Honda City is a kind of subcompact car manufactured by Honda Motors. The company started manufacturing Honda City in 1981. The car is solely designed for the Japanese, European and Australasian markets. The company ceased the production of Honda City in 1994 without offering any replacement version for it. However, in the later years company used this name for its new compact four-door sedans. These four-door sedans are designed to target the Asian markets, however, later the same series able to make its way to Latin America and Australia.
The City was referred to as Honda Fit Aria during the years 2002 to 2008 in the Japanese market. Honda Fit is a subcompact car based on Global Small Car platform. Since the revival of the nameplate in 1996, the sales of the car have surpassed 1.2 million sales in 45 countries.
First Generation (1981–1986)
In November 1981, the first Honda City was announced with a renewed ‘Tallboy’ design. It was originally a three-door hatchback with more interior room. During its debut, a foldaway scoot, the Motocompo was also released that could fit into the City’s small luggage area. In 1982, a turbocharged version added to the range. In 1984, a dropt-top Cabriolet designed by Pininfarina was introduced that took advantage of the wider fenders and bigger bumper of the Turbo II ‘Bulldog’.
Second generation (1986–1994)
In 1986, the original version of Honda City is replaced to GA1. An updated version in the form of GA2 appeared in 1989. This updated version remained into production till 1994. Earlier, Honda Fit also appeared as a trim variant of the current City.
Third Generation (1996-2002)
The third generation Honda City, codenamed SX8, came with chassis codes 3A2 (1.3) and 3A3 (1.5) and its design based on EK Civic platform. It appeared for the first time in South East Asian market. This followed by a face-lifted model in 2000 named the ‘City Type Z’ equipped with 1.5-L VTEC engines. This third generation Honda City also featured fuel injected SOHC 16-valve D-series engines with variations of D13B and D15B.
Fourth Generation (2002–2008)
The fourth generation Honda City made its world debut in November 2002 at the Thailand International Motor Expo which was later launched in the Japanese market as Fit Aria in December 2002. In Chinese market, the model sold under the name of Honda Saloon from 2003 till 2008. The face-lifted model of the fourth generation Honda City appeared in October 2005 with variants of names in different countries, i.e. City ZX in Thailand, India; the New City in Indonesia and Malaysia; and City in Singapore and Pakistan.
Fifth Generation (2008–Present)
The fifth generation Honda City made its debut in September 2008 at Siam Paragon in Bangkok, Thailand followed by its appearance in New Delhi, India and eventually in Pakistan and Indonesia in January 2009. In China, the Honda City powered by R18A 1.8-L engine went on sale in December 2008.
The first Thai-made City was launched in Australia in February 2009. Since 1980s, this was considered as the first City version launched here. It was offered in VTi and VTI-L variants.
In July 2009, Honda decided for the first time to manufacture and sold its City outside the Asian market. Hence, the Honda City started its production in Sumare, Brazil and offered for sale in the local market before it was exported to Mexico and Latin America. In Mexico, its two variants were offered including LX and EX powered by 1.5-L four-cylinder engine.
In March 2011, the company started the production of Honda City in Argentina that replaced the Brazilian plant. In a meanwhile, Honda City was offered in South Africa under the name Honda Ballade.