there are major changes in the appearance of the vehicle Honda called "Crouching form", which consisted of a low and wide design that contributed to lighter vehicle weight (basic grade 680 kg) combined with improvements in driving performance. The styling reflects a corporate decision to enact a shared appearance with the first generation Honda Today kei car, the internationally strong seller, third generation subcompact Honda Civic, and the third generation compact Honda Accord AeroDeck.[original research?] This generation shared its exterior dimensions and engine size almost exactly with the first generation Civic. The Honda CR-X was the only three-door hatchback that adopted a fastback, sloping rear hatch, similar to the Honda Verno products during the mid-1980s.[citation needed]

The engine configuration introduced the Honda D series, in the form of the type D12A, a 1.2 L SOHC straight-four 16-valve unit (1986, first as a mechanism for domestic vehicles) only available with a single carburetor, and basic level of equipment. The difference between the "GG" / "EE" / "BB" were just in the level of equipment. Power is 76 PS (56 kW) at 6,500 rpm. A five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission were optional.[3]

In October 1988 the main engine was changed to 1.3 L I4 SOHC type D13C. At this time, in addition to the traditional single carburetor, and introduced Honda's PGM-FI fuel injection. Single carburetor specification, the 1.2 L "BE" the other 1.3 L "CE" / "CG" is set, PGM-FI, spec, "CR-i" / "CZ-i" and consists of two trim packages.

The "CE" grade equipment with enhanced savings "CE Fit", PGM-FI specification is "CR-i" based only high-grade "CR-i Limited" was introduced, the late "CZ-i" is defined as the minor trim package. The word "Fit" appears as a trim package on the base grade "CE".

At the end of this generation, by grade consolidation, "Fit" is used for all single carburetor vehicles. The trim package "Fit" later became the model name of the successor of the Honda Logo which replaced this car.

The second generation was discontinued in 1993. The name "City" was retired at the end of this series' conclusion of production. The replacement vehicles introduced in 1996 on the GA base were renamed "Honda Logo" (three-door hatchback, GA3/5 series), and the Honda Capa with five-door hatchback bodywork.

Third generation (1996–2002)Edit

Third generation (3A2/3A3)
Honda City third gen.jpg
Facelifted third generation Honda City
Also called Honda City Type Z
Production (CO2) 1996-2002
Body style 4-door sedan
Platform 3A2/3A3
Engine 1.3 L D13B I4
1.5 L D15B I4
1.5 L D15B VTEC I4
Transmission 5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
Wheelbase 2,500 mm (98 in)
Length 4,225 mm (166 in)
Width 1,690 mm (67 in)
Height 1,395 mm (55 in)
Curb weight 940–985 kg (2,072–2,172 lb)
Related Honda Civic (sixth generation)

The third generation Honda City, codenamed SX8 but with chassis codes 3A2 (1.3) and 3A3 (1.5), was based on the EF Civic platform. It was designed for and sold in the South East Asian market only, launch with slogan "Smart for the new generation" in 1.3-liter version launch, 1.5-liter version are launch with "Top-in-class smart" slogan . First production began in an all-new plant in Ayutthaya, Thailand, in April 1996. From the beginning, these Thai Citys had more than 70% local content. The bumpers were constructed in three separate pieces to allow for easier shipping from Japan. There were originally a lower grade LXi and a higher-spec EXi available. This generation vehicle was sold in Japan alongside the Honda Domani at Honda Clio dealerships in Japan.

This City is still a subcompact slotting beneath the Honda Civic, but a four-door sedan model instead for developing markets in Asia, and was built in Pakistan, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines and India. A revised, face-lifted third-generation City was released in 2000, called the "City type Z" in some markets. By 2001 a model powered by Honda's 1.5 L VTEC engines (VTi) appeared, featuring a rear-stabilizer for better handling. The facelift model received new front- and taillights, as well as one-piece bumpers.

The third generation city had fuel-injected SOHC 16-valve D-series engines, namely variations of the D13B and D15B. The original 1.3 L (1,343 cc) D13B produced 95 PS (70 kW) at 6,400 rpm for a claimed top speed of 171 km/h (106 mph) and 0–100 km/h in 11.3 seconds.[4] This was later complemented by the 1.5-litre D15B, which was reduced in power for the Asian markets where the car was sold. The D15B engine also arrived in a version featuring VTEC, with an output of 115 PS (85 kW). The VTEC-engined City has a 0–100 km/h time of around 10 seconds.

File:Honda City (third generation) (rear), Kajang.jpg

In many of its intended markets it was one of few sub-compacts with a fully independent rear suspension that was dropped in the later models due to its high cost.

Fourth generation (2002–2008)Edit

Fourth generation [GD8/GD9]
Honda City (fourth generation, second facelift) (front), Serdang.jpg
Also called Honda Fit Aria
Guangzhou-Honda City
Honda City ZX
Everus S1
Production (CO2) 2002–2008
2010 - present (Everus S1)
Assembly Ayutthaya, Thailand
Sayama, Saitama, Japan
Alor Gajah, Malaysia
Greater Noida, India
Guangzhou, China
Lahore, Pakistan
Santa Rosa, Laguna, Philippines
Body style 4-door sedan
Layout FF layout (GD8)
4WD layout (GD9)
Engine 1.3 L L13A i-DSI SOHC I4
1.5 L L15A2 i-DSI SOHC I4
1.5 L L15A1 VTEC SOHC I4
Transmission 5-speed manual
7-speed Multimatic CVT
Wheelbase 2,450 mm (96 in)
Length 4,390 mm (173 in)
Width 1,690 mm (67 in)
Height 1,485 mm (58.5 in)
Curb weight 1,090 kg (2,400 lb)
Related Honda Fit/Jazz
Honda Airwave

The fourth generation City made its world debut at the Thailand International Motor Expo in November 2002. It was now offered as a four-wheel drive version. It was imported from Thailand and launched as Fit Aria in Japan domestic market[5] from December 20, 2002. The word "aria" is a type of expressive melody, usually heard in opera. Honda chose the word, continuing its musical naming tradition used with the Honda Prelude, the Honda Accord, the Honda Ballade, the Honda Quintet, and the Honda Concerto. In the People's Republic of China, the model was named Fit Saloon and was sold from September 2003 to the December 2008.

The Honda City was initially launched with a twin-spark, lean burn ‘i-DSI’ engine producing 88ps that was primarily designed to provide outstanding fuel economy. The VTEC version of the Honda city is launched later. The VTEC trim of the Honda city is offered with 15-inch alloy wheels compared to the 14-inch offered in the i-DSI. The rear brakes are solid discs instead of drums in the i-DSI.

In September 2005, a face-lifted version of the City was launched in Thailand, Malaysia in October 2005, and Indonesia in November 2005; it is known as the City ZX in Thailand, India, the New City in Indonesia and Malaysia, and City in Singapore and Pakistan. The most significant changes are a new exterior (new front grille, new headlamps, new fog lights, new taillights and bumpers). The front end has been extended forward by 65 mm (2.6 in) while the rear has been extended by 15 mm (0.6 in). The side mirror is electronically foldable. Both the i-DSI and VTEC trim levels have 15-inch (380 mm) alloy wheels as standard equipment. Interior changes are minor but it does include an armrest for the driver and additional map lights. The interior colour tone of the VTEC variant is now black.

The L-series engine remained but the intake manifold has been repositioned, resulting in a 10% temperature drop in the intake air temperature,[6] the suspension has been upgraded as well.

File:Honda City (fourth generation) (rear), Serdang.jpg

Honda City in India, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Pakistan, Singapore and Malaysia uses the CVT gearbox for both i-DSI and VTEC variants. The CVT gearbox simulates a 7-Speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic style override using paddle shift buttons.

This model also saw limited availability in certain right-handed traffic markets outside Asia such as Egypt.

The fourth generation was resurrected in China as the Everus S1, a new budget car brand for previous Honda models.[7]

Fifth generation (2008–present)Edit

Fifth generation GM2/GM3
Honda City 5th gen face.jpg
Also called Honda Fit Aria
Guangzhou-Honda City
Honda Ballade (South Africa)
Honda City S
Production (CO2) 2008–present - (In China the City is also available with the R18 motor)
Assembly Ayutthaya, Thailand
Alor Gajah, Malaysia
Greater Noida, India
Guangzhou, China
Lahore, Pakistan
Campana, Argentina
Sumaré, Brazil (until 2011)
Santa Rosa, Laguna, Philippines
Adapazarı, Turkey
Body style 4-door sedan
Layout FF layout
Engine 1.3 L L13A i-Vtec SOHC I4
1.5 L L15A7 i-Vtec SOHC I4 118hp
1.8 L R18A? i-Vtec SOHC I4 142hp
Transmission 5-speed manual
5-speed automatic
Wheelbase 2,550 mm (100 in)
Length 4,420 mm (174 in)
Width 1,695 mm (66.7 in)
Height 1,470 mm (58 in)
Curb weight 1,095–1,155 kg (2,410–2,550 lb)
Related Honda Fit/Jazz (2nd gen.)
Honda Freed

The fifth generation Honda City was unveiled in Bangkok, Thailand in September 2008 followed by launches in India, Pakistan, Malaysia,[8] Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore and China (Guangzhou Honda) in the following months. It is manufactured in number of locations including Thailand, Pakistan and Brazil.

Depending on market conditions, the City is available in a range if engine and specification levels. Generally in Asian markets the City comes in three variants – S, V and SV models. In some markets the V and SV is replaced by the E. For South America the range includes the DX, LX, EX, and EXL models.

The range of four-cylinder engines include a 1.3 producing 73 kW (98 hp) at 6,000 rpm,[9] a 1.5 engine putting out 120 PS (88 kW), and both are available in manual and automatic transmissions (Indonesia), a 1.8-liter R18A engine (China)[10]

In South America the range is offered with the i-VTEC 1.5-liter flex-fuel engine that is shared with the Brazilian Honda Fit. The power output is 115 hp with petrol and 116 hp using ethanol. Manual and automatic gearboxes are available.

The City was briefly offered in selected European countries including Poland with a 1.4-litre i-VTEC engine mated to either a 5-speed manual or a 6-speed i-SHIFT automated manual transmission.

File:Honda City 5th gen tail.jpg

Since it was launched in India in November 2008, the City became the best-selling model of the company in the country, with sales volume even surpassing that of Thailand, previously the best selling market for the City. The Honda City has been the leader in the premium mid-sized sedan segment for a decade, with 35% market share in 2010.[11]

In February 2009, Honda Australia have released the Thai-made City into the Australian market in two 1.5-litre variants (VTi and VTi-L). According to Honda Australia's boss, Yasuhide Mizuno, the City will compete with other light sedans such as the Japanese built Toyota Yaris, the Korean-made Holden Barina and the Nissan Tiida (also Thai).[12] This will be the first City released in Australia since the 1980s. It replaces the formerly smaller-sized Civics.

The City was launched in 2011 in South Africa as the Ballade,[13] to fit below the Civic and above the Jazz (Fit) sold there.[14]


In September 2011, Honda Automobile (Thailand) Ltd revealed the revamped Honda City, with new front grille design, new front and rear bumpers, new taillamps design, new alloy wheels, eco driving indicator and dual front airbags to every model.[15] The revised model was launched in India in December 2011 including five variants - Corporate, E, S, V and V (Sunroof)[16] - and increased ground clearance to 165mm (previously 160mm) and also length increased by 20mm.

Honda Siel Cars India the Indian subsidiary of Honda Motors has launched the facelifted Honda City 2012 in India. The new Honda City 2012[17] is launched in India in seven variants. All variants are powered by the same 1.5 litre i-VTEC petrol engine which delivers 118PS of power with 146Nm of maximum torque. Also, the company is planning to launch the Honda City diesel variants in the local market, which is expected to be launched by the end of year 2012. Here is the list of Honda City petrol models with their respective features.

Honda City Corporate MT This is the base variant of Honda City comes with basic features like fabric black seat upholstery, fuel consumption display, steel wheels, power windows etc. It is as safe as other higher-end City sedan variants with dual front SRS airbags, ABS-EBD and G-CON.
Honda City E MT This variant has got beige seat fabric, silver center AC knob, integrated audio system along with front speakers, speed volume compensation, aluminum finish central console panel, steel wheels etc.
Honda City S MT The S variant of City sedan has got some extra add-on features unlike the base and E variant. The variant gets 5 spoke alloy wheels, chrome centre AC knob, silver finish steering panel with mounted audio controls, wireless audio remote control, rear speakers, driver seat height adjuster, chrome plated hand brake knob, keyless entry with answer back etc.
Honda City V MT This trim of New Honda City comes featured with 10 spoke alloy wheels, front fog lamps, ORVM with turn indicators, exhaust pipe finisher, cruise control, tweeters, front seat back pockets, silver door switch panel, chrome inside door handle etc.
Honda City V AT It carries the same specification and features like V MT variant except the automatic transmission integration. The AT variant gets some extra weight and delivers lower mileage than the MT variant.

Honda Atlas (Pakistan) resumed the production of Honda City on May 1, 2012 after it was halted due to supply chain disruption caused by massive flooding in Thailand. This resumption of production is marked by Honda as it comes with the range of facelifted Honda City under the banner of Honda City Aspire.


The Honda City is produced in a number of locations around the world including India, Pakistan, Philippines and Thailand.[18]

In July 2009, the City was for the first time to be built and marketed (in large numbers) outside Asia, with production commenced in Sumaré, Brazil. The car was first available for sale in the Brazilian market, with exports to Mexico and other markets in Latin America from September 2009.[1][19]

Since March 2011, with the opening of a new factory, the Honda City began to be manufactured in Argentina.[20] It is the first car built by Honda in Argentina (and the first Japanese passenger car made in Argentina) and will be exported to all the countries in South America alongside with the Citys built in the Brazilian Sumaré plant.


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Honda Begins Production and Sales of City in Brazil" (Press release). 2009-07-24. 
  2. Car Graphic: Car Archives Vol. 11, '80s Japanese Cars. Tokyo: Nigensha. 2007. p. 145. ISBN 978-4-544-91018-6. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Büschi, Hans-Ulrich, ed (March 5, 1987) (in German/French). Automobil Revue 1987. 82. Berne, Switzerland: Hallwag AG. p. 314. ISBN 3-444-00458-3. 
  4. Büschi, Hans-Ulrich, ed (March 6, 1997) (in German/French). Automobil Revue 1997. 92. Berne, Switzerland: Hallwag AG. pp. 291–292. ISBN 3-444-10479-0. 
  5. World of Cars 2006·2007. Warsaw, Poland: Media Connection Sp. z o.o.. 2006. p. 272. 
  6. Honda City MMC – Mid-Term Face-Lift. TOVA. Retrieved on 2007-12-07.
  7. Everus S1: 2010 Guangzhou Auto Show. Edmunds Insideline. Retrieved on 12 February 2012.
  8. 2009 Honda City 1.5 E and S launched in Malaysia. (2008-12-18). Retrieved on 2010-06-02.
  9. Specifications: City. Honda Atlas Cars (Pakistan). Retrieved on 27 June 2011.
  10. 2009 Honda City launched in China with 1.8L engine. (2008-12-04). Retrieved on 2010-06-02.
  11. Surajeet Das Gupta and Sharmistha Mukherjee (2011-05-13). Honda has planned a diesel powerplant to help the City fend off competition. Business Standard.
  12. Honda City sedan confirmed for Oz. Retrieved on 2009-02-15.
  13. Downard, Miles (2011-03-01). Honda Ballade Launch. Drive RSA.
  14. Honda Ballade returns. iOL. Retrieved on 2011-02-04.
  15. Motor Trivia team (2011-09-22). 2011 Honda City. Motor Trivia team.
  16. Facelifted Honda City launched. Autocar India (14 December 2011). Retrieved on 13 April 2012.
  17. Honda City 2012 CarKhabri(2012-05-22)
  18. Manufacturing Facilities. Honda. Retrieved on 27 March 2012.
  19. Honda Begins Production and Sales of City in Brazil. Retrieved on 2010-11-03.
  20. Honda Abrio A Industria Las Puertas De Campana. Tiempomotor.Com (2011-01-25). Retrieved on 2012-01-11.

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