This is one way to Elevate Honda again

It is no secret that I wasn’t a huge fan of the Honda WR-V, so I was really looking forward to the new Elevate that has just arrived in South Africa. Was I going to love it? Hate it? Or be straight down the middle about it? Well, I am so happy to report that I actually rather love it and I think that Honda might just have brought themselves back to life with this new compact SUV/crossover.

The Elevate has some strong competition in the form of the Kia Seltos, Hyundai Creta, Suzuki Grand Vitara and so on, not to mention the Chery Tiggo 4 Pro. But I think it is going to slot in rather well, and might even give a few of these a run for their money.

What surprised me most was just how spacious this car is. It feels like it could be nipping at the toes of a segment above it. The boot is a rather large 458-litres and that will go down very well with families who are looking for a car that can swallow all of the paraphernalia that goes along with kids.

The cabin is well appointed and when everyone is all gung-ho on tech and screens and all things arcade-like, the Elevate is rather refreshing with its more traditional buttons and knobs. That’s not to say it doesn’t look and feel modern, especially considering it does offer all the tech. Even the entry-level Comfort has a lot to be proud of with its eight-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and two USB ports in the front. The Elegance derivative adds a wireless charging pad, seven-inch digital instrument cluster, a sunroof, and a multi-view camera. Some have reported on the hard plastics, this is doesn’t bother me, never has really. I don’t tend to spend time touching or feeling up the dashboard.

Under the bonnet of both derivatives sits a 1.5-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine that produces 89 kW and 145 N.m. The Comfort is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox, while the Elegance has a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Fuel consumption is claimed at  6.1 L/100 km for the CVT and 6.7 L/100 km for the manual.

Look, I am not going to pretend it is the best engine or that the CVT doesn’t whine at you under hard acceleration, but for every day use to and from school drop offs and grocery runs, this car will not disappoint. Even when fully loaded. You might feel somewhat frustrated when trying to overtake on the highway or if you really want to push and happen to live in Gauteng (now who’s fault is that then?). But with this engine and the CVT, you are able to come close to the claimed fuel consumption and in this day and age, that has to count for something.

This car is comfortable, capable and offers great value for money. Something we use to love Honda for. I feel like the Elevate has taken us back to the good old days of Honda and if my prediction is correct, we will see a lot of these on the road. Here’s hoping.


  • Honda Elevate 1.5 Comfort – R369 900
  • Honda Elevate 1.5 Elegance CVT – R429 900

The new Elevate comes with a five-year/200 000 km warranty and a four-year/60 000 km service plan.

I’m Julz, South African motoring journalist with a passion for cars and a questionable sense of humour. I am not your average motoring journalist, and this is not your average motoring website.

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