Would you daily a Honda City? This guy does and loves every bit of it
Because small doesn't always mean impractical
The term “practical car” means different thighs depending on what your needs are. Maybe you need a pickup truck for most of the things you do with your car, or maybe a four-door sedan will do just fine. What about a car that’s 11 feet long by 5 feet wide (less than four feet shorter and almost a foot narrower than a current-gen Corolla)? I’m talking about the first generation Honda City, a car that Wade of YouTube channel DankPods daily drives to this day. Why? Because it just works!
The City was Honda's subcompact hatchback that was smaller than Honda's regular lineup but not small enough to be a Kei car. Despite being shorter than the first-gen Civic, the "Tallboy" design of the City allowed four adults to fit inside of it comfortably with legroom comparable to that of larger cars. The City was also available with the Motocompo, Honda's famous 'foldaway' scooter that was designed to fit in the car's trunk.
This particular City is by no means Wade's first. The legend goes that he sold his first Honda City to a former student of his who was head over heels for it. He had seen him drive the City to school since he was 13 and now that he was finally of driving age, he just had to have it as his first car. Wade was more than happy to oblige. Soon after, the former student heard that hidden away in a barn was another Honda City that was just yearning to be back on the road after sitting for a decade or so. The deal was that if Wade could get it running, he could have it for 500 of his Aussie bucks and in true JDM fashion, it fired right up with 10-year-old fuel in the tank. Sold!
Image courtesy of DankPods
Next up was “Operation Rat Poo” since a decade in the barn allowed the local Australian rats to treat the little Honda City as their own personal lavatory. There was rat poo on the floor, on the seats, in the engine bay, and in the AC vents (which he found out about the hard way). Over time, all the brakes have been replaced as the wheel cylinders started leaking, a secondhand gearbox was put in to fix the ailing 2nd gear and a new clutch because shifting gears is an important part of a manual transmission car. Other than that, it just needed regular maintenance like oil changes, a timing belt, and an A/C regas because you bet it has factory A/C! On the “broken” list are the fart-soaked seats, worn-out CV boots, and a rear hatch that’s doing its best to escape from the car and find a better future. In other words, nothing major.
Future plans! Wade basically wants to restore this car to factory new condition at some point in the future. Throw on some 12” wheels, a little soundproofing, and keep the Refrigerator White factory color and you’ve got yourself a pretty sweet little “do anything” ride. If you’re curious about just how practical this little box can be, I think this next picture should do it justice.
Image courtesy of DankPods
“It’s usually the sporty variants of cars that survive the ravages of time (City Turbo) but I wanna show what the Honda City was to most folks. A damn good small runabout car. It drives way too good to want to change anything from factory specs and just bounces over thrashed city roads. This tiny van is also way too useful for package runs. It’s why it’s still my daily 3-4 years later!” he told me.
I’m sure it goes without saying if you know my tastes in cars, but I am 100% behind this idea. I love compact cars and the Honda City is right up there on my list of dream cars. It’s a practical little box on wheels and if you manage to get the Turbo or Turbo II variants, it’s even got some pep to it! It’s a practical hot hatch and the fact that Wade is keeping the less-desirable variant of it alive and kicking gives him some serious car enthusiast cred. Keep me updated on that restoration! You bet I wanna write a follow-up article on it.