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Somebody gets stuck; you take out the snatch strap, connect it to the stuck vehicle with a pair of rated steel bow shackles and complete the recovery. It’s the way it’s been done since the first Datsun 1300 was still proudly displayed on showroom floors. On Track: Vehicle recovery tools and techniquesThe problem comes in when a recovery point fails or the shackle was incorrectly attached, and now you’ve got a heavy piece of metal flying through the air at speed similar to a bullet. People have tragically lost their lives or sustained horrific injuries this way. It’s why we…

Although the previous Pajero Sport was getting long in the tooth, Mitsubishi’s latest offering is set to stick it to the Everest and Fortuner with a combination of new tech, safety features, style and capability. The vehicle has been completely redesigned from the ground up, and is based on the ladder frame of the latest Triton bakkie. Capability and drivetrain Like the Triton, the Pajero Sport uses a heavily turbocharged 2.4-litre diesel mill, in this case with 133kW and 430Nm. Unlike the Triton with its five-speed auto, the Sport uses an Aisin 8-speed auto, and, thanks to that quick-shifting box,…

By Grant Spolander Yeah, I spent about 1.5 million rand on my Jeep before I sold it. Of course, I never got the money back, but hey….” His voice trailed off as if losing a million bucks was the most ordinary thing in the world, barely worth elaborating on. My co-driver (we’ll call him Bill) was test-driving my Jeep Cherokee at the time; I was looking to sell and he was the first buyer on the scene. Bill’s remark got me thinking back to my very own Jeep journey, back when I swore that I’d never need anything bigger than…

Our pearly white, long-termer Mazda BT-50 was never going to have an easy life. After all, SA4x4 and our sister magazine Caravan & Outdoor Life are all about 4×4 trails, camping and exploring the great outdoors. It’s a wrap! In the last few months the BT-50 has driven to a number of resorts around the Western Cape, tackled a long drive to the Richtersveld, and completed a dusty odyssey through the Northern Cape which included a number of rocky, scratchy 4×4 routes, some of which turned pretty nasty – for a production car, that is. Sure, the Mazda has the…

DISCO-TECH Originally launched in 1989, the Discovery was based on Range-Rover architecture, sharing its driveline and chassis, but coming in at a lower price. This placed the Discovery between the off-road biased Defender and the more upmarket Range Rover. The position of the latest Discovery in the Land Rover group’s line-up is exactly the same as it was nearly 30 years ago – though, of course, the all-new Disco is more advanced than ever. Land Rover’s latest Discovery features a raft of new technology that aims to bring together the best on-road and off-road abilities. But does it?Like most other…

A range of three variants of the Mercedes-Benz X-Class double cab will make its way to South African showroom floors early in 2018. The partnership with Nissan and the use of the Nissan ladder frame chassis and engine choices is evidence that automakers give strong consideration to the expenses incurred when tooling up for a completely new vehicle. Especially in this instance, where Mercedes is expanding into a relatively untested premium pick-up niche. However, the Mercedes design department insists that although the new Navara chassis is the basis, the rest of the X-Class attributes are solely Mercedes in nature, with…

All new for 2017, the long awaited Mitsubishi Pajero Sport will be launched in South Africa towards year-end with a brand-new engine, gearbox and chassis, to challenge the Fortuner head-on. As far as the spec sheet goes, the new Pajero Sport may have what it takes to dethrone SA’s SUV king. All-new styling is a result of a ‘form follows function’ approach so as not to impact on the Pajero Sport’s rugged nature and off-road capability. LED headlamps and daytime running lights illuminate the road while the ‘shield’ grille gives the midsize SUV an impressive stance. Available with up to…

By Andrew Middleton For most of us, a late model, bog standard Rubicon would be more than sufficient as an off -road toy. For Anel Lewis, this obviously isn’t the case, and having a father who owns one of SA’s biggest 4×4 accessory stores means that ‘standard’ simply isn’t good enough. The jeep went through a full transformation using bolt-on kit that you can find at any LA Sport store countrywide. Built under Anel’s expert guidance, the Jeep fits the requirements of someone who wants a weekend toy that is epic fun to drive, far more capable than standard, and…

By Sam de Beer The Workhorse John Gaisford’s article on the role of Land Cruisers in the prospecting and exploration side of the mining business (SA4x4 June 2017) parallels my experience of Land Cruisers as workhorses. I have been involved in underground mining for more than 40 years. In Canada and Australia, I worked at open pit mines and underground mines that used wheeled and tracked vehicles for operations. Every underground mine has an adit (from Latin aditus) where you enter the mine, and then you drive in a spiralling tunnel and long straight ramps, up or down, to the…

Mazda CX-5 All New Mazda’s all-new compact SUV spearheads a whole new generation of Mazda design. The new CX-5 is sleeker, safer, and also better-looking, thanks to new colours and styling. With options between three engines, auto/manual transmissions, and FWD/AWD, the new CX-5 covers all its bases. The Only AWD model in the line-up, the CX-5 2.2L DE Akera AWD Auto, starts at R557 500, which puts it in line with top-end models from VW’s Tiguan to the Hyundai Tucson. AWD CX-5s all get the potent 129kW, 420Nm turbodiesel mill, mated to a six-speed automatic box. The Mazda CX-5 comes…

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