JIMS 2011: HONDA BALLADE

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Return of an icon confirms Honda’s commitment to local market

The return of the Honda Ballade nameplate to South Africa in February this year was a particularly significant event for Honda Motor Southern Africa.

After all, it was the original Ballade that established Honda as a passenger car brand in SA. In the process, it cemented Honda’s reputation for class-leading style, performance, quality and unrivalled customer satisfaction.

Almost three decades after the debut of the original Ballade, its successor has propelled those attributes into the 21st Century, with a particular emphasis on environmental responsibility and value for money.

“The launch of the new Ballade reflects Honda’s commitment to bringing relevant, affordable and environmentally responsible cars to an even broader motoring audience,” says Graham Eagle, director of sales and marketing for Honda Motor Southern Africa.

“Despite fervent competition in the compact car sector, we are confident that the Ballade once again offers a convincing alternative, and will have a significant impact in this increasingly important segment.”

The exciting new Honda Ballade sets a new benchmark for style, performance and equipment in the already fiercely competitive compact car segment. Indeed, many of the standard features are more commonly associated with the segment above.

The Ballade is offered in two specification levels: Comfort and Elegance. Comfort models offer an impressive list of standard features, ensuring a high degree of comfort and value. Elegance versions up the ante even further by including additional comfort, convenience and safety features.

Even the entry-level 1.5 Comfort boasts an exceptional specification that translates into unrivalled value for money.

The features list includes a tilt-adjustable multi-function steering wheel, cruise control, front and rear electric windows, electrically adjustable door mirrors, manual air-conditioning with pollen filter, flat-folding rear seats (60/40 split) and a trip computer, as well as a full-featured four-speaker audio system with compatible CD receiver with integrated USB and MP3 auxiliary connection.

This is complemented by ISOFIX child seat anchors, a full-size spare wheel, a factory-fitted alarm system linked to remote central locking and rolling-code ECU engine immobiliser.

The 1.5 Elegance gains an even more upmarket look and feel with the addition of 16-inch alloy wheels, front fog lights and chrome door handles.

Similarly, the already feature-packed interior gains a more exclusive edge with the fitment of a leather-trimmed steering wheel that offers tilt and telescopic adjustment, Bluetooth hands-free cellphone functionality, centre and rear armrests, and a practical rear seat under-tray storage area.