New Cars

A Worthy 2013 SA Car of the Year Finalist

It was only a matter of time before the Hyundai i30 was to receive the recognition it so rightfully deserves. So when the 1.8 Executive model was named a finalist for this year’s prestigious South African Car of the Year awards, it certainly didn’t come as any surprise. Not to the public, not to the critics and certainly not to the many proud owners already experiencing all its benchmark offerings first-hand.

Three i30 models – all great choices

Hyundai offers a choice of 3 petrol-driven i30 models: 1.6 GLS manual, 1.6 GLS auto and 1.8 GLS manual. All are fitted with 6-speed transmissions and all offer plenty of power and torque on command. The 1.6L models churn out a generous 95kW at 6300rpm and 157Nm at 4850rpm while the 1.8L derivative delivers a punchy 110kW at 6500rpm and 178Nm at 4700rpm. And even though the i30 promises swift acceleration, fuel consumption figures as well as CO2 emissions remain low.

A dynamic drive that’s as safe as it gets

Aside from its striking good looks, the Hyundai i30 offers a powerful and confident drive with precise gear changes, responsive steering and technologies like cruise control and rear park assist at the driver’s fingertips. On the safety front, Hyundai ensured that every active and passive feature box gets ticked. Enhanced braking systems including ABS, EBD, ESP and Vehicle Stability Management as well as 6 airbags come standard on all models. As a result the Hyundai i30 received a 5 Star Euro NCAP safety rating which allows drivers to enjoy some added peace of mind.

Comfort, convenience and luxury guaranteed

The list of extras on the Hyundai i30 seems never-ending. Though nobody’s complaining. Security is taken care of by central locking, remote keyless entry, an alarm, immobiliser and doors that lock automatically at 15km/h. Interior comfort is enhanced by dual zone air conditioning, a cooling glove box, electric windows, clever storage nooks and an advanced radio/CD/MP3 system with USB and iPod ports as well as auxiliary port to connect to or charge other devices.

With sporty alloy wheels, striking headlamp and taillight fittings, an aerodynamic rear spoiler, a high mounted LED stop lamp and electric folding mirrors along with sleek yet bold contour lines, the Hyundai i30 has been designed to stop you in your tracks. The only other feature that might impress you even more – a very competitive price tag.

2013 Volkswagen Passat CC Car Review

The most frugal version of Volkswagen’s Passat CC might just take the title of “the sleek sedan with a coupe-like styling” from the Hyundai Sonata with its innocuous, slab-sided exterior which is undeniably elegant. However apart from a new styling on the grille and additional electronic whizz bangs, the 2013 Volkswagen CC might not be largely different from its predecessors. The car still holds its economical position with even lower pricing for American models without compromising on comfort, reliability and the desire for adventure that arises in enthusiastic drivers sometimes.

Excess baggage

No longer referred to as the “Passat,” the Volkswagen Group decided to drop the name and go with “CC” alone. This is not a wonder if you are living in the Eurozone where everything is being cut off to deal with the economic crisis, but a name drop wouldn’t offer much reprieve – maybe they would have replaced the leather with the remains of the California wildfire that managed to take up much of Fisker Karma’s interior. However if you have much “real baggage” fear not, for the car’s boot size is large enough as well as the interior which is elucidated below.


If you have been inside a Volkswagen Group vehicle before, then you understand the instant inviting attitude of the dashboard even before you start the car – the VW Passat CC is no different. The leather seats are comfortable and seemingly luxurious, with handsome appointments here and there for a more “touchy” feel in its competition against the highly priced Mercedes CLS. The plastics are soft to the touch, the typefaces admirably concise and the entire cabin simple but distinctly attractive to the simple but attractive man. Head-room might not rival that of the Mercedes CLS but there is enough leg-room for a dwarf’s party. The driver’s legs are offset towards the centre and the power seats configure in 12 different dimensions, but the party doesn’t end there. There are drinks for those going for the intermediate trims and desserts for those getting the upscale trims. If you feel lost, this is what I’m talking about:

Five different trims are available for the VW Passat CC: Sport, Sport plus, Lux, V6 Lux and VR6 Executive. The car’s 12-way power seats and climatic control begin with “Sport” while “Sport plus” adds DSG transmission and a satellite-navigation system. “Lux” boasts of an aluminium trim, ambient lighting and a sunroof, “V6 Lux” bakes a back-up camera, bigger screen and memory seats all into one package while the show-stopping “VR6 Executive” combines a rear sunshade, parking sensors, all-wheel-drive and front seats that heat, cool and massage.


I have always been on the front seats for VW Passat’s support but when it comes to entertainment I can only hung my head. Bad resolution on the 5-inch touch-screen (400 by 200 pixels), no voice command anywhere in this car, no USB plug for non Apple devices and the audio player is the very basic CD player with AM/FM Sirius radio only spiced up with iDevice integration. The only commendable component is Bluetooth audio streaming and the 600-watt 10-speaker Dynaudio system in the VR6. The navigation system is low end with minute improvement on screen size in the Lux and V6 trims from 5.0 to 6.5-inches and a colour LCD in the VR6.

Road performance

The Volkswagen Passat CC’s 2.0L TDI engine with 139 horsepower and a combined economy of 60 mpg will leave you almost fully satisfied if you are not going for a road race. The good mileage is as a result of VW’s BlueMotion fuel saving technology using an intelligent alternator that makes Prius’ ETCS-i yesterday’s news. The gearbox is a 6-speed manual that transmits with nicely spaced ratios for driving efficiency but again, not for road racing! The steering wheel though is well weighted and the ride is very quiet but higher-powered versions of 158 bhp and 207 bhp are a bit noisier. The ride height is a bit lower than in the standard Passat but most parts can be interchanged. The Sport trim however lacks DSG transmission that begins with the Sport plus trim and is more ideal in traffic but a bit high on the fuel bills. Driver engagement is not offered as the ride remains housed in traditional austerity and it will take a lot of hard work to achieve a chassis balance as accorded by BMW. Jagged surfaces are a bit responsive making it non ideal for off-road and this is worsened by the 18-inch wheels which “The Telegraph” describes as “deleterious.” The car’s lane departure system also does not always pick up on road markings and the boot switch activated by feet movement beneath the bumper is highly inefficient. It is yet to be understood what VW was thinking to suggest opening the boot by flipping your feet under the rear bumper, what is known as “air kicking” but if this is the direction innovations are taking us I bet we are yet to see more.

Audi TT – Hardcore Driving Experience

Building a TT for each form of consumer, the mission for Audi, a decision of motor variation built it probable from a sensible 158bhp 1.8 TSI to an eye-popping, fireplace-breathing 335bhp two.5 RS top rated of your variety mannequin. With regards to cost and effectiveness, TT has coated the comprehensive array, of which some is extra compelling than the other. The coupe is the most effective alternative for people who search for extra of the hardcore driving expertise although the roadster is the perfect for individuals who desire AL-fresco type of driving encounter but equally have almost identical motor line-up. Audi TT’s most up-to-date design may be very clever but it is just about impossible to match with unique designs’ developed impression. Curved top line, large shoulders, clam shell bonnet, geometric wheel-arches, every little thing tells you that it really is Audi TT as you technique it.

It can be really different in every panel from its predecessors, better you glance, the more you notice. Taller, lengthier and wider, it is with hefty part of outdated design and style’s simplicity to create it glimpse additional aggressive but is much less gorgeous in type. Its system is manufactured from 31 percent metal and 69 p.c of aluminum to shed some bodyweight away and to generate the bodyweight distribution additional favorable. Metallic complete shows the sculpting better, sporting flair is gained because of the strong shades plus the subtle shaping metalwork for the hollowed-out sides. The undetectable rear spoiler which only raises at speeds over 75mph to forestall elevate more than the rear axle tends to make the rear particularly smooth along with flat underbody. As you obtain in the car, the inside is much much like the ancient models. Driver’s seat is really minimal so the dashboard is appropriate in entrance of you than beneath, the stunning flat-bottomed leather steering wheel is properly-placed to interact with.

The RS model is the genuine beast if you are up for some fireworks. The purpose is its 332lb ft of peak torque which commences from 1600rpm and stays up all of the way to 5300rpm. Its six-velocity gearbox, all wheel drive traction and smooth-revving engine; all create so much thrust that the TT at some point feels like flying in every gear. It reaches 0-60mph in just 4.7 seconds that eclipses the Porsche Cayman S’s 5.1 seconds. In case you remove the RS’s 155mph limiter then this thrust will carry on the many strategy to 174mph. The 167bhp two.0 TDI Quattro Sport Audi diesel engine produces 350Nm of torque, reaching 0-60mph in only 7.a couple of seconds, CO2 emissions are 144g/km and fuel economic system is 51mpg. Whereas, a couple of.0 FSI Quattro TTS Audi petrol engine with 268bhp produces 350Nm of torque, reaching 0-60mph in just five.a couple of seconds, CO2 emissions 184g/km and fuel financial system is 35mpg.

This is not going to be a low-cost car or truck to run in the event the actual globe fuel consumption is within the reduced 20s. Audi TT’s electrically assisted steering could be the weak level of its dynamic make-up. Absence of come to feel and variability in aid is actually a trouble than accuracy at any speed. Audi TT’s driving is usually produced additional satisfying by better steering experience. Even so Audi TT is equipped aided by the electronic digital balance handle program that aids the car or truck even though skidding for the road, it arrives as normal in all TT trims. Audi has installed dependable safety actions in TT and it really is enhanced by front and part airbags along with a mind moderation method. There are optional isofix seats obtainable to the young children to repair on the rear seats. Audi can be offering the Tire air pressure monitoring method as optional.

The Lamborghini Green Evoque by Afzal Kahn

When Land Rover/Range Rover designed the new Evoque crossover SUV, they wanted to appeal to a younger generation of buyer and expand its product lineup with a fresh, modern model that strayed away from their typical big SUVs and came in at a more affordable price point. The new Range Rover Evoque has successfully hit on all of those goals and has been quite successful for the British automaker in the first year of its availability. One British Designer however, wanted to give owners a greater range of customization with the new SUV so he penned a new upgrade program for both inside and out. Afzal Kahn was able to create a more aggressive and completely custom-tailored upgrade program that gives owners of the Evoque a wide range of options.

The first aspect of the Range Rover Evoque that was upgraded was the interior, which was given an array of custom luxury fittings to make it an enjoyable place to spend time. All of the seats were given soft black perforated nappa leather with quilted stitching, lime green inserts, and alcantara. Afzal Kahn opted to cover much of the dashboard, glove box, center console, and center arm rest in black nappa leather and alcantara with contrasting diamond stitching. Even the factory roof lining was replaced with alcantara along with each of the sun visors for a special look. The driver benefits from new machined and vented aluminum foot pedals, green tachometer and speedometer, and a new Churchill clock with Swarovski diamond bezel. Each of the door entry sills are made of stainless steel, piano black rounds off the dashboard trim, and Afzal Kahn’s final touch is the machined aluminum gear selector.

The next step for the Range Rover Evoque was the exterior. Here, the designer gave the SUV a Lamborghini green base color contrasted by gloss black paint. A new range of upgrades was also introduced, featuring a new front bumper with integrated LED daytime running lights and a 3-D mesh grille that flows into the widened front and rear fenders. New fender vent inserts give the car a special look and follow the same design language of the stock model. At the rear, Afzal Kahn designed a new bumper with integrated diffuser and exhaust outlets. The final touch was a set of in-house RS-XF wheels with factory center caps in a 9.5 x 22 size at the front and rear axle.

All of the upgrades for the Range Rover Evoque are currently available and can be customized in a variety of colors, designs, and more by the British designer.