Category: Car news

VW Facelifts its Tiguan Family SUV

Since its 2016 arrival, the second-generation VW Tiguan has proven to be a very successful seller, capturing families in need of a large Crossover SUV and providing rival to the likes of the Toyota Rav4, Nissan X-Trail and Mazda CX-5. South Africa’s deep brand Loyalty to the VW and the strength of the products almost instantly meant Tiguan grew to be one of the class leaders with accolades to boot, including the 2019 Cars.co.za Family Car of the year award.

2021 VW Tiguan facelift

Easily recognisable as a Tiguan the looks have been updated and now the more angular front lines (similar to the Golf 8) new front bumper with additional venting and cooling complete the front end rather fittingly. The overall look appears to be small changes that have enhanced and modernised the overall appearance- at the rear, the light clusters retain the same design. Still, they now feature LED lights, and the rear bumper is slightly more sporty with chrome exhaust like inserts.

2021 VW Tiguan Interior and Specs

The newest updates to the interior are the new MIB3 infotainment system, the updated steering wheel design with the same touch slider configuration as the climatic control to replace the buttons. The updates to the Tiguan’s driver connectivity features have advanced to the same standard on seen on the New Golf 8. Newer Gen features like We Connect Go, Wireless Apple Car Play and Andriod Auto and a 480-Watt Fender Premium Sound System ditching the potent Dynaudio System of before.

2021 VW Tiguan Passive and Active Safety.

Being a New VW Product, the focus on Safety in both passive and Active measures is extensive. The latest version of VW’s ACC- adaptive cruise control, now makes use of the Sat-Nav systems and Front-Mounted Camera to understand speed zoning and can adjust the vehicle speed accordingly. The System can take over full autonomous control (braking, steering and acceleration) at speeds of up to 200kph. Cross-traffic alert, emergency braking, and park assist features on the New Tiguan as part of the optional specification.

2021 VW Tiguan Drivetrains

The South African engine lineup has yet to be confirmed but is likely to mirror that of the New Golf 8, which abroad offers an entry-level 1.5Litre Turbo petrol in either a 96kW or 110kW states of tune. The 2.0TSI Turbo petrol will likely feature 180kW’s with a full cream Tiguan R as the range-topper. A 2.0TDI variant will be carried over from the current lineup.

2021 VW Tiguan In South Africa

The new VW Tiguan will arrive in South Africa towards the beginning of 2021 with the more focused Tiguan R Performance variant offering 235kWs and 420Nm. Power will be delivered to the road via 4-Motion AWD via a 7-Speed DSG gearbox.

Lexus enhances and advances the IS range

The Lexus IS range has always proved to be a formidable alternative to the more typical executive sedan options, now with the updated Lexus family face and image will the perceived image gap grow insignificant?

2020 Lexus IS Specs

The Sporty muscular look is said to hint at Lexus’ Driving Signature of performance, ethos that integrated the extensive engineering process that has resulted in the high focus on driver engagement and control. Lexus claims these will be the standards to which all new vehicles will be subject to, and thusly the change in focus should result in some interesting alternatives to key rival brands. The ‘New Look’ Lexus family face synergy carries through with the combination of a newly revised Spindle three-dimensional front grill, L-Shape LED lighting and angular lines that carry throughout the entirety of the bodyline of the vehicle. This beefer look is carried through the wider rear and new 19-Inch alloy wheels, that has created the necessity to widen the track 45mm in the front and 50mm in the rear. An updated version of Lexus Saftey Sense Plus will provide for driver autonomy through Dynamic Radar Cruise Control; Emergency Steering Assist Pre-Collision Systems, High Beam Assist and Lane Tracing Assist.

The focus on smooth “Linear vehicle operation”, hints to the overall refined drivability of the vehicle with the extensive development at Toyota’s Shimoyama Technical Centre, which focused on the behavioural dynamics of the vehicle. Retaining the rear-wheel-drive platform this should in-effect create a better-mannered vehicle.

2021 Lexus IS Drivetrains

The IS range will now feature both a 2Litre turbo-petrol and a hybrid electric 2.5Litre 4-cylinder to serve as the entry-level IS200 and 250h respectively. The IS300 derivative will feature a more powerful version of the same turbo 4-pot and with the option of the more adaptive approach to the driving experience, or the Combination of a hybrid System orientated for better throttle inputs and economy. The F-Sport flagship will feature the 3.5litre V6 and around 230kW. The transmission will be the 8-Speed ZF found in almost anything these days but with good reason given its versatility.

2021 Lexus IS Interior

The major benefactor of the new Lexus approach to vehicle design and ergonomics should prove to be the interior. The update brings a 10.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system with the now obligatory Andriod Auto and Carplay. A 360-degree camera with parking support that will break and steer the vehicle. Updated accents and climate control interface and the touchpad that allows main control over the interface. Door trims are embossed, and interior decorative elements finished in Ash or Black Geometric Film. F-Sport models get a more illustrious Satin Chrom finish and the option of a Flare Red.

2021 Lexus IS range in South Africa

With the set arrival for the first quarter of 2021 the IS range currently starts of pricing at R747 800 and with the entry-level models this is likely to fall, Considering the current economic climate and rising new car prices even an entry point of sub-R600k will make this a pricy car, but it should argue its value and worth vehemently.

The IS range will be sold standard with a maintenance plan and 7-Year Lexus Warranty.

Ford adds Freestyle to the Figo Range

With the growing popularity of the Compact Crossover Suv market, the demand for a vehicle that fits a more SUV style approach has beckoned the Figo Freestyle. Serving a rival to the Polo Vivo Maxx and Renault Sandero Stepway the Freestyle is raised and offers the same look and aesthetic to hint at the gravel road intent.

2020 Ford Figo Freestyle Spec

Offered as both a Tred and top Spec Titanium Model, the central and critical differences to the Figo are the Roof rails, underbody protection sills, wheel arch cladding and increased ride height. 15-inch anthracite wheels, rear PDC and a painted front grille. The Titanium models additionally gain auto wipers and headlights, keyless entry, climate control, 6.5-inch infotainment screen, linked to Carplay and Andriod Auto and Reverse Camera.

2020 Ford Figo Freestyle Drivetrain

Powering the Figo is the same 1.5Litre naturally aspirated Ti VCT engine as the standard model. Power is rated as 91kW and 150Nm, with this ultimately an economy car, the focus on performance is not blistering, but the numbers provide for nippy in city performance on the standard model. The Freestyle has identical 0-100 times as the standard model and is dealt with in 11.5Seconds and has a top speed of 175Km/h and should return 5.5L/100.

2020 Ford Figo Freestyle in South Africa

Standard with a 4-year/60 000 service plan and 4-year/120 000Km warranty. The Freestyle is available in 6 colours, and metallic paint option is an extra R990

Ford Figo Freestyle 1.5 Trend R 226 700

Ford Figo Freestyle 1.5 Titanium R 247 500

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.

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 – https://themotorist.co.za/toyotas-yaris-cross-subcompact-suv/).

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 –https://themotorist.co.za/driven-2020-toyota-ch-r-facelift/

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.

VW Golf GTI TCR Specs & Pricing in SA

The side of the VW Golf GTI TCR in Tornado Red

A while back we announced that the VW Golf GTI TCR will be coming to South Africa. Much anticipation has been drawn around the final edition of the current Mk7 range and the TCR aims to usher the next-generation Golf 8 in with a serious bang. The TCR will provide just 300 owners with a chance at Limited Edition Golf bragging rights and the most powerful GTI ever. The exodus for the Mk7 Range serves as a reminder to the 40 128 Units sold in South African Markets, with 13 230 or 33% making up GTI sales. Long Story short, we South African’s love our Golf’s and even more so the now cult icon that the GTI nameplate has become.

The Front of the VW Golf GTI TCR in Tornado Red

VW GOLF GTI TCR

The Golf TCR muscles its way to the top of the range with 213kW and 380Nm driven through the front wheels. Power is delivered via a 6-Speed DSG gearbox and with the launch control active should be good for 5.6Seconds to 100Km/h. South African spec vehicles will feature the 264Km/h increased top speed. At launch, the choice of one of 3 paints: Pure White, Pure Grey and Torando Red will serve as the only spec option available. As Standard, the spec is as follows: Panoramic Sunroof, Alcantra TCR embossed Seats, Dynamic Chasis Control, Park Assist, and Active Info Display. Matte black mirrors, front splitter, a larger TCR rear spoiler and diffuser hint to the rapidness the hatch promises. South Africa will receive only a 5-door version.

GOLF TCR VS GOLF R

How does the Golf GTI TCR compare to a Golf R? A quick look at the stats should help you understand the TCR is not the fastest accelerating Golf, given the FWD grip limitations, but the lighter chassis and increase in power aims at a more driver-focused vehicle. The steering and spring rates have been sharpened, and a front locking differential aims to reduce understeering and directness at the nose. The TCR serves as a GTI base with the GTI bit turned up as high as possible. The TCR is a much sharper and more dynamic with the lighter chassis and revisions to the front-end grip. Will the TCR live up to the standards set by the Clubsport? Only time will tell!

The Front of the VW Golf GTI TCR in Pure Grey

Golf GTI TCR Pricing in South Africa

The VW Golf GTI TCR costs a reasonable R669 000, and orders to begin in May, with the cars scheduled to arrive at dealers in July. The TCR will come inclusive of a three year 120 000km warranty and 5-year 90 000km Volkswagen Service Plan. All 300 owners will get special model demarcations on each car and ownership certification.

2020 Ford EcoSport spec update

The Ford Ecosport has been with us for in effect for seven years at this point, with the facelifted version we know now coming in 2018. The Segment that is now the highly contested Compact SUV market that makes for some outright better competition but the tried and trusted formula that is ‘bang-for-buck’ value spec-heavy justification that still suggests its capabilities.

The main update comprises of the Automatic 6-Speed addition of the 1.5Litre Trend. Other range updates include the specification updates to Both the Trend and Titanium model, through Collision Mitigation that brakes the vehicle and provides the driver with warnings to alert of danger. Other small updates include the Crusie Control with speed limiter on the Trend and front Park Distance Sensors on the Titanium.

2020 Ford EcoSport Pricing

EcoSport 1.5 Ambiente 5MT                                      R279 700 EcoSport 1.5 TDCi Ambiente 5MT                             R289 900 EcoSport 1.5 Ambiente 6AT                 R297 600 EcoSport 1.0 EcoBoost Trend 6MT                          R319 200 EcoSport 1.0 EcoBoost Trend 6AT                           R333 900 EcoSport 1.0 EcoBoost Titanium 6MT                      R357 000 EcoSport 1.0 EcoBoost Titanium 6AT                      R370 400

Mclaren 765LT: The latest in the Longtail Evolution

The Longtail developments made by Mclaren and inhouse specialists MSO speak for themselves. Examples clear, with the sheer understanding of track-focused unrelent. This time with the supercar Brutus that is the Mclaren 720S as a base.

A tuned version of the same 4.0Litre V8 Twin-turbo from the 720S, enhanced with the strengthened internals from the Senna, produces 563kW’s and 800Nm to the rear wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Like with any LT version the track-focused nature creates the need for extensive carbon fibre redesign to the aerodynamics. Larger front air venting, larger front spoiler, active rear wing. The 1339Kg Curb weight and incredible power propel the 765LT from 0-100 in 2.7 Seconds and on the lower 330Km/h in the high drag configuration.

The revised dynamics make for a 6mm addition to the track and a 5mm reduction in the ride height, through significantly updated suspension revisions to the Proactive Chassis Control systems. The Carbon Ceramic Brakes are lifted from the Senna once again and can be Speced with a more forgiving road bias compound.

Internally the 720S on which the LT is based shares its interior is identical with a lesser finesse and focus on refinement given the weight reduction subtractions for sound insulation, carpets, and the no-cost option for the radio and aircon delete.

Mclaren 675LT In South Africa

The English carmaker will only make 675 of this version of the LT Coupe for 2021 with a likely Spyder to follow afterwards. It’s still too early to tell if there will be a South African allocation, but LHD USA sales are scheduled for a September release. With other focused supercars like Ferraris F8 Tributo with its 530kW matching nicely the next generation of halo mid-engined on the way, the 765LT should have most shaking in there 20-inch boots.