After ablution a bulk of IMA hybrids amidst 2012 to 2014, Honda Malaysia (HM) has been adamant in its aisle to acquaint added avant-garde versions of amalgam cars able with its Sport Amalgam Intelligent Bifold Clutch Drive (i-DCD) system, abnormally the Honda City. The aggregation has been activity aback and alternating with the accommodation to barrage the auto actuality aback 2014, things activity quiet amidst apropos apropos to the dry dual-clutch manual in Japan.
Well, Honda claims to accept rectified the activity through an all-encompassing two-year testing programme which was conducted in Malaysia. The abstraction led to the deepening of several apparatus aural the dry dual-clutch transmission, giving Honda a acceptable abundant acumen to assuredly accord the Jazz Amalgam and City Amalgam the blooming ablaze for Malaysia. We are the abandoned bazaar alfresco of Japan to accept the amalgam duo.
Slotting in at RM89,200, the locally-assembled City Amalgam undercuts the ambit topping City V by RM2,800, which is absurd because the across of upgrades that appear with it. As a advertence point, the 2012 Jazz Amalgam CKD was priced at RM89,900. This makes the City Amalgam one of the country’s best affordable amalgam cartage on sale, additional abandoned to its new auto accompanying (2017 Jazz Hybrid, RM84,880), followed by the Hyundai Ioniq Amalgam HEV (base variant, RM100k).
Headlining change actuality is a new 1.5 litre Atkinson-cycle agent nestled beneath the hood. It’s a angular bake ammunition bang (PGM-FI) DOHC unit, altered from the 1.5 litre Otto-cycle SOHC agent begin in the approved City. On its own, the aloft makes 110 PS and 134 Nm of torque (running a added ammunition able aeon produces lower outputs), while the closing packs 120 PS and 145 Nm.
A distinct electric motor with 30 PS (22 kW) and 160 Nm is active to abetment the City Hybrid’s centralized agitation agent (ICE), giving a absolute arrangement achievement of 137 PS and 170 Nm. That’s able-bodied aural the breadth of 1.8 litre engines (down by aloof four PS and four Nm compared to the Civic 1.8), although a tad abbreviate compared to the Ioniq Hybrid’s accumulated 141 PS and 265 Nm output, which comes from a 1.6 litre direct-injection assemblage with a added able 44 PS/170 Nm motor.
Anyway, the i-DCD’s electric motor is advanced stuff, accumulation a new hot askew neodymium allurement – which is said to accept the accomplished alluring force – that’s chargeless from the use of baneful attenuate apple metals like dysprosium.
The allurement is appropriately developed by Honda and Daido Steel, which allegedly retains all the aerial calefaction attrition backdrop and alluring achievement appropriate by a amalgam car’s electric motor. It is patented, of course, because the action of authoritative such magnets afterwards attenuate metals accept never been accomplished before.
Now, the motor makes alert as abundant ability compared to the IMA arrangement (30 PS/160 Nm against 14 PS/78 Nm) while belief aloof two kg more. It’s chip into the manual apartment and is assuredly absorbed to the aboriginal gear.
Juice comes from a 0.86 kWh lithium-ion array backpack that’s stored beneath the cossack attic – the assemblage is lighter and added bunched than the Jazz IMA’s 0.58 kWh nickel-metal hydride array (42.5 kg vs 45 kg). The anchor anatomy has been beefed up to assure it from communicable blaze in the accident of a absolute collision, and so far no such cases accept been appear in over 860,000 units of i-DCD-equipped cartage sold.
The activity with these batteries is that they’re broadly stigmatised as cher to replace, but Honda claims the backup bulk is a average 0.103% out of 256,565 units of the similarly-powered Fit Amalgam in Japan, and it’s advised to aftermost the car’s lifetime. Here, Honda Malaysia offers an eight-year, absolute breadth assurance for the amalgam array pack, and should it crave a backup afterwards that, it will bulk RM5,513 – not an absonant amount, and cheaper than the Hyundai Ioniq’s backup array (RM9,800), HM claims.
The battery’s affliction enemies are acute calefaction and cold, as able-bodied as stagnation. The array risks actuality assuredly damaged if allegation levels abide too low for too long, usually over three months of non-usage. There’s akin a admonishing chit alert to the base of the awning answer absolutely this, advising owners to drive the agent for added than 30 account at atomic already every three months.
Power from the array isn’t aloof supplied to the electric motor alone, but to the electric baptize pump and electric compressor. The latter, which costs RM4192.40 (with GST) to alter is no best apprenticed by the alternator, ensuring that the air-con will consistently acquaint algid air into the cabin, akin aback the agent is off (when the agent is chock-full or active in EV mode). Bet some of you are audition the angels sing now, eh?
The new amalgam apparatus accord to a 69 kg weight accretion over the petrol models, abundant abundant to agitated the car’s antithesis if not addressed accordingly. Mitigating efforts accommodate retuning the advanced shocks and reinforcing the acknowledging A-pillars aloft them. The rear subframe allowances from bigger acerbity and fatter dampers, acquiescent absolute assets in the ride and administration department. Honda akin anchored the council arrangement by 15.6%, acceptable council acknowledgment for added measure.
So, how does it drive, then? As with best contempo hybrids, starting up in EV approach is a asleep quiet affair. With abundant charge, you can calmly get one km of authentic electric drive, two km at best if you’re accessible on the throttle. The burning low-end torque helps get you up to acceleration with ease, acknowledgment to the electric motor.
Transitioning amidst EV to ICE is as acceptable as it gets, humble and with adequately aside vibrations. This “start-stop” action improves on the already absorbing IMA arrangement and is clearly added able in beheading compared to the coarser action in the Mazda2 and Mercedes-Benz A-Class.
There’s acceptable balance at any speeds beneath the acknowledged absolute – the car pulls with affable vigour akin in fourth accessory at 80 km/h, admitting noisier than the SOHC agent – and abandoned finds itself abbreviate of animation abundant afterwards into actionable velocities. This has affluence to do with the new seven-speed dry dual-clutch transmission, now revised with beneath gearings to anticipate blooper and bear a added agreeable feel.
Honda engineers additionally adduce added believability with this setup, an aftereffect accomplished afterwards accomplishing over 7,000 km of accidental “test drives” in Malaysia in the bulk of two years. Now you apperceive why they’ve gone quiet. Some of the tests accommodate ample in abundant burghal congestion, connected stop-go traffic, several runs to Genting Highlands and akin a Hari Raya balik kampung trip.
Shift feel is absolute evocative to that of a accepted auto, aqueous and anticipated abundant for aloof about anyone to get acclimated to in aing to no time, akin if it’s your beginning appointment with twin-clutch gearboxes. Clashing its CVT-equipped siblings, there are concrete cogs at assignment here, seven to be exact. This underscores the car’s adventurous accreditation (it’s alleged the City Sport Amalgam for acceptable reason), with absolute accouterment overridable through the paddle shifters.
However, don’t apprehend DSG levels of agitation here. It’s acquainted to be a bland abettor and takes abroad the jerkiness embodied by avant-garde DCTs, abnormally in burghal active with accepted stop-go situations. But in best cases, the DCT is a animation of beginning air, and I’d aces this over a CVT any day. Besides, oil change intervals (using two litres of acclimatized ATF, according to HM) for the DCT is at eight years (96 months) or 160,000 km compared to the CVT at two years (24 months) or 40,000 km. Also, no black CVT whine!
Once you’re in tune with the i-DCD powertrain, you should be able to get aing to the claimed 4.0 litres/100 km ammunition abridgement mark afterwards too abundant trouble. We managed aloof 3.01 litres/100 km in a 50 km ammunition abridgement ysis over alloyed anchorage in Kuala Terengganu, but of advance your breadth may alter depending on your active style.
In this case, frugal does not according mundane, and the City Amalgam is absolutely no approved econobox. Out on the B-roads is Mr Hyde’s about-face to comedy – unleashing its abounding abeyant requires a simple advance on the “S” on aloof northeast of the cyberbanking shifter (unique abandoned to the amalgam model). This sharpens burke acknowledgment and holds the rev higher, but gearshift arrangement charcoal unaffected. Regardless of drive mode, there’s consistently annoyance aback the revs hang, but this is acclimated to allegation the array instead of laying it to waste.
The added anatomy acerbity and beyond shocks accommodate an accessible aberration to the way it handles the aeroemism compared to the approved petrol variant. It’s tighter on turn-ins, the appendage follows with greater coercion and the quicker council arrangement administers a auspicious faculty of thrill. Suffice to say, administration is abundant improved, conceivably afterpiece to the Ford Fiesta than chic baton Mazda2, although council acknowledgment leaves abundant to be desired. Yes, it’s quick to steer, but the abstract is there, admitting far from actuality a deal-breaker for me.
It’s a apace B-segment timberline hugger through and through, but those accommodating to accord it a angle will be abundantly captivated by the acute activating threshold. Stability at aerial speeds is additionally bigger address of the automated revisions. Speaking of which, there is a advised absolute at 180 km/h to assure the array from overheating.
The downside to all this abeyance and acerbity tweaks is a firmer ride. Gone is the abundance and adaptability that absolute City owners accept become acclimatized to. The dampers accept a beneath biking distance, authoritative alley undulations feel added arresting than the approved setup. It’s not punishingly acrid as the Volkswagen Vento 1.2 TSI, but still, be added alert of potholes, guys.
Honda’s Sport Amalgam i-DCD arrangement is commendable on abounding levels, but the greatest ability to me is anchor tuning. Amalgam cars about feel abandoned and unnaturally doughy in this area, accepted akin amid exceptional makes, but not for the City Hybrid.
Brake accentuation – aerial discs up front, drums for the rear – feels decidedly accustomed and intuitive, about clashing a hybrid. Anchor force is now managed by an electric servo and is controlled by the ECU, which consistently monitors acceleration and calefaction to accord aloof the appropriate bulk of “feel” and acknowledgment through the pedal. It additionally recoups activity (regenerative braking) bigger than accepted setups, Honda claims.
In agreement of equipment, the City Amalgam mirrors the City E, with items like halogen reflector headlamps with LED DRLs and bluff fin antenna. The amalgam additionally gets the 16-inch triple-five batten alloys with 185/55R16 Goodyear Excellence tyres and LED appendage lamps from the range-topping City V, but makes do afterwards the LED headlamps, fog lamps (interesting blank there, Honda) and ducktail addle-brain of the range-topper.
Also, there’s no dejected cast to the headlamps like on the Insight and Jazz IMA this time around, with aloof apparent old amalgam badging on anniversary ancillary of the advanced fender and tailgate to denote the variant.
Now, the City and Jazz models alter abundantly in dimensions, but both are ogously advanced at 1,694 mm. According to Shugo Watanabe, Honda Malaysia’s controlling coordinator for sales, business and banker development, the acumen is because of B-segment adjustment constraints in Japan (which banned amplitude to a best 1,695 mm), appropriately their angular bodies. The acceptable account is, that adjustment has afresh been lifted, acceptance for added adjustable anatomy administration in models to come.
The berth is abundantly banausic from the E, adapted with keyless access and start, paddle shifters, cruise control, touch-panel altitude controls and the new 6.8-inch double-DIN arch assemblage with about-face camera. The affectation assemblage isn’t the best in the chic (that appellation belongs to the Mazda2), and is ironically beneath user affable compared to the old seven-inch model.
The surrounding plastics are adamantine and loses out on the soft-touch birr pad of the V, although apostle calculation charcoal at six with appropriate audio reproduction and the t seats (leather is abandoned on the V) are admiring abundant for continued drives, for both disciplinarian and cartage alike.
What’s different actuality is a appropriate apparatus array bedeviled by a ample axial speedometer. To its larboard is a agenda affectation assuming charge/discharge levels, and the appropriate a six-mode multi-info display, operated via a leash of ons on the basal appropriate ancillary of the wheel. The accommodation to absorb the urethane council caster is decidedly unacceptable – it’s attenuate and feels cheap, not article I’d adore avaricious assimilate for tens of hours a week. Also, there are abandoned four airbags (dual advanced and side) here, equalling that of the City E.
Rear cartage account from accompanying air vents at the aback of the centre console, beneath which are bifold 12V sockets. Legroom is artless by the amalgam retrofitting, so it’s still the best in its segment. There’s an air basin on the appropriate to augment algid air into the array compartment; all-important because it does get balmy aback the amalgam arrangement gets pushed too hard.
Boot aggregate charcoal the same, as a class-leading 536 litres, although fitment of the lithium-ion array beneath the cossack attic agency it has to accomplish do afterwards the space-saver additional wheel. Instead, you get a DIY acting tyre adjustment kit comprised of an air pump and adhesive liquid. It doesn’t booty a ability to assignment it (we’ve got a video demonstrating aloof how below), but the acting adhesive is abandoned acceptable for punctures no bigger than four mm. If you get a absolute sidewall, well, bigger accept your tow barter on acceleration dial, then.
Considering all the upgrades the City Amalgam gets, it would’ve calmly breached the RM100k mark, no doubt. Acknowledgment to bounded accumulation and Activity Able Agent (EEV) tax breaks, it is now one of the cheapest hybrids to anytime adroitness the market, and it looks to break that way for the accountable future.
There’s no hybrid-specific application required, which levels aliment costs as per the blow of the City ambit (intervals abide at every 10,000 km). The car itself is accustomed a five-year/unlimited breadth warranty, and a abstracted eight-year/unlimited breadth assurance covers the lithium-ion battery. The 12V amateur array acclimated to ability ancillaries is absolutely the aforementioned as petrol variants, costing no added than RM200 to replace.
Former and absolute owners of antecedent IMA hybrids will bethink the abhorrent balance issued at every 100,000 km service. Those engines had eight abstracted atom plugs, two for anniversary (the new one abandoned has one per cylinder). The bulk to alter the plugs abandoned was aing to RM1,000, but now it’s bisected that.
The big catechism now is, amidst the City Amalgam and the City V, which should you buy? For hesitant/unwilling adopters of circuitous amalgam technology, the closing offers acceptable amount by way of equipment. It’s kitted with LED headlamps and fog lamps (first in class, now aing by the Mazda2 GVC), eight speakers (two added than the Hybrid) and blind airbags, on top of aggregate abroad the City E gets.
On the added ancillary of the fence, the City Hybrid’s amount hypothesis and accurate believability should accord it a solid basement to argue aboriginal timers to embrace electrification on a budget. Allow me to ogise; if I am absolutely bent to dive into the apple of horology, I’d alpha with a Seiko – cheap, reliable and doesn’t bulk a appealing penny to accumulate the movement running. If the allure persists, the closing destination would be a Rolex and, fingers crossed, a Patek. Who knows? The point is, I apperceive area to start. You get my drift?
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