Honda City 2020 Won’t Get Diesel Automatic: Here’s Why
The 100PS 1.5-litre diesel is now BS6 compliant and will only get a 6-speed manual
2020 Honda City to get BS6 1.5-litre petrol and diesel engines.
City still won’t get a diesel-automatic option because it would be too pricey.
Honda also states lack of demand as one of the reasons for not adding an automatic option to diesel variants.
New City the only other compact sedan to offer a diesel engine apart from Hyundai Verna.
The fifth generation Honda City is due to launch in India soon. Many of its details have already been unveiled and we know that it will be powered by 1.5-litre petrol and diesel units as before. The outgoing model didn’t get a diesel-automatic option and Honda has confirmed that the new one won’t be getting it either.
Also read: 2020 Honda City: First Drive Review
The Japanese carmaker has some valid reasons to not add a diesel-automatic option to the City. First of all, it would be quite pricey. Prior to the discontinuation of the BS4 diesel option, the top-spec diesel variant of the fourth-gen City and petrol-automatic variants were similarly priced at Rs 14.22 lakh and Rs 14.31 lakh respectively (ex-showroom Delhi). The new Honda City with updated engines will likely be even more expensive and adding a diesel-automatic variant could bump up the price tag to as high as Rs 16 lakh.
Another reason for Honda to not introduce a pricey diesel-automatic variant is the lack of demand for it. In the BS6 era, the City is the only other car that will offer a diesel engine apart from the Hyundai Verna while all its rivals are now limited to petrol engines. Also, the Hyundai Verna’s top-spec diesel automatic variant is priced at Rs 15.10 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) and this powertrain benefits from economies of scale since it is shared with three other models in the group as of now (Creta, Elantra and Kia Seltos).
The 2020 Honda City will get the most powerful petrol engine in the segment; its 1.5-litre unit is tuned to produce 121PS and 145Nm while mated to a 6-speed manual (new) or an optional CVT automatic. The 1.5-litre diesel engine, now updated to meet BS6 norms, will still make 100PS and 200Nm while mated to a 6-speed manual. The same diesel engine does get the option of a CVT automatic in the Amaze sub-4m sedan but in a detuned state with 20PS less power and 40Nm less torque. That’s a performance dip that simply won’t do in the City.
Honda is expected to price the new fifth-gen City between Rs 11 lakh and Rs 15 lakh, charging a premium for its new design with increased proportions and added features. It will continue to rival the likes of the Hyundai Verna, Toyota Yaris, Maruti Suzuki Ciaz, Skoda Rapid and Volkswagen Vento. The existing fourth-gen petrol-only City will remain on sale alongside the new one.
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