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2014 Honda City Speed Date
James Ward
Quick Specs
$21,390 (plus on road costs)
3 year / 100,000km
Read the full review

So, where did you go on your date?

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.

Ideal first date?

The City is the most appropriately named city car there is - so anything urban is the little Honda's cup of miso.

Hot or not?

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.

It's what's inside that counts, what do you think of the interior?

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.

Standout features?

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.

Annoying habits?

Honestly, no.

I went on my date not expecting to like the City, but overall it really is a pleasant little car.

Ready for a family?

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.

High maintenance?

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?).

Any deal-breakers?

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.

So, is it serious or just a one night stand?

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).

Keeping your options open?

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.

If it's not for you, who would you recommend it to?

The Honda City is a Jazz for people who like sedans - pure and simple.