With the Honda City Hatchback now in the country, we bid goodbye to the Jazz. As a result, the City and City Hatchback now serve as the brand’s B-segment offerings in the country.
But unlike the City which is available in different variants, the Jazz replacement only comes in one model, the top-of-the-line RS trim. Sure, it does come with all the bells and whistles one would ever need, but the five-door City retails at PHP 1,115,000. Mind you, that's without the PHP 13,000 safeguard bond yet.
Curious, we asked Honda Cars Philippines Inc (HCPI) the reason as to why the all-new hatchback only has one variant for the country. According to Atty. Louie Soriano, General Manager for Sales at HCPI, only the RS version was brought in since the hatchback segment is becoming more niche. Soriano also added that with customers leaning more towards upper variants, they decided that the RS version will have to do.
But why is the hatchback segment becoming more niche? Well, that's partly because of the affordable crossovers coming in from China. With the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement, some China-made models (including crossovers) can have a starting price of below PHP 900,000 or less. With crossovers being one of the most popular vehicles in the market, it's no surprise hatchbacks are becoming niche.
Will there be plans to introduce lesser or entry-level variants of the all-new City Hatchback? HCPI did not mention anything about that, so it looks like we'll only be getting the top-spec RS for the country for now.
But should Honda decide to bring a more affordable model, we hope it can be priced at less than a million Pesos.