Opel MOKKA X 1.4T Cosmo 6AT

Opel MOKKA X 1.4T Cosmo 6AT

Opel Mokka X 1.4

Opel Mokka X 1.4

I drove the previous model of the Mokka around the test track at Gerotek and almost kept up with a gaggle of Opel Adam Sports. My nerve gave in on the third corner as it felt I was going to roll it. Actually it had very good stability control. This new Mokka X is very good on the road, I think. It is an upgrade on the previous model, especially the interior, media centre and the headlights.

The mechanicals remain unchanged from the original Mokka  and along with the four model lineup of Enjoy and Cosmo trim choices in either manual or automatic. Powering all four MOKKA X derivatives is Opel’s proven 1.4-litre four-cylinder turbocharged ECOTEC petrol engine, which produces 103 kW between 4 900 and 6 000 rpm and 200 Nm between 1 850 and 4 900 rpm.

Although not really an Opel fan, I have to say this Opel is pretty good. Just sitting on the very comfortable, highly adjustable seat, looking at the dash and interior you can see just how far Opel have come. You feel it too. Top class materials and finishes.

Opel Mokka X dashboard

Speaking at the launch of the new Opel MOKKA X, Ian Nicholls said “Opel is on its way to achieving its vision of becoming the second largest passenger car brand in Europe by 2022. Part of this success is a renewed focus on bringing competitive new products to market, in fact the MOKKA X is the 13th new or refreshed Opel to be launched in South Africa since 2012.”

Aimed at drivers who are looking for a vehicle that is safe, family oriented and powerful, the MOKKA X merges functionality, connectivity, technology and safety in a vehicle which is just 4.28-metres from bumper to bumper.

Consumption, back home with the X 1.4 driving my usual routes, I got was 8.1L/100. You could possibly improve on this as Opel claim 6.5 L/100km or less, depending on model.

I have to say this crossover has brilliant brakes and nippy performance. It is not only a looker, considering the genre, but a little performer.

The interior is very good and feels quite upmarket. It has one of the best media centre/ touchscreen centres I have used.

Opel Mokka X 1.4

It is a snazzy little crossover which feels well put together.

All new Opel MOKKA X derivatives are backed by Opel Complete Care with a comprehensive 5-year/ 120 000 km warranty and come with a 5-year/ 90 000 km service plan linked to service intervals of 15 000 km.

Prices look like this:  Latest click here.

New Opel Mokka X Retail price incl. VAT
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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Peugeot 2008 SUV GT Line 1.2 PureTech Auto review

Peugeot 2008 SUV GT Line 1.2 PureTech Auto

Small, slick city crossover cars are all the rage right now and the Peugeot 2008 not only fits the description to a T, but is a classy example of what one should be like. Perceived build quality is superb.

The 2008 has a notch in the roof, a bit like the Discovery, which gives the back ample space. The ride height of 165mm allows you to take that gravel road and the suspension is very good. To give it a bit more out-of-city ability it has a real full size spare tyre.

Peugeot 2008.

Boot space is fair with 410L normally, but with the rear seat folded down the boot is large. I like the brushed metal trim protection plate on the sill of the boot which is at a very comfortable height.

The interior is stylish classical French chic, with all sorts of little touches you will appreciate, like a refrigerated glovebox. It is a really pleasant cabin with soft touch and carefully thought out materials, colours and textures. The hand brake is a very different, aviation style device, but it looks good.

The rear seat does not recline as much as one perhaps would like it to, but legroom is quite good. The otherwise comfortable seats are at a very comfortable height for getting in and out.The basic interior is half leather trim as standard, but full leather is an option. I would not bother as the half leather feels just right and is exceptionally comfortable. The smallish multifunction leather steering wheel is a joy to use, as are all the controls.

Features include SMEG+1 digital touch screen with a jack/ usb, bluetooth and climate control except in the base model.

Peugeot 2008 GTLine

Optional extras include a Cielo panoramic glass roof, full leather seats, retention net and a number of other items.
Peugeot claim consumption figures 6.6 L/100km urban 5.2 combined, but I got (a still good) 7.8L/100km.
The 6-speed automatic gearbox coupled to the 3-cyl 1.2L turbo petrol engine delivers a more than adequate 81kW of power and 205 Nm of torque. There are actually 4 models in the 2008 range, two 1.6 HDi diesels which have manual gearboxes and two turbopetrol models with auto boxes. I recommend the latter.

Peugeot 2008 Interior

The lighting is very up-to-date with cornering assist fog lights, follow-me-home lights, bright headlight beams and LED running lights.
Technically the GTLine model we drove is sate-of-the-art with stop-start, grip control, rear park sensor with camera, hill assist, cruise control, auto wipers and auto lights.

From a safety point of view this crossover has ABS with EBD, ESP which allows you to select the right driving mode for the circumstances – mud, snow, sand or standard; EBA, anti-slip function, in fact all the safety kit you could want to help you get home safely.

The 2008 comes with a year or 100 000km warranty and a 3 year or 45 000km service plan. A maintenance plan is available at extra cost.

The GTLine costs R349 900, but the range starts at R274 900 for the diesel manual in Active trim.

The competition includes the Renault Captur (very good for touring especially on gravel), Toyota C-HR, Audi Q2, Suzuki SX4, Mazda CX-3 (seriously stylish and a driver’s car) and Nissan Qashqai (a best seller).

 

VW Tiguan 1.4 TSi Comfortline review

VW Tiguan 1.4 TSi Comfortline

My wife watches a programme on Dstv where they give people a little pizazz or new lease on life by giving them a new hairstyle, change of wardrobe, show them which-make up suits them and so on. A bit of spit and polish, as it were.

That’s more or less what the engineers at VW’s  massive Puebla plant in Mexico, where Tiguan is made, did. Sure the new Tiguan is built on the new MQB platform and is longer and wider than the first generation car, but it’s more of the same recipe many South Africans loved. Brought up to date by giving it bolder styling, new tech under the skin and improvements in economy and ride quality.

VW Tiguan 1.4

VW Tiguan 1.4 at the Tasting Station Elgin.

We tested the 1.4 TSi turbo-petrol engined manual derivative. It is a pleasant car to drive. I think the performance is fine and the handling is excellent, perhaps partly due to the lowering by 30mm of the new version compared to the original. The highly adjustable optional electric front seats fitted to our review car are very comfortable together with the adjustable multi function steering wheel allow you to find an optimal driving position.

The Tguan we drove was heavier on fuel by a country mile than VW’s claimed consumption. The long term average consumption of the unit driven was 8 litre/ 100km with 11.4 L/100km achieved in town.

The Tiguan comes with a Marie biscuit type spare wheel with fairly comprehensive emergency kit in the biggish boot of 520 litres with the seats up. Double that with the seats folded flat.

vw-tiguan-dashI generally like VW interiors and the Tiguan is no exception. The black trim, including the roof lining looks good. Fit and finish and the materials used have an aura of good quality. A nice touch is the CD player in the cubby hole.

The interior feels and looks very good and is a very pleasant place to travel in. The logic and layout is just right.

The water bottle holder in the door is too big though, so a normal (cycling) bottle keeps falling over.

The leg room for the back seats is much more than you normally get in this size of car and the back of the front seats even have a fold down table, although it appears to be a little flimsy.

Think of the new Tiguan as a Golf on steroids rather than a small sister to the Toureg. This new Tiguan has no off-road pretences, its strictly a car for the road, but handles gravel with aplomb.

Price as standard is R419 000 without all the extras fitted to our test car. As tested with all the extras:

  • Sunroof  R4000vw-tiguan-backseat
  • Towbar   R7500
  • Auto boot lid   R5000
  • Active info display with 6.5-inch touchscreen R8000
  • App connect    R1500
  • DynAudio sound package   R13000
  • Adaptive cruise control  R5000
  • Vienna leather seats R11000
  • R-line exterior package  R18000
  • LED headlights   R7500                                  Total R80 500

The price of the car you see in the pictures is actually an eye watering R500 000. With some of the items you have to buy another as the come bundled. So if you want the DynAudio package you need to also take the space saver spare wheel! What the wheel has to do with the audio is a mystery. Perhaps they use it as a type of boom box.

I think the car is a little on the expensive side. If you are a VW fan you will love this car.

The range starts with the very basic Trendline from R379,900.44, next up is the Comfortline trim level in petrol from R419 900 to diesel R469 500 and finally the Highline from R549 000. In all cases you are going to pay much more because the basic car has very little in the way of equipment, clearly demonstrated by the extra options fitted to our review car. Add R50 000 to the sticker price of the VW when comparing to cars which come fully equipped.

Here is the official VWSA price list.

Other similar cars to look at include Suzuki Vitara, Ford Kuga, Nissan Qashqai, Jeep Renegade, Audi Q3, Renault Kadjar, Toyota RAV4, Mazda CX-5, Mitsubishi ASX and Honda CR-V.

We recommend you take the Mazda CX-5 and Nissan Qashqai for a test before deciding.

vw-tiguan-back

Renault Kadjar

Renault Kadjar

Another month, another cross-over. And so we get the Kadjar.

Renault says the Kadjar is the result of the integration of three vehicle categories: capable SUV, dynamic hatch and versatile sportswagon. So its actually a kind of cramped station wagon on stilts, and quite expensive.

The line-up comprises three models all powered by forced induction turbo engines. At the top end of the range is the turbo diesel-powered Dynamique 96kW 1.6 dCi (320Nm) 4×4 followed by the turbo petrol-powered Dynamique 96kW (205Nm) and entry-level Expression variants.

The equipment levels are quite good, especially the safety aspects, with six active devices as well as air bags, isofix points and so on.

Renault Kadjar (Quickpic)

Renault Kadjar (Quickpic)

On paper the cars appear to be powerful and frugal and should drive pleasantly.

The Kadjar lcomes standard with a 5-year/150 000km mechanical warranty and a 6-year anti-corrosion warranty. In addition the range comes standard with a 5-year/90 000km service plan. Services take place at 15 000km intervals.

– Renault Kadjar petrol Expression 96kW Turbo R 359 900

– Renault Kadjar petrol Dynamique 96kW Turbo R 384 900

– Renault Kadjar diesel Dynamique 96kW dCi 4×4 R 449 900

Maybe the Duster is still a better buy. Even the Stepway. You can get two Stepways for the price.

After we get to actually drive a Kadjar we will do a proper review.

Duster 1.5 dCI Dynamique 4×2 Review

Duster 1.5 dCI Dynamique 4×2

The new facelifted and updated Duster now built in Romania has a few new elements: New alloy rims. Parking distance control (standard).Patterned fabric replaces plain seat and door panel design. 7” touchscreen satnav (Dynamique variants only). Cruise control is now standard.  Leather trim and seats are optional on all three derivatives.

Renault-Duster-Facelift-dCi-4x2-022-front

Product manager at Renault SA Jeffrey Allison said: “Moving production to Pitesti provides us with the opportunity to refresh Duster within a sharper turnaround time – good for the brand and good for our customers here in SA.”

I think that the quality has also been lifted.

This car is keen to go. Its power, and more to the point, torque to weight ratio is superb. You can literally stay in sixth gear when overtaking, or change down to fifth and blast past. It is a blast.

I got 6.7  litres/100km in mixed driving on my usual route which includes town, highway and a ten storey parking garage. You may get even better figures even as low as 5L/100km.

Renault-Duster-Facelift-dCi-4x2-103-dashI found the car suitably well equipped with cruise control, climate control, a great sound system but a slightly dodgy GPS concerning Cape Town map coverage. This may be upgradable.

The balance of the Duster is just so very good. It weighs really good power with really good fuel consumption. Acceleration is better than required for normal driving and top speed is way over 120km/h. The size is also good, not too big, not too little.

I prefer it to the more expensive Captur.

Consumption claimed of less than 5,  I got just less than 7 litre/100km

Duster 1.6 Expression 4×2 R222 900
Duster 1.6 Dynamique 4×2 R249 900
Duster 1.5 dCI Dynamique 4×2 R269 900
Duster 1.5 dCI Dynamique 4×4 R289 900

The Duster is sold with a five-year or 150 000km mechanical warranty, a three-year or 45 000km service plan (service intervals at 15 000km) and a six-year anti-corrosion warranty.

Renault-Duster-Facelift-dCi-4x2-066-rear

Also look at the Renault Captur, Ford EcoSport, Kia Soul, Nissan Juke, Citroen Cactus, Suzuki SX4

Mercedes-Benz SUV Range 2015

After years of model name madness, Mercedes are finally getting some semblance of logic and system into the range naming protocol. You can actually work out where a model fits in with the new system. With the previous protocol you had  to know what a model was called.

The Mercedes-Benz SUV range. (Quickpic)

The Mercedes-Benz SUV range. (Quickpic)

So now the model range looks like this:

GLA – Compact cross between a hatch and a station wagon, but rides a little taller. Not trail or off-road capable, but equally good on tar and gravel. I liked it and found it big enough for four adults, but not their luggage. Range starts at R 438,900.00 for the GLA200, GLA 250 4MATIC is R610,900 and on to the GLA 45 AMG 4MATIC @ R785,200.00.

GLC –  Small SUV equivalent to a C class car, but with more usable space and a higher ride. Four models are available , all of them equipped with 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive and the 9G-TRONIC nine-speed automatic transmission as standard:  GLC 220 d 4MATIC, diesel, 125 kW – 400 Nm @ R599 900, GLC 250 d 4MATIC, diesel @ R619 900, 150 kWm – 500 Nm, GLC 250 4MATIC, petrol, 155 kW – 350 Nm @ R604 900, GLC 300 4MATIC , petrol, 180 kW – 370 Nm R654 900.

GLE – A medium size car which replaces the ML. Mercedes believe it is a competent offroader.  It comes with a choice of two petrol and two diesel models with whichever transmission you need. Models are : GLE 250 d 4MATIC R863 000, GLE 350 d 4MATIC R964 000, GLE 400 4MATIC R959 000, GLE 500 4MATIC R1 166 000.

G-class – The king of 4×4 cars by most people’s estimation. We used to know it as the Geländewagen. We get two versions. The common or garden version G 350 d at around R1.5 million and the sporty Mercedes-AMG G 63 at a round R500k more.

Toyota Fortuner Mk2 revealed

The second generation Fortuner goes on sale in Thailand on the 16th July 2015 and locally in Q1 2016.

According to Calvyn Hamman, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Toyota South Africa Motors, the brief was simple: “Design a Fortuner than can compete in terms of style and aesthetics while staying true to its authentic SUV characteristics and genuine 4WD performance.

“I like the analogy used by the Fortuner’s Executive Chief Engineer, Hiroki Nakajima, in which he compares the new Fortuner to a well-made suit. The style and quality are clearly apparent on the outside, and this assures you of the fine quality and detail of the lining on the inside, even although you may not be able to see it. In other words, there’s nowhere I can’t go and nothing I can’t do with my Fortuner, but I’m sure going to do it in style!”

Toyota Fortuner 2016

Toyota Fortuner 2016