One of the most popular cars on our market, either new or pre-owned, is the Honda City - it represents the mass-market entry-level sedan in the B-segment, and has long been a staple for many consumers over the last two decades. The product has evolved somewhat in its design and positioning, growing more technologically complex and refined - more so perhaps than its contemporary rivals.
Over the years, there have been various different additions and subtractions from the variant line-up of the Honda City. There have been times when hybrid models were offered in different methods of operation, and also special edition models that have shown up from time to time. One of the most enduring model variants has been the V, which represents the “best” of what the Honda City has to offer, short of the RS model that now sits as the jewel of the range.
Hence the specific variant of the Honda City that we’re looking at today is the V spec model, and in particular one that would have been purchased back in 2017. Things may be a little tricky here as 2017 was a facelift launch year for the fourth-generation model, and residual value may change depending on whether you have a pre- or post-facelift unit. The official price at launch was RM92,000, on-the-road without insurance.
Here’s the breakdown:
Vehicle variant: Honda City V i-VTEC 2017
The Honda City V i-VTEC was one of the most popular non-national vehicles sold of its time, based on the fact that it had strong residual value and came with competitive specifications as the range-topper. For this comparison, the depreciation is calculated based on the list price of RM92,000, with first-year advertised pricing being the first year of depreciation.
2017 Honda City V i-VTEC (RM 92,000)
Depreciation Sum (RM)
As often is the case with buying pre-owned cars, you can avoid big hits in depreciation with the trade-off being that you don’t get that brand-new car smell. That being said, you can be even more clever with the age of the car you choose as depreciation doesn’t tend to be as linear as you’d expect.
In the graph below, you can see that there is a relatively large hit in the first year of ownership as represented by a 21% depreciation, or RM19,000, and change - characteristic of all new-car sales as the moment you drive it off the showroom floor it plummets in value.
From there, however, you can see that the depreciation is somewhat stabilized as an affirmation of the incredible residual value of the Honda City, let alone the V variant. In the first five years of ownership, the value drops by just under 33%, which may sound rough but in real ringgit terms it comes to RM30,203.92 in depreciation - or RM16 a day over five years.
It is after the five-year mark where we see an interesting bit of data - the residual value for the Honda City V actually bounces back up slightly by RM2,700 or so. This has been influenced by a few factors, namely a really hefty slowdown in new car production as well as long waiting times for new car deliveries. The used-car market has seen a huge improvement in residual values across the board as a result.
With that in mind, if you purchase a four- or five-year-old Honda City V and sell it now, you could even recover your initial purchase cost and then some - maybe even enough to cover the cost of initial maintenance and repairs. That being said, we cannot expect this upwards trend in pricing to continue as the Honda City V doesn’t have the kind of strong intrinsic value that classic cars have leading to their appreciation.
Even without the long waiting times and slow new car production, you would expect the depreciation of the Honda City V to level out after the fifth or sixth year, especially as they are known to be reliable and long-lasting products with relatively low cost of ownership and maintenance. Cars like these tend to be evergreen in that sense, providing reliable transportation to fresh graduates and retirees alike, and being fuss-free in nature and design.
Coming into ownership of one of these, you can expect annual maintenance to be simple as the Honda City V employs a 1.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine for propulsion, with a CVT-type automatic transmission that delivers power to the front wheels. The resilience of these powertrain units has come on leaps and bounds from the Honda City of three generations prior.
For some great deals on the Honda City V i-VTEC, click here.
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