Honda pulled one out of the hat by revealing its second-gen Amaze at the 2018 Auto Expo with a unique diesel-CVT engine-gearbox combination. As it is, the 1.5-iDTEC engine is one of the most efficient units around, and with a CVT, it is likely to deliver big on economy, even in automatic guise. However, don’t expect this engine-gearbox combo to make its way to the current-gen City.
The City is well into its life cycle, and Honda feels the time and investment required to engineer CVT into the car would not be justified by the volumes sold. In effect, the petrol-CVT will remain the only automatic version of the City. The next-gen City that comes in 2020, however, is more than likely to be offered with a CVT for the diesel engine. Honda officials have stated that they will study incorporating the CVT on to more models, and the next City will clearly be a prime contender.
The company has already started testing an upgraded and BS-VI emission norms-compliant version of the 1.5 i-DTEC engine and has stated diesels will remain an integral part of its line-up.
At present, the only diesel mid-size sedans with an automatic option are the Hyundai Verna that uses a torque converter, and the VW Vento and Skoda Rapid that are available with dual-clutch gearboxes.