It has been a few months since Honda launched the Elevate SUV in India. Priced between Rs. 11.04-16.24 Lakhs (Ex-showroom), it has been a moderate success. However, Honda also has the City sedan in its lineup which in itself is also an accomplished product. Which one should you buy then? Let’s find out.
The Urban Burden
It is a proven fact that most private cars in India spend a lot more time inside the city than outside it. For these sort of uses, the City is a good choice with a smooth CVT automatic and a refined engine. However, the Elevate is just a tad bit better in this scenario. Using the same powertrain, it has the advantages in the form of a smaller length and a commanding driving position making tight city manoeuvres that much easier. Driving it for longer stretches in bumper to bumper traffic is also effortless in comparison given the better road presence and a more upright seating position.
Highway By the Way
Out on the open roads however, if you are going to clock significant kilometres the City comes out on the top. The massive boot outsizes the Elevate’s by a good 48L worth of luggage space that is also shaped better. The lower height and correspondingly lower centre of gravity also ensures a more planted feel on the road. During long stretches you will also come to appreciate the slightly more premium feeling materials used inside and the cleaner, smarter look of the dashboard which is easier on your eyes.
Rough and Tough
Smooth roads are sort of a luxury in India. Potholes, waterlogging and washed out asphalt is anything but uncommon. This is the environment where one comes to appreciates the Elevate a lot more. The ground clearance being rated at 220mm is an astounding 55mm more than the City. The difference is not just felt but also brings a sense of peace while dealing with these shenanigans. The Elevate also has the cushier and more compliant suspension for when the going gets tough.
High Mileage Hero
When you have a running exceeding 1000kms a month, fuel costs can upset your wallet by a good amount. And this is where the City has the most clear, unmatched advantage in the form of the strong-hybrid powertrain option. This e:HEV variant can even deliver an excess of 25Kmpl and a massive range well north of 800kms on a single tank. These figures easily payback the initial increase in prices and are unmatched by other petrol sedans and even ups some diesels in its price range too! Sadly, Honda has confirmed that the Elevate is not going to get a hybrid powertrain in the near future. A pure EV version is in the works though launch is far away.
Fond of the latest gadgetry? Both the cars fare well here with a very similar equipment list. Both get auto headlamps, single pane sunroof, keyless entry-go, wireless Android Auto/Apple Carplay, connected car tech and a semi-digital instrument cluster as standard. A slight edge to the Elevate here is the newer 10.25 inch touchscreen while the City only gets the 8 inch unit. The newer unit has a better resolution and a crisp response which makes a slight difference. On the other hand, the City gets the addition of lowline TPMS which is missing on the Elevate.
The Fundamental Value Seeker
If hunting for the best value-for-money is your thing and the base SV and V variants are being considered, it is easy to see why the City comes out on top. Among other things, the City gets a rear armrest, 4 airbags (instead of 2), rear camera, Android Auto/Apple Carplay connectivity, rear centre headrest, rear defogger and a 3 point seatbelt for the middle passenger as standard which are not present on the base Elevate. Honda also provides adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist from the V variant itself instead of the Elevate which only gets them in the top ZX variant. On the other hand, the only features that Elevate gets standard but not available on the City SV is LED headlamps and smart key access.
So, let us know in the comments which one of the two Hondas would you pick and why?