This year has seen a highway revving with amazing cars.
It’s no easy task to pick out the best, but Travel Torque’s Melinda Ferguson gave it a bash. Here are her top 10 cars of 2017.
1. Lexus LC500
Undoubtedly my dream car of 2017, the LC500 – a 5.0 litre naturally aspirated V8 grand touring coupe – combines breathtaking beauty, powerful performance and cutting edge exclusivity. With a drive that’s both silky smooth and exhilaratingly theatrical, when the Active Exhaust kicks in, you’re in for a symphony of growls and roars to send you straight to Acoustic Car Heaven.
Price: R1 729 600
2. Range Rover Velar
Range Rover Velar.
Described as “the most beautiful SUV” in the world, the Velar oozes glamour, technical mastery and world-class performance. This on and off-road maestro, swathed in luxurious leathers and suedes, marries simplicity, function and style. State of the art tech is taken to the next level in the Velar’s world-first Touch Pro Duo infotainment system.
Price: from R947 700
3. Golf GTD
Which South African doesn’t love a VW Golf? Well there’s much to swoon about in the New Golf GTD with its widely celebrated 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine. Performance and fuel efficiency go hand in hand with impressive outputs of 130kW and 350Nm, while consumption comes in at just 5.0 L/100km. It’s about R50k cheaper than the petrol-powered GTI and in my books just as good as its hot hatch back brother.
Price: from R506 700
4. Mercedes-AMG E63 S 4Matic
Mercedes-AMG E63 S 4Matic
The most powerful E-Class ever created, beating was my heart when I got to experience this V8 speed monster on track. With 450kW of power and a massive 850Nm of torque, rocketing from 0-100kms in 3.4 seconds, it’s easy to mistake these specs for a two seater Italian sports demon, not a huge German luxury sedan. Beautiful to look at both inside and out, this beaut is for the highly discerning car lover. Did I mention you need to be loaded to own it?
Price: from R1 849 000
5. Audi Q5
With almost two million first generation Q5s sold worldwide, we’ve been hungry for the new queen of SUVs. A beaut on and off-road, the Q5 is all about premium style and performance with its renowned Quattro drive system. I especially love its high-tech MMI terminal, and top class infotainment system using a Bang & Olufsen 3D sound system that takes auditory experience to a breathtaking level.
Price: from R698 000
6. Toyota C-HR
My favourite funky car this year, Toyota sprung surprises with the launch of its millennium darling, the C-HR which stands for “Coupe – High Riding.” The eye-catching compact crossover, replete with interesting angles and a sporty rear spoiler, shouts “unique” and “look at me!” wherever she goes. The 1.2 turbo petrol dynamo which comes in both manual and auto is hugely impressive, while consumption is excellent at around 5.5L/100kms.
Price: from R318 500
7. Mini Countryman JCW
Mini Countryman JCW
I love Mini. And I really love the SUV of Minis – the Countryman – but I absolutely adore the performance version, the John Cooper Works. With its 4-cylinder turbo engine, this pocket rocket delivers 170 kW of power and 350Nm of awesome torque. The 18-inch alloys, the Brembo sports brake system, sports seats and an impressive infotainment system, by way of Mini Connected are just some of the reasons why this one’s a winner.
Price: from R613 000
8. BMW X3
The big news attached to the recent launch of one of BMW’s bestselling SUVs, is that the X3 will be manufactured locally, after the German manufacturer invested no less than R6 billion smackeroos in its local manufacturing plant at Rosslyn. The third generation X3 with its enhanced kidney grille and tougher stance is a brilliant SUV both off road and on. My pick of the line up is the top of the range M40i, a speed demon packed with innovative driver assistance and high tech.
Price: from R684 200
9. Suzuki Ignis
In today’s pricy car market it’s rare to find a great drive for under R200k. The funky Suzuki Ignis, with its two-tone striking looks, trendy interior design trim and impressive drive ability by way of a 1.2 litre transverse four-cylinder engine, ticks all the boxes. Fuel consumption is impressive too at just 5.1 L/100km.
Price: from R189 900
10. Mitsubishi Pajero Sport
This highly capable 7-seater on and off-roader is a worthy achievement in performance and competitive pricing. Powered by a new-generation 4-cylinder 2.4 litre turbodiesel engine which emits 133 kW of power and 430 Nm of torque, mated to an impressive 8-speed auto gearbox, the Pajero is a dream family car, packed with comfort, driver tech and huge space.
Price: from R569 995
Mitsubishi Pajero Sport
Audi RS3 Sedan (from R927 900), Lexus NX (from R599 900) Opel Crossland X (from R265 000), Renault Kadjar (from R299 900), Nissan X-Trail (from R369 900), Kia Picanto (from R134 995), Nissan Patrol (from R1 299 900), Landrover Discovery (from R989 918), Fiat Fullback (from R402 900), Isuzu KB300 (from R422 400), Hyundai Elantra Sport (from R299 900).