The MMC for the Honda City was launched here in Malaysia just last week. For Honda Malaysia, it was a much awaited for event as they have been working hard to get this MMC out after having just recovered from the effects of the massive flooding in Thailand. Even their press release proudly states that this City MMC is the first 'new model' after their plant in Pegoh have gotten back to full capacity.
Unlike the previous generation, which underwent two MMC with significant updates for both, this MMC was a standard affair, with minor changes to exterior and interior of the car. On the mechanical side, there could be some changes but this is not confirmed. An explanation will be given for this statement later in this article.
Exterior changes for the MMC are on the front grille, front bumper, rear tail-lights, rear bumper, and a new wheel design. Of the changes, the front grille and rear tail-light changes are the most visible. The comparison photos below puts similar photos of the pre and post MMC City side by side with arrows pointing out the changes where applicable, along with explanations and details.
For the MMC, Honda Malaysia introduced a new colour choice, a brown tone called 'Sparkling Brown'. This is a metallic colour.
At the front
At the rear
The new tail light has separate openings for signal and reverse lights
The previous 'spider web' wheel design is replaced with a 'twin-spokes' design.
The new 'Sparkling Brown Metallic' colour choice.
Interior changes for the MMC are a little more substantial. The dashboard itself is now made of different material, though it will not be obvious from just a casual look. More visibly, the center console on the dashboard, where the sound system and other control buttons are located, although the same design now has two quite visible changes. All the labels are now in white lettering instead of black letterings. The dials for the air-conditioning controls are of different design.
The meter assembly, comprising tacho, speedo, and fuel level, has also been revised. The lighting is now in blue instead of amber/red previously. The letterings on the meter faces are also blue in colour.
Of particular interest is that there is now an 'ECO' light above the upper left of the speedometer. In the past, the presence of a 'ECO' or 'ECON' light on the meters assembly indicates that the engine is capable of running in some form of 'lean burn' mode, a mode where the ECU runs the engine at very lean air-fuel ratios higher than 14.7, typically 15 or even close to 16. In the D15B 3-Stage engine for e.g., this is acheived by running the engine with only 1 active intake valve. The offset position of the single intake valve causes the air-fuel flow to swirl at a high rate, mixing it thoroughly. With careful monitoring via the knock sensor, the ECU then runs the engine at higher than 14.7 air-fuel ratio and delivers fantastic fuel economy in this mode. However, it is not stated if the presence of this 'ECO' light indicates that Honda has added a 'lean burn' mode to the L15A on this MMC City.
Finally for the interior, the seat fabric is different and for the Grade-E, the door handles are chromed. Again, comparison photos below puts similar photos of the pre and post MMC City side by side with arrows pointing out the changes where applicable along with details.
At the front,
For the meters assembly,
For the seats,
1. The fabric is different.
The City has been the top seller for Honda Malaysia and with this MMC, Honda Malaysia continues to put their faith in it. The pre-MMC has been selling steadily at over 1,500 units a month, even during the dark months after the Japan tsunami and the Thailand floods. In fact, Honda Malaysia proudly announced that they had a backlog of 3,000 orders and just delivered all of them shortly before the MMC event. With this MMC, Honda Malaysia announced a new target of 2,000 units per month for sales of the Honda City and is confident of meeting the target. Honda Malaysia is confident the changes introduced in this MMC will continue to keep the Honda City at the top of its class.
There is no news if there will be a media drive event for the MMC City but if there is one, I will again try to publish an early first-drive report. Stay tuned.