2021 Honda City V Review

The all-new Honda City graced its way to the Philippine market just last year alongside with the refreshed CR-V. Like its predecessors, the 7th generation model still stands strong in terms of its value proposition given that each variant was cleverly-packaged in order to entice more buyers in the market. 

4.0 / 5
2021 Honda City V Review
Performance
Engine Output (HP), Acceleration, Transmission, Handling
4.0/5
Design
Exterior & Interior Design, Quality, Fit and Finish, Ergonomics
4.0/5
Ride Comfort
Cabin Comfort, Suspension, NVH Insulation
4.0/5
Safety and Technology
Convenience Technologies, Active and Passive Safety Features
4.0/5
Value for Money
Amount of the vehicle you get for the price, Fuel Efficiency
4.0/5
What You Will Like
  • It handles pretty well.
  • It's very fuel efficient especially on the highway.
  • It has Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
What You Won't Like
  • Backup camera is a bit blurry.
  • We wish it had LED headlights.
How We Do Our Reviews

After having experienced the RS variant, Honda Cars Philippines was then kind enough to lend us its mid-grade 1.5 V CVT variant. Now, a few questions immediately came into our minds as we tested this subcompact sedan, one of which was: "Are we missing out so much on the range-topping variant? And how strong does it stand in a crowded segment?" Let’s find out.

While the RS serves as the sportier option, the mid-tier V, on the other hand, features a more modest look that’s somewhat classier and cleaner than the City’s range-topper. The black and body-colored accents found on the RS were replaced with chrome accents which are applied on its grille and door handles. Upfront, it misses out on the LED headlights and fog lights, leaving the front lighting system with halogen projectors paired with daytime running lights (DRLs).

Contrasting factors continue over to the side, with the aforementioned chrome accents applied on the door, while the blacked-out side mirrors feature a body-colored design on the V. The mid-tier variant did retain the same 16-inch alloy wheels of the RS, however, it did miss out on the two-tone color scheme. Though, this particular trim does look better in a set of silver shoes. 

Gladly, the City V retains its sexy butt all thanks to its LED taillights which does look absolutely stunning at night. The only thing missing here is the black lip spoiler, and Honda actually did that in order to follow the modest exterior theme of the car. Overall, the City’s mid-tier variant is well-dressed especially in this Taffeta White color, and it can certainly stand confidently against its competitors, more importantly, its looks are fairly matched against the top-tier RS variant.

2021 Honda City V interior dashboard Philippines

Stepping inside the Honda City V’s interior will greet you with a familiar layout, however, like the exterior, the cabin also has some contrasting elements against the RS. For starters, the all-black layout has been replaced with a calmer combo of black and cream—it also loses the sport pedals that are found on the RS. Moreover, the leather and suede seats were replaced with black fabric. Likewise, its dashboard and door panels are treated with durable and quality plastics that’s good to the touch. Storage is adequate with a spacious glovebox and generous amount of storage cubby holes and cup holders for front occupants.

2021 Honda City V interior rear seats Philippines

Rear occupants, on the other hand, will also be greeted with a familiar layout, except the City V is missing a center armrest with cup holders—though you still have decent-sized door pockets. Like the RS, it also gets rear air vents for that added kick of cool air for its rear passengers. Unfortunately, the mid-tier variant loses the extra charging ports, therefore replacing it with an additional storage cubby hole. Notably, the rear has enough space for 3 adults. Legroom, headroom, and hiproom are good, even someone standing 6 ft can sit comfortably.

2021 Honda City V interior trunk Philippines

Part of its strong practicality points is a spacious boot, with it having a trunk capacity of 519-liters which is pretty strong in its segment. 

2021 Honda City V interior Philippines

The Honda City V underpins a semi-independent suspension setup, MacPherson Strut in the front, and a torsion beam in the rear. Like the RS, this mid-tier variant also has a comfortable ride, it remains well-composed even when going over occasional bumps and potholes. NVH is also good, especially in the city, although pushing it out on the highway does creep in a little more noise into the cabin. Despite that, it’s still tolerable, plus, its engine remains well-insulated.

At the heart of the dashboard is the standard 8-inch infotainment system that supports several connectivity options such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for seamless phone integration. Unlike its predecessor, the screen has physical buttons for easier operation, how we just wish it has a physical volume knob. Unlike the RS, the mid-tier V gets a 4-speaker audio system which does seem less powerful than the 8-speaker setup on the top-tier variant. Though it still provides good sounding quality, with it having a good amount of bass to keep not-so-picky music lovers happy throughout the drive. 

The 8-inch screen is also where the standard reverse camera is projected. It also has 3 different views for you to choose from. Unfortunately, the camera itself appears to be a bit blurry, and it’s something that Honda should work on.

Other standard features include steering wheel-mounted controls, cruise control, automatic climate control, power windows, power door locks, and eco mode.

2021 Honda City V airbag Philippines

Safety and security features of the Honda City V is also generous, with the mid-tier variant having dual-front and side airbags, ABS, EBD, stability control, hill-start assist, child safety lock, speed-sensing door locks, ISOFIX child seat anchors, and immobilizer. 

2021 Honda City V engine Philippines

For starters, driving the Honda City is an absolute breeze all thanks to its light steering and good visibility. The result of pairing a 1.5-liter engine that produces 119 hp and 145 Nm of torque with a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) is a City that has ample power, be it in the Metro or on the highway. It handles pretty well too, it’s no sports car but it certainly stacks up against some of its rivals. Opting for the V won’t give you any paddle shifters, and that probably makes better sense given the fact that you’re driving a CVT after all. Braking is also good despite having drums at the rear, providing enough stopping power when needed.

2021 Honda City V exterior headlights Philippines

Even this mid-tier variant has an eco mode which can be used to boost your fuel economy. While it does stretch up your efficiency, this particular driving mode tones down your car’s performance. As with most cars, engaging in eco mode is perhaps more suitable in the city rather than on the highway. 

2021 Honda City V exterior taillghts Philippines

As mentioned, NVH is also good, especially in the city, although pushing it out on the highway does creep in a little more noise into the cabin. Then again, it’s still tolerable, plus, its engine remains well-insulated. 

2021 Honda City V exterior headlights Philippines

During stop and go traffic, the Honda City V registered 7.6 km/L on the clock. At faster paces, the subcompact sedan was able to get 8 km/L. Out on the highway with its cruise set on 80 km/h returned a whopping 24 km/L.

2021 Honda City V exterior quarter front Philippines

While it does miss out on some of the enticing features found on the RS, the Honda City 1.5 V CVT still stands strong in terms of tech, practicality, performance, and fuel efficiency at a more affordable price. This mid-tier variant retails at just P978,000, making it a super sweet deal that’s just hard to resist. Like most Honda cars, the Honda City V is cleverly packaged as it does exude in terms of value proposition which should allow it to match its range-topping sibling along with other of its competitors in the segment. So if you find the RS a little bit expensive for your budget, then the V is indeed worthy of your consideration, it’s definitely a sulit proposition that’s hard to resist.

Currently, the Honda City competes with the likes of the Toyota Vios, Mazda 2, Volkswagen Santana, and MG 5. In terms of driving, it's up there with the Mazda2 and Vios. Handling is definitely comparable in its segment, and it's close. However, in terms of features, the MG 5 makes a great case against the Honda—plus it's more affordable. Though, if you want to go the Euro route, the Santana is another alternative worth considering if a more conservative exterior design is desired. 


Specifications

Engine

1.5 L

Fuel Type

Gasoline

Performance

119 hp @ 6,600 rpm

Transmission

CVT

Summary

Name Honda City 1.5 V CVT
Body Type Sedan
Price ₱978,000
Transmission Type CVT

Engine

Performance

Economy & Environment

Dimensions

Safety & Security

Features

Technology


Colors

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