Car Reviews

Honda Metropolis Hybrid evaluation, check drive | Autocar India

Written by Meera

Honda delivers a tech overload on the Metropolis e:HEV, the primary sturdy hybrid in its class. We get a style of its tremendous gasoline effectivity in Bangkok.

The time period Hybrid is one thing of a foul phrase in India. Lengthy abused by the incessant use of low-spec parts and ineffective methods, all of which did not ship something just like the gasoline financial system anticipated of a hybrid, the time period ‘hybrid’ immediately holds little or no water in India.

This, nevertheless, is the actual deal, the actual McCoy. Say howdy to the Honda Metropolis Hybrid, a automobile that’s so properly stocked with innovative methods, it has expertise falling out of its ears. Consisting of a full-on hybrid system that makes use of two massive electrical ‘motors’ and a voluminous battery pack within the trunk, it’s a automobile that’s between 35 or 40 p.c extra environment friendly than an everyday petrol automobile. The Metropolis Hybrid, the truth is, is so environment friendly, it has the potential to match even essentially the most environment friendly of compact hatchbacks. There’s much more tech; the Metropolis Hybrid additionally comes with Honda’s driver help methods (ADAS) often known as Honda Sensing, and this will likely be on the automobile we get in India too. 

Driver aids work properly on the Metropolis, permit for some quantity of arms off driving.

Rig Rundown

So, how does this Hybrid model of the Metropolis differ from the common one we’re so used to seeing again house? For one, this automobile right here is on the market within the sportier RS trim. This implies you get sportier bumpers, there’s a brand new lip spoiler on the rear, and on the within, you get upgrades like a sportier leather-covered steering wheel, multi textured seats (finished in ‘leather-based’ and ‘suede’) and neat purple distinction stitching. Whereas that is the Sport Hybrid or the iMMD system, the RS trim isn’t precisely a match for this automobile, which actually is extra about effectivity and fewer about efficiency. So Honda in India may make do with only a completely different grille and a extra distinguished e:HEV badge. A lot for cosmetics.   

e:HEV badge prone to be key differentiator on boot lid.

It’s underneath the pores and skin the place the Hybrid differs massively from the Metropolis as we all know it. The powertrain is totally completely different. Consisting of a 1.5-litre petrol that places out simply 98hp and runs a extra environment friendly ‘Atkinson cycle,’ the engine can be aided by an electrical motor that places out a extremely sturdy 109hp. This clearly isn’t any gentle hybrid. The utmost mixed energy of the engine and the e-motor aren’t disclosed, however Honda does specify a most mixed torque at 253Nm; the engine making 127Nm and the electrical motor 253Nm.

Orange is used for prime voltage traces.

Additionally very attention-grabbing is the truth that there isn’t a gearbox. It has no CVT, no planetary gearset and no set of drugs wheel units both; it simply has a single direct gear for prime velocity driving. So how does the engine ship or transmit energy to the wheels? Properly, for essentially the most half it doesn’t. Energy goes to the wheels through the electrical motor. In actual fact, the engine is commonly going at one velocity and the wheels one other. Driving force, as on a spread extender, comes through the battery within the rear. So typically, the engine is simply run to cost the battery. Like all hybrids and EVs, the Metropolis additionally saves vitality whereas decelerating, winding again in any other case wasted vitality to the battery through an electrical generator.

Automobile in India will get house saver spare.

All informed, the Honda Metropolis Hybrid can be round 110kg heavier than the common Metropolis. To accommodate the largish battery within the boot, there’s no spare tyre on this automobile right here, only a puncture restore equipment. The automobile in India will include an area saver spare, which can additional scale back the already diminished boot capability of the Metropolis Hybrid. Whereas the common Metropolis has 506 litres of house within the trunk, this Hybrid has 410 litres.

Li-on battery takes up bootspace too.

The one different large mechanical change on the automobile contains the addition of a rear disc brake; it’s because the Metropolis Hybrid has 160 p.c extra torque when in comparison with the petrol. And the hybrid additionally will get an electrical parking brake. Additionally, since there’s a battery within the boot, there’s additionally a ‘vent’ positioned between the appropriate rear door and the backrest.

Twin Energy Drive

So, what’s it prefer to drive? A bit unusual initially, because the expertise is each very acquainted and fairly completely different, all on the similar time. It’s acquainted, after all, as a result of this can be a Metropolis. So getting in, settling down behind the wheel and steering this automobile round feels acquainted. However it’s additionally very completely different. The engine doesn’t begin once you hit the starter button, after which as we take off, the automobile strikes off silently on battery energy alone. To indicate you might be driving in EV mode, a small inexperienced emblem illuminates on the instrument panel. And right here it’s silent, easy, and simple to drive in stop-start site visitors.

Econ mode is sort of usable, particularly within the metropolis.

Whereas there’s no devoted EV mode you may choose manually, you may maintain the Metropolis Hybrid working as an EV for those who use small throttle openings and take assistance from the Econ button… after all, it dulls responses down a bit. The Metropolis Hybrid, the truth is, will run in EV mode all the way in which to 60kph in case you are light on the throttle. Press down more durable or deplete the small capability battery and the 1.5 engine will kick in. It does this to present the electrical motor a mechanical ‘push’, or to high up the batteries.

The style during which the Metropolis Hybrid responds, nevertheless, feels distinctly CVT like; most likely why Honda says it has an E-CVT, despite the fact that it clearly doesn’t have one. As you pull ahead, there’s a good quantity of slur, engine velocity and street velocity seldom progress in full sync, and what additionally feels odd is that you’ve got completely no concept what velocity the engine is spinning at; the latter notably odd for a Honda.

Regardless of having a great deal of torque readily available, the Metropolis Hybrid additionally doesn’t really feel fast initially. It doesn’t fairly explode off the road like an everyday Metropolis, and even an EV, and the ramp up in efficiency is sort of linear. Acceleration corporations up after a little bit of a delay after which it accelerates in false steps… which once more, like a CVT, makes you’re feeling like it’s working via the gears.

Get previous the preliminary slack and the torque supply turns into a lot stronger, the tug once you put your foot down now feeling way more sturdy. You may really feel the acceleration once you hit the throttle, after which, once you need a large dollop of energy, the automobile feels prefer it has masses and a great deal of grunt. Don’t count on a direct correlation between the throttle place, rpm and efficiency although, it simply isn’t there.

Submit 120kph, Honda really permits the engine to energy the entrance wheels. That is finished by closing a clutch and utilizing a single gear ratio. And as soon as the automobile reaches these speeds, an electrical enhance is simply delivered often, the automobile switching between the combustion engine and pure EV mode once more once you raise off the throttle. What’s tremendous spectacular is that the majority of this switching between numerous sources of energy occurs virtually seamlessly, and you might be solely conscious of the modifications because of the transferring pictogram within the instrument panel.

Whereas Honda claims a sub-10 second time from 0-100kph for the Metropolis Hybrid, the automobile doesn’t really feel fairly as fast off the road. It does speed up more and more more durable at greater speeds, nevertheless, with a typical Honda-like snarl from underneath the hood, so it will likely be fascinating to see simply how fast it’s.

You may alter regen ranges in ‘B’ through paddles.

As with many hybrids, the Honda additionally comes with a ‘B’ mode on the gear lever. Choose this and you may alter regeneration ranges through the paddles behind the steering wheel, after which driving for essentially the most half in ‘one-pedal-mode’ is feasible too.

It doesn’t fairly come to a full cease neatly, however what you are able to do is mix this mode with the driving force help methods. The automated braking (ACC) works notably properly in transferring site visitors, lane-keeping help can simply handle a couple of light corners (if the freeway is properly marked), and what’s good is that I discover it notably straightforward and handy to stay to a velocity restrict like 120kph on a quick and open freeway, with the automobile doing many of the arduous work. Need to pinch myself although, I can’t actually consider this can be a Honda Metropolis.

Efficiency is extra linear than explosive.

The Metropolis Hybrid, with its decrease floor clearance in Thailand, additionally feels extra agile. The distinction isn’t big, however I can’t assist however discover it feels tidier and extra compact as I’m going faster and faster round corners. The Metropolis Hybrid will likely be raised for India, and, all issues being equal, it is going to additionally experience higher than this automobile. Not that the Hybrid in Thailand is uncomfortable over bumps. Removed from it, with the additional weight of the battery within the rear, the experience is flatter and bump absorption on the Yokohama Earth Blue tyres is superb.

Honda has even finished a great job with the brakes; not all the time straightforward on a hybrid. There’s a truthful quantity of really feel and join if you find yourself braking gently, despite the fact that the automobile is simply utilizing regeneration to decelerate, after which, as you get more durable on the brakes and begin utilizing the discs extra, the transition is seamless and really pure. 

Kitna Deti Hai?

Because the Metropolis Hybrid is all about gasoline effectivity, we couldn’t resist recording an indicative determine.

The leap in actual world gasoline financial system is big; we did a tank-top to tank-top check.

Sure, situations clearly are completely different in Thailand. Visitors patterns aren’t related, the E20 petrol isn’t the identical after which, with the Metropolis Hybrid typically being pulled arduous throughout our analysis and testing, situations are removed from ultimate. Nonetheless recording an actual tank high to tank high determine proved to be one thing of an eye fixed opener; the Metropolis Hybrid returned 20.3kpl over roughly 95km, fairly unreal. Count on an ARAI determine in India of not less than 25-26kpl, making it simply essentially the most environment friendly automobile of its measurement. And don’t be stunned if it proves to be extra environment friendly in the actual world, than even a few of the most effective hatchbacks, particularly in sluggish start-stop site visitors, the place it principally runs like an EV.

What To Count on

The Metropolis Hybrid would be the first well-specified ‘mass market’ hybrid to go on sale in India, making it one thing of a technological trendsetter, a automobile many will look as much as. Able to delivering an enormous leap in gasoline financial system, it’s each a inexperienced automobile and a fuel-saving system par excellence. Additionally, with the worth of petrol inching in the direction of Rs 120 a litre in some cities, Honda couldn’t have requested for a greater time to introduce the Metropolis Hybird right here. The automobile is snug, the efficiency is sweet, the experience is pliant and it drives and handles in a neat and assured method. The largest plus, nevertheless, is the massive leap in gasoline effectivity, one thing house owners who habitually run lengthy distances are certain to understand. Then the truth that it’s half EV ought to lend it loads of inexperienced credentials after which there are the added driver security methods and aids.

The cabin could be very acquainted, however you get an electrical handbrake.

It is going to be costly at an anticipated value of round Rs 19 lakh, although it nonetheless lacks a great central touchscreen and is lacking options like linked tech, wi-fi charging, wi-fi Apple CarPlay (and Android Auto) and cooled seats. Nonetheless, if a cushty, clear, environment friendly and technologically superior sedan is what you might be in search of, and you’ve got a good quantity of flexibility relating to your finances, Honda’s Metropolis Hybrid delivers a novel set of strengths. Solely factor is you’ll should maintain answering the query, ‘Kitna deti hai?’

The Metropolis has all the time been snug to be pushed round in; no change right here.

Why town hybrid is so environment friendly

The Metropolis E:HEV combines two highly effective electrical motors with a 1.5-litre Atkinson Cycle 4-cylinder engine. One of many motors features as a big pancake-type electrical generator, whereas the opposite primarily does the work of the propulsion motor. The 2 are sandwiched collectively and connected to the top of the engine, the place the gearbox usually sits. Because the engine turns, it powers the generator that sends energy to the battery on the rear. To extend ranges of effectivity, Honda has ditched the transmission altogether, and even disconnects the engine from the wheels for essentially the most half. A lock-up clutch is used when the engine has to supply direct drive at greater speeds.

The hybrid battery sits between the rear wheels.

What the automobile has additionally been programmed to do is maintain the engine working at its peak effectivity, someplace round 2,000rpm. That is necessary as a result of by the point the engine reaches 4,000rpm, it may very well be utilizing twice as a lot gasoline. Curiously, 95 p.c of the vitality saved as electrical energy in a hybrid is re-deployed to the wheels. In distinction, even the extra environment friendly petrol engines solely handle 40 or 45 p.c effectivity.

About the author

Meera