Once upon a time, mid-size SUVs were admired and adulated for looks, performance and the practicality of seating five and packing luggage - whether on daily commutes or on highway escapades. Then came in SUVs of all shapes, sizes and at various price points to snatch the limelight and place the proverbial halo on themselves, almost confining the once gleaming sedans to a rather dark space. But in this space too, the Honda City managed to keep the glimmer of hope alive with cumulative sales of 21,826 units between January and December of last year.
Honda had launched City 2020 in July despite Covid-19-related hurdles and also chose to continue selling the preceding model along with the fifth-generation City. While the previous City was directed at those who may be on a budget, the new City benefited from striking looks, a more capable drive and an improved cabin. As such, Honda informs that the cumulative sales of City between July and December of last year stood at 17,347 units of the total 45,277 units in the segment in the same time frame. The company further added that the City's market share in December stood at 41% in its segment.
(Also read | Honda City 2020 to be exported from India to left-hand drive markets)
Offered with a new 1.5L i-VTEC DOHC engine with VTC in petrol and a more refined 1.5L i-DTEC diesel engine, the new City is also the longest and widest among its direct rivals. Add comfort and convenience features to the drive capabilities and the City has once again emerged as a solid option. "he City brand has been synonymous with Honda in India. Continuously re-inventing itself, each generation of the Honda City has offered new technologies and value propositions to enthrall its customers, creating a benchmark for quality and trust in the process," said Rajesh Goel, Senior VP and Director at Honda Cars India in a press statement issued by the company. "The launch of 5th Generation City in July last year gave a much-needed impetus to the mid-size sedan segment despite the challenging times."
The challenging times may be easing off but the challenges for mid-size sedans are omnipresent. And while City and its direct rivals - Maruti Suzuki Ciaz and Hyundai Verna - has its strong highlights, the emphasis on sub-compact and compact SUVs is likely to stay as well. As such, among the tepid fighters in the mid-size sedan segment, City could indeed be the torchbearer.