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Car Reviews

  • Ford B Max EcoBoost: get your dad on

    I am, at the time of this article going live, 28-years-old and have no children. I do, however, listen to talk radio and tell incredibly lame jokes. And that means I'm reasonably qualified to review the Ford B Max EcoBoost: a dad car with an impressive sting in the tail. Make no mistake, no one's going to think you're the coolest dad in the school-yard if you pull up in this mini-people carrier. Once you've explained to everyone why it's such a "sensible" choice though, Ford's clever 1.0l EcoBoost engine means you'll be able to burn them as you...

  • Ford Fusion 1.5L EcoBoost: sensibility with a sting in the tail

    A few weeks ago, on this very site, I revealed that I wasn't a fan of automatics. The car I reviewed in that article, the Volvo XC90 failed to convert me. But after a week with the Ford Fusion, I'm starting to think I could live without a clutch pedal. Of course there's plenty of other stuff to say about the latest Fusion, a car which was only launched in South Africa in 2015 -- some three years after it made its debut at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in 2012. And we'll get to all the...

  • Volvo XC90 review: a seriously safe Swedish SUV

    Before we start, there's something you should know. I am not, by inclination, a fan of large SUVs. Nor, for that matter, am I all that fond of automatics. So when the very large, very automatic Volvo XC90 arrived at Burn HQ recently, it had its work cut out for it. And while a week with this Swedish giant wasn't enough to convert me on either of those things, I'm fairly confident that if you do like big, automatic SUVs, then you'll love the XC90. The safest tough car on the road Realistically, an SUV is never going to...

  • 5 things I learned taking the Suzuki Vitara on holiday

    Late last year, we gave you our first impressions of the Suzuki Vitara, the new compact crossover from the Japanese manufacturer. By and large, our feelings towards the Vitara were positive, but it's not easy to fully get to grips with a car in a single day. Fortunately, my time with the Vitara wasn't limited to a single launch trip. During my recent end-of-year holidays, spent in KwaZulu-Natal, I was given a couple of weeks with the compact crossover. Here's what I learned: 1. It battles up steep hills Most of the time, the Vitara's 1.5l engine has more...

  • The Suzuki Vitara: first impressions

    Motorburn readers with a long memory might recall the original Suzuki Vitara, released nearly 30 years ago. Those with a slightly shorter memory might recall the Grand Vitara, the slightly larger, more well-equipped version that launched a little later. The current Vitara, recently launched in South Africa has little to do with those earlier predecessors, and that might not be the worst thing. Built on an entirely new platform, the latest generation Vitara is more of a compact crossover, and is Suzuki's attempt to take on the likes of the Nissan Juke and Ford Ecosport. Whether it manages to...

  • The Citroen C4 Cactus: first impressions

    There was a very brief period in the early years of the new millennium when Citroen, always a benchmark for automotive innovation, produced boring cars. Thankfully that period seems to be behind it. The DS3 and DS5 showed that it could make small cars that were also design statements and now with the C4 Cactus, it's done the same in the crossover segment. I recently got to spend a little time in car, which we named one of our most innovative of 2014, and can confirm that it's even more fun to drive than it is to look...

  • Brace yourself: the Opel Adam proves big car tech is coming to your small car, and soon

    We recently spent a week whizzing around in the new Opel Adam. It's a posh little three-door hatchback that employs a decidedly refined and trendily downsized turbo triple. Little, of course, is the operative word here. The Adam -- which rides on a shortened Corsa platform -- measures just a smidgen over 3.7 metres in length, which puts it neatly between the absolutely tiny Fiat 500 and the rather compact Audi A1 (incidentally, two of its main rivals). Its boot can handle a mere 170 litres and space on the rear bench is cramped at best. So, it's small. Very small....

  • Toyota Yaris Hybrid review: Just how frugal is SA’s cheapest hybrid?

    Buying a hybrid in South Africa isn't easy. In fact, if you're dead set on owning a petrol-electric vehicle, your local options are severely limited. Of the small handful of hybrid models available, most are distinctly premium products, and thus priced well beyond the R700k mark. Only Honda (with its paradoxical CR-Z “sport hybrid coupe”) and Toyota offer examples that can be thought of as anything even close to affordable. The Toyota Yaris Hybrid, however, is the cheapest of them all. At R276 300, the range-topping Yaris isn't exactly cut-price (seeing that it's a B-segment hatchback), but the outlay is...

  • Citroen C4 Picasso review: An MPV loaded with tech? You’d better believe it!

    Family vehicles and drool-inducing automotive technology are like pickles and ice cream: they're generally just not found together. But the sharply styled Citroën C4 Picasso bucks that trend. And a few more, in fact. Yes, this eye-catching MPV boasts enough space for a family of five -- and all the related paraphernalia -- but still manages to cram in the sort of tech that makes faithful Motorburn readers purr. In fact, the French automaker describes the vehicle's overall design philosophy in one (admittedly invented but seemingly pinpoint-accurate) word: Technospace. So, let's jump right into that roomy interior and have a look at...

  • Mercedes-Benz S-Class review: is this the best car… in the world?

    Mercedes-Benz says that the S-Class is “the best automobile in the world”. That’s an astonishingly bold claim, isn’t it? But it’s not a deluded one. Not even in the slightest. You see, the Daimler-owned brand’s flagship luxury saloon has long been regarded the benchmark in both its specific segment and the general sphere of automotive technology. Simply put, where the S-Class marches, the rest of the automotive world follows. So, does the latest-generation Mercedes-Benz S-Class – with fresh styling that manages to combine the classic with the modern – continue in this class-leading vein? The short answer is a resounding...

  • Renault Clio IV review: high fives for the French!

    High five Renault, because in July this year 1 567 Renaults found new homes in South Africa, according to the new passenger vehicles sales complied by NAAMSA. The bulk of those sales are made up by the budget beating new Sandero and the rugged Duster SUV (417 and 421). The big surprise though is that Renault sold 425 new Clios IVs in the same period. High five indeed…or should that be high four? Having driven the Sandero and Sandero Stepway back-to-back recently (with a Duster on the way soon) and coming away mightily impressed by interior quality, stand spec, the...

  • This Peugeot is SO not 2008!

    Wind the clock back a good few years and you will remember the Peugeot 1007 which debuted in 2004. The quirky little Pug was a hatchback-MPV-crossover wannabe featuring dual power sliding doors, swappable interior bits dubbed ‘Cameleo trim’, and an awkward name – the first Peugeot to feature a ‘double zero’ number on its bum – and perhaps the only Peugeot to attract the attention of the Bond franchise (one double oh seven?). In motoring circles it was generally hailed as unconventional (mostly due to those doors), however it was heavy despite being small, not very fast and not all...

  • Comfort and convenience, but at a cost: the Suzuki SX4

    I've never been entirely certain where I stand on smallish SUV crossovers like the Suzuki SX4. One the one hand, I can understand their practicality and the need for a little extra headroom, bootspace and ground clearance than your typical hatch offers. On the other, I'm still (fairly) young, childless and have never battled to fit into the driver's seat of any car I've ever driven. I was therefore at a little bit of a loss when it came time to figure out how I was going to give the SX4 a fair appraisal. I needn't have panicked, because...

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