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The City has now completed 20 years in India. The car has led the charge car in our market, so much so that sales in India account for 25 percent of the City’s global sales. The City on sale here is in its fourth generation.
First Generation (1998): The first-gen Honda City went on sale in India with a choice of 1.3- and 1.5-litre petrol engines and soon enjoyed cult status post the introduction of VTEC technology in 2000. The car is still a tuner’s favourite.
Second Generation (2003): This version was popularly called the ‘Dolphin’ City. It was a solid departure in terms of driving dynamics and styling from its predecessor. The styling, however, didn’t impress and the 77hp engine didn’t thrill petrolheads. This car was about practicality though, and it even saw the debut of the CVT gearbox in India.
Third Generation (2008): The third-gen City was a game-changer. It’s sleek looks, rev-happy VTEC engine and spacious cabin saw enthusiasts and regular car buyers flock to showrooms. The only downside, it had no diesel engine, and it was a time when diesel cars where in demand. This car was also the first to come with ABS and dual airbags as standard and was the first in its class to feature a sunroof.
Fourth Generation (2014): The fourth generation made its global debut in India. It is larger, more spacious and far better-equipped and, crucially, featured a diesel engine. On sale is also an ultra-efficient CVT gearbox version for the petrol car. This version is the best-selling City to date, Honda has already dispatched 2,76,000 units so far.
Honda has sold over 7 lakh units of the City in India alone. The next-gen City will make its debut here in 2020.