Honda Car India Limited (HCIL) yesterday launched the latest version of their bestselling sedan, the City. Priced from INR 8.50 lakhs (ex-showroom) onwards, the City has been given a facelift and more features than before. In this article, we compare the diesel version of this car with the Skoda Rapid diesel and see how it fares. Read on.
The powertrain in the Honda City line-up has not been changed in any way at all. The car continues to be powered by the 1.5 litre, 4 cylinder, turbocharged, i-DTEC diesel engine that puts out 99 bhp. However, the engine has been tuned to deliver better fuel efficiency figures of 25.6 kpl. Buyers of the diesel City will have to settle for a 6 speed manual transmission only.
The Skoda Rapid, in its diesel avatar, is also powered by a 1.5 litre, 4 cylinder, turbocharged motor that produces 109 bhp and a peak torque figure of 250 Nm. Prospective Rapid buyers get to choose between a 5 speed manual and a 7 speed, double clutch, DSG automatic transmission, which is widely regarded as the best gearbox fitted to a car in India today.
The City measures 4440mm in length, 1695mm in width and 1495mm in height. The car has a wheelbase of 2600mm, which translates to a roomy interior, and a boot that can haul 510 litres of luggage. On the other hand, the Skoda Rapid has a length of 4413mm, a width of 1699mm and a height of 1466mm. The wheelbase of the Rapid is slightly smaller than that of the City at 2552mm and it has a boot capacity of 460 litres. Both cars have almost identical ground clearances as well (165mm for the City and 163mm for the Rapid).
The City has taken a huge leap in terms of features as it now comes with a 7 inch touchscreen infotainment system, a navigation module, 1.5GB internal memory, two USB and microSD ports, an automatic climate control with a rear AC cent, a sunroof, two 12 volt sockets, voice commands, adjustable rear head restraints, automatic LED headlights, rain-sensing wipers, cruise control, 6 airbags, support for MirrorLink and Android Auto, a reversing camera and more.
One of the biggest complaints with the earlier Rapid was the scarcity of features but, with the recently launched new Rapid, Skoda has taken care of that. The car now gets LED daytime running lights, a 6.5 inch touchscreen infotainment system with MirrorLink, automatic climate control with rear AC vents, power adjustable and retractable rear view mirrors with integrated turn indicators, an automatically dimming interior mirror, all 4 power windows with auto up/down feature, the mySkoda app, ABS with EBD, dual front airbags, rain-sensing wipers, hill hold assist and electronic stability control (ESC).
In conclusion, the Skoda Rapid is definitely the car to buy if you are a keen driver. Also, the fact that it comes with an automatic transmission even in its diesel version is a big advantage. However, if your priorities are more interior space and a longer list of features, the City comes out on top; and it also works very well if you choose be chauffeur-driven. Prices for the Honda City diesel range from INR 10.76-13.57 lakhs while the Skoda Rapid diesel is in the INR 9.49-12.67 lakhs price bracket (all prices are ex-showroom, Delhi figures).