2022 Honda City Hybrid Review, Test Drive

Honda brings a technological overload to City e: HEV, the first powerful hybrid vehicle in its class. You can enjoy the super fuel economy in Bangkok.

The term hybrid is a bad word in India. Abused for a long time by the constant use of low spec components and ineffective systems, all of which failed to provide the kind of fuel economy expected of hybrids. The term “hybrid” today holds little or no water in India.

But this is a real McCoy. Welcome to Honda City Hybrid, which has a wealth of state-of-the-art systems. Technology is out of your ears. Composed of two large electric “motors” and a full-on hybrid system that uses a large number of battery packs in the boot, it is 35-40 percent more efficient than a regular petrol car. In fact, the City Hybrid is extremely efficient and could even rival the most efficient compact hatchbacks. There are many more technologies. The City Hybrid also comes with Honda’s Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), also known as Honda Sensing, which will be installed in cars that are also used in India.

Driver Aid works well in the city and allows some driving.

Regrand down

So how does this hybrid version of City differ from the regular version we’re used to going home? For one thing, this car is available with a sportier RS ​​trim. This means you get a sportier bumper, there’s a new lip spoiler at the back, and inside you’re a more sporty leather-covered steering wheel, with a multi-textured seat (“leather”) (Made in suede) And get a neat red-like upgrade Contrast stitching. This is a sports hybrid or iMMD system, but the RS trim isn’t a perfect match for this car, and to be honest, efficiency is more important and performance isn’t. Therefore, Honda in India can make do with another grill and a more prominent e: HEV badge. That’s all for cosmetics.

e: HEV badges can be an important differentiator for boot lids.

As we know, it’s under the skin that the hybrid is very different from the city. The powertrain is completely different. The engine, which consists of 1.5 liter gasoline that outputs only 98hp and performs a more efficient “Atkinson cycle”, is also assisted by an electric motor that outputs a very powerful 109hp. This is clearly not a mild hybrid. The maximum coupling force between the engine and the e-motor has not been disclosed, but Honda has specified a maximum coupling torque of 253Nm. The engine is 127Nm and the electric motor is 253Nm.

Orange is used for high voltage lines.

The fact that there is no gearbox is also very interesting. There are no CVTs, planetary gear sets, or gear set sets. There is only one direct gear for high speed operation. So how does the engine send and transmit power to the wheels? Well, most of the time it’s not. Power is sent to the wheels via an electric motor. In fact, engines often move at one speed and wheels often move at another speed. Like the range extender, the driving force comes through the rear battery. In many cases, the engine runs only to charge the battery. Like all hybrid cars and EVs, the city slows down and saves energy, otherwise wasted energy is rewound to the battery through a generator.

Indian cars get a space saver spare.

Generally, the Honda City Hybrid is also about 110kg heavier than a normal city. To store a large battery in the boots, this car has no spare tires, just a flat tire repair kit. Indian cars come with a space saver spare, further reducing the already reduced trunk capacity of the City Hybrid. A typical city trunk has 506 liters of space, while this hybrid has 410 liters of space.

Lithium-ion batteries also occupy boot space.

The only other major mechanical changes to the car include the addition of rear disc brakes. This is because the City Hybrid has 160% more torque than gasoline. The hybrid also has an electric parking brake. Also, since the boots contain a battery, there is a “vent” between the right rear door and the backrest.

Dual power drive

So what is it like to drive? It’s a little strange at first. The experience is very familiar and quite different, so it’s all at the same time. Of course, this is a city, so it’s familiar. So I feel familiar with getting in, grabbing the steering wheel, calming down and driving this car. But that is also very different. Even if you press the starter button, the engine will not start, and when you take off, it will start quietly with only the battery. A small green logo will light up on the instrument panel to indicate that you are operating in EV mode. And here it’s quiet, smooth, and easy to drive with stop-start traffic.

Econ mode is very useful, especially in cities.

There is no dedicated EV mode that can be manually selected, but with a small throttle opening and the Econ button you can keep the City Hybrid running as an EV … of course, it’s a bit slower to respond. In fact, the City Hybrid runs up to 60kph in EV mode with a gentle throttle. Press hard or run out of small battery to run the 1.5 engine. This is done to give the electric motor a mechanical “push” or to refill the battery.

But the way the city hybrid reacts clearly feels like a CVT. Obviously Honda doesn’t have an E-CVT, but perhaps the reason Honda says it has an E-CVT. As you move forward, a significant amount of slurs, engine speeds, and road speeds rarely go perfectly in sync. Also strange is that you have no idea at what speed the engine is spinning. The latter is especially strange for Honda.

Despite having a lot of torque at hand, the City Hybrid doesn’t feel fast at first either. It doesn’t explode offline like a normal city or EV, and the performance gains are very linear. Acceleration slows down a bit and then hardens, then accelerates in the wrong step … again, like a CVT, it feels like it’s going through gear.

Once you get over the first slack, the torque transfer is much stronger and the pull when you put your foot down is much stronger. You can feel the acceleration when you step on the throttle, and when you want a lot of power, it feels like the car has a lot of growls. However, don’t assume that there is a direct correlation between throttle position, rpm, and performance. It doesn’t exist.

Above 120kph, Honda actually allows the engine to power the front wheels. This is done by closing the clutch and using a single gear ratio. And when the car reaches these speeds, an electric boost is only occasionally supplied, and when the throttle is released, the car again switches between the combustion engine and pure EV mode. Very impressive is that most of this switch between the various power supplies is almost seamless and you only notice the change due to the movement of the pictogram in the instrument panel.

Honda claims less than 10 seconds from 0-100kph for the City Hybrid, but the car doesn’t feel that fast off the line. It accelerates more and more violently at high speeds, but with a typical Honda-like growl from under the hood, it’s fascinating to see how fast it is.

You can adjust the playback level of “B” via the paddle.

Like many hybrids, Honda also comes with a “B” mode on the gear lever. When this is selected, the playback level can be adjusted via the paddle behind the steering wheel, allowing most driving in “one pedal mode”.

It doesn’t stop wisely and completely, but what you can do is combine this mode with a driver assistance system. Autonomous braking (ACC) is especially suitable for traffic movement. The lane keeping support system can easily manage some calm corners (if the highway is properly marked). It’s great that maintaining speed is especially easy and convenient. Limited to 120kph on fast and open highways, cars do most of the hard work. But I have to pinch myself, but I really can’t believe this is Honda City.

Performance is more linear than explosive.

The city hybrid, which has a low ground clearance in Thailand, also feels more agile. The difference isn’t that big, but you can’t help but notice that as you turn the corners, it feels cleaner and more compact. The city hybrid is raised for India, and if everything is equal, it also rides better than this car. Thai hybrids are not uncomfortable with bumps. On the contrary, with the extra weight of the rear battery, the ride quality is flatter and the bump absorption of the Yokohama Earth Blue tires is very good.

Honda did a good job even with the brakes. Hybrids are not always easy. The car uses only regeneration to slow down, but it has a considerable feel and connection when braking gently. Then, when you brake harder and start using the disc, the transition will be seamless and very smooth. natural.

Kitona Deti High?

Since the city hybrid is all about fuel economy, I couldn’t resist recording the index numbers.

The leap in the real world fuel economy is huge. We tested from tank top to tank top.

Yes, the situation is clearly different in Thailand. The traffic patterns are not similar, the E20 petrol is not the same, and then the conditions are far from ideal as the city hybrid is often pulled hard during our evaluation and testing. Still, recording tank top numbers from the actual tank top proved to be spectacular. The City Hybrid returned 20.3kpl over about 95km, which is quite unrealistic. Expect an ARAI figure of at least 25-26kpl in India. This makes it the most efficient car of its size. And don’t be surprised if it proves to be more efficient than some of the most efficient hatchbacks in the real world. This is especially true for slow start-stop traffic, which basically works like an EV.

What to expect

The City Hybrid is the first clearly designated “mass market” hybrid to be sold in India, becoming like a technical trendsetter and a car that many will admire. It is an eco-friendly car that can greatly improve fuel economy and is also an excellent fuel saving device. Also, as gasoline prices are approaching 120 rupees per liter in some cities, Honda couldn’t ask for more time to introduce City High Bird here. The car is comfortable, the performance is good, the ride quality is supple, and you drive and handle it properly and confidently. But the biggest plus is a significant improvement in fuel efficiency. This is something that owners who habitually run long distances will definitely appreciate. Then the fact that it is part of the EV should give it a lot of eco-friendly qualifications and then there are additional driver safety systems and aids.

The cabin is very familiar, but it has an electric handbrake.

It still lacks good central touchscreen and lacks features such as connected technology, wireless charging, wireless Apple CarPlay (and Android Auto), cooling seats, but will be expensive at the expected price of about Rs19lakh. Still, if a comfortable, clean, efficient and technologically advanced sedan is what you’re looking for and you have a great deal of budget flexibility, the Honda City Hybrid offers a unique strength. .. The only thing is that you need to keep answering the question “Kitna detihai?”.

The city is always comfortable to drive. There are no changes here.

Why City Hybrids are so efficient

The City E: HEV is a combination of two powerful electric motors and a 1.5-liter Atkinson cycle 4-cylinder engine. One motor acts as a large pancake generator and the other motor primarily acts as a propulsion motor. The two are sandwiched together and attached to the end of the engine where the gearbox is normally placed. As the engine spins, it powers the generator, which powers the rear battery. To increase the level of efficiency, Honda completely abandoned the transmission and, for the most part, disconnected the engine from the wheels. Lockup clutches are used when the engine needs to provide faster and direct drive.

The hybrid battery is located between the rear wheels.

What the car is programmed to do is keep the engine running at maximum efficiency, about 2,000 rpm. This is important because the engine can use twice as much fuel by the time it reaches 4,000 rpm. Interestingly, 95% of the energy saved as electricity in the hybrid is relocated to the wheels. In contrast, even more efficient gasoline engines manage only 40 or 45 percent efficiency.

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