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2017-06-20 08:20

Image: Quickpic

Lance Branquinho

Cape Town - If you are part of South Africa’s rather immense youth – numbering a third of Mzansi’s population – mobility is rather important to you. 

Our country is a large one, with many rivers and mountains, which make walking from place to place a bit challenging. Public transport and uber are tolerable but there is nothing that symbolises the transition from teenager to youth quite like having your own car. 

Which one, though? You are young. You have many friends, no family of your own making, and need to be anywhere and everywhere – all the time.

Well, we’ve crunched the data and thought about what the demands on South African youth are in 2017. The result is our list of five authentic automotive options for the youth. 

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1 For the youth racer

When you are young, desires are often divergent. You want a two-door performance car, but you also need a proper boot to pack stuff in – like your laundry, which you collect from your parent’s home each Sunday.

To this end Ford’s limited edition ST200 is the only solution. Unlike all its hot hatch rivals, this one doesn’t have rear doors, but it does have one of the sweetest handling suspension and steering configurations and with the 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbopetrols now boosting to 149kW and 20Nm, it’s properly quick too. 

2 For the young professional

 You’re sitting in traffic on Grayston avenue, strategizing how you will acquire that trading seat on the JSE within five years. But for now, you are just an article clerk, doing the menial tasks and all the admin, crunching numbers, and studying towards your CA board exams. You need a car that is safe and light on fuel.

Most turbocharged cars claim to be light on fuel when in fact, if you use the boost, they drink like elephants. Not so Peugeot’s 208 1.2 Active. See, it only has 62kW and 118Nm – which mean you’ll never be going anywhere quickly, but it also means that the 208 will always run very close to its claimed 4.3 litres/100km consumption. 

3 For the young entertainer 

There’s simply no point in rolling to the best venues without your crew. And competing for Ubers circling outside popular events, with their criminally inflated prices, is a sure way to ruin your weekend by Friday night. Solution? You need to become the Uber, have something on the cheap, with seven seats and a semblance of reliability too. With a Honda BR-V, you get seven seats and a better motorsport heritage than BMW (if we forget about the current McLaren-Honda shenanigans, that is). 

4 For the young adventurer 

South Africa’s network of protector wilderness is a national treasure. From the Big Five in Kruger, to the Maluti mountains of Golden Gate and beautifully stark desolation of our mighty river, the Orange, that snakes through the Richtersveld. You’re young and need to become an Instagram superstar, get out there and capture landscapes nobody else has.

But you’ll ruin most affordable hatchbacks doing that. Well, you won’t ruin a Renault Sandero Stepway. It has sensibly sized tyres which float a touch over sand and with 173mm of ground clearance, you’ll amazed where this French-Romanian can get you. 

5 For the young tenderpreneur 

Much like the Smartphone you place on the boardroom table and wristwatch revealed as you rest your forearm on a desk, the vehicle you arrive in at a business meeting is pivotal. If you are young and hoping to make the best of South Africa’s current system of patronage, you’ll want to impress for the smallest investment.

It must be a vehicle with presence. Best go pre-owned, then, and nothing is more ironically South African than the Hummer H3 – in yellow of course. Styled to look like an instrument of US foreign policy, they were all built in Port Elizabeth and nothing says I’ll subcontract inefficiency like driving an H3. Cheap too, an easy haggle down to R150k for 2008 models. 


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