Tweaks for Suzuki Vitara

There is a completely new look – but same price – for the Suzuki Vitara for 2019 with new headlamps and a redesigned grille contributing to a fresh a more modernised look for the off-roader that has sold some 1 700 units locally since its introduction in 2015.

In front, new clear headlamp clusters flank a redesigned grille with horizontal slats and a large Suzuki S badge. Lower down, the bumper features a trapezoidal air intake with deep-set fog lamps (on certain models). For the GLX specification level, the main driving lights are LED.

Suzuki Vitara 128

The vertical LED daytime running lights are enclosed in a new J-shaped chrome insert (black on the GL spec level), which extends from the edges of the black number plate housing to the top of the fog lamps and the optional silver scuff plate and side mouldings now integrate with the new bumper design, both in front and at the rear.

At the rear, the new combination lamp is fitted with LED lights that mimic the daytime running lights in the front and on the GLX, the front and rear bumpers are fitted with flush mounted parking sensors.

Suzuki Vitara 130

Inside, the upper instrument panel is now made from soft touch materials and on the GLX specification level there is a new seat trim material that is both more luxurious and hardy. On the GL+ model, the designers have replaced the black stitching on all seats with contrasting white stitching and on the GLX specification level, the seats are covered with a combination of luxury suede and synthetic leather.

For the driver, Suzuki has fitted the GL+ and GLX models with a new 4,2-inch full colour LCD information display and a 3,5-inch monochrome LCD on the GL specification level. This screen displays information such as driving range, average speed, outside temperature, a gear shift indicator and, on AllGrip models, the selected Driving Mode.

Suzuki Vitara 148

Suzuki added a second large screen in its new Smart Linkage Display Audio system, which replaces the more traditional analogue system on the GL+ and GLX models. This new touchscreen system features smartphone integration, built-in Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and Bluetooth connectivity. It will display the reverse camera image in full colour.

Standard features include power windows (front only on the GL model), central locking, air-conditioner with pollen filter, power steering and foldable rear seats.

For the GL+ and GLX spec levels, Suzuki added climate control, cruise control, a multifunction steering, all-round power windows and chrome detailing. The GLX model gets a unique instrument panel trim, keyless access with push-button Start/Stop and an electric tilt and sliding panoramic sunroof flanked by chromed roof rails.

All models come with seven crash bags (including one for the driver’s knees), electronic stability control (ESP) and anti-lock brakes with emergency brake assistance.


Powering the Suzuki Vitara is the 1.6 VVT petrol engine, which delivers 86 kW at 6 000 r/min and 156 Nm at 4 400 r/min and it is mated to the choice of a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic gearbox and offered either as front-wheel drive or with the AllGrip all-wheel drive system.

The refreshed Vitara will be sold with Suzuki’s promotional 200 000 km / 5-year vehicle warranty. It also has a 4-year / 60 000 km service plan and roadside assistance for the duration of the vehicle warranty.


Suzuki Vitara GL (manual): R281 900
Suzuki Vitara GL+ (man): R318 900
Suzuki Vitara GL+ (auto): R337 900
Suzuki Vitara GLX (auto): R359 900
Suzuki Vitara GLX AllGrip (man): R374 900


Cape Town show revs up

It is motor show time again with the Cape Town Motor Show (CTMS) ready to open its doors at GrandWest Casino and Entertainment Worl from March 2 to March 3.

Here are just 10 of the awesome reasons to get to the Cape Town Motor Show.

1. Dare a Drift flip or Go With a Pro at Driftkhana
The highly-specialised skill of drifting will be on full-throttle display with all the spectacular action hosted by XS Promotions. For those who want to do more than to simply watch the wheel-spinning and tyre-smoking, there’s the opportunity to take a drift flip, or even go with a pro as passenger at the Driftkhana event, where obstacles are added into the mix. Tickets to both can be purchased separately via Computicket or at the show.

1.Drifting_photo Darren Townsley

2. View and Test the New Models in The Grand Arena
The Grand Arena is the place to see the very best new models and concepts from the top manufacturers in South Africa. Joining us this year are Maserati, BMW, Shelby, Lexus, Mazda, Toyota, Suzuki, amongst others. Best of all, several of the brands will offer test drives on-site. What are you still even thinking about?

2. Grand Arena

3. Rock with Dusty Rebels and The Bombshells and The Miss Bombshell Betty Pageant
After their wildly popular debut at CTMS last year, Dusty Rebels and the Bombshells will be back, offering visitors an experience of the good old days of vintage 40s, 50s and 60s Rock n Roll style. Check out the cars, the fashion and the music of the era, and make a point of attending the Miss Bombshell Betty pageant, hosted by the always-delightful Blue Haired Betty on Sunday 3 March at 2pm.

3. Bombshell Betty

4. Challenge the 4×4 Challenge Tracks
The Wildebeest 4×4 Challenge Club hosts the ever-popular 4×4 track on both Saturday and Sunday, built for all classes of vehicles to challenge technical skills as well as different vehicle capabilities. Saturday’s highlight will be the Extreme 4×4 Challenge, so come and see how these extraordinary 4x4s ramp and jump their way through the highly technical course, or join as a passenger to experience the thrill first-hand.

4.Wildebeest4x4 Challenge

5. Kit up in The Sun Exhibits Hall
There are lots of extras that go with being a car owner. And it will pay to visit the Sun Exhibits Hall, where all the dealers and suppliers that make motoring such a personal pleasure will be offering deals and discounts on products like insurance, parts, accessories, apparel, collectors’ items and gear.

5. Sun Exhibits Hall

6. Get the Full VIP Zone Experience
The much-desired VIP ticket gets you some special treatment this year. Besides access to the exclusive VIP area in the Sun Park, you receive a light lunch, drinks vouchers, a drift ride from the folks at XS promotions, a 4×4 drive experience from the Wildebeest Challenge Club, a CTMS cap and shirt, with an entry to win the amazing custom MG build by Cape Kustoms. A great all-round CTMS experience for just R950 via Computicket.

7. Enter the Show & Shine Stancewars
Leading audio experts Soundmatch will deliver a world class Show & Shine event called Stancewars on Sunday 3 March, with a wide range of the finest cars showcasing custom builds. Anyone can enter their pride and joy at any Soundmatch branch around the city. Prizes on offer include Best Wheel, Best Classic Car, Best Interior, Best Race Theme, and others.

8. Join the Sound Off Competition and World Record Attempt
Soundmatch will also host an internationally recognised Sound Off audio competition in association with IASCA (the standard by which mobile electronics performance is measured). The louder the sound, the greater the chance to win, and the aim this year is to beat the world record for collective volume. There are limited entries, though, at R200 per car. Enter at any Soundmatch branch around Cape Town.

9. Time Travel in the Market Hall Nostalgia Zone
The Nostalgia Zone has been so popular with visitors, it has been given the entire Market Hall this year. Join the Crankhandle Club for a trip down automotive memory lane, with its vehicles dating as far back as the early 1900s. Check out some of the most rare and unique motor vehicles in the world, including beautifully restored models and the products that make it possible for these classics to be brought back to their original or showroom conditions.

9. The Nostalgia Zone

10. Enter the Ultimate Classic Car Giveaway
A highlight for true classic fans is the opportunity to drive away with a custom rebuild of a 1970s era MGB GT. This special project boasts a complete rebuild, some unique Cape Kustoms elements and a 3,9-litre Rover V8 motor. Enter to win by purchasing some CTMS merchandise at the MG display, and look out for the additional bike giveaway, details of which are yet to be revealed.

10. MG build by Cape Kustoms

Opel celebrates 120 years

To help celebrate 120 years of Opel production, Unitrans (the Opel distributors in South Africa) is bringing the Opel Corsa Special Edition to market in March.

The Opel Corsa 120Y Special Edition is based on the Corsa Enjoy but boasts many extra styling and specification features including the New Tech Pack III with Front/Rear Park-Assist and Rear-View Camera; Window Side Lower Beltline with Chrome Moulding; ‘Opel’ Door Sill Plate; Up-market ‘Allure’ Jet Black Cloth Trim and Velour Floor Mats (Black with ‘120 Years’ Stitching).


The Opel brand has a reputation spanning well over a century of pioneering high-tech advancements and quickly bringing them to series production. This approach to vehicle manufacturing makes mobility affordable for many and Opel cars safer, cleaner, more comfortable and more practical.

The 120 years advertising campaign, ‘Opel. Born in Germany. Made for everyone’ is based on this philosophy. Today this philosophy matches the Opel Corsa more than any other model in its category.

More than 13,5-million Corsas have been produced worldwide since 1982. The Opel Corsa thus plays a leading role in Opel’s 120 year anniversary.

The Opel Corsa in general and the Corsa ‘120 Years’ in particular, show it is a core Opel brand characteristic to always offer customers more than they expect in the respective vehicle categories in which Opel competes.


Opel has been in South Africa for more than 80 years and has the positive reputation of always offering luxury level specifications that stamps a German-engineered punch high above their price category.

Tech heavy Micra added to range

Nissan has tweaked its Micra offering with the addition of the Acenta Plus Tech that incorporates Nissan Intelligent Mobility (NIM) technology.

One of the features are the four 360-degree cameras around the car connected to the large screen on the dashboard, giving an Intelligent Around view monitor.


There is also Moving Object Detection which keeps an eye around the car and warns about moving things – trolleys, pedestrians – detected nearby.

Blind Spot Warning boosts vision by alerting the driver if there are vehicles in the blind spots diagonally behind the car, while Intelligent Forward Emergency Braking monitors the vehicle in front and beeps loudly if the gap narrows too much. If the driver does not react to that, it will slow the car down to avoid collision.

The new Nissan Micra Acenta Plus Tech model is compatible with Apple Carplay and Android Auto, and, once connected, allows access to maps with turn-by-turn navigation, music, telephone services and other apps such as Audiobooks and Spotify – and, it comes with a dedicated Siri button on the steering wheel.


Driving tech includes Hill Start Assist which holds the vehicle when stationary, Intelligent Trace Control which delivers confident handling around corners as it adjusts the brake pressure on individual wheels to help keep an optimal line through turns and Intelligent Ride Control, which applies subtle braking to prevent unpleasant upper body motion over bumps and enhance the overall comfort of the ride.


The Nissan Micra Acenta Plus Tech comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, a leather steering wheel and an Energy Orange interior. It also includes, like the rest of the Micra vehicles in the new range, daytime running lights, front power windows, a manual air-conditioner, cruise control, automatic headlights, six crash bags and much more.

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

Nissan Micra Acenta Plus Tech: R299, 900

Hino Crew Cabs arrive

The Crew Cab variants of the Hino 500 Wide Cab range have arrived with options being a 6-speed manual gearbox or a 6-speed Allison automatic.

This ups the Hino 500 Wide Cab range to 14 with the addition of the two 1627 Crew Cab derivatives, that provide seating for seven people, including the driver.

Hino 500 CC ext

“The Hino 500 Wide Cab range, which was introduced to South Africa at the end of 2017, has been well accepted in the market and now we can fill requirements in another niche segment with the arrival of the Crew Cab models,” says Ernie Trautmann, the Vice President of Hino SA.

“We see the new additions appealing to municipalities, removal companies, tow truck operators as well as the construction and mining industries.”

The Crew Cabs are well specified, with standard equipment including air-conditioning, power windows, audio system, cruise control and hill start-assist on the manual model.

Hino 500 CC int

The Hino 1627 Crew Cab outperforms its direct competitor with a more powerful engine, fully automatic transmission, higher GVM of 16 000 kg, full air braking system, much bigger fuel tank, tighter turning circle and far better gradeability.

New Koleos makes its mark

The look is decidedly different to its predecessor and the new Renault Koleos reflects the worldwide reshaping of the SUV to being more than merely functional to being the premier brand statement for the company.

“New Koleos completes the styling renaissance of the Renault range that began with Clio in 2012. As a designer, the challenge was to imagine an SUV that was not only elegant, but also dynamic and modern,” says Laurens van den Acker, Senior Vice President, Corporate Design.


“To achieve this, instead of diluting the traits traditionally associated with SUVs, we accentuated the segment’s familiar cues thanks to taut, powerful, horizontal lines, along with muscular haunches and high ground clearance. New Koleos subsequently exudes an inner strength. It is every inch an SUV and every inch a Renault.”

Visual design features include bright chrome front-end embellishments extending from the headlight across the full length of the wing to visually lengthen the bonnet and ensure that New Koleos stands out, narrower body fitting and sharp creases, tail lights that wrap over the rear wings and the chrome insert set into the lower part of the rear bumper.

The front and rear lights of the Koleos replicate the full LED lighting signature, that is now instantly distinguishable as part of the new Renault design language. The C-shaped Daytime Running Lights extend beyond the headlight units themselves and, dependent on the version, it is available with Pure Vision Full LED main and dipped beam lights.


The driving position ensures excellent visibility, an important feature for SUV buyers andt he large, vertical, centrally-positioned dashboard display (up to 8,7-inch) is fully integrated and the leather upholstery and leather-trimmed armrests feature contrasting top stitching.

In addition to having one of the longest wheelbases in its class, its wheelbase (2,710 mm/ overall length: 4,670 mm) frees up record roominess for all occupants. Rear passengers benefit from 289 mm knee room plus extremely generous head room, shoulder room and elbow room,

With a 5-star Euro NCAP Safety rating. Renault Koleos offers six crash bags, satellite sensors to detect lateral impact early, G Sensors – 2 on the side, and 1 on the front.

Passive Safety is provided anti-lock braking with EBD, cornering fog lights, blind spot warning and park assist.

The ALL MODE 4×4-i transmission available for New Koleos features technology that has been proved on millions of Renault’s Alliance vehicles worldwide. This all-wheel drive system permanently monitors grip levels to guarantee optimal traction whatever the conditions.

Unlike many competitor models, New Koleos continues to feature a control switch that allows drivers to choose the transmission mode. Very easy to use, it is situated to the right of the steering wheel and enables the driver to select one of three modes, namely 2WD, 4WD AUTO or the exclusive 4WS LOCK.


Unlike former CVT transmissions, New Koleos’s X-Tronic transmission performs more like a multi-ratio automatic whenever the driver needs to accelerate quickly. Thanks to its variable ratios, X-Tronic transmission proposes an infinite number of gears to ensure engine revs and load are constantly optimised for efficient fuel consumption and low noise levels.

Koleos is available in two trim levels – Expression and Dynamique – and is powered by a 2,5-litre petrol engine with a power output of 126 kW, 233Nm of Torque, CO2 emissions of 188g/100km and controlled fuel consumption from 8,8 l/100km.

As is the case across Renault’s entire product range, the New Renault Koleos comes standard with a 5-year/150 000 km mechanical warranty; plus a 5-year/ 90 000 km service plan and a 6-year anti-corrosion warranty, with service intervals at 15 000 km.


Koleos Expression 2.5 CVT 4×2 R 399 900
Koleos Dynamique 2.5 CVT 4×2 R 439 900
Koleos Dynamique 2.5 CVT 4×4 R 479 900

Lexus adds an urban crawler to its range

Lexus has kept its model choice and range expansion quite subtle over the years but, ensuring it placed new models into new market segments for the luxury brand – the latest being the UX compact crossover or, as it says “Urban X-over”.


“The Lexus UX is designed for the modern urban explorer seeking a fresh, contemporary and dynamic take on luxury driving,” says Glenn Crompton, Vice President of Lexus Sales and Marketing. “The UX is designed to appeal to young buyers who seek not only what is new and exciting, but what is also relevant to their lifestyles.”

The 2019 UX is the first Lexus constructed on the new Global Architecture Compact (GA C) platform that features a lightweight yet super-rigid structure, extremely low center of gravity and refined suspension tuning.

“Lexus wanted to positively overturn the image of a crossover with a high body that requires careful manoeuvring, and offer a car with nimble performance and excellent manoeuvrability that makes it as easy to drive as a sedan,” says Chief Engineer Kako, Executive Vice President of Lexus International.

The 2019 Lexus UX is available in two FWD versions: the UX 200 introduces a new 2,0 litre, four-cylinder engine coupled with a new Direct Shift Continuously Variable Transmission (D CVT), while the UX 250h pairs a higher-efficiency version of the 2,0 litre petrol engine with a new fourth-generation hybrid drive system engineered specifically for this platform. The model range also includes an F Sport model in 200 guise.


The spindle grille, though sharing its basic form with other Lexus models, is unique to the UX. It features a new block-shape mesh pattern with individual elements that gradually change in shape as they radiate out from the central Lexus emblem. The grille creates an intriguing three-dimensional appearance that changes with the viewing angle.

Daytime running lights arranged in an arrowhead motif above the headlights complement the Lexus L-shaped lighting signature. These appear like brows above the standard single-projector dual-beam LED headlights.

The full-width rear lights project a distinctive night-time signature formed by a sequence of 120 LEDs tapering toward the center, measuring just 3 mm thick at its narrowest point.

The wheel arch moldings that protect the body from gravel thrown up by the tyres, use airflow over their edges to reduce turbulence and lift, contributing to the vehicle’s stability.


A similar contribution is made by the rear combination lamps. Unique Aero Stabilising Blade Lights begin at the top of the rear fenders and span the rear of the vehicle. By guiding airflow around the rear of the UX, this design also reduces turbulence and lift, benefiting vehicle stability when cornering and driving in crosswinds.

The standard 5-spoke 18 x 6,5 inch aluminium alloy aero ventilating wheels feature Gurney flaps along the spoke edges designed to reduce wind resistance while also increasing the airflow to cool the disc brakes. The design pulls air from the inside of the wheel, while the air flow on the outer side of the vehicle is regulated to follow the wheel surface.

The F Sport package is available exclusively in UX 200 guise. Bespoke F Sport suspension tuning includes specific springs and stabiliser bars, plus a rear performance damper for a more refined ride. The 18 inch, five twin-spoke aluminium alloy wheels unique to the F SPORT are even more rigid than standard UX wheels, contributing to responsiveness and handling agility.


The F Sport comes standard with a UX-tailored version of the new high-response Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) system that debuted on the Lexus LC and LS flagship coupé and sedan. The system increases damping force to minimise roll when cornering or changing lanes and reduces damping force in straight-line driving to preserve ride quality. With AVS, the vehicle’s Drive Mode Selector adds the Sport S+ mode which activates the system. (This is discussed in detail later in this release.)

The F Sport transformation includes an exclusive grille design featuring a mesh-pattern created by individual L-shaped pieces. The exclusive F Sport front bumper features large fog lamp bezels with L-shaped chrome moldings and the same mesh pattern as the grille. A revised rear bumper and jet-black trim on the front and rear moldings complete the F Sport look.

F Sport-exclusive interior features include front sports seats made with an integrated-foaming technique first developed for Lexus F models. The digitally-rendered instrument meter features a movable virtual ring inspired by the Lexus LFA supercar. A leather-covered F SPORT steering wheel, leather-trimmed shift knob, eight inch TFT colour display, aluminium pedals and footrest are also part of the package.


The UX offers 6-way manual (UX 200 EX) or 8-way power-adjustable (F Sport and Hybrid) front seats, the latter with adjustable lumbar support for the driver.

Lexus luxury extends throughout the UX cabin. The three-spoke steering wheel and analogue clock come from the Lexus LS and Lexus Climate Concierge, as used in other Lexus models, automatically links heating and cooling airflow with the heated and ventilated seats to optimise interior temperature comfort.

Lexus UX Chief Engineer Kako, drew on her extensive experience in materials development and time spent working in Europe to help define the UX interior’s appearance and quality. The result is an uncluttered ‘less is more’ approach that makes the UX feel more inviting and accessible.

“When it comes to determining whether an interior is good or bad, controlling the overall balance between the continuity, unity and contrast is more important than the relative specifications of individual components,” she says.

The UX instrument panel design combines unique Lexus traits and intuitive technology. A 7 inch TFT LCD display meter digitally creates realistic, analogue gauges in a three-dimensional space.

The F Sport features a larger 8 inch TFT LCD display. For the F SPORT only, the movable meter ring, which originated in the Lexus LFA supercar and is also featured in the LC premium coupe, allows displayed content to be easily changed. Pushing a switch on the steering wheel moves the ring to the right and enlarges the multi-information display.

The 2019 Lexus UX models offer the latest in the brand’s multimedia and navigation technology. A 7-inch EMV (Electro Multi Vision) display is standard, and a 10,25 inch EMV (F Sport model) display is used with the available Lexus Navigation system.

The standard Lexus Premium Sound System can play back the highest-resolution digital audio formats from a USB device, while dual rear-seat USB ports enable passengers to use and re-charge their smartphones or tablets.

By using aluminum for the side doors, fenders and hood and composite materials for the tailgate, the UX has the lowest center of gravity of any vehicle in its class at 594 mm.

The MacPherson strut front suspension and multilink rear suspension with trailing arms, both mounted to sub-frames, are specially tuned to deliver a combination of agility and comfort over well-worn urban street surfaces.

The new hybrid drive system combines the new 2,0 litre four-cylinder petrol engine coupled with two electric motor-generators in a new-generation hybrid transaxle that is more compact, lighter and has less internal friction than previous Lexus hybrid systems. Compared to similarly-sized Lexus hybrid, the power control unit of the UX is more powerful yet 20% smaller and 10% lighter.


The new transaxle mounts the electric motor-generators (MG1 and MG2) coaxially rather than in-line. The resulting smaller and lighter package reduces frictional losses by 25% compared to the previous Lexus hybrids. In addition, MG2 is now a higher-speed motor, yielding better performance and efficiency.

The Hybrid delivers 107 kW of power at 6 000 r/min and 180 Nm of torque at 4 400 r/min (total system output of 135 kW), equating to a 0-100km/h sprint time of 8,5 seconds, topped off by a maximum speed of 177 km/h (governed). It produces fuel economy figures of 4,5 l/100km combined ans CO2 emissions of 103 g/km.

All UX models are equipped with eight crash bags and the Lexus Safety System that comes standard in the F Sport and Hybrid models and includes Adaptive Cruise Control, Pre-Crash System (PCS) – Brake Synchronised, Blind Spot Monitor, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist and LED Adaptive High-beam System (AHS).

The Lexus UX models retail from R599 000 for the EX grade, R699 000 for the Hybrid 250h SE and R726 200 for the F Sport. The entire UX range boasts a Lexus 7-year/105 000 km Warranty and Full Maintenance Plan. The vehicle service intervals are at every 15 000 km, alternatively once a year.