The first Honda City was made in 1981.
Honda replaced the original City in 1986 (designated GA1), with an update in 1989 (GA2). This model was produced until 1994. The Fit name also first appeared as a trim variant of the City. There was no convertible model. In most European and Australasian markets, the City's market position was filled by the Honda Logo in 1999.
The third-generation Honda City, codenamed SX8, was based on the EF Civic platform. It was designed for and sold in the South East Asian market only.
This City is still a subcompact slotting beneath the Honda Civic, but a four-door sedan model instead for developing markets in Asia, and was built in India, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines and Pakistan. A revised, face-lifted third-generation City was released in 2000, and included sports sedan models powered by Honda's 1.5L VTEC engines.
The third generation city had the D-series engines, namely variations of the D13B and D15B. The d15B was reduced in power for the Asian markets where the car was marketed, but had a good power to weight ratio. The kerb weight of the car was 985 kg, and the output of the D15B was 115hp (86kW).
In November 2002, the fourth generation City was released and included a four-wheel drive version. Like the contemporary Honda Jazz, the City is actually a rebadged Honda Fit, in the City's case a rebadged Fit Aria.
In September 2005, a face-lifted version of the City was launched in Thailand and in Malaysia in October 2005; it is known as the City ZX in Thailand, India, the New City in Malaysia and City in Singapore and Pakistan. The most significant changes are a new exterior (new front grille, new headlamps, new fog lights, new taillights and bumpers). The front end has been extended forward by 65mm (2.6in) while the rear has been extended by 15mm (0.6in). The side mirror is electronically foldable. Both the i-DSI and VTEC trim levels have 15-inch (380mm) alloy wheels as standard equipment. Interior changes are minor but it does include an armrest for the driver and additional map lights.