New Sasol GTC cars set for thrills

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Suzuki’s new Swift hatch and sedan in SA

Suzuki kicks off its new model assault with an all new Swift hatchback and standalone sedan called the Dzire.

Reader's test: Mazda3

2011-09-08 12:41

Kyle Waller, Port Elizabeth

PLUS ONE: An addition to the Waller family saw Kyle toss out his beloved sporty hatchback.

After becoming a family man, I assumed my 2008 two-door Opel Corsa Sport would suffice.

After all, it's just a little baby, how much space does it need?

After realising that these little bundles of sleep deprivation needed wheels too, I figured the Corsa’s boot simply was not going to cut it for that fancy new set of wheels bought from Baby Boom.

Two doors are also a pain as you find yourself dislocating your back to fit the Snug ‘n Safe car seat. What an ironic name for a product that almost killed me. At least that was the story I told my wife...


Yes, I am one of those guys. ANY excuse to a buy a new car. Having bought the Corsa new in December 2007, I was shocked to see how car prices had rocketed.

I decided to look into the second hand or demo market for my next car since I wanted something close-to-new with a service plan, spacious, and with some toys. A tough ask when you are trying to keep the price around 180k.

So I hit the internet, which is a lot like window shopping through an LCD screen; it has to be one of the best things around for guys like me.

After been tempted by the many German saloons available with table scraps of service plans remaining, I decided to turn my nose up at the snob factor and chose a little Japanese number. A 2009 Mazda 3 2.0 Dynamic. Yes it is the old shape, but at R179 000 with just 15 000km on the clock, I knew this was the right car.


The car has a real sporty look to it with its 17" wheels, side skirts and rear spoiler. This allows the family man to still enjoy some sporty looks with some practicality and safety all rolled up into one neat little package. Add the wonderful family-sized 108kW powerplant with its smooth shifting five-speed gearbox, and you can really have some fun.

This may not be a hot hatch, but it still gives me a thrill winding through some of the beautiful roads the coast has to offer.

Riding on the same chassis as the Ford Focus and Volvo S40, it feels solid and well put together. The steering also has a great feel to it.

Inside the car is spacious and comfortable with plenty of leg- and headroom.

Interior-wise, the car is very smart. With leather interior and a well laid out cabin, the car is a comfortable place to be in. Not quite as luxurious as the A4's I had seen, but then again this did not cost Audi money.

The car has many convenient storage spots and probably has the deepest glove box I have ever seen. The car is equipped with a six-disc front loader with what is, I must say, a rather great sound system.

The only gripe I have with the interior is that there are a few spots where some of the plastics are a bit hard. However as I said before, this car is not Audi money.


Safety wise this car is blessed with many acronyms. I won’t bore you with them, but they are all the usual suspects in a family sedan.

The car does have six airbags, but I am a little disappointed that there is no feature to disable the passenger airbag. Although not recommended when you wife is your passenger, it is recommended to disable it when the little one is.

The car also does not have auto locking doors when you drive off, though I may not live in the ghetto, I would still like this feature as I am rather absent-minded.

All in all, this car really is a lovely little package. I feel that the Three is a solid, well-built car and maybe a little underrated.

And I know I will be faithful to this little car... until the bug bites again!

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