After about five minutes of arguing about the name of this vehicle, the Stuff team decided to call it the Honda Ball-ade. A South African icon, the Ballade launched in South Africa in 1982. It’s been a long time coming, but the new Ballade is available in South Africa.
“We are delighted to launch the all-new Ballade to coincide with the celebration of Honda Motor Southern Africa’s 20th anniversary,” says Yuishi Fukuda, president of Honda Motor Southern Africa.
Even more interesting, this Ballade is Honda’s first ‘RS’ model to launch in Southern Africa. This brings some luxury features to a car that’s historically been seen as the ideal family cruiser. The new ‘RS’-badge stands for ‘Road Sailing’ — the perfect image for the brand, and this model specifically. The Ballade RS, mainly introduces some sporty cosmetic enhancements to the car, and we’re here for it.
It may not be as cool as Honda’s little robot companion robot Asimo, but Asimo’s gotta go places sometimes, right?
Three Honda-rd thousand
The two main variations: the Comfort and Elegance models are both equipped with halogen lights up front, while the RS is fitted with LED headlights and fog lights. All models come standard with LED daytime running lights and distinctive LED taillights. The base models come with 15in alloy wheels, while the RS model pimps it up with 16in alloys. Back to the RS, it also features front and rear sport bumpers, a rear trunk spoiler, a mesh-type grille and a fancy fog light housing.
On to what we’re here for, the tech. All of these models come fitted with a newly designed high-res 8in touch-sensitive display in the instrument panel. The infotainment system comes standard on the Elegance and RS models and offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality. Of course, you also get Bluetooth connectivity for those sick jams from the back seat.
In terms of power (the car needs an engine, right), you get Honda’s 1.5L i-VTEC engine that can generate a power output of 89kW at 6,600 r/min, while the same peak torque of 145 Nm is now reached at a lower engine speed of 4,500 r/min. It only comes with a continuously variable transmission (CVT), which is basically an automatic transmission but you can manually change them if needed.
The new Honda Ballade will cost R336,500 for the Comfort, R366,900 for the Elegance and R396,900 for the RS variation.