Toyota Mirai FCEV

Hydrogen power

Toyota will take advanced zero-emission fuel-cell electric vehicle (FCEV) technology to new heights when it previews the second-generation Mirai at this month’s Tokyo Motor Show.

Scheduled for launch in 2020 – initially in Japan, North America and Europe in areas supported by a refuelling infrastructure – the new Mirai will be much more than an eco-car. It has been designed to demonstrate how Toyota’s FCEV technology can help create a vehicle that is rewarding to drive and beautiful.

Efficiency is still a critical area, and Toyota is targeting a 30% increase in the Mirai’s driving range through improvements to the fuel-cell system and the use of larger on-board hydrogen tanks.

The current Mirai  practical, with a driving range of around 500 km, easy refuelling in a matter of minutes and no emissions other than pure water. Since launch, around 10 000 units have been sold, while Toyota has actively supported the development of hydrogen fuel infrastructure in key markets worldwide.

The major hydrogen car manufacturers are Toyota, Honda and Hyundai primarily deployed in California, Japan and Germany. Mercedes has launched a GLC F-cell in Germany.

Transporting and storing hydrogen has been the main issue holding this development back. This area is developing rapidly.

Hydrogen can now be stored in a solid form in a chemical called sodium borohydride, for example. Carbohydrates and unsaturated organic compounds can store huge amounts of hydrogen too. Watch this space.

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Recent motoring launches

There were quite a few announcements about new models during August.

GWM P-Series
GWM which sells the Steed bakkies and Haval SUVs locally has just launched a new bakkie model range on their new P71 platform. It will get an 8-speed ZF automatic box coupled to a two litre VVT turbo-diesel engine putting out 140kW and 360 Nm, smart four-wheel drive with three diff-locks, high-strength body, the latest generation of Bosch version 9.3 ESP (stability control), 360 View, Rear View Camera, Lane Departure Warning, intelligent forward view (adaptive cruise control) and 12 radars.
The body measures 5 425 mm long, 1 972 mm wide and 1 893 mm high. The wheelbase is 3 230 mm.
With this bakkie they intend become number three behind Toyota and Ford. Watch this space.
Interestingly they have aligned themselves with several accessory and equipment suppliers and related players to form a complete ecosystem.
Expect the P-Series in the middle of the year (2020). The slightly more compact Steed will be continued.

Audi Q3 35 TFSI S-tronic
The second generation Audi Q 3 is here.
It now features a digital cockpit and a large MMI screen with touch response, assist systems to support the driver when parking, in town and on long journeys and has more knee room, headroom and elbow room.
There will be only one engine version – a 1.4 petrol engine with front wheel drive and a six-speed S tronic box. The power output delivers 110 kW and 250 Nm of torque from a four-cylinder direct injection unit with turbocharging. Six modes or driving profiles can be selected depending on conditions using the drive select dynamic handling system.
Audi South Africa has introduced a new package concept which will be adopted for all new models to be launched. The packages are: Comfort, Technology, Sport, Parking, S-line and Black. For example, the Comfort package includes storage and luggage; parking aid plus; electric tailgate; electric seats; seat heating and 4 way lumbar support.
The standard equipment list is more comprehensive than in the past and includes the digital cockpit, climate control, electronic stability control, rear parking aid and light / rain sensor.
In my opinion the new Q 3 looks great inside and out. Customers have many options for customizing their car. These include a contrasting paint finish for the lower body section or the S line exterior package which offers more sporty looking bumpers, sill trims and diffuser.
The instrument panel is divided into two levels: the top part includes the air vents; the bottom section incorporates the large octagonal area with its black-panel look. It is a really attractive interior.
The Audi Q3 range gets the Audi Freeway plan (5 year / 100 000 km) and is priced as follows:
Audi Q3 35 TFSI S-tronic at R565000, Advanced is R585 000 and S-line a solid R599 000.

Toyota becomes hotspot
“As of 01 September 2019, all new Toyota and Lexus models sold in South Africa will come standard with in-car Wi-Fi including 15GB free data (which you can top up) as well as a host of connectivity features and benefits courtesy of Toyota Connect, a major extension of the MyToyota App,” says President and CEO of TSAM, Andrew Kirby.
Known as Toyota Connect, the new connectivity hub will be housed within the MyToyota App which was launched in 2014. The technology allows owners access convenience, connectivity and safety benefits. Toyota the only manufacturer to offer a mobile App that is fully integrated with manufacturer and dealer systems, it is also the first organisation to offer the convergence of Wi-Fi and connectivity features in one package across the model range internationally.
The benefits of Toyota Connect can be grouped into three main areas: Connectivity features, Convenience and Safety features.
All the big brands are innovating and taking the present technology to the highest levels yet seen. The next generation will be very different and possibly powered either by hydrogen or batteries or they will be hybrids. They will be more automated and less driver orientated, almost like Ubers without the driver.

Which bakkie should I buy?

Owning and living with a bakkie is more than just walking into a dealership and paying for your truck. Your experience of and with the dealership can make or break your attitude to your bakkie and the brand.

If the purchasing and servicing experience is important to you this is going to help you decide which brands to look into.

The best buying and servicing experience is measured continuously by an independent research company, called Ipsos, for the industry.

Historic data

The owners of light commercial vehicles (LCVs) in South Africa are getting a very good deal in terms of their purchasing and servicing experience according to the results of the 2015 Ipsos customer satisfaction market research of the local automotive industry.

The good level of customer satisfaction in terms of the LCV purchasing and servicing experience in South Africa is underlined by the fact that four brands; Isuzu, Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen, won gold awards for purchasing and three; Isuzu, Nissan and Toyota  won gold for servicing in the 2015 survey. So the top brands to own are Isuzu, Nissan and Toyota.

Chevrolet and Ford got silver awards for purchasing, while Chevrolet and Volkswagen earned silver for servicing. Ford was the only recipient of a bronze award for LCV servicing. This may be down to the massive growth of their market share last year.

The results of the survey are subjected to four separate checks and balances or so-called quality gates to ensure validity.

bakkie sales q

The servicing winners are:

bakkie servicing

“These 2015 figures are absolutely outstanding,” commented Patrick Busschau, the Ipsos SA Automotive Business Unit Director. “The very impressive results show that both the buying and servicing experience provided by dealers franchised by the participating brands in South Africa is world class.

“Buyers of light commercials are also not short-changed from a product, as well as a sales and after-sales experience perspective, and this is very important in view of the large number of people who now buy top end LCVs for both personal and leisure use. They pay a lot of money for many of these vehicles, which are now competing with mid to high-end SUVs in the quality and comfort stakes, and it is good to see that the manufacturers, importers and dealers are putting a lot of focus on providing excellent service to those buying and operating LCVs. The Isuzu, Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen brands, in particular, in the LCV segment are to be commended for the consistently excellent service delivery when customers purchase or service these vehicles”.

Servicing over time

The servicing experience has improved over time as can be seen from the graph. Satisfaction has increased from 80% to 90% over the last few years.

Latest data from 2018

Bear in mind that this research is always a year behind and many bakkies have been upgraded or renewed in the last 12 months. This is just a rough guide as to the perceived quality.

In the graph below the lower the score the better.

The smaller bakkies have the disadvantage that they are noisier and have smaller engines. It is actually wrong to compare them with the bigger bakkies.

Safe motoring.

Toyota HiLux 2.8 GD-6 4×4 Raider review

Toyota HiLux 2.8 GD-6 4×4 Raider

HiLux is dead, long live HiLux. The king of the bakkie world is back with a bang.

Toyota HiLux 2.8

Toyota HiLux 2.8

The latest HiLux is a big improvement over the previous model in almost every way, but especially in the important aspects like ride quality, handling and fuel consumption.

My wife, Danita, was impressed by how much better the ride is of the new HiLux. She says it does not feel like a truck anymore. She could even see over the bonnet.

“What I really liked was the smoothness of going from wet muddy conditions onto gravel, thick sand and the brutal climbing power in very windy conditions on the slippery slopes of the mountains above Kleinmond! I really like it’s versatility … a stylish loyal workhorse clad in an elegant suit.  I felt safe inside,  protected by the powerful engine and strong body. I have never been quite so relaxed during a 4×4 trip in challenging weather conditions!”

HiLux_2.8-dashVisibility is good for a double cab. The whole aspect of handling and control has been taken to a new level and is now much easier and you feel more in control. Although it is substantially bigger it doesn’t feel clumsy or vague to drive.

HiLux is selling very well, so it must be ticking the right boxes. I thought the Toyota engineers have done a good job of refining what was in its day a highly competent bakkie.

The new Hilux is available in four grades, from workhorse to Raider with SRX in the middle. There is also a specialist SR spec for the mining industry. In total there are 23 models.

Drive Mode Select (Eco and Sport) with iMT

The gearbox is really good. Toyota is using an intelligent Manual Transmission (iMT) on top models.  iMT effectively incorporates rev-matching technology on both up- and downshifts, to provide a smooth drive as well as assisting drivers with smooth take-offs.

Using the 4WD change-over switch, the driver can select between 2WD, 4WD and 4WD with low range. The system allows the driver to switch between 2WD and 4WD ‘High’ on the fly, up to speeds of 50 km/h

HiLux_2.8-rear

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Active Traction Control system (A-TRC) found in the Land Cruiser family of vehicles is now also fitted to top HiLux models. A-TRC uses a combination of engine torque control and brake pressure modulation to provide maximum traction under most conditions.

Toyota claims 7.1 litres per 100 km. I got just over 8L/100km, making this bakkie light on fuel.  The 2.8 diesel delivers 130 kW and  420Nm from 1600 to 2400 rpm. The 2.8 GD-6 4×4 models allow a solid 3.5 tons of towing capability.

The eighth-generation HiLux, Toyota says is fit-for-purpose. After a week at the wheel that is my overriding impression. They know how to build bakkies having sold HiLuxes since 1969.

Little nitpick niggles

The rear bumper sticks out quite a bit from the body and may snag things especially in the veld butHiLux_2.8-nose also add wind resistance.

The rear legroom is still tight and not as good as the competition.

The infotainment screen and instrumentation is much better than the previous model but has not quite caught up to the Ranger and KB.

The bakkie we tested cost R529 900.

Pricing is as follows: Single cab:  From R228 900 to R 435 900
Xtra cab: From R333 900 to R470 900
Double cab: From R 377 900 to R593 900

There is a 5 year or 90 000 kilometre service plan. The standard factory warranty provides cover for 3 years or 100 000 km, but you can extend it to 6 years or 200 000km for R7 200.

Bear in mind four new bakkies are coming to market in 2016/17. They are the new Mitsubishi Triton and Nissan Navarra as well as the launch of the FIAT Fullback and Mercedes bakkie.

The Ford Ranger and Isuzu KB series are formidable competition. VW Amarok will catch up when it gets its facelift and new engines soon.

Also have a look at the two Steed ranges from GWM. You may just be very surprised.

Servicing my car – who is best?

Purchasing & Servicing quality awards

Ipsos, the market research company, measures the Competitive Customer Experience of car owners each year.

Its divided into the buying experience and the quality of servicing. It is split between cars and LCV’s (or bakkies and vans).

Here are the car results for this year.

PURCHASING

Ipsos interviewed more than 23 000 customers about their purchasing and servicing experience in 2015, representing more than 75% of all cars sold, or 15 of the locally available brands. The missing brands include BMW and Hyundai/ Kia.

The biggest changes over the previous survey include a 3.7% improvement in the free of faults result but a 4.7% drop in the handling of queries or faults. So the dealers need a bit of polishing, but the manufacturers are improving.

Over time the quality has been improving and now sits at almost 95% for the industry, up from around 90% in 2004.

The gold medal achievers in the sales department are VW and Audi. GM, Mercedes Benz, Nissan and Toyota come next. Ford, Lexus, Renault and Honda also did well.

sales time

“The achievements by the industry overall in our ongoing study over the past four years have been outstanding and are a tribute to staff at the manufacturers’ head offices who are responsible for training and supporting the dealers as well as for the commitment of the dealers themselves. In particular the consistent excellence of Audi, Isuzu, Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen brands must be highlighted for special praise,” said Patrick Busschau, the Ipsos SA Automotive Business Director. “It is amazing how the retail industry manages to lift the bar ever higher each year.”.

SERVICING

The Servicing Experience over Time has improved by 1% a year over the past decade and has now reached 90%.

Customers feel the are more appreciated and  are happy that they are offered transportation to the next destination. They are unhappy about the preparation of the staff and contact about progress.

Interestingly there is no difference between men and women concerning their perception of the servicing experience.

There are big differences between the races.

Servicing Race

Asian, not Indian, customers are the most unhappy while whites are happiest.

And the servicing awards go to:

Servicing winnersAudi received a platinum award for sustained customer satisfaction in both the passenger car purchasing and servicing experience categories, having won gold awards every year from 2012-2015. The Volkswagen brand received a platinum award for the purchasing experience with cars and LCVs from 2012-2015.
Other brands to receive platinum awards were Isuzu for the LCV purchasing experience, while Toyota and Nissan received these prestigious awards for LCV servicing in the period 2012-2015.

It is interesting the BMW withdrew from the research and that Hyundai may be sure of their product quality but not about their customer relations.

 

Toyota Auris XR review

Toyota Auris XR review

Auris XR

Auris XR

Toyota entered the hatch market with the Corolla hatch in 1984 based on the FF (front engine, front wheel drive) 5th generation family size Corolla range which also included more sporty rear wheel drive models.

Today Toyota makes many different hatchback models including the very small Aygo, the compact Yaris and the family sized Auris.

The C segment which includes the medium family cars like the Auris comprises compact family hatches (30%) and sedans (70%) but is under pressure from compact SUVs which are like little station wagons on tall wheels.

The present version of the Auris is an example of just how good today’s car design and engineering is. It simply does everything so well and ticks so many boxes.

⊗ Good fuel consumption.

Toyota Auris XR at Lourensford Estate.

Toyota Auris XR at Lourensford Estate.

⊗ Excellent road manners.

⊗ Solid build quality.

⊗ Comfortable interior.

⊗ Comprehensively equipped.

⊗ Safe.

⊗ A pleasant car to drive, with a fun dimension.

The electric lime green XR Auris we got to test certainly stood out on account of its colour. But it also stands out because of its design and styling. And value for money.

Toyota_Auris-etc-011-DashI particularly like the design of the dashboard. It reminds one of an aircraft dash, but in a good technical way, not the fake styling of some other brands. The interior is really pleasant and well thought out, with plenty of storage nooks. Space is actually quite good. The boot easily passes the pram test and is surprisingly big for a hatch.
In the Auris, Toyota has caught up with VW and Ford in respect of the perceived quality and I think may exceed them in the actual quality of materials used and feel of the switchgear.
The drivability is more sprightly than sporty. It goes well and does pack a satisfying dollop of power and good almost sporty road manners. It is not a GTi or STi wannabe, rather a well behaved car with a slightly mischievous streak.
Toyota claims 0 to 100km/h in 10 seconds. In reality acceleration is on par with the competition and more than good enough.

I got 7.1 Litre/100km in Auris-Xr-Vergelegen-094-flankmixed driving, which implies that 6L/100km on the open road is more than likely. If you drive really carefully you will be able to improve on these figures.

Resale values for Toyota hatches have always been good, and I think you can expect the same or better for this range.
The competition in this niche of the market is fierce and several cars are deserving of consideration. I would recommend testing the Focus and Mazda3 before deciding.

Prices start at R223 700 for the base X version right up to R360 300 for the Hybrid. The model we tested was the XR at R287 700.

Warranty is 3 years/100000 km. Sevice plan is 5 years/90 000 km.

Also consider the VW Golf , Kia Cerato, Hyundai i30, Peugeot 308, Ford Focus and Mazda3

Auris-Xr-Vergelegen-082-butt

 

Toyota Cape Dealer Rally 2015

Toyota Cape Dealer Rally

Mark Cronje and new navigator Gerhard Snyman finished the 13th and final stage of the Western Cape event in a time of 1 hour 53 minutes 59.8 seconds to beat Gugu Zulu/Hilton Auffray (Sasolracing Volkswagen Polo) by a 3 minutes 23 seconds.

Ford Fiesta flying in the Cape Dealer rally 2015.

Ford Fiesta flying in the Cape Dealer rally 2015.

Henk Lategan/Barry White (Sasolracing Volkswagen Polo), won five stages in a row but unfortunately  did not finish and could not catch Cronje who was penalised with 20 seconds for hitting a chicane in stage 11.

Honda-CR-V-Rally-019-vw

Leeroy Poulter/Elvéne Coetzee (Castrol Team Toyota Yaris) hit a series of jumps at high speed sending them head over heels and ending their rally.

Honda-CR-V-Rally-055-yaris

The proverbial sting in the tail of the rally saw to the demise of Henk Lategan/Barry White (Sasolracing Volkswagen Polo), the only team to really threaten Cronje and Snyman, in the final stage due to suspension failure.

 

Oooopsie

Oooopsie

Results: (Click here) 

SR – SUPERALLY DAY 1 SR – SUPERALLY – DAY 2 POS CAR ENTRANT DRIVER / CO-DRIVER CL CAR Stage Comp SS7 POS SS8 POS SS9 POS SS10 POS SS11 POS SS12 POS SUB TOTAL PEN TOTAL DIFF to prev comp DIFF TO 1ST CAR 1 425 John Peiser John Peiser / Weston Peiser S5 Subaru Impreza 6 08:14.5 2 12:22.8 2 16:03.8 3 15:00.6 2 08:08.6 1 12:27.9 1 1:12:18.2 00:00 01:12:18.2 2 76 Lourens van Rensburg Lourens van Rensburg / Nina van RensburgS5 Ford Fiesta R2 6 08:21.3 4 12:51.2 4 16:50.0 4 15:03.4 3 08:22.2 2 13:00.3 2 1:14:28.4 00:00 01:14:28.4 00:02:10.2 00:02:10.2 3 419 Quinton Swarts Paul van Wyk / Quinton Swarts S3 Volkswagen Golf 6 09:05.8 6 13:56.4 5 17:58.1 5 15:31.7 4 09:02.8 3 14:00.8 3 1:19:35.6 00:00 01:19:35.6 00:05:07.2 00:07:17.4 4 455 Matthew Jason Kohler Ebrahim Levy / Matthew Jason Kohler S3 Toyota Corolla 6 09:33.7 7 14:54.6 8 18:23.1 6 16:05.6 5 09:14.4 4 14:51.9 4 1:23:03.3 00:00 01:23:03.3 00:03:27.7 00:10:45.1 5 423 R. Reynders H Mathee / R. Reynders S4 Datsun Deluxe 6 09:50.0 10 14:24.3 6 19:45.7 8 17:01.4 7 09:45.2 6 15:27.4 5 1:26:14.0 00:00 01:26:14.0 00:03:10.7 00:13:55.8 6 450 Paul Emmanuel Paul Emmanuel / Robin Benjaman S4 Volkswagen Polo 6 10:04.9 11 16:23.4 10 21:39.7 9 18:50.9 8 10:04.7 7 16:26.2 7 1:33:29.8 00:00 01:33:29.8 00:07:15.8 00:21:11.6 7 431 Ismaeel Davids Ismaael Davids / Yusuf Ganief S3 Toyota Corolla 6 09:35.6 8 28:34.8 14 19:24.4 7 16:09.0 6 09:29.5 5 15:59.0 6 1:39:12.3 00:00 01:39:12.3 00:05:42.5 00:26:54.1 8 430 Denzil Isaccs Denzil Isaacs / Robyn Isaacs S1 Toyota Tazz 6 12:09.0 12 18:09.2 11 22:40.6 10 19:00.7 9 11:09.1 8 19:19.6 8 1:42:28.2 00:20 01:42:48.2 00:03:35.9 00:30:30.0 DNF 62 Henry Kohne Paulus Franken / Henry Kohne S5 Volkswagen Polo 4 07:29.7 1 11:41.6 1 15:06.5 1 12:55.6 1 00:00.0 00:00.0 0:47:13.4 00:00 00:47:13.4 DNF DNF DNF 65 Ashley Haigh-Smith Ashley Haigh-Smith / Nial Burns S5 Ford Fiesta R2 3 08:17.1 3 12:42.6 3 15:18.0 2 00:00.0 00:00.0 00:00.0 0:36:17.7 00:00 00:36:17.7 DNF DNF DNF 421 Trevor Hodges Trevor Hodges / Ian Thebus S5 Volkswagen Golf 2 08:44.0 5 14:28.6 7 00:00.0 00:00.0 00:00.0 00:00.0 0:23:12.6 00:00 00:23:12.6 DNF DNF DNF 404 Divan de Goede Tiaan Rabe / Divan de Goede S2 Volkswagen Golf 2 14:33.7 13 18:16.1 12 00:00.0 00:00.0 00:00.0 00:00.0 0:32:49.8 00:00 00:32:49.8 DNF DNF DNF 406 Sakkie Bosman Charl Strydom / Sakkie Bosman S4 Volkswagen Polo 2 14:33.7 13 18:16.1 12 00:00.0 00:00.0 00:00.0 00:00.0 0:32:49.8 00:00 00:32:49.8 DNF DNF DNF 408 Anwar Levy Anwar Levy / Jean-Pierre Jacobs S3 Volkswagen Polo 1 09:42.4 9 15:17.3 9 00:00.0 00:00.0 00:00.0 00:00.0 0:24:59.7 00:00 00:24:59.7 DNF DNF DNF 413 Keenan Sassman Keenan Sassman / Clint Lingeveldt S3 Toyota Corolla 0 00:00.0 00:00.0 00:00.0 00:00.0 00:00.0 00:00.0 0:00:00.0 00:00 00:00:00.0 DNF DNF DNF 415 Llewellyn van Greunen Darren v Greunen / Llewellyn v Greunen S1 Volkswagen Golf 0 00:00.0 00:00.0 00:00.0 00:00.0 00:00.0 00:00.0 0:00:00.0 00:00 00:00:00.0 DNF DNF DNF 432 Andy Haigh-Smith Andy Haigh-Smith / Craig Gray S3 Mutsibushi Lancer 0 00:00.0 00:00.0 00:00.0 00:00.0 00:00.0 00:00.0 0:00:00.0 00:00 00:00:00.0 DNF DNF Results brought to you by the National Rally Commission Event Timing by Calog 2015 TOYOTA CAPE DEALER RALLY 18/19 SEPTEMBER 2015 FINAL REGIONAL OVERALL CLASSIFICATION 13.03 21.71 26.29 22.10 13.03 21.71 CHAIRMAN OF STEWARDS 2ND STEWARD ORIGINAL SIGNED BY STEWARDS