A second take on the City
The numbers first came out almost four years ago, in September 2014, in a fuel economy run organized by Honda Cars Philippines (HCPI) for the City 1.5 VX and 1.5E variants.
I was part of the group that drove from Bonifacio Global City to a beach resort in Subic Bay in Zambales province.
For that run, the best mileage turned out to be 25.3 km per liter on the highway.
I and my co-driver squeezed out 24.1.
The City came into fuel frugality prominence once more in November 2017 when, at the Department of Energy’s Eco-Run, the City yielded 23.91 km/liter, good for fifth spot in the gasoline engine category.
Then last week, I was once more loaned the keys to a City, the 1.5 VX Navi CVT (AT).
Immediately, I thought, “fuel run.” And fuel run I did, this time south of the Metro, for 70 km at the Southern Tagalog Arterial Roadway and the South Luzon Expressway.
What I got: 24 km per liter, as indicated in the dashboard. I did the DOE run slightly better, but couldn’t match our 2014 run.
The result proved that all the previous fuel runs on the City in “controlled environments” were no fluke.
In real-life driving, with no convoys and security escorts to clear the way, a regular motorist driving a Honda City can achieve mileages as advertised.
Still, there are inviolable rules to frugal driving. I maintained the rpm range below 2,000 (1,700 seemed to be the ideal at highway cruising speeds), kept my highway speeds above the 60 kph minimum and below the 100 kph maximum, and set the aircon to the lowest tolerable settings.
Never did I turn the engine off anytime on the highway nor set the gear to neutral. The air-conditioning was always on, and I kept safe distances from vehicles in front (read as: I never tailgated to benefit from the draft).
I was able to keep the aircon settings at a minimum, partly because of the tropical climate-friendly interior.
The VX variant has cool fabric seats. I personally prefer fabric over heat-trapping leather because fabric feels good to the touch, and real leather materials are sourced from animals, which is cruel.
Credit, of course, also largely goes to the City’s Euro-4 compliant 1.5-liter i-VTEC engine.
According to engineers, its variable valve timing and lift electronic control technology optimizes engine response based on the driver’s instantaneous demands, thus providing spirited dynamics while maintaining fuel economy.
The Eco ambient light meter, when green, helped me know that the car was running at its most efficient with just a quick glance at the dashboard.
Its CVT transmission has a “torque converter” for seamless shifting, rapid response, and optimum fuel economy.
The Econ mode adjusted vital systems affecting fuel economy, such as throttle, shift-mapping, and air-conditioning.
With the cost of fossil fuels rising across the region, it’s no wonder the fuel-efficient City is selling exceptionally well.
Among the sales performances of Honda models in 2017 in Asia and Oceania, the City came out on top, accounting for 21 percent of total sales, or 169,124 units sold.
The City starts at P820,000.
According to hondaphil.com/model/city, this sedan is also frugal on maintenance, requiring only two casa visits per year.
24 km/liter is replicable in real-life driving.
City’s sleek boundaries
The City’s ‘seat of government’
Angular lines and sharp creases
Push the start or stop button
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