THE PRICE OF democracy, no matter how hard and painful it was, has signalled mzansi as a developing country to take its rightful place on global markets.
Talk of global markets, SA has become the home of SUVs and we’re gaga over it.
Recently, I had a pleasure to play with the new Renault Kiger SUV. Yes, it will compete with the likes of Suzuki Vitara, Nissan Magnite and Kia Sonet, respectively.
The engine, which is also found in the Renault Triber produces a mere 52kW and 96Nm. Renault also offers a 1.0-litre turbopetrol unit with 74kW and a more wholesome 160kW on offer.
I tested the 1.0 Turbo model that is also in manual guise. It offered an enhanced driving experience, and yes, the vehicle (kicks in – pun intended) up speed very quickly considering its an SUV, as I made my way to NW with my ‘partner in crime’ and a colleague Mdu Mphahlele.
The key moment was when we got stuck near a farm, not that anything happened to the car, but because of ‘our’ excitement that we ignored the sign to refill petrol. And being a well respected fellow- my neighbour ‘Oom Lu’ and my cousin- came to our rescue within a space of 30m. Now that’s being ‘neighbourly’.
Yep, there might be no fancy stuff in the cabin but there’s plenty of legroom, since I had to put anything and everything my Gran could lay her hands on, and rear occupants and the deep-set boot swallows at 405 litres.
The Renault Kiger adds an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth, CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, reverse camera, as well as steering-mounted controls, push-button start, rear electric windows and 16-inch wheels with ‘Flex’ covers designed to look like alloys – and they really do!
Also added are automatic air conditioning, one-touch up functionality for the driver’s window, 3-D Auditorium sound system with 4 tweeters, wireless smartphone replication, TFT instrument cluster, rear window defogger, cooled lower glove box, selectable driving modes and 16-inch Diamond Cut alloy wheels.
As for safety, it features basics like dual front airbags and ABS brakes and front side airbags are fitted, while all turbo variants also come with ESP stability control.
The normally aspirated model is sold with a two-year/30 000km service plan and the turbo variants get a three-year/45 000km plan.
All models are sold with a five-year or 150 000km mechanical warranty.
SA is or has become an SUV ‘state’ thanks to democracy!
Its retail price begins from R249 900
Performance 1-10 (5)
Fuel 1-10 (4)
Image (The latest Renault Kiger does trigger a functional drive).