Month: January 2017

Has the champ returned? BMW’s new 5 Series is imminent.

It’s quite scary to think that the current F10 5 Series has been with us for more than five years now. Many can’t argue with the fact that this iteration of the car was regarded amongst the best in its class. In fact, it took the competition some years to build cars that bettered the current 5 Series and as a result, we’ve started to forget about the gem. That will change soon enough as BMW is about to launch the latest 5 Series (named the G30) into the South African market. We don’t have all the nitty gritty’s at the moment but what we can divulge is this:

Completely new design:

Looking at the press images from BMW, it’s safe to say that the G30 looks like a baby 7 Series. Is this a bad thing? If the 7 were not a looker maybe, but since the 7 looks great than no, it’s not a bad thing at all. The front end looks wider, bolder and fuller compared to the outgoing car whereas the rear has a much sleeker design to it. BMW have been infamous for their controversial designs of previous 5 Series models, such as the E60, but it seems they went the safer route this time. The new car is slightly larger too,  so tall people can enjoy the rear even more. Another shared design element with the 7 Series is the active shutters behind the kidney grille of the car. This makes the car more efficient as the car can cut a cleaner line through the air when the shutters are closed. The G30 is also up to 100kg lighter than the F10 depending on the specification of the car.

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Inside the G30 we see a completely new cabin that is elegant and luxurious. A large infotainment screen centralises the design creating an appealing look. Of course the car is going to be filled with lots of technology through the use of apps, as we’ve seen in most modern BMW’s. Word on the street is that we can look forward to BMW’s touch control system and the latest iteration of  iDrive. Semi autonomous driving aids are also said to be present in the new 5 Series, something we’ve experienced in the 7 Series.  If those systems are anything like the ones offered in the 7 Series, BMW would’ve done a good job.

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xDrive:

In the overseas market, certain models of the new 5 Series are available with xDrive, making them more grippy and confidence inspiring on the road. An exciting model offered abroad is the M550i xDrive, which has the 4.4 litre Bi Turbocharged V8 engine. With xDrive equipped in this model, it is sure to be a monster.

Engines to be offered:

Overseas the G30 5 Series is available as a 530i, 540i, 530e, 520d, 530d and M550i xDrive. As mentioned we aren’t sure what models will be gracing South African soil but we eagerly await this car. Has the champ returned? Only time will tell.

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KIA punches back with bold new Picanto design.

No matter what anyone tells you, aesthetics play a major part of consumer behaviour when it comes to buying cars. This may be even more so in the compact A segment vehicles, a segment aimed at the youth. The youth as we know it “like things”, so if something looks great, chances are they will be interested. Manufacturers know this and as a result, they have created hip ways to engage with their target market.

The KIA Picanto is a youthful car and more often than not, drivers of Picanto’s look just as good as the cars they drive. The Koreans have put a tremendous effort to make their cars appeal to all types of people, hence why they’re full of technology and are aesthetically pleasing. Over the years, brands like KIA have proved themselves as not only good looking, but also good quality too. Those who have bought them, have had great experiences with them, so much so that the brand has won awards for this. If you’re one of those clients or you’ll be looking for a nifty small car this year, you’ll be happy to know that there’s a new Picanto coming. Yes the people at KIA have revealed an edgy design of what the car will look like ahead of its official reveal at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show.

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Sticking to the current cars stylish looks, the new design adds to that with bolder liners and sharper edges. The wheelbase of the new car will be 15mm longer, giving it more a stance. Buyers will have a choice of 11 different colours to choose from and there will be a choice of a GT-Line, such as is displayed in the image. The interior has also been completely redesigned to look more modern and it features a touch screen infotainment system. Based on what we’ve been given below, we think the new Picanto will be a good fit for a segment that is highly competitive. Now we await more details as the car will arrive in South Africa before the end of 2017.

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Honda Civic

Honda Civic Driven Review

Motorist Digital Magazine – Edition 08

There are few things in this world which are more reliable than a Honda. I have often said that not even a playschool teacher could rival Honda’s sterling reputation for trustworthiness, and that is quite a statement to make! In the same breath, though, one may argue that aside from their fast cars, of which there aren’t very many, Honda’s are a bit pedestrian. This is something which has traditionally been mirrored in their buyer base aka the zimmer-frame brigade. Granny and Grandpa love a good Honda and that’s not a bad thing! You see, unless your mum or dad were begotten of a rock and roll legend or drug abusing good for nothing, grandparents tend to be rather sensible people, and we all know that a sensible motorist is a clever motorist. Motoring is not a cheap exercise, so why not buy a car that’s both practical and reliable?

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Sensible and petrolhead are very seldom uttered in the same sentence and that can be attributed to the fact that you’d sooner find a turbocharger or a new intake in my Christmas sock than a Christmas cake or whatever normal people like as sock-fillers. I am, then, the very last person you’d ever expect to see smiling in a sensible Honda so you can imagine how pleasantly surprised I was to see my pearly whites gleaming back at me in the rearview mirror of the all-new Honda Civic.

The new Civic is a very good looking car with its swoopy headlights and sloping roofline – thankfully the drive is as pleasant as it is to look at. The model range is made up of three models, namely Comfort, Sport and Elegance. The Comfort model is powered exclusively by a 1.8 litre NA motor delivering 104Kw and 174Nm. It’s a powerplant with which we’re familiar and while you won’t be winning any post-bowls drag races, it does a god job in the Civic. The Elegance model can be had with the same 1.8-litre motor or Honda’s new and much praised 1.5 litre turbo unit. The Sport model is only available with this motor and what a powerplant it is. 127kW (170bhp) and 220Nm are the figures and when provoked, it’ll hustle the Civic from 0-100km/h in a not too shabby 8.2 seconds, yet return a claimed fuel consumption of just 5.9l/100km. I managed an average of 7l/100km during my week with the car which isn’t terribly far off.

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The only gearbox available is a CVT and while I generally liken CVT’s to a trip to the dentist, the low-down torque and linear power delivery of the 1.5 litre turbo-four lends itself well to the droning CVT’s efficient nature. In fact, you hardly notice that it’s a CVT while pottering around and when you floor it, you’re rewarded with a continuous surge of acceleration without the changing of gears, just like in a Koenigsegg Regera. Sort of.

What I liked most about the new Civic wasn’t its punchy motor, eye-catching looks or technology-laden interior, what got to me was just how easy it is to like. My first car was in fact a Honda. Sold as a Civic overseas and a Ballade in South Africa, the SR4 in code speak, was a real crowd pleaser in Luxline trim with its grey leather and electric windows. The new Civic reminded me of this, as well as why people buy them. My gran bought hers because she said it had “nice lines” and after she shuffled off it was passed down, eventually finding itself in my garage.  I still have it and it’s as good as new, barring a few bumps and dents from when Rosemary went blind and started driving by sound.

What I hope for this new Civic, though, is that not only the elderly and sensible will take to it, but everyone shopping in its segment. It really has come a long way from the previous generation model which was wonderful all on its own. Not only is the new Civic reliable, practical and sensible, it’s now exciting!

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Pricing:

Civic Sedan 1.8 Comfort – R330 000
Civic Sedan 1.8 Elegance – R370 000
Civic Sedan 1.5T Sport – R430 000
Civic Sedan 1.5T Elegance – R460 000

 

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