As is becoming the norm with my Speed Dates, I spent the day with the Honda City VTi-L running about town for meetings and errands.
My day took me through inner-urban Richmond and South Melbourne as well as a run out to the airport on the freeway.
The City is the most appropriately named city car there is - so anything urban is the little Honda's cup of miso.
So... if you could have a 'type' of car that attracted you, the City would unfortunately not be mine.
It's very neo-Tokyo in a modern-manga kind of way. I really like the current Honda Jazz because it pulls off the Japanese street-style well, but the City to me just looks a little dumpy. It's not limited to the Honda though - I'm not a fan of small sedans. There. I've said it.
Plus the Coca-Cola colour really doesn't work for me.
The dials have a cool blue glow around them and the start button is a very jolly, candy-like 'history eraser' button. Ergonomics are good and it is generally very pleasant.
The grey seats and trim are quite bland and make the inside of the City a bit dark and gloomy. But it's comfy and there's reasonable room in the back, plus a class-leading boot capacity of 536 litres.
I love the infotainment system - something that seems like it should be in a more expensive car. Even the neat feature of being able to change the screen-saver background (while very Windows95) is a fun touch.
Ok, so there is no navigation, but there is everything else you need, even SMS text-to-speech. The system is simple to use and makes paring a bluetooth phone quick and easy.
I went on my date not expecting to like the City, but overall it really is a pleasant little car.
It's not really designed to be the primary family conveyance but as a second or 'sometimes' car, the City packs in lots of safety gear including full-length curtain airbags and both top-tether and twin ISOFIX seat mounts, making it a welcome home for little people in the back.
The boot is the biggest in the class at 536L too, so shoving a pram or schoolbags in there is an easy task.
Honda offers fixed price servicing of about $275 per service... but these are required every six-months (unless the City is being used as a courier vehicle, I wouldn't expect many to hit the 10,000km intervals). For context, this is about double what you would pay for a Kia Rio.
Our mostly urban fuel consumption was 7.9L/100km (slightly up on Honda's claimed 7.3L/100km, but this is 'speed' dating after all, right?).
Taking the Honda City VTi-L for what it is, a zippy city car, it ticks all the boxes and then some. It does everything that an inner-urban driving appliance needs to, just with little character.
An enthusiast car it is not but for those who want reliable, easy wheels - and like the big boot - it's a good option.
The Honda City is a great fun little car. It's comfortable, easy to drive, easy to live with and pretty economical, but it has an image as being a car for either younger girls or older ladies.
Not necessarily a bad thing, but I'm neither of those and would always opt for the slightly less-girly Jazz (with some neat Advan wheels for a bit of a mid-life crisis Shinjuku style).
Well, there's the obvious (and in my opinion, the better choice) Honda Jazz, but if you want to keep your boot in (boom-tish - I'm here all week folks)... look at the Mitsubishi Mirage sedan, Holden Barina sedan and Ford Fiesta sedan.
The Honda City is a Jazz for people who like sedans - pure and simple.