Thursday, November 15, 2012 launches new mobile site

Yesterday launched their new mobile website. The site has a completely new design and has plenty of added features. The site feels clean and easy to navigate.

According to the press release "...our goal was to create a lightning fast mobile website, which looked good and enabled users to find their next car easily. The site underwent a complete redesign as we identified key features that the new mobile site needed to include."

Enhanced mobile site features

  • Improved design and layout
  • Improved navigation
  • Improved used car browsing interface
  • Powerful refine search feature
  • Multiple car images supported
  • Simplified enquiry process
  • Complete database of new cars available in South Africa
  • Browse for new cars on your mobile phone
  • Book a test drive / Enquire on new cars
  • Browse monthly new car specials
  • View the latest motoring news


Monday, October 15, 2012

A visit to Mercedes-Benz in Stuttgart, Germany

Visiting Germany was always going to result in a brush with a motoring giant. Today I took the time to travel to Neckerpark in Stuttgart, a place synonymous with Mercedes-Benz, literally - the train station is called Neckarpark (Mercedes-Benz).

Mercedes Benz Museum

Upon alighting from the train, I was confronted with a myriad of options - Mercedez Benz arena, Porsce arena or Merc museum. I headed straight for the Mercedez-Benz museum to familiarise myself with the history of the motoring brand. This was easy enough to find, as there are signposts from the train station right the way to the museum. 

Mercedez-Benz museum in Stuttgart Germany
Unfortunately, the museum is closed on Mondays, the very day I had chosen for my visit. The friendly lady who informed me of this gave my a brochure with some Mercedes facts and pointed me in the direction of the adjacent dealership. Here I would be able to view all the latest Mercedes-Benz cars for sale

Mercedes Benz fact timeline

  1. In June 1967, Hans Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher founded the company AMG.
  2. The first major motor sports success - 1971: Hans Heyer and Clemens Schickentanz piloted the AMG 300 SEL 6.8 to a class victory at the 24 hour race in Spa
  3. In 1986 the AMG 300 E 5.6 - affectionately known as "The Hammer" became the fastest production four-door saloon car in the world
  4. In 1988 AMG and Mercedes-Benz join forces in the DTM racing series. Two years later, the collaboration would be extended to road vehicles.
  5. In 1993 the first vehicles of the official co-operation, the Mercedes Benz C 36 AMG is introducted to the market and becomes a top seller.
  6. AMG wins the 1997/98 FIA GT World Championship with the CLK-GTR. The team achieves even greater success in 1998 winning all the races in the series.
  7. Success on the racetrack and in the showroom is undeniable. In 1999, Mercedes takes a controlling stake and AMG becomes Mercedes-AMG GmbH.
  8. The first vehicle devised, designed and developed independently by AMG: the SLS AMG 'Gullwing' sees the light of day in 2009.
  9. In 2011, the C 63 AMG Coupe Black Series - pushing road-legal performance to extremes with the latest in the line of super-exclusive Black series models.

Mercedes Benz showroom

With not much else to do, I headed down to the rather impressive Mercedes showroom. The showroom spans 3 floors and has just about everything one could possible need - plenty of the latest Mercedes cars to view, an exclusive coffee shop, a cinema, a kids playground... and did I mention the cars? Everything from the A-Class to the exclusive S-Class. Stationwagons and sports cars. This was certainly the most impressive car showroom I have ever entered.

 Mercedes Benz cars inside the showroom

 Here are some of the photos of the cars / stands within the Mercedes-Benz showroom in Stuttgart.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The impressive new BMW Zagato Roadster

BMW have once more teamed up with Zagato to create the all new BMW Zagato Roadster. The car was on display at the 20120 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in the United States last week.

“This car is not designed only as an elegant convertible, but also as a masculine and extremely dynamic sports car which evokes a powerful driving experience” says Norihiko Harado, the chief designer.

I think the car looks brilliant, like an upgraded BMW Z4. How the car drivers will remain to be seen.

For full information read article on the BMW Zagato Roadster

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Toyota 86 causing a buzz in South Africa

The all new Toyota 86 has been the cause of a major stir in South Africa. The new sports car has been the talk of the town with its stylish looks, great performance, and the fact that it is very well priced for the market. Whether you are taken in by this new release from Toyota or just want more information on the vehicle, here are two great articles featured on

Toyota 86 articles

Toyota 86 price revealed for South Africa
New Toyota 86 now in South Africa

The Toyota 86 is currently for sale in South Africa.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Snow in South Africa - advert

History was made in South Africa today as for the first time in recorded history it snowed in all 9 provinces. In parts of the country, snow has forced many major roads to be closed and many motorists were trapped in their cars waiting for assistance.

Other parts, including the greater Gauteng region, were in high spirits at the rare sighting of snow. The snow storm covered the majority of the region in a white blanket and social media channels have been going berzerk with posts and photos.

The cold weather has kept many South African's indoors, and lead to this advert, targeted at house or office-bound people who are looking to buy cars. 

Feeling snowed-in? Luckily you can search for your next car online.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012 launches awesome new car website has released a new state of the art website for the South African car buying and selling community.

"Our goal was to keep the site as simple as possible for users to use, while adding new functionality and aesthetics" said a spokesperson. The site combines colour and white space effectively to create a very clean look.

New website functionality

  • New car section 
  • Advanced new wishlist
  • Enhanced "Browse used cars" functionality
  • Social media integration 
  • Car information articles

Raising the bar for Car websites believe that they have taken a huge leap forward, and that the new Cars website will set the standard for the motoring industry in South Africa. 

What do you think of the new site?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Ford Mustang! What a beauty

Ford Mustang

There is something special about old school muscle cars. They exude both beauty and power. They represent freedom. Oh, and that's just looking at them. Driving one is another experience altogether, something that I hope everyone may experience in their lifetime.

I stumbled upon this article the other day: a tribute to muscle cars, and for a while I reminisced as I scanned the ample pictures of the Ford Mustangs of old. The final question was posed... Do you like old or new Ford Mustang? I think for me its a no brainer, old school is cool! Muscle cars for me will always be represented by the old school beauties, and while the new cars are lovely in their own regard, they do not hold the same nostalgic power over me.

I cant wait for the next muscle car day in South Africa, so that I can once more delight in the sights and sounds of good old school muscle cars, especially the Ford Mustang.

The effects of car depreciation

Car depreciation

Car depreciation is a nasty reality, one which we as South Africans would much rather not talk about, but alas we cannot ignore it. Depreciation can cost us a lot of money over time and is something that needs to be addressed very seriously. While there is nothing one can do to stop one's car from decreasing in value over time, there are definitely ways to control the effects. 

Controlling car depreciation has put together a comprehensive article on the effects of car depreciation. This article looks at car depreciation as a whole, the factors affecting depreciation and what one can do as a car buyer to control the effects of car depreciation. It is a great read for anyone planning on buying a car in the near future.

More reading on car depreciation

Here are some other helpful resources on Car depreciation: - discusses car depreciation from an international perspective.  - 10 best and worst cars for car depreciation.


Car Depreciation is here to stay, hopefully with the aid of the above mentioned resources, we can get the best car value going forward.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Korean cars making waves

Korean car manufacturers Hyundai and Kia have been steadily making waves in the South African Car Market. The motoring giants have all but dominated the budget section with the Hyundai i10 and Kia Picanto respectively. While these two models shuffle between first and second positions on various ranking or best buy list I have seen, they are always up there.

This is not the only segment of the car market under attack from the Korea. Both Hyundai and Kia are having great success in other sections, including the SUV market with the Hyundai Ix35 and the Kia Sportage. Hyundai have also taken the sedan market by storm with their new Elantra, which met with raving reviews.

It will be interesting to see how the new car and used car landscapes in South Africa change in the future, but I will not be surprised if we continue to see these top Korean brands growing in leaps and bounds.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Over 17500 used cars for sale

South African used car advertising portal has reached another vehicle stock milestone. The website, which services clients from all over South Africa, has now got over 17 500 used cars for sale listed on it. This means more choice for car buyers, and variety comes with its own host of advantages - getting the exact car what you want, negotiating power on car prices, ability to get a car closer to your home town - though sometimes secondary in their benefits ... every little bit helps.

If you are looking for a used car in South Africa, take a little gander at

Monday, February 20, 2012

New car specials - February 2012 have launched their South African new car specials for February 2012. This month there are a few interesting specials, including a few from Renault which include free items with the purchase of the vehicle.

Here is the complete list of new car specials available:

Ford specials
2012 Ford Figo 1.4 Ambiente from R115 000
Includes a 3 year / 60 000 KM Service plan.

Lexus specials
2012 Lexus CT200h from R355 400
Includes an IPad or Galaxy tab of your choice

Nissan Specials
2012 Nissan NP200 Base model from R106 000
Excludes Service and delivery

Renault Specials
2012 Renault Sandero from R129 000
Includes 3 in 1 safely pack and shopping spree to the value of R2000

2012 Renault Clio S from R179 000
Includes 32" Plasma screen and DSTV installation

2012 Renault Megane Shake It
Includes free SPA day

Suzuki Specials
2012 Suzuki Swift from R148 900
Save up to R7000

Volkswagen Specials
2012 Volkswagen Polo 1.4 Sedan Comfortline from R2 459.62 per month 

2012 Volkswagen Golf 6 1.4 TSi from R254 500
Includes 5 years / 90 000km maintenance plan

To view more information about these specials or to enquire with the relevant South African car dealerships, visit the new car specials page.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Acura NSX Concept Car ... Wow

Acura (Honda) have taken their time in releasing a followup to the original Honda NSX. Many have begun wondering if they ever would. In December 2011 the announcement came that Acura were working on a concept car and in January 2012 this concept car was unveiled to the world... and what a concept car it would prove to be.

Though still in concept, which invariably means it will change completely, recent pictures of the Acura NSX from the Detroit motor show reveal a car which is jaw droppingly beautiful. Visually it is everything a sports car should be, showcasing a sleak, rounded chassis with beautiful curves, yet the front still appears mean, powerful and somewhat untameable. The back is simple and clean and while not stealing the show, it doesn't detract from the rest of the vehicles uber high standards. The NSX is beautiful to behold, certainly one of the nicest concept cars I have seen to date.

The two door coupe, made from the latest lightweight materials will carry a V6 mounted behind the seats and an electric motor making this car (rather surprisingly from the looks of it) a hybrid! The NSX is rumoured to have 3 electric motors and a new all wheel drive system. This is said to have incredible acceleration while maintaining extreme efficiency.

Production of the all new Acura NSX is not scheduled to begun until 2015, which gives us a long time to wait before we are able to see just what this amazing concept car will actually come out of the factory as.

Kia Picanto 1.1 driven

Korean motor manufacturing giant Kia's new Picanto has been welcomed with some great reviews. And upgrade from their former Picanto, the car looks and feels better and with a price tag starting at under R100 000 is definitely one of the front runners in the market in the small car market. A rental courtesy of Europcar this weekend, I was able to become better acquainted with the vehicle.

It all starts at the check in counter. My helpful attendant, seeing my surfboard, decided to give me the Picanto ahead of other similar vehicles (The Hyundai i10 and Chevrolet Spark), citing additional room as the deciding factor. This was a check mark in the cars favour before I had even seen it.

Arriving at my very own Kia Picanto, I must admit I was not overly impressed with the design. Parked next to the other cars in the rental lot, it certainly stood out, though I'm not sure this was in a positive way. It looked more round and less menacing, a very unassuming car. Still, it was offensive to the eye. Concerns about space also began to circle in my head... it didn't look very big.

A good few bags and a surf board later I was once more impressed with the Picanto. It seemed to swallow up both our luggage and our persons without too much fuss. Behind the wheel, the car took a little bit of getting used to - the clutch seemed to take late, the brakes were very responsive and the indicators were on the "wrong" side, but soon enough these were negotiated and complementary mint in mouth, we were headed towards the open road.

The drive in the Picanto was very pleasant. Fully aware of the diminutive engine, I was very rarely disappointed with the power output, even when the air conditioner was on. The car was very responsive and certainly felt nippy and powerful (for its class). At higher speeds it handled well and the breaks too were very solid. The seats were comfortable and spacious. There was nothing that the car lacked and all things considered I was impressed with the car. Price seriously considered and the Kia Picanto definitely seems like a fantastic automobile, and certainly one well worth considering for the budget buyer. 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Driving the Renault Megane 1.6

I recently had the pleasure of loaning a friend's snazzy champagne coloured Renault Megane 1.6 for a pleasant drive down Durban's North Coast. Having recently driven the Renault Sandero United 1.6 this proved to be the perfect opportunity to compare two Renault's from different classes and to see just what the difference between the two is.

The first thought that crossed my mind when seeing the Megane was how much prettier it is than the aforementioned Sandero. Although its unique appearance is not loved by all, the Renault Megane just looks like a much more upmarket car, as rightly it should. The interior of the car is also much slicker and it certainly has more features. The Megane is also very spacious inside, which was surprising to me as I really had expected the Sandero to take the cake here, however I did have to remind myself that this is a different class of vehicle, one where space is a lot more readily available.

After figuring out how to start the vehicle with the newer key card system, I was off, and it was in the drive that the Renault Megane really outshone its cheaper counterpart. The Meganes ability to accelerate far outshone that of the Sandero, whether from stationary or in motion. It also suffered less from the Air Conditioner being switched on, which on a hot Durban day was an absolute must. For the better part of the journey I was not even aware that the air con was on, such is the difference in power. The drive was also a lot smoother at higher speeds, and it was very quickly apparent that this was a performance machine. The brakes too where crisper and once or twice I was "fortunate" enough to have to put them to the test.

All round the Megane just felt like the better Renault. This was too be expected as it is the more expensive vehicle, but does it justify the price difference? Certainly, my experience in the Megane felt completely different to that of the Sandero, and for all their similarities, it definitely felt like I was driving a much more upmarket vehicle. I even felt proud standing next to the vehicle, half expecting people to notice me as someone of consequence.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Chevrolet Trailblazer in South Africa in 2012

General Motors (GM) South Africa have announced that the much anticipated Chevrolet Trailblazer will be released to the South African market in 2012. From the images released from various international motor shows, the Trailblazer looks to me like a winner. An aesthetic powerhouse, the Trailblazer manages to remain stylish whilst looking both mean and tough. Heck, even the very name "Trailblazer" manages to encompass these characteristic.

Chevy have also created the 7 seater Trailblazer SUV with an additional row of seats, allowing even more passengers to enjoy the experience that the car promises.

I personally think that the Chevrolet Trailblazer will be well received in South Africa and will do very well in our car market. Fortunately, with the release set for later this year, we will not have to wait all to long to see if the theory translates well and if Chevrolet can deliver on what promises to be a practical, powerful, versatile and beautiful SUV.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Why I love my Ford Fiesta Flair 1.4i

As a student I was given my white Ford Fiesta Flair 1.4i. The car was a small hatchback, sporting two doors and a 1.4 litre fuel injected engine. Aesthetically it had the characteristics of a bubble, yet was neat enough. It was not the car of my dreams, it was not even the car I wanted, it was just a car... a means of getting from A to B. Who was I to deny myself that pleasure. So I gratefully accepted the gift bestowed up me and drove off into the sunset.

6 years and a lot of kilometres later I am still driving that very same Fiesta. Sure it has a huge dent in the bonnet and a couple of smaller dents at various intervals around the car. The heater is stuck on, the windscreen cracked and the window winder has broken in two. My speakers too have been distorted for the last few years and there is a somewhat disconcerting rattle from the back wheels.

On paper, this poor little Ford Fiesta is a disaster, surely not more than a few kilometres shy of the scrap yard. In reality however, it is an absolute dream. I can fill my petrol tank up for R400, which lasts me a couple of weeks when driving locally around Johannesburg, and can get me to within a stones throw of Durban when hitting the open road. The services are also very reasonable. Sure, I don't go to directly to Ford, but rather my local mechanic and it rarely costs me more than R1000 - R1500 per year to keep this little hatch running. Then there is the cost of car insurance, which is substantially lower than that of other cars I compared with. Not driving a recognised performance vehicle and not being highly sought after by the crime syndicates of the world definitely has its perks.

The true beauty of this car however, is not in the money it saves me alone, but also how we have bonded. Put anyone else in the driver's seat and what follows is a constant stream of complaints and abuse at the car. I however feel completely at home in that front seat - the acceleration is fast enough, in fact the car feels quite zippy. My arms have grown accustomed to the lack of power steering and all the above mentioned idiosyncrasies which would certainly deter a buyer (or thief for that matter) have become so normal to me, that I would struggle to function in a properly working vehicle. Add to this that rattles aside, the car runs like a dream and hasn't given me much trouble in the time we have spent together, and I am more than happy to drive my Ford Fiesta Flair for the foreseeable future.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Petrol price increase... not again!

It seems that petrol prices increase with a disconcerting regularity. If I had a penny for every time I have heard the phrase "remember to fill up your car today, petrol prices are increasing tomorrow", I would be a wealthy man, provided of course, I too didn't need to fill up.

At moments like these, when the impending doom of yet another hike is upon me, I take some time to reflect on ways to stem the tide of this petroleum beast. The logical choice would be to change my mode of transport, a bicycle sounds really good, but just isn't practical in Johannesburg, walking a definite no no. While a motorbike or scooter is an option, the aura of danger surrounding these vehicles is enough to put me off. Cancel public transport due to unreliability and we are once more right back where we started... a Car.

The good news however, is that there is ample choice when buying a car, and with the advancements in technology, hybrid cars (and hopefully electric cars in the not to distant future) are definitely worth considering. Just how much can you save financially buying a hybrid car? In the short term, probably not as much as you would save scratching the idea and taking the extra 34c per litre in your stride. This however, is not the case on a more long term timeline. The effects of a more fuel efficient car on your wallet and the environment will be quite significant going forward and hopefully the prices of these cars will come down too, thus making it easier for us to help ourselves and the environment.

A while ago I wrote a post on the most fuel efficient cars in South Africa, give it a read if you are interested in upgrading.

Driving the Renault Sandero 1.6 United

This weekend past I has the opportunity to drive the Renault Sandero 1.6 United, a car marketed as having ample space, in fact, the most space in its class. I took the opportunity with both hands, and put this "little" car to the test.

The first thing I noticed when approaching my charcoal coloured Sandero, was that it actually looks quite good. Sure its no fancy sports car, but the Renault Sandero is certainly not offensive in any way. The car seems well put together and flows nicely. The charcoal colour also worked quite nicely on the model and worked nicely with the grey interior. So far we were off to a good start.

A quick trip around the car testing things soon brought many nuances to light. The boot for example doesn't have a regular handle, and requires a second look to figure out how to open it. Though it really is simply enough, straying from the generally accepted norms can be quite disconcerting for first time drivers, myself included. The Sandero also didn't seem very big, in fact I likened it to a 4 door hatch in many ways and wasn't overconfident that it would be able to live up to Renault's space claim.

On entering the drivers seat and playing around, I was once more presented with certain foreign intricacies. The window winders worked in reverse, the dash seemed to be presented in code and no matter how many times I turned the radio down, it would always return to a default volume when starting the car (though this may have been unique to my Sandero). On the positive side, everything seemed easy enough to figure out, the seats were comfortable, and the car did come with some bells and whistles - air conditioning (an essential in the hot Durban climate) and power steering, not to mention a small bag of mint imperials. The other overwhelmingly impressive thing was the space. It is strange, but Renault have somehow managed to create space without flaunting it. The space is certainly there, large objects just seems to fit, and I had 4 small adults comfortable seated in the back seat. The Sandero is actually deceivingly large, despite its diminutive looks. At least Renault had delivered on their main claim to fame, always a positive.

Aesthetics aside, it was time to begin my weekend away and take the Sandero out onto the open road. Air conditioning blowing full steam ahead, we eked out of the parking bay and began our mission. While not the most powerful car, even with the air con on and a full car, the Sandero seemed to drive alright. It was sufficient for urban driving. The car did seem to increase in size on the road, and I often felt I was straying out of my lane. Still, the drive was smooth enough, until we hit the highway. The major negative point for me about the Renault Sandero was the cars ability at higher speeds. Hitting 120km/h and the car seemed to bounce all over the road, the steering wheel begun to shake and the steering seemed so sensitive that the faintest touch would have the car leaping from side to side. This was certainly not a performance machine, but then again, it was never supposed to be. If you are looking for performance however, keep looking, this is not your car.

In my opinion, the Renault Sandero is a great urban family car. Aesthetically pleasing, spacious, fairly inexpensive and well constructed. The extra features are a nice touch and make the drive comfortable. It delivers on its promises, and is a great addition to its class of car.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Losing a car key

There are few things more frustrating than losing a car key. Sure, one can take some comfort in the fact that one has not lost the whole car, but still, for those few hours it is tantamount to the same thing.

The inconvenience caused by the loss of such a simple object is immense, especially when far from home. Obtaining a spare key (if you are lucky enough to have it) is time consuming and frustrating, but it needs to be done. This too is easier said than done, as invariably you are not within a close proximity to the key and must therefore arrange a lift to the destination of said key, and then back to the car, all the time hoping that someone else has not found the desired item and driven off in your prize possession.

When you finally do arrive back at the car, spare key in hand, the mission surrounding it seems completely unnecessary, as with a simple turn you are back in your car and ready to go, as if nothing happened. Yet, something did happen, and it has just cost you a few hours of your life. That, however is not all, as the prudent owner is now faced with the cost and task of acquiring a new spare key. Having just proved its value, one cannot justify not owning a spare car key.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Most anticipated cars of 2012

If last years car manufacturer announcements are anything to go by, 2012 promises to bring with it an array of impressive new cars. With the turn of the year in our rear view mirrors, the eagerly awaited car releases have once more grabbed the attention of motoring journalists around the country and the world. has released a comprehensive article, highlighting the Top 5 most anticipated cars of 2012.
The list covers a variety of cars to suit most individuals.

Lets hope that all the cars live up to the hype which the announcements created over the past 12 months.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Festive season road safety

Found quite a comprehensive article on festive season road safety. I know it may be a little bit late, but a lot of the tips are pertinent all year round and the rest... consider it an early start for next year.

On a similar note, I drove from Johannesburg to Durban this December and was very impressed by the traffic police presence. I must have driven past about 7 fixed cameras and almost a dozen temporary police operated speed cameras. It really felt like there was a concerted effort to keep the roads safe over the festive season, a very worthy cause. I must admit that of late there really has been a noticeable difference in road safety in South Africa. Lets keep up the momentum and make our roads safer for all!

Top car videos of 2011

With the recent video craze, everyone and their dogs are creating and uploading videos to sites like Youtube with the hope of being a instant celebrity. For each successful video however, there are thousands which fail. This does leave the average user in quite a pickle, as due to the volumes of videos available, it is very difficult to find the choice videos to watch. has taken the time to compile a list of the top 5 car videos for 2011, based on number of views. Whether you are a car fanatic, video fundi or just want to be able to hold your own in conversation with your mates, this list is a must view.

Click here to view this list: