Month: May 2020

Isuzu MU-X 2020 Update

The MU-X can be argued as the most significant rival to the Toyota Fortuner and Ford Everest Monopoly, poised to pick up where the now deducted Chevrolet Trailblazer left off as the full-sized 7 seater SUV with real 4X4 credibility and ‘Tough’ dependability. Can the Two-year life cycle update to both specifications and safety improve its chances at the lucrative Full-size family SUV market

2020 Isuzu Mu-X Spec Updates

The revisions to D-Max based SUV are mostly cosmetic, with the updated front bumper now featuring the new gloss black theme which is accentuated through the vehicle and is integrated into the side steps which are now also black. 18-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels and rear tail light clusters with and LED effect look create aggression that didn’t exist before.

2020 Isuzu Mu-X Interior

The Interior gains piano black finishing on the door cards, which now feature ambient lighting, trim panels and gear lever. The 8-inch touchscreen Infotainment system gains the same treatment and so to the climate control switchgear binnacle.

2020 Isuzu Mu-X Spec and safety updates

Andriod Auto and Apple Carplay with twin front & rear USB, AUX and HDMI connectivity come as standard on the 8-inch infotainment system, with the optional 9-inch gains SATNAV, liked in the rear camera and rear park assist. Minor interior revisions have been made to tweak and enhance the user-friendliness of the cabin. All three rows feature cup holders, and there are storage compartments throughout. Safety upgrades to the braking system have been made through the addition of a Brake Override System which, will limit throttle input when the breaks are applied simultaneously. As standard a list of both passive and active including Brake Assist with EBD, Dynamic Stability control, hill assist and Hill descent control.

2020 Isuzu Mu-X Drivetrain

Powering the Mu-X is the same proven 3.0litre Turbodiesel carried over from the D-Max, delivering 130kW of power and 380Nm driven to the choice of either 4×2 or 4×4 via a 6-speed automatic. The Optional Eaton Rear differential which offers true 50/50 torque splitting remains a costed option when compared to the standard fitment in some rivals.

2020 Isuzu MU-X Pricing

MU-X is sold with a five-year/120 000 km warranty, Isuzu Roadside Assist, five-year/unlimited km anti-corrosion warranty and a five-year/90 000 km Service Plan.

Isuzu MU-X 3.0 4×2 6AT – R630 400

Isuzu MU-X 3.0 4×4 6AT – R698 200

2021 Mercedes-Benz E Class Range

The updated range of Mercedes Benz products and their inevitability endless onslaught of SUV’s by no means should suggest there luxury-focused premium origins my have fallen by the wayside. Having always served as the almost awkward ‘S-Class for less option’, the updated E-class range aims to remind us of all of the extreme attention to detail and the standards that the traditional Mercedes Benz approach has beckoned in a sleek and elegant package aimed at the wealth clients in banking speak.

2021 E-Class Specs and interior features

The new E-Class range serves more as an update rather than a completely new model, based on the underpinnings of the previous model the whole car has undergone extensive re-engineering and now is set to create the benchmark in its class. Visually the Panamericana Grille evolution hints to the sporting nature and the front are unmistakably new era Merc, and rather remarkable. The redesigned front end encompasses the new LED matrix headlights and reshaped front bumper and modernises the whole look. The Major benefactor of the new-era Merc is the interior, with the updated cabin gaining a new multi-function steering wheel with haptic feedback hands-off technology. Trim and available features have advanced fittingly and the Widescreen 10.3-inch twin-screen cockpit layout comes standard with the optional 12.3-inch paired to the latest version of Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) user interface. Voice control, the ‘Hey Mercedes’ personal assistant and augmented reality have also been revised to prove more intuitive and provide an enhanced driver and passenger experience and for the first time in the E-Class. Being an E-Class its now almost traditional that all tech due on the new generation S-Class trickles through and the with the sheer list of available driver assists summarising this nicely.

2021 E-Class Drivetrains

The complete overhaul of the vehicles electrics system as allowed Merc to through all their latest technology at this vehicle and adequately address the aged feel the E-Class often had. The Driver autonomy focus becomes clearly visible through the lengthy list of active and passive safety. Topping off the list is the Active Steering Assist systems, with emergency avoidance technology, Active Blind Spot Assist which also functions at a dead stop to help with pedestrian and cyclist traffic. Additionally, Traffic Jam Assist allows for self-driving autonomy up to 60Km/h and can apply the brakes due to cross traffic where needed. Distronic Adaptive Crusie Control, with steering and braking autonomy making up the bulk of the active safety.
In Europe, the benefit of 48V Mild-Hybrid electrification is applied across the range to the 200kW 2.0Litre Turbo Four Cylinder petrol, 3.0Litre 6-Cylinder turbo petrol and 3.0Litre 6-Cylinder turbo Diesel, providing an additional 15kW of EQ boost. South Africa likely will retain the current range of just 2 engines, namely the 145kW and high 190kW four-cylinder turbo petrol and the 143Kw 2.1Litre turbo diesel mated to a 9-Speed Automatic transmission.

The E53 AMG offering retains with 320kW and 520Nm of torque from the same 3.0litre V6 Biturbo engine, paired to the same 48Volt Hybrid system, which can provide 16kW and 250Nm in addition to the standard numbers to muster a 4.5 Second 0-100 sprint time and a limited top speed of 250km/h or 270km/h with the AMG Drivers Package. Drive is to all-four wheels via 4MATIC 4WD and the 9-Speed DCT AMG gearbox from bigger brother E63S is shared. The 2021 E63 S has been spotted testing in Germany and likely will follow shortly with a few extra ponies, and significant driver-focused chassis updates.

2021 Mercedes- Benz E-Class in South Africa

The Auto industry and Covid-19 have been playing an exciting sparring match. With the Geneva Motorshow where the E-Class was set to debut cancelled, the digital launch suggested a 2021 Launch with the E-Class sedan leading the way for Coupe and Cabriolet models.

BMW M2 CS confirmed for South Africa

With BMW going FWD and adopting giant grills over driving thrills, the thought of getting your hands on a driver-focused RWD BMW may appeal to you a heck of a lot more now. The most hardcore BMW M2 ever, the M2 CS confirming 28 units for our shores it’s pretty easy to remind yourself why we’ll miss old school BMW’s.

2021 BMW M2 CS Specs

Powered by the same revised version of the S55 engine as the larger M4 CS light-weight brawler, with power rated at 331kW and 550Nm. The option of a 6-Speed manual or 7-Speed DCT gearbox is available. The Rear wheel 19-inch Y-spoke forged light-weight alloy wheels in a high-gloss black or optionally a matt gold. Tasked with contending with the brutal 4-second 0-100 sprint time and connecting the CS with the road are standard Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres. The increased 280km/h limited Top Speed, via the M Drivers Package is now inclusive of the M2 CS specification.

The focus of weight reduction has necessitated the use of light-weight composite materials throughout the entirety of the vehicle and extensive changes to the standard model: through a moulded Carbon fibre roof, bonnet and new front aerodynamic splitter. Adaptive M Suspension and M Sport brakes are standard, and new ball joints and elastomeric bearings have been fitted to the axles, in addition to the forged wheel hubs and control arms. Carbon-ceramic brakes are optionally available and (when installed) result in a 25kg weight savings. Internally the CS continues to use extensive amounts of carbon on the centre console, door pulls and trim. Being an ‘M’ car, the headrest-mounted logos have been substituted with more fitting with ‘CS’ Clubsport nomenclature. The seats are leather, and Alcantara trimmed standard Competition Sport Seats.

2021 BMW M2 CS Pricing in South Africa

With 30 units coming to South Africa only 28 will be made available for sale via auction to the top 300 M customers. The bids will be places on preassembled vehicles optioned and spec’ed in either manual or auto, the choice of one of the four colours: Hockenheim Silver, Sapphire Black, Alpine White and Misano Blue will be available. The standard model asks a cool R1 million and change and the CS will likely sell for around R1.4 million with higher-optioned models demanding higher prices.

Porsche Unvails the new 992 Targa

Since the 1965 introduction of the Targa designation of the 911 has always been distinguishable by the coupe-like nature and body dynamism is yet still providing cabriolet drop-top thrills. The Latest 8th Generation will be based on the current Carrera and Carrera S platforms and its unique attraction creates another promising variation of the 911.

2020 Porsche 992 Targa 4 & 4S

The Targa Powered by the same twin-turbo 3.0Litre flat-six engine the standard Targa 4 delivers 283kW and 450Nm of torque, bringing an additional 11kW of its predecessor. Dispatching the 4.2 Seconds, as standard, and 4-seconds flat when fitted with the Sports Chrono Package. The Targa S being the more focused variant drops this time to 3.6 seconds by upping the power to 331kW and 530Nm with a top speed is rated at 304Km/h. Much like any 992 Carrera 4 or 4 S, the drive is transferred via intelligent All-wheel drive Porsche Traction Management (PTM). The option of the 8-Speed PDK dual-clutch transmission or a seven-speed manual is available.

Both models are fitted, as standard with the eight-speed dual-clutch transmission (PDK) and intelligent all-wheel drive Porsche Traction Management (PTM). Alternatively, the 911 Targa 4S can be ordered with the newly developed seven-speed manual gearbox, standard in the Sports Chrono Package. Standard Fitment on the Targa 4 is 235/40 ZR tyres on 19-inch alloy wheels in front and 295/35 ZR tyres on 20-inch wheels at the rear staggered setup. The 4S gains larger 245/35 ZR tyres on 20-inch front wheels and 305/30 ZR tyres on 21-inch rears.

The standard Targa Model has 330-mm brake discs with black 4-piston fixed callipers, with the ‘S’ upgrading to larger 350-mm red 6-piston callipers at the front with 4-pistons on the rears. Optional Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake (PCCB) is also available.

2020 911 992 Targa 4 interior and features

The 992 design ethos is carried through but enhanced by the Targa Rollover Protection Bar, which can be optionally specified with a black finish and created the iconic shape that blends the to models. The fabric top is fully electric, requires 19 seconds to fold flat. Weighted strips of magnesium in the roof frame keep the lid in place at speed. The 911 heritage carries through, via the centrally the tachometer is centrally mounted in the driver TFT information display. The Sport Response Button mounted on the steering wheel allows for drive mode selection, inclusive of a new wet mode allowing for better low traction driving. The familiar 10.9-inch Porsche Communication Management (PCM) shared with the rest of the range.

Porsche Targa 4 and 4S Pricing in South Africa

With deliveries, in other parts of the world beginning later this year the 992 Targa should likely arrive in South Africa near the end of 2020. Pricing for the standard model starts at R 1888000,00 for the standard Carrera S PDK.

Driven Review: Kia Seltos 1.6EX+ Auto

With the Crossover SUV market bursting at the seams with all the new sub-compact offerings, the Seltos’ relatively silent entry into the market came with it some severe favour amount buyers with the top-spec GT-Line proving ever popular in the sales. The launch earlier this year saw us spend some time with the crossover, but an extended drive of the more sedate 1.6EX+ variant makes for a more rounded opinion of the Seltos range.

Kia Seltos 1.6EX+ Cabin and interior features

The list of draw cards in the Standard features list with the Seltos is expansive and properly impressive at this price point. The EX + serving as the idea price entry point at sub R400k. The list of standard features is long and expansive but the cabin ability to be spacious and full of light even with dark materials is impressive.

Prospective buyers will be pleased to know that the Seltos’ perceived interior quality is generally good, but we do have a few gripes.
-Firstly, we don’t particularly like the piano black finish that features on the instrument binnacle-which sits bolt upright and looks rather odd in itself. The lower console, because it attracts dust and fingerprints; we anticipate one would have to keep a microfibre cloth in the car to wipe the panels down regularly. It’s also worth noting that the material quality of the heating, cooling and ventilation dials could be better; they look and feel marginal. The 8-Inch touchscreen infotainment system is connected enough to belong in a modern car, Android Auto & Carplay systems work rather effortlessly with the user-friendly menus and Voice Control. The EX+ only has a single front USB with other for the rear but also support fast charging which proves very handy. Other standard fair include the usual mix of the multi-function steering wheel, cruise control, electric folding side mirrors, electric windows, rear park distance control and a reverse camera. Possibly the most unique feature is the ambient lights that pulsate and illuminates door cars in tune with the 6-speaker system.

Kia Seltos 1.6Ex + Practicality

In terms of the proportions, the Seltos benefits from being a newly developed vehicle give of the Korean automaker’s attention to detail. Being 4135mm long the Seltos benefits from having a 433litre boot space yet still managing to leave enough room in the rear for adults. This is a statement not true for all crossovers and having jumped into the Hyundai Venue directly after for example. Read our Hyundai Venue Review here- The rear is a comfortable space to be with ample head, shoulder and arm personal space, with room for drinks via the large door cards of the folding armrest. The seats are bolstered and supportive and still comfortable and plush yet still offer a 60:40 folding split configuration. The loading space is massive and no lip intrusion and seats that fold almost flat opens up van like levels of haulage.

Kia Seltos 1.6EX+ Driving impressions

Powering the Seltos is a 1.6litre naturally-aspirated engine that produces 91kw and 151Nm, which are not the strongest of numbers for what is effectively a sizeable 1.3-ton vehicle which is primarily focused at family duties. This creates the following issue with respects to the Seltos but a few of its key rivals like the Suzuki Vitara, Ford Eco Sport and sister car Hyundai Creta. The driving position benefits from the steering that offers both height and rake, front seats that provide endless adjustment in the quest of the perfect driving position. The steering is very well weighted without feeling wholly numb and sharper than you expect from a subcompact, I’d like to go as far as calling it dynamic and confidence-inspiring enough for any family car and impressive for an SUV. Ride comfort is cripplingly crucial, and the Seltos passed with flying colours with a compliment and supple enough dampening to making it very pleasant.
The issue we assessed earlier about small naturally aspirated engines in larger vehicles, is possibly the most significant deciding factor to this vehicle and the segment as a whole. The low outputs result in a slightly more engaged drive and require more of an understanding of limitations at points. The 6-Speed Automatic transmission does the job well enough but “Kickdown acceleration” is not as impactful as you would like even when fully unladen, which translates equally poorly in fuel consumption which is claimed at 7.9L/100 which is far off the best of 10.9L/100 as tested. The lack of power at altitude can be solved with the higher Spec GT-Line, but at R444 995 it’s considerably more expensive, and the mid-spec EX+ provides a strong case for the range. The underwhelming engine shouldn’t spell to much give then the Seltos has done something brilliantly. It’s essential to note that Kia’s direct rivals suffer from the same problem but fail to match the build quality and practicality.

Kia Seltos 1.6EX+ Auto in South Africa

Priced at R405 995 the slight premium over its main rivals makes the Korean attempt at the subcompact market hugely impressive. The comparison to segment leader VW T-Cross (to which it strongly contests) is inevitable, The benefit of having a more energetic powerplant and the appeal of the VW brand to many comparatively to many fails to offset value. To this, the Seltos range is tremendous, and the price entry point, size and practicality as a family car makes outstanding arguments. This segment is currently the boiling pot for carmakers, and KIA has done a rather good job here. A significant statement for the consumer with the millions of numbers and dimensions that make up this segment. The anticipation of the 1.5litre turbodiesel engine before the Covid-19 epidemic was closing with the options of manual and automatic transmissions. KIA is doing very well to speak to the market and has created an excellent crossover SUV class entry. Combining genuine curb appeal and the massive shoulders of the Kia 5-year/unlimited km warranty and a 5-year/90 000 km service plan to service aftersales value. The GT-line is compromised by its the heavy R450k plus price that moves you into the Family SUV territory of larger Toyota Rav4’s and Mazda CX-5’s

Kia Seltos Range

1.6EX 6- Speed Manuel R  369995,00

1.6EX+ 6 – Automatic R 387995,00

1.6EX+ 6-Speed Automatic R 405995,00

1.4T GT-Line 7-Speed Dual-Clutch Transmission R460995,00

Prices include KIA’s 5-Year unlimited km Warranty and inclusive of 5-year 90 000Km Service plan

Lexus adds a more affordable variant to the UX range

Toyota’s premium brand Lexus and its launch of the UX luxury sub-compact has slowly been eating away at the market share and growing in popularity among buyers. Offering extensive features and provides the first insight into the instalment of Lexus vehicles underpinned by new Toytota GA- Crossover architecture. January brought an extension to the UX range with the base 200 EX. The same EX spec level has been applied to the Hybrid powered variant to create a more accessible entry point to the segment.

Lexus UX 250h EX Drivetrain

Set to slot in beneath the top-spec UX 250h SE, the understanding the ‘h’ nomenclature and is a symbolism of the hybrid drivetrain. The 250h EX gains the same 2.0litre 107kW petrol engine, which when assisted by the duality of two electric motors providing electrification produces 135kW. Almost atypical of a Toyota product their firm support of the CVT transmission in conjunction with the 180Nm of torque drives the 8.5second 0-100 sprint. The crucial element to the EX 250h should be fuel consumption and given the 4.5l/100km claimed fuel consumption, this coupled with the high level of specification which should make this a worrisome offering to the self-proclaimed German diesel loyalists.

UX 250h EX Specs and interior

Internally the EX still keeps to the demands of its segment and the bull-ish features list makes this clear with the same modern appeal of the new age Toyota era. The 10.3-inch Infotainment system is driven by the centre console-mounted Remote Touch Interface touchpad.

Lexus Connect features as a highlight, the addition of Andriod Auto and CarPlay now comes standard throughout the range in addition to the in-car Wifi. The bulk of the active Lexus Safety System reserved for the SE traditional cruise control and Lastest in there LED lighting technology lacking only in Adaptive Highbeam and boasting a single reward facing reverse camera. Impressive build quality and the high standard spec niceties, that fall part of options packages with other brands like wireless charging, dual-zone climate control and 8-Speaker High clarity audio system. Synthetic Nulux leather seat material is used internally, and the Fronts Seats remain heated and electric.

Lexus UX 250h EX Pricing in South Africa

With the force like influence into Hybrid Technology by parent company Toyota. Lexus is growing to have the same energy that Toyota has with this the updated Architecture-based products and the UX range expresses true premium crossover contention. Lexus’ 21% foothold in the Hybrid market is likely to keep climbing. Only a drive of the new model will tell but we cant wait.

With the Toyota variant of the same platform promising a Yaris Based SUV the crossover and compact SUV market and Toyota build quality heritage may make Likely be both a Stike One and Two for rivals.

Read about the Yaris Cross SUV here –

Lexus UX Range Pricing

UX 200 EX – R 654 700

UX 250h EX R 690 300

UX 250h SE – R 756 200

UX200 F Sport – R 785 400

The Lexus UX is sold with a 7-year/105 000 km warranty and a 7-year/105 000 km maintenance plan.

Toyota Yaris Cross SUV, It’s cool, but not coming to South Africa

Toyota Yaris Cross Front Side

With the Subcompact SUV market becoming one of the more ferociously contended segments, with competition coming from all corners of the Global one may wonder if the recently updated CH-R is doing enough to fend off an ever-growing list of rivals. The B-segments popularity and the recent tech and safety updates to the 2020 CH-R serve to remind of Toyota’s contention with the Yaris Cross’ promise that slips in as their smallest crossover offering. Read our Launch review of the Updated CH-R –

Toyota Yaris Cross Specs

Based on Toyota’s GA-B platform that underpins the next Yaris with the same 2,560mm wheelbase but gaining 240mm in length. The Toyota Yaris Cross boasts a size increase to the tune of 90 mm width, 20 mm and 30 mm in ride height. Powering the Yaris is a new three-cylinder 1.5-litre engine hybrid system paired to All-Wheel Drive producing 85Kw total. The design draws a lot from other models in the range with the Rav-4 big brother coming out clearly at the rear, and the hard lines plastic wheel arch cladding that usually in SUV speak means ‘rough and ready‘ in very soft whispers.

Toyota Yaris Cross Suv in South Africa

With the Hyrbid focused drivetrain and therefore high entry price point, it’s highly unlikely the Toyota Yaris Cross will feature the same spec as the European model. More Sedate versions with FWD Yaris powertrains seems the obvious choice for what could be a massive headache for rivals, but for now, South Africa is not on the cards.

The National Lockdown Stops New Vehicle Sales Dead in South Africa.

With the national lockdown rendering the new-vehicle buying experience void due to dealers being shut down and production plants abandoned in cooperation with new social distancing and work from home ideologies, that don’t translate in such an industry. The latest numbers from NAAMSA (National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa) paint a grim picture for the Motor Industry under the Covid-19 crisis. Dealers networks, manufacturers and finance houses are somewhat fearful of the stifled numbers the direct ramifications that have on an industry that is responsible for such large-scale employment and contributes largely to the economy.

April 2020 New Vehicle Sales

With a total of 574 vehicles sold in April with 105 (down 99.6%) of these being passenger cars, the LCV and commercial did 318 units and 151 respectively. Ford placing first, Toyota Second and Commercial Truck brand MAN making up the top places suggests most of the sales being focused on fleet or commercial sales. Significantly for South Africa’s vehicle export market which saw only 901 Units (down 97.3%). The sad reality is the terrible trickle-down effect for the economy, with plants shut down and the Motor industry’s heavy reliance on sales and 6.9% contribution to the GDP serious consequence are yet to be felt.

So what now?

Well, the truth is most businesses have had to be innovative with operations during the lockdown, buying a car in the lockdown is now possible. The digital age has allowed for the whole buying process to be completed with digital dealers like Mini’s here – Online purchases for vehicles is not a new thing, but only now will it be seen in its purest form with the reality of resentments for many dealer staff and employees caused by a lack of production. Tough times ahead for the motor industry.

SA Manufacturers Offering Lockdown Related Plan Extensions

With the ever-growing uncertainty of the lockdown ever-present, the Covid-19 pandemic seemingly has no end. The additional stress of having to deal with your vehicle’s service or Motorplan and how the lockdown affects it has been easied. These manufacturers are offering grace periods or extensions.

Audi SA Freeway Plan

The 5year/100 000 Kilometere Audi Freeway Plan has been extended to include, an additional three months to the term to all contracts expiring within the 27/03/2020 – 30/06/2020 period. This is over and above the one month grace that was initially applied at the beginning of the lockdown. The Freeway plan serves as a full maintenance plan and covers both service and wear and tear maintenance.

Ford SA Service Plan

Ford has extended by two months service plans due to expire from 01/03/2020 – 31/04/2020, with services that have not been completed due to the lockdown. This will begin from 01/06/2020, until 31/07/2020. The service and repair of vehicles permitted to operate will be facilitated through 23 designated dealers.

Isuzu SA

Isuzu Motors has added two-month extensions to all service & Mobility maintenance plans that would have been affected by the lockdown. Pivotally for a commercial brand like Isuzu, the service and repairs of essential service vehicles will remain open, with service intervals being extended and a body corrosion check available until 15/05/2020.

Kia SA

Kia has pleaded the relaxation of maximum service intervals, so to allow for customers to not lose the vehicle warranty. Additionally, the extension of KIA manufacturer warranty will be implemented, if the affected vehicle plans were due to expire in March or April 2020, seeing the extension move to the end of June 2020.

VW EasyDrive plan

VW’s that have a warranty of EasyDrive Plan that is due to expire in the period from 27/03/2020 – 30/06/2020 will receive a Three-month extension to their Volkswagen plan. Mileage restrictions will not be extended and a 1500km or 1 Month Grace will apply to all services scheduled during the lockdown.

In the event that the new vehicle warranty or the EasyDrive Plan expires or has expired during the period from 27 March 2020 to 30 June 2020, Volkswagen will extend the warranty or maintenance/service plan periods with an additional three months. These periods will end three months after the expiry of the new vehicle warranty or the Volkswagen EasyDrive Plan. The mileage restrictions will not be extended.