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Battle of the MPVs: 3 family cars that make moms rock

2017-11-21 10:07

Janine Van der Post

REFINED STYLING: Mazda SA has launched its next-gen CX-5 SUV locally. Image: Wheels24/ Janine Van Der Post

Cape Town  - Safety features, high ground clearance, a huge boot and loads of elbow space... these are some of the most important boxes I like to have ticked when it comes to a family car. You'll definitely want to have at least a couple of these features when it hauling your family (and their kit around).

Looks are pretty important too, so is fuel consumption and enough vooma to get you where you need to be.

The last thing you'd want with a car full of screaming children is to be going nowhere slowly, so sufficient power are great for moms and dads. 

Whether its performing a school run or going on holiday with your family, Wheels24's Janine Van der Post looks at 3 MPV's that make for good 'moms taxis'.

Peugoet 2008 - from R284 900

Peugeot's next-gen 2008, launched earlier in 2017, is a beautiful car and the French automaker always shows its pride in its products with premium materials and high levels of equipment. The 2008 had great finishes with double stitching, soft-touch plastics and comfortable leather seats. Not to mention it smells as fresh as Spring flowers... always a boon when you're hauling your children and their friends ripe from a sport match. 

It glides like dream on any surface, is extremely roomy and pretty economical too. It comes packed with safety features, Isofix fittings and genuinely feels solid on the road. 

Peugeot is still pretty much underrated in South Africa while their products keep getting better. Definitely worth an option to keep in mind from the more popular go-to choices.

The new 2008 comes with black and chromed headlights, 3D LED rear lights in a distinctive three-claw design which helps the car's visual presence on the road from all angles.

There's also the new vertical front grille and Peugeot's new 'horizontal bonnet'. It's large spoiler, assertive wheel arches, scuff plates and roof bars give the car a rugged look, but in a very snazzy way.

Inside, there's an innovative interior lighting system with LED instrument dial surround, LED track – laser cut headlining or a panoramic glass roof with light guides. This model also comes in a beautiful new shade of red.

Mahindra TUV300 - R229 995

What? A cheap Indian car makes the list? Yes it does. I still can't believe just how much I enjoyed this car, and the fact that it left a lasting impression says a lot too.

The Indian automaker has definitely taken its customers concerns to heart and has improved by leaps and bounds in terms of design, functionality and created a better product for it. Mahindra has some work to do with regards to quality but they have come a long way and it shows in cars such as its TUV300.

READ: 5 reasons why Mahindra's TUV300 is a suprisingly likable car

The Mahindra TUV300 is spacious not only in front but provides ample legroom for the rear passengers too. The middle-seat occupant has no reason to fight for elbow or knee room. I love that the extra two seats in the rear can be folded up along the side providing extra space for luggage or shopping bags.

Even if the two rear seats are in use, there's still ample space to load a few things without making it uncomfortable for the occupants. 

Next is the fact that it's so frugal; Mahindra claims an average fuel consumption of 5.4-litres/100km from the 1.5-litre engine. I'd like to say they were thumb-sucking those figures but during my stint with the vehicle, I matched the claimed figure.

Yes, it might try too hard to be a premium vehicle but for everything else it's a pretty much a good, affordable choice! 

Mazda CX-5 - from R382 700

If Mazda has not been a topic of discussion around the braai these days, the CX-5 is a sure steer the conversation towards the Japanese automaker's great products. The latest offering from the Japanese brand is helping the automaker get back on track and take the fight to its rivals. So much so that a few owners of premium-brand products have asked me about trading their current vehicles for the new SUV.

And with its stylish new looks, who can blame them? The refreshed changes might seem discreet on the upgraded model, but it makes a huge difference in terms of design. The headlights and tail lights have been redesigned as well as the front of the car, including the grille. These changes, however minor, give the SUV a more assertive look than before. 

It also drives a lot better than before thanks to its torque vectoring system. Mazda has also made some changes to the suspension so the steering commands are more responsive, thus enabling a much more enjoyable drive. 

The 2.2-litre model offers a much better drive than the lower-specced 2.0-litre and the engine also seems to be better matched to the automated gearbox. This turbo-diesel hardly sounds like an industrial machine and the loud rattling, common with diesel units, is almost non-existent. 

Yes, it's still a struggle to find the perfect gear first time round but the automated box is a vast improvement than before and you learn to live with it. Besides, with Cape Town being rated at the most congested city in the country, any automatic gearbox is a blessing.

It offers a solid drive too when you do reach the open road and it handles spritely driving well, along with some sweeping bends on the R302 en route to the Swartland municipality. It comes with enough standard features to make it quite competive against the usual, more popular rivals - which you usually have to fork out another limb for additional extras.

It's definitely a car to consider if you're looking for something smaller in the SUV segment that is more affordable than high-end premium pricetags.


Read more on:    mahindra  |  peugeot  |  mazda  |  janine van der post  |  cape town  |  suvs  |  review

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