Step up with the Step­way

Sunday World - - Motoring - Send your mo­tor­ing ques­tions to Ed­win.Naidu @live.co.za or @Naidu1 on Twit­ter. Lis­ten to Ed­win on Capri­corn FM on Fridays at 7.20am.

DEAR Ed­win I’m a 26-year-old mom, wife and a speed junkie. I’m con­sid­er­ing get­ting the Re­nault San­dero or the San­dero Step­way. Would you say it is good value for money in the long term? I would like some­thing pow­er­ful, but light on fuel. Mpumi Maphosa Dear Mpumi The Re­nault San­dero has been get­ting good re­views. At about R150 000, it is a budget-beater with class.

A new Step­way was launched in South Africa this week. The Step­way is based on the San­dero hatch, but has the look of an SUV. Much higher and sport­ing fat­ter tyres, it said to be bet­ter on fuel.

The stan­dard fea­tures list is im­pres­sive, and in­cludes cruise con­trol, a MP3/CD/USB au­dio sys­tem linked to steer­ing con­trols, elec­tric mir­rors and a rear park­ing sen­sor. For all this, you will pay R159 900, backed by a five-year/150 000km war­ranty and a two-year/30 000km ser­vice plan. Dear Ed­win I drive a 2007 Mazda 3 2-litre Sport, but have a prob­lem with the gear­box. When I drive in sec­ond and third gear, there is a cracking sound un­der the ve­hi­cle. It’s like a click­ing sound that gets louder. I don’t know if it’s a com­mon prob­lem with Mazda 3s. I don’t want be ripped off. I just took it for a ser­vice re­cently. It has 141 000km on the clock. Jef­frey Masha­lane Dear Jef­frey My Dial-a-Me­chanic con­tact says it seems as if there might be a prob­lem with the gear­box. The prob­lem you de­scribe, ac­cord­ing to the me­chanic, is not a com­mon is­sue with the Mazda 3. For about R650, you can get the gear­box as­sessed by Mazda, but I was un­able to source the costs as­so­ci­ated with fix­ing the gear­box, be­cause the prob­lem needs to be iden­ti­fied first. Good day, Ed­win I had a 2008 BMW 135i Exclusive Pack. My car was in­volved in an ac­ci­dent and writ­ten off. Af­ter the in­sur­ance paid out, I wanted to buy the same car, but it was too ex­pen­sive. I got a good deal from a pri­vate seller for R200 000. The car has 53 000km on the clock, and the con­di­tion is ex­cel­lent. Can I still buy the car though it’s off the mo­tor plan? I am still pay­ing for my Toy­ota, which I use for work. Anony­mous Dear Anony­mous Stick with your Toy­ota. It is cheaper, re­li­able and will save you money in the long term. Fork­ing out R200 000 on a car that is past its sell-by date will cost you around R4 531 a month with­out a de­posit over 60 months on an in­ter­est rate of 12%. A BMW with­out a mo­tor plan is not ad­vis­able. Dear Ed­win I have just bought a 2011 MINI One for R149 000. It has 66 000km on the clock. The car is neat with 17-inch mag wheels. I was driv­ing a Corsa Lite 1.4 be­fore the MINI. I got R35 000 and it had 96 000km on the clock. Do you think that was a good move? Parks Le­shaba Dear Parks As long as you are happy with what is in your garage. But be warned, un­less you have a war­ranty and ser­vice plan, the MINI can be ex­pen­sive to run.

SPORTY: Re­nault has just in­tro­duced the new Step­way

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