Solely the Mercedes-Benz E-class nameplate has been round in India for longer.
Revealed On Oct 08, 2022 03:40:00 PM
The Honda Metropolis has simply accomplished 25 years in India, and for almost all of that point, has sat on the high of the midsize sedan heap. Although generally overtaken by rivals on gross sales, it might repeatedly maintain the highest spot. Month-to-month gross sales figures aren’t what they was once in its heyday, however the Metropolis nonetheless holds its personal among the many many SUVs in the identical value vary, promoting roughly 3,500 models monthly.
In its quarter century in our market, it’s had 5 generations; a diesel powertrain was launched within the fourth technology and a robust hybrid within the fifth, however on the core of each Metropolis has been a high-revving four-cylinder petrol engine.
At 25 years previous, Honda Metropolis is the second-longest working nameplate of any automotive in India, simply after the Mercedes-Benz E-class, launched in 1995. Right here’s a have a look at the 5 generations and what they stood for.
Honda Metropolis at 25: Era 1 (1998-2003)
The automotive that launched the model and wowed Indian consumers with its mixture of high quality, reliability, practicality and efficiency from its 1.Three and 1.5 petrol engines. The unique mannequin set the ball rolling, nevertheless it was actually the in depth facelift that turned issues round – it regarded so totally different, it was colloquially referred to as the Sort 2. With it got here our introduction to Honda’s free-revving VTEC expertise in 2000 in a 106hp, top-rung efficiency mannequin that achieved cult standing and stays a favorite of tuners even immediately.
Honda Metropolis at 25: Era 2 (2003-2008)
An enormous departure from the primary automotive, the Gen 2 threw out the sporty proportions, sharp dealing with and high-revving VTEC engine and went for an altogether extra wise strategy. Its new engine was a 77hp 1.5 i-DSI petrol which lacked that well-known efficiency, however what it introduced as a substitute was unbelievable gas financial system and India’s first CVT computerized. The Gen 2 had large house and practicality because of its bulbous form, nevertheless it was additionally the primary present of Honda’s intelligent inside packaging abilities. A 100hp VTEC choice got here again with the facelift, however actually, this was not probably the most cherished Metropolis.
Honda Metropolis at 25: Era 3 (2008-2014)
Honda efficiently mixed the deserves of the Gen 1 and Gen 2 Metropolis fashions for what many will argue is the most effective Metropolis of the lot. A brand new-gen i-VTEC petrol engine was commonplace with energy now as much as 118hp, delivering high-rev thrills and in addition unbelievable gas financial system. Because of intelligent design and once more, packaging, it managed to be spacious whereas additionally having a horny ‘Arrow Shot’ exterior. It additionally got here with two airbags and ABS as commonplace, however whereas it was forward of its time in some ways, this petrol-only sedan got here at a time when diesel was gaining recognition.
Honda Metropolis at 25: Era 4 (2014-present)
The subsequent Metropolis did get a diesel engine, together with an enormous again seat, a softer trip and extra tech within the cabin. All this was precisely what the market wished and, unsurprisingly, this rapidly grew to become the bestselling Metropolis by far; actually, it’s nonetheless on sale immediately, alongside its successor. Whereas the three went again to a torque-converter auto, the Four introduced again the CVT for higher gas financial system, however the diesel remained guide solely. An unlucky aspect impact of those adjustments is that it felt a bit homogenised, missing that particular Honda feel and look that gave its predecessors an edge over the competitors.
Honda Metropolis at 25: Era 5 (2020-present)
The most recent Metropolis didn’t reinvent the wheel nevertheless it certain put a contemporary spin with it. A extra characterful design was again, led by a set of sensible LED headlamps, house and luxury once more have been huge, and the within felt trendy and reeked of high quality. Tech obtained a lift too, with issues like a lane-watch digicam. However the large information was the introduction of a intelligent strong-hybrid variant that, although costly, delivers unbelievable gas financial system and introduced the tech mainstream earlier than Maruti and Toyota may.
What’s subsequent for Honda in India?
Honda’s mannequin vary has been dwindling, with the axing of the Civic and CR-V in early 2021 and the upcoming discontinuation of the Jazz, WR-V and Gen Four Metropolis by early 2023. That leaves simply the 2 sedans – the Amaze and Gen 5 Metropolis, which, to be honest, have turn into the model’s bestsellers by far.
Honda has by no means fairly managed to crack the all-too-important SUV market in India, with merchandise that have been both too low-volume, or which by no means fairly caught on. Which is why the sedans all the time dominated the line-up and why they’re Honda’s greatest power. However issues may change very quickly as a result of Honda is all set to convey a new SUV to the market subsequent yr, and this time, just like the Gen Four Metropolis, it’s going to be precisely what the market ordered.
In an SUV-centric market like ours, will this new mannequin be the one to dethrone the beloved Metropolis as Honda’s poster little one for India? Time will inform, however in some way, we don’t assume so.
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