Audi’s Sport Quattro – 1980

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The rally car-1980 Audi Sport Quattro-debuted at the Geneva Motor Show in 1980. It absolutely was the first rally car to take advantage of the new rules that permitted using AWD in rally competitions, and it dominated rallying for the next three years in a row. The Sport Quattro design marked the beginning of the AWD era in rallying by winning many championships, but exactly what makes it so revolutionary is that it was a race car that proved the effectiveness of a sports car using AWD.

Top 12 Fastest SUVs in the World

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1. Porsche Cayenne Turbo S

Starting price: approximately $158,295

Engine horse power and top speed: 550 HP / 175 MPH

One of the priciest with a starting price exceeding most college graduate salaries at $146,000 , however the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S is not only among the fastest SUVs in the world. The SUV features the Porsche twin turbo, eight cylinder engine that is rated at 550 HP. The Cayenne Turbo S engine is additionally rated at 553 lb-ft of overall torque, and also the SUV tops out at 175 MPH. The auto features all-wheel drive, an eight-speed automatic transmission, and its overall handling is rated as excellent due in part to the adjustable suspension steering and system setup of the vehicle. The S model of the SUV also includes torque vectoring, 21 inch wheels, and ceramic brakes as standard equipment. The vehicle’s fuel economy comes in with a modest 13 MPG city / 20 MPG highway.

2. Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG

Starting price: approximately $138,000

Engine horse power and top speed: 536 HP / 175 MPH

Is also one of the fastest, though the Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG is the company’s most expensive SUV sold in the United States. Featuring a turbo 5.5 liter, eight cylinder engine, the V8 is rated at 536 HP and 560 lb-ft of torque. The auto will go from zero to 60 in approximately 5.3 seconds and it has a top overall speed of 175 MPH. Although the SUV is very boxy in shape, it is one of the company’s more popular designs. The auto comes with a seven-speed automatic transmission, all-wheel drive, and includes the Mercedes 4MATIC driving system helping get this a very capable off-road SUV. The fuel economy for that G63 AMG is at the lower end of SUVs featuring its overall EPA rating coming in at 12 MPG city / 14 MPG highway.

3. Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG

Starting price: approximately $99,325

Engine horse power and top speed: 516 HP / 175 MPH

For just under $100,000, consumers can savor the many features that the Mercedes ML63 AMG provides without quite going broke with the G63’s price. The ML63 AMG features the five.5 liter twin turbo, eight cylinder engine rated at 516 HP. The optional performance package gives consumers yet another 34 HP, and the noise at speed in the auto is extremely quiet. The interior of the vehicle comes standard with a wood and leather decoration, as well as the vehicle can go from zero to 60 MP in approximately 4.7 seconds. The top speed of the vehicle is 175 MPH as well as the auto contains a seven-speed transmission and all-wheel drive. The fuel economy in the ML63 AMG is rated at 14 MPG city / 18 MPG highway.

4. Porsche Macan Turbo

Starting price: approximately $72,500

Engine horse power and top speed: 400 HP / 164 MPH

The Macan Turbo is Porsche’s sportier version of the Macan luxury crossover. The auto includes a 400 HP twin-turbo six cylinder engine that rides on a seven-speed transmission. An all-wheel drive vehicle, the Macan Turbo is a smaller version of your Cayenne using a roomy car interior to help you feel much more comfortable. Being the company’s first mid-size, high-performance vehicle, the most notable speed is 164 MPH. The car does run approximately more than $22,500 more than the Macan S crossover, but also for consumers who desire the Porsche brand with the performance one expects, it fulfills expectations. The auto’s fuel economy is rated at 17 MPG city / 23 MPG highway and might fit five passengers within the vehicle.

5. Land Rover Range Rover Sport / SVR

Starting price: approximately $80,900

Engine horse power and top speed: 510 HP / 162 MPH

The Land Rover Range Rover Sport is one of the company’s fastest SUVs starting out using a 5. liter, eight cylinder engine rated at 510 HP. The SVR model increases the horsepower to 550 HP and includes a stiffer suspension for better handling. The auto will go from zero to 60 MPH in approximately 5. seconds as well as includes adaptive cruise control, blind spot detection, and lane departure warnings. The automobile comes with a leather interior as well as the auto is rated as one of the best handling SUVs created for off-road use on the market. The Ranger Rover Sport / SVR also comes with an adjustable four-wheel drive system and it has a fuel economy rated at 14 MPG city / 19 MPG highway.

6. Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT

Starting price: approximately $65,590

Engine horse power and top speed: 470 HP / 160 MPH

The Jeep Cherokee SRT is made for the individual who demands power in their SUV at a price south of six figures. The SRT model of the favorite Jeep brand features a 6.4 liter HEMI, eight cylinder engine rated at 470 HP and a max speed of 160 MPH. The auto may go from zero to 60 MPH in 4.8 seconds, and includes an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive system. The fuel economy in the Cherokee SRT comes in in a modest 13 MPG city / 19 MPG highway, and the Brembo brakes bring the vehicle from 70 MPH to all stop in approximately 162 feet. Popular alternatives for the SRT include the rear-seat DVD entertainment system, towing package, and dual-pane sunroof that are not contained in the base model.

7. BMW X6 M

Starting price: approximately $94,000

Engine horse power and top speed: 567 HP / 155 MPH

The BMW X6M is the company’s entry to the SUV market for those who demand a significant amount of horsepower in their auto to complement the benefits of a SUV. The auto provides consumers using a twin-turbo 4.4 liter, eight cylinder engine which provides 567 HP. The model also features the BMW xDrive all-wheel-drive system along with an eight speed, automatic transmission. Alongside the performance-tuned suspension in the X6M, and the SUV can support high speeds around turns and corners much better than other traditionally designed SUVs available on the market. The vehicle is rated in a top speed of 155 MPH and might go from zero to 60 in approximately 4.5 seconds. The X6 M’s fuel economy is rated at 14 MPG city / 18 MPG highway.

8. BMW X5 xDrive50i

Starting price: approximately $70,100

Engine horse power and top speed: 445 HP / 155 MPH

The BMW xDrive50i is one of the fastest BMD kinds of SUV that has not been modified by the M division of the company. The SUV features a twin-turbo, eight cylinder engine that is rated at 445 HP and 480 lb-ft of torque. The xDrive50i can go from zero to 60 in 4.3 seconds, and is capable of towing just about any load you might need from the automobile. The SUV’s cabin is extremely quiet and the X5 xDrive50i has an excellent braking system to help instill driver confidence at high speeds. The third row of seats of the auto is rated as challenging to access by consumers and not comfortable. Overall, the X5 xDrive50 sees an EPA fuel economy of 15 MPG city / 22 MPG highway.

9. Mercedes-Benz GL63 AMG

Starting price: approximately $120,000

Engine horse power and top speed: 550 HP / 155 MPH

The Mercedes-Benz GL63 AMG is definitely the largest vehicle produced by Mercedes-Benz and weighs more than 5,500 pounds. The most powerful SUV produced by the business at 550 HP, the GL63 AMG is rated at a top speed of 155 MPH that is electronically controlled. The car features a 5.5 liter, turbo-charged, eight cylinder engine that can move from zero to 60 MPH in under 4.8 seconds which helps it compete with many sports cars on the market. The vehicle features a seven-speed, automatic transmission that includes re-matching on the downshifts, an improved brakes, suspension and steer and all-wheel drive. The fuel economy of the SUV is on the budget of performance at 12 MPG city / 16 MPG highway; however, its braking distance is superb with being able to stop your vehicle from 70 MPH to quit in approximately 160 feet.

10. Audi SQ5

Starting price: approximately $53,625

Engine horse power and top speed: 354 HP / 152 MPH

The Audi SQ5 builds on the company’s successes using the Q5 including a number of styling upgrades to both the interior and exterior in the automobile. To help improve the interior comfort of the SQ5’s ride, there are new leather-and-Alcantara sports seats along with a new look on the trip. The SUV incorporates a super-charged, six cylinder engine rated at 354 HP and 347 lb-ft of torque. By using a top rated speed of 152 MPH, the car rides upon an eight-speed, automatic transmission and includes the Audi Quattro all-wheel drive system as a standard option. The SQ5 is able to move from zero to 60 MPH in under 5.1 seconds and looks nearly the same as the Audi Q5. The SQ5 does get better fuel consumption than a number of other SUVs being rated at 16 MPG city / 23 MPG highway.

11. Ford Explorer Sport

Starting price: approximately $43,000

Engine horse power and top speed: 365 HP / 122 MPH

Ford originally designed the Explorer Sport to provide choices for consumers who demanded seven-passenger SUVs who had more power than the standard Explorer or competing SUV. The Sport may be the only Explorer variant the corporation installs the 3.5 liter, six cylinder engine rated at 365 HP. The SUV has a maximum speed of 122 MPH and includes enhanced dampers and stiffer springs, improved chassis bracing, larger 20-inch tires, and quicker steering than other Explorer models built by the company. The vehicle includes a six-speed, automatic transmission with all-wheel drive as the standard option but allows manually gear shifting via steering-wheel paddles. The auto can accelerate from zero to 60 MPH in under 5.9 seconds and continues to provide a quiet and roomie interior cabin for auto passengers. The Sport can go from 70 MPH for all stop in 177 feet and has a reliable fuel economy rating in comparison to other SUVs at 16 MPG city / 22 MPG highway.

12. Dodge Durango R/T Hemi

Starting price: approximately $40,290

Engine horse power and top speed: 360 HP / 119 MPH

The Dodge Durango R/T Heni has been updated for that modern driver and features the 5.7 liter Hemi, eight-cylinder engine rated at 360 HP, 390 lb-ft of torque, and a top speed of 119 MPH. The Durango has a rear-wheel-drive-based chassis and includes three rows of seats. The car can go from zero to 60 MPH in under 6.4 seconds despite the massive size of the automobile and the braking distance from 70 MPH to stop is actually a respectable 182 feet. With a price point that beats most of the competition in large SUVs, the R/T Hemi has a towing capacity of 7,400 lbs and a fuel economy of 14 MPG city / 23 MPG highway.

When the Girl Chooses You over the Yuppie

You have noticed this girl at work, at school or even at the local club or bar and she seems friendly, nice and attractive and might be a good fit for you. You may have talked with each other a few times but nothing serious has ever come out of it. You have also noticed her talking to this other guy (let’s call him Chad) and Chad seems to be everything that you are not. He may be a bit more successful, maybe more educated, and he tries to dress fancy and perhaps plays up that he might be more than he actually is. It is up to you now to try to sway the girl your direction instead of falling for Chad’s lines and there is the perfect way that you can help put the odds in your favor.

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The first thing you want to be is honest and real, which is likely everything that Chad is not. Chad is just going to be the representation of every pretentious person you have come across since high school that likes to think they are better than everyone else. The problem with the Chads of the world is that they not only think this way but they think everyone else should think this way too, including the women they are interested in. So instead of going the Chad route where he tries to get women to think he knows everything by comparing Tennessee Williams plays or quoting lines from yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, you are going in the opposite direction.
If you have already noticed that there was some chemistry between the two of you, the odds are pretty good that she noticed the same thing too. That puts the ball in your court to act on the feelings and try to make a date with her. You do not want to wait too long before you make a move to ask her out; waiting too long will give her the signal that you either are not interested or you will lose any of the momentum you may have had to start with, making it awkward to start over again.

Couple flirting in a corridor

Couple flirting in a corridor

You also want her to see that you are confident and sure of yourself, even when you may have competition with a Chad. Women are attracted to confidence but also to men that seem very sure of themselves and are engaging. This means you are not going to sit there and continuously talk about yourself, your beliefs and accomplishments (like Chad does all of the time) but that you engage in conversation, you talk and listen, you ask questions, you make eye contact and you care about what she has to say.

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Once you have made her realize that you are the better choice and can make her feel special, she will choose over Chad every time. Now that you have the date set, you want to make sure you execute it perfectly, so be sure you have a good car available to take her out someplace without any trouble. If you need to find something, look over at the RAM dealer in Huntington Beach has to offer at OC Ram Truck Center. You can find just the right truck or car to take her out with that will put Chad and his Prius to shame.

New Mini Cooper Countryman: ready for the outdoors

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MANILA, Philippines-. Minis are beautiful only if you think of a bulldog’s looks as a canine evolutionary high point. What’s more, the peculiarly endearing looks of the original hatchback have been successfully transplanted to your much larger, taller vehicle: the Countryman five-door crossover.

All of the familiar Mini styling cues are present but stretched to bigger proportions. The huge bulbous eyes with chrome surround flank a frowning split grille with black rectangular inserts. The headlamps, along with the fog lamps, now use LED lighting for any brighter beam and less energy consumption. The fog lamps double as the daytime driving lights.

All pillars are blacked out or glass-covered to achieve a “floating roof” effect. There’s a stylized vent just aft in the clamshell hood and thick black fender liners to emphasize the crossover’s lines. They are doing a good job of filling out the corners, though the two-tone, 18-inch wheels shod with 45-series tires may not be suitable for driving on rough roads. A chrome underscore underneath the doors and white-painted door mirrors round out the accents.

Inside the Countryman is space we never thought possible within a Mini. The operator will feel snug within his corner of the cockpit, while the front passenger has more stretch-out room.

With four side doors, the rear seat is easily accessible. It features sufficient width and surprisingly plentiful legroom. The space within the Mini’s diminutive frame is easy to optimize, thanks to the rear seat that will slide fore and aft in a 60: 40 split.

The backseats also fold individually to allow access to the cargo area or even for long objects to slide through. Cargo space varies from 350 to 1170 liters together with the seats down. Certainly greater than a picnic basket can easily fit into this Mini.

The cargo space is limited thorough but nevertheless is tall and wide. Our Countryman S featured run-flat tires so that freed up another storage space underneath the cargo floor.

Translating the styling of a Mini to a crossover is something, but imbuing it using that trademark driving feel can be something else. A good sign is the sharp bark that greets us when we push the Engine Start button.

AS WITH all Minis, there’s a high degree of customization possible.

As with all Minis, there’s a high degree of customization possible.

The Countryman S is powered by the same 1.6-liter inline-four in the hatchback. A twin-scroll turbo setup minimizes lag and maximizes punchiness. It also generates a satisfying engine note, with a bit of exhaust pop mixed in. With only the front wheels hooked up towards the power, the Countryman is vulnerable to torque steer during hard acceleration.

There’s a slight tug with the wheel particularly when negotiating tight turns. It’s nothing alarming, and quite in character with the car’s enthusiast bent.

The taller ride height leads to more comfortable drive as you no longer feel so low versus other cars. Despite the increase in height and presumably center of gravity, the Countryman behaves much like the hatchback.

Cornering feel is flat, with little body roll. Steering is quick and highly reactive. The ride is firm and manages to stay just short of being harsh. If your objective in owning a Countryman is to have that Mini driving quality, this all-new version will surely satisfy.

The Mini Countryman expands the idea of an ugly-beautiful, exceedingly fun-to-drive vehicle into the crossover segment. It will be the perfect vehicle for getting into a far-off destination this summer.

Perfect timing, then, for the new Countryman to have its public debut in the Manila International Auto Show (MIAS), where it slots into the theme of Outdoor Mobility with ease and confidence of execution.

The Mini Cooper Countryman comes a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine, good for 122 HP and 160 Nm. Zero to 100 kph is quoted at 11.6 seconds, and top speed is in 182 kph.

The Countryman S ups the power to 190 HP and torque to 240 Nm. Zerp to 100-kph drops to 7.8 seconds, and top speed is 212 kph.

The John Cooper Works Countryman packs the most grunt, with 218 HP and 280 Nm, good for a 7-second sprint to 100 kph, and a top speed of 223 kph.

Prices are: Mini Cooper Countryman, P2.55 milllion; Mini Cooper S Countryman, P3.05 milllion; and Mini John Cooper Works Countryman, P3.9 milllion.

As with all Minis, there’s a high degree of customization possible, from the wheels towards the paint, with jungle green metallic and midnight grey metallic amongst the new colors. The roof and mirrors might be ordered in contrasting colors, including red for the JCW variant. Sport stripes and hood stripes may also be added. A new piano black exterior is offered, with selected surfaces finished in a high-gloss black: headlamp and rear light surrounds, roof rails, and cross ribs.

Allow car mods, if done responsibly

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Cape Town – Should we clamp down on modified cars? Many Capetonians have had their license discs removed by the city’s traffic department as officers clamp down on modified vehicles. The automotive industry is still divided over whether or not this really is justified.

I am just in favour of anything that makes our roads safer; however, when a modification is performed safely and within guidelines, and if your vehicle has passed a roadworthy test, I see no reason to victimise the owners of modified vehicles.

Cars are greater than a mode of transportation. Many enthusiasts enjoy modifying or restoring cars as a hobby and there exists a booming aftermarket industry consequently. Some individuals modify their cars for professional racing and rarely drive them around the open road except when en way to the track.

MAKING SCAPEGOATS

City officials say any modification, including larger exhausts or fittings not specified by the car’s manufacturer or not completed by an individual with a letter of authority by aforementioned manufacturer, can lead to the vehicle being declared unroadworthy. But

the city may very well be making scapegoats of the those who own modified vehicles in order to clamp down on street racing.

Illegal racing is a major concern and lots of modifications – including lowering of vehicles – are associated with the activity. racing, However and modification do not always go together.

Gumtree alone has over 10 000 automotive parts and accessories for sale in the Western Cape, and aftermarket manufacturers will be equally impacted by the clampdowns.

LET’S MAKE A DISTINCTION

A distinction should be drawn between irresponsible and responsible modifications. There are many ill-maintained cars on your way made up of only original parts that are neither roadworthy nor safe at all, and the opposite could be said of certain modified cars. In fact, in some cases modifications increase the vehicle by introducing stronger or updated parts, reducing fuel consumption or shortening braking distance.

Of course, there are some safety guidelines and regulations that must be followed before tinkering with your cars’ engine. It is important to use quality parts from a reputable manufacture. It’s not uncommon for cars who have stood on cinder blocks in someone’s back yard for months being broken up for parts.

In new, overhauled and addition engines must be legally obtained. All engines and chassis must have VIN numbers or other kinds of identification – do not purchase any part that cannot be identified.

DANGEROUS MODS

There are several dangerous but common modifications, including:

Large exhausts: This can actually impact your car’s performance, though the trend is to help make your car as noisy as you possibly can.

Car electrics: In the event you fail to provide proper insulation or overload the circuits, the result happens to be an engine fire, you should not make an effort to DIY your car’s electrical system -.

Too much power: Many people buy simplistic, small cars then fit bigger, more powerful engines. Bear in mind that your brakes won’t be able to handle the power hike – a whole new engine might require a complete overhaul of brakes and suspension.

Before attempting modifications, all modification hobbyists should gather the necessary paperwork required and consult the traffic department.

Jeff Osborne may be the head of Gumtree Automotive. Previously, he served since the chief executive of the Retail Motor Industry Association of SA.

Look Up There! Fun Things to Look for in the Night Sky

There is nothing quite like stepping outside in the evening and taking a look up at the sky. Depending on where you live really determines just how much you can see, but there is always a great deal of activity going on above you that you may never really get the chance to appreciate. You may not realize it but there are fantastic things going on up in the night sky each night and many of them you are able to see without the aid of any type of telescope or other visual device. All you need is a clear space and the time to go out and take a look and you can see all of the wonder that nature puts forth each evening.

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There are always plenty of stars that you can take a look at each night and you can even give yourself a basic lesson in astronomy so you know what you are looking at and where constellations and particular stars are in the night sky. You can get all kinds of information off of the Internet or through astronomy books that can help point this out to you. The best place to really get a good look at the sky is to be in a clear area with fewer trees to block your night view. You also want to be in an area that has limited outdoor lighting so you can see things better, so if you can get away from the city lights in your area to a more remote location you will be able to view things better.
There are also all kinds of special events happening in the sky pretty regularly that you can get a look at on particular days. You can find out when meteor showers will be in perfect view in your area so you can see them cross the night sky. Check and see when different planets are more visible at particular times of the year so you can get a better look at planets like Mars and Venus. There are also different phases of the moon occurring all the time that can give you views of the moon that you may never have seen before, including times of a lunar eclipse. You can get all of this information from websites offering astronomy or meteorological information so you know just when the best times are to look and if you will need a telescope or binoculars to see things really well.

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Something that many people find enjoyable is to check the night sky to see the International Space Station going by. There are particular times of day and times of the year when the space station is more visible than others and it depends on your location at the time, but you can get the information so you know when to look so you can see it for yourself as it moves along around the planet.

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Having the best spot to do viewing is a key to all of this so you may have to do some driving to get to the best location nearest to you to see things. You can take your car or truck out to the best spots nearby that give you the best view at night. To do this, you want to have a reliable vehicle to get you where you want to go and Mountain View Chevrolet is the perfect Chevrolet dealer in Rancho Cucamonga for you to look at to find that new or used car or truck to take on your astronomical adventures.

Upgrades a big plus for little Yaris

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ROAD TEST: Toyota Yaris 1.3

Johannesburg – Let me start by saying that you’d be forgiven for thinking that the subject of this road test, Toyota’s funky little Yaris, is an all-new car.

It’s actually a recently-launched in SA facelift – but facelifts generally involve a new headlight here and a colour-coded doorhandle there. They don’t tend to include around 1000 newly-engineered parts inside and out, let alone an all-new face (courtesy in this case of the carmaker’s design studio in France).

So, like some of you, I was a little surprised that so much effort was put into a Yaris midlife update – but surprised in a good way as I quite like what the Japanese carmaker has done in terms of the whitenings-and-brightenings. That most-obvious feature, the new cross-shaped front bumper (which we reckon looks like a fu-manchu moustache) is a breath mint in the segment, and most I asked were quite fond of the look (someone in our parkade commented that it reminded her of a bow on the bonnet, and that it was very “girly”).

STYLISH AND SOLID

So good on you Toyota for taking such a bold step. Now if only our local distributors had brought in the similarly-stylish Corolla which the US market gets – versus the more generic one we got – but that’s for another road test.
IOL mot nov7 Toyota Yaris b Among the many cosmetic changes are redesigned taillights.

Other more-regular Yaris body improvements include a redesigned rear bumper with an integrated diffuser, and new LED taillights. The interior, like the car’s nose, is just about all-new too, scoring restyled instruments, larnier chrome trimmings, softer surfaces, and better seat fabrics.

And I can report that a week of living in there left me with an impression of comfort and solid build quality.

I especially liked the little storage compartment with a lid, which hid prying eyes at robots from my wallet stored inside; the stylish key-fob was very European-design-school; the front seats were especially comfy with a Recaro-like sporty shape; and the rear-seatbelt warning indicator was handy when kids didn’t buckle up.

The big single wiper blade and centre-console touchscreen were nice touches too; while rear legroom seemed adequate for the average-sized adults I hauled around.

SMALL NIGGLES

Little things I reckon they could look at with the next-gen Yaris include more reach on the steering; the touchscreen menu could be more intuitive; I’d like a real temperature gauge (so I know when my engine is starting to pick up Ebola); and then my usual parenting bugbear – my eleven-year-old could barely reach the handle on the tailgate when it was open.
IOL mot nov7 Toyota Yaris c The interior has also been restyled and the front seats are especially comfy.

My final observation, if you’ll indulge me, was a little sneaky from Toyota and involved the measurement of fuel consumption.

The instrument cluster gives you instant and average readings, but that average reading is per trip, and irrespective of longer Trip A or B distances this reading fluctuates. Peering through the fancy touchscreen menus you find consumption plottings, but these show you past trip records and will only tell you the “best” consumption, and not the overall average consumption. Like I said, sneaky.

My best consumption then over various trips was 7l/100km, while a fair average with that moving goal-post average reading was 8l/100km – neither of which is sterling for a little 1.3-litre motor (Toyota claims 5.6l/100km).

NEEDS A TURBO

Which brings us then to the engine. Call me spoilt, but the force-fed little powerplants we’re seeing more and more of in many cars these days are definitely the way forward. VW’s little 1.2 turbo engine, for example, makes this Toyota’s normally-aspirated 1.3 feel like the one which was in my mum’s ‘84 Corolla.

It tries hard, I’ll give it that, but the 73kW and 125Nm claimed on paper are chewed and spat out by Gauteng’s high altitude.

Sure, I like that Toyota has thrown in a sixth gear, but sans voomah that extra gear is about as useful as a deck chair on the sinking Titanic.

The Yaris is quiet to pilot, with a very easy driving nature going for it – but the electric steering is a little over-intelligent, if you get my drift, battling to provide real road feedback. I liked the handling, though, with this Yaris feeling like it could easily handle more gusto from the lazy tenant in the engine bay (part of the facelift included a stiffer rear torsion-beam suspension and softer front springs).

VERDICT

At R194 300 for the 1.3-litre I can’t believe how expensive the Toyota Yaris has become.

I remember attending a Yaris entry-level three-door launch years ago, and the whole point was how Toyota got the car in at under the hundred-grand mark. It’s not just the Yaris, though; similarly powered and specced competitors in the Chev Sonic hatch, Ford Fiesta, Honda Jazz, Hyundai i20, Kia Rio hatch and Opel Corsa ranges all cost similar money.

My choice? The recently-facelifted VW Polo – which gets a sparkler of a 1.2 turbo engine, and at R194 500 for the Trendline is almost-identically priced.

Follow me on twitter: @mineshbhagaloo

FACTS

Toyota Yaris 1.3

Engine: 1.3-litre, four-cylinder petrol

Gearbox: Six-speed manual

Power: 73kW @ 6000rpm

Torque: 125Nm @ 4000rpm

0-100km/h (claimed): 11.7 seconds

Top speed (claimed): 175km/h

Consumption (claimed): 5.6 litres per 100km

Price: R194 300

Warranty: Three-year/100 000km

Service plan: Three-year/45 000km

ALTERNATIVES

Chevrolet Sonic 1.4 LS (74kW/130Nm) – R194 700

Hyundai i20 1.4 Fluid (73kW/136Nm) – R194 900

Kia Rio hatch 1.4 (79kW/135Nm) – R196 995

Renault Clio 0.9T Expression (66kW/135Nm) – R193 900

VW Polo 1.2 TSI Trendline (66kW/160Nm) – R194 500

Honda Mobilio is genuinely practical

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Honda’s new Mobilio is built about the same chassis that underpins the soon-to-be-launched new Jazz and current Ballade.

Rather than the third row being suitable exclusively for amputees, the Honda offers real space for seven. The front two rows are very spacious along with the back row, though more cramped, will still take a pair of adults without an excessive amount of complaint.

VERSATILE SEATING

The transformable interior might be rejigged with numerous seat-folding possibilities. The Mobilio’s second seating row receives a 60: 40 split and may slide and recline to cater for varying loads of passengers or cargo. It also tips forward to allow easy accessibility rearmost seats. The third seat row is split 50: 50 by using a reclining function. Both seat rows could be folded flat and tumbled forward to maximise cargo space.

The luggage compartment gulps between 223 to 521 litres, and because of the seats flopped down there’s space for bulky objects like mountain bikes. To handle the real-world of potholes and punctures there’s an entire-sized spare wheel mounted under the chassis.

IOL mot dec15 Honda Mobilio b Mobilio powered from a 1.5-litre i-Vtec petrol engine.

The need to keep the price down sees the Mobilio wearing steel wheels as an alternative to alloys, but other than that the spec levels are good and that Comfort version selling for R198 990 comes standard with aircon for the front and back, remote central locking, electric windows all-around, onboard computer, and a radio with USB/aux input and audio controls on the steering wheel.

The cheaper Mobilio Trend model, priced at R179 990, comes with aircon only for the front side passengers, key-operated central locking, and has no audio system, rear wiper, or electric mirrors.

If your budget can stretch another 19 grand, the Comfort model’s 2-year/30 000km service plan is also absent from the Trend’s spec sheet, so the Mobilio Comfort seems the better deal.

Both versions get the same safety features such as dual ABS and airbags brakes.

STRUGGLES FOR PACE

Mobilio is available having a single engine choice, exactly the same 1.5-litre i-Vtec utilized in the Honda Jazz, coupled with a five-speed manual front and transmission-wheel drive. A CVT automatic version is planned for early next year.

IOL mot dec15 Honda Mobilio c The cabin is hardly plush, but the spec count is decent enough given the price.

In Gauteng’s power-draining altitude the car struggles for pace when there’s a few people aboard and the aircon’s running. On the open road it takes an endeavor to get this particular one cruising with the speed limit with a load of passengers, although the engine’s energetic enough to coax the car around town.

However, the 88kW/145Nm outputs still trump the 70kW/130Nm offered by the 1.4-litre Suzuki Ertiga and the 76kW/136N of the 1.5-litre Toyota Avanza.

Consumption’s relatively frugal and the Mobilio generally manages around 7.2 litres per 100km, even though figure crept up to 8 litres when there were more bums from the seats.

It’s a pleasantly driveable car, with a fairly comfortable ride and the opportunity to nip through corners without feeling top-heavy.

Gearshifts are a smooth effort, but the Mobilio’s a noisier car in comparison to the Jazz. The engine’s quite raucous as soon as the revs set out to rise plus it seems Honda has skimped on sound-deadening in this car.

The interior of the Indian-built car, while neatly packaged, also doesn’t conform to the standards set by way of a Jazz or possibly a Civic in the manner some of the plasticky panels don’t fit quite perfectly.

IOL mot dec15 Honda Mobilio d The back seats could be flopped and flipped in a number of configurations.

VERDICT

The criticisms of a noisy engine and not-quite-plush interior aren’t major concerns for the car in this price range. It’s the versatility and space of this seven-seater that may win over soccer moms with large broods, along with its decent list of bells and whistles. The Two-year/30 000km service plan trails behind the four-years/60 000km plans offered by the Ertiga and Avanza, even though the Honda Mobilio has a small power advantage on the competition.

MOBILIO VS ITS RIVALS

Honda Mobilio Comfort, 88kW/145Nm – R198 990, 3-year/100 000km warranty and 2-year/30 000km service plan

Suzuki Ertiga 1.4 GLX, 70kW/130Nm – R192 900, 3-year/100 000km warranty, a four-year/60 000km service plan and 1-year roadside assistance.

Toyota Avanza 1.5 TX, 76kW/136Nm – R226 900, 3-year/100 000km warranty, 4-year/60 000km service plan.

Ways to Accessorize Your Life to be Extra Wicked Cute

You know that the ultimate goal for all young females is to be extremely cute. That’s the only way to endear yourself to a good man, one who will work tirelessly to afford you the things you want in order to brag on facebook about. It’s essential, lest you want to end up alone and dead, a barren old maid who has no one to care for her, all because you didn’t value the being cute part of your 20’s. So if you are struggling to find a man, maybe look in the mirror and do something to fix all the wrongs you have wronged. It’s not too late, take some tips from this article, and you will be happy you did, as your man leaves each morning for you to facebook, eat ice cream, and be cute until he’s in so deep it doesn’t matter any more.

Be Around Guys all The Time

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One way to be desirable to men is to always be around men – this will get other men thinking that you must clearly have some sort of animal magnetism that they’d be fools not to explore. You can just get the lonely dorky guys from work to hang out with you after work, getting a gin and tonic from the local watering hole, or something. Make sure you take lots of selfies with the guys so that other guys who are looking at you from afar are made aware of you being surrounded by guys. If you flirt with them a lot by tapping them on the pectoral muscle and then giggling, and turning away slightly and putting your rump near their waist, that’ll be a good move too.

Drive a Cute but Practical Car

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Another thing you can do easily is make sure your wheels reflect your cutesy way of life. If you drive a big truck, you will not attract the right kind of guy. That’ll attract a big no brain hick who is actually a latent homosexual and wants his woman to be as many as possible so that he can imagine she’s a boy easily. If you want an actual heterosexual man, you need to get a car like a Fiat or a Kia. In fact, Kia makes really cute cars and they’re quite cheap. If you stop in a KIA dealer in Northridge, you may be impressed at how cute and cool some of the cars are. The Keyes KIA Valencia dealership also has a lot of great selections from the 2016 line. You owe it to yourself.

Accessorize Cutely!

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The simplest thing you can do is just make every life decision revolve around the idea of being cute. Get a cute iPhone cover. Make sure your shoes are cute. When you get coffee, don’t just get an iced Americano, get a frappuccino with a cute little flower in the foam. Everything in life is a chance to be cute, so don’t miss out any single opportunity, unless you truly do what to die alone.

VW’s Touareg is good value, actually

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Whenever the brand launches an upmarket model or even just the newest edition from the Golf, the ill-informed critics home in on the price: “That much? For a VW? ” are the typical cries of outrage – that are even more strident from the internet trolls.

Perception: expensive. Reality: you spend more for quality. In virtually all the categories through which they compete, VW’s cars are the benchmarks. Those that are cheaper are inferior and those that cost more are only the equal of the VW model in any given range.

I’ve known that since the 1990s, when my Jetta was much better than its competitors. And each and every time other manufacturers get caught up, VW enhances the product.

Thus it didn’t surprise me once the chirps began with the development of the facelifted VW Touareg, the German carmaker’s large 4×4 SUV. The new range starts in an admittedly not inconsiderable R709 100 for the base model V6 petrol in its socks, and rises to just under R1 million for the V8 diesel.

The vast majority of trolls bemoaned the fact that, for not much more, you could get a Porsche Cayenne. Yes, you could – but the vehicles are basically the identical. The Touareg and Cayenne share basically the same mechanical underpinnings and differ slightly in engine choices (not surprising, considering they are manufactured by the same group).

You will be paying for the badge if you would like the Porsche. That’s the reality.

UNDERRATED

The Touareg has never really got the credit it deserves – among the SUV and off-roading fraternity or on the sales charts. That is a pity because it more than holds its own against its competitors.

The range was given a facelift late last year and there are now four models, with three engine variations.

The base model is powered by a V6 petrol engine pushing out 306Nm and 206kW of torque. Next up are two V6 turbodiesels, with 180kW of power and a thumping 500Nm of torque. One of the diesel models comes with the hard-core off-road package – centre and rear diff locks and low range. Top of the range is equipped with the VW-Audi group’s amazing 4.2-litre V8 turbodiesel engine (250kW and a huge 800Nm of torque), that is truly the best diesel motor I have yet experienced.

Each of the Touaregs come equipped with VW’s FourMotion permanent four-wheel-drive and a silky smooth eight-speed automatic transmission. An aura suspension package can be specified across the range (with special off-road ability in the “Terrain Tech” full-on off-roader), making even the entry-level vehicles formidably capable when the going gets rough.

NASTY ROAD GOBBLED UP

This I discovered with personal experience with the Camdeboo National Park, just outside Graaff-Reinet, after i took the V8 TDI I was driving up to a picnic site off of the main tarmac road.

Rain had fallen and the wheel tracks ended up being washed away, which meant the ascent turned nasty. The Touareg momentarily hesitated, there was the faintest hint of wheelspin, and the electronics, the gearbox and the torsen (torque sensing) centre diff all combined to boost us over or higher.

I hadn’t helped matters by not looking particularly carefully with the line and ended up using the most difficult one, but the VW took everything in its stride.

That lack of drama, that supreme ability instil confidence inside the driver.

In the Knysna area we rose comfortably to the top level of the highest hill, despite the muddy and slippery conditions. There was little in the cabin – even from the driver’s seat – to indicate the conditions outside were anything but mild.

MAGIC CARPET RIDE

On a sundowner trip to a beach near Sedgefield, my father-in-law remarked at how comfortable the suspension was – then I realised I had it in its hardest setting, sports. You ain’t seeing nothing yet, said I, because i moved the dial to comfort as well as the Touareg assumed the position of your magic carpet.

The air suspension is definitely an option worth considering, not simply for the comfort, but for the extra height it gives you (almost 300mm) when tackling obstacles off-road.

On the way to the coast, the Touareg dispatched the 1 300km Joburg-to-Knysna journey with aplomb. The seats were comfortable enough for me to pull an all-day stint driving, while the climate control was up to the high VW standards, rarely requiring more than a low fan setting to keep the large cabin cool while temperatures outside nudged 40 degrees.

Was that the Touareg’s 100-litre fuel tank, which, in theory at least, would see you through from Joburg to Knysna without refuelling, even though best of all.

FRUGAL For The V8 SUV

At the One-Stop in Bloemfontein, I was particularly thankful to the tank along with the V8’s comparatively frugal consumption (it averaged a highly commendable 8.3 litres to 100km across the trip). I watched as being the queues in the petrol pumps grew to 6 cars plus more.

Filling up alone would add at least 40 minutes for your trip – and with a smaller tank you’d have to do this at least once more before reaching the coast. In the end, we filled up at Three Sisters because I chickened out about trying to get completely on one tank. I would not hesitate to get it done in a V6 turbodiesel Touareg, though.

Talking about trip times: the Touareg is the ideal companion for good cross-country travelling. On the back from the coast, we averaged 107km/h (including stops) from Graaff-Reinet to Joburg. The 840km distance saw us with more than a quarter of your tank of fuel left when we got home. Furthermore, it enabled us to get by with just loo and tea breaks – and to leapfrog all the cowboys for whom the pace limit can be a joke.

Having the power of the Touareg available was, I’ll admit, useful when I were required to teach a lesson on the idiot in the Kia Sorento who got on my tail in the Free State and after that did a near-suicidal overtaking manoeuvre – despite being less than a kilometre from a passing lane area of the road. I returned the favour and gave him a lesson in what 800Nm does for overtaking acceleration as I swept past him. It took him almost 30km to capture up.

And that is certainly the lesson of the Touareg: don’t underestimate it. It is quite, very capable in countless respects.

When comparing it having its rivals, the issue of price will certainly arise.

You will glance at the others, consider the VW and shake your face: Damn, these are overpriced and, damn, this is a lot of car for the money…