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'Will Chev's exit affect the resale of my Cruze?' Your SA car questions answered

2017-08-06 00:00

Justus Visagie and Martin Pretorius

Johannesburg - City Press writer Justus Visagie, with some help from Martin Pretorius, provides useful answers to your automotive questions.

Lourens writes:

I have to replace my 2012 Mercedes-Benz C180. Hopefully, trade-in will be about R180 000 and I’m considering the following in demo vehicles, for around R550 000 or less: BMW 3-series (320D?), Audi A4, another Mercedes-Benz C-Class.


Strongly consider the brilliant, latest-generation Audi A4. There is a horde of low-mileage A4 2.0 TDi cars available. Or even better: buy a new, top-spec A4 1.4 TFSI S-tronic, with the change for R550 000 going towards extending the Audi freeway plan.

Sadly, getting R180 000 for your  C-Class is unlikely. There’s a surplus of these cars in the market.

Lejone writes:

I drive a 2014 Chevrolet Cruze 1.6 LS and it has completed 87 500km. I am worried as it was recently announced that Chevrolet was leaving South Africa. What’s going to happen with regard to spare parts? Will the resale value of the vehicle be affected? Is it wise to trade in the vehicle now and would you recommend doing this?


General Motors has to supply its customers with spare parts, even if they exit the country. This will be fulfilled by Isuzu dealers and possibly Opel dealers. I think you should keep your car, because dealers of other brands have probably priced the perceived depreciation into their offers for trade-in vehicles already. Also, visit gmsouthafrica.co.za.

Sajid writes:

I own a 2012 BMW M5 with 54 000km on the clock. I have extended the motor plan to 2018 and can extend it to 2019, but I was wondering if it would be okay to keep it once the motor plan has expired. Should I think of getting a fresher model? I thought of a used Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG or E63 AMG, but I also don’t want to throw money down the drain.


These M5s are stupendously potent, but also highly sophisticated – which means there’s a lot that could go wrong as it ages. If you really like the car, by all means, extend the motor plan for another two years and enjoy the ride. If you plan to hold on to it after the motor plan has expired, make sure you have deep pockets.

Also remember that your M5 will depreciate rapidly from this point on. Out-of-motor-plan BMWs easily lose 40% of their value as soon as that cover disappears. That’s fine if you’re a collector or enthusiast, but smart money would go to something new with longer coverage. That Benz E63 should suit you perfectly, with the bonus that the recently replaced W212 models recently dropped a lot in value owing to the launch of the newest generation – and you’ll get a magnificent 5.5-litre twin-turbo V8 thrown in.

Graeme writes:

I own a 2014 Honda Civic 1.8 Exec Auto hatch. What kind of modifications will improve its performance? I find that the response is rather sluggish and I assume this is due to the programming of the automatic system.


Your assumption about the transmission’s role in your car’s sluggishness is quite accurate. It’s a torque converter auto box (which generally saps a lot of power) with widely spaced gear ratios, and economy-minded programming.

There isn’t much to do about it without spending a pile of money. Traditional tuning (opening up the air intake and exhaust system and optimising the engine control electronics) will realise incremental improvements at best, and the results won’t justify the expense. Reprogramming the gearbox probably isn’t feasible, as you’ll struggle to find anyone capable of altering its control protocols.

You have three options: find a competent workshop to install and tune a low-pressure turbo or supercharger, learn to live with the sluggish performance or sell it and buy something with more performance.

Option A will cost about R30 000. If anyone offers to do it for less, walk away – aftermarket conversions should be done right from the outset, otherwise severe reliability and durability problems wait just around the corner.

  • Have a car question you’d like Justus to answer? Send it now! Using the words CAR QUESTIONS in the subject line, email justus.visagie@media24.com. You can also SMS the keywords CAR QUESTIONS and your query to 35697. Please include your name. SMSes cost R1.50


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