Six is better

Six is better than four and Kia has made this a reality for its Rio range that now sports a 6-speed automatic transmission.

The new unit replaces the old 4-speed box that served the fourth-generation Rio since its launch in June of last year.

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The new transmission provides increased performance. Kia’s 1,4-litre MPI engine produces 74 kW at 6 300 r/min and 135 Nm at 4 200 r/min. Mated with the new 6-speed automatic transmission, acceleration to 100 km/h improves from 13,2 seconds to 12,9 seconds, while maximum speed increases from 166 km/h to 175 km/h.

The Rio 1.4 is available with three specification options, namely the mid-spec LX, a mid-high spec EX and the high-spec TEC (the Rio 1.2 LS remains unchanged in the line-up).

The Rio 1.4 LX features an extensive list of standard features, including air-conditioning, power windows, electrically operated side mirrors, central locking with an alarm and immobiliser, a radio system with RDS as well as MP3, auxiliary and USB connectivity, six speakers, steering wheel-mounted remote audio controls, a rear USB charging port, rake and reach adjustable steering, automatic headlight control, front fog lights, LED Daytime Running Lights and 15-inch alloy wheels.

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The next derivative in the range – the Rio EX – builds on the already extensive standard features of the LX model through the addition of projection headlamps and LED rear combination lamps, as well as a 7-inch Touchscreen Infotainment System that incorporates a Rear Park Assist System with integrated rear-view camera, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The range-topping Rio TEC adds further comfort and convenience to the EX grade through the addition of machine-finished 17-inch alloy wheels, rain-sensing windscreen wipers, as well as Cruise Control, an electrochromatic rear-view mirror, alloy pedals and leather upholstery.

The Rio range is priced as follows:
Rio 1.2 LS 5-speed Manual R 230,995
Rio 1.4 LX 6-speed Manual R 247,995
Rio 1.4 LX 6-speed Automatic R 264,995
Rio 1.4 EX 6-speed Manual R 261,995
Rio 1.4 EX 6-speed Automatic R 278,995
Rio 1.4 TEC 6-speed Manual R 288,995
Rio 1.4 TEC 6-speed Automatic R 305,995

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An optional sunroof is available for Rio TEC models for an additional R8 000. All Rio’s ship as standard with Kia’s 5-year / Unlimited Kilometre Warranty, inclusive of 5-years / Unlimited Kilometres Roadside Assistance.

The Rio 1.2 includes a 2-year/30 000 km Service Plan, while the Rio 1.4 includes a 4-year / 60 000 km Service Plan.

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Road Review – Honda CR-V 1.5 CVT

What was intended as a glorious weekend of racing action at Killarney in Cape Town for the final round of the World Rallycross Championships recently, turned itself on its head when Mrs W pressed me into service as a ‘gopher’.

Well, not me as much as the Honda CR-V 1.5 CVT I had arranged to be my transport to and from the circuit for the weekend.

You see, Mrs W had the job as catering co-ordinator for several of the international racing teams. Armed with voracious appetites, it was necessary to top up – especially things like fresh fruit – so, early in the morning before even the teams arrived it was off to the local suppliers for me and my Honda that, fortunately, comes with a suitably large luggage space and fold-flat rear seats.

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Equally important – the level of the rear sill is ideally positioned for loading and unloading so it is not necessary to bend unduly while hefting large boxes and the like.

Although it was actually launched more than a year ago, this retrospective look at the CR-V, was a welcome opportunity to do things a little outside of the normal road review routine.

Completely redesigned and re-engineered from the ground up for the latest generation, the Honda CR-V gained a more spacious, quieter cabin with extended rear legroom and an expanded cargo compartment and is built on a new platform architecture, improving overall ride quality and refinement, adding crisper steering response, enhanced ride comfort and more composed handling.

Styling mirrors much of Civic, with the curved, slim line headlights that frame the broad-barred grille and the bonnet’s pronounced contours that meet the base of the slim A-pillar for a neatly integrated appearance.

Below the main grille, dual air intakes with a dark meshed finish split the colour-coded bumper, while the top model gains both LED headlights and front LED fog lamps. A metallic scuff plate underlines the new CR-V’s SUV identity.

Viewed in profile, the CR-V’s aerodynamic shape is even more apparent, thanks to the smooth roofline with its smoothly integrated roof rails, the subtly curved waistline, the narrow side glass aperture and the raked rear screen.

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Rear passenger legroom was been by a full 9 cm, and there is more shoulder room both front and rear. The 60/40 split rear bench seat can be folded flat to expand cargo capacity, creating a completely flat loading floor in the process.

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The overall dashboard design is clean and uncluttered and the centre console includes a lidded binnacle that also acts as a centre armrest, while dual cup holders are provided in an open storage box in front of the armrest.

With the seats in place the CR-V offers 522 litres of luggage space, extendable to 1 084 litres with the seatbacks folded down – and I used all of it, several times.

I am no fan of CVT transmissions but Honda has managed to produce one that is not irritatingly noisy nor that hunts incessantly trying to find the optimum gearing.

The 1 498 cc turbo engine is equipped with programmed, direct fuel injection, variable valve timing to deliver 140 kW of maximum power at 5 600 r/min, together with 240 Nm of maximum torque in a broad band between 2 000 r/min and 5 000 r/min.

The CVT gearbox is linked to an intelligent Real Time AWD system that seamlessly transfers power from the front to the rear wheels when additional traction is required.

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The system has undergone significant improvements for the new CR-V, including a substantial increase in maximum rear wheel torque delivery, and a new intelligent control system for improved overall performance, without having to wait for the front wheels to slip before proportioning torque to the rear.

The CR-V combines a MacPherson strut-based front suspension with a multilink rear configuration where liquid-filled bushings and special, low-friction dampers are fitted, while tubular stabiliser bars in front and solid stabiliser bars at the rear ensure improved turn-in response and more composed cornering.

The dual-pinion, variable-ratio electric power steering was also recalibrated to enhance steering precision and feedback – and it greatly appreciated while negotiating the traffic in and out of the racetrack and around the busy suburb of Tableview.

Inside, the 1.5T Executive has leather upholstery, the Digital Driver Information Interface and a 7-inch Display Audio infotainment system – all-in-all a comfortable ‘workspace’ with easy ingress to the driver and passenger seats.

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It also comes standard with a panoramic sunroof, auto-levelling for the headlights and a start/stop button instead of a conventional ignition key, while the remote central locking system includes keyless smart entry.

It is light, manoeuvrable and really easy to drive. It is also quite fun to drive.

With little real opportunity to put it to the test on twisty roads, there is not too much I can say about its high-speed handling. However, with the reputation Honda carries for that on its other vehicles, it is likely this small SUV will acquit itself well under pressure.

The range is backed by a 5-year/200 000 km warranty, as well as a 5-year/90 000 km service plan. Also included is a three-year AA Road Assist package. Scheduled services are at for the 1,5-litre turbo variants.

New date for SA WRX

The South African – and final round – of the 2019 World Rallycross Championship has been moved to the beginning of November in a reduced calendar for next season.

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Following an FIA World Motor Sport Council meeting in Saint Petersburg, Russia recently, World Rallycross Championship managing director Paul Bellamy announced a revised 2019 WRX calendar, which has effectively been reduced from 12 to 10 rounds.

As early as October the decision had been made the Portuguese round at Montalegre, Vila Real, had been dropped, to be replaced by a new season-opening ‘away fixture’ at Yas Marina in Abu Dhabi, while the German round at Estering would become a European championship-only standalone event.

The 11-round season was planned to end with the World Rallycross of Cape Town at Killarney International Raceway on November 30 and December 1, to accommodate the Killarney Motor Show on the first Sunday in November and the Toy Run on Sunday, November 24.

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Now, however, the United States round at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas on September 28 and 29 has been downgraded to a round of the American Rallycross series, “which World Rallycross teams will be welcome to compete in, but it will not be part of the World Championship”, says Bellamy.

“After consulting with the FIA and our World Championship teams we have decided to reduce the number of events in our 2019 calendar. This decision has been made to help control costs for the teams and ensure the series remains as competitive as possible. We are planning the return of the World Championship to the United States in 2021, when we add electric cars.”

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The World Rallycross of Cape Town at Killarney International Raceway has also been moved forward to the weekend of 9/10 November. This has had a knock-on effect, forcing the Western Province Motor Club to move its premier Killarney Motor Show up to October 27, just two weeks before the World Rallycross event.

On the upside, however, it has become possible to include an additional, ninth round of the Regional Power Series sponsored by Wingfield Motors on November 30, to provide an even more action-packed year for Western Cape motorsport fans.

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FIA World Rallycross Championship 2019:
1. Abu Dhabi – Yas Marina – 5/6 April
2. Spain – Catalunya – 27/28 April
3. Belgium – Spa-Francorchamps – 11/12 May
4. Great Britain – Silverstone – 25/26 May
5. Norway – Hell – 15/16 June
6. Sweden – Höljes – 6/7 July
7. Canada – Trois-Rivières – 3/4 August
8. France – Lohéac – 31 August/1 September
9. Latvia – Riga – 14/15 September
10. South Africa – Cape Town – 9/10 November

Road Review – Opel Grandland X 1.6T Enjoy A/T

Opel, which celebrates 120 years of automobile manufacture next year, has had a long history of producing cars that either innovate in their category or are out left-field of everyone else at the time and, in the latter case, one just has to remember the Opel Manta or the 2001 Zafira OPC that was then the fastest production-model van in Europe.

South Africans will remember the track antics on the Opel ‘Superboss’ Kadetts in the hands of Grant McCleery and Michael Briggs or the fact the brand has won the South African Car of the Year title four times – Monza 160 Gsi (1991), Kadett 140 (1994), Astra 160S (1995) and Astra (2017).

When General Motors first left the country, the Opel brand remained under the guidance of Delta Motor Corporation and when GM again pulled up stakes, it is the Opel brand that remains.

This longevity in this specific situation is a mirror of the company as a whole, formed by Adam Opel January 21, 1862 in Rüsselsheim to manufacture sewing machines. By entering the booming business of bicycle manufacture, Opel secures a second foothold for his company. The Opel sons were enthusiastic cyclists, winning several hundred races on Opel bicycles in the years up to 1898. In less than 40 years, Opel became the world’s largest bicycle producer.

Adam Opel died in 1895 at the age of 58. His wife Sophie assumed responsibility for running the business, with the support of her sons and in 1899 Opel Patent Motor Car, System Lutzmann was the name given to the first Opel automobile. It marked the beginning of production in Rüsselsheim, and formed the basis for building the first utility vehicles.

Within the year, the company made its international motor sport début and in 1901 Heinrich von Opel won the Königsstuhl hill climb near Heidelberg in an Opel Lutzmann – and the rest, as they say, is history.

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Like many other automakers, Opel did go through a period where it appeared to have lost is vim and vigour, producing bland and boring cars until it re-invented itself with the new Astra and started that move to left of field again with the Mokka.

The Grandland X, the third member of the ‘X’ family was launched in Frankfurt in 2017 to take on the booming ‘C’ segment of the SUV market that holds around 10% of the total share of vehicles sales today.

At 4477 millimeters long, 1 844 millimeters wide and 1 636 millimeters high, the Opel Grandland X certainly looks the part in a modern design style and is based on the PSA EMP2 platform, which refers to the collaboration with Peugeot, making it a 3008 underneath.

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In the front the Opel Blitz is flanked by chrome winglets that flow outwards to the slim, double-wing LED headlamps, while the hood features the signature Opel crease – an expression of the Opel design philosophy ‘Sculptural Artistry meets German Precision’.

The rear view of the Grandland X shows shows the wide stance, silver underride protection with integrated tailpipes on the left and right and above that protective cladding and slim LED taillights.

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Inside, the center stack has three horizontal rows of controls for access to infotainment, climate control and chassis functions. The interior surfaces feature high-class haptics, giving the driver and passengers a feeling of well-being and comfort in all seats.

Its long wheelbase of 2,68 m means it SUV has plenty of space for up to five people and the luggage compartment, with a load volume from 514 litres to a maximum of 1 652 litres. FlexFold seats disappear with a one hand movement and the 40:60 split ratio lets the user adapt the seating to their needs.

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The Grandland X has a 1,6-litre turbo petrol engine producing 121 kW and 240 Nm, mated to a 6-speed automatic gearbox.

Standard fare includes 360° surround vision via a camera in the front and one in the back, LED headlamps with Adaptive Forward Lighting and 30% brighter vision than with conventional headlamps, heated and ventilated ergonomic AGR front seats that adjust electrically in up to 16 ways, hands-free autonomous parking and the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible Radio R 4.0 IntelliLink infotainment system with an eight-inch colour touchscreen or voice control.

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It also offers Traffic Sign Recognition, Headlamp High-Beam Assist – Auto Control and Lane Departure Warning, features that are not always standard in this segment.

In terms of safety, anti-lock brakes, electronic brake distribution and a bundle of air-bags help to limit untoward events and keep the passengers safe.

On the road it is a smooth performer but, do not be fooled by the Turbo badging. It is not a road racer and the gearing is quite lazy, being tuned more for economy than speed and this, coupled with a bit of lag from the turbo means sedate cruising is the default mode.

The suspension is also wired towards comfort so the Grandland will tend to wallow a bit when forced into a corner – although it must be said, that aside, it remains comfortably neutral under pressure and will head towards where it is pointed after some initial understeer.

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Definitely a long-haul highway cruiser – a fact borne out by a fully-laden test session where it happily just muched away at the miles – the highway fuel data showing 7,1 l/100 km and our overall result in all road conditions 8,6 l/100 km.

The Opel comes standard with a 5-year/90 000 km Service Plan and a 5-year/120 000 km Warranty.

Range topper added to X-Class

Earlier this year Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) took the bold step of introducing a bakkie into its local portfolio. The X-Class was a highly anticipated introduction from the premium vehicle manufacturer.

This week, MBSA expanded the X-Class family by adding a range-leading X350d to the line-up. We spent a few hours driving around the Western Cape in the newcomer.

Mercedes-Benz X-Klasse – Exterieur X 350 d 4MATIC

Mercedes-Benz X-Klasse – Exterieur X 350 d 4MATIC

We are all, probably, already familiar with the X-Class X250d models. These all feature 2,3-litre inline four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine. There are two power outputs: 120 and 140 kW. You can choose between automatic and manual gearbox options.

The X350d boasts a turbo-charged, 3,0-litre V6 diesel engine. Adding two cylinders means more power and torque. Headline figures are 190 kW of power peaking at 3 400 r/min and a prodigious 550 Nm of torque from 1 400 r/min – 3 200 r/min.

A seven-speed automatic transmission is responsible for transferring power to the wheels. Power is permanently delivered to all four wheels via Mercedes’ 4Matic drivetrain. All V6 models feature a low range transfer case, with off-road specific calibration for the stability programme.

From an aesthetic and features point of view, the X350d does not differ markedly from its lesser-powered siblings. Were it not for the badges, this model would not be easy to differentiate from the X250d.

Mercedes-Benz komplettiert sein Pickup-Modellprogramm: Die X-Klasse mit V6-Motor und permanentem Allradantrieb – der Performance-Pickup für den sportlichen Lifestyle

Mercedes-Benz completes its pickup model range: The X-Class with V6 engine and permane

Inside, much the same can be said. The trim levels are similar to the X250d. This model is also available in Progressive and Power specifications; the latter is a bit of a misnomer as it does not boast any additional power.

The Progressive variant includes 17-inch alloy wheels, air vents in electroplated silver chrome, leather-lined steering wheel and Mercedes Audio 20 eight-speaker hi-fi all as standard.

The Power version includes a faux bash plate in the front bumper, a chrome-plated rear bumper, 18-inch alloys, LED headlamps, electrically adjustable seats, and multifunction touchpad infotainment interface.

Mercedes-Benz komplettiert sein Pickup-Modellprogramm: Die X-Klasse mit V6-Motor und permanentem Allradantrieb – der Performance-Pickup für den sportlichen Lifestyle

Mercedes-Benz completes its pickup model range: The X-Class with V6 engine and permane

Mercedes-Benz laid out a brilliant array of driving experiences for us at the local launch event. We tackled bits of the urban grind, plenty of motorway cruising, farmland B-roads, mountain passes and even a spot of off-roading thrown in for good measure.

The off-roading section, which took place early in the day, cast the V6 X-Class in a great light. With plenty of low-down torque, a rear diff’ lock and the low-range set of gears, the X350d made light work of any obstacle we put in its way.

From, side slopes to axle-twisters to skywards-facing inclines the X-Class hardly broke a sweat. We wonder if any owners will ever do the same, but it’s good to know that this near million-buck bakkie can venture far off the beaten path.

Later in the day we traversed the winelands region. On the open road the X350d is refined and well isolated from exterior noise, including its own engine. On this particularly windy Cape day the only intrusion we experienced was a bit of wind whistle around the large side mirrors housings.

As expected, there is plenty of overtaking grunt from the force-fed diesel motor. We could dispatch with slower traffic easily and safely. While the V6 X-Class does have paddle shifters on the steering wheel to select gears, the transmission does a good job on its own and we seldom found need to second guess its gear choice.

On a rough piece of mountain pass my co-driver did note that there seemed to be high levels of steering kick-back over mid-corner bumps, though we were travelling a tad quick at the time.

Mercedes-Benz komplettiert sein Pickup-Modellprogramm: Die X-Klasse mit V6-Motor und permanentem Allradantrieb – der Performance-Pickup für den sportlichen Lifestyle

Mercedes-Benz completes its pickup model range: The X-Class with V6 engine and permane

While we’d like to report that it feels car-like in execution, the reality is that a body-on-frame vehicle cannot match a unibody in terms of comfort. The ever-present discord between chassis and body, as experienced in all bakkies, is present here, too.

Priced at R904 188 for the Progressive and R973 188 for the Power, these two are the most expensive new bakkies on sale in South Africa today. The more expensive version trounces the nearest competitor, VW’s Amarok V6 by nearly R170 000, not chump change.

With that in mind, we do not think the price will be a deterrent for those who must have a Mercedes-Benz bakkie. The bragging rights of that V6 badge and Three-Pointed star will be too much for many to resist and there will be X350ds on our road in number that will surprise many people.

Report: Sudhir ‘Banzai’ Matai

Major upgrades for Santa Fe

Hot on the heels of the launch of the updated Hyundai Tucson, the company has released the fourth-generation Santa Fe in South Africa that features a new all-wheel drive system and eight-speed gearbox along with upgraded tech inside the cabin.

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This “ambassador for the brand’s new design language”, as Hyundai Motor Group’s new design chief Luc Donckerwolke refers to the new Santa Fe, was first launched in 2001 and 5 331 units have been sold in South Africa since then.

The new-generation Santa Fe is introduced in South Africa in three derivatives:
• Santa Fe R 2.2 Premium automatic (with front-wheel drive);
• Santa Fe R 2.2 Executive automatic (with front-wheel drive); and
• Santa Fe R 2.2 Elite automatic (with HTRAC all-wheel drive).

The new-generation Santa Fe features an advanced four-wheel drive system in the Elite derivative with an enhanced torque application depending on wheel grip and the speed of vehicle, called HTRAC. Hyundai’s next generation all-wheel-drive technology controls the torque distribution and braking power of the front and rear wheels variably. It supports drivers in all kinds of driving situations, whether on slippery roads or in regular road conditions and enhances stability in cornering.

The power for the new Santa Fe’s drivetrain comes from the 2,2-litre CRDi engine that delivers 142 kW maximum power and 440 Nm maximum torque. Linked to the newly developed 8-speed automatic gearbox, which is engineered with a transversal layout, it delivers enhanced fuel efficiency of 3% to 4%.

The new gearbox layout offers a more compact set-up and an increased gear span for enhanced performance and reduced fuel consumption. The gear ratio is widened by 18,3 %, resulting in an improved engine response during start and acceleration.

The fourth-generation Santa Fe offers one of the best-in-class safety packages and industry-first safety features. The innovative Rear Occupant Alert (in the Elite derivative) monitors the rear seats to detect passengers and alerts the driver when leaving the car. The Elite also comes with an Electronic Child Safety Lock.

The Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist ¬– a standard feature in the Executive and Elite derivatives – is a Hyundai first. When reversing out of areas with low visibility, the system not only warns the driver if vehicles approach from the rear side – it also applies the brakes automatically. The Executive and Elite also boasts a Blind Spot Detection system.

The Safety Exit Assist, also standard in the Executive and Elite derivatives, prevents accidents when vehicles approach from behind by temporarily locking the doors before being opened, so that passengers will exit the car safely.

All derivatives have anti-Lock Braking, ESP (Electronic Stability Program), DBC (Downhill Brake Control) and HAC (Hill start Assist Control).

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The new-generation Santa Fe benefits from superior rigidity through the application of high strength steel, high impact energy absorption and minimised distortion in order to protect passengers in the event of a collision.

Thanks to hot stamping being applied over an enlarged area along with larger weld diameters, the car’s overall weight is reduced while providing top-level crashworthiness. The Santa Fe features more high-strength steel than any other Hyundai vehicle with 57% – that is 15% above the previous model.

Around the interior of the Santa Fe a total of six air bags are installed (two front ai rbags, two side air bags and two curtain air bags from first to second row protecting both driver and passengers).

The 7-inch infotainment system in the Santa Fe – which is a standard feature in all three derivatives – integrates all media and connectivity features, allowing drivers to always stay tuned to the traffic ahead.

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The Display Audio offers customers accessible connectivity with the seven-inch high-resolution colour LCD touchscreen to connect their smartphones via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Passengers can also use the navigation applications of their smartphone, to be displayed on the touch screen. The system recognises the passenger’s voice allowing them to dictate messages or to make phone calls. The Display Audio also features an integrated rear-view camera with dynamic guidelines.
For further connection of customer’s devices, the Santa Fe comes standard with a USB port and an AUX jack.

The front introduces the Cascading Grille design that is complemented by the Composite Light – a design comprising LED Daytime Running Lights positioned on top of the headlights. The Elite and Executive have full LED headlights, while the Premium derivative is equipped with halogen lights. The Elite’s headlights have dynamic bending into a corner as an added feature.

The exterior dimensions make the new Santa Fe appear even more prominent. With a length of 4 770 mm, a width of 1 890 mm and a longer wheelbase of 2 765 mm, the Santa Fe has an even stronger stance on the road and provides more comfort for its passengers.

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The new Santa Fe increases comfort on short and long trips for passengers in the second and third row – even for adults. In the second row, leg room is increased by 38 mm and the seat is 18 mm higher. The new one-touch walk into the third row eases passenger access to these seats. Headroom in the third row has been improved by 22 mm.

Standard luggage capacity is increased by 31 litres to 547 litres behind the second row of seats, and can be extended to 1 625 litres with both the third and second row of seats folded down.

Pricing
The prices of the new Santa Fe range are:
• Santa Fe R 2.2 Premium automatic – R599 900
• Santa Fe R 2.2 Executive automatic – R659 900
• Santa Fe R 2.2 Elite automatic – R749 900.

All prices include Hyundai Automotive SA’s 7-year/200 000 km manufacturer’s warranty (consisting of the standard 5-year/150 000 km warranty plus the additional 2-year/50 000 km drivetrain warranty extension).

An additional part of the package is a 5-year/90 000 km service plan, and roadside assistance for 5 years or 150 000 km.

Top contenders named

The race is now on for the coveted title of South African Car of the Year with 12 finalists having been whittled out of a starting list of more than 20.

The list comprises vehicles from Italy, Japan, Korea, Germany, France and Sweden and, in keeping with the diverse South African automotive landscape, it covers almost every motoring genre.

George Mienie, AutoTrader CEO and sponsor for the event, believes it is fitting to see the spread of vehicle categories contained within the list of finalists.

“South African motorists have access to vehicles from all over the world and to every conceivable type. This is reflected in the list of finalists,” he says.

“The South African Guild of Motoring Journalists believes each and every finalist is a contender worthy of wearing the 2019 AutoTrader SA Car of the Year crown.

“The judges will have their work cut out for them when it comes to evaluating the finalists because they represent the crème de la crème of the crop, but we believe we have a jury that has vast experience in judging our competition.

“Colin Windell and Stuart Johnston are current jurors who were part of the Jury at the very first historic Car Of The Year Competition 33 years ago.”

Although the cars and price categories vary considerably, it must be emphasised the finalists are not judged against each other. Rather, each Juror has extensive data available to them allowing direct comparison of the competing vehicle against its peers in its own market niche.

As anticipated, voting revealed such close scores the SAGMJ increased the Finalists from 10 vehicles to 12 worthy contenders. They are, in alphabetical order:

1. Alfa Romeo Stelvio
2. Honda Civic Type R
3. Hyundai Kona
4. Lexus ES
5. Mercedes-Benz A-Class
6. Mitsubishi Pajero Sport
7. Nissan Micra
8. Porsche Cayenne
9. Renault Duster
10. Suzuki Jimny
11. Suzuki Swift
12. Volvo XC40

The 25 Jurors will be given the opportunity to drive all the finalist vehicles over the next three months under normal driving conditions experienced by the average consumer. The formal evaluation days that will be held in Gauteng in March 2019 will allow judges the opportunity to reacquaint themselves with the vehicles.

At these evaluation days – the most critical of which will be the scheduled procedures to be held at Kyalami – the COTY Jury will assess the cars independently, with routes and modules designed to test the vehicles on specific criteria. The Jury will also have access to performance test data, comparative pricing and specification data, as well as comparative parts pricing data.