Showcasing new levels of performance, style, driving dynamics, and safety, the third-generation Honda City release on the 4th of Feb 2009 combines excellent functionality, versatility, and aesthetics. Since 1996, the City has been incredibly successful in Australia and beyond with more than one million units sold in 39 countries. The variants are offered including the VTi and the VTi-L. Standard Features and New Technologies Thoroughly equipped with central locking, power mirrors and windows, and iPod ready in-dash stereo with MP3 compatibility, the new Honda City also has a wide range of safety equipments. From the dual front, side and curtain airbags, seatbelt pre-tensioners, to the ABS brakes with EBD (electronic brake-force distribution), car buyers can be rest assured that they are well protected against collisions and other car accidents. Both the VTi and the VTi-L are powered with a 1.5 liter SOHC i-VTEC engine with an economical output of 88kW and 145 Nm. The engine can also produce a combined 6.3/100km and 147/km in manual gear. The two variants are available with 5-speed automatic transmission or the 5-spped manual transmission. Buyers are given a choice between their driving preferences. There are several main differences between the VTi and the VTi-L model. The VTi-L is more expensive because it has tilt and telescopic steering, chrome door handles, 16-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, premium trim, and leather steering wheel. Similar to the Honda Jazz, the Honda City release on the 4th of Feb 2009 also use the MacPherson strut front and torsion rear for maximum efficiency. It provides precise handling, agility, and a comfortable ride. A notable feature in the 2009 Honda City is the spaciousness of its interiors. It easily accommodates five adults and even has a bigger boot compared to the more expensive Accord. Fuel Economy and Value-for-Money The Managing Director of Honda Australia, Yasuhide Mizuno, said that the launching of the new model is welcomed by the company, its dealers, and customers. Although the image of Honda City is currently different in Australia compared to Asia and the United States, it is expected appeals to a broad market spectrum from the younger generation to pensioners. The 2009 Honda City appeals to the young market with its edgy styling while it remaining as an attractive option for families because of its fuel economy, quality, and value-for-money. Manufactured at Honda's plant in Thailand, the Honda City release on the 4th of Feb 2009 made the market for compact cars all the more competitive. Aside from offering quality features, the price range of new City is quite attractive as well. It ranges from AUD 17,990 to AUD 21,990. More features will be available on the Honda City in 2010. Australia is a member of the UNECE WP29 Global Technical Regulation on electronic stability control (ESC). It requires all passenger cars in Australia to be fitted with ESC; it also imposed new light duties. Because of this, the ESC feature will be included in Honda vehicles in all future passenger cars.