Due for launch next month, the 4th generation Honda City promises fuel efficiency of 26 kmpl for the diesel variant as tested by the governments testing agency ARAI. These figures improve upon the record held till recently by the Citys sibling, the Amaze entry sedan (25.8 kmpl). Incidentally, both the City and Amaze use the same 1.5 litre i-Dtec diesel engine with identical power output of 100 PS.
Honda Car India senior VP (sales & marketing) Jnaneswar Sen said fuel efficiency is not just a concern for buyers of small cars today. Mileage has always been important in India not only in the mass segments but also in the premium segment as can be seen by the high number of diesel luxury cars on sale. When we developed the new City we were clear that it had to be the most fuel-efficient in the segment, while retaining power we are happy that it is now the best in the industry.
Apart from the engine, fuel economy for the new City diesel has been increased through adoption of various measures such as better aerodynamics, introduction of low rolling resistance tyres for lower friction and the addition of a sixth gear. The new City, which is based on the Jazz platform and features increased interior space than the outgoing model, will also be offered with a 1.5 litre petrol engine (18 kmpl fuel efficiency).
Till recently, cars that laid claim to the same title included the Chevrolet Beat diesel (25.44 kmpl) and Tata Indica eV2 (25 kmpl). Among petrol models, the Tata Nano also claims a 25 kmpl fuel economy, while Indias top-selling car Maruti Alto 800 delivers fuel-efficiency of 22.74 kmpl.
Traditionally more fuel-efficient than petrol engines, diesel engines are new to Hondas India portfolio. But they have been successful ever since the debut of its first diesel option in the Amaze in April this year. The Amaze sells about 7,000 units monthly and has helped Honda improve its volumes by 70% to 80,163 units in April-November FY14, even though the total passenger vehicle industry declined 5% to 16.41 lakh units.