Wednesday, October 21, 2009
The Vivaro has won the title of “economy champ 2009” in the van category of the British Fleetworld magazine’s fuel-saving marathon. The successful Vauxhall Vivaro from the UK is technically identical to the Opel Vivaro in Europe. With an equivalent of 5.1 liters of diesel fuel per 100 km, the Vivaro also beat the model’s economical regular average consumption of 7.8 liters by a good third on a 580-kilometer test drive through central England. In doing so, it left all the other competitors in its category behind.
The fuel-saving characteristics of the Vivaro van with short wheelbase and 2.0 CDTI (84 kW/114 hp) turbo-diesel engine were put to the test during the challenge. The British fleet magazine Fleetworld holds the fuel-saving marathon annually and a total of ten vans from different manufacturers took part in this year’s contest.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Hummer H2 S.U.T
Mileage: 27 098km
Cost: R899 000
As for any kind of used car at or around this price, you will expect it to be at least fairly new. There will be some exceptions that will be from the 90’s but its going to be rare. As for the Hummer, it’s probably the coolest of the 4x4 range. There is obvious competition from the likes of Land Rover and Jeep etc, but those vehicles actually have a use and a purpose. Hummer vehicles on the other hand are made simply as … I’m not even sure, but that’s the appeal.
The Hummer slogan is ‘Like nothing else’ and I think that about sums it up, the sheer audacity and ridiculousness of the Hummer is what makes it a worthwhile buy. If you happen to have R899 000 lying around and are going to be attending movie premiers with your fishing rods in the back and a canoe on the roof, then this is the car for you.
BMW Z4 2.5 si Roadster
Cost: R529 000
The BMW has the prestigious honour of being the cheapest car on this list, at just over half a million, ‘cheap’ is a relative term. When looking at used cars valued at over R500 000 you would probably expect to find a list of supercars, but the BMW Z4 hardtop holds a special place in my heart. I’m not sure what it is, but I just really like it, which is strange because I don’t like the convertible soft top at all. I can’t actually imagine why anyone would buy the convertible version over the hardtop, my imagination apparently stops before the ‘wanting to drive with the top down’ part.
At a paltry 3563km this car is practically new but you will be saving around R70k on a brand new version which definitely seems worth it. You won’t be able to fit your canoe on the roof, like the Hummer, but you will have a lot more speed and with almost no seating at all, you will at least never be asked to pick up kids from school.
Mileage: 20 201km
Cost: R2 500 000
I think it’s only fair that in an article of this nature I include at least one car that for all intents and purposes has no intents and purposes and exists purely as a sick joke. You could never logically justify purchasing this car and assuming you can afford to buy one; you won’t need to ever justify it. By simply owning this car you automatically win every argument, become the sexiest person on earth and are the best friend ever to anyone you take for a drive in it. That right there is probably justification for the price, in fact when you look at it like that, it’s actually quite cheap.
Recently, sharp-eyed citizens in Copenhagen have had the opportunity to get a sneak preview of the upcoming, sporty Volvo S60 - which won't be introduced to the world until next year.
A disguised prototype of the new sedan model has been rolling through the streets of the Danish capital in order to test a groundbreaking new safety technology that can detect a pedestrian in front of the car and brake automatically if the driver doesn't react in time, to avoid an accident.
The new technology - Collision Warning with Full Auto Brake and Pedestrian Detection - will be introduced together with the all-new Volvo S60 in 2010. Volvo Cars' safety experts have been working with Pedestrian Detection technology for ten years and test cars have been rolling all over the world - most recently in the busy streets of Copenhagen.
"Factors like traffic behaviour, road conditions and climate must be taken into account in the design of the final system. All told we have collected more than 500,000 kilometres of real-life data. We can also use the information from these traffic tests to conduct advanced computer simulations," says Thomas Broberg, Senior Safety Advisor at Volvo Cars.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
First in the premium segment in SA: Audi of South Africa introduces start/stop models at no extra cost.
Audi is synonymous with being the leader in progressive technology and pioneering new innovations. The 21st century brings in a new era of challenges, predominantly the challenge to become more environmentally conscious and reduce CO2 emissions. One of our most important tasks in the future is to increase efficiency even further.
Energy management also offers huge potential for efficiency – for the air conditioning system, for example, energy recovery and termo management. The intelligent assistance systems such as the on-board computer with efficiency program also offer valuable support to the driver.
Last but not least, the new Start/Stop system which switches off the engine when the vehicle is stationery is now being introduced locally by Audi in a number of its models – a first for the South African premium segment.
2009 also saw Audi South Africa making significant strides by further enhancing the efficiency of the Audi models. This is clearly highlighted by the transition to Euro 4 & 5 emission levels of all cars in May.
The Start/Stop system
The Start/stop system helps to save fuel and and reduce CO2 emissions, and realises its efficiency potential in urban traffic especially.
Simply put, the engine switches off automatically when you stop the car at, for example, a traffic light …and starts up again automatically when you are ready to drive off.
When the vehicle stops, the engine is switched off. The vehicle’s electrical system is supplied with electricity from rapid power storage devices called supercaps. As soon as the driver presses down the clutch, the engine is started. By the time the clutch pedal is released, the engine has reached idling speed.
An intelligent engine management system ensures short engine starting times and eliminates all negative effects of switching off and starting the engine with regards to exhaust emissions.
Monday, October 12, 2009
The obvious factors to note when looking for a used car are: mileage, condition and year. These factors are somewhat more important though when looking for a car this cheap as you want to avoid being sold a dud.
Cars.co.za lists a number of cars in this bracket and they can be searched for by entering the maximum amount as R30k and pressing “Go” or clicking here to see cheap vehicles under R30k. There are many vehicles listed, but I have pointed out a few that come across as good deals.
Volkswagen Citi Chico 1.3
Mileage: 118 985km
Cost: R26 000
The ever popular small VW car has been a hit in South Africa for the last 30 years at least. So many people start off with one of these as their first car, and they never seem to go out of fashion. They also don’t seem to lose much resale value at all, people tend to buy one second hand, drive it for a few years and then sell it again for much the same that they paid for it. This Chico has a rather small number of Kilometers on the clock considering its age and price which definitely bodes well for it. There doesn’t seem to be a used car that is more of a staple than the Volkswagen range of small cars.
Ford Lazer Tracer 1.3
Mileage: 192 000km
Cost: R23 995
While not as popular as the Volkswagen range of small used cars, the ford Lazers and Mazda 323’s are still always seen on used car sales everywhere. While the Ford does have an extra 80 000km on the clock compared to the Chico it is slightly cheaper. I have first hand experience driving a Lazer 1.3 with this many kilometers on the clock and it seems as reliable as ever. It still feels quick enough and has never broken down, attesting to Ford’s long standing reliability.
BMW 3 Series 316i
Mileage: 177 562km
Cost: R25 000
Unlike the previous two entries, it is rare to find a BMW in the less than R30k bracket. The BMW offers a lot more style and looks than any other car you are likely to find in such a cheap bracket. It is also obviously a lot bigger and will have more utility, however its probably not as well suited as the other two smaller cars as a first car. It won’t be as forgiving, and could be more expensive to run. That said though it is not a common occurrence to find a car like this for so cheap and would be hard to pass up.