Ballade range now consists of six models with three spec levels. Space, practicality, safety and comfort remain core attributes. High-efficiency drivetrain benefits performance and economy Honda’s latest-generation Ballade sedan range has been boosted with the addition of a new flagship model. The new Executive elevates the nameplate to new heights as far as standard features and comfort are concerned.

The Ballade’s streamlined shape has become a frequent sight on South African roads, while the compact sedan’s combination of high safety standards, agile dynamics and comprehensive standard equipment have all contributed to its popularity.

The new Executive version follows on customer demand for an even higher-specced model than the Elegance variant, and as such, adds several new features to the Elegance’s already extensive features list.

Most notable from the outside are the larger 16-inch alloy wheels, shod with

185/55 R16 tyres, which immediately distinguish the new Executive model.

In addition, the exterior mirrors now feature integrated indicators for added visibility and safety, while chromed door handles underline the car’s smart appearance. The Ballade Executive also gets full leather upholstery, while the steering wheel is now adjustable for reach and height.

Under the skin, the new Executive version employs the same advanced technologies and innovations as the other models in the Ballade range. These include

Honda’s 1,5-litre i-VTEC four-cylinder engine with reduced internal friction and weight reduction, and a re-engineered, more efficient Constantly Variable Transmission (CVT) featuring Honda’s Earth Dreams technology.

As in the midrange Elegance version, the CVT model is equipped with steering column-mounted shift paddles, allowing incisive gear shifts and greater control. Honda’s Econ button on the CVT model adjusts throttle mapping, shift patterns and cruise control operation.

The Ballade features the compact exterior dimensions typical of a B-segment sedan, but employs the extended wheelbase more typical of a C-segment model. The result is class-leading interior space, and a luggage compartment with a substantial

510 litres of cargo space.

A multifunction steering wheel allows convenient use of the cruise control, as well as the Bluetooth and audio functions, while a seven-inch touchscreen display with icon-based graphical user interface offers intuitive access to the car’s infotainment system, including audio functionality and Bluetooth telephony.

The Ballade offers class-leading levels of active and passive safety. Like the rest of the range, the new Executive model is equipped with six airbags – front, side and curtain – as well as seat belts with pre-tensioners and load limiters. Active head restraints are also included.

Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) is standard, and incorporates both traction control and electronic stability control, assisting the driver in maintaining control, even in extreme situations. Hill Start Assistance, which makes starts on an incline easier and safer by preventing the vehicle from rolling back, is another useful feature.

Like all new Honda Ballades, the new Executive model is available in a choice of five colours. They are Taffeta White, Alabaster Silver Metallic, Urban Titanium Metallic, Golden Brown Metallic and Carnelian Red Pearl.

The new Honda Ballade 1.5 Executive is available through all authorised Honda automotive dealers countrywide. The pricing includes a three-year/100 000 km warranty, a four-year/ 60 000 km service plan, and one-year roadside assistance. Recommended retail prices for the six-model range are:

Honda Ballade 1.5 Trend                                   R208 900

Honda Ballade 1.5 Trend CVT                            R223 900

Honda Ballade 1.5 Elegance                              R237 100

Honda Ballade 1.5 Elegance CVT                       R252 100

Honda Ballade 1.5 Executive                             R258 000

Honda Ballade 1.5 Executive CVT                      R273 000