Category: Compact SUV

Is the Volkswagen T-Cross a better version of the Polo?

We got to spend a few days with Volkswagen’s popular small SUV – using it to run our errands and see how it stacks up to its smaller sibling – the Polo.

The local automotive market has mostly recovered from the dismal sales caused by Covid-19 disruptions in 2020. New car sales numbers are more or less where they used to be and the popular automakers namely Toyota, Ford and Volkswagen are back to duelling for the top spot in the passenger vehicle segment. While the top two titles are always occupied by South Africa’s preferred vehicle of choice; the bakkie, the third and fourth spot are taken up by Volkswagens Polo Vivo and Polo models which sell in droves. 

These cars are successful for a variety of reasons but chiefly because they are compact, affordable, have an abundance of spare parts and are from a well loved automotive brand locally. Volkswagen have transferred all of this ideology into the T-Cross and while it is not a brand new vehicle to enter their lineup, it is their best-selling SUV according to the June 2021 sales report with 465 units being sold. Which is about a third of the total number for the Polo. 

The popular compact crossover SUV from the German brand can be had in three different levels of trim starting at R352 300 for the basic Comfortline and ranging all the way up to the R-Line priced from R464 900. Our test car was a base Comfortline with the R-Line package. This expectedly costs a little bit more but comes better equipped with features such as a reverse parking camera, roof rails, park distance sensors and an 8” integrated infotainment screen. 

In some respects, you do get a very familiar looking car to the Polo, on both the inside and the outside. This makes sense since both models share the same platform and engines making the T-Cross a pumped up version of the Polo. While it shares some styling similarities to its bigger SUV siblings in Volkswagen’s lineup, the side profile, window-line and shoulder-line are almost identical to the Polo, albeit slightly stretched out on a vertical axis with a bit more rugged plastic.

Overall, its aesthetics consist of a well-proportioned design and restrained styling meaning it’s unlikely to snap pedestrians necks as you drive by, especially in Limestone Grey Metallic. Its purpose is far more focused on function by being a proponent of a more adventure-capable lifestyle.

At 180mm of ground clearance, 12mm more than the Polo, it can easily navigate onto pavements and tackle uneven off-road surfaces. The plush suspension is one of its most notable features as it can traverse speed bumps and loose gravel roads effortlessly. Since it is still only a front-wheel driven powertrain, we can’t advise taking this on a hardcore off-roading course but it wouldn’t look out of place on a dirt road or gravel track. 

Like the Polo, the T-Cross Comfortline is powered by a 70kW 1.0 TSI motor mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. The pokey 3 cylinder puts out an impressive 175Nm of torque that can often inspire a momentary spin of the front wheels before the traction control gets them back in line. As impressive as this torque figure is coupled to the 1154 kilogram body, the turbo only comes into boost above 2000rpm making stationery pull aways on inclines or fully laden stop-start journeys stall-inducing. In these scenarios, efforts to mitigate this can result in the front wheels screeching and very bemused looking pedestrians or passengers.

Despite this, after the turbo has come alive the torque delivery is smooth and linear all the way up to its redline – very impressive for a 1.0 litre motor! We achieved around 7.5l/100km during our time with the car which isn’t the most frugal but tranquil driving is stated to reward just below 5.0l/100km. 

The 5-speed manual gearbox on our test car was easy to use and comfortable in sedate urban driving scenarios. Where it fell short was on the highway where an additional 6th gear would have been ideal in lowering engine rpm and subsequently improving efficiency and engine noise. That being said, if you are looking for a nippy Volkswagen SUV runabout that is going to be predominantly doing open road/highway journeys then the full T-Cross range can also be specced with a 7 speed DSG which would be the better bet overall. 

The interior provides great forward visibility with a large expanse of glass around the drivers periphery. The front position seems much higher than a Polo yet the fully adjustable steering column and seat provide a platform to get completely comfortable in. The overall head, elbow and legroom in all seats is commendable while the rear door-wells are not awkwardly shaped to get in and out of either, making it more practical than the Polo. It scores well in the comfort and spaciousness department but does unfortunately fall short with interior fit and finish. 

There are a few cheap materials and crude plastic textures, more so than its hatchback sibling. Fortunately, the steering wheel and the main tactile points are soft and comfortable to use. It also comes with an integrated 8” infotainment screen which at times can be a bit sluggish with a reverse camera that isn’t the highest resolution.

If you prefer screen mirroring to the standard display then the T-Cross has you covered with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay accessible via one of two USB-C slots. Easily accessible Isofix anchorage is found on all passenger seats, including the one up front which should appeal to young parents. 

The T-Cross also trumps the Polo in terms of boot capacity with an impressive 385 litres as opposed to equally impressive, but inferior, 351 litres of the latter. The compact crossover SUV from Volkswagen emerges as the victor in most categories except for pricing where the Polo comes out on top starting from R293 800 for the base spec Trendline.

For comparative sake, other competing models in the segment such as the beautifully finished Peugeot 2008 comes in at R364 000 while more affordable options can be had with the seasoned Ford EcoSport at R303 900 or the new Hyundai Venue at R311 000. Included in the R352 300 base price of the T-Cross is a 3-year/120 000 km warranty and 3-year/45 000 km service plan.

The subcompact crossover SUV market is a hotly contested piece of real estate with new entrants from different automakers entering the market almost monthly. Volkswagen fortunately have a customer base that is steadfast in their loyalty and thus the T-Cross can be expected to remain their best selling vehicle in the lineup behind the two Polo models. Like the ageing Ford EcoSport, we can expect this shape to remain in circulation for many years to come but for the price, the Peugeot 2008 in this segment would be a strong alternative with its more refined and pleasant interior design.

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.

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 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.

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.

2020 Mercedes Benz GLB Range

The endless onslaught of SUV’s for the South African Market and the equally infinite marketability of a vehicle of such a design has resulted in the Stuttgart giant Mercedes to create a kind of ‘Mini-me’ version of the GLC, dubbed the ‘B’. The GL terminology is indicative of the SUV origins and the B to indicate where it will fit into the range. Merc’s range is a bit tricky at the moment, but the GLB falls part of the target market as stablemates A class, A-class sedan and CLA. Offering an additional 10 centimetres on the B-class Platform and extending a total length of 4634mm, while providing the elevated SUV driving position that has become the typical statement of a vehicle of this class and design with a 1658m height. 

The GLB offering aims to take on the VW Tiguan directly into its crosshairs with its compact design and the well put together compact Merc package that offers the option of extended versatility through the ability to spec an additional row of seating. The range will comprise of the GLB 220d and the GLB 250. Later the GLB 35 AMG will join the lineup and serve as the range-topper.


The engines are shared with other models within the range, and the tried and true motto means the GLB 220d makes use of the familiar 2.1Litre turbodiesel motor, producing a maximum output of 140kW and 400Nm paired to an 8-speed DCT automatic. These numbers are suitable for a 7.6 second 0-100 sprint time and a top speed of 217Km/h. The GLB 250 makes use of a 2.0Litre Turbo producing 165KW and 350Nm, which equate to a relatively brisk sub-7 second 0-100 and a 236Km/h top chat. In the interests of efficiency and fuel consumption cylinder deactivation and Start aim to lower consumption and emissions.

Drive is to all four corners through optionally available 4Matic which ultimately under typical drive situations and in Eco and Sport, splits power 80:20 between the axles and when in sport 70:30. In Off-road mode is the power split equally 50:50 through the Dynamic Drive Select which alters the 4Matic and characteristics and allows the ABS-system to assist with low traction situations.

Internally the GLB brings out its origins through the typical New-Generation Mercedes interior roots raining clear. Aluminium vents and design trim elements, and the combination of quality materials are to be expected throughout. The options list serves as your proverbial oyster, and this way almost endless connectivity and customisation are available. The 10.25″ Display and MBUX user interface offering the option of Augmented Reality Navigation, Wireless charging, hard drive storage and bundles of optional features. The passive and active safety elements not forgotten, and encompasses DISTRONIC Active Adaptive cruise control, PARKTRONIC with Park Assist, Lane Keep Assist, Hill Assist as some highlights. LED headlamps with adaptive High beam Assist are standard throughout the range, with the option for Multibeam LED lights as an option. The key feature of the optional 3rd row of seating has been designed with passengers of up to 1.68meters.


The Range Topper 35AMG takes the speed and driving dynamics to another level with the 228kW 2.0litre turbo petrol powering all for wheels through 4Matic AWD, Enough to propel the sandwich like SUV to 100Km/h in 5.2seconds and on to the 250Km/h Limiter. Standard features and specifications on the AMG model are more extensive than the standard model and rides of a set of 20″ inch alloy wheels.

Specs and Pricing in South Africa

GLB 220d GLB 250 4Matic

Power/Torque: 140kW 400Nm 165kW 350Nm
Fuel Consumption:5.4L/100 7.4/100
Acceleration: 7.6 6.9
Top Speed: 217 236

Pricing has yet to be announced but with struggling rand value the desire to make this a R600-650k Tiguan rival may prove difficult.

The Surprise that is Kia Seltos

The subcompact SUV and its incredible popularity with respects to the South African Market is honestly rather astounding. Put simply; manufactures are chomping at the bit to get in on the action, with Kia not wishing to be late to the party, the Seltos rather quietly joined our markets in November. The VW T-Cross formula, proving in December, with 632 units finding new homes that Kia South Africa would be silly not to jump in the deep end.

So the new Seltos, think of it as a smaller Sportage and (Kia’s now best seller). Compact dimensions that make it thin enough to be a B-segment SUV to take the fight to the likes of VW, Ford Ecosport and its cousin the Hyundai Creta. 510 units found homes in its first retail month, and the debate has almost concluded to an outright brawl given its brilliance.

The range is powered by choice of the familiar 1.6litre 90kW and 151Nm engine, mated to either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed Auto, in the entry and mid-spec Ex and Ex+, good for an 11.2 second 0-100 time and a 175km/h top chat. The top-spec GT-line gains a 1.4Litre Turbocharged motor that produces a healthy 103kW and 242Nm. The turbo mill is paired exclusively to a 7-speed DCT transmission, and all models drive the front wheels with the latter making use of a 2WD “Terrain mode”, that makes use of the traction control system to create three low grip driving options namely; sand, snow and a regular road use mode. The healthy power and torque figures result in a swifter 9.7 second acceleration time and a 187km/h top speed. Standard specification is the highlight of cars of this segment and the notion that is the power of Kia’s impressionable sales presence in our market.

The entry-level Seltos offers An 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, with Apple Carplay and android auto, Bluetooth with voice recognition and linked to a 6-speaker system with USB charging ports front and rear. The entire range comes equipped with automatic headlights with LED daytime running lights and front fog lights incorporated into a muscular and athletic front end with the signature Kia ‘Tiger Nose’. Steering mounted controls, electric mirrors and windows tops of the list of standard spec rather well. All models come with six airbags, two front, two side and two full-length curtains for the rest of the vehicle. The EX+ adds leather on both the seats and the doors, electrically folding mirrors, a centre console with a storage bin in the centre console and an extra inch to make 17 on the alloy wheel option.

The Top Spec GT-line adds an extra level of specification to the range, GT-Line Exclusive features and touches like satin, gloss black and red trim, 17-inch crystal cut alloys that hide red brake callipers, full LED lighting up front, and 3D dimensioned indicators. A Bespoke leather interior with red accents and mood lighting with six different colours and D-shaped leather steering wheel featuring cruise control. Keyless entry and start to conclude the extensive list of standard trimmings.

What is the Seltos like to drive?

On launch both the 1.6 in EX+ auto and the GT-line were available to sample; beginning with the later the GT-line, one finds themself in a cabin, that is a lovely space to be. Standard spec and value for money equation coming up and the only thing I felt myself wanting for was automatic climate control and a panoramic roof with the connectivity elements coming into fruition tenfold. The large leather wheel, supportive leather seats and the sporty vibe are played through rather well, and the cabin feels like it would be at home in a larger vehicle or more premium segment. The keyless entry and start make for swift and rapid entry and getaway. The GT-line is rather dynamic for a car of its class, weight and stature, with the engine and transmission parring making for such an effortless integration of the overall driving experience. There a strange connection that builds between you and a car that does as its told, and this Kia Suv does that incredibly effortlessly. The sharp and twisty Franschhoek pass proved to be ‘not enough’ to unsettle the Kia and the 242Nm’s, and slick gearbox proved rather fantastic at the overtake and pass. When driven hard, it responded rather well with good grip and the Drive mode dial by the gear leaver changing the driver characteristics enough to make the car very engaging. The swiftness and ease of the drive that the GT-Line provides are very hard to rival in this class, and the only comparable vehicle is the VW T-Cross, but the options list expansiveness makes that a rather pricey affair. Sadly the drive of the rest of the range is not as dynamic or engaging, but the average consumer will be far more concerned with the value aspect that the car offers. The steering weight and body roll is nothing that one needs to write home about. The biggest let down is the 1.6 90Kw motor, it feels very underpowered and makes the driving experience far more demanding through having to work the revs to get the car moving which happens rather leisurely even at the coast, as gingerly as the 11.2 acceleration suggests 


With such competitive pricing, it’s tough to fault the Seltos, sure the 1.6 Motor is not well suited to the vehicle and maybe if one is reaching the option for Automatic climate control would be nice. Still, its a brilliant thing and the numbers suggest the market knows this too.

Rich Kids Club – Audi Q2 Review

Audi Q2 Review South Africa

Audi Q2 Driven Review

If the Q2 was a person, it would be ‘that guy’.. You all know that guy and if not, you are that guy. The guy who has a sneaker option for everyday. The guy who has all the latest music on his latest mobile device. The guy with the latest car, you know this guy. He is the guy that is uber annoying, yet, is kinda liked and secretly, you want to be that guy. The millennial who has wealthy parents who have made sure that he will go through life on his yacht down-stream.

That was the first impression of the Audi Q2. It left me wondering that, if a crossover SUV with a 1.4 TFSI motor and DSG with all of the cool extras costs R778 000, what I’m a doing with my life in general and where can I apply for a re-do? You see, the Q2 is one of those trendy cars that are, as it’s known in the African Culture as “for control”. This isn’t a “we have a baby now, let’s be wise and get a spacious vehicle”. No, this is a “we need an extra car that the kids will use as I don’t want them driving any of our cars as I don’t trust them, and the Q2 is safe enough”. You see, “for control”. Being based on the A3, it’s not the biggest compact SUV and its closest competitor is the new Mini Countryman which has a more palatable price, relatively speaking.

So, what do you get for the price of both kidneys and your right lung? You get, as per our test car; Bang and Olfusen sound, Navigation, Panorama Sunroof, LED headlights with daytime running lights, sweeping indicators, fancy Tron/iRobot lighting on the dashboard as well as the awesome Virtual Cockpit. The list goes on. All of this does suggest that if you scale back on the optional extras, you can end up with an affordable Q2. It’s still one that went to a semi-private school and speaks to its grandparents in English, as it doesn’t speak any vernacular. The car does drive very well and it feels very modern and chic. Audi never gets interiors wrong and they weren’t about to start on this one. We need to make special mention of the Apple CarPlay feature.It’s something that works stupendously well and it’s nearly impossible to fault. From voice commands, to the navigation and music outlay, it’s near perfect. I sincerely hope that other manufacturers can look at this example and take note on how to use systems like this that integrate so well with a mobile device.

Enquire about a new or used Audi vehicle at Audi Centurion here!

I will nit-pick and point out that the car has a “dead spot” on take off. This was remedied by adjusting the vehicle’s throttle response to Dynamic instead of Comfort via the Drive Select module. As much as it worked, I would have liked a bit more poke from the turbocharged four-pot. The S-Tronic gearbox works like a hot knife on butter once it’s out of the first gate. The steering is also positive and does communicate well, especially in Dynamic mode. Overall the car works well on the city and on the open road.

So our week went well in the latest and trendiest Audi. We did get a wave in Hyde Park from a fellow Q2 driver who came out of a home that literally took up half of the block. That’s quite the indicator as to who this car will appeal to. Perhaps it may have the Range Rover Evoque appeal? Truth be told, it’s a nice little car and it has all the modern gizmos to keep you entertained. One can imagine some money will be taken out of various trust funds to buy this car.

Enquire about a new or used Audi vehicle at Audi Centurion here!

Nissan Qashqai Driven Review in South Africa

We test drive the Nissan Qashqai

Once upon a time, a manufacturer decided to make a 4×4 that wasn’t actually a 4×4 and the rest became history. Few people could have predicted the success of the crossover when the Nissan Qashqai supposedly invented the segment in 2006. Well over a million Qashqai’s and a bajillion other crossovers later, the second generation Nissan Qashqai takes over from where the benchmark in its segment left off, building on its many strengths.

When replacing the original Qashqai, Nissan certainly had their work cut out for them but thanks to much improved build quality and styling, the Qashqai now gives off a much more premium feel than its predecessor. Good quality materials and very few rattles make the cabin a very nice place to be and while you won’t be writing abstract poems professing the innate beauty of its swooping plastic features or nice-to-push buttons, everything works just as it should, all while giving a pleasing tactile feeling.

Power comes from an array of motors, ranging from 1.2-litre turbo-petrols to 1.6-litre turbo-petrols and diesels. The model we had on test was the mid-range 1.5dCi Acenta Manual with 81 kW and 260 N.m although the laggy torque delivery and gear lever’s long throws came nowhere close to mirroring the vehicle’s sporty and dynamic looks. Frightfully economical, though, we averaged around 5.0 l/100 km over the period of a week which in the real world isn’t too far off the manufacturer’s claim of 4.2 l/100km.

Spec wise, the Acenta model we had comes standard with Bluetooth connectivity, cruise control, a trip computer, xenon headlights, 6 airbags, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, auto-lights and windscreen wipers and the usual electronic aids.

A 6 year/150 000km warranty comes standard across the range, as does a 3 year/90 000km service plan.

Nissan Qashqai pricing in South Africa

Pricing starts at R354 900 for the 1.2T Acenta and rises to R454 900 for the top-spec 1.6dCi Acenta Auto. The model we tested is priced at R382 900 and is definitely the sweet spot in the range.

While the second-generation Nissan Qashqai has been on sale in South Africa for roughly 3 years now, it is still a very relevant product, more than capable of competing with some of its newer competitors. Despite the fact that its sporty looks are a bit deceiving, the Qashqai as a whole is a good quality product that reminds us of why the world fell in love with the original in the first place.

Nissan, good job.


The Opel MOKKA X: A Crossover For South African City Life.

Opel MOKKA X Driven Review

Crossover vehicles are becoming very popular, they bring the style of an SUV together with the compactness of a hatchback. They prove to be popular for those with young families or ones who just can’t stretch the budget for the real deal. Crossover’s look good, a little different from the everyday vehicle, are well-priced and are a better option for the city over an SUV.

So it’s not difficult to see, then, why this segment has literally boomed in the past couple of years and with more variants coming to market, there are many choices available. One of these variants is Opel’s kind of new MOKKA X.

I couldn’t quite get my head around the visual aspect of this vehicle when it first arrived on our doorstep. It has really nice design elements but also looks a little plumbly – a chubby teenager with a handful of candyfloss comes to mind. It definitely has sporty crossover elements and from some angles its looks great, whereas others are not so appealing. The exterior is still a little lukewarm for me, so let’s talk about the inside.


The interior of the MOKKA X was a great surprise. It isn’t what you’d describe as the lap of luxury, but it is refreshing. The car boasts a very simple, clean and sophisticated feel with striking visual elements that catch your eye. Along with the descent trim comes a nice steering wheel and the leather padding on the dash in the Cosmo edition is pleasing to the eyes. I felt very comfortable and relaxed in the MOXXA X cabin which I feel is very important. Especially if you’re the kind of driver who values comfort and aesthetics over performance, because this isn’t a performance car…

Opel MOKKA X Review


From a driving perspective, the MOKKA X feels like a city car. The steering is very light, so light in fact that I found myself scanning for a city steering button – it didn’t exist. This didn’t cause me any issues, though, and it made for a great turning circle and quick response when nipping around Durban – I rather enjoyed it.

To be honest, the whole driving experience in the Opel MOKKA X was fairly pleasant. As mentioned before, the MOKKA X is no hot cross over. With 103 kW and 200 N.m on tap from just 1 850 rpm, it’S no slouch and has ample power. These figures are produced by 1400 cc turbocharged motor which also returns impressive consumption figures at a claimed 6.0 l/100km combined.

Overview and Pricing

For me, The Opel MOKKA X is a crossover with a slightly city biased nature, which is a good thing. It has the space and style of a mini SUV, but drives like a city car with its responsive engine and nippy handling. This is not a bad point at all. As many people buy crossovers for the style anyway, with no inclination to actually crossover onto any other road surface than tarmac.

It boasts a good amount of space and has an impressive drivetrain. It is also very well connected with Carplay and Android Auto available. I had a blast in the MOKKA X! It’s a good fit for a young family and with a starting price of R317,500 it’s also very affordable.

  • MOKKA X 1.4T Enjoy 6MT

    R 317, 500.00

  • MOKKA X 1.4T Enjoy 6AT

    R 328, 400.00

  • MOKKA X 1.4T Cosmo 6MT

    R 357, 400.00

  • MOKKA X 1.4T Cosmo 6AT

    R 368, 100.00


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