CHANGE FOR THE BETTER
Thank you for omitting the controversial off-road rating in the Buyer’s Guide. At least I can enjoy reading your publication again without getting upset about the latest ratings.
The new format of the Buyer’s Guide (in May 2017) is an improvement. You then included two extra fields and I hoped that the beginning of the year would see the off-road rating amended, as unfortunately it looked like a rather random allocation (subjective) of ratings.
I would really suggest that instead of the off-road rating, you rather include a field(s) with ‘low range’, ‘diff/ground clearance’ and diff lock, also suggested by Ben Visagie (June 2018) as well as the current fields with just an extension. Then we would really have all that is needed.
The simple formula of ‘Drive system’: 4WD; FWD; RWD, as well as ‘Transmission’: 5R (5 gears, real-wheel drive); 6R etc; 6×2/2-4 (six gears, low range/2 wheel drive or fourwheel drive); 5×2/4 (5 gears, low range/AWD – all wheel drive). As a reader, I can easily decide the latent or potential off-road capability of the vehicle. Read in conjunction with test results by (your) journalists, it is easy to decide. Henning Malan, via e-mail The Buyers Guide rating was always intended as a guide, and not gospel. We would literally have needed to test every model of every range (because two models in the same range can have different tyre sizes, clearances, and so on) on the same 4×4 track, in exactly the same conditions. This is, as good as it sounds, just not plausible. In the meantime we’re working on an alternative rating system. – Ed.