Cars > Peek

Honda pulls out a surprise with the new City Hatchback

Refreshed subcompact gets loaded with more tech and a hybrid version

The City Hatchback finally got that mid-cycle refresh it needs. PHOTO FROM HONDA

When the refreshed fifth-generation Honda City sedan was launched last year, most of us inevitably asked: When will these changes come to the hatchback version?

And while spy shots of the model’s new version have just started circulating online, the Japanese carmaker pulled a surprise and launched the mid-cycle refresh of the Thai-market Honda City Hatchback. So, what has changed?

The subtle changes were enough to make this subcompact look fresh. PHOTOS FROM HONDA

Outside, you’ll notice that the honeycomb front grille is now bigger. The bumper, though it looks quite similar, is new. The lower air intake now extends a bit further up front, while the air-dam trims get a new shape.

The sides have remained largely the same, save for a new wheel design. Finally, only the rear bumper’s faux diffuser has been redesigned.

There weren’t also many changes inside. PHOTOS FROM HONDA

Inside, the infotainment screen’s interface has been tweaked, while the instrument cluster gets a bigger seven-inch full-color multi-information screen. The HVAC controls have also been replaced, albeit keeping the three-knob design.

Now, onto the more important upgrades. This new City Hatchback does come with the Honda Sensing suite of advanced driver-assist features. It now gets a collision-mitigation braking system and adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow.

The Honda Sensing suite of ADAS finally gets its way into this class. IMAGES FROM HONDA

It’ll keep you off a ditch thanks to the road departure mitigation system with lane-departure warning, and lane-keeping assist system. You can better illuminate the road ahead with auto high-beam. Rounding up the ADAS features is the lead-car departure notification system.

Finally, while the car is still powered by the same 120hp/173Nm, 1.0-liter three-cylinder turbo mill, there is now a new hybrid powertrain option.

Here, the 1.5-liter four-banger is paired with an electric motor. The e:HEV variant makes a combined 97hp and 127Nm.

The lone transmission option is a CVT.

Honda’s e:HEV system finally makes it way to smaller vehicles. IMAGE FROM HONDA

Given that our units come from Thailand, it’s just a matter of time before Honda Cars Philippines brings the refreshed City Hatchback here.

We do hope that HCPI pulls off an even bigger surprise by bringing this here with those two powertrains.

Red Santiago

A jack of all trades, Red is passionate about cars, motorcycles and audio. He sometimes drives for a ride-hailing app company—just because he really loves driving.