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Monday, February 9, 2009

2009 Honda City First Steer

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Hatches may rule in the light car market in Australia but now Honda has taken a leaf out of Toyota’s marketing book by launching a sedan version of its popular Jazz, called the City.

As well as tackling the Toyota Yaris head on the Honda City is also taking a tilt at sales currently going to the Holden Barina, the Hyundai Accent and the Nissan Tiida.

The City’s other major task, according to Honda Australia Senior Director Lindsay Smalley, is to take the brand down the age demographic, with the car being pitched very squarely at buyers in the 20 to 40 year-old age bracket.

Not shunning its traditional older buyers, Mr Smalley says the Honda City will also appeal to “empty-nesters” those married couple who have seen their children grow up and move out of home.

Under the attractive but angular bodywork, which we found a bit like a baby Accord Euro, the City is all Jazz, being built on the same platform, and utilising the same drive train and suspension.

The engine is Honda’s 88kW/146Nm, 1.5-litre, four-cylinder, I-VTEC unit that is already found in the latest Jazz and while it mimics the Jazz in many ways the City eschews the base model 1.3-litre engine, having instead just two models, the VTi and the VTi-L.

It comes with the same five-speed manual and five-speed automatic transmissions as found in the Jazz VTi and VTi-S.

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