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Top 10 cars: These memorable songs describe the best vehicles driven in 2018

2018-12-28 09:00

Janine Van der Post

Image: Henry Marsh

2018 has almost flown by in warp speed. Wheels24's Janine Van der Post reflects on the 10 best cars she has driven this year by matching them to songs best suited to its characteristics.

There have been some epic launches this year, and even more phenomenal test drives. From shrieking like a little girl in the Porsche Carerra T on open roads through the Overberg, to driving a stately Bentley and feeling like the Queen herself, and thrashing a new Datsun Go around a gymkhana track. There have been more great motoring moments this year that I could list.

However, I have narrowed down my choices to 10 of the best but with a twist. If each of these cars had to be a song, this is what the soundtrack would be.

1. Nissan Qashqai

The Qashqai falls under my top 5 cars of the year, and probably one of the cars I would put money down for if I was in the market right now. Super comfy, spacious, good-looking and extremely frugal. This car makes my heart smile, just like Bob Marley's 'Three little birds'. It's just such a practical solution as a family vehicle.

2. Renault Duster

The Duster is another one of my top favourites of the year. The Qashqai topped my charts for most of the year and then Renault enhanced this offering with subtle, robust new styling and competitive frugal fuel consumption.

This SUV from the French automaker has been refined to be even better than before. Ground clearance is outstanding and you can really take this vehicle anywhere. It makes me just as happy.

3. Lamborghini Aventador S

Most certainly the most special car I have driven this year, if not ever and so making it the 'Big Poppa' on the list. The Roadster is ridiculously fast. It's ferocious growl is euphonious to any petrolhead. Those who know me best would have probably expected to see Luniz' - I got 5 on it as my song choice here, but we have to consider the kids...

Its rapid gear changes from the 7-speed lightweight Independent Shifting Rod (ISR) gearbox provides shifts up to 50 milliseconds and will send a jolt to your kidneys as it switches cogs. It's absolutely magnificent. The more you floor it, the more it transforms from a swift sports car into a savage bull.

Coupled with Lambo's super sports car technologies and dynamics of the coupe, the naturally-aspirated V12 delivers 544kW/690Nm from its 6.5-litre engine. It blasts to 100km/h in 3.0 seconds and can reach a top speed of 350km/h.


4. Kia Stinger GT

It's always a good day when you're driving this baby. There's absolutely no doubt that the Stinger GT is the hottest car in the automaker's stable - in this era. It has an incredible design that makes it quite prominent on the road, and those power figures are sublime, making it such a pleasure to drive.

With 272kW on tap, acceleration picks up without any notice, and the Stinger GT is an incredible piece of machinery. It sits on the road like glitter on your face from a toddler's art piece and goes into tight bends like ease, gliding out as you give it more throttle.

The Stinger GT is a treat for any petrolhead and with a price tag of R859 995, it is worth every cent!



5. Toyota Yaris GRMN

It looks assertive with motorsport-inspired trim but its real selling point is its 1.8-litre unit. It evokes a sense of euphoria that many millennials can't begin to imagine, hence I refer to the Sugar Hill Gang's Rappers'Delight.

The engine sparked my hopes that this could be it, finally, a sporty Toyota. When you get behind the wheel, push the engine start button, this little car will have you channeling the spirit of Hachi Roku. It wants to get going and keep driving. Not that my faith in the Toyota brand ever really faded, but it most certainly was re-affirmed with the GRMN.


6. Peugeot 3008 GT

Probably the most underrated vehicle in South Africa, the Peugeot 3008 GT is a phenomenal vehicle and hardly gets the credit its due. It's absolutely stunning in terms of looks and its lavish inside, loaded with tech and features.

The new 1.2-litre Active is a proper gem delivering 96kW and a scrumptious 230Nm, making the three-cylinder engine feel chunkier in capacity than what it is.  

7. Lexus RX 350L 

Under the bonnet is a 3.5-litre V6 2GR-FKS engine, kicking out 216kW at 6300rpm and 358Nm from 4600-4700rpm. It's mated to an eight-speed sequential shift automatic gearbox.

The RX350L is luxurious to drive with sleek styling, along with its distinctive Lexus spindle grille along with and chrome-plated surrounds and headlights. When cruising along, its quiet, agile and feels completely refined.

Boot space is ridiculous, especially when the third row of seats are down. I saw it swallow up four womens' luggage for an overnight trip (read: two bags each with handbags) and still have room for more.  

8. VW Tiguan Allspace

While most SUVs these days drive like a hard-working bakkie, this feels more like driving a smaller sporty hatchback, despite its size. In fact, VW SA's head of product and marketing, Stefan Buehrmann, believes it drives more like a GTI...

Whether you're driving any of these models, when you put your foot down there's instant reaction from the engine. And for a car that's 4.48m long, that's awesome. The Tiguan Allspace handles exceptionally well despite its size and the GTI comparison is really not unfathomable once you're behind the wheel.

Its boot space is a sweet treat for those with families. The more stuff I can fit in the boot, the better. And like VW says there's "room for everything you need, and everything you don't" - that would definitely apply to me. 

9. Mitsubishi Triton Athlete

Probably one of the best bakkies I have driven this year. It looks aggressive and completely different to the norm in the market. It stands out for all the right reasons, and it drives pretty darn well too.

The Triton has orange decals to enhance its exclusive look, and it particularly looks good on the black body colour. The orange and black theme carries through in the cabin with soft leather seats. It might not be as powerful as the Toyota Hilux or carry that iconic status, but the Triton Athlete is everything you might need it to be.


10. Datsun GO

This is obviously a huge surprise on the list, but the new Go has had such significant upgrades and it's such a fun little thing to drive. It's great to see something so affordable on the market that's actually good value for money. Especially a good offering that can allow families to own a vehicle for the first time, or young go-getters to make the most of their journeys that lie ahead.



Special mentions:


BMW M5

The latest BMW M5 really doesn't need much to be said about it. It's reputation speaks for itself, and so does the power figures. The 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 delivers 441kW/750Nm with a zero to 100km/h time of 3.1 seconds. It also has a limited top speed of 250km/h and can be taken up a notch to 305km/h if you fork out a bit extra. 



Ford Focus

We drove the all-new Ford Focus earlier in July in Nice, a day after France won the World Cup. Ford has sat down and listened to its customers, basing the next-generation of its premium hatchback on their feedback.

Designed completely with a 'human-centric' focal point, the fourth-generation Focus is built from the ground up. It’s loaded with tech, more comfort and space and overall better driving experience. It's also a lot lighter and stronger than before. I'm looking forward to see how well the 1.0-litre and 1.5-litre versions will do locally when it arrives in 2019.



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