THE RETURN OF THE LEGEND
Honda Ballade; the name that at one time was synonymous to the Honda auto brand but suddenly disappeared from under everyone’s noses, is back in a fresh new design.
The new Honda Ballade 1.5 Elegance takes the concept of distinction to an entirely new level in the compact car segment with a peerless ensemble of luxury, comfort, safety, driving enjoyment, environmental compatibility and value for money.
The new Honda Ballade 1.5 Elegance also sets out to produce a compact sedan that the market needs without being constrained by the current standards, for this is a car, which offers class-leading interior space linked to exceptional ease-of-use durability.
The original Honda Ballade made its debut in South Africa in 1982 and was assembled and marketed under the auspices of Mercedes-Benz South Africa.
This unique collaboration allowed the Honda passenger car brand to establish a foothold in South Africa and Namibia. At the same time, the Ballade provided MBSA (Mercedes-Benz South Africa) with a uniquely positioned compact car that was able to meet the needs of its discerning customer base.
Pupkewitz Honda, the only Honda auto dealership in the country, is resolved to tack onto the positive history with the launch of the new Ballade and the obvious catch-phrase “The Legend is back”.
At the same time, the company clearly has not forgotten its core remit – making well-built, well-spaced and very reliable cars, priced competitively.
The new Ballade comes with a dynamic and contemporary designed body, which does not only create a forceful visual impression in the minds of the onlookers but improves the car’s aerodynamics and rear visibility.
The Ballade’s sporty rear view features a cut-off tail with a redesigned rear light cluster, which is set to improve safety and visibility and a chrome exhaust, which adds the finishing touches to a car that is every bit as eye-catching as it is exhilarating to drive.
Perhaps the most entertaining aspect of the car is the driving experience. The 1.5-litre 4 cylinder i-Vtec unit up front revs up to 7000rpm and produces 88Kw’s and 145Nm’s of torque. This allows for good performance to suit everyday driving.
Talking of the car’s interior, it comes together in three words: - style, comfort and class. The new Ballade is comprehensively equipped with power windows and mirrors, central locking, telescopic steering, Bluetooth (hands free telephone) and iPod-ready port. Entertainment features include a single-in-dash CD stereo with MP3 compatibility and six speaker audio systems.
A key feature of the Ballade is its overall interior spaciousness as it can easily accommodate five adults in comfort, with additional head and leg room.
The Ballade also offers exceptional storage space, with a boot capacity of 506litres, spacious enough to carry four golf bags. The car’s seats are very comfortable and the rear seats offer a 60/40 split providing storage for large or awkward-shaped luggage.
The Honda Ballade is equipped with some wraparound driver features, which include the LCD multi-information display, which places important driving information in your direct line of vision, thereby reducing the need to move your eyes off the road. The driver can access information such as distance and fuel consumption, making use of controls on the steering.
Prevention of accidents has always been Honda’s first priority and the Ballade is no exception, with state-of-the-art technology like Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), proportional braking, which works by only using the right amount of brake force to each wheel, enabling improved handling and stability. And now, unique to its class, the Ballade also features Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA), which helps stabilise the vehicle by correcting potential under and over steer situations, by reducing the engines torque and using the ABS system to apply brakes to each wheel, as needed.
Passive safety measures include features such as six airbags and a safety belt pre-tensioner system. Honda’s Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) system uses cutting-edge technology to absorb collision forces. This innovative technology makes the Ballade more compatible with vehicles of different sizes.
Moving on to the security features, Honda Ballade comes with a rolling code immobiliser, which does not allow the engine to start, unless the code inside the transponder key matches the engine’s code; a measure aimed to prevent the vehicle from being stolen.
A more visible tamper-proof Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) also makes it easier to trace and identify the car.
In essence, the Ballade provides hassle-free motoring, which in today’s hectic lifestyles, is something that we would all want, is it not? The engine continually adjusts to make sure only the right amount of fuel is needed, which simply means you get improved fuel efficiency, without compromising any driving pleasure.
The New Honda Ballade Elegance 1.5 is available at Pupkewitz Honda for N$195 406. PF