Th­ese are South Africa’s most af­ford­able 4x4s

The Star Early Edition - - MOTORING - JESSE ADAMS

HOW IM­POR­TANT is four wheel drive? That de­pends greatly on where you live, where you drive, and whether you think Tim­ber­land is a brand of boots or a hip-hop artist. Four- or all-wheel drive is of­ten as­so­ci­ated with burly bakkies and ex­pen­sive SUVs, but there are some af­ford­able op­tions right down at the bot­tom end of our price guide. Here’s a list of the five cheap­est four-wheel drive ve­hi­cles avail­able in South Africa:

1. Mahin­dra Thar - R219 995

The Thar may look like a bla­tant rip-off of a Jeep, and in­deed it is, but it does come with some gen­uine bundu-bash­ing cre­den­tials. Power comes from a fairly ba­sic 79kW/247Nm 2.5-litre tur­bod­iesel en­gine, but its five-speed man­ual gearbox drives through a ro­bust Borg Warner 4WD trans­fer case with low range gear­ing. Ap­proach and de­par­ture an­gles are quoted at 44 and 27 de­grees re­spec­tively and it can wade in wa­ter up to half a me­tre deep, mean­ing this In­dian-made Wran­gler looka­like should be able to hang with some much more ex­pen­sive ma­chin­ery off the beaten track. 2. Fiat Panda 4x4 - R229 900 The new Fiat Panda range of­fi­cially only launches lo­cally next week, but when it does the base 4x4 model will slot into this list in sec­ond place. The new Panda 4x4, like the orig­i­nal Panda Climb­ing from 2005, is a mi­cro-soft­roader based on the reg­u­lar five-door hatchback’s un­der­pin­nings. It’s pre­dom­i­nantly a front-wheel driver, with 63kW com­ing from a tiny two-cylin­der turbo en­gine, but some power is au­to­mat­i­cally sent to the rear axle when ex­tra traction is needed. Con­tin­ued on Page 3

Fiat Panda 4x4 (left) starts at just un­der 230 grand.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.