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CAR DOCTOR: What's the most fuel-efficient SUV to buy in SA?

2018-08-12 00:00

Justus Visagie

Which is the porche of choice? The car doctor says, if you want to indulge inopen-top driving, choose the most beautiful 911: the glass-roofed Targa. Picture: Supplied

'What is a spacious, modest luxury SUV to buy?', 'Is the BMW X2 a good choice?' and 'Which Porsche 911 model should I choose?'... Resident #Trending car expert Justus Visagie provides with advice.

David:
I’d like to buy a spacious luxury sedan that appears modest, so, not a BMW, Jaguar, Mercedes or Audi. What do you recommend?

Justus: The new VW Arteon is low-slung, sleek and very attractive, but it wears a VW badge. It belongs to a family of modest, mass-production cars, like the Polo Vivo and Up.

The Arteon (R600 000 and up) is incredibly spacious inside, with rear legroom for days and a boot big enough to swallow a mountain bike when the rear seats are flat. Also consider the brilliant Volvo S90.

                                                              Image: Wheels24 / Sergio Davids

Matshele: I drive a 2013 Suzuki SX4 CVT with the 2-litre engine and plan to pay it off and keep it for my wife. I enjoy the ride, but it is small and bit thirsty at 6.6-litre consumption. I want to buy the BMW X2 in two years from now. Is it a good choice and what’s the best next alternative (crossovers, not sedans)?

Justus: A consumption figure of 6.6 litres per 100km (15km per litre) is actually very good. Few cars achieve consumption that low. Definitely keep the Suzuki, if your wife will be happy with it. It should last forever.

The X2 is quite small and if you want more space, I don’t think it’s for you. I would go for the Nissan Qashqai diesel, Mazda CX-5, Kia Sportage, Suzuki Vitara or Subaru Forester, even though most of these are more SUV than crossover. A more expensive option is the X3 – not as good looking as the X2, but more roomy inside. The X3 range starts at about R700 000, which is R100 000 more than the X2.

                                                                    Image: BMW SA

Lucas: I’ve always wanted to own a Porsche 911 and soon I will be able to afford one. But there are so many models to choose from that it’s actually confusing. What would you advise?

Justus: With a smorgasbord of about 40 911 model derivatives to choose from, it’s no wonder buyers are daunted. Rule out anything over R1.7 million – there’s little reason to spend more than that to get a fantastic 911.

Even the “slowest” 911 will sprint from zero to 100km/h in well under 5 seconds and make you feel like a million dollars. For open-top driving, choose the most beautiful 911: the glass-roofed Targa. To be cocooned in metal, buy the most affordable version: the 911 Carrera. It will set you back R1.4 million before extras, so you’re in for about R1.5 million.

                                                            Image: Wheels24 / Janine Van der Post

Vusi: I’m looking for a low-mileage pre-owned Golf GTI. My budget is R350 000, more or less. Any recommendations?

Justus: You can get a low-mileage Golf 7 GTI for that amount, but it will be about three years old; this means a car without a comprehensive factory warranty. Consider the brand-new 2.0-litre Polo GTI. It has (almost) the same performance as the Golf and sells for R376 000 new. A three-year/120 000km warranty is included, as is a 45 000km service plan.


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