Tag: Isuzu

What 2022 holds for the South African car market

While 2021 kicked off without much affair, albeit with mild hesitation and looming uncertainty for event planning due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it eventually gathered momentum into what many industries would deem as normal. Despite a contagious wave of Omicron ravaging the world in the last quarter, this year has commenced in a confident and assured manner which has us holding thumbs that normality will soon return. Secondary effects from the pandemic are still hampering supply chains with the automotive industry struggling to meet the demand of the semiconductor microchips needed in the increasingly technologically-oriented vehicles but despite this, new vehicles are scheduled to be introduced to our shores with launch events being planned on our local roads. Here is what Mzansi has to look forward to in 2022!

Local favorite Volkswagen will kick the year off by introducing the new Caddy and the facelifted, and locally produced, Polo and Polo GTI models which feature mild updates to a familiar silhouette and a refreshed interior which will share some similarities to the Golf. 

Speaking of the popular hatch which may have already been on sale in our market for a few months now, the all wheel drive giantslayer sibling Golf 8 R will touch down in Q2 alongside the novel Tiguan R and 7-seater Tiguan Allspace facelift.

Other facelifts expected before the midpoint of the year include the T-Roc while the all new Spanish built Taigo will join the lineup and slot between the T-Cross and Tiguan in Volkswagen’s SUV range. The remainder of the year is scheduled to be quiet with the new Polo Sedan expected in Q3 but the all-new Amarok is in the pipeline, we can expect its global launch sometime before the end of the year too. 

Another brand that has grown in popularity and portfolio over the past is that of Renault who have a bustling year ahead. The new Clio 5, which subtly evolves the exterior design language of the Clio 4, is expected as soon as Q1. Since Alpine have absorbed all RS models over the past year, we are awaiting news with bated breath if South Africa can expect a Clio or Megane RS derivative. 

While the Clio and it’s more family-orientated Captur sibling have both experienced delays of over a year due to the Covid-19 related issues. However, Q2 will see the brand new Captur SUV enter our shores.

While we are awaiting confirmed dates for the second half of the year, Renault has committed to launching the refreshed Kwid, Triber and Trafic MY22 models into the range, while anyone eager to see the Duster based Oroch single cab will be dismayed to know we will only be expecting it in 2023. 

A brand that has taken South Africa by storm is Chery after their rebirth into our market late last year. The affordable and well-specced Tiggo 4 Pro arrived in our market and was lauded for improved build quality and comfort. This resounding success has seen the Chinese brand expedite the launch of the highly awarded and much larger flagship Tiggo 8 Pro range which we can expect within Q1. 

DRIVEN Chery Tiggo 4 Pro Turbo CVT

The new Tiggo 8 Pro range will be available in two options for the consumer and both will be fitted with an award-winning 1.6 TGDI petrol-engine delivering a peak of 136kW and 290Nm. No news on whether this engine will also include the impressive 1-million-kilometer mechanical warranty just yet.

The much larger flagship SUV will continue Chery’s trend of interior luxury and technology which we sampled on the Tiggo 4 Pro. This includes an Around View Monitor, an 8-speaker SONY sound system, two high definition TFT displays (with a third in the flagship model) and dual-zone climate control with pharmaceutical grade N95 air filtration. It will also come standard as a 7 seater which should make it appealing to growing families.

2021 was a busy year for the Bavarian-based super-manufacturer but product planning for 2022 seems to be more tranquil. BMW SA will welcome the anticipated 2 Series Coupe range in Q1 which includes the 220i, 220d and M240i xDrive. While styling may divide opinion in this range once again, the M2’s ability will surely silence any critics when it lands sometime in 2023.

On the electric side of things, BMW’s 4 Series based i4 and mainstream crossover iX3 are expected to land in the second half of the year and cement themselves as viable electric models for our market. 

On the other end of the spectrum for premium German brands is Mercedes-Benz who is also hoping to be at the forefront of electrification in our local market and has their whole EQ range ready to be released. While exact dates are yet to be stated, we can expect the EQA, EQB, EQE, EQS and EQC. 

For those that still enjoy the sensation of fossil fuels burning beneath the accelerator pedal, the facelifted A-Class, B-Class, GLC SUV and CUV, S-Class and C-Class will be welcomed locally while two Maybach orientated models will arrive in the form of the S-Class and GLS. 

In terms of South Africa’s preferred form of transportation, two new bakkies will be put on sale in our market this year. Isuzu will usher in their sharper looking flagship D-Max in Q2, a model which shares a platform with the newly released Mazda BT-50 and will attempt to gain market share from the popular Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger. 

That being said, the existing and long-serving Ford Ranger will be retired for its modernized successor which is expected to be on showroom floors by Q4. The highly anticipated Ranger which shares a platform with Volkswagen’s Amarok will continue to be built in Ford’s Silverton facility and is expected to continue at the forefront of local bakkie sales. 

In terms of what the Japanese and Koreans have to offer, we can expect a substantial offering in 2022 from Hyundai. The Tucson and the futuristic looking Staria Nautica are expected in Q1 while the Staria Panel Van will arrive in Q2. The refreshed Creta is yet to be confirmed but can be realistically expected to hit sales floors in the second half of the year. 

The performance orientated branch of Hyundai will also welcome the Kona N and the lauded i30 N DCT which are expected before Q2. 

Toyota will be dabbling in performance models too when the brand new GR-86 hits our market in Q3. The souped up versions of the Corolla Cross are expected in Q1, and the Hilux will also enter our markets in Q2, both under the new GR-S guise. Q1 will also see Toyota expand their RAV4 and Corolla Quest model lineup.

Subaru on the other hand have only signalled two new models for their portfolio in 2022, the new WRX, which is steeped in rally lineage is expected in Q2, while the Forester SUV has been revised and has been on sale for the past few days already.

On the performance side of things, amorous Italian brand Alfa Romeo has received a consignment of limited edition Giulia GTA and Giulia GTAm models which feature an uprated V6 engine, Sauber engineered aero bits, roll cages, racing suits and a hefty price tag costing around R4 Million depending on the model. With only 8 of 500 coming to our shores and a handful already sold, the saloon based racecar is fast set to be an appreciating future classic.

Porsche will also be launching their track-oriented model in the form of the 911 GT3. While no dates have been confirmed, what we do know is it comes equipped with the traditional Porsche 4.0 flat-six motor which is capable of redlining at 9000rpm. 

While the GT3 model makes up few sales numbers but excites owners and pedestrians alike, Porsche will also be introducing the updated models that yield the Stuttgart automakers bread and butter; the Cayenne Turbo GT and Panamera Platinum Edition will arrive in Q2. 

Rounding out the list with what many consider the brand that epitomises passion and performance, Q2 will welcome the first ever road going V6 that adorns the Prancing Horse. While it may be the first of its kind for the famed Italian automaker, the Ferrari engine is claimed to produce the specific highest output of any production car engine. Rated at 488kW solely from its 2.9 litre displacement. 

The iconic Ferrari V12 isn’t dead however as we can expect to hear the sonorous 812 Competizione in Q3.

The Isuzu KB X-Rider In South Africa

Isuzu KB X-Rider

The Isuzu KB is what I would describe as a decent bakkie, in the same way that Pepsi is a decent alternative to Coca-Cola – there are many things I dislike about it, but overall it seems to do a good job in relation to its purpose.

Isuzu KB X-Rider

For me, the KB never had an appeal to a younger or even an adventurous audience, however, and came across as being a little boring. It needed a little something extra and by little, I actually mean a lot. We’ll now we might have it, in the shape of X-Rider.

X-Rider is a variant of the KB which was previously available as a limited option only, but has now been added as a permanent fixture to the KB range.

Isuzu KB X-Rider

What’s different with the Isuzu KB X-Rider?

Firstly, this model is based on the 4×2 KB 250, which features a strong 2.0-litre diesel producing 100 kW and 320 N.m.

From a visual perspective, the X-Rider features black accents on many areas of the vehicle such as the front bumper, side bars and sports bar, b-pillar and the 18-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels.

Isuzu KB X-Rider

Further to this, the Isuzu KB X-Rider features a heavy duty tow bar as standard which provides a braked towing capacity of 2100 kg.These are the main adjustments to the exterior and after looking at the images, it does look a lot more exciting.

The interior follows the same direction with a full leather appointment, including the steering wheel, and red accents found in the stitching and logo embroidered into the seats. A piano black finish can also be found amongst the trim to aid this less “workhorse” and more “twerkhorse” look and feel.

Isuzu KB X-Rider

In terms of Tech, the Isuzu KB X-Rider will come with keyless entry, steering wheel controls, projector headlights and air conditioning – nothing too fancy then, but then again, who turns to the bakkie segment when looking for “fancy”?

Overview

The X-Rider is definitely a more exciting version of the KB and does distance itself from the trusty workhorse feel that the Isuzu KB has come to own.

Although this vehicle will appeal to a younger more adventurous audience with it’s appearance, I feel that it’s missing one thing, 4- wheel drive.

Isuzu KB X-Rider

Currently only available as a 4×2 and with low-profile tyres as standard, it’s obvious that this vehicle will not be so suited to the Kingsley Holgate amongst us…Hopefully this is something Isuzu is considering for the future and will release an X-Rider based on the 4×4 KB 300.

The benefit of no 4×4 is the price, however, and the X-Rider is available from just R382 500 in the crew-cab variant. Not bad if you consider what you’re getting, but from a purpose point of view, it doesn’t really make much sense.

Our New Mobile Application & A Free Copy of Edition 06.

There has been much happening in TheMotorist offices recently, our goal is to provide our readers and viewers with great motoring content which can be accessed and viewed easily.  In helping us to do this, we have released our Motorist mobile application! This is exciting times and will allow our readers to get The Motorist digital magazine directly on their mobile device, in an easy to read format.

To celebrate this, we are giving away our latest edition 06 magazine for free, for a limited time. Our featured article this month involves a crazy trip with Isuzu through Namibia, so why not give it a read. Head over to this link ( Get your issue here)  and fill in the details, we will send you over an email with everything you need.

Have an awesome weekend Motorists!

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Isuzu KB Launch Namibia

Namibia; located in southwest Africa, is a country of great landscapes. A place where huge sandy hills called “dunes” stretch along the coast for miles, a relatively desolate place filled with natural beauty and minimal people.

Isuzu South Africa thought this would be a perfect place to test out their all new KB, and I tended to agree. In our November (Edition 06) of our digital magazine, we will have a full feature of the whole trip. For now, though I’m here to tell you about the updates to the new Isuzu KB.

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Updates

All the upgrades for this model come in the form of visuals, there are no drivetrain changes in any models of the new KB range.  The front end of the KB has received the most work with a redesigned front bonnet, radiator grill, and front fog lamps. The eyes of the KB have also been upgraded and now feature projector headlamps and LED daytime running lights.

The rear of this vehicle received slight changes with a newly designed rear tailgate and  the integration of a rear parking camera in the handle, which is only available on double cab LX Models. To finish of the exterior changes, Isuzu has supplied all models with newly designed alloy wheels, 18” inch on the LX Models and 16” on all other variants. Though only small, these changes do give the KB a fresh look and slightly more aggressive appeal, which every 4 x 4 should have.

There are two changes inside the cabin of the KB, with the main change being a new instrument cluster, which even has a little gearshift indicator to help keep the planet green. The second change comes in the form of roof mounted rear speakers to increase audio and volume inside the cabin.

NAMIBIA, DUNES, DRIVING, 4X4,THEMOTORISTS,ISUZU, LANDSCAPES, SAND, AFRICA, SAMAYRES

 

Driving

On launch we had the KB 300 LX models in manual and auto, this specific KB produces 130kw and 380nm of torque. I  enjoyed cruising on the road and sand; it had plenty of power and performance when tackling challenging terrain and a surprisingly comfy ride on rough road. Most likely due to the revised rear suspension changes on the 4×4 models. (4 X 2 models received revised changes to the front and rear suspension setups.)  The interior in KB is pleasant; I would not describe it as anything more to be honest. Don’t expect Toyota Hilux or Ford Ranger levels of luxury; this vehicle appeals to me as more of a work/adventure 4×4, rather than a take your kids to school kind of 4×4 and maybe drive in some mud every 6 months. A massive benefit though is that the LX models come with Sat-Nav, even if it is a bit finicky to operate and has a terribly annoying speed warning system which ended up in us shouting at the screen. Turn the Sat-Nav off, and the warning stops, thankfully.

NAMIBIA, DUNES, DRIVING, 4X4,THEMOTORISTS,ISUZU, LANDSCAPES, SAND, AFRICA, SAMAYRES

We had been told that off-road driving is all about the driver and not the vehicle. Even still, you can’t take a front wheel drive hatchback through those dunes, and the KB  proved itself out in the sand; All modes were easy to operate and switching to 4×4 from 4×2 can be done at up to 110kph. Switching to 4×4 low range needs to be done with the vehicle at a stop, which is usually the standard process on all vehicles.  It was a fantastic trip with lots learned and great memories made.  As previously mentioned, we will have a full feature on the journey in Edition 06 of our digital magazine, which you can subscribe to below.

 

Subscribe to our digital magazine here.

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Models

KB 250 BASE SINGLE CAB (LEED) – R 235 000

KB 250 FLEETSIDE SINGLE CAB (LEED) – R 258 800

KB 250 FLEETSIDE (SAFETY) – R 285 600

KB 250 SINGLE CAB LE – R 334 500

KB 250 4X4 SINGLE CAB LE – R 386 800

KB 300 4X4 SINGLE CAB LX – R442 800

 

Extended Cab

KB 250 EXTENDED CAB HI-RIDER – R 337 400

KB 300 EXTENDED CAB LX – R 414 000

KB 300 EXTENDED CAB LX (AUTO) – R 427 900

KB 300 4X4 EXTENDED CAB LX – R 474 400

 

Double Cab

KB 250 DOUBLE CAB HI-RIDER – R 351 300

KB 250 DOUBLE CAB LE – R 435 200

KB 250 Double Cab LE – R 457 400

KB 300 Double Cab LX – R 384 200

KB 300 Double Cab LX (Cloth) – R 486 900

KB 300 Double Cab LX (Auto) (Cloth) – R 501 200

KB 300 4×4 Double Cab LX – R 549 800

KB 300 4×4 Double Cab LX (Auto) – R 563 500