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2022 Honda City Hatchback RS Review Philippines: Worthy Successor

by John Nieves  June 22, 2022

Review Verdict: The 2022 Honda City Hatchback RS is a fun, practical ride, and is a worthy successor to the Jazz for folks in the Philippines.

Pros

  • Great handling
  • Plenty of legroom for everyone
  • Has Apple CarPlay/Android Auto
  • Lots of configurable cargo space

Cons

  • More expensive VS the non-hatch variant
  • Not a lot of additional features for the price

2022 Honda City Hatchback RS Specs Philippines

  • L15ZF 1.5L engine with i-VTEC
  • 119 hp @ 6,600 rpm, 145 Nm @ 4,300 rpm
  • Fuel: Gasoline
  • Transmission: CVT
  • Suspension: MacPherson Strut (front), Torsion Beam (rear)
  • Brakes: Ventilated Disk (front), Drums (rear)

Times have been pretty hard for hatchback lovers in the Philippines, especially if you’re a Honda stan like me. While the removal of the Jazz from the company’s lineup has left a hatchback-sized hole in my heart to this day, Honda’s making up for it by releasing the 2022 Honda City Hatchback RS in the country.

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Exterior

If you’ve seen the new Honda City, you know already know what to expect from the 2022 Honda City Hatchback RS. The front looks sportier than the previous generation City, making it look a lot like the current-gen Civic at first glance.

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All the things that make the current-gen City great are in the hatch variant: its wing-face grill, slim headlights as well as DRLs, fog lights and full LED headlights.

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Once you see the car’s rear though, you’ll be able to see how different it really is from the regular sedan. The hatch has a more prominent tail than the sedan and also has a large, under-bumper carbon-looking diffuser. The hatch job isn’t slapdash or ill-fitting – the addition of the hatchback looks very well thought out, and the car looks way sportier because of it.

The only thing I’d change if I bought one for myself would be the wheels – the 16-inch alloys look too small for it considering its styling – going up a size to 17s might complement the look of the hatch a bit better here.

Make no mistake though, this isn’t a Jazz – the car isn’t as short as a Jazz (despite being 8-inches shorter than the sedan) and doesn’t have the same visual appeal as the iconic hatchback.

Interior

To the surprise of no one, the interior of the City Hatchback RS is exactly the same as the range-topping City RS. The instrument and gauge cluster is modern and stylish with a lot of red accents thrown in, particularly in the dash, steering wheel, and glove compartment.

The entertainment system is dominated by an 8-inch touchscreen display. The infotainment system doesn’t have a lot of features built into it when your phone isn’t connected via Android Auto or Apple Carplay. Apple and Google’s solutions do a majority of the heavy lifting here, which isn’t a bad thing mind you, but you are missing out on higher-end features like Honda Sensing that’s built into Honda’s more expensive Civic lineup. But considering that the top-end City Hatchback RS is pretty close to the base price Civic, you’d think that you’d get more.

The seats also have red-accented fabric, and there’s enough space to seat five people comfortably inside. Legroom in the second row is fantastic, obviously thanks to the hatchback nature of the car.

Pop the tailgate and you’ll get access to a cargo area that’s roughly the same size as the sedan. But since it’s a hatchback, the Honda City Hatchback RS can fold the seats down completely flat and level to the cargo area giving you enough space to fit almost anything a bigger SUV can. Honda dubs it the Ultra Long Tall Refresh (ULTR) system, and it comes in handy when you’re transporting big, bulky items that wouldn’t necessarily fit into a traditional sedan.

Comfort and Driving Dynamics

The Honda City Hatchback RS drives a little differently from its sedan sibling, thanks to a slightly stiffer chassis. The steering felt firm and steady on both highways and city streets, and the suspension did a great job of minimizing the impact of potholes and bumps on our roads from messing with the driving experience.

The car is powered by the L15ZF, Honda’s venerable 1.5L engine that has been in countless other models already. It’s a proven platform, and this particular one puts out 119hp and 145Nm of torque, with a 6,600 RPM limiter. The engine’s dual-cam i-VTEC system that’s paired with a CVT transmission is able to put the power down to the front wheels evenly and cleanly, though it does have a bit of lag when you floor it VS carefully feeding the car throttle.

The car has cruise control but it isn’t adaptive so you’ll have to set it and adjust it yourself depending on the driving conditions, which is a bit annoying, especially on longer trips out of the city. Speaking of, you’re looking at a combined fuel economy of 13.5 km/l for highway and city driving, based on our jaunts with it in around town and going to Batangas the weekend we got it.

The car is also pretty safe, thanks to a multitude of features including stability control and side curtain and knee airbags.

Honda City Hatchback RS review philippines

Wrap-up and verdict

The 2022 Honda City Hatchback RS is a great hatch as we found out in our review of it in the Philippines, but it ain’t no Jazz, and that’s alright. With fewer and fewer hatchbacks available in the market, it’s one of the nicer hatch options you’ll be able to get locally.

The biggest caveat here is that it’s pretty spendy, starting at Php 1,125,000 for the RS model, and costing even more at Php 1,145,000 if you opt to get it in a special color. That’s quite a price hike from the regular City, which starts out at Php 899,999 and goes up to around a million for the CVT model. That’s close to Civic territory, and if I personally had to make that choice, I’d probably pay a bit more to get a base Civic than this car, my love for hatchbacks be damned.

2022 Honda City Hatchback RS Review Philippines

The 2022 Honda City Hatchback RS is priced at Php 1,125,000 and goes up to Php 1,145,000 if you get one in a special color.

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