Car News

For those who desire a car-like driving experience and reasonable fuel consumption, but needs the extra space afforded by a raised roofline and hatchback layout, a Multi-Purpose Vehicle (MPV) makes perfect sense. Strange then, that this market niche has almost been abandoned in South Africa, in favour of raised-body quasi off-roaders.

Once-upon-a-time Citroën was a fairytale car creator. It gave us magic rides like the Citroën DS with its enchanting bodywork and hydropneumatic suspension. It conjured the clever and capable front-wheel-drive Traction Avant and even the ugly duckling 2CV was the stuff of legend, thanks to its supernatural ride quality and low cost. But then, almost 40 years ago, it merged with Peugeot... and the magic was gone.

The new Peugeot 308 comes to South Africa next year. We travelled to Northern France to drive it.

Why would you do that?

Well, it’s Europe’s car of the year. Not to mention that we got to visit the Paris Motor Show. Why so negative?

The finalists for the 2015 WesBank / SAGMJ Car of the Year (COTY) competition were announced in Johannesburg today. Hosted by WesBank, the competition’s headline sponsor, the finalist reveal follows a vote cast by a 29-member jury from the South African Guild of Motoring Journalists (SAGMJ).

You either love it or you hate it. BMW’s big bruiser X6 has always polarised opinion, but that didn’t keep it from being a big success for BMW. They’ve already sold more than 250 000 units, a large chunk of which found homes with Russian and Chinese oligarchs. It’s just that sort of car, really: a bad boy – the sort of thing you could imagine as a gangster or tenderpreneur’s preferred ride.

It’s raining Suzukis. Just this year Suzuki Auto South Africa launched three new models: the SX4 small SUV, the Ertiga 7-seater and this week the cute and affordable Suzuki Splash hatchback.

Suzuki SA says the newcomer is aimed at a wide range of buyers —  from singles and young families to empty nesters. It adds that a compact footprint, tall roofline, comparatively long wheelbase and short overhangs create a surprisingly spacious and practical interior. We’ll test drive it to see if it lives up to it.

Take a compact, lightweight car and shoe-horn the most powerful engine possible under the bonnet. This was the template set by the Golf GTi, the original hot hatchback, back in 1976. But as the years went by, this recipe started to fall by the wayside as buyer preferences changed in favour of space and luxury, thereby forcing the hot hatch to grow up.

Diagonal blue and red stripes followed by a single letter: “M”. This simple emblem has been revered for decades as the symbol of driving pleasure, and never more so than when it’s followed by a “3”. Thanks to blistering straight-line speed and engaging driving dynamics, BMW’s M3 sports saloon has always set the standard in its class, and the latest (F80) model is no exception. But in reality, this is an entirely new kind of M3.

The latest sports car to grace our roads is also one of the best in a while. It doesn’t boast an extraordinary power output or a prestigious Italian or German badge. Its engine dates from the late 1980’s and quite a number of small German hatchbacks will run with it in a straight line. It also has four doors.

The first photos of the all-new Kia Sorento released today confirm that the third generation of the popular SUV will feature a new look, with bold, swept-back styling and sophisticated surface detailing. Longer, lower and wider, with an extended wheelbase, the new Sorento builds on the success of the outgoing model, delivering a premium look and feel, with more space and numerous innovative features.

Ford revealed for the first time the power outputs of the all-new Mustang, that will arrive in South Africa next year (2015)

The all-new Mustang with the new 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine will offer 228kW and 440Nm of torque, while the 5.0-litre V8 engine will generate 320kW and 536Nm of torque.

Both engine options will be made available to customers in South Africa when the all-new Mustang goes on sale late next year. Order books for the new Mustang open in January 2015.