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The ubiquitous Jeep Wrangler is getting a bit long in the tooth and we expect a significant update for 2018, with release of the right-hand drive version to SA in the last quarter of the year. The next gen Wrangler JL will remain a hardcore body-on-frame, solid axle off-road toy with the existing Pentastar V6 in place, but expect a boosted 2.0 diesel engine and ZF’s eight- speed gearbox. A pick-up truck version as well as existing two- and four-door models will be on the table, with revised alloy panels featuring a sleeker design for improved aero. Expect a choice…

A first for the V6 diesel range, VW will bring in a six-speed manual variant of the Amarok with low range. It’s not clear which specification the manual will receive but a 150kW version (current 8-speed auto offering 165kW/550Nm) was recently launched in the UK with a manual box and base Trendline trim, so this seems a likely choice for SA. This version produces 500Nm of torque through a selectable four-wheel drive system as opposed to the full-time four-wheel drive of the automatic version. Consumption is a claimed 8.7l/100km with a 0-100 sprint of 8.4 seconds. The V6 manual should…

Where is off-road adventure travel going? An editorial in the June issue of SA4x4 suggests that the trend is more and more towards SUVs and the obvious limitations in using them for serious off-road travel. It would appear that this is quite correct. Are high prices moving your 4WD dream off the radar? Go the left-field route and get ready for a little DIY …So what does someone who wants to explore the wild blue yonder do? Many would automatically point to vehicles like Land Cruisers, Land Rovers, Nissan Patrols and the like. These would do the job admirably, but…

Toyota’s Prado is a strong, capable, bodyon- frame mid-size SUV with all the trimmings, for families who don’t want or need the immense Land Cruiser 200 Series in their driveway. The fourth-generation J150 has now come in for a mid-life refresh that has ushered in plenty of neat upgrades and changes, but not the one every previous Prado owner has been hoping for. In other markets, for some time, it’s been gifted the 2.8-litre GD-6 turbodiesel allied to a sixspeed automatic transmission; but here, a combination of factors including the low quality of fuel in Africa, the cost or time…

1. Ignore your tyre pressures Tyre pressures are the most critical thing you can control when 4×4’ing. There’s a very good chance that the tyre pressures of the vehicle you are recovering are incorrect, so check the pressure and adjust. In sand especially, this is the easiest way to make a recovery simple, safe and quick. Don’t be afraid to let your tyres down a bit more if needed; it makes a huge difference. 2. Use the tow bar ball NEVER use a tow ball to snatch or winch a vehicle. It can create a heavy piece of metal flying…

Range Rover has added a fourth model to its stable, the Velar, which joins the Range Rover, Range Rover Sport and Evoque, and slots in-between the latter two. A fourth Rangie joins the fray Although the Range Rover might have started life as a vehicle with an interior that you could hose down when muddy, it has always been a beltingly good-looking vehicle. (One of the originals was displayed in the Musée du Louvre in Paris as an “exemplary work of industrial design”.) The Velar has taken this trend of attractive family genes and run with it, becoming a Range…

The Mercedes marketing machine drip-feed has now doled out more on its upcoming X-Class one-tonner double-cab, and this time with a proper drive in Chile. This skinniest of all South American countries is bakkieand- SUV mad, and promises to be a vital market for Mercedes’ premium take on the segment. Suffice to say plenty of new Navaras are driving around in that country’s towns and strungout rural villages, and there were many inquisitive glances at the badging on our test vehicles wherever they went. The reason? One of the key questions about the new X-Class is this: to what degree…

For 2018, the back-to-basics Mahindra Pik Up has received a host of changes to bring it, at last, into the 21st century. Apart from some styling tweaks to the blunt front end, the Pik Up has been given a higher level of specification and an improved drivetrain. Inside, drivers will note the new 6-inch touch screen on the S10 double cab models, as well as central locking, cruise control and even a multifunction steering wheel. ABS, EDB and two airbags have also been added, along with a collapsible steering column and crumple zones. An updated 2.2-litre four-cylinder mHawk turbo diesel…

Over the years, we’ve travelled countless thousands of kilometres on various sets of General Grabber all-terrain tyres, from the sharp rocks of the Tankwa Karoo to slippery mud deep in the Transkei, as well as on long gravel and sand stretches crisscrossing Botswana and Namibia. This left us with a high opinion of the previous-generation offerings, and especially of the AT version which proved extremely puncture-resistant on our travels. Now, General Tire, an American brand that is a subsidiary of Continental, has released redesigned versions of its all-terrain and mud-terrain offerings – respectively the Grabber AT3 and Grabber X3 –…

Getting stuck; it’s as much a part of 4x4ing as a good braai and a camp fire. At some point, no matter how big your tyres, how expensive your bull bar, or even how many skull stickers you have to your Jeep’s door, you’re going to fluff a line on an obstacle, lose traction and get thoroughly bogged. Getting stuck is all part of the fun, though, and as vehicles get more capable, they find themselves stuck in progressively more precarious situations. Getting yourself unstuck safely is an art all of its own, which requires that you invest in some…

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