New Kia Sorento

The new KIA Sorento goes on sale nationwide on 1 July 2015.

“The all-new Sorento is a key model for KIA due to our affinity for the SUV class of vehicles,” says David Sieff, Marketing Director, KIA Motors South Africa. “The third generation Sorento is especially exciting to bring to market as we make the next step up the quality and refinement ladder. We realise innovation and technology is expected from KIA but we have again brought key conveniences that make owing the new Sorento a driving pleasure.”

New Kia Sorento

New Kia Sorento


The new Sorento is bigger with an increased length (+95 mm to 4 780 mm), reduced height (down 15 mm to 1 685 mm) and extra width (+5 mm to 1 890 mm.

sorento-22-crdi-sx-awd-86_1800x1800All models come as standard with a Radio / CD / MP3 player, as well as multimedia ports for USB and AUX-in connections, and six speakers around the cabin. In entry-level models, information is displayed on a 3,8-inch display, while higher specification grades feature a 4,3-inch colour touch screen that incorporates the rear-parking camera.

Available in five- or seven-seat versions, the new Sorento features 40/20/40 second row split folding seats for improved versatility, with a higher folding centre armrest. Depending on the model grade, the second-row seats can be ‘remotely’ folded by conveniently located levers in the side of the cargo bay.

Local KIA Sorento models come with a choice between a 2,4-litre multi-point injection petrol engine and the established 2,2-litre ‘R’ turbodiesel engine.

Kia says the high-specification versions of the all-new Sorento are equipped with KIA’s DYNAMAX™ all-wheel drive system, which delivers a high level of stability and confidence in poor driving conditions and on low-grip surfaces, balancing torque distribution to the front and rear wheels depending on the specific requirement. The system is further enhanced with a ‘4WD Lock’ mode, which splits torque distribution evenly between front and rear wheels and gives greater traction and even more predictable handling in snow, on sand, on other low-traction surfaces, and around bends. Does not look as if a low range option is available.


Manual models are equipped with KIA’s Flex Steer system, allowing the driver to switch between three levels of steering assistance – ‘Normal’, ‘Sport’ (which reduces the level of assistance for a more engaging drive), and ‘Comfort’ (which requires less effort to steer).

KIA South Africa will offer the all-new Sorento in four specification grades, ranging from LS and LX at the entry level to the mid-spec EX and top-spec SX.

KIA Sorento 2.4 LS R 379 995
KIA Sorento 2.2 CRDi LX R 499 995
KIA Sorento 2.2 CRDi EX AWD R 599 995
KIA Sorento 2.2 CRDi SX AWD R 634 995

All models ship as standard with KIA’s industry-leading 5-year / 150 000km warranty, as well three years of unlimited roadside assistance. The Sorento 2.4 LS comes as standard with a 4-year / 90 000km service plan, while LX, EX and SX models include a 5-year / 100 000km maintenance plan.

Mitsubishi Pajero review

Pajero-boesmanskloof-thumbMitsubishi Pajero LWB3.2 Di-DC GLS 4×4 Exceed (A/T) Diesel 

Mitsubishi have been building these Pajeros for long time now almost unchanged from the original. My brother-in-law has a 2005 model which has breezed through the Richtersveld, Kgaligadi, Kaokoveld and Delta and with which he is very happy. He drove the new model and thinks its the same as his. “Just as good!” he says. I think they have refined it a bit and made the small changes that owners asked for.

Most changes have been cosmetic, some for new safety standards. The dash is new, as is the sound/ display system to accommodate newfangled tech like USB and MP3. The rear door has changed quite a bit. Spare is now centred, the triangle etc housed behind a plastic panel and the door now has a gas strut to hold it open.

Otherwise its the original paj. The car many say Land Rover should have made the Defender station wagon. It can go anywhere, it is reliable and very comfortable.

Mitsubishi Pajero LWB in its element

Mitsubishi Pajero LWB in its element

Pajero is all about the ride and the journey. On highways she behaves like a big family saloon. You can cruise all day at the legal limit and never get tired. Acceleration is on tap and ready the moment you need to get a move on. The seats, steering position and finishes are all top drawer. It is in effect a luxury car which will take you to the edge of excitement.


Venture off the beaten track and she really comes into her element. The 4×4 and gear system is one of the best available. It is a tough versatile set up which allows you to adjust to your driving conditions without resorting to fancy fragile electronics. Fantastic. The automatic box coupled to this traction system is hard to beat.

The system is called Super Select 4wd and has 4 modes: 2H (2WD high range), 4H (4WD high range) like AWD, 4HLC (4WD with centre differential locked) and 4LLC (4WD LOW range with centre differential locked).

This vehicle is in a category above your normal 4×4 double cabs and derivatives like the Fortuner and Pajero Sport. Pajero matches and plays with the big boys.

You have 441Nm from 2000rpm and over a wide band, coupled with the 235mm ground clearance and good angles and very little will stop you.

Goodies to make travel more enjoyable include a Rockford Fosgate® Sound System with touch screen radio, climate control, cruise control, rear view camera, Multi-information Display (Compass, Barometer and Altimeter, Outside Temperature, Range to Empty and Average Fuel Consumption, Time and Date Display), full leather trim and so on.

It has removable 3rd row seats and heated front seats with electric control.

Outside equipment includes HID Headlamps with Automatic Levelling Function, Rear Park Distance Control, mudguards, fog lamps and more.

Safety features include ABS and EBS,  Active Stability and Traction Control, six airbags and keyless entry.

She tows up to 750kg with ease.

Mitsubishi 3.2 Di-DC GLS Exceed 4X4 A/T

Mitsubishi 3.2 Di-DC GLS Exceed 4X4 A/T


Seriously versatile and superbly capable, both offroad and onroad.

Best value for money in the family sized real 4×4 SUV niche.

The Pajero enjoys a deserved reputation of toughness and reliability.

We suggest you get the Exceed model.

A new Pajero is expected late in 2016.

Also look at Range Rover, MB Gelendewagen, Toyota Land Cruiser, Nissan Patrol, Discovery, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Wrangler.


The flagship 3.2 Di-DC GLS 4×4 Exceed (A/T) Diesel is R669 900 (as tested).

The workhorse 3.2 Di-DC GLS 4X4 A/T is  R649 900

3 Year/100,000km Manufacturer’s Warranty

5 Year/100,000km Maintenance Plan


Honda Mobilio review

Honda Mobilio

Seven seaters are really very useful. They can be a little bus or a big hatchback, or a van; you take your pick. With the back seat removed the ‘boot’ becomes large.

With the second and third rows either folded down or even removed the car becomes a little van.

Honda Mobilio

Honda Mobilio

I haven’t tested the Xylo or Suzuki Ertigo yet but I can say the Mobilio is a step up from Toyota’s Avanza. It feels and looks more classy, yet they cost more or less the same.

Its got a good ground clearance of 188mm and is wide enough for general light cargo duties. This translates to 223 dm3 of cargo with all seats being used, which increases to 521 dm3 with the third row folded down.

The engine is very utilitarian though, it does the job but without much flair getting to 140km/h on a long straight or slight downhill. Fuel consumption is around 7 litre/100km. Actually, driving it around town is fine.

The cabin is comfortable and practical with loads of storage spaces and fairly comfortable cloth covered seats.

Honda Mobilio interior

Honda Mobilio interior

Standard features include central locking, electric front and rear windows, height-adjustable headlights, air conditioner and tilt-adjustable steering wheel.

This mini-MPV has been well executed. The package works and feels much more upmarket than the Avanza, I thought.

This is a very practical vehicle for a small business or a growing family. It feels more like a car than a van and is passenger orientated.

You can fit a lot of luggage if you fold the third row of seats down or keep it up and seven people fit easily. Preferably fit children in the back row. Space is at a premium back there, especially for your knees. Its a bit like SAA cattle class.

The Mobilio Trend costs R188 000, while the better specced Comfort costs R207 900 in manual and  R224 300 in automatic form.

The Mobilio comes with a 3 year or 100 000km warranty. A service plan is included.

Also look at the Toyota Avanza, Suzuki Ertiga or Mahindra Xylo.


Honda Ballade 1.5 review

Honda Ballade 1.5

Honda Ballade holds a special place in our motoring world. Merc built wonderful classy little Benz’s when they built and marketed the first few generations of Ballade.

After a bit of a splutter Honda now offer us a Honda built Ballade. It is a nice little car, but sadly not quite the class act you remember.

Honda Ballade 1.5

Honda Ballade 1.5

The new Ballade is a modern and well designed subcompact sedan with loads of interior space for its size, is well specced and it has good roadholding .

You can choose manual or automatic (8speed CVT), base or Trend trim or fancy (Elegence) specification. Both models safety equipment which includes six airbags, ABS with EBD, emergency brake assist, vehicle stability assist and hill-start assist. The Elegance also has shift paddles, Eco button on the CVT version, cruise control and a reversing camera with three viewing options: top, normal and top-down view.

The sound system is very good, with Bluetooth, broad connectivity, easy controls and pleasing sound.

I was a little disappointing with the wind noise and one or two places in the cabin were just not smart enough for my liking or expectations.

The Ballade is pleasant to drive. Fuel economy is pretty good at around 7 litres/100km in real world conditions dropping to around 5L/100km om highway. Tyres are 175/65R15, so are economical to replace and give a comfortable drive.

Also look at the Kia Rio, VW Polo, Hyundai Accent, Suzuki Swift, Toyota Yaris and Renault Sandro.
My choice would perhaps be the Suzuki Swift (Dezire) GL 1.2 Auto at R160 900


Ballade Trend Manual R208 900 Automatic (CVT) R223 900
Ballade Elegance Manual R237 100 Automatic (CVT)  R252 100


Three-year or 100 000km warranty and four-year or 60 000km service plan (intervals of 15 000km).


Top SA car by sales

And the winner is…

New vehicle sales in April 2015 saw a year-on-year decline of 3.3%, with total sales of 44 428, according to the latest data from the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa. Passenger car sales totalled 30 184, representing a year-on-year decline of 1.9%. Sales of Light Commercial Vehicles (LCVs) totalled 12 077, a yearly decline of 6%.

Car Sales

Car Sales

… Ford Ranger

So, just like in the US, a bakkie; specifically a Ford bakkie is king of car sales.

Vehicle manufacturers by total pushed through the system are:

Toyota           7916

VW                 7157

Ford                6492

GM (+Isuzu) 4196

Nissan             3204

Ranger 3.2 4x4 auto DC

Ranger 3.2 4×4 auto DC


Jeep Cherokee 2015 3.2L FWD Limited review

Jeep-Cherokee-thumbJeep Cherokee 3.2L FWD Limited 

Finally Jeep builds a Cherokee again that deserves to be called Cherokee. Thank you motoring gods.

Jeep has been very clever. They make three different types of Cherokee. A real 4×4 called a Trailhawk. An excellent SUV that has All Wheel Drive (AWD) and a cross hatch/ station wagon which has front wheel drive. They all have the same bodies and share engines and so on. The differences come in the suspension, ride height and gears.


We tested the FWD car. The model that will suit most city dwellers.

Jeep-Cherokee-Limited_seatStyle and clever design is what this iteration of Cherokee is all about. I know you don’t automatically  link design and Jeep. From now on you need to.

From the passenger seat base which lifts up to reveal a handbag sized ‘secret’ stash cavity to a CD player, USB port and power supply in the between seats armrest this car is practical and cleverly laid out. The front seats have heating.

A covered top bin is located above the radio on top of the soft touch instrument panel. Its big enough for glasses or a phone. The materials, fit and finishes are all premium quality.

Jeep-Cherokee-Limited_cd-binIn the boot this car has what Jeep calls the vehicle cargo management system which has handy hooks, a rail to hook onto and a removable grocery bag holder as well as some thoughtful add-on storage solutions including a First Aid Kit. The 60/40 split second-row seats slide forward and back for added comfort and cargo flexibility.

I like the exterior although some do not like the ‘shark’ nose. I think it seems both poised and elegant. The 18 inch polished aluminium rims on the Longitude model suit the car to a T.



This new Cherokee is a great drive. The 3.2-litre Pentastar V6 normally aspirated petrol engine in the model we tested is frisky and quite frugal. You can feel the power. It’s fun to drive. I got 9.5 litre/100km which included a daily commute. Highway driving should give you around 8 litre/ 100km.

Prices are as follows:

Jeep-Cherokee_boot2.4L Longitude                   R500 990.00
3.2L FWD Limited            R536 990.00 (Tested)
3.2L AWD Limited            R592 990.00
3.2L Trailhawk                    R654 990.00

Options for all models include:
Wireless Charging Pad (Limited, Trailhawk only)         R 1 400.00
Black Hood Decal (Trailhawk only)                                  R 1 400.00
Metallic Paint                                                                         R 4 000.00
Park Assist Group (Longitude & Limited)                       R 4 500.00
Electronics Convenience Group                                         R 8 300.00
Comfort/Convenience Group (Excl Limited)                 R 16 000.00
Full Sunroof                                                                           R 17 500.00
Leather Interior, front heated, electr. driver seat (Longitude & Trailhawk only)  R 18 000.00
Luxury Group (Trailhawk only)                                          R 20 300.00
Technology Group                                                                  R 32 500.0

Jeep claims Cherokee raises the bar with superior on-road ride, handling and fuel economy, best-in-class 4×4 capability and class-exclusive technology. I think they may just be right.

If you are looking for a medium sized crossover also look at the  Mitsubishi ASX, Kia Sportage, Nissan Qashqai, Hyundai ix35

If a SUV is more to you liking check out the Kia Sorento, Subaru Forrester, VW Tiguan, Nissan X-Trail, Toyota Rav4.

Real off-road capable 4×4’s include the Suzuki Grand Vitara, Two door Mitsubishi Pajero, Freelander Sport.

Warranty 3 years or 100 000km.

Maintenance plan 36 months or 100 000 km. (Optional)

Suzuki Ciaz arrives

Suzuki have just launched a new compact sedan, the Ciaz.

They are really pretty busy. It seems they are launching something new every month.

The Ciaz is offered in a choice of two specification levels – GL and GLX, one engine manual or 4 speed automatic.

Efficient packaging makes the most of the space on offer, with ample head, leg and shoulder room both front and rear, while top-notch materials, upmarket finishes and an extensive array of standard features.


Looks like a cross between a Honda Ballade and a Kia Rio/ Hyundai Accent.

GL specification: includes electric windows and exterior mirrors, remote central locking, automatic climate-control air-conditioning with front and rear vents, and a six-speaker sound system with FM/AM tuner, CD player, Bluetooth connectivity and both USB and stereo analogue jacks, are standard across all models. The new Ciaz is fairly comprehensively equipped in an old fashioned kind of way.

The GLX adds 16 inch alloy wheels, keyless entry, fog lights and leather trim.

Ciaz interior

Ciaz interior

The Ciaz has Suzuki’s tried and trusted 1,4-litre four-cylinder engine equipped with multipoint fuel injection, four valves per cylinder, and variable valve timing. It gives good power and torque and sub 6 litre/100km fuel consumption in general use.

It could do well but may cannibalise Swift sales.

Prices include a three-year/100 000 km warranty, and a three-year/60 000 km service plan.

1.4 GL MT  R179 900

1.4 GLX MT  R199 900

1.4 GLX AT  R214 900