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First look: Latest Jazz sedan crosses City limits

High Note: In contrast to many three-box design light cars, Honda has crafted a harmonious look for its new Jazz-based City sedan.

Honda has launched the Jazz sedan in Thailand as the City. It’s bound for Oz too

15 Sep 2008

HONDA has launched the all-new City light car in Thailand.

Details of the car are still scant, but it is clear that the City is based on the second-generation Jazz/Fit five-door hatchback, It is also the next small Honda earmarked for sale in Australia, and should be in dealerships sometime in the first half of 2009.

An announcement on the City’s Australian future is expected shortly.

Whether Honda retains the name City remains to be seen, although Hyundai currently employs the nomenclature on its two-wheel drive Tucson compact SUV.

Unlike the previous-generation City introduced within mostly Asian markets in 2002, the latest version is more than a Jazz with a boot bolted on.

At 4395mm, the latest City is 495mm longer than the latest Jazz, but concedes 55mm in height at 1525mm. Both share the same 1695mm width and 2500mm wheelbase.

The design has a flowing coupe-like silhouette that recalls the early 1990s Honda EG Civic sedan, while the taut surfacing, angular tail-lights and pronounced C-pillar ‘kink’ give the City a more European appeal than its gawky predecessor.

15 center imageThe two Hondas appear to have no body panels in common.

Inside, the City also deviates from the Jazz in featuring a symmetrically designed dashboard featuring conventionally placed switches and controls, as well as a straight-forward instrumentation pack.

Some of its more distinguishing items inside include a storage rack beneath the rear seats, as part of a large array of stowage-related places.

Power is provided to the front wheels via a 1.5-litre single-overhead cam 16-valve four-cylinder petrol engine. In the Jazz, it delivers 88kW of power at 6600rpm and 145Nm of torque at 4800rpm, and is mated to either a five-speed manual or five-speed automatic gearbox.

As we reported at the Jazz’s Australian launch earlier this month, the City will be Honda’s cheapest four-door sedan.

It has been designed to appeal to light-car buyers who prefer the more traditional three-box sedan shape to a hatch.

Honda Australia managing director and CEO Yasuhide Mizuno has reportedly championed the idea of the City heading to Australia, saying that the four million or so Australian households who speak a language other than English are more inclined to purchase such a vehicle.

Besides South East Asia, this car is expected to be sold in Europe as well as in The Americas.

So to keep up with the latest City’s increased global penetration, Honda of Thailand has added a second factory, almost doubling total Honda's vehicle production output there to 240,000 units per annum.

Thailand currently supplies Honda Autralia with the Jazz, Civic sedan, Accord VTi and V6, and CR-V.

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Sedan in the City

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