• Ford’s Mustang – 1964

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    The 1964 Ford Mustang was based on Ford Falcon’s compact-sized economy car platform. It came with many customization options and various kinds V8 engines to choose from. This car was developed with sporty intentions, less a family car, yet it became Ford’s best seller since the Model A that came out in 1931. It can be still one of the most popular sports cars available on the market.


  • 15 Things to Consider When Buying Your First Car

    LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 12:  Amy Rose attends the U.S. Launch Event for New Lotus Cars at a private residence on November 12, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Donato Sardella/WireImage)
    LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 12: Amy Rose attends the U.S. Launch Event for New Lotus Cars at a private residence on November 12, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Donato Sardella/WireImage)

    1. Take Your Time

    One of the most common mistakes that consumers make when purchasing their first car is becoming in a rush. Whether getting a new auto at the local car dealer or finding a great deal on Craig’s List, getting into a rush may result in making a bad business decision that one must live with for a long time. Taking a deliberate approach when it comes to shopping around for that first ride can pay off in big ways down the road. Once one finds that perfect ride, take some time to examine comparable makes and models of vehicles that are available accessible in the local area to ensure that you are becoming the best deal possible. If a person is getting a new or used automobile, this information may also be used to negotiate a lesser sales price or better interest rate depending on.

    2. Don’t Rely on the Auto Dealer to coach

    When buying your first car, do not rely on the car dealer or another third party to educate you concerning the car buying business. Although these efforts can appear “well-intentioned,” they can be typically motivated by the seller trying to close the deal together with your auto purchase. You need to research the brands of automobile under consideration for purchase, before initiating a dialogue with a car dealership or third party to get a car purchase. Similarly, conducting financial research into car loans to include your current bank and credit unions can pay big dividends with regards to minimizing the monthly payment for one’s first car. These steps will likely help keep the consumer from making a poor decision when it comes to that first auto purchase.

    3. Don’t Break the Budget in your First Car

    A big consideration to take into account when buying one’s first car is to watch your budget. Unless you have raised up inside a big city like The Big Apple or London and are just getting around to buying the first automobile at the age of 30, the odds of damaging the initial auto are higher during times of one’s late teens or early 20’s. Could be a key to long term financial success, although keeping room inside the budget for insurance, filling up the gas tank, and repairs is often overlooked by very first time auto buyers. Similarly, avoid purchasing a $500 or $1000 auto since you will likely end up spending much more than that in repairs on the life of your ownership of your vehicle is another key to success. If going on the cheap, getting a less expensive second hand car from a third party seller can have better likelihood of long-term success for the consumer.

    4. Know How Much Insurance will Cost

    Research the potential insurance cost, before making the initial car purchase. Many novice buyers usually do not realize that the visible difference in buying an inexpensive sports vehicle versus a sedan can result in the monthly insurance bill being almost double. Time to find out about a huge insurance bill hit is before making the investment since these funds can be better used to contribute to the monthly budget or upkeep of the new automobile. Similarly, researching potential insurance breaks including taking a driver’s education course or getting good grades can provide a needed break in the overall cost of driving one’s first automobile. Every dollar counts when you make a life change of operating an automobile the first time.

    5. Make best use of Your First Big Credit Experience

    Many times, buying one’s first car can also be the first major experience with obtaining credit. Building a smart decision on this first purchase can have repercussions for many years for most novice car buyers. As a result, spending some time to do the method right is essential on the first automobile purchase. One should always take the time to research prices with both their current others and bank for top level interest possible on the auto purchase. For several young people, obtaining a parent to co-sign the 1st auto loan will pay off in a big way when it comes to visiting a lower rate of interest and monthly instalment. This also puts the parent’s credit at risk; however, so ensuring the cost of the automobile is affordable becomes even more important in these cases.

    6. Avoid Getting the Car around the First Visit

    A common tactic with car dealers would be to try their finest to sell an auto on one’s first trip to the dealership. Dealerships know that they can make more cash if the shopper does not have a chance to shop around for any better deal, though besides the salesperson work on commission. One the dealer recognizes that this your first car purchase, the pressure to help make the purchase will simply increase. Even when you have had time to do your due diligence for purchasing the vehicle, at least threatening to walk off of the car lot can result in getting a much better deal than utilizing the salesperson at their word and not negotiating the purchase price at all.

    7. Watch Out for the Spot Delivery Scam

    Unfortunately, there are a number of dealerships who make money from the “Spot Delivery” scam. In such cases, the dealer will send the buyer home because of their automobile on the very same day thinking the deal has become closed. After several days have passed by, the dealership will contact the purchaser stating that they need to return to the dealership to sign additional paperwork. Oftentimes, this will comprise of resigning loan paperwork at a higher interest or a interest in paying additional “up front” monies to seal the deal. Many consumers will fall for these tactics. Common methods to help guard versus the tactic are going to always have another adult with you when purchasing the automobile and keeping copies of all the sales and financing paperwork when leaving the dealership with the vehicle.

    8. Always have a pre-owned Car Checked by a Mechanic

    Also have it checked by a mechanic before closing the deal should your first car purchase is going to be a used car. Unless you are buying the car coming from a parent or sibling, this will not only help protect against undeclared issues with the automobile, but it will also help find potentially big problems with the automobile that the current owner might not exactly know about. Even if you choose to complete the purchase of the automobile, knowing what is wrong with the vehicle ahead of time will help consumers make smart decisions with knowing how to budget for upcoming repairs or maintenance tasks that might go unknown until they become big issues.

    9. Avoid Automatically Financing with the Car Dealer

    For one’s very first time car purchase, one of the biggest mistakes that you can make is to simply settle for the auto dealer’s financing options. Though it is possible to get a great rate through larger auto financing companies, the lesser-known ones make their cash on the backs of consumers. Don’t let your brand new car purchase be the source of profit to the smaller companies. Prior to signing the papers, most reputable dealers offers you a copy of the financing details. This gives you an opportunity to consider the paperwork directly into your local bank or credit union and see if you can get a better deal. Not only will you have the ability to see a better monthly payment, but taking the time to get the best deal will also help you avoid getting scammed by the auto dealer.

    10. Look out for Add-On Charges

    Most auto dealers usually do not rely on the sale of your car for their profit. Instead, car dealers rely on the sale of add-ons to improve the profit that they make on your first auto purchase. In many cases, these add-ons do not provide the true value that car salesmen promise you. For example, buying addition “under coating” for your car used to be a great idea. For today’s automobiles, advancements in technology make the application of additional undercoating almost un-needed for car and truck owners. Before showing up on the dealership, a good way to combat our prime-pressured sales techniques that many auto detailers will employ for brand new car owners is usually to do your research. Ask for it-front if there is an extra package or option that you would like to include on the auto. Bring a friend or family member along for the car purchase to assist you say no when you have issues with saying no.

    11. Plan Your Auto Purchase Ahead of Time

    Take some time to organize out the purchase, before you even thing about turning up at the car dealership. By failing to properly plan before hand, many an initial-time auto buyer has made this mistake and paid a far higher monthly interest or consented to additional add-on packages for the vehicle. Be it shopping for a better interest rate or taking a hard look at the various options available around the make and model of auto you are looking at, taking time to plan will pay big benefits down the road for your new car purchase. By failing to map out the transaction ahead of time, usually do not let the auto dealers make their profit on your first car purchase.

    12. Come up with a Deal with Your Salesperson

    Most car salespeople have a lot of room to barter with customers when it comes to the very last sales expense of your new automobile. The amount of the commission that the salesperson will see does not vary significantly with giving you a break on the final price of the car at many dealerships. Many salespeople are often more than willing to make a cope with you on the initial time buying of an automobile as a way to close the sale, as a result. If you do not are related to the individual selling the automobile to you, always try to make a cope with the person selling you the automobile.

    13. Pick Your Automobile Based on Your Lifestyle

    That may be likely not the time to attempt to live beyond the means should you be not living the “Country Club Life” when it comes time to purchase your first car. Many first-time auto buyers turn this into mistake and you should not pick a make or kind of automobile grounded in reality. When you are living a middle class lifestyle, then pick an automobile which will not break your budget from the first year of ownership. It will also ensure you do not over-extend yourself using the first automobile purchase, although not only will this ensure you have sufficient funds to care for your new auto.

    Home > Cars > 15 Aspects to consider When Buying The Initial Car

    15 Things to Consider When Selecting Your First Car

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    Loan

    Photo by LendingMemo

    14. Always Obtain a Pre-Approved Loan

    Many first-time car buyers fail to look ahead when it comes to the financing of their first auto purchase. By spending some time to shop around and get the best car loan for your investment, you will not only save a lot of money on the monthly premiums, but furthermore you will find yourself paying less money across the life of the auto loan. Most consumers make the fatal mistake of not looking in to alternative financing options before seated with the car dealer. Not only does hitting the gym your financing ahead of time cut costs at the dealership, but it is not unusual for consumers to be able to play one bank off of another to enjoy the most effective rate possible.

    15. Don’t Purchase First Car when Desperate

    Many an auto dealer made a nice profit off of a consumer that is desperate to buy their first automobile. Usually do not let this be yourself when it’s time for your first car purchase. When one is like they are rushed or need to buy a car, the tendency to not pay a lot of focus to the interest rate or price of the vehicle is low. It might just be time for you to walk away for your night if you realise yourself finding that you have to find the vehicle. When the deal still seems like a wise idea the next day, go ahead together with the car purchase. This technique can help ensure you always make a sound decision in terms of buying a new car.


  • Not On Your Life! – When Your Little Brother Wants to Borrow Your Car

    It was bound to happen eventually. Your little brother has been getting older and sooner or later he was going to get his driver’s license. Now the day has finally arrived and it may only be a matter of minutes before he is knocking at your door with a smile on his face. The moment after he flashes you that shiny new license you already know what the next words out of his mouth are going to be – “Can I borrow your car?” Of course he does not want Mom or Dad’s car that looks like an old person drives it; he wants your flashy new car that looks great, drives like a dream and is your pride and joy. So now what are you going to do?

    OC RAM TRUCK-4-1

    A situation like this can create quite a dilemma for you. You know what it is like to first get your license and want to go out and drive a great car. The problem is you did not have the opportunity yourself to borrow a sibling’s car because you are the oldest. That means you were stuck driving Mom or Dad’s car until you were able to put enough money together to get yourself a little something. Sure, it may not be a James Bond car but it is yours, you own it and you take care of it. The last thing you want is for your little brother to take it out with his friends and it ends up getting a scratch in the mall parking lot or his friends dent the hood by sitting on it. You have a tough decision to make.

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    You can go one of two routes with your decision. You can explain to your brother that like you, he needs to go through the right of passage of driving around in Mom’s minivan or Dad’s stodgy sedan. He may not like it, but they are the only options he has available to him until he can afford his own car. He likely will mumble a few choice words about you under his breath as he walks away from that discussion. You could go the other way and be the amazing brother that tosses his keys to his brother and lets him take your car, giving him a big thrill as he promises you the sun, the moon, doing all your chores and giving you his first born as thanks. If you trust he is a good driver and an honest kid then you will have no problem with this decision.

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    You may want to give your brother a little advice on driving as well and give him the wisdom of your experience as you warn him about what will happen if you notice one thing out of place in your car. You can also advise him that now is a good time for him to start saving up for his own car. He can put his own money aside and save up enough so that he can go down to the Mission Viejo RAM dealership and look at www.ocramtruckcenter.com so that he can find just the car or truck that he wants for his very own and make a purchase of his own. This will be good for both of you since your sister is only a year away from her license.


  • Mitsubishi sets new benchmark with 2015 Strada

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    MANILA, Philippines-It was in September 2006 when Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. (MMPC) introduced a pickup truck that featured many firsts: a shapely new bodywork that is more car-like, both in and out; spacious and comfortable rear seats; and a diesel engine that balances power and efficiency.

    The Strada instantly captured the market’s attention, and in the months following its introduction, the Strada became a consecutive best seller in its category. It even received several prestigious awards like the 2007 Coty (Car of the Year) Pickup of the Year, as well as the 2007 Coty Best-Looking Utility Vehicle.

    Nine years later and with the fifth iteration of Mitsubishi’s 36-year-old pickup line arriving in showrooms next month, MMPC hopes to repeat the feat as the company looks at selling 700 all-new Stradas each month.

    This should be interesting considering a pickup war is brewing in the market seeing that Nissan Philippines Inc. recently launched its all-new Nissan NP300 Navara pickup, while Toyota, despite being mum on the presence of a new Hilux, has been seen testing one as cited by some automotive websites.

    On the other hand, photos of a redesigned 2015 Ranger Wildtrak has been specifically posted online, probably while being test-driven around Thailand.

    Of course, we need to also expect the D-Max to be updated this year by Isuzu.

    Upper hand

    As outlined by Mitsubishi Motors Corp. (Japan) Global Pickup Project Promotion Office corporate GM Koichi Namiki, the all-new Strada has the upper hand over its competitors as it further refines the “Sport Utility Truck” concept popularized by the previous generation.

    The idea refers to Strada’s previous success in merging passenger car comfort using the pickup truck’s functionality and reliability.

    “It handles, drives and rides like a car, possesses the beauty and stance of an SUV, but delivers the power and practicality of any pickup,” he explained.

    Last November, MMC and MMPC invited this writer as well as other members of the Motoring media to a sneak preview from the all-new Strada in Tokyo, Japan. We were also fortunate to test-drive the pickup at the Sodegaura Forest Raceway for any short lap on a 1.2-km track, and afterward, on an off-road course.

    The all-new Strada sports a brand name-new and aerodynamic front end that borrows styling cues from the futuristic GR-HEV (Grand Runner-hybrid electric vehicle) concept that was presented at the 2013 edition of the Geneva Motor Show: chromed grille with six claw-like horizontal slats; larger, higher-set headlights with jewel-like blue daytime running lights incorporated; and a muscular-looking bumper with a large air intake.

    The sculpted tail gate, however, is fitted with bigger tail lamps that stretched far to the quarter panel.

    The all-new Strada has grown in dimensions. It’s now 5.280 meters long (longer by 70 mm) and 1.815 m wide (wider by 15 mm), though it remains 1.78 m tall.

    There’s good news for many who require more load at the back since the bed of the all-new Strada has likewise increased: 1.47 m wide, 1.52 m long, and 475 mm deep.

    More cabin space

    Mitsubishi also reports that the all-new Strada provides more cabin space-additional 10-mm shoulder room, 5-mm headroom at the front, and 20 mm of extra rear legroom in the rear.

    New sound insulation, damping and absorption materials are also installed to make the cabin much more quiet.

    But just like its predecessor, the all-new Strada retained the distinctive “J-line” that separates the cab and cargo bed. The J-line, incidentally, allows the back seats to possess a nicely angled backrest.

    Also, the all-new Strada retained its predecessor’s 3-meter-long wheelbase, which means the newest version still possesses the low 5.9-meter turning radius.

    The Philippine market could have loved the new engine option that is available: an all-aluminum, Euro 5-compliant (exhaust emissions) 2.4-liter, Mivec (Mitsubishi Innovative Valve Timing Electronic Control System), diesel engine equipped with a variable-geometry turbochargers (generating 178 horsepower and 430 Newton-meters of torque).

    However, considering this state-of-the-art engine needs a very high grade of diesel fuel (which happens to be not yet available locally), MMPC opted for the tried and tested third generation 4D56 2.5-liter diesel engine provided with variable-geometry turbochargers that generates 176 HP and 350 Nm of torque. Transmission choices add a six-speed manual gearbox and a five-speed automatic.


  • ‘Stop manipulating road death stats’

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    Cape Town – The year started with the usual statement by Minister of Transport Dipuo Peters, claiming a decrease in fatalities on our roads throughout the 2014 festive season.

    Peters claimed there was a decrease of 50 fatal crashes and 25 fatalities in the period of December 1 to December 30 last year.

    Over the same period in 2013, the Transport Department recorded 974 fatal crashes and 1168 fatalities, compared with the 924 fatal crashes and 1143 fatalities claimed by the minister last year.

    Peters and her department are exposing themselves with these stats – they are being manipulated to make the department look great.

    The 2013 festive season measuring period was December 1, 2013 to January 7, 2014. In 2012, the measurement period was December 1, 2012 to January 10, 2013. The measuring period for 2014 was from December 1, 2014 to January 5, 2015.

    MISMATCHED

    The minister and her department are consistent with being inconsistent. As a result, the department gets it reliably wrong every single year as mismatched measuring periods are used.

    But this is simply not the only inaccuracy with road crash statistics. It cannot be that so early on in that the minister could already present south African public road death figures for the 2014 festive season when mortuaries across the country are yet to finalise their reports on corpse numbers.

    These stats take 30 days to consolidate. The minister’s report ought to have followed the final reports from the mortuaries, rather than relying only on incident reports from police officers attending cases on the roads.

    The carnage on our roads can not be properly tackled unless we have now complete and accurate statistics. Certainly there are additional problems, the Medical Research Council (MRC) will not produce regular reports on the status of road deaths in the country.

    As outlined by that report, 17 076 South Africans were killed in road traffic crashes in 2009, their last report was manufactured in October 2012, and. However, the official report from the Road Traffic Management Corporation back then had road deaths at 10 857. This is simply one example of the extent of your under- or over-reporting problem.

    TRUE PICTURE BLURRED

    More alarming is the view taken by many in the transport fraternity and other road safety experts and monitoring groups (like the MRC) that these numbers do not represent the true story of the horror on our roads.

    We certainly have long cautioned against the national Department of Transport’s reliance upon police reports as an indicator of road deaths; it is really an intrinsically flawed measure as it is susceptible to error and will often only represent the deaths recorded at a particular crash site that the police responded to, and not subsequent deaths arising from injuries.

    There are more accurate ways of producing these statistics. In the Western Cape, fatality statistics are offered by the Western Cape Department of Health’s Forensic Pathology Services, sourced from mortuaries across the province. These statistics are collated from the victims cause of death, and are differentiated between the classes of fatalities; passenger, driver, motor, pedestrian and cyclist cyclist. This is a deadly accurate measure of road deaths that may be crucial for successful interventions.

    Road deaths are an avoidable tragedy that the department must work to prevent, rather than sweep under the carpet with incomplete, and also fake, statistics. -Cape Argus


  • Why Your Kids Hide When You Pick Them Up From School

    If you are an at-home mom or dad or just have the opportunity, you may swing by your child’s school to pick them up every day and save them from having to ride the bus home. This is a really nice gesture on your part and may make you feel like the ideal parent, but have you noticed that lately your child has asked to take the bus home? Or do they make a mad dash for your car when you pick them up, telling you to leave quickly as the scrunch down in the seat so they cannot be seen? It may not be an easy thing for you to deal with, but your kids may be at the point where they may not want you picking them up for school and they may have some good reasons why.
    What You Wear – Everyone goes through this phase at least once in their lives and you probably experienced it when you were a child growing up. At some point you realize that you may be a little embarrassed but what your parents are wearing, especially when it is seen by your friends. While it may seem perfectly okay for you wear that long worn out Hall Oates 1985 concert tour t-shirt around the house, your son or daughter does not want you wearing it out in public. Trying to look like you are up on the latest fashion trends by dressing like the younger set is not the answer either. Stick to your run of the mill shirts and jeans and you may be able to stay out of trouble.

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    What You Listen to – There are few things kids seem to find more embarrassing than walking out of school and seeing their mother or father singing at the top of their lungs to some adult contemporary, easy listening or classic rock song on the radio or your music player. As much as you may love the song and cannot help yourself in singing is as much as it makes your kids want to crawl under a rock or have you park around the corner so they can meet you there. If you are going to sing anyway, you might want to at least think about rolling up the windows and not playing air guitar or air drums while you wait outside.

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    What You Drive – Okay, so you dress nicely, you stopped the singing and the kids still do not want you there. What else could it be? Sadly, it may be the car that you are driving. While you may love your car and all that it does for you each day, there is probably something about it that you overlook because of your love for the car that the general public sees all too well. Whether it is that extra loud noise because of a faulty exhaust system, the rust falling off the bottom of the doors or the fact that it is an old minivan or station wagon with lots of bumper stickers, your car is the reason the kids do not want to be seen with you at school.

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    So what can you do to change all of this? The solution is pretty easy actually. It may be time for you to head over to the local Rancho Cucamonga Chevy dealership and see about getting something better to drive. You can take a look at all of the options available to you for new and used cars at www.mountainviewChevy.com and find just the car that you need so that your kids will not mind being seen with you again at school.


  • 66kW Polo TSI is surprisingly quick

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    Volkswagen Polo TSI 66kW Comfortline

    The styling updates that VW has applied to the Polo are so subtle that they’re barely worth mentioning – but the real revolution here takes place beneath the bonnet.

    For the record, the 2014 Polo hatchbacks do look a little snazzier than before thanks to headlights with new inner decorations and redesigned front bumper with an enlarged lower air intake, yet I can’t help but feel that the extra slat in the grille makes it look older rather than newer. It’ll take a sharp eye to notice the new inner design for the taillights and resculpted rear bumper but if you want your 2014 Polo to stand out, VW is offering some flashy new colours, like the bright Cornflower Blue option you see here.

    TURBO ADVANTAGE

    The real write-home-about change is the fitment of a new 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol motor across the range, replacing the previous 1.4 and 1.6 normally aspirated engines and effectively putting the Polo among the technology frontrunners of its class.
    IOL mot nov10 VW Polo test b The mid-range Comfortline model is distinguished by 15-inch alloy wheels.

    The new 1.2 is available in two states of tune: 66kW or 81kW. I spent a week in the 66kW version and not once did I feel ‘done in’ by the amount of urge on board. Thanks to the breathing advantage it has at altitude and the fact that it produces a generous 160Nm of twisting force, the car is somewhat quicker than you’d expect a 66kW car to be. Best of all, there is practically no lag off the mark and it delivers its power smoothly right through the rev range. As for efficiency, the lab-tested NECD figure of 4.9 litres per 100km is a bit far off the mark, although our test car’s drinking habit, in the region of around seven l/100 in mostly urban driving, was really not too bad in my book.

    While the 66kW Polo doesn’t get the six-speed gearbox that 81kW cars have, the standard-five speeder has well-spaced ratios and the shift-action is smooth. It’s an easy, painless and comfortable car to drive and the only real ergonomic niggle is the relatively cramped footwell.

    IT’S CLASSY INSIDE

    One area where this car really does deserve a championship title is in the touchy feely area of tactile cabin quality. Among the mainstream hatchbacks in this class, I really don’t believe any rivals come close to matching the Polo’s interior ambience, with a clean design and a collage of high quality materials all conspiring to make you feel like you’re in a fairly expensive car. It even smells quite nice inside, for a car without leather seats.

    The 2014 model gains a few subtle design changes in the form of a new steering wheel and instrument cluster with ‘3D tubes’, yet the real attention grabbing change is the addition of a user-friendly 12.7cm touch-screen entertainment system as standard across the range. The version fitted to the Trendline base model is in black and white and lacks Bluetooth as well as a USB port, but the upgraded unit fitted to the Comfortline model, on test here, adds the aforementioned functionalities and some colour.

    In addition to the basic luxury features found in the Trendline, like aircon, central locking and front electric windows, the Comfortline adds niceties like 15-inch alloy wheels and a leather-covered multi-function steering wheel. And VW should seriously pat itself on the back for offering a whole suite of active safety features, like ESC stability control and the Multi-collision braking system, as standard across the new Polo range.
    IOL mot nov10 VW Polo test c The Polo is a clear winner in the interior quality championship.

    VERDICT

    Looking at the Polo Comfortline within its price context, it is a bit more expensive than its rivals but for that you get a classy and well-equipped hatchback with very satisfying performance and driving characteristics. Judging by the sales figures, many South Africans are happy to pay the Polo premium.

    FACTS

    Volkswagen Polo TSI 66kW Comfortline

    Engine: 1.2-litre, four-cylinder turbopetrol

    Gearbox: Five-speed manual

    Power: 66kW @ 4800rpm

    Torque: 160Nm @ 1400rpm

    0-100km/h (claimed): 10.8 seconds

    Top speed (claimed): 184km/h

    Consumption (claimed): 4.9 litres per 100km

    Price: R216 600

    Warranty: Three-year/120 000km

    Service plan: Three-year/45 000km

    ALTERNATIVES

    Ford Fiesta 1.4 Trend (71kW/128Nm) – R204 500

    Ford Fiesta 1.0T Trend (92kW/170Nm) – R227 230

    Hyundai i20 1.4 Glide (73kW/136Nm) – R201 900

    Kia Rio 1.4 Tec (79kW/135Nm) – R209 995

    Renault Clio 66kW Exp (66kW/135Nm) – R193 900

    Toyota Yaris 1.3 (73kW/125Nm) – R194 300


  • Hyundai’s Elantra is a refined ride

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    Hyundai Elantra 1.6 Premium

    two decades after first landing on our shores, the Hyundai Elantra has expanded and evolved into a competent and courageous fighter in the C-segment sedan war, where names like Corolla and (into a lesser degree) Jetta usually dominate the sales battles.

    The Elantra’s real coming of age coincided with the launch of the current generation, which hit the scene in the year 2011 and then marched on to victory in both the South African and North American Car of the Year competitions.

    Much has changed since then – not least the arrival of a much-improved Corolla – and Hyundai’s response to the sands in the hourglass had been a mid-life refresh a few months ago.

    Hyundai hasn’t really messed using the basic recipe as three years down the line, this Elantra continues to be among the most striking designs within its segment. It’s a rather elaborate collection of curves and swoops that Hyundai would call ‘Fluidic Sculpture’. At worst you may call it a lttle bit fussy but it should ultimately swing more thumbs for the sky than the ground.

    IOL mot dec17 Elantra b The 1.6-litre Elantra offers decent performance plus a quiet, smooth ride.

    The upgrade saw stylists polish a few details here and there, contributing to fresh front and back bumpers, a whole new grille, modern-looking projection headlamps, LED light guide and LED taillights.

    The 1.8-litre version falls away, leaving you with just one 1.6-litre option mated to either a six-speed manual or automatic gearbox. Thankfully Hyundai has added some glamour on the 1.6 by binning those rental-spec plastic-shod steel wheels in favour of snazzy new two-tone, 17-inch alloys. Throw in one of the tasty new colours, like the Tropical Blue you can see in the pictures, and the Elantra looks more at home inside your driveway than in the rental return bay.

    SOLID, SPACIOUS

    Some notable plastic surgery also makes it better to look at inside. Hyundai has given it a far more mature look by moving the central air vents to the upper dash, among other tinkerings that mainly affect the ergonomic systems, though the previous version looked rather cartoonish round the central dashboard.

    Finicky because this might sound, it really is still disappointed by a few details, for example the Plain Jane gear knob that looks as if it was nicked out of a 1988 Mazda 323 as well as the abundance of covered-over switch housings lower on the console. Sure, you could hardly fault the overall appearance of the interior and the quality of the materials, it’s just that if Hyundai is charging almost-premium money for any car it should a minimum of get the little details right, like Volkswagen does.

    When it comes to the greater details, like ensuring enough space for you and your brood to extend, this car feels spacious front and rear, even though the boot is suitably enormous.

    IOL mot dec17 Elantra c Repositioned air vents give the cabin a more mature appearance.

    COMFORT AND PACE

    Pack it up for a cross country trip and the Elantra will quietly get on with its business of obtaining you there in comfort. The ride quality is cushy and it’s really quiet inside – Hyundai continues to be really prolific with the NVH engineering, which was further improved in the latest facelift.

    The engine does as much as you can expect from your normally-aspirated 1.6-litre, which delivers 96kW and 157Nm. The motor delivers more-than-adequate performance both in town and on the open road, providing you work the gearbox when overtaking and climbing steep hills, even though it might be a stretch to call it fast. It’s a comfortable and pleasant car to drive, without major ergonomic flaws – although the power steering system does still feel rather artificial, albeit better than earlier Korean products.

    WORTH THE PRICE?

    As far as the benefit cookie crumbles, the R252 900 Elantra is priced right in the thick of its segment – there isn’t any real price advantage here nor what is the notable features advantage.

    It does trump its rivals with a few items, such as dual zone automatic climate control, automatic windscreen wipers and park distance control, nevertheless it lacks the Corolla’s rear-view camera and leather seats and you don’t get cruise control such as you do in a Cerato or Focus. Like its competitors, the Elantra also comes along with Bluetooth connectivity, a sound system with Aux/USB inputs, multi-function steering wheel plus a five-year/90 000km service plan. The only real Elantra/Cerato after-sales standout is a five-year/150 000km warranty.

    VERDICT

    Priced well in the mainstream, the Elantra must stand on its own merits to get the nod inside a segment that’s not lacking fierce contenders. Thankfully, it puts up a strong enough fight because they are a solid, stylish and refined sedan in their own right. Though it’s not quite strong enough in virtually any particular area to tower above its rivals and claim class victory, the Elantra is deserving of a spot in your short list.

    FACTS

    Hyundai Elantra 1.6 Premium

    Engine: 1.6-litre, four-cylinder petrol

    Gearbox: Six-speed manual

    Power: 96kW @ 6300rpm

    Torque: 157Nm @ 4850rpm

    -100km/h (claimed): 10.1 seconds

    Top speed (claimed): 200km/h

    Consumption (claimed): 6.4 litres per 100km

    Price: R252 900

    Warranty: Five-year/150 000km

    Service plan: Five-year/90 000km

    ALTERNATIVES

    Ford Focus sedan 1.6 Trend (92kW/159Nm) – R255 500

    Kia Cerato sedan 1.6 EX (95kW/157Nm) – R248 995

    Mazda3 sedan 1.6 Active (77kW/144Nm) – R242 900

    Toyota Corolla 1.6 Prestige (90kW/154Nm) – R249 200

    VW Jetta 1.4 TSI Trendline (90kW/200Nm) – R272 500


  • So You Want to Win Christmas This Year: Here’s How

    Being better than your siblings in the gift giving department isn’t always easy. Sometimes they come up with a great idea and you just can’t top it. But that only ups the ante for the next year. You want to win christmas so that your parents will think about upping your share of the inheritance, or even just so they clearly love you more, or give you better gifts in the future. It’s an important thing so you better start planning now. You can’t win christmas if you only start thinking about it on December 1. So there’s no time like present to get that present idea in order. What can you do to win christmas once and for all? To end the discussion of favorite child? Here’s what.

    Pay Someone to Make a Family Portrait

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    What could be more glorious than a hand-painted, actual family portrait of your family, something that can contribute to your family’s legacy for years and generations. There will be a painting above the mantel for everyone to look at for ever and ever, the noble father and mother in the middle, surrounded by their adoring kids. Who wouldn’t want that? So if you think you want to win christmas, it’s a good idea to commission a family portrait of your family. Just imagine walking into the house on christmas even with a giant package all wrapped up. There’ll be quite a lot of chatter, and the reveal will be epic.

    A New Car

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    You parents have been driving the same piece of crap car for years, pouring money into its maintenance, convinced they can’t afford a new one or that they should just keep driving this one because it’s still got some life left in it. Well, that may be true, but probably isn’t. You can win christmas once and for all by getting your parents a brand new car. If you go to Glendale KIA you’ll see that the line of Kia’s for 2016 is actually pretty impressive, and not that expensive. For a low monthly payment int he $150 range, you’ll be able to get your loving parents a new car. And every time they go to work, to the store, anywhere, they’ll remember how much you love them. That’s called winning christmas big time. Start shopping online at www.kiaofvalencia.com.

    Provide the Meal

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    As kids, we always expect mom and dad to make the meal and to provide everything for the supper to us. But what if you call mom early in the month and say, don’t life a finger, my present to you this year is to provide and prepare a delicious christmas feast, you won’t even need to leave the arm chair. Pour another egg nog and rum, mom, i got you. So you can get a leg of lamb, or a turkey, or a pork loin, something christmassy, and make the best ever feast, one you’ll talk about for generations.


  • Cayman GTS is Superman on wheels

    CARPHOTO-4156

    Johannesburg – It was actually a pure coincidence, I swear. The guys from Gymkhana SA were holding their first Head2Head event of the year at Zwartkops Raceway on the exact same weekend as Porsche had given us the new Cayman GTS to evaluate. So I did what any red-blooded hobbyist racing driver would do: paid my entry fee and signed myself as well as the Porsche up.

    This is the fastest iteration from the Cayman yet (except for the GT4 version announced at Geneva while i write this), out-powering and out-handling the virile previous-generation Cayman R. It states in the GTS’s press material that it’s an “authentic sportscar for race track and everyday use”. In fact it is.

    Over a week-long evaluation I put the GTS to the same office-shuttling, grocery-getting and weekend errand-running test as I would your average B-segment budgetmobile, and it performed admirably in every areas. Having its platter of adjustable parameters set at their comfiest ends this race-inspired machine comfortably pulled off everyday use with congenial poise. Even with its huge 20” rims and four elastic bands doing their best impression of some 35-profile Goodyear tyres, the GTS rides subtly along brushing off rough roads with placidity.

    Surprisingly, it even gets some usable boot space. The Cayman and its Boxster sibling could possibly be strict two-seaters but their mid-engine chassis arrangement means there’s a Porsche-typical stowage well under the bonnet and another under the glass tailgate at the back. This car can easily accommodate weekend trips for 2, and I can think of at the very least three direct competitors which would struggle to squeeze more than a hairdryer and a spare pair of underpants in their almost non-existent load bays.

    IOL mot mar6 Porsche Cayman a Our man Adams puts the Porsche Cayman GTS through its paces at the Zwartkops gymkhana.

    AWESTRUCK

    So, it passes one half of its mission statement with flying colours. What about another? Being reasonably au fait with previous Boxsters and Caymans, as well as the latest crop of 911s, I assumed I knew what to expect. After just one timed run around Zwartkops’ kart track at the gymkhana I was awestruck, even though good traction at the back axle, communicative steering feel, and unwavering brakes will always be part of the Porsche equation.

    Likewise that Superman grips his suit’s lapels and rips them accessible to reveal his inner superhero, the GTS transforms between plain clothes sportscar to ultra-sharp track tool on the push of the mouse. The Cayman’s centre console is littered with independently selectablesuspension and ESP, exhaust loudness, and extendable rear-spoiler settings, but one prod of your button labelled “Sport Plus” primes every one of these for max-attack mode.

    The car’s balance in corners couldn’t be better. The GTS gets specific suspension tuning which can be 10mm lower, and when coupled with an optional torque vectoring system which senses rear-wheel slippage and momentarily dabs the brakes only at that wheel, its ability to hold a line is almost supernatural.

    Although the fastest way around a track isn’t always by adhering to it, and this Porsche is prepared to slip and slide when asked. Well timed throttle lifts is certain to get the tail stepping out on the way into a corner, as well as the locking differential sees with it that controllable powerslides are possible on the way out.

    An Authentic WINNER

    So much as think of a Scandinavian flick as well as the GTS will oblige like it’s connected subliminally to the cortex. Seldom have I driven road-going cars that handle as well as this.

    The gymkhana results tell the story: first, place in the street-legal category; to begin with two-wheel-drive cars entered; and sixth overall out of 42 competitors. Prior to me were four race-prepped Subaru STIs and a heavily-modified Nissan GTR.

    Of course the GTS package isn’t approximately added corner carving ability; it also gets some added power. With some exhaust cam timing adjustments to bump output by 11kW to 250 and torque by 10Nm to 380, although its engine is the same 3.4-litre flat-six unit as with the Cayman S. Porsche claims a sea level -100km/h can be purchased in a launch-control-assisted 4.6 seconds (when fitted by using a seven-speed PDK gearbox, as all Caymans in SA are as standard), and that we weren’t very far from that in our own high-altitude tests with a best result of 5.1 secs. We also achieved a very brisk quarter-mile of 13.3 secs.

    VERDICT

    At R998 000 the GTS comes at a hefty R128 000 premium on the next Cayman down, the S, and also for most the additional components fitted here can be unnecessary. It’ll take a special customer to not only fork the extra cash, but to also appreciate the fine tunings offered here.

    But, for those capable to exploit the GTS’s tweakings and maybe be involved in the odd track day or gymkhana, this is probably the finest handling road-going Porsches ever made. And, you could accept it each day. Superman on wheels. – Star Motoring