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.

Ranger, Jimny, Grand Sedona… more cool Easter roadtrip cars

2019-04-19 08:58

Lance Branquinho

Suzuki Jimny

Image:Suzuki Jimny / Supplied

Nine provinces and within them: many amazing districts worth visiting. But which dream road trip vehicles best match with attractions in those nine provinces? 

Here are another five fantastic Southern African locations, and great cars to get you there. 

READ: 5 great Easter roadtrip cars

Franschoek - AMG C43 - R1 007 365

Mercedes-Benz C63

One of the Western Cape’s oldest towns and a hub for petrolheads. Franschhoek sits tidily amongst towering mountains and you can link any number of rewarding passes which run close to it. Abundant eateries and boutique wine farms ensure a credible entertainment coefficient, and whilst the family are busy at those – you can sneak off to the Franschhoek motor museum, which houses one of the most impressive car collections in the world. To best profit from Franschhoek’s location amongst all those mountain passes, you’d want a true driver’s car- but one which can also accommodate family of four.

Our recommendation? AMG’s C43. Instead of the larger engined C63, the six-cylinder C43 has a better balance of performance and without a heavy V8 above its front-axle, the smaller-engined AMG sport sedan is that bit more agile into, and out of, tight corners. And there are many of those in the mountains that surround Franschhoek. 

Vryburg - Ford Ranger Wildtrak 4x4 - R678 200

ford,ranger,ford ranger,bakkie

This Northwest town is home to South Africa’s most renowned cattle ranching area. Know by locals as the ‘Texas of South Africa’, the Vryburg region also, by implication, true bakkie country. And what better bakkie to go exploring the area with, than one which can claim some Texan heritage. If you wish to attract attention and strike-up conversation with Vryburg locals, rolling into town with the latest Ford Ranger is sure to do that. The American brand’s Ranger is South Africa’s near favourite bakkie. 

What is sure to make any conversation about the new Ranger even more notable with Vryburg locals, is when you tell them that the headline model is now powered by a 2-litre engine and has ten-gears. For a community which perhaps tows more feed and livestock with their bakkies than any other farming area in South Africa, the interest in how new Ranger’s ten-speed gearbox works – will be an anchor conversation piece. 

Gauteng - Suzuki Jimny R266 600

Suzuki Jimny

For those remain in the country’s economic hub over Easter, the question is always about finding the best possible parking, closest to the trendiest possible venue. If kerbside posing directly in front of that hip new eatery is your Easter destiny in Gauteng, there are few cars which are both fun to drive, and as easy to park, as Suzuki’s Jimny. Although its design purpose is extreme off-roading, the Jimny has a tiny turning circle and with its high-profile tyres, there is no risk of an annoying kerbside alloy rim scratch if you do miscalculate your parallel parking a bit. This Japanese compact 4x4 truly is a stealth urban driving hero, for those who get unduly anxious about potential parking issue . 

Golden Gate Kia Grand Sedona R639 995

Kia Sedona

The eastern Free State is home one of the South Africa’s most inspiring landscapes. Amazing stone buttresses and cliffs are a feature of the Golden Gate nature reserve and if you need to take extended family along this Easter, and are mindful of your fuel budget, Kia’s Sedona MPV is a great transport solution. It might comfortably seat 11, but it doesn’t look like an awkwardly styled bus.

The Grand Sedona combines a sleek appearance with all the long-distance family travel benefits of a large MPV. Kia’s 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine is good for 140kW and 440Nm, which means you won’t be crawling up the slightest incline with ten passengers aboard. It also averages an entirely decent 7.4l/100km, which is very efficient economy for an eleven-seater. 

 Namibia - VW Touareg R999 800


Rounding off our list of great Easter breakaway destinations, is one that is beyond South Africa’s north western border. To many, Namibia is our friendly neighbour, with similar banks and retail stores – making the cross-border journey that less intimidating. 

A vast country, with thousands of kilometres of unpaved routes, for a Namibian long weekend you want something which is supremely confident at high-speed gravel road driving. Animal crossings are common too, which means you need a vehicle with excellently calibrated gravel road appropriate ABS and the ability to sense and reacted to a Gemsbok in the road, if you don’t. The best vehicle to do avoid an unwanted gravel road wildlife encounter in the dark? VW’s latest Touareg, which features night-vision technology. 

Read more on:    mercedes-benz  |  ford  |  kia  |  suzuki  |  south africa  |  ranger  |  new models  |  jimny

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