Honda Ballade returns

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iol mot dec3 hondacity2 . New Jazz-based Ballade will reach our shores during the first quarter of next year.

The Ballade nameplate was synonymous with Honda's presence in our market during the 1980s and '90s, the badge finding its way onto Honda Civic sedans that were assembled and marketed by Mercedes-Benz South Africa.

Honda of Japan used the Ballade name for its first Civic sedan, which came to South Africa in 1982, but while international markets adopted the Civic name after that, South Africa stuck with Ballade for its subsequent Civics.

These sedans then returned to their rightful Civic name when Honda entered our country under its own steam and as a full importer at the turn of the century, so the Ballade never actually disappeared - it just lost its name.

That said, the Civic has moved upmarket in recent years and it's now far cry from the affordable compact sedan that the Ballade used to be.

Now Honda South Africa is plugging that gap with an all-new compact sedan (called the City in international markets) that will be launched here during the first quarter of next year. As something of a spiritual successor to the earlier Ballades, what better name could there be?

Now totally devoid of Civic geneology, the Ballade shares its underpinnings and engines with the latest Honda Jazz.

iol mot dec3 hondacity01 Frontal design has a sporty ring to it, with inspiration coming from the Civic hatchback. .

Honda has not released any detail about the local range or specifications as yet, but the company has said that it will fill the gap between the Jazz and Civic in terms of positioning.

The 88kW/145Nm 1.5-litre i-VTEC petrol engine fitted to the current Jazz is a dead certainty for our market though, and if Honda intends to compete with more affordable sedans too, then the 73kW/127Nm 1.3-litre engine would be a logical choice as well.


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Maryn, wrote

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11:31am on 7 December 2010
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@asho. I am so glad we are free to make our own choices and that taste differs. Perhaps jealousy is making you nasty?

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asho, wrote

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09:56pm on 6 December 2010
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why would someone drive a crappy car like a Honda, keep it real drive vw

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Maryn, wrote

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03:19pm on 6 December 2010
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I bought a Ballade in 1992, used it until 2004 (replaced by a 2004 Civic) and gave it to my son, who used it until it was stolen in 2007. It was undoubtedly the best car I ever had (since 1964) and it will really be a shame if the name is attached to a car that does not meet the standard we have come to expect of Honda (SEE COMMENTS BY COBUS). I now drive a 2009 Civic VXi but may wish to replace it with a smaller sedan when I retire in a few years' time.

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Bonniebelle, wrote

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08:42am on 6 December 2010
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I had a ballade for a number of years which I then gave to my mother. She is 85 and her grandson still runs around in it! Amazing car! Loved it!

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Vish, wrote

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08:27am on 6 December 2010
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Front looks great. Not too sold on the back.Can't wait to see it in person. Probably be priced around 180k

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Cobus, wrote

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08:16am on 6 December 2010
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I was part of a customer survey done one these Ballades a few weeks ago, and I was VERY disappointed. As a Honda fan (since 2006 I have owned a 2004 Jazz, a new Civic EXi, a new Accord Tourer and a 2009 Jazz) I find this car WAAAAAY below the standards Honda has set on the other models in their stable. This car is basically a Corolla exterior combined with a Nissan interior... Especially the poor interior was shocking compared to those of the Civic, Tourer and Jazz. The survey group I was in uniformly panned the car, and I thought Honda would therefore review the decision to bring it here, but I guess the other groups had a different view....

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dFox, wrote

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04:15pm on 5 December 2010
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The Ballade was never known for being an "affordable compact sedan" A quick flip through old price lists confirm that it always sold slightly higher than the competition.

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Christopher Holmes, wrote

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03:35pm on 5 December 2010
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It will be interesting to see if Honda is to introduce an automatic Ballade; and if so, which box will it have? The original Jazz has a brilliant CVT box, whilst the current model has a 5-speed box. I believe that as from 2011, the slightly revised Jazz (body-wise) will revert to the CVT gearbox - not really a gearbox, as it doesn't have any gears! I don't think the 5-speed automatic box is as successful or as economical as the CVT. I await the news with interest!

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