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.