8 months with a Renault Clio

Top Car's Wayne Batty says goodbye to his Renault Clio. It’s not a soppy farewell but the little 'automatique' did its maker proud.

Kia's trendy family pick

Wheels24's Janine Van der Post experiences the upcoming Cerato.

Tata SW impresses

2005-08-04 14:21

John Oxley

I drove the car for the first time yesterday, and I was pleased with its ride qualities, without the bumpy, juddery ride often the bane of station wagon owners, as well as its compact size which gives it good load space without taking up too much road room.

Based on the same platform as the Indica sedan, the SW can take long objects such as a surfboard, but you won't battle to find a parking space big enough - it's not much longer than the Indica hatchback - hence the pet name.

At the same time its 63 kW 1400 cc engine gives quite a lot of grunt, with much of its 120 Nm of torque available from low down the engine range, although long hills will entail a quick shift down a gear.

Gear change

That said, the gear change is smooth and slick and the clutch action light.

However, the biggest plus point with this newcomer from India is its wide feature list coupled with very competitive pricing.

Two models are available - the GLS, and the GLX, both with 5-speed manual transmission.

The GLS comes as standard with air conditioning, power steering, electric windows, remote central locking, an immobiliser, rear height adjustable head rests, an eyewear holder, a retractable or folding boot cover, a full size spare wheel, roof mounted storage inside the car, and roof rails on the outside.

The more-expensive GLX version has all of the GLS features, plus dual front airbags, seatbelt pre-tensioners with load limiters, ABS brakes with EBD, a more upmarket cloth trim material, a two-tone interior, and a colour-coded exterior.


Indigo SW GLS R93 995; GLX R106 995.

Chatting to the Tata people afterw my drive I discovered Tata is the fastest-growing brand in SA.

Since December last year, when the brand entered the market on a zero base, it's now grown to the point where sales of cars and bakkies exceed 1 000 a month, and a new target of 1 200 a month for October has just been set.

The cars are built to the latest Euro III safety standards, and come with two year/45 000 km service plan as standard, as well as a 3 year/100 000 km warranty, and 3 year roadside assistance.

There are 38 operating dealers in South Africa, plus representation in Botswana, Swaziland and Lesotho with additional dealers coming on board to make a grand total of 48 by January next year.

Inside Wheels24

Take a virtual tour of the McLaren 570S in SA

Want to experience what it's like to be behind the wheel of a 419kW sports car? Take a virtual tour of the McLaren 570S in our interactive Snapchat video filmed in SA.

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