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Since its introduction in South Africa, the Ford Fiesta has remained a popular choice for compact hatchback buyers across the country. We spent a week with the Fiesta 1.0T Ambiente automatic to see what makes this offering so competitive. In terms of space, the Fiesta offers 276-litres of boot space, which is less than its main rivals, but space can be increased by folding the split rear bench down to load larger items.
This Fiesta has a claimed 0-100kph time of 10.8 seconds, but in reality it feels a whole lot quicker.
On the safety front, this Fiesta in Ambiente trim comes with two airbags for the driver and passenger and ABS with EBD is fitted as standard. Overall, the Ford Fiesta is an excellent car, offering commendable performance from its 1.0 Ecoboost engine. The Ford Fiesta is a good-looking small hatch and the EcoBoost powerplant and automatic gearbox make for a good combination. Gero Lilleike is a published writer and photographer with most of his work appearing in the fields of travel and motoring. Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently unveiled his company’s long-awaited all-electric Model X crossover SUV. With powertrains similar to the Tesla Model S, the plug-in electric-only Model X 90D has an estimated range of 413 km, while the P90D will do 403 km. The Tesla Model X is apparently the first SUV to get five stars in every crash test category, as there is no petrol engine in the front and the heavy battery is placed so low that there is a very low chance of roll-over. The Model X can somehow seat seven with cargo room to spare, but it can’t have a roof rack with the Falcon Wing doors. There are no known plans by any local dealers to bring the Tesla brand to the GCC, even though a few privately-imported Model S sedans have been spotted in the UAE. Once Tesla launch its mass market car the model 3, there is gonna be a revolution in automobile industry. Market studies in recent years have shown that car-buyers are more conscious of safety and expect more safety features in their cars to protect them and their loved ones. Naza Kia Malaysia appears to be doing the latter with the new Rio Sedan by providing as standard safety features which are found in more expensive models.
Additionally, there’s a Tyre Pressure Monitoring System which alerts the driver if the pressure in any tyre is less than what it should be. The safety features may sound commonplace but how many cars sold in Malaysia and priced at around RM73,000 (with insurance) have them? Though the Rio Sedan is a 3-box notchback, it does not look like the boot was merely added to the hatchback bodystyle. The engine is the same as the current Rio hatchback which was launched in 2013 in Malaysia and updated in May this year. The platform is a straightforward one with MacPherson struts in front and a torsion beam rear end. Like the safety features list, the standard equipment list for the Rio Sedan is also extensive.
When this generation of the Rio hatchback was launched, it was evident that Kia has made a strong effort to heighten the image of the model. The Rio Sedan is assembled locally at Naza’s own plant in Kedah and orders can be placed now with the first deliveries starting from January 2016. The new Kia model is on display at the ASEAN Auto Show 2015 at the Mines International Exhibition & Convention Centre outside Kuala Lumpur.
The Captur, an exciting-looking B-segment crossover from Renault, was launched this week and I was in Johannesburg to drive it. The Renault Captur is the French brand's compact crossover and on the back of massive sales in Europe, much is expected of this vehicle in South Africa.
The Captur is no different and is a serious head turner, especially in its bold Bi-Tone colour scheme.

There are two derivatives to choose from: Dynamique and Expression, but interestingly there's not much to separate them.
The other engine is a turbo'd 1.2-litre four-cylinder motor and this is coupled to a six-speed twin-clutch gearbox.
The twin-clutch gearbox had me instinctively feeling around the steering wheel for shift paddles, and there were none to be found. The engine may feel a little underpowered, but this is essentially the only mark against an otherwise good car, and even then it will only be a problem for some customers. Another Renault party trick is offering an amazing amount of specification fitted as standard.
On the practicality side of things, the Renault Captur is a lot more versatile than the Clio which it is based upon.
Aside from a slightly underpowered engine, the Renault Captur is a promising product and takes the fight to the Ford EcoSport and Nissan Juke, both of which have been a success in our market. The success of the Fiesta lives on, with Ford selling Fiestas by the hundreds on a monthly basis. The seats are grey too and are upholstered in cloth, but offer reasonable levels of comfort. Space for rear seat passengers is on the tight side and larger individuals may have a problem in terms of leg and headroom. This particular Fiesta model comes fitted with Ford’s 3-cylinder 1.0-litre Ecoboost engine which offers 74 kW of power and a healthy 170 Nm of torque, paired to a 6-speed automatic dual-clutch transmission. Performance is brisk and the Fiesta responds well to throttle inputs making it very nippy in traffic and quite fun to drive. Gero has worked in the motoring space for the last four years and enjoys driving and photographing the latest cars. However, safety systems cost money, especially the more sophisticated ones, and while carmakers do care about their customers’ lives, they also have to think about the cost they must incur and how it will affect the prices of their cars. The new variant, which joins the hatchback, comes with not only ABS and two front airbags but 6 airbags (providing extra protection for rea occupants), electronic stability control with vehicle stability management system, hill-start assist, rear disc brakes, and even automatic activation of the hazard warning lights if the car is braked hard suddenly. This particular feature is rare even in more expensive models so it’s a surprise to find it in the Rio Sedan. Some rival models in the same class (B-segment) may offer some of the features but only in the most expensive variants. This is where the Rio Sedan fits in,” said Nazman Yusof, Naza Kia Malaysia’s Head of Company.
It comes with a 6-speaker audio system which can be controlled by switches on the steering wheel.
The materials and quality of trim is surprisingly high for a model in this segment, along with the fit and finish. Ever wondered how Mr.Teoh’s Pajero could be transformed from being a dull looking vehicle to a bright, youthful and robust looking off-roader, which is not only able to turn many heads on the streets, but also tough enough to handle the unforgiving terrains and the sharp overgrowths on the off-road terrain?
The Captur, like the Renault Clio upon which it is based, was designed by Dutch-born Laurens van den Acker. Sunset Orange is the official launch colour and can be ordered with either a black or white roof.
This is a similar unit to the one found in the Renault Clio RenaultSport, but not identical. There's a slight hesitation upon take off, but once you're moving the engine pulls reasonably well. The Captur offers the drive of a normal hatchback, boasts MPV-like practicality and space, while even throwing in good ground clearance of 170mm like an SUV. There's a decent amount of legroom for the rear passengers, and the rear bench can slide forwards and backwards. With Renault reporting European sales of around 161 000 units sold in 2014 alone, the Renault Captur should do well here.

The Fiesta’s success hasn’t come easy though and the compact hatchback segment is crowded with competitors like the Volkswagen Polo, Renault Clio, Kia Rio, Suzuki Swift, Hyundai i20 and so forth, all vying to dominate the segment. Although hard plastics dominate the cabin, we were pleased to note that the interior is solid and well built.
Family-orientated buyers will be happy to find ISOFIX child seat mounts fitted as standard.
Out on the highway, the Fiesta copes well at highway speed and it always has a bit of punch when you need to overtake.
It keeps its composure in a bend with minimal body-roll being evident and it feels solid and confident when you decide to push on. However, the Fiesta offers less space than its main competitors and in Ambiente trim, its features list is a bit shy. At the lower end of the market, where profit margins are thin, providing more safety features has to be balanced with the need to keep the price low. Interestingly, the ‘Tiger Nose’ radiator grille that is on the ‘face’ of all Kia models is a cosmetic item and does not actually permit air to pass through. Power delivery to the front wheels is through a 4-speed automatic transmission which is a torque converter type. This man is responsible for the big bold Renault logo on the nose of the car and even from a non-car enthusiast's point of view, these designs are simply breathtaking. I have a particular lust for a Pacific Blue with a Diamond Black roof which looks sensational.
Firstly, there's the familiar 0.9-litre three-cylinder turbo which does duty in the Renault Sandero and Renault Clio.
Our launch route took us from the Cradle of Humankind to Sun City, via Hartebeespoort Dam and it was on these roads that I got to sample the Captur's abilities. Renault was keen to show off its offroad credentials to us and the launch route included numerous dirt roads of varying qualities. Satellite navigation, Bluetooth, cruise control, USB port, touchscreen infotainment, auto headlights, rain-sensing wipers as well as the usual safety acronyms of ABS, EBD and airbags have been thrown in.
When these seats are folded flat and the bottom of the boot has been dropped, you're looking at 1 235 litres of space to play with. It’s the type of interior that lends itself to durability, which is a good thing, but overall it lacks contrast and an element of excitement. The transmission never really labours to find the right gear and transitions are generally smooth and responsive. The Fiesta soaks up bumps nicely and the ride is smooth with good feedback from the steering wheel. So in most cases, companies will install additional safety features because new regulations force them to do so, or they want to give their model an extra selling point. It has 66kW, and based on that spec item alone (I did not drive it), I'd be a little apprehensive of the performance.
Thanks to Renault's great safety and stability features, I felt confident when driving through gravel and sand.
On the safety side of things, the Renault Captur scored a five-star rating at the 2013 round of evaluations. Closing off the radiator grille would help aerodynamic efficiency, especially at high speeds.
Drive the Captur in a gentle manner and let the gearbox shift on its own accord, and things are adequate.

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03.08.2015 admin

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