Honda Ballade 1.5
Honda Ballade holds a special place in our motoring world. Merc built wonderful classy little Benz’s when they built and marketed the first few generations of Ballade.
After a bit of a splutter Honda now offer us a Honda built Ballade. It is a nice little car, but sadly not quite the class act you remember.
The new Ballade is a modern and well designed subcompact sedan with loads of interior space for its size, is well specced and it has good roadholding .
You can choose manual or automatic (8speed CVT), base or Trend trim or fancy (Elegence) specification. Both models safety equipment which includes six airbags, ABS with EBD, emergency brake assist, vehicle stability assist and hill-start assist. The Elegance also has shift paddles, Eco button on the CVT version, cruise control and a reversing camera with three viewing options: top, normal and top-down view.
The sound system is very good, with Bluetooth, broad connectivity, easy controls and pleasing sound.
I was a little disappointing with the wind noise and one or two places in the cabin were just not smart enough for my liking or expectations.
The Ballade is pleasant to drive. Fuel economy is pretty good at around 7 litres/100km in real world conditions dropping to around 5L/100km om highway. Tyres are 175/65R15, so are economical to replace and give a comfortable drive.
Also look at the Kia Rio, VW Polo, Hyundai Accent, Suzuki Swift, Toyota Yaris and Renault Sandro.
My choice would perhaps be the Suzuki Swift (Dezire) GL 1.2 Auto at R160 900
Ballade Trend Manual R208 900 Automatic (CVT) R223 900
Ballade Elegance Manual R237 100 Automatic (CVT) R252 100
Three-year or 100 000km warranty and four-year or 60 000km service plan (intervals of 15 000km).