How to buy a classic motorcycle in SA?

'There are a few things you need to consider,’ writes bike guru Dries Van der Walt.

Top family cars in SA

Wheels24's Janine Van der Post has gone from a 'SpeedQueen' to a supermom. Check out her list of top family cars.

Oh mama!

2007-05-11 09:45

Hailey Philander

If you were to search for the origins of several great South African tales, these could likely be traced back to the cabin of the family Volksiebus. Tales of the dog that someone tried to smuggle on to the annual family epic being carsick all over the luggage, or spending hours along the side of the road replacing a tyre after having to unpack and repack the entire boot, abound.

But things have moved on considerably since those long, lazy days that seemed to last forever, and the life of the modern MPV is remarkably different. Since everyone has started needing more - more space, more activities, more, more, more - MPVs have sprung up everywhere in a fast-paced flurry of seats.

And they take on all sizes, from the miniature Renault Modus to the mid-sized Mazda5 and the humungous Mercedes-Benz Viano while performing their multitude of daily tasks.

The 'mom's taxi' label is indiscriminately plastered across anything with seats (up to seven) that fold flat and with enough oddment bins in which to 'lose' that damn Bratz doll at least twice a week.

Designed for these champions of the cause, MPVs are practical creations to assist with deadline-driven lives by offering modular storage space and enough cabin room to swing a cat in.

The Super Mom

The mother of the modern MPV downsized the traditional image quite significantly, added a few French styling flourishes, and made MPVs super desirable. The Renault Scenic spawned a revolution in modern family travel and the current generation remains especially pleasing on the eye. Let them eat cake? Sure; so long as it stays on the back seat.

However, the doyenne's reign is being tarnished by the arrival of several very competent companions. Looking at the boxy proportions of the 'Volksiebus', it's hard to believe that any MPV could ever be considered sexy. But the six-seater Honda FR-V certainly dispels that idea.

For more of the same, that is, predictable styling and countless stowage options, you could always opt for the Toyota Versoand the Volkswagen Touran.

But surely the life of the modern mum is not all about androgynous styling and tepid performance. Despite the MPV revolution, there are certain members of the female population to whom the idea of hopping into any people mover is considered sacrilegious.

The Yummy Mummy

These ladies are likely to debate the merits of additional head and neck bolstering on car seats and why these monstrosities can't be designed to be more compact, blaring 'do these dumb seat designers even know how tight it becomes inside a cabin with those things in use?'

The Mercedes-Benz SLK could be considered as one of the ultimate poser cars. And while it's likely to be the transport mode of choice for toupeed, pot-bellied middle-aged men and their life partners, some mums are able to perpetuate the belief that style does (and should) count for something.

Of course, the fun loving mum could always opt for the ultimate fun car - the Mini Cooper S. Who says you can't have fun hauling the little angel around and the Cooper S. Another bonus is that this car at least creates the impression that it has four seats, so should you choose to take on an extra (full sized adult) passenger, the brat would be spared that dreaded cabin fever.

But the ultimate in little person travel has to be the Aston Martin DB9. Picture this - two seats, a car seat and a super yummy mummy. Need we say more? Other than "I'll have one in navy blue, thanks"?

The briefcase tote

Just because power suits and nine-inch stilettos still form an important part of your wardrobe, that does not mean that you should be less inclined to purchase a car suited to your expanding ego. And hey, with it being so hard to find a minute or five spare for your offspring, the car ride en route to the office is the perfect time to catch up on their dreams and aspirations. Time is money, remember?

If you have no time to waste with life's mundanities, the Audi A6 is the perfect choice of wheels - friendly enough to not scare away any of its charges, but fierce enough to scuttle other road users into the flora. Oh, and did we mention it was spacious with a healthy boot space?

For the mum with attitude and a sense of the dramatic, the Chrysler 300C should appeal too. Big, imposing, spacious and luxurious, this large sedan should appeal to the more eccentric family sedan buyer.

But for those who'd like to experience the spaciousness without selling their souls to the bank, the Kia Magentis is always an option. Large, low slung and super lean, this flagship probably won't mind having to deal with ice-cream smears on its leather upholstery.


Bullet: Name, set and match!

2012-04-16 16:47

Inside Wheels24

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.