Home / Reviews / First Drive / Honda City e:HEV First Drive Review


The Honda City e:HEV is the electrified version of the Japanese brand’s bestseller. We drive the new iteration that is being made in India and offered in one top-spec ZX trim.

Honda City e:HEV

Story: Jim Gorde
Photography: Sanjay Raikar

Hybrids. The middle ground. Petrol engine still there for support, but the electric motor is the hero. Unlike a PHEV (or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle), there’s no huge, heavy battery—it’s a light, compact unit—and there’s no plug point, so there’s no time—read that as no long hours—spent charging the car. The engine plays generator and the e-motor drives the car. It’s, as a rival brand pushes for it to be called, a self-charging electric vehicle. Accurate.

So, then, the new Honda City e:HEV, or “e series” Hybrid Electric Vehicle, is the first Honda e model in India, with the all-electric Honda e hatchback being the spearhead poster child for the sub-brand of sorts. The new City e:HEV looks like the City i-VTEC and i-DTEC we’re used to seeing. The bestselling sedan from Honda has opened the year with 3,000 cars, give or take, rolling off showroom floors. Those are decent numbers, good enough for a top-five sedan spot, during these tough times of low buying sentiment and high fuel prices. The latter is what the Honda City e:HEV aims to address head-on. Yet, it looks almost exactly like the conventional combustion models. There’s the wide grille with a thick chrome bar flanked by sharp-looking LED headlamps. The side profile is just as sleek and generous, with 16-inch wheels and 185/55 rubber filling up the wheel-arches, and the tight rear section with 3D tail-lamp clusters looks just as sharp. What tells it apart is the blue surround on the Honda logo, front and rear.

Honda City e:HEV

Get inside with the neat smart key and it feels just like a City. There’s a 7.0-inch info-console behind the laden steering wheel with a full-colour TFT display on the left and an analogue speedometer on the right. This is joined on the centre console by a slightly larger 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, voice control, as well as several Honda Connect features. For the rear passengers, there are a pair of air-vents, 12-volt power sockets with step-up capability, and a cup-holder-laden centre arm-rest which uncontrollably plonks itself down a la the Civic. Plus, there’s the ambient lighting, one-touch electric sunroof, and a steering wheel with several controls. The Honda City e:HEV brings with it a long list of standard safety equipment.

Honda City e:HEV interior

The updated Honda Sensing safety suite brings in some seriously advanced driver assistance thanks to the family of sensors. In the list is collision mitigation with warning and autonomous braking when a vehicle, cyclist or pedestrian gets too close for comfort. Up next, adaptive cruise control with three-level pre-sets for distance intelligently follows the car or vehicle ahead, adapting to the speed. It can run at city or highway speeds. The suite also includes road departure mitigation, lane keep assist, and auto high beam. Additional systems include LaneWatch which uses a camera under the left wing-mirror to warn of blind spots and also check the lane before performing a lane-change or evasive manoeuvre. The City also gets stability and traction control assist, “Agile Handling Assist”, brake assist, electric parking brake with auto brake hold, and a tyre pressure monitor, among several other features. But how does the Honda City e:HEV feel on the road?

More on page 2 >


About the author: Jim Gorde


Deputy Editor at Car India and Bike India.
Believes that learning never stops, and that diesel plug-in hybrids are the only feasible immediate future until hydrogen FCEVs take over.

t: @CarIndia/@BikeIndia
IG: @carindia_mag/@bikeindia/@jimbosez


Recent posts in First Drive


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

AlphaOmega Captcha Classica  –  Enter Security Code

five + 7 =

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *