Honda has a introduced a new sedan developed specifically for the Chinese market - the 2013 Honda CRIDER. The CRIDER is developed primarily by Honda's local joint venture Guangqi Honda Automobile, aimed at buyers who were born in the '80s era.
The CRIDER sits between a 2013 Honda Civic and 2013 Honda Accord. It's vital stats read 4,650 mm long, 1,750 mm wide, 1,505 mm high. Compared to a Civic, the CRIDER is slightly longer, narrower and taller. However, despite the longer exterior dimension, the CRIDER rides on a shorter 2,650 mm wheelbase.
Its Civic-like dimensions led many overseas publications to say that the CRIDER is based on a variation of a C-segment Civic's platform, which it isn't. Guangqi Honda's CRIDER is actually based on the City as the rights to the Civic is held by rival Honda partner Dongfeng Honda.
The dynamics of the Chinese car market is little bit more complicated. Like many foreign brands, Honda has two local joint ventures in China.
Dongfeng Honda sells the CR-V, Spirior (European market Accord), Civic, Insight and Ciimo (previous generation Civic) while Guangqi Honda sells the Crosstour, Accord, Jazz, City and S1 (previous generation City).
The relationship between Honda Motor Co. with Dongfeng Honda and Guangqi Honda is akin to a Japanese man who has two wives in China. There will always be rivalries and a delicate balance must be found to maintain harmony within the family.
More than 60 percent of the Chinese car market is dominated by C-segment sedans. Dongfeng Honda is represented in this segment with the Civic. Meanwhile, Guangqi Honda has no C-segment model in its line-up and is understandably not very happy with the status quo.
In comes the CRIDER. Guangqi Honda already manufactures the B-segment City and has the rights to manufacture and sell the previous generation City under its own Li Nian (Everus in English) brand.
Whether is the CRIDER a development based on the current 2013 Honda City or the previous generation City is unclear, although the former is very likely considering the model is sold under the Honda brand rather of a jointly-owned sub-brand (like Everus).
Like the Chinese market Honda City, the CRIDER is powered 1.8-litre i-VTEC engine paired to either a 5-speed automatic or 5-speed manual transmission. The automatic transmission model delivers a fuel economy of 6.7-litres per 100 km while the manual transmission model delivers 6.5-litres per 100 km. Both figures are based on the Chinese Comprehensive Fuel Economy Mode test cycle.
Starting price for the 2013 Honda CRIDER is RMB 114,800 (about RM59,000).
As mentioned earlier, the CRIDER is only for sale in China. It does not represent a new generation Honda City and will not influence any other Honda global models.