Ford revamps the Figo

‘Cool’ might well be an adjective used to describe the updated Ford Figo – and apt expression as the name Figo is a colloquial Italian expression meaning . . .well, ‘cool’.

The Ford Figo was unveiled in Delhi in September 2009 based on the same small car platform used for the Ford Fiesta and resembled the mark 5 Fiesta but with revised front and rear treatments.

It was launched to the Indian market in March 2010 and released in South Africa in January 2013.

Now, Ford Motor Company is lifting its game in the compact car segment with an updated Ford Figo that gains a more sophisticated, upmarket appearance and improved specification levels.


“The Figo is an important model for Ford in South Africa, as it is represents the entry point for customers into the Ford brand,” says Tracey Delate, General Manager, Marketing at Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa.

“The latest model brings a fresh new look and equipment upgrades to the range, and we have rationalised the line-up to make it a more competitive and compelling choice in a segment where value for money and affordability are the primary purchase considerations.”

Significantly, in an economically constrained market, the car comes with a revised standard Service Plan that is upped to 4-years/60 000 km covering the vehicle for up to four services over a period of four years.

“With its great new styling, impressive levels of comfort and safety features, exceptional value and the segment-defining new Service Plan as standard, we expect the new Figo to be a strong contender in the important sub-B segment.”

At the front is an entirely new bumper design that houses a restyled honeycomb grille, reflecting the latest Ford design language. This is complemented by detailing for the front fog lamp surrounds, framed by accents that link the lower bezel to the upper section of the bumper.


There are chrome inserts in the headlamps and new dual-tone multi-spoke 14-inch alloy wheels for the Trend models and updated wheel caps for the Ambiente versions, which have 14-inch steel rims.

At the rear, the new Figo gets subtle changes to the tail light clusters, along with an all-new rear bumper design that gives the car a notably more contemporary character.


The interior has been updated with a cleaner design for the centre console and upper instrument panel that enhances ease of use.

The Ambiente is the entry-level model, and is available as a four-door sedan or five-door hatchback. It is equipped with electrically operated front windows with one-touch operation on the driver’s side, a factory-fitted immobiliser, electric power-assisted steering, tilt adjustment for the steering column and headlight level adjustment.

A built-in Ford Audio unit is standard with an integrated display and four speakers, offering Bluetooth connectivity, a USB slot, as well as Ford’s Device Dock in the upper section of the centre console for connecting and powering smart phone devices.

Driver and passenger air bags are standard, with anti-lock brakes with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD).

Additional features available on the Trend models, available in sedan or hatchback, extend to remote central locking, a belt minder for driver and front passenger, power rear windows with child lock, rear window defroster, perimeter anti-theft alarm, and a gear-shift indicator for manual models.


One of the new features of the Figo range is the 1,5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine that powers the entire line-up. This unit uses an aluminium engine block and cylinder head for reduced weight.

It also relies on twin independent variable camshaft timing (TiVCT) for the four-valves-per-cylinder engine to deliver improved low-down torque as well as top-end power. The fitment of a dual-stage variable oil pump further enhances efficiency, while reducing fuel consumption and emissions.

The 1.5 TiVCT engine is credited with a maximum power output of 88 kW and peak torque of 150 Nm and drives through a five-speed manual gearbox or a new high-tech six-speed automatic gearbox exclusively available on the five-door Trend hatch.

As a replacement for the previous PowerShift transmission, the six-speed version is a conventional torque converter automatic.


Figo 1.5 TiVCT Ambiente Hatch 5MT                      R181 300

Figo 1.5 TiVCT Trend Hatch 5MT                             R190 600

Figo 1.5 TiVCT Trend Hatch 6AT                              R205 700

Figo 1.5 TiVCT Ambiente Sedan 5MT                        R187 200

Figo 1.5 TiVCT Trend Sedan 5MT                            R196 000

All models come standard with Ford Protect, comprising a 4-year/120 000 km comprehensive warranty, 3-year/unlimited distance roadside assistance and five-year/unlimited km corrosion warranty. A 4-year/60 000 km service plan is included, with 15 000 km service intervals.




Still speaking Micra

It seems like yesterday Nissan’s little car was launched into South Africa with the pay line of “Do you speak Micra” – a kind of attempt at being really funky that failed where the car itself certainly did not – and now, we up to generation five and it is looking good.

The new Micra gets stepped up a notch to play at the upper end of the B-segment of the market, so it has undergone all the necessary tweaks of longer, lower and wider to fit right in, while the older Micra Active variant will remain as the contender in the lower end of the market.


Naysayers will quickly point to the core bits the new Micra takes from the Renault Clio and, while much of that is true, Nissan has given the new car its own identity with styling reflecting the more modern styling trend coming from the Japanese automaker – the front of the Micra looking familial with the recently launched and updated Leaf.

The new Nissan Micra has dynamic hatchback proportions and features a sculpted body with strong and sharp character lines visible from every angle.

From the front, the shortened bonnet design and reduced A-pillar angle create a poised silhouette. The narrow headlamps stretch through the front wings and include signature LED daytime running lights on every trim level. Halogen headlamps are standard on all grades. The lights frame Nissan’s familiar ‘V-motion’ grille, reinterpreted to complete the new Micra’s bold front-end design.

Below the car’s sloping roofline is the expressive character that runs the entire length of the new Micra’s body, dipping dramatically as it passes over the front door and sweeping upwards towards the rear. The black B and C-pillars create a floating roof effect, while the C-pillar is home to the discrete door handles, which provide access for rear passengers.

At the rear are the striking new boomerang-shaped light clusters. Below them is the sculpted bumper, which features a carbon-look finish as standard and hides the car’s exhaust pipe. Above is the sports-style rear roof spoiler, also standard to enhance aerodynamic performance. Together, these features create a recognisable motif for the back of the car.


Inside, it boasts two-tone soft-touch materials as standard across the range and the cabin is based around a T-shaped ‘gliding wing’ dashboard, with simple structures that create excellent space for the driver and front passenger. The instruments and controls have been grouped together for comfort, convenience and safety.

Special attention was given to the design of the front seats in order to provide continuous back support, helping to decrease driver fatigue on long journeys. The car’s width means enhanced elbow space for rear passengers, who also benefit excellent shoulder and knee room.

Boot capacity is a competitive 300 litres and delivered without compromising on rear passenger knee room. That figure expands to 1 004 litres when the 60:40 split rear seats are folded down.

There are three specification levels available – the Visia, the Acenta and the Acenta Plus. The Visia comes standard with 15-inch steel wheels, daytime running lights, front power windows, a manual air-conditioning, a Bluetooth and MP3 compatible audio system, cruise control, automatic headlights and six air bags.

The Acenta adds 16-inch alloy wheels, front fog lights among other features while the Acenta Plus has 17-inch alloy wheels, a leather steering wheel and an Energy Orange interior.

The 7-inch touch-screen colour display on the Acenta and Acenta Plus allows the driver to access features such as music, messages and maps through Apple CarPlay in addition to the MP3, USB and Bluetooth in the Visia model.

Every new Micra comes with six air bags as standard, plus seat belt warnings and seat belt height adjustment for the front and rear. Isofix child seats are standard in the new Micra, including in the front passenger seat. Electronic safety systems include Vehicle Dynamic Control, Anti-locking Braking System, Electronic Brake force Distribution and Hill Start Assist.


 There is one engine available at launch – the 66 kW, 140 Nm turbo-charged petrol engine.

Perhaps not the best day for auto journalists to be sampling a new product but the heavy rain in and around Cape Town was gleefully received by residents still in the grip of the worst drought in living memory.

This meant flooded roads and some route closures but not enough to deny most of us an opportunity to stretch the legs of the Micra and to be comforted by its willingness to respond and fairly perky performance, despite the sodden roads.


Bearing in mind this is a city runabout, the despite to punch above its fighting weight gave it a nice element of fun.

The new Micra has been built on Nissan’s existing V-platform and has been significantly enhanced to deliver new levels of performance. The new Micra provides exceptional stability and reduced body roll through corners thanks to its high body stiffness and advanced suspension. In addition, the low driving position promoted by the excellent ergonomics of the interior reduces the centre of gravity, further enhancing the secure driving feel. Responsive and accurate steering comes from a new brushless electric power unit, and provides a high degree of manoeuvrability.

As with all other Nissan vehicles, the Nissan Micra is covered by Nissan Assured and comes with a 6-year/150,000km warranty; a 3-year/90,000km service plan; and 24/7 roadside assistance.

 Nissan Micra Visia:                          R233, 500

Nissan Micra Acenta:                      R257, 400

Nissan Micra Acenta Plus               R272, 400


Hilux Dakar – talking tough

Toyota South Africa has an established history of commemorating Hilux models with special edition offerings – usually branded Legend – but its latest version is an aggressive looking interation aptly called the Dakar in honour of the racing vehicles it produces.

The Dakar limited edition sports an all-new face, featuring a more prominent trapezoidal grille and ‘squared-off’ design. The central focal point is the large gloss-black-honeycomb grille, which incorporates two horizontal sections – creating an image of strength.


The inner grille area is bordered by a metallic grey surround with three-dimensional appearance, which blends into the LED headlamps. A matching gloss-black accent strip on the bonnet and stylised Dakar insignia attached to the grille, complete the design.

The lower bumper also features a large honeycomb mesh pattern, extending to the sides of the vehicle, creating a sense of width. The new bumper design additionally includes intersecting horizontal and vertical fog lamp garnishes decked out in matching gloss black. The fog lamps themselves utilise LED elements for superb illumination. A metallic grey ‘skid plate’ provides the finishing touch to the bold new front facia.

In addition, the exterior sports a number of distinctive touches such as gloss-black treatment for the door handles and power-retractable side mirrors. The rear bumper is fashioned in grey, to tie in with the front design.

The interior features all-black treatment, with a black roof headliner (versus light grey on normal Raider), metallic black trim accent panels (silver on Raider) and black leather upholstery with light grey contrast stitching (fabric on Raider) – creating a sporty, premium space for occupants.


The infotainment system is upgraded to include Satellite Navigation, whilst the standard Bluetooth, USB and CD/DVD playback functionality is retained. The touch-screen system also includes an on-board trip computer and customisable home screen.

Dakar models receive a different instrument cluster, using white-faced gauges with orange needle pointers and bespoke graphics, emulating a toothed gear (cog) – to distinguish the Dakar from its normal brethren.

The LCD multi-information display also features a bespoke start-up graphic showing off the Dakar model’s exterior façade.

All Dakar models are based on Raider models and use the 2.8 GD-6 powertrain or 4,0-litre V6 (double-cab only). The 2,8-litre, four cylinder turbo-diesel engine produces 130 kW and 420 Nm in manual transmission guise. Automatic transmission-equipped variants receive a boost to 450 Nm. The V6 variant delivers 175 kW and 376 Nm.

Both rear-wheel and switch-on-the-fly four-wheel drive transaxles are offered, each available in either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission configuration – creating a matrix of four 2.8 GD-6 variants.

The manual gearbox includes a selectable iMT function (intelligent Manual Transmission), which provides rev-matching downshift and hesitation-free upshift functionality. The iMT feature also helps prevent accidental stalling of the engine.


Buyers can choose between either Xtra – or Double Cab configurations.

Xtra Cab Price
Hilux XC 2.8GD6 Raised Body Dakar MT R 470 300
Hilux XC 2.8GD6 Raised Body Dakar AT R 488 300
Hilux XC 2.8GD6 4X4 Dakar MT R 535 600
Hilux XC 2.8GD6 4X4 Dakar AT R 553 800
Double Cab  
Hilux DC 2.8GD6 Raised Body Dakar MT R 535 000
Hilux DC 2.8GD6 Raised Body Dakar AT R 553 400
Hilux DC 2.8GD6 4X4 Dakar MT R 601 100
Hilux DC 2.8GD6 4X4 Dakar AT R 621 000
Hilux DC 4.0 V6 4X4 Dakar AT R 662 700

Toyota has increased the service plan period on 2.8 GD-6 models from 5-year/90 000 kilometres to 9 services/90 000 kilometres, whilst the 4.0 V6 model receives an increase to a 6 services/90 000 kilometre period (previously 5 years).

The Warranty period is 3-year/100 000 kilometres and applies across the Hilux range.


Update BMW i3 launched

Improvements to the electrically driven BMW i3 include a mix of aesthetics, features and new digital services along with an additional model variant.


The BMW i3 has been the top-selling premium electric car in its class since 2014, although with just two units sold in South Africa in May and three in April, it has not yet established a foothold – so much so, the new model was launched in Johannesburg and Cape Town and not Durban because of the extremely low volume of sales in that city.

The new BMW i3 has a number of design tweaks and the trademark BMW i Black Belt running from the bonnet over the roof to the car’s rear end is now complemented by A-pillars and roof lines that also sport a black finish.

The front and rear aprons are restyled and there is a chrome-design trim strip running across the full width of the rear.

The new BMW i3 comes equipped with all-LED headlights as standard, which employ LED bulb units for dipped beam and high beam as well as the daytime running lights. The new turn signal indicators also feature LED technology and are integrated into the front apron in the form of horizontal strips.

The design principle of the four-seater model means there is no need for either fixed B-pillars or a transmission tunnel. Doors that open in opposite directions allow the occupants to get in and out with the greatest of ease.

The Loft, Lodge and Suite equipment lines are available for the new BMW i3 as alternatives to the standard Atelier version.

The Lodge interior design option includes a new covering for the seat surfaces in Solaric Brown that combines natural leather tanned using an olive leaf extract with a wool-based textile material. In fact, more than 80% of the surfaces visible to the passengers are made from recycled materials or renewable resources.

The synchronous electric motor powering the new BMW i3 generates a maximum output of 125 kW. Its peak torque is 250 Nm, all of which is available instantly from a standstill, as is usual with electric motors.

This means 0-100 km/h is achieved in 7.3 seconds. Its top speed is limited to 150 km/h.

Located low in the vehicle floor, the lithium-ion high-voltage battery provides a range of 290 km to 300 km based on the NEDC cycle, 235 km to 255 km as per WLTP and up to 200 km in everyday use. The combined electric power consumption of the new BMW i3 on the NEDC cycle varies between 13,6 and 13,1 kWh for every 100 kilometres.

The handling characteristics of the BMW i3 are improved by the optimised Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system. This comprehensively revised, faster responding traction control system guarantees confident handling under all driving conditions.

The BMW i3 now features a globally unique form of wheel speed limiting that ensures increased directional stability, both under dynamic acceleration and on the overrun with strong regenerative braking.

A 28 kW two-cylinder range extender petrol engine is available as an option. The engine drives a generator that produces power as required while driving to maintain a constant level of charge in the high-voltage battery. This extends the car’s overall range in everyday use by 150 kilometres, increasing it from around 180 kilometres to a maximum of 330 kilometres. The all-electric range of the new BMW i3 with range extender is 225 to 235 kilometres as per NEDC and 190 to 200 kilometres as per WLTP.

On the NEDC cycle, the new BMW i3 with range extender returns combined consumption figures of 0,6 l/100 km.

The optional Parking Assistance package includes Park Distance Control, a reversing camera and the Parking Assistant. Once a suitable parking space parallel to the road has been selected, the Parking Assistant takes control of acceleration, braking, gear selection and steering.

The new BMW i3 comes with an updated version of the iDrive operating system, which provides an intuitive interface for controlling numerous vehicle, infotainment, communications and navigation functions. In vehicles equipped with the Navigation system Professional, the Control Display has a diagonal of 10,25 inches and an increased resolution of 1 440 × 540 pixels. The main menu is also presented in the form of horizontally arranged tiles with a live mode.

The voice recognition system has also been further optimised. With the aid of Natural Language Understanding, spoken instructions can now be executed more quickly and precisely.

Charging at home is extremely user-friendly thanks to the BMW i Wallbox which, in its most recent incarnation, can supply 11 kW of power to charge the high-voltage battery. This allows enough energy for an electric range of around 180 kilometres to be transferred in under three hours – five times quicker than with the standard charging cable.



Real numbers

Even technology and online selling have not quite eliminated the image of the used car dealer as some sort of badly dressed, shadowy figure whose ‘hail fellow well met’ toothy greeting is actually some sort of harbinger of doom.

When it comes to trading in your car, it is vital to have an accurate idea of what it is really worth and True Price, launched today offers motorists a precise and realistic evaluation of the value of their vehicle.

The prices are based on data garnered at thousands of vehicle auctions. Significantly, these evaluations are available FREE OF CHARGE to motorists.

Darryl Jacobson, one of the South African automotive industry’s most well-known personalities, is back! This time around, he’s not auctioning vehicles. Instead, he aims to answer one of the most often-asked questions in the motor industry: what is my car worth?

“We envisage True Price will be used by millions of South African motorists. Dealers and auctioneers will find True Price to be an invaluable resource too,” says Jacobson.

Two things are truly significant about True Price. Firstly, it is a world first. “We have not been able to find any other company on the planet that offers the same service,” confirms Jacobson.

Secondly, motorists can get the evaluations Free Of Charge.

“This is a service that we are providing to the motoring public. For too long now, motorists have had no clue what their wheels are worth. We are aiming to change this,” Jacobson says.

He has three partners in the business: his wife Moira, son Adam (a qualified actuary) and daughter-in-law Riki (a qualified chartered accountant). Together with his partners, Jacobson has been attending auctions and gathering data. “We’re constantly adding to what is already a massive database of prices attained on auction,” he explains.

In conjunction with the gathering of data, the True Price team has established an easy-to-use website. “We have made it as simple to use as possible. Motorists just need to go onto the site – located at There is no need to waste lots of time registering. It’s quick and easy! Then they can submit an enquiry online. Within 24 hours, we will give them the real value of their car,” explains Jacobson.

He has launched True Price because he’s been asked about resale values thousands of times. “It is a question that i’ve been asked over and over again: what are my wheels worth? True Price will provide the answer to that question,” Jacobson explains.

He believes the sales prices achieved on auction are a true indication of what a car is worth.

“Nowhere else can you get such a realistic valuation – because these are actual recorded sales. I do not believe that any other database is as meaningful as ours,” he contends.

Jacobson envisages True Price will be welcomed by South African motorists. “When selling your car, knowledge is power. When trading in your car, it is enormously valuable knowing the precise value of your car – because then you can interact with the dealer with authority. Obviously, the same applies if you’re selling your car privately; you need to know what it’s worth – so that you can market it at the correct price.

“Finally, motorists have access to this knowledge; thanks to True Price, they will know the exact, realistic value of their wheels,” he concludes.


New challenger in town

There is a new hot-hatch speedster in town intent on giving the other regulars in this community more than just food for thought – but, the new Renault Clio RS 18 means more to the brand than just being a quick car.

Unashamedly making the link between the race track and the road, CLIO RS 18 bears the same name as the Renault F1 race car competing in Formula 1. It also features the same iconic colour scheme as the Renault Sport F1 Team car, namely its Deep Black cloak and accented Liquid Yellow.


Clio RS 18’s exclusive styling is also reflected in the Renault Sport decals added to the door panels and the roof. The blacked out badging and rear diffuser contrasted by the yellow details on the side strips, front blade and wheel caps make the overall look even more radical. The doorsills on this limited edition model also reveal a unique number for that added acclaim.

However, with changes across the range, this flagship derivative also signifies an achievement peak for the small car that is now the world’s all-time best-selling French car with more than 13-million sales since launching in 1990.

It made its debut into South Africa in 2000 and the the Clio 4 model has sold more than 25 800 units since its introduction.

The new Renault Clio represents the first production model to get the design direction advocated by Laurens van den Acker, Renault’s Senior Vice-President for Corporate Design, as expressed in the concept car, DeZir, unveiled at the 2010 Paris Motor Show.

This involves a distinctive front-end styling featuring a bolder version of the diamond-shaped logo, enhanced by the low the new Pure Vision LED headlights on the flagship models.

Inside, the versatile R&Go application is available within the Clio Authentique. This easy-to-use and customisable interface offers access to advanced technology even from the entry level of the Renault Clio range.

Developed to enhance the driving experience, R&Go is a smartphone/tablet multifunction application that adds functionality to the vehicle, allowing access to four different universes:  Multimedia, phone, vehicle and navigation.

The rest of the Clio range comes standard with Renault’s MediaNav integrated navigation/multi-media system with large 18 cm touchscreen display.

 Renault’s new generation F1-inspired 66 kW and 88 kW Turbo petrol engines optimise power and performance and,in line with consumer demand, an 88kW Auto (EDC) engine is also available in the Expression derivative.

The 66 kW Turbo engine has an output of 135 Nm, with claimed fuel consumption from only 5,5 l/ 100 km and 126 g/km CO2 emissions, whilst the 88 kW 1.2 Turbo engine delivers 190 Nm torque with fuel efficiency from 5,2 l/ 100 km and CO2 emissions of 120 g/km.

 Clio achieved a five star EuroNCAP rating, with features and equipment, such as ESP,anti-lock braking, EBD + Brake Assist, D+P+S airbags and power windows as standard across the entire range.

The Clio RS 18 is powered by a 1,6-litre turbo-charged engine, featuring a lowered and stiffened Trophy chassis – front suspension featuring hydraulic compression stops and an Akrapovic exhaust system.


Clio RS 18 has Launch Control fand a range of track oriented features including the RS Drive button that gives access to three modes: Normal, Sport and Race.  According to the mode, RS Drive alters the mapping of the gearbox, ESC behaviour, steering and the sensitivity of the accelerator pedal. Multifaceted and versatile.

The engine delivers 162 kW at 6 050 r/min and torque of 280 Nm is reached from just 2 000 r/min and drives through the EDC 6-speed dual-clutch gearbox. Fuel consumption is claimed at 5,9 l/ 100 km.

Standard features include onboard navigation via the 7-inch touchscreen, with a range of other easy-to-use one touch functionalities – Multimedia, radio and telephone systems with Bluetooth connectivity – cruise Control and rain sensors

As with Renault’s entire range, the Clio models come standard with a 5-year/150 000km mechanical warranty and a 6-year anti-corrosion warranty. The Clio range also offers a standard 3-year/45 000 km service plan with the RS being 3-year/ 30 000 km. Service intervals are set at 15 000km, with RS models at 10 000 km.


  • New Clio 66kW Turbo Authentique 5dr            R211 900
  • New Clio 66kW Turbo Expression 5dr              R229 900
  • New Clio 66kW Turbo Dynamique 5dr             R246 900
  • New Clio 88kW Turbo EDC Expression 5dr       R269 900
  • New Clio 88kW Turbo GT-Line 5dr                   R269 900
  • New Clio RS 18 F1 (Incl. Metallic Paint)        R449 90      

Road Impressions – Mitsubishi ASX 2.0 GLS CVT

Barely a year after doing a full refresh of the local Mitsubishi ASX range, the flagship model – the 2.0 GLS CVT – had its makeup retouched to give it a more upmarket look.

This involved a new front grille design with added chrome garnish, revised bumper design with a sporty honeycomb pattern above the lower spoiler, fitment of LED daylight running lights (DRL), rear diffuser and a LED rear fog lamp.


Other cosmetic changes included a redesigned centre console with decorative trim in a geometric pattern of brightwork featuring two USB ports and a mobile phone tray with removable padded liner. Changes to the design and materials used in the centre console, the dashboard centre panel and power window switch panels were also made.

Mitsubishi has also redesigned the CVT shift lever, included a new seat design with red stitching, as well as soft-touch knee pads on the outside of the centre console along with 18-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels and a new silver body colour with enhanced brightness.


The most important single feature of this model is the gearbox – now the newest version of Mitsubishi’s INVECS-III CVT with 6-step Sports Mode.

My feelings about CVT gearboxes remain unchanged and undiluted. They are not my favourite. However, this effort from Mitsubishi is one of the best I have driven in recent years and manages to fairly intelligently find the right gear at the correct time with a minimum of that frantically annoying CVT whine.

Even better is when it is clicked over to Sport mode. The ASX then gets quite lively and it feels as if the gearbox is trying to work in tandem with driver throttle input – enough that I believe it should come with flappy paddles as standard fitment.

The Mitsubishi ASX is powered by a 2.0 MIVEC petrol engine. This engine is equipped with Mitsubishi’s Innovative Valve Timing Electronic Control System (MIVEC) and multi-point injection that produces 110 kW at 6 000 r/min and 197 Nm of torque at 4 200 r/min.

Despite being a ‘revvy’ engine an average fuel consumption of 7,6 l /100 km is achievable. Fitted with a 63 litre tank, this gives the ASX a range of around 800 km.

Sitting just shy of R420 000, the ASX is compeitively priced in a crowded market and it offers a soft-feel leather interior including a leather-covered multi-function steering wheel.

It boasts a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating and, like all, ASX models features Mitsubishi’s proprietary Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution (RISE) body shell, seven air bags, ISOFIX child restraint mountings and a range of dynamic safety systems that include anti-lock braking, electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) and emergency brake assistance (BAS).

The GLS CVT also comes standard with Active Stability and Traction Control (ASTC) and Hill Start Assist (HSA).

Other standard features include a chromatic rearview mirror, a rearview camera, rear Park Distance Control, heated and fold-away side mirrors with built-in indicator lights, LED daytime running lights and a keyless Operating System.

It is fitted with a full-length panoramic glass roof with a UV protective coating and one-touch cover, as well as adjustable LED mood-lighting for every occasion.

Luxury features  on offer are Bluetooth with voice control, cruise control, a multi-function steering wheel, power windows, air-conditioning, rain-sensing wipers and a Rockford Fosgate sound system.

Not too shabby at all.

The ASX is a pleasant space in which to be. Seating is comfortable – firm enough to constrain when press on mode is engaged and supportive enough to minimise fatigue on the long-haul runs. Steering on our test unit was precise with enough feedback at speed to allow confident entry to tight corners.

With a wheelbase still short enough to respond quickly to steering commands, it fits the desciption of ‘nippy’ rather well, yet does not compromise on front or rear seat space to achieve this.

As with the rest of the ASX range, the GLS CVT is covered by a 3-year / 100 000 km manufacturer’s warranty and a 5-year /90 000 km service plan with 15 000 km service intervals.