Month: September 2016

2016 Renault Megane

After 20 years, the fourth generation of Megane has arrived in South Africa. The 2016 Megane looks aggressive, I like it.

Four models will be released, the first of these is the Dynamique model featuring a 1.6 litre 84 kW engine with a 5-speed manual box, no option for auto here. Moving up in the range we have two GT-LINE models, both powered by a 97kw 1.2 Litre turbocharged engine. The difference being the choice of a 7-speed dual clutch automatic box or a classic 6-speed manual.

Headlining the Megane act is the GT model producing a meaty 151kw from its 1.6 litre turbocharged engine.  The GT comes with some features exclusive to its model such as the MULTI-SENSE handling feature and full LED headlight technology. Other items include leather seats,18” alloy wheels, an electronic parking brake to take away all the fun and paddle shifts.

High-end technologies on this vehicle include 4CONTROL chassis which is the only vehicle in its segment to feature this. 4CONTROL works by turning the rear wheels slightly when cornering, this small movement has a big effect on road holding and performance. I’m sure this is going to be a fun car to drive.

Another great feature is MULTI-SENSE, this enables individual users to modify many aspects of the vehicle from driving dynamics such as accelerator mapping, gearbox mapping and steering response just to name a few. The classic pre-sets like Comfort, Eco and sport are also available.

The new Megane looks fantastic and has some exciting and personal driver based features. We will soon have our hands on one and will be able to bring you an in-depth review.

 

Pricing is as follows :

Renault Megane Dynamique – R 279 900

Renault Megane GT-LINE :

– Manual: R 339 900

– Auto: R 354 900

Renault Megane GT – R 449 900

 

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Apple Carplay Gives A New Meaning To Hands-Free

The number of people using their phones while driving is ever increasing, whether it’s taking calls, sending a Whatsapp or even recording a Snapchat. This is not good, but unfortunately, it will never be completely stopped. Since we use our devices all the time, when we step into our cars, it has become second nature to carry on using our phones for whatever reason. Cars have also become easier to drive nowadays and in a sense require less attention from the driver, due to various driver aids. These factors make using a device while driving something more difficult stop. We have all heard the saying,“If you can’t beat them, join them”. Apple has adopted this phrase with their new CarPlay feature in IOS 9. Apple says that Car-Play is a smarter and safer way to use your iPhone in the car. How so?

How does Apple CarPlay work?

Apple CarPlay takes the features you want to use while driving and puts them into your car display. Not every app is supported, but things like Maps, Phone, Messages and Music are all available in an IOS Style layout. CarPlay even allows you to use the knobs, dials and buttons in your vehicle for ease of use of the application. Siri is also available to control functions, so you don’t need to take your eyes off the road. You can even have your messages read out aloud, and you can reply using your voice.

Other available apps included in CarPlay are podcasts, audio books, Spotify and other internet radio applications. Social media apps are not currently supported, maybe they will introduce Facebook and Twitter updates through Siri at some point, but we can’t imagine Instagram ever getting compatibility. The whole point here is to help you keep your eyes on the road, and since Instagram is an image-based app, it’s probably not going to happen.

Well done to Apple for trying to come up with a solution for a problem that causes many unneeded deaths every year. Obviously, the best option is to have no phone at all while driving but that unlikely for many. This system merges the two worlds between your phone and your infotainment system, which is better than a simple hands-free system because it stops you from looking down and engaging with your cell phone.

How to connect with Apple CarPlay?

The connection is very easy, simply plug in your iPhone to the USB port or connect via Bluetooth. Head over to “Settings” – “General” and press the “CarPlay” option, and voila, your car and IOS are now one flesh. So how do you know if your car is supported? See the image below to see if your vehicle is part of the supported list.  If it’s not, you may also have support if you use an Alpine, Kenwood or Pioneer after-market System.

Remember guys as handy as these systems are, the best distraction is no distraction. Situations on the road can change in a split second, so keeping your phone off and keeping your eyes where they belong is always the best option. Travel safe and Happy Tech Tuesday.

Hello New VW Tiguan

The previous Volkswagen Tiguan suffered from a bit of an identity crisis in our opinion. It was meant to be like a smaller Touareg, but it didn’t pull off the masculinity of its older brother. What it did have was many modern technologies for that time. Under the hood was the option of a combination of supercharging as well as turbo charging. The car also had the ability to park itself, which at the time was a very cool feature to have. Since its inception, what the Tiguan has proved is that smaller displacement engines that are boosted can work in mid-sized cars. If only it looked a bit more butch, then many men wouldn’t have felt that they were driving a school taxi each time they stepped inside.

All that has changed:

Speed up to present day and we now have a new Tiguan on our hands. To say that there is even a slight similarity between this version and the one it replaces, would be a complete lie. Visually this new car is larger, boxier and much more aggressive looking. Gone are the softer looks of the old car. The standard package alone is a vast improvement, but the R-Line Package is the one you want if you’re looking for to turn heads. The interior of the new Tiguan also keeps to the car’s overall modern theme.

In typical Volkswagen fashion, the layout is functional, well built and logical. As a result, though, functionality has replaced a bit of creativity so the interior is not the most exciting to sit in. The Composition Media infotainment system is as good as all modern VW’s and thankfully the new Tiguan also has the option of the Active Info Display. The digital screen of the Active Info Display is one of the greatest things that has come from the VW Group, and its good to see it feature in more cars.

What makes it tick:

On launch we had two models at our disposal, both petrol, and both 1.4 litre turbocharged engines. The one model offers 92kW’s whilst the other offers 110kW’s. The former had a manual and the latter a DSG gearbox. The cars ride very similarly with the obvious difference being the power, something that makes the 110kW derivative the choice car between the two. The combination of the DSG gearbox and the added power work very well together, especially considering the larger size of the new car. That being said, the manual 92kW version is good at what it does, but you do long for more power at times. Comfort levels are good in the Tiguan considering that the cars we had were riding on 19-inch wheels. For maximum comfort, though, a smaller wheel size may be preferred as the ride may be firm for some. For its purpose as an everyday medium sized SUV, ferrying the little ones around or going on a long holiday will be a pleasure.

What the future holds:

The two cars we drove are not the only derivatives that will be available. Three diesel options will be present soon, as well as a high powered petrol engine. Both the petrol and the diesel will be 2.0 litres in displacement, with the top of the range diesel featuring 130kW’s and the petrol making 162kW’s. We look forward to sampling the diesel models, as these cars generally work better because they offer more torque and are therefore more usable.

Verdict:

Based on our brief encounter we had with the new car, we can conclude the following about the new Tiguan: On the outside, when fitted with the R-Line package, it looks very good. The car also has enough interior space for a family and a large boot (615 litres). Overall the new Tiguan experience is one that is premium, luxurious and appealing. Most appealing, however, is the price of the new Tiguan which you can read below.

Our in-depth review will be available in Edition 05 of TheMotorist magazine.

Prices:

1.4 TSI 92kW Trendline Manual R378 000
1.4 TSI 92kW Comfortline Manual R419 000
1.4 TSI 110kW Comfortline DSG R457 680

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NISSAN GT-R 2017

Way back in 2007 a car came along which changed everything. Performance wise, this vehicle destroyed almost anything that was put against it, its acceleration was blistering and it’s on track performance was mind blowing. This vehicle was probably one of the most technically advanced cars of that era, many called it “the supercar slayer”. Yes, I’m talking about the Nissan GT-R R35. Recently at the SA Festival of Motoring, the new 2017 Edition was released with some slight adjustments and Refinements.

 

Performance

In the performance area, the hand built 3.8L V6 twin turbo has a power increase from 397 KW to 408 KW and a small torque increase of 4nm, bringing the total to 632 NM. This power increase comes from increased turbo boost and individual timing control on each cylinder, Nissan say these upgrades will also provide more performance in the mid-high rev range.

Along with the performance upgrades, the gearbox and gearshifts have also been improved.  These two factors added with Nissan’s state of the art launch control system gives a 0–100kph time of under 3 seconds, that’s Porsche Turbo S territory. Nissan has also added a new titanium exhaust system which unfortunately is “enhanced” by Nissan’s Active Sound Enhancement System, fake sound does not do it for me.

Handling upgrades have also taken place with a more rigid suspension structure and chassis to further improve track performance, Nissan also claims they have improved the everyday drive and comfort of this 2017 model.

 

Interior

Nissan has also worked on the interior with their aim to make it more  “upmarket” and simplified. The upmarket feel has been introduced with Nappa leather and “real” carbon fibre,  sound dampening and an acoustic glass windshield has also been installed to keep unwanted exterior noises out. I do wonder though if the acoustic glass will improve my wife’s in car singing voice ? after all, it is acoustic.

In their aim to simplify, Nissan has reduced the number of buttons in the cabin from 27 to 11 with most of the functions moving to an 8” touchscreen display. As long as the audio and A/C controls are not digitally controlled then I’m happy, that really gets on my wick.

 

Pricing

The 2017 GT-R will be available from September with the first batch already sold out. The Premium Edition comes in at a price of R1 950 000 and the Black Edition at R2 050 000. The supercar slayer is edging towards supercar prices!

 

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Renault Kadjar EDC

Renault recently held the second launch for the Kadjar, so clearly something important had changed. This was indeed the case, and the aforementioned importance was the addition of the EDC (Efficient Double Clutch) gearbox to the Kadjar range. Wooooow.

Touted as offering the efficiency and responsiveness of a manual gearbox, yet the convenience and comfort of an automatic, the EDC gearbox is Renault’s foray into the world of the double clutch and has now been dropped into the Kadjar. Mated with an array of either petrol or diesel engines, the Kadjar EDC is the value for money proposition that the Kadjar has always been, but now with added appeal for those who dislike shifting the cogs themselves. Impressive build quality, striking looks (especially in Flame Red) and economical engines across the range make for an enticing package.

The range starts at R364 000 for the 96kW TCe Expression with the cheapest EDC model being the 93kW TCe Dynamique Auto at R399 900. If it’s a frugal frenchie you’re after, the 81kW dCi Auto is the Kadjar for you, priced at R414 900.

In conclusion, the Kadjar brings French flair to the ever-growing Crossover segment which its twin, the Nissan Qashqai invented back in the noughties. With a slightly more desirable name than Nissan’s Kumquat (only just) and added pizaz, the Kadjar is a pleasant and welcomed glimpse into the future of Renault, now with an auto, and we like it!

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