The 7th generation Honda City sedan which made its world debut in Thailand on the 25th of November 2019 is now officially 4 years old. The B-segment offering has already started to receive a facelift in some markets.
A year after its debut, the hatchback version of City was introduced on 24th November 2020, alongside the e:HEV hybrid sedan version that was introduced in the Thai market. Currently, the 7th gen City in both sedan as well as hatchback forms is available in many key markets across the world.
Do note that in some markets they call it 5th gen, disregarding the first two generations that were produced as hatchbacks during the 1980s and early 90s. Either way, the current generation model is just about to enter its 5th year of production.
Pakistan was once among the very first markets to receive a newer generation model of Honda City. The City SX8 (Hyper-16), which was launched in Pakistan in January 1997 made its debut some 8 months ago in April 1996. Then the 4th generation City (iDSI) made its world debut at the Bangkok International Motor Show in November 2002 and was introduced in Pakistan after only 9 months in August 2003. The 5th generation City (iVTEC) was unveiled in Thailand in September 2008 and was launched here just 4 months later in January 2009. But from there on, since Suzuki Liana was out of the race already and the City had literally no competition in the segment, Honda dragged the 5th gen model for a prolonged period of time— over 12 years to be precise— despite the fact that it was already replaced by 6th generation elsewhere in 2014.
The 5th-gen City became a meme template in Pakistan as it was the most under-equipped car sold in the country. Even its priciest Aspire trim was deprived of airbags, climate control, sunroof, multi-function steering, traction/ stability control, and reversing assist and on top of that didn’t even offer bonnet/ trunk insulations. These features were standard offerings in corresponding Honda City variants in other markets.
After a lot of criticism, Honda Atlas finally replaced the 5th gen City in July 2021 but instead of the latest 7th gen model, introduced the 6th-generation City in Pakistan which became yet another addition to the list of globally discontinued models in Pakistan. The 6th gen Honda City made its ‘debut’ in our market almost 20 months after the global unveiling of the 7th-gen City sedan in Thailand. The 6th-generation City made its debut in global markets back in April 2014, received a facelift in 2017, and was replaced by the 7th-generation model in November 2019. So technically, Pakistan embraced the 6th gen City after 7.3 years, and more importantly 1.8 years after it was replaced by the current 7th gen model.
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Honda is currently having a hard time selling its cars in Pakistan. As of the first 4 months of this fiscal year, the company has witnessed a deplorable 85% YoY decline in sales as it managed to sell just 2,239 units of City & Civic combined. Hypothetically speaking, this means only 1,120 units of City were sold so far in FY23/24 averaging just around 279 units a month which is hopeless.
The 7th-generation Honda City is highly successful due to its design, fuel efficiency, and comfort. It offers a good mix of naturally aspirated, turbocharged, and hybrid powertrain options and is doing wonders for Honda in terms of sales in markets where it is being sold. However, with Honda Atlas preferring the 6th gen City for Pakistan, and considering their recent track record & dismal sales performance in our market, it’s highly unlikely for us to welcome the 7th gen model anytime soon. How long we will have to wait for this Honda City, only time will tell. But from the looks of it, we might be able to welcome the 7th-gen City once it’s done from the rest of the world.
A computer animation professional with over 23 years of industry experience having served in leading organizations, TV channels & production facilities in Pakistan. An avid car enthusiast and petrolhead with an affection to deliver quality content to help shape opinions. Formerly written for PakWheels as well as major publications including Dawn. Founder of CarSpiritPK.com