2019 Rides I’d buy

By: Melinda Ferguson 


After spending the year test-driving over 50 vehicles, here are 6 rides I seriously contemplated buying: 

VW T Cross

The current model available is the 3-cylinder, 85kW turbocharged 1.0 litre auto transmission. With 200Nm of torque available, it sips just under 5litres.

Why I’d buy it

The T-Cross ticks all the boxes. Reasonably priced, great to look at, with that brilliant 7-speed  DSG gearbox, some decent ride height, ground clearance and best in class boot space. Launched earlier this year, the T-Cross is proving to be one of VW’s bestsellers of 2019 with close to 1000 units selling monthly. Watch out for the sub R300k 1.0 72 kW T- Cross model that will be launched next year.

Price: From R334 600
Toyota Corolla Hatch

There’s one impressive engine available – a 1.2-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder motor producing 85 kW and 185 Nm which is available in both  in auto and manual.

Why I’d buy it

You can’t go wrong with a Toyota, the bestselling car manufacturer in SA, where great service through a widespread network of dealerships is part of their success. The new Corolla hatch breaks out of the old Corolla styling with a winning combo of funky looks, reliability and a damn good engine.

Price: From R336 800
Mini Cooper

The 225kW JCW Countryman uses the same 2-litre turbopetrol engine found in parent company BMW’s X2 M35i and M135i models. Acceleration is a heady 0-100kms in just 5 seconds. Fuel consumption is a not-too-heavy 8 l/100 km.

Why I’d buy it

I’m a big Mini fan and the Countryman has been on my car bucket list since it was launched. The latest JCW Countryman really tweaks my inner speed freak demon, it’s simply one of the most fun drives around. Plus there’s some serious interior space to play with.

Price: R715 590



Launched in October this year, there are two engines available: a turbocharged 1.33-litre offering 120kW and 250Nm while the 2.0-litre impresses with 165kW and 350Nm. Both share Merc’s acclaimed seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

Why I’d buy it

After Merc ditched that granny van A-Class and launched the hatch, I became a fan. But now I’m literally drooling for the sedan A-Class which is sure to attract some C-Classers and a whole bunch of other converts into the A-Class stable, joining over 6 million global A-Class buyers.

Price: From R533 500


Ford Ranger Raptor

The Raptor’s got brutal dimensions. It towers  51mm taller than the standard Ranger, it’s got insane ground clearance of 283mm and you can wade up to 850mm in water. The engine is a  2.0-litre bi-turbocharged diesel, with 157 kW and 500 Nm of brutal torque, mated with a new 10-speed automatic transmission.


Why I’d buy it

The Raptor’s simply the Boss of Bakkies. Earlier this year  I drove it on the salt pans near Upington. Let’s say I got en-Raptored. I’ve never been the same.


Price: From R786 400



With goose bump inducing  294 kW of power and 696 Nm of torque, the I-PACE accelerates straight off the line with zero lag. I’m talking about instant power.  She also sprints 0-100kms in just 4.8 seconds. And the best bit is that fuel  consumption is a big fat zero. If you’re worried about range there’s a respectable 450kms available. Fitted with a liquid-cooled 90 kWh Lithium-ion battery, the cat takes about an hour to feed at the growing in number charging stations dotted across SA. You can also charge overnight at a home charge station.


Why I’d buy it

If money was no object the most intelligent (and gorgeous) ride to buy this year would be the eco cool Jaguar I-PACE because quite simply, the future is electric.


Price: From R1.6 Million

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