Browsing: First Drives

A Fortuner that combined the frugal and cost efficient 2.4 GD-6 engine with a 4×4 drivetrain was a model sorely lacking when the latest range was launched. Thankfully, Toyota South Africa has answered our prayers. The 2.4 GD-6 4×4 6AT will use the same 110kW/400Nm mill as found elsewhere in the range, mated to a 6-speed automatic box and low-range transfer case. More good news? At R506 000, it’s R118 100 cheaper than the 2.8-litre auto 4×4.

Not to be confused with the F150-based Raptor as is sold in the US, the Ranger Raptor due to hit our market next year will be a performance version of Ford’s existing mid-size offering, the Ranger. Though we don’t have confirmation yet, reliable sources suggest that the new Ranger Raptor will be powered by a high output, twin-turbo 2.0-litre diesel engine – which comes as a big disappointment to many Ford fans hoping to see the 2.7-litre Ecoboost V6 petrol introduced, or at least the 2.3-litre four-cylinder currently found under Mustang bonnets. However, Ford insists the twin-turbo 2.-litre diesel mill…

Words and images by Angus Boswell What started in 1968 as a humble Japanese pickup, has now become something of an icon for toughness and reliability. Initially an unlikely combination of “High” and “Luxury”, the Hilux has now reached a new threshold that justifies the name – after 46 years, seven previous generations and a world total of 16 million sales.Japan’s engineers are notoriously conservative, and Toyota’s Vernier-wielders are probably the worst of the bunch. Nothing flies past them; everything is extensively tested – and it shows in a product that often lasts well beyond the warranty date. But the…

Premium Urban Warrior The new Lexus NX is a radically-styled softroader aimed directly at competitors such as the Audi Q5, BMW X3, Merc GLA and the pricier Range Rover Evoque. Concept car styling, upmarket interior and fine driving dynamics make a good first impression, but what’s it like to live with? Subjective as styling is, some shapes are more successful than others, but attention to detail on this Lexus has worked brilliantly. Angular lines and ‘L- shaped’ LED running lights that also act as indicators are striking, as are the tail lights and aggressive stance. The shark-like design is meant…

Spoiler alert. Mitsubishi’s ASX is available only as a front-driver in South Africa. But don’t damn it just yet. Its crossover genes include a raised ride height, command driver’s view, lots of interior space and a generous 442-litre boot with easy access. The hardware is a little dated: a naturally aspirated, fuel-injected 2.0-litre petrol with 110kW and 197Nm, both peaks achieved with little fanfare at high-ish revs, and a five-speed manual, albeit a smoothshifting one. Expect some catching up with the rivals here soon. A 2015 update has focused on pimping the CVT-equipped six-step version to lower fuel consumption to…

Words by Andrew Middleton. Pictures by Andrew Middleton & iveco. Some vehicle launches feature hours of PowerPoint presentations, the consumption of too much buffet food, and driving round some tyres a few times − but Iveco’s launch came as a welcome surprise. They shocked us journos with a bone-shaking ride in a replica Dakar truck, a 4×4 experience, and some gymkhana. All to celebrate the Iveco launch of its new ‘Tested by Dakar’ kits, as well as a new medium truck. The event was designed to demonstrate what Iveco’s 4×4 trucks are capable of, and also to knock our organs…

Words by Jess Fogart y. Images by Nissan SA . The X-Trail has been a family favourite since its launch; and, now, the new, third-generation X-Trail has arrived in SA as an eightmodel range, which includes the options of 2- or 4WD, five or seven seats, petrol or diesel, and manual or Xtronic CVT transmissions. Completely new from the ground up, the X-Trail boasts new styling inside and out, daytime-running lights on all models, a definitive new rear design with the familiar ‘boomerang’ light clusters, and a characteristic D-pillar which is very reminiscent of Nissan’s Juke and Qashqai models. Thanks…

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