Honda City (AKA Ballade) hatchback debuts in Thailand
BANGKOK - For the last two decades, Honda’s B-segment compact hatchback game has been fielded almost exclusively by the Jazz, which is mind-bendingly practical, but not exactly a sporty choice for those seeking a more stylish and youthful package along the lines of Ford’s Fiesta.
But now Honda is taking a different approach in some markets with the City hatchback, which has just been revealed in Thailand.
The new five-door is basically a hatchback version of the City sedan, which was recently launched in its latest iteration in South Africa, where it wears the Ballade badge, although Honda South Africa says that there are currently no plans to launch the City hatch locally. In fact it’s not likely to replace the Jazz on any global markets, although it will serve as a sportier alternative in Thailand.
Three spec grades are available for the Thai market - S, SV and RS - and all are fitted with Honda’s 1-litre turbopetrol VTEC engine, which offers 90kW and 173Nm. This engine is also offered in the City sedan, albeit sadly not in the SA-spec Ballade.
The latest-generation Ballade was launched in South Africa this month, powered exclusively by an 89kW, 145Nm 1.5-litre normally aspirated VTEC petrol motor. Prices range from R336 500 for the 1.5 Comfort to R396 900 for the RS and all versions come with a CVT continuously variable transmission as standard.
But would you like to see the City hatchback making an entrance in South Africa as an alternative to the Ballade sedan?