For all the animosity it shares with Toyota, Honda seems to have taken a page out of its staunch rival's playbook as far as the fiercely fought B-segment arena is concerned. This is the 2020 Honda City Hatchback. And like the Vios-based car Toyota calls the Yaris in this neck of the woods, it's an offshoot of Honda's fifth-generation compact sedan; one that seems primed to assume the position once held by the Jazz in the Asean region and other developing automotive markets.
At present, the City Hatchback is only available in Thailand. It'll certainly be a shame to a certain degree should Honda Malaysia go down the same path instead of actually giving us the 2020 Honda Jazz we were hoping for; one that oozes the Honda e's unusually appealing sense of minimalism. But at least the Japanese carmaker has done a decent job of chopping the boot off one of its most profitable nameplates in the region - that derriere definitely has an air of Mercedes A-Class to it. Surely we can't be the only one to see it.
Since it's a Thai-spec model for now, the only engine listed is a one-litre, three-pot VTEC Turbo mill similar in architecture to what's powering the new Nissan Almera. However, we already know from the Malaysian-spec City that its engine bay will readily take on Honda's new 1.5-litre DOHC engine and the RS's hybrid powertrain which is notorious by now for its 253Nm torque output.
Here's where it gets interesting; for a car that's about 20cm shorter than its sedan counterpart, the Honda City Hatchback is the slightly pricier variant in the only market where it's sold at present. It retails between 599,000-749,000THB (RM81k-RM101k), which is a couple of thousand Ringgits more than the City's average prices. The City Hatchback is probably more practical in many areas after all - you'll find many pictures of it emulating the Jazz's storage versatility on Honda Thailand's official website.
There's even a Modulo kit on sale for big spenders who want their boot-less City with a touch more pizzazz. That might make the City Hatchback an easier pill to swallow in the absence of the Jazz for some, but we're still keeping our fingers crossed for the Honda that impressed us in Tokyo to find its way onto our shores in one way or another.