• The Honda Ballade first made its debut in South Africa in 1982.
• The Japanese carmaker's sedan is synonymous with reliability and high-revving normally-aspirated engines.
• The brand has launched a new generation of Ballade locally.
38 years have passed since the original Honda Ballade was launched in South Africa and it quickly grew to become one of the most popular nameplates in the country known for its reliability and high-revving normally-aspirated engines.
For 2020, there is a new Ballade with three models available including an RS derivative. But don't get too excited, it's not a performance sedan.
RS isn't sporty, it's for Road Sailing
The Ballade is the first model to introduce the company's global 'RS' brand name to Southern Africa. Honda uniquely defines the acronym as 'Road Sailing’' a nod to the smooth nature of a boat sailing on water.
The new model is also larger than the outgoing model: 110mm longer, 55mm wider, and 10mm lower, the company says.
The Comfort and Elegance models are equipped with projector-type halogen lights, while the range topping RS is fitted with LED headlights and fog lights.
All models come standard with LED daytime running lights and distinctive LED taillights.
The Comfort and Elegance models are equipped with 15-ich alloy wheels, while the RS model gains 16-inch alloys.
The flagship RS model is further differentiated through the addition of exclusive RS design elements including front and rear sport bumpers, a rear trunk spoiler, a mesh-type grille and unique fog light housing.
The Comfort and Elegance models feature fabric upholstery, while the range-topping RS interior is adorned with leather upholstery.
A 20cm touchscreen display is integrated into the instrument panel and the infotainment system comes standard on the Elegance and RS models and grants the user full Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality. The unit also features Bluetooth and steering wheel controls.
Electrically operated side mirrors and windows, cruise control, automatic air-conditioning and auto headlights are all standard features across the range.
The flagship RS model gains a host of additional features and technology such as smart entry with walk-away auto locking, a rear-view parking camera, electric sunroof and an all-new 17cm TFT multi-information display.
There's a new and improved 1.5L DOHC engine with i-VTEC tech says Honda, with power figures of 89kW and 145Nm. The power is sent to the front wheels via a revised version of the brand's Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) which now features 'G-Design' shift control.
The colour line-up includes a new Platinum White (Pearl), Radiant Red (Metallic), Lunar Silver (Metallic) and Modern Steel (Metallic)
The range comes standard with a five-year or 200 000km warranty, as well as a four-year or 60 000km service plan.
1.5 Comfort CVT - R336 500
1.5 Elegance CVT - R366 900
1.5 RS CVT - R396 900