So we got a 2009 Honda City

So we got a 2009 Honda City

I wasn’t planning to ask for the 2009 Honda City, but when Honda ME called me up and suddenly offered it to me this weekend, I agreed as usual. The previous Honda City was a cartoon-mobile that was embarrassing to be seen in, but this new one looked interesting from the day that spy shots started appearing last year, enough for me to dedicate posts to it.


As usual, Honda’s local outfit is offering modifications for GCC-spec models. This time, our City EX tester got a special grille that is likely available as an extra-cost option. The rest of the car looks standard, but it is a good-looking design for a subcompact.


Stylistic touches on the EX include a possibly-optional rear lip spoiler, chrome exhaust tip, chrome door handles, chrome trim on the rear, and very unique 16-inch alloy wheels. Beeping rear sensors were on our car too, though not really needed.

Space inside is surprisingly good for a sub-compact. Even if front knee-room is barely enough with the driver’s seat raised high, it is still decent.


The real story is in the back seat. We believe the City has more legroom in the rear than cars one class higher, like the Ford Focus or the Peugeot 308. It might even rival the Civic. Maybe it even beats the Infiniti FX50, of all things. And see how the rear doors open almost 90 degrees.


The cabin is simple but still attractive with its metal-look trim, two-tone dashboard and a steering wheel lifted straight out of the Civic. The only disappointment would be that almost every conceivable surface is hard plastic. Of course, almost every other car in the sub-compact category is the same, so one can’t complain.


The gauges look very upscale, and it is good to see that Honda is finally adding a trip computer on all their models, even if only optional. The last top-spec Accord V6 we tested did not have one.


The shifter is simple, but the paddle-shifters stuck behind the steering wheel were actually fun to use. The tiny paddles turn with the wheel, and are not fixed on the steering column. Notice the USB cable for an iPod or whatever, stowable in its own little compartment behind the cupholders, alongside an AUX port.


Out back, the cargo room is again surprisingly large and deep, with split-folding rear seats too. It might rival some larger cars here too.

No doubt, the City is as practical as a compact car while masquerading as a smaller sub-compact. The thing is, it is also priced almost as high as a compact, even in basic trim. The City is built in Thailand, but quality is comparable to the Japanese. It does not handle like a sports car, but it can be fun in its own way. However, you’ll have to wait for the full review to find out its handling characteristics, well-above-average acceleration numbers and amazing fuel economy figures.

For general specs and pricing info for the GCC, visit the Honda City buyer guide.

What do you think?



  1. Starting price of Dhs 57000 – 63000 , kinda high for the city but the features offered are too gud. Hope it succeeds in this market now.

  2. has it got blutooth?

  3. I have to say this is one of honda’s better creations. keep this going honda! 🙂

  4. Author

    no bluetooth, no power seats, no sunroof, no boot-release on remote.

  5. good luks…

  6. no sunroof?!

  7. Huge step compared to the last one..

  8. the car looks very good from all sides and the interior is very the one in the civic…but, i hate the rear view of the exterior …i dont know, 😕 they have to redesign the tail lights again

  9. Author

    Wheels thinks the rear looks “German.” Not sure what that means, considering I owned 2 German cars and none had a rear like that. Looks fine though.

  10. It wudve been sexy with a sunroof and a spoiler somewhat like a lancer gt.

  11. Anything would look nice than the older city…. a more proportionate design now…they need to put in a powerful vtec engine and a normal auto tranny (NO CVT please)..

    Relax mashy… the rear end does borrow some design cues from the E36 BMW and A4 of tht era. Although i just get ur point of proving ur competitor “wheels” wrong..hehehe..good looking alloy wheels on this one though – nothing to do with the magazine of tht name 😆

    Love the front grill, steering wheel – gets it close to the current civic which is a great design..

  12. it looks really nice in the front but the rear it does not suit the front. If they did it similar to the clarity FCX or abit like the CRX would be cooler

  13. Civic is superb…Accord is crap…Pilot is crap…and there, the City is superb!..I dont know what is with Honda, but this car is surely a deal..Personally, i would definitely consider it over a Focus or a Corolla anyday taking only the practicality and looks factor alone!…

  14. Its certainly a better buy than a corolla, but maybe should’ve been priced a bit lower. A Yaris competitor priced like a Corolla doesn’t seem right!

  15. Aren’t the Honda CITY a fully developed and manufactured car by Honda Thailand? Because i remember they used to be 8 years ago when first introduced in UAE. This can is def not worth 57K. Better buy a Peugeot.

  16. VIVEK VIVEK excuse me what do u mean ACCORD is Crap? i own a Honda Accord and i dont think so its a crapy car, I really want u to look my 2009 honda accord V6 with a spoiler and with all upgrades, and please u dont have any rights to Disgrade about any car, Honda accord has the most powerful engine after altima :D.. anyways I think Mazda 6 is a crapy car

  17. maz6 rox. accord is cool too.

  18. The 2.3 liter Mazda 6 is a very revvy engine.Good fun to drive.Tight steering and good road holding with a trade off of a hard ride.The 2.0 litre is good too.Unfortunately, in this market they do not sell the V6 which would have been awesome in that chassis and suspension settings.
    The accord – both 2.4 & the 3.5 litre are good – although slightly irresponsive on initial acceleration.Nevertheless a good family car with lots of space.
    Haven’t driven the new altima but why o why does Nissan make their steering feel so light. Just do not like it at all. Hated the interiors of the previous altimas. Haven’t seen or felt the latest. I felt the chassis cdn’t handle the power of the 3.5 liter engine and with the light steering it was a very dangerous combination. It is an American built car and I woudn’t touch it.

  19. but, the V6 maz6 is sold here! its called the mazda6 Ultra

  20. BJD right Accord Rox and Mazda is cool:D

  21. lol. if u think so…

  22. It looks German as the red reflector within the backlights appears like a hidden rear fog lamp. When I saw it first here in Qatar, I thought that Honda maybe prepared this one for European markets as well, but then I figured out it is only the reflector. If they replaced the reflector by rear fog lights and put the reflector up in the red area, it would easily fit European specs though.
    Missing sunroof is not nice, though.

  23. too expensive for this class… i’ll rather get a lancer.. and yes the rear end does look german…(europian to be acurate), and who even says the oposite, he knows nothing about cars.

  24. what is better for me to buy?
    japanese cars like honda city or lancer ex 1.5 liter?
    or frensh like peugeot 308 1.4 liters ?
    i have budjet for one of those and not more

  25. Author

    Lancer would be best value.

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