Meet Smokey Nagata

The man behind the legendary twin-turbo V12 Toyota Supra build.

First sprint in Merc's ferocious C 63 S

'You can feel how taut the steering is, how sensitive the accelerator is to inputs', writes Charlen Raymond.

Audi Q8, BMW X7, VW T-Cross... 5 new boujee SUVs to look out for in 2019

2019-01-25 10:55

Sean Parker


Image: BMW Group

Premium automakers aren't taking their foot off the pedal in 2019, with German automakers especially expanding their arsenal of luxury SUV offerings.

These aren't ordinary SUVs, they're the ones people aspire to own. Their badges adorn the trendiest streets of Mzansi and others get a tinge of envy when they drive past. 

Urban dictionary: Boujee - An abbreviation of the French "bourgeois." A critical term used to describe people, things, and places that are definitively high-class. Something that is affected, inauthentic, gentrified, exclusive, and/or otherwise sheltered from the dirt and grime of the real world.

Sean Parker looks at the five most boujee SUVs launching in Mzansi this year: 

Audi Q8 - Audi's latest flagship SUV is born from the same womb as Lamborghini's Urus, Porsche's Cayenne, Volkswagen Touareg and the Bentley Bentayga. The Q8 arrives in South Africa later this year sporting an imposing grille and huge 22" wheels. 

Yeah, this Audi is ready to make a statement in no uncertain terms. It's set to offer a sportier alternative to the Q7 with  power being derived from a V6 turbodiesel powering all four wheels. Hopefully a petrol-powered engine will be added to the line-up later. All models will also feature a 48V mild-hybrid system. 

I think it's the best-looking SUV currently built by the VW Group. It's filled with (virtual cockpit) screens, touch pads and the like to be a real tour de force in the segment. 

Boujee rating: 8/10 (The bad-ass looking guy who takes almond milk in his latte). 

Audi Q3 - The other SUV on the way from Audi is its smaller Q3. We drove it in Italy in 2018 and were deeply impressed by the new interior, attention to detail and interior space. 

Its handles well for a car with an elevated ride height, offering less body roll than I anticipated when driving on Italian mountain passes. 

Cars fitted with the S Line trim package feature sports seats as standard and you can choose Alcantara surfaces on parts of the dash and seats. Feeling in the mood for a change of colour? Choose from a 30-colour light palette (standard on the design selection trim option). 

The new Q3 will take on the Volvo XC40, Mercedes-Benz GLA, BMW X2, Lexus UX and Jaguar's E-Pace. 

Boujee rating: 8/10 (perfect for the Bedfordview millennial) 

BMW X7 - I reckon the X7 is arguably the most ostentatious car to arrive in South Africa this year. I first saw the concept in Frankfurt in 2017 and then the local reveal in late 2018. 

Aimed at 7 Series owners, it is the first BMW to offer a full seven-seat layout and promises to take on the Land Rover Discovery, Audi Q7, Mercedes-Benz GLS and Volvo's XC90. 

The flagship SUV will be launched in March and priced from R1 562 849 for the xDrive30d and R1 862 308 for the flagship M50d.

A 3.0-litre turbodiesel engine with two outputs powers the xDrive30d (195kW and 620Nm) and in the M50d the power is rated at 294kW and 760Nm.

Production will take place BMW's Spartanburg factory in South Carolina. It measures in at 5.1m in length, 2m wide and 1.8m tall, it is the brand's largest X model thus far.

Boujee rating: 9/10 (The X7 has a better grille than your favourite rapper)

Mercedes-Benz GLE - We first saw the GLE at the 2018 Paris motor show and it's no secret the new model will go head-to-head with the BMW X5. 

Like every new SUV the GLE boasts increased legroom due to a longer wheelbase. Its boot space is rated at a claimed 825 litres.

The MBUX infotainment system is the same one that debuted in the new A-Class, so expect high-quality graphics and many buttons on the steering wheel to deal with commands. 

The all-wheel drive vehicle will be powered by six and four cylinder engines, the former mated to a hybrid system. And don't forget the swift AMG versions too. 

Boujee rating: 7/10 (The design is a snooze fest, mainly because the GLE looks like any other Merc) 

Mercedes-Benz GLE

Volkswagen T-Cross The Polo-sized SUV will be Volkswagen SA's biggest and most important launch of the year. In fact it's already graced our shores (as part of a marketing campaign) and interest in it is enormous.

Built in Spain, the T-Cross will offer a sliding rear seat that can be adjusted by 14cm, for more leg room or luggage space.

The boot holds between 385 and 455 litres and thanks to a rear-seat back that folds down fully or partially, to create a flat loading space with up to 1281 litres of space.

South Africa will most likely receive the T-Cross powered by a 1.5-litre turbocharged engine with 110kW. Expect the Active Info display seen newer VWs. 

In Europe the T-Cross boasts good safety features as standard including: pedestrian monitoring system and city emergency braking system, lane keeping assistant , hill start assist and blind spot detection. 

Expect the Active Info display seen newer VWs. 

Boujee rating: 7/10 (The T-Cross is available with a pedestrian alert system, hill start assist and a green juice) 

Read more on:    audi  |  mercedes  |  volkswagen  |  bmw  |  sean parker  |  south africa  |  new models

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