Launched: 2024 Honda Elevate

Honda South Africa just launched the all new Honda Elevate, and we were privileged to attend the Cape Town event for it, this week.

Initially I thought that this will be a replacement for the WRV that was launched a couple of years ago. Upon arrival, at the beautiful Zeits Museum near Cape Town’s Waterfront, I immediately realised that this must be an all-new model, as it looked all too beefy to sit on the Honda Fit platform.

The Honda Elevate carries a masculine design with confidence, and is actually built on the Ballade platform. Apart from the looks, the stand-out feature of this very exciting 5-seater model is its boot space: a full 458 L. This is very impressive in a crossover which is priced much less than cars with smaller measurements. Rear legroom is also cleverly large in comparison with passenger cars, while ground clearance of this front-wheel drive family car is a very generous 199 millimeters.

Buyers get to choose from six premium exterior colours: Lunar Silver, Meteorite Grey and Radiant Red are metallic paints while Phoenix Orange, Platinum White or Obsidian Blue display a beautiful pearl effect. Both the Comfort and Elegance trim levels feature automatic air conditioning, power windows, vehicle stability assist, anti-lock brakes, hill hold assist, a rear-view camera, at least four speakers and two airbags, as well as a comprehensive 8-inch touch-screen media system with smartphone connectivity options, as well as multiple USB and charging ports.

Buyers of the Comfort model get practical cloth seats (which is a preferable option for family spills and our hot African sun) while Elegance passengers are treated to lots of eco-friendly leather. Both versions have lots of power-operated features but the Elegance sports a wireless phone charger, two more speakers and four extra airbags, automatic headlights and auto-locking doors, slightly more colour coding, alloy wheels, roof racks, ambient lighting and a digital gauge cluster.

We followed the route of the well-known Cape Argus annual timed cycle tour, in order to familiarize ourselves with this new model. The 1.5L DOHC I-VTEC petrol engine delivers a healthy 89 kW with torque of 145 Nm. The punchy motor had no problem catapulting the Elevate along the back roads of the Cape peninsula, even in CVT form. What’s really evident is a unique blend of pure Honda planted-ness when it comes to owning the road, while still absorbing all imperfections beautifully.

Honda claims that the Elevate should use an average of 6.1 to 6.7L/100km from the 40L tank.

Both my co-driver and I were lso looking forward to getting our hands on the manual version in the future. These days manual cars are not standard anymore in the line-up of most major manufacturers. We thought that it is great that Honda has slotted in a manual version, especially for the pure petrol heads, and it also allows for a lower entry point in terms of price.

At a starting price of R369 900 for the 6-speed manual, we believe that Honda has a very competitive product here. The range-topping CVT model (with more than enough bells and whistles) is also competitively priced at R429 900. Each new Elevate is sold with a massive 5-year/200,000km warranty and decent 4-year/60,000km service plan with three years of free AA road-side assistance.

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