Honda Ballade offers more in 2012
03 February 2012, 10:52
Honda’s Ballade nameplate made a welcome return in 2011 and Honda takes the game forward with a number of improvements for 2012.
The 2012 Honda Ballade is virtually unchanged under the metal although the focus this time has been on sharper aesthetics, updated interior trim and better standard specification.
A series of subtle changes have been made to the exterior, including revised front and rear bumpers, a new grille and new headlights.
Inside the cabin, changes have been made to the standard specification and there are new colours and finishes to choose from.
Apart from the promised increased aesthetic appeal, the Ballade remains big on safety too. Numerous energy-absorbing structures have been integrated into the design and front, side and curtain airbags are fitted as standard on all models.
ABS with EBD and EBA along with Honda’s Vehicle Stability Assist are standard.
The Ballade is powered by the 1.5-litre i-VTEC engine used in the popular Jazz that develops 88kW at 6600rpm and 145Nm of torque at 4800rpm through a standard five-speed manual.
The optional five-speed automatic transmission has a choice of three driving modes: Drive, Sport and a sequential manual mode. Top-spec Elegance models have easy-to-use paddle shifts, too.
LOOK INSIDE: There are slight tweaks to the body, but the 2012 Ballade also sees a revised specification list.
In the case of the five-speed manual, the Ballade is capable of a top speed of 185 km/h. Combined cycle fuel consumption is a claimed 6.3 litres/100 km with a CO2 emissions rating of 148 g/km. Figures for the automatic are 6.6 litres/100 km and 156g/km, respectively.
As before, two specification levels – Comfort and Elegance – are offered.
The entry-level Comfort’s features list includes a tilt-adjustable steering wheel, cruise control, front and rear electric windows, electrically adjustable door mirrors, manual air-conditioning with cabin filter, flat-folding rear seats (60/40 split) and a trip computer.
The audio system (with four speakers on Comfort models and six speakers on Elegance models) incorporates a CD player, integrated USB port, and an auxiliary connection. Bluetooth is standard, too.
Also on the list are dual airbags, Isofix child seat anchors, a full-size spare wheel and a factory-fitted alarm system linked to remote central locking.
Moving more upmarket, the Elegance models add 16-inch alloy wheels, front fog lights and chrome door handles to the exterior detailing. Inside the cabin, a leather-trimmed multi-function steering wheel adjustable for rake and reach, armrests for front and rear passengers and a practical rear under-seat storage tray are standard. An auto-lock function and selective door locking is also standard.
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