In its 17-year run in the country, the Honda Jazz was touted as the City’s hatchback twin. That was true as both models shared a lot of mechanical components. But in terms of exterior design, the Jazz was always flashier compared to the City’s more mature appearance. There are probably advantages to being edgy as younger buyers seem to gravitate toward more dynamic styling.
But historically, Jazz sales always trailed the City’s. That could be attributed to the former’s higher price tag and to the fact that more customers simply preferred a restrained look. So instead of being inspired by the bean-like fourth-generation Jazz (or Fit), Honda designers simply followed the all-new City’s lead and grafted on a trunkless rear end.
The rear windows sweep up as they terminate at the C-pillars. The roof smoothly transitions toward the tailgate in keeping with the City’s stately styling theme. If the overhangs seem a bit short, it’s because they really are. Wheelbase remains the same at 2,600mm, but the City Hatchback is shorter by roughly 200mm compared to its sedan sibling.
Thankfully, the rear light clusters are slightly different, and the lower bumper has a decorative piece of trim that sort of looks like a diffuser. There is also a subtle spoiler that admittedly makes the City Hatchback’s rear a little sportier. The 16-inch wheels are similar in design to the City RS’s, save for the darker paint. From the front doors forward, it is predictably no different from the sedan version. The jewel-like LED headlamps, the hood profile, and the blacked-out trim are the same.
The RS variant in these pictures isn’t the top-of-the-line one. This is the City Hatchback’s sole trim level, which means it gets the same amount of tech as the City RS sedan. We’ve already discussed in detail how the interior is so much user-friendly compared to the previous City/Jazz, but it’s worth highlighting that the City Hatchback has Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and a reversing camera.
Just like the Jazz, the City Hatchback is well-equipped for family duties. It has the same spacious legroom as the City, and rear passengers will be delighted in the rear aircon vents and the charging ports. Back seats fold completely flat for oversized cargo. The interior is trimmed in a combination of leather and suede, which doesn’t get too hot under the sun. And speaking of cabin temperature, the City Hatchback’s remote-engine-start function is able to turn on the climate control to full blast.
Those expecting the City Hatchback to have the 1.0-liter turbo three-cylinder engine will be in for a slight disappointment. In line with the City’s theme, the powerplant is the same 1.5-liter four-cylinder mated to an Earth Dreams continuously variable transmission. Power and torque are rated at 119hp and 145Nm. One thing good about this engine is that its twin-cam design means pulling power is more evenly spread out across the rev range.
The City Hatchback RS retails for P1,115,000. Honda will only be charging an additional P13,000 refundable cash deposit as part of its initiative to soften the blow of the mandatory safeguard duties. While the higher acquisition cost is very much expected, there are some things that hatchbacks do better than sedans. And we can only hope that healthy sales will eventually spur Honda to bring in less-expensive variants of the City’s hatchback twin.
Check out the specifications below.