Honda India adds an additional automatic model to the City sedan line up in the form of the S-AT variant
Honda India has just added a new automatic variant to the City sedan line up, in the form of the S-AT model. The S-AT model is essentially the mid level variant of the Honda City S sedan, along with a 5 speed automatic transmission. Previously, the Honda Ciy sedan featured a single automatic variant in the form of the V-AT model. With the addition of the S-AT variant, Honda City Automatic buyers will now have more choice. The City S-AT is priced about INR 76,000 more than the equivalent manual geared variant and paddle shifters are standard.
With the new automatic variant, the Honda City’s total number of variants go up to 8 in number, which is considerable given that the City comes with a single 1.5 Liter i-VTEC petrol engine option. The Honda City S-AT model, weighing in at 1,150 Kgs, is 50 kilograms heavier than the manual transmission model, with the additional weight mainly due to the heavier automatic gearbox. The ARAI certified fuel economy figure of the automatic variant of the City is marginally lower than the manual gearbox model, with the AT model delivering 15.6 Kmpl to the 16.8 Kmpl figure of the manual version, although the difference is expected to be much more in real world conditions.
The move from Honda to add another automatic variant comes at a time when South Korean automaker Hyundai is also said to be readying up an entry level automatic gearbox version of the Verna Diesel to capitalize on the growing demand for cars equipped with automatic gearboxes. That said, Hyundai does have a big advantage over Honda given that it will be offering a cut price automatic variant, with a diesel engine under the hood. Many C-segment sedans in India are now offered with the automatic gearbox option.
The Maruti Suzuki SX4, the Volkswagen Vento, the all new Ford Fiesta and the Skoda Rapid are the other C-segment cars which are available with an automatic gearbox. However, the Hyundai Verna Fluidic is the only car with a diesel automatic variant on offer. Amongst all the C-segment cars offered with an automatic gearbox, the all new Ford Fiesta takes the cake when it comes to having the most advanced automatic gearbox in the segment, with its 6 speed dual clutch unit being the most fuel efficient unit of the lot. In the coming months, the Nissan Sunny sedan is also expected to be launched with an automatic gearbox.