July 24, 2018
If one assumes that the most capable 4x4 on sale in South Africa refers to the most powerful ones, then there are several vehicles to choose from.1 A Carmag article of 18 April, 2017 shows a list of seven powerful SUVs. The most powerful SUV is a Bentley Bentayga W12 at 447 kW (R3 987 000). The ‘cheapest’ and least powerful SUV at 405 kW is the Rover Range Sport SVR (R2 212 286). Seeing these seven cars are so expensive, they would be beyond the reach of most South Africans.
Perhaps more applicable to the South African motoring public is to have a look at the finalists and winners of the 2017/2018 Cars.co.za Consumer Awards.2,3
The criterion used for the top recreational SUV is that it is used by families to travel in comfort, with all their luggage, on- or off-road.2
Finalists were the Toyota Fortuner 2.8 GD-6 Auto 4x4, the Ford Everest 3.2 LTD Auto, and the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport 2.4 D4 4x4 Auto. 2 The Toyota Fortuner 2.8 GD-6 Auto 4x4 was announced as the winner at an event in Sandton on 25 January 2018. 3
At a price of R617 900 (January 2017), this SUV has a 2.8-litre, 4-cylinder, turbo diesel engine, with a power output of 130 kW and a massive torque of 450 Nm. The refined engine gains a steady momentum when cruising, enabling it to overtake with great ease. The transmission is a 6-speed automatic, but does not react immediately when making any changes. However, the throttle response is quicker when the power button of the transmission tunnel is used. The claimed fuel consumption is 8.5 litres/100 km.4 Tested fuel consumption was about 9 litres/100 km, and with the 80-litre tank, the driving range is more than 800 km.
These SUVs are considered to be status symbols. The majority of premium brands provide SUVs that are superbly refined in combination with practicality and luxury. Judges considered high-quality driving and excellent drivetrain performance to be top criteria, as well as the interior showing high-quality materials and the latest technology. 2 Finalists were the Audi Q5 2.0 TDI quattro Sport, the Mercedes-Benz GLC 250d 4Matic AMG Line, and the Jaguar F-PACE 20d AWD R Sport. The winner was the Mercedes-Benz GLC 250d 4Matic AMG Line. 3
The Mercedes 250d has the well-proven, and economical 2.1-litre, diesel engine, which can be tuned to provide different degrees of power output and torque. It is mated to a new 9G-Tronic gearbox, providing a comfortable drive. The interior of the GLC is resplendent with all the features of the Mercedes-Benz C-class.5 The SUV copes well in serious off-road situations, but thick beach sand should be avoided.
Luxury SUVs may be most appealing to the senses and have status, but are, essentially, some of the most highly advanced and efficient vehicles available in South Africa. Combining high-technology off-road systems with spacious, luxurious interiors, and formidable engines, the premium SUV in this category is all about image and sheer practicality. Finalists in this category were the Audi Q7 3.0 TDI quattro, the Land Rover Discovery HSE TD6, and the Volvo XC90 T8 R-Design. 2 The winner was the Volvo XC90 T8 R-Design. 3
This premium SUV boasts of plug-in, petrol-electric hybrid technology, the best safety features, as well as a most impressive performance.6 The turbocharged and supercharged, 2-litre, petrol engine delivers 235 kW of power and 400 Nm of torque. The engine drives the front wheels via an 8-speed automatic transmission. The electric motor is situated on the rear axle and drives the rear wheels, delivering 65 kW and 240 Nm. A 9.2 kWh battery has been innovatively placed inside a tunnel that runs the length of the floor, without affecting the 7-seat arrangement as well as the standard luggage space.
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