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Pack animals with grunt 'n go

2012-01-22 17:45:42.0 | Ask Morgan |

Our motoring aficionado Morgan Naidoo answers reader questions

TO Morgan,

I would like some help deciding on a new fishing vehicle. I spend a lot of weekends fly fishing around the country and want to upgrade my loyal Toyota Venture with something more powerful and spacious.

I'm unsure whether to go the 4x4 route or stick with two-wheel drive - price being a big factor.

I'm quite taken with the Kia Sportage and the Toyota Fortuner. I don't want to spend more than R400000. What else should I consider in the range?

Practicality is a key priority and I won't be using the car during the week. It needs a boot which can be packed with fishing nets, boots, float tubes and several rods. - Braam Fisher, Alberton


Hi Braam,

The Kia Sportage is a great vehicle and with its generous clearance it will comfortably travel to many remote fishing spots. However, my feeling is to go for a 4x4 vehicle because dirt roads are worsening from use and erosion. Also, the higher fuel consumption won't be a big concern on the occasional getaway.

The Fortuner is a more powerful vehicle and comes with a great range of engines including the new rear-wheel drive 2.5-litre turbo diesel. It is also the more spacious of the two. Keep in mind that Toyota dealerships and spares are also more accessible in the smaller towns.

Then there is the funky-looking Toyota FJ Crusier that has the robust off-road chassis used in the Prado. Like the Fortuner it excels off-road and its hardy interior with rubber flooring can be easily hosed down.

Other great affordable options include the turbo-charged Nissan Juke for under R280000 and the VW Tiguan 4x2 or with 4Motion.

To Morgan,

I saw a new Lexus IS 350 on the road and want to know if you think it is a match for the BMW 335i.

I was a bit disappointed by it's looks; at first I thought it was a normal IS 250 until it accelerated.

Is this the car that is going to turn Lexus around? - Leigh Till, Westville


Dear Leigh,

The two cars are very different; the BMW 335i is slightly quicker, especially at higher altitudes, and it is the more dynamic car when behind the wheel.

The Lexus however, is still astonishingly quick - the 3.5-litre engine produces over 230kW and Lexus say it will accelerate to 100kmh in a sizzling 5,6 seconds.

However, it was the mid-range torque that really impressed me and the fantastic engine response. The IS 350 is also comfortable and spacious.

Priced under R500000 for the EX model, it's cheaper and comes with standard equipment unmatched by its rivals. To accommodate the new model, Lexus has lowered the pricing on the 2012 IS 250 model.

The new BMW 3-Series is expected in the country in the first quarter of 2012.

Hi Morgan,

I know Porsche has been busy launching the new 911 but it got me thinking about the Boxster that hasn't received a makeover in a long time.

Do you know if Porsche will continue to produce it or has it been phased out by the more expensive Cayman? - Vishen Naidoo, Midrand


Dear Vishen,

Porsche recently released details and images of the new Boxster that apparently will be lighter, wider and longer than before with improved interior space.

The base model's 2.7-litre engine delivers 265hp and the 3.4-litre 315hp. Acceleration from 0 to 100 kmh takes 5,7 seconds for the Boxster and 5,0 seconds for the Boxster S and Porsche has improved fuel consumption by 15% on both engines.

The first models are expected to arrive in June, though pricing has yet to be confirmed.

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