Month: May 2021

Magnite First Drive – the new compact crossover from Nissan

Indian manufactured compact crossover SUVs are becoming more prevalent on our local market; Kia recently launched the Sonet, Renault is yet to deliver the Kiger but this week Nissan unveiled the new Magnite to the motoring press (even though it’s been on sale for over a month). We spent the day with the new Japanese designed, Indian made B-SUV along some urban and country roads in Gauteng.

There is a burning desire for versatile, compact and efficient vehicles for automotive consumers in Mzansi. These offerings have now become the best sellers in almost all brands that offer them in their lineup, unsettling information for anyone that anticipated this trend to be a short-lived fad a few years ago. This means that they are here to stay, which is reaffirmed by Nissan’s attempt in the lucrative market with the new Magnite.

Nissan Group of Africa Marketing Director Kabelo Rabotho states “the Magnite reiterates our brand philosophy of keeping customers at the heart of everything we do to deliver exciting products for enriching experiences”. The success of these cars relies not only on the driving experience but also on the bold, self-driven go-for-it attitudes of the intended consumers which the car is poised to align with.

While exterior design freedom in the compact sub-4-meter SUV segment is limited, the Magnite is one of the more rich, modern looking variations – particularly when placed next to the joint-venture Suzuki Vitara Brezza/Toyota Urban Cruiser, which employ a demure aesthetic which appears as if it was conceived a decade ago.

The Magnite’s styling includes angular headlamps with lightsaber-style turn indicators, L shaped-DRL’s, a robust front and rear skid plate and a dominating front grille. A selection of 5 exterior colours with 3 dual tone options can be chosen from – the Vivid Blue and Storm White combination being the showstopper at the launch.

Standard across the Magnite range, the 16” diamond cut rims which fill out the chunky tyres, while robust black trim forms the surface around the squared wheel arches. An above average ground clearance of 205mm also affords the peppy compact with more gravel road ability or pavement conquering capabilities over its other competitors.

Many automakers in this segment look to reduce the costs of manufacture and development by partnering with other brands. It is overtly obvious with the badge engineered Suzuki Vitara Brezza/Toyota Urban Cruiser but more subtle in vehicles such as the Kia Sonet and Hyundai Venue which share underpinnings only. The Magnite follows the same protocol as the latter, utilizing the Renault-Nissan CMF-A+ platform, also used by the slightly narrower and shorter Renault Kiger.

This means that the Magnite range is competitively priced in the segment starting from R256 999 on the Acenta MT and topping out on the Acenta Plus CVT at R305 700. As with most choices in this segment, of which there is a new offering almost every month – deficient interior quality plagues most products.

Multiple surfaces and a comfortable ride height in what is an equally modern looking cabin are let down by lamentable quality. There are limited soft touch points and a host of cheap, crude plastics in the cabin which is expected in this segment, but general fit and finish typical with Indian manufactured cars is the bigger gripe. Components like the door card and headliner seem poorly secured while the pedal placement in the narrow footwell means your right foot constantly brushes on the adjacent surface to the accelerator pedal.

With that aside, this is a tech heavy choice in the cut throat compact crossover segment. We sampled the top of the range Acenta Plus CVT as well as the Acenta Plus MT which includes a host of tech features that are traditionally reserved for premium products.

Over and above the aforementioned exterior features, cruise control, an 8-inch full flash touch screen with Android Auto & Apple CarPlay, a first-in-class bird’s eye view AVM (Around View Monitor) for parking scenarios and a full 7-inch TFT instrument cluster with built-in tyre pressure monitor and are included. The instrument cluster is easy to navigate through the steering wheel mounted buttons while its resolution is clear and its function isn’t laggy or compromised. The included tech is commendable at the price point of this product!

Visibility and interior space is laudable too, despite a petite rear view mirror. Road/wind noise in city driving is non-existent, although the raspy 3-cylinder can become clamorous towards the higher spectrum of the rev range. Powering all derivatives of the Magnite is the HRA0 1.0-litre Turbo engine which has outputs of 74kW and 94Nm and can achieve a claimed 5.2l/100km in the MT or 6l/100km in the CVT. Its seemingly linear torque delivery is perfectly suited to sedate urban driving while its function is reasonable with open road driving and overtaking scenarios.

Of the derivatives on launch, the 5 Speed Acenta Plus MT did the job perfectly well while the Nissan Signature X-Tronic CVT transmission, which is best in class, was unexpectedly comfortable and quiet and our pick of the bunch despite its significantly increased price to the manual option.

The Magnite is also class leading with the many safety features that are included throughout the range which includes dual front airbags, Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) and an anti roll bar for improved cornering, Hill Start Assist, Traction Control and Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD). Despite this, its stature does mean that it has significant body roll in tight corners and considerable rear-to-front weight transfer under hard braking.

The Magnite range includes a 6 year/150 000km warranty and a 3 year/30 000km service plan.

Acenta MT – R256 999
Acenta CVT – R280 100
Acenta Plus MT – R282 600
Acenta Plus CVT – R305 700

Touring Gauteng in the updated Citroën C3

Citroën South Africa recently hosted national media at the upmarket Hotel Sky in Sandton for the launch of the updated Citroën C3.

In recent times, manufacturers have introduced products with minor revisions in what they call a “soft launch.” In other words, a press release and a call from the fleet manager asking when they can drop off the vehicle for you and your team to review.

So to host an opulent event (in typical French style) for a car that has mainly cosmetic updates seemed strange. However, this wasn’t just the launch of the C3 but also an introduction into the new mother ship, Stellantis!

A recent merger between the PSA Groupe and FCA has birthed Stellantis which houses brands such as Peugeot, Citroën, Opel, Fiat, Jeep, Alfa Romeo and Abarth to name those relevant to our market.

Stellantis falls into the world’s top four motoring groups, with Q1 2021 seeing them come out as the sales leader in Europe with a market share of 26,6%. While overall group sold for the first 3 months were over 1,5-million vehicles.

With a strong product offensive still on the cards for 2021, which will see a host of new models from the aforementioned brands, we look forward to seeing what the local arm of the group has in store!

Back to the topic at hand, we piloted the range-topping Shine model which uses a 1.2-litre 81kW 3-cylinder engine and is paired exclusively to a 6-speed auto. There is a cheaper Feel model on offer which employs a naturally aspirated engine with the same displacement to the tune of just 60kW. And you have to change your own gears. Prices start at R269 900 for the Feel and hits R324 900 for the Shine.

So what’s actually new? Well, there’s nothing to report in terms of the oily bits – that’s all carried over from the previous model. Instead, the most notable changes are upfront which include resigned headlights that feature new LED signatures. The front bumper has been incorporated into the headlights while Citroën’s updated logo takes centre stage both front and back.

Some love it others hate it, but the AirBumps are here to stay! If you’ve gotten used to BMW’s new grille, the AirBumps don’t seem like too much of a hurdle to get over. Especially as they are actually practical and protect your car from those who have a little less respect in the parking lots!

Speaking of parking lots, we were leaving the ones in Sandton and on our way out to Hartebeesport. In and around the city, the engine had plenty of punch enabling you to accelerate into gaps with ease. There was however some harsh feedback through the steering wheel over more jarring road surfaces. While the 16-inch alloys look great, they do contribute to a slightly firmer ride than if you had opted for the 15-inches on the Feel model.

On the open road, the engine again impressed as it was able to cruise up to the national speed without breaking a sweat and managed to maintain that speed even when traveling at steeper gradients. The 3-cylinder engine also makes a lovely noise when pushing on!
Overall NVH levels were on par for this segment and the niceties fitted to the cabin made our trip that much more enjoyable.

The 7-inch infotainment system is fitted with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto while there are a host of other standard features. The C3 also comes with an array of safety features which includes active safety braking, lane keep assist, collision warning and driver attention warning. The seats were a standout for me as they were extremely supportive and cosseting but are only available in cloth.

All-in-all, the C3 remains a solid contender in this segment – with a host of standard features and an enjoyable driving characteristic. Citroën have slightly tweaked the recipe to make the new C3 a more desirable car and in doing so, reminded us why it should be a product certainly worth being on your shortlist.

Putting the Sport in SUV with the Suzuki Vitara

Suzuki is no stranger to the world of off-roading, having the utilitarian Jimny, their first 4WD model as the bona fide option for trail-hungry enthusiasts from as early as 1970. Towards the end of the millennium however, scores of consumers were beginning to show interest in more usable utility vehicles but without the bare-bones build quality of the traditional off-roaders at the time. Enter the docile first generation Vitara shape in 1988, which was poised to bridge that gap. It offered an elevated seating position, improved creature comforts, all wheel-drive and off road capability all packaged into compact and configurable dimensions. Most importantly, the Vitara was affordable and accessible to the masses. This makes it arguably one of the first SUV forerunners, embodying the definition of the segment before it ever existed. So, what has changed in over 30 years then? 

The car we had on test – a facelifted fourth generation 1.4 Turbo GLX AT is not a brand new release. Its underpinnings date back to 2015 but the mid cycle refresh, which debuted in 2019 has updated the iconic nameplate with updated technology and features. 

First thing is first, the Vitara has gravitated away from its roots (somewhat) and ditched the lone 4WD layout that made this model a success story in the late 1980’s. Its capabilities have now been more aligned with the typical city orientated SUV with the transversally laid out motor powering the front wheels while offering an accessible 185mm of ground clearance. Out of the seven derivatives offered, the only model with Allgrip (4WD) is the naturally aspirated 1.6 GLX mated to a 5 speed manual transmission. 

The K14C Boosterjet in-line 4 turbocharged motor found in our test car is the one to have though, 103kW and 220Nm is plenty to haul the 1160kg body around. It is even enough to self induce a dash of torque steer and enable the assistance of traction control during acceleration in certain scenarios. It is the same plucky motor that makes the Swift Sport so nimble, in case you didn’t know. Such spirited performance from the modest looking model is unexpected. So you can imagine the surprising grin of continuously putting the SUV through its paces and the drivers display yielding a handsome reward of 13.2 km/l (which equates to 7.4l/100km in normal units of measurement). Sedate driving could achieve as low as the claimed 5.8l/100km but the fun factor seems to inhibit getting anywhere near this number! 

This motor can be coupled to either a 6 speed manual transmission or the new automatic with the same number of cogs. Despite the solitary driving mode, the shifting seemed light and comfortable while more vivacious use of the throttle in overtaking situations warranted responsive and intuitive up and down shifts. The tactile paddles behind the steering wheel were suitably sized and the gearbox responded timeously to manual interaction too. Where the experience fell short was an apparent engine shudder when coming to a stop, alike to that of stalling. Overall though, the Turbo GLX in automatic guise provided a very comfortable driving experience which could also instill some hooliganism with the surprising torque delivery – reaffirming its purpose as a Sport Utility Vehicle. The Vitara is also well equipped when it comes to the safety department, with active and passive features like ABS, EBD, BAS, ESP and 7 airbags.

The interior, while aesthetically outdated and basically arranged, is well put together and is constructed with high build quality – surpassing that of certain European rivals. The vehicle on test had almost 16 000km on the clock and there were little to no rattles in the cabin on smooth urban roads. Although an abundance of plastic textures dominated the front fascia, there were equally as many pleasant soft touch points too, boding well for mild comforts. Where I found vexation was the driver’s seating position. Designed with the Japanese domestic market in mind, the narrow bolsters on the base of the seat found my slender behind constantly wriggling to try and get comfortable – to limited avail. 

Keeping true to its precursor’s legacy, the Vitara retains an elevated, upright seating position which enables abundant visibility in all directions, albeit with a diminutive rear view mirror. The rest of the interior is otherwise filled with some cool and useful tech, chief being the 7” touch display which has USB, SD card and Bluetooth functionality, standard smartphone integration also applies. An analog rev counter and speedometer dominate the dials behind the steering wheel while the driver display includes a G-Force meter and power distribution graphs – Sport Utility Vehicle remember? 

Although equipped with a small screen, the clarity on the reverse camera made visibility when backing into parking bays much easier – especially in low light environments – impressive. Our vehicle on test was also equipped with a panoramic sunroof, which made for a warm sunny welcome on cooler autumn days but limited rear headroom for adults. The configurable boot can hold up to 375l too, which is just above average in comparison to its competitors in the subcompact crossover segment. 

The range includes several derivatives including our Turbo GLX 6AT, which is pricey at the top of the spectrum coming in at R426 900. There is some good news though, the naturally aspirated 1.6 GL 5MT 2WD can be had for as little as R310 900 – but don’t expect as many amenities or as much driving fun as the Turbo GLX can offer. While evolution over a 30 year period can create a product completely indistinguishable from its precursor, there are aspects of this subcompact crossover SUV that still allude to its rich heritage. While the nameplate has adapted to keep up with the times, it retains some of its pedigree sporty, adventurous flavour to suit the new era of consumers.

The Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S: The Pick of the Bunch!

In the last few decades, the car world has seen seismic changes in consumer tastes. From the traditional box shape saloons reigning supreme, to the awkward stage of MPVs, and now we’re faced with a sea of SUVs. Everything these days seems to be an SUV/crossover of some flavour and distinguishing your vehicle from not only your competitors, but within your own stable, has become increasingly difficult.

For instance, the Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S on tests costs R2.9 million without options. The Coupe version will set you back another R70 000.For R3.2 million you can jump into the larger GLS 63 and for R100 000 on top of that your bum will be in the seat of a G63.
Now, a R400 000 difference for you and I may seem like quite a lot of money but when we’re talking sums as large as this, it’s a little less significant.

It’s also important to the note that all models mentioned above use the same engine – a 4.0-litre biturbo V8. So, my question is where exactly does the GLE 63 S actually fit in? If we’re looking at size and looks, then sure there’s a notable difference. But when we’re talking performance alone, is there a need for the GLE 63 seeming you’ll get similar performance elsewhere in the range?

The short and sweet of that is yes! In fact, it would probably be the one I’d most recommend to anyone shopping in this segment. Or rather, it’s the one that speaks to me most of all.
You see, the GLS is a larger and heavier vehicle and as such the dynamics are compromised. The sprint time of 4.2 seconds is quite off the GLE’s time of 3.8 seconds even though they produce the same amount of power. Sure, if you need the additional space then the former is the right option, albeit with less gusto.
The G63 might be a cult classic and probably the ‘coolest’ car of the lot but it is the least powerful and has the slowest sprint time of 4.5 seconds. It’s 20kW down in comparison to the other two and has the slowest top speed of 240km/h. So, in essence, the GLE 63 seems to be the true performance bang for your buck in the Mercedes-AMG SUV line-up.

If I do have one reservation about the GLE 63, it’s that it looks a bit demure, particularly in the specification we tested. The Panamericana grille and massive vents are distinctively AMG and assert the domineering presence of the GLE, but it may be mistaken for the lesser 53 variant. While some may appreciate the more reserved exterior, there is an extensive option list where you’re able to build your perfect specification. The 22” cross-spoke alloys are a must for me!

While we’re on the topic of tailoring your GLE, the cabin has a plethora of technology and luxury amenities that you’re able to configure to your exact liking. The MBUX infotainment system that includes two 12.3” screens that span across the dashboard should be familiar to most Mercedes owners, but it is still one of the most standout aspects of this interior. The latest system fitted is easy to navigate and very responsive, while the digital display behind the driver has multiple design configurations and can display any vital information for the driver. Although Mercedes-Benz has introduced a new steering wheel design featured on the latest E-Class, I must admit that I prefer this current design. The touch-sensitive pads are easier to use and the alcantara finish is certainly a nice touch.

On the road, the ride quality is slightly firmer than what I would like it to be, but the saving grace is the 21” rims fitted to our press unit which provide a bit more cushioning. The 22” cross-spoke alloys will result in an even harsher ride. The AMG Active Ride Control air suspension, which is standard on the GLE 63 and an option on the 53, does provide some suppleness over more jarring surfaces but you will feel the harsher imperfections. In saying that, I do feel that competitors like the BMW X5 M Competition ride slightly harder than the GLE 63.

The biggest drawcard of the GLE 63 is its 4.0-litre V8. Generally, that engine is phenomenal with linear power delivery that doesn’t seem to plateau, and a soundtrack like none other. Power on offer is 450kw and 850Nm, plus the addition of AMG’s mild-hybrid EQ Boost assist which provides an additional 16kW and 250Nm temporarily. As mentioned previously, the 100km/h sprint time comes up in a mere 3.8 seconds and at no point did the engine feel like it was waning for power. In fact, I suspect Mercedes-AMG were quite conservative with those sprint time figures. The 9-speed transmission is somewhat lazy in its calibration where it would be slightly sluggish on the downshifts and over eager on the upshifts, particularly when approaching corners. While the changes are crisp and responsive, the calibration needs to be worked on slightly to ensure that you are always in the optimal gear.

When tackling corners, the GLE 63 truly outshines its stablemates and where you notice the advantage of having a stiffer suspension set up. The front-end bites well into the corners and body rolls remains very composed and stable. Compared to the larger GLS 63, you certainly have more confidence in tackling corners as you are able to gauge the heft of the car with better accuracy, meaning you have more ability to take corners at a higher speed.

All-in-all, the GLE 63 S is a highly competent high-performance SUV that, in my opinion, is the pick of the bunch in terms of Mercedes-AMG’s line-up but is also right up there in terms of its competitors. You get the most amount of performance without sacrificing anything in terms of luxury and refinement. You also save yourself a fair amount of money, if that matters to you.

The Peugeot 3008, a modern day French artwork

France is a country that is besotted with the idea of romance and beauty, when they are not being impolite to English speaking tourists, of course. They are a nation renowned for the City of Love and the world famous Louvre, housing some of the most priceless and beautiful artworks ever created. The products they produce embody the environment they are created in, such as the eternally stylish compositions from fashion moguls like Coco Chanel or industrial design heavyweights like Phillipe Starck. If you haven’t gotten the picture yet, France knows a thing or two about style. 

So why are French brands often overlooked by consumers in the local automotive market? Peugeot for example is a brand that is no stranger to reigning supreme in Car of the Year competitions, the pre facelift 3008 itself being a former victor and the smaller 208 hatchback holding the current title in the B-segment. These recent accolades alone allude to a highly capable brand with an appetite to create and innovate. However, their creations lack the status of more premium marques and traditionally carry an exacerbated and unfair negative reputation for poor after-sales and maintenance. 

Moving onto the Peugeot 3008 then, a car which I was most eager to get behind the wheel of as a result of my aesthete preference (I am fascinated by beautiful things). From the offset, it holds an attractive presence, sure it does not hold the high repute that its German rivals instill into pedestrians but copious amounts of chrome and overbearing grilles do not always mean more beautiful. I had a quick walk-around and realized this would shoot well from any angle, something that is not common when many affordable modern cars feature in front of my lens. 

While this is the facelift of the already attractive second generation, both are far superior to the original blob shaped 3008 which was produced between 2008 and 2016. As with most evolutions, the recent iteration takes the cake. Other than a drastically reshaped front end and minor interior updates and infotainment improvements, nothing much has changed from its pre-facelift predecessor. It retains well proportioned SUV dimensions and manages to hold an aggressive stance – compliments of a headlight-integrated horizontal front grille while the rear light feature of the car successfully accentuates its width. A suitable mixture of chrome, gloss black and durable plastic trim line the extremities while LED lights illuminate the car in the dark, a feature which is arguably aligned to Peugeot’s updated feline corporate identity and logo.

Prospective buyers will be happy to know that the pièce de résistance of the 3008 lies in its sumptuous interior. In our top of the range GT-Line, the attractive exterior continues inside the cabin, drivers and passengers are met with a combination of plush materials, overlapping surfaces, subtle illumination and an elevated but comfortable seating position. Spaciousness is a strong selling point, with ample room for 5 adults and copious cabin storage, the boot can hold 520l too if the full size spare is ditched and the false floor is dropped to its lowest level. 

Getting behind the wheel presents an experience of its own, the driver has no choice but to grip onto a small, low slung, octagonally shaped steering wheel which is positioned just below the dashboard mounted i-Cockpit. This combined with the angled infotainment screen and fighter-jet shaped dials cocoon the driver but once the excitement has subsided, the upright, elevated seating position reaffirms any anticipated expectations of its driving capability. This is only a Peugeot 3008, no matter how much it feels like the cockpit of the Concorde. Just like the front seat of the supersonic French airliner, the 3008 suffers from limited visibility; the sloping rear roofline creates a miniature rear orifice to glimpse out of and the thick A pillar, bulky side-mirror and tweeter intersect exactly where you need to see adjacent traffic from. 

Improvements in the interior include a redesigned infotainment screen which implements a simple bottom ledge that assists in navigating the user interface while driving on uneven surfaces. The small and irregular shape of the steering wheel means that the stalks and cruise control dials are often concealed which makes immediate assimilation quite difficult. Where the 3008’s interior feels outdated is the front and rear cameras which lack clarity on the large 12.3” digital cluster however the standard-equipment PDC makes up for the shortcomings of the camera. 

Despite its sporty interior features and aggressive styling, this is still a run of the mill Peugeot SUV which comes with satisfactory performance and handling for a vehicle of its stature. The body is firm in cornering and the motor feels sufficiently powered in day-to-day applications; albeit on the less economical side of the spectrum, returning 8.4l/100km in combined driving scenarios. The 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine is standard across all three derivatives in the range and is claimed to churn out a maximum of 121kW and 240Nm as low as 1400rpm. While it makes light work of overtaking on the open road, quickly accelerating the 1390kg mass from stationary seems like a laborious task.

The steering at slow speeds is firm while the brakes are responsive with good pedal feedback. Its 6-speed automatic transmission is sublime for sedate driving scenarios but can be lethargic in upshifting or when manually interacting with the small paddle shifters. This can be remedied in the sport mode which makes for slightly snappier gear changes and improved throttle response but I can confidently say that this is a far better suited as a comfortable cruiser. I did not have the courage to take this off-road, since it would look completely out of place but despite its solitary FWD layout, Peugeot claims that its Grip Control system can do most things a true 4WD can. 

In typical French fashion, this C-SUV does come with as many quirks as it has standard features, but if you are style conscious and not status driven, the Peugeot 3008 is the one for you. Our fully equipped, top of the range GT-Line comes in at R644 900 and includes a 5 year/100 000km service plan and warranty but the more affordable Active derivative can be had from R514 900. This is a car that would look perfectly at home with the Louvre in the background or equally as natural trundling past some of our own beautiful, contemporary architecture. Most importantly, it will put a smile on your face everytime you manage a coup d’oeil of it!

Can the BMW 128ti usurp the Golf GTI from its throne?

We compare the facts and figures! 

We recently drove the new 128ti on its debut in Mzanzi towards the end of February, read about its road test here: Since BMW recently launched their new 1 series (F40 generation) hatchback in 2019 there has been speculation of a variant that would rival the likes of the local hot-hatch king: the Golf 8 GTI (which was locally delayed to the third quarter of 2021 because of a global shortage of semiconductor chips). The new Front Wheel Drive 128ti is what they brought to the party, but how does it stack up against the formidable GTI? 

The highly anticipated M135i was seemingly a bit of a let down to the automotive press (, leaving much to be desired from its predecessor. However the 2-litre 4 pot 128ti could be the right variation for Bavarian die hards wanting a fun, affordable hatchback. While it rejects the norms of BMW’s typical hatch lineage, none of its forerunners have ever embraced the true recipe for a funky hot hatch, until now. That being said, any brand that spends time and budget developing an FWD hot hatch will stack it up directly against the GTI in the hopes of being a worthy adversary, so how does the BMW do:

BMW 128ti

2.0T 4cyl turbo, 195kW and 400Nm

0-100 6.3 seconds (claimed), 250km/h (limited)

5.7l/100km, 158g/km


FWD, 8 speed automatic

R687 418


2.0T 4cyl turbo, 180kW and 370Nm

0-100 6.4 seconds (claimed), 250km/h (limited)

6.2l/100km, 168g/km


FWD, 7 speed dual clutch automatic

Pricing is TBC

While the numbers marginally favour the Bavarian hot hatch (on paper at least), the GTI will continue to enjoy its cult status in our local market. While we are yet to test the new Golf 8 which is expected to arrive very soon, our opinion is that the BMW may just be a more engaging and complete package to drive for enthusiasts. It is lighter, slightly more powerful and makes use of an engaging mechanical diff. Both are well specced with standard equipment already included at their base price points and both have top speeds limited at 250km/h. VW’s desirable cult following of this segment are where BMW would have fallen short, but shrewdly instilled a form of heritage by reinvigorating the Turismo Internazionale (TI) nameplate that was so prominent with the brands success in the late 1960’s.

BMW has taken a stride into a new direction with the 128ti, and by doing so they have leapfrogged some of the competition in the front-wheel drive hot hatch market. Until we can make direct comparisons between the two, we believe the GTI may have met its German match.