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Browsing: Off-road tests

Power without the penalties? Amarok Canyon Edition comes close Words & Pictures by Angus Boswell The Amarok is a cleverly-engineered pickup. From launch in 2010, it was a step or two ahead of the rivals in terms of technology, if not ability. Back then, the flagship version used a 120kW 2.0-litre turbodiesel, which was a very different approach to that of its rivals. “The body is too wide, there’s not enough lugging power, the 6-speed gearbox is notchy,” said the doubters, “and where is the 3.0-litre V6 that it needs?” Even so, the little 2.0-litre proved reliable, capable, and able

Report & pictures Jacques Viljoen It seems that every other day a new soft-roader is launched and it’s pretty much the same story: striking looks and plenty of gadgets, but basically a ruse. When you get down to it, they are station wagons in off-roader frocks falsely claiming off-road capability. Most of them are okay for gravel roads, but what if you want to take on a few Grade 2 and 3 trails, or get safely through a full day’s off-roading in sandy conditions? Say hello to the Compass Trailhawk, Jeep’s attempt at setting themselves apart from the rest of

Light on the dark side With a brand new Amarok co-developed with Ford on the horizon for 2022, or thereabouts, VW is rolling out a few special editions based on the existing technology. It’s a sure way to ensure consumer appeal against some of the contemporary rivals who are now into the next phase of their development cycle. That said, getting acquainted with the Amarok Dark Label Special Edition underlined that the Amarok is still a top-notch product with arguably the best build quality and most impressive attention to detail of any bakkie in the sector. The tried and tested

Does an extra four gears and two turbos make up for a lack in capacity? We hit Kroonland to find out. Having tested the Ford Everest in 2.2-litre manual form back in January 2017, we came back wholly disappointed. The engine produced almost no power unless valves were dancing on the bonnet. The extreme turbo lag meant that pulling away from traffic lights smoothly was difficult and a light flywheel resulted in a vehicle that was easy to stall off-road and frustrating to drive. Unfortunately, during our testing the traction control system on that vehicle, which allows you to input

Micky Baker takes the all-new Audi Q8 a little further off the beaten track than most Audi owners would, and unpacks the best of the German marque’s SUV coupé powerhouse.

Usually when you hear a 4×4 oke talking about a Renault, he’s laughing-off the little Duster, completely oblivious to just how well it performs on hectic trails. This year, however, Renault has added another 4WD model to the fray, in the form of the second-generation Koleos. As you can probably tell, it shares a platform with the Nissan X-Trail, although, in our opinion, it’s a far better-looking package from every angle, and is indeed a huge improvement on the slightly awkward first-generation Koleos. This specific platform is called Common Module Family (CMF) – D, and it optimises manufacturing by having

When I was a child, my absolute favourite car was Petter Solberg’s blue and gold Subaru Impreza that narrowly snatched the WRC away from Sébastien Loeb in the early 2000s. I had a remote-controlled replica that had all the decals and all the details. I was in love with a supreme piece of engineering, although I didn’t know it at the time. Fast-forward to 2019, and the Subaru AWD legacy lives on in the Forester, the compact SUV that looks more like a station wagon than anything else. These cars are best known for their reliability and longevity: Foresters often

With runaway sales of the Fortuner since its introduction way back in 2004, bakkie-based SUV’s have consistently remained top sellers in South Africa. Every other major bakkie brand makes one, but it’s not since Isuzu ceased production of the much-loved Frontier in the same year in which Toyota released its Fortuner, that Isuzu has had an offering in this booming segment. Since General Motors sealed its departure from SA in 2018, taking with it the Trailblazer SUV, the local Isuzu product line-up has been expanded with the mu-X − which has been on sale in other markets since 2013 and

Stronger, better, more capable. Is the Jimny all of this? A torture test at Honingklip sorts opinion from reality… A cult, as defined by Google dictionary, is “a system of religious veneration and devotion directed towards a particular figure or object”. Few vehicles muster such appreciation amongst their fans, but the Jimny is one of them. Fortunately for the faithful, their deity hasn’t gone all soft like others have… (ahem, Discovery). Instead, it has been improved in every way, and been made tougher and more capable both on and off the road, while still maintaining its quirky character. That’s the

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