Honda has added a new hybrid model to its stable called the Grace Hybrid (Honda Grace is also known as Honda City in Southeast Asia including Malaysia).
Based on the same platform as the Honda Fit/Jazz, the Grace is powered by Honda’s Sport Hybrid i-DCD (Intelligent Dual Clutch Drive) one-motor hybrid system that combines a 1.5-litre Atkinson cycle DOHC i-VTEC engine with a 7-speed DCT transmission with built-in electric motor and the IPU with a built-in lithium-ion battery. The engine is capable of producing 108hp and 134Nm of torque, while the electric motor contributes 29hp and 160Nm of torque.
The hybrid system enables the driver to start in EV mode and achieve great fuel economy of 34.4 km/L in the JC08 mode. According to Honda, the Grace Hybrid’s average fuel economy is the best among all hybrid sedan models in the Japanese market (except plug-in hybrid models). For the first time as a compact hybrid sedan in B-segment category, the all-new Grace offers a 4WD version in its lineup, to enhance security for customers who drive in colder climates and/or snowy areas while benefiting from the excellent fuel economy that can be achieved only by a hybrid vehicle.
Exterior wise, Honda’s design identity, “Solid Wing Face,” was adopted to emphasize an advanced look and wideness by connecting together the platinum-plated front grille and 4-lamp LED headlights. Despite being a compact size sedan, a stately design and high-class look were achieved by connecting the rear combination lamps that extend horizontally to the trunk lid and chrome-plated license plate garnish.
Inside, you’ll be able to benefit from an addition wheelbase where the company has placed the rear seats at the rearmost possible position to help create legroom for rear seat occupants as spacious as that of the Accord Hybrid. Apart from that, the rear doors were also enlarged to increase the accessibility.
Rear seats were developed while paying particular attention to details such as cushion thickness, softness and tactile quality of surface materials and the angle of the backrest. As the result of developing rear seats that have specifications equivalent to that of seats for an upper-class sedan, the Grace features a sofa-like comfortable seating that gives a sense of being embraced, said the Japanese automaker.
The luggage space on the other hand, features 430-litres of space that is also decent for this class, considering that the hybrid powertrain is placed under the floor.
In terms of safety, the Grace Hybrid features the Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body that applies Honda’s original G-Force Control Technology (G-CON) to enhance self-protection and make it less aggressive to other vehicles in the event of a collision. The Grace Hybrid also features the Pedestrian Injury Mitigation Body structure to absorb the impact of a collision in the front part of the body, which is at the highest risk of causing a pedestrian injury in the event of a collision.
Other safety features include a Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) system, a Hill-Start Assist function as well as the Emergency Stop Signal (ESS) system that warns vehicles following behind of a sudden stop is fitted as standard equipment in all variants.
The Honda Grace Hybrid is priced from 1,950,000 yen (est RM56,000) for the standard FWD version and from 2,144,400 yen (est RM62,000) for the base AWD model. Honda has already begun sales of this new compact hybrid sedan at its hometown, Japan.