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2018-06-16 10:00

Lance Branquinho

LIMITED EDITION 86: Only 86 units of Toyota's new 86 Limited Edition will be available in SA. Image: Toyota

"Life is good because you work very hard. Here are five cars to reward yourself with," writes Lance Branquinho.

Not everyone waits for success to come to them. There are those youthful entrepreneurs and business people who simply outshine all the rest as career superstars and attain the income most dream of, much earlier.

For those young South African who have achieved a great deal by 25, what kind of car do you buy to symbolise your success? 

BMW X2

The Bavarian brand will forever have connotations as a yuppiemobilie, due to the popularity of its 3 Series, which for decades was the car for young overachievers.

As the automotive landscape has shifted away from sedans and into all things SUV and crossover, BMW’s responded in kind.

                                                                         Image: BMW SA

X2 is an unapologetically image aware BMW. Part crossover and part design statement, there is no being subtle with a car which features bright yellow paint and optional red leather seats.

It’s ashamedly brand aware too, featuring additional BMW roundels on its D-pillars, to ensure that anybody who views you driving by, side-on, is left in no doubt that this crossover is unquestionable a work of the ‘Werke

Mercedes-Benz A250

There was a time not too long ago when a successful South African under the age of 30 would never have dreamed of acquiring a Mercedes-Benz. Stuttgart’s cars were strictly limited to old people.

In the last decade there has been a revolution of the company’s compact car portfolio, driven by some very daring designs. The A-Class is one of those.
 
Beyond the aspiration design, with its bold grille and etched character line running diagonally across the side of the car, personalisation is what A-Class is all about.

                                                                       Image: Wheels24/Sean Parker

Mercedes-Benz skilfully discerned that its younger customers wanted to configure and tailor a hatchback that would reflect their individuality. A-Class obliges with no less than 19 different wheel choices and a multitude of cabin trim and colour combinations.

If you want to continue the family tradition of driving Mercedes, with an A-Class it certainly does not have to be reminiscent of the W124 experience you were raised with. 

VW Golf GTI

The seminal hot hatch and inarguably the most complete ‘real-world’ performance car you can buy. VW’s anchor product in its hatchback portfolio, GTI has evolved into a sub-brand of its own with a cult like following.

Powered by a brilliant 169kW 2.0-litre turbomotor, married to the best gearbox around, GTI is both good for 0-100km/h in 6.4 seconds and effortless traffic crawling ability, with the self-shifting 6-speed DSG perfectly edging you along.

                                                                               Image: Volkswagen

The design is tastefully executed without being brashly boy-racer and the cabin quality and comfort remains everything you would expect from a premium German brand.

If you are young, successful and love going out for a spirited Sunday morning breakfast run drive, there’s nothing quite like the GTI.  Especially if you prefer to bring a few friends along for the ride.

Audi Q2

Amongst the collective of hugely successful German vehicle brands, Audi’s distinguished itself with products which have a specific design merit.

In a world where young people care more about form than outright function, Audi has seen its compact car sales soar.

                                                                            Image: Net Car Show

Example in chief is the Q2. A crossover with that signature Audi exterior style and interior design logic, it appeals to those who pivot their entire existence on being surrounded by tasteful design elements.

If you are a young interior designer, furniture craftsperson or architect the Q2 will be a perfect extension of your design-centric lifestyle. It will also help you escape from the urban realm into rural South Africa when required, to recharge and draw some inspiration. That’s the benefit of having a gravel travel capable Audi urban design icon. 

Toyota 86

South Africa’s most popular automotive brand is not one usually considered by those who are young and considering a vehicle purchase to boost their image.

With its 86 coupe Toyota offers the best of both worlds: unquestionable reliability and a thrilling drive. Nothing looks quite like an 86, the low-roofline and coupe proportions create that unique silhouette in a market awash with crossovers.

                                                                           Image: Toyota SA

With its rear-wheel drive architecture the 86 is a very rewarding experience for those who delight in an immersive driving experience.

There are obvious limitations to its practicality, as one would expect from a coupe configuration, but that is part of the appeal: this is a perfect ‘selfish’ car – one for those young achievers unburdened by family. And as a Toyota product you know it will never spoil your expectations by going wrong.

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