car review

Juliet McGuire Kia Sportage

I love being right!

Download the app. Guys, you know I love to be right, right? The Kia Sportage obviously won in the family car category in the 2023/2024 consumer awards sponsored by Wesbank. You know I have always loved this car and now this is now proof that you all love it too. It is not just me. And you can’t accuse me of being sponsored by Kia anymore. Mooowahahahaha. Check out the Mercedes-Benz GLE. If you’re up for a chat, you can find me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and now Threads – it’s hard to keep up. And don’t forget to be a peach and subscribe to my YouTube channel and obviously follow me on TikTok.

I love being right! Read More »

Audi TT RS

Juliet drives the Audi TT RS

The Audi TT RS has to be one of the most fun cars to drive for a R1 million. Actually, take the price out of the equation, it is just one of the most fun cars to drive, full stop! Not the most practical, obviously, as you will see from the videos at the bottom of this post. But first watch my Audi TT RS review video. This is me trying to put a baby seat in the rear: And then trying to get Luca in and out of said baby seat: Also, if you want to chat, catch me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. And don’t forget to be a peach and subscribe to my YouTube channel and obviously follow me on TikTok. And lastly, if you are after more of my videos, check out the Hyundai Sante Fe vid from last week.

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Opel Corsa

Juliet drives the Opel Corsa

I realise that I am probably shooting myself in the foot with this Opel Corsa review, but if I am not honest in my reviews, then what is the point? The Corsa was a disappointment for me in many ways. It is not to say it is a bad car, I just expected more. And for the price, you can get its best-selling competitor, so it makes no sense to me. But you make up your own mind and let me know what you think. If you want to see a more positive review, then check out last week’s on the Suzuki Swift. Now that is a car I adore. Also, if you want to chat, catch me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. And don’t forget to be a peach and subscribe to my YouTube channel and obviously follow me on TikTok.

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Kia Sonet

First drive in the new Kia Sonet

I know when you read the name “Sonet,” you are going to want to say it So Nay or Sue Net, this is South Africa after all…and it only has one “n.” BUT, you would be wrong in your pronunciation. It is, in fact, pronounced the same way you would say “sonnet.” Ok, now that’s out of the way, let’s get to it. WHAT IS A SONET? You may have guessed it already, it is yet another compact SUV. All the rage these fellas are. And for good reason, customers are demanding them. You see, we can’t all afford the large SUVs or even the smaller SUVs, so these budget SUVs fill a much-needed gap in the market. If, for example, you were driving a Kia Rio (or even a Picanto), and you want to move up to something just a little bit bigger, your budget might not stretch to a Seltos, so the Sonet would be your guy (or girl). Kia has cleverly ensured that there is an SUV for just about your entire life: Sonet – Seltos – Sportage – Sorento. And then when your nest is empty, you can start at the beginning again. The Seltos payoff line is, “Begin your SUV life,” whenever that may be for you, I say. LOOKING GOOD It has to be one of the best looking contenders in the segment, this is my very professional opinion on the matter. You can have your own opinion on this, but you’d be wrong if you disagree. It’s just a bit more sporty and bulky looking than the Hyundai Venue. And the Ford EcoSport is now starting to look and feel a bit outdated, don’t ya think? It is one of the largest in its segment too, measuring 4.12m in length. That means it is rather spacious inside as well. I had two colleagues with me in the car, both of whom are over 6ft, and both were more than comfortable. The headroom is noticeably good, but even my giant friend sitting in the back had more than enough legroom if I just inched a bit forward in the passenger seat…thankfully I was also left comfortable with more than enough legroom as well, not as comfortable with his constant chitter-chatter. FEATURE FORWARD As you can expect from Kia, the standard features list is pretty extensive. With two derivatives available at launch, namely the LX and the EX, you can expect an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, remote central locking, air-conditioning, Bluetooth, all-round electric windows, electric mirrors, six speakers, automatic headlamp activation, a rear-view camera and combination artificial leather and cloth seat trim…although the leather is only on the sides and back of the seats, but I love this as I hate leather under my butt! Well this review just took a turn… Let’s stay on track rather, shall we? The EX model adds 16-inch alloy wheels (the LX has 15-inch steel wheels), rear park distance control, a leather steering wheel and gear knob, silver skid plates, roof rails, side repeater lamps and front fog lights. Also standard across the range is electronic stability control, ABS with EBD, Hill-Start Assist, dual front airbags and Isofix anchorage points. GO SONET, GO! The Sonet is powered by a 1.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine that produces 85 kW and 144 Nm. You can choose between a manual gearbox or a CVT. Now let me tell you, before you go “eeeeuuuwww” to the CVT, it is actually pretty good. It mimics a conventional automatic transmission in that you don’t have that inaudible screech as you try and overtake someone. You know that embarrassing moment when it sounds as if you are aggressively and angrily over taking them? When in actual fact all you’re doing is trying not to die travelling toward oncoming traffic. The engine is punchy enough to overtake which is always a winner in my books. And we managed a fuel consumption of around 6.7l/100 km, which is also rather impressive. MY FINAL SAY This car is an absolute gem. I have even recommended one to my mom. To be fair, most of these budget compact SUVs I have tested of late have all been pretty great, especially the Toyota Urban Cruiser and Suzuki Vitara Brezza. But the Sonet seems to offer something a teeny bit more, if just in look and feel. I know you know I am a huge Kia fan, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be critical. I will be when it is required, but for now, I have nothing particularly negative to say about the Sonet. I’d be happy to drive one every day.

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Suzuki Swift

Juliet drives the Suzuki Swift

You know how much I love the Suzuki Swift, right? The look on my face when I am driving one should give my feelings away. It is such a hoot to drive. It is also such great value for money and I don’t know anyone who has driven one and hasn’t fallen in love with it. If you’re in the market for a budget car, look no further than the Suzuki Swift. If you want to see another favourite car of mine, check out last week’s video of the Subaru Forester. Also, if you want to chat, catch me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. And don’t forget to be a peach and subscribe to my YouTube channel and obviously follow me on TikTok.

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Juliet drives the Subaru Forester

The Subaru Forester has to be one of the best and most underrated SUVs on the market. It is a car that you can buy brand new or buy pre-owned and know that it is going to last and last. There is just no hassles with a Forester. It is about fuss-free driving. It is an authentic vehicle, something I don’t think I have ever said about any car. If you are in the market for a family-friendly, no bullsh*t car, then look no further than the Forester. Check out last week’s video of the more budget friendly bakkie, the Ford Ranger XL Sport. Also, if you want to chat, catch me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. And don’t forget to be a peach and subscribe to my YouTube channel and obviously follow me on TikTok.

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First drive in the updated Peugeot 3008

I am going to kick off this Peugeot 3008 review with the elephant in the room and that is Peugeot’s reputation in South Africa. For as long as I have been a motoring journalist, readers have come to me with concerns about buying a French car, specifically Peugeot or Citroën. The worry has always been about parts sourcing and the turn around time it takes for your car to be fixed. I am not going to lie, for years I have not really recommended Peugeot models above their German and Japanese counterparts because I didn’t want it to come back and bite me in the butt. The sad thing is that I have always been a huge fan of Peugeot’s SUV models. All of them. And the 3008 is not different. SO WHAT NOW? Peugeot clearly realised that I was not happy and so they launched PACT, an aftersales initiative that stands for Professionalism, Availability, Conformity and Transparency. They also went all in with Fiat Chrysler to create Stellantis – the fourth largest automaker in the world in terms of volume. I don’t even need to mention the epic rebrand Peugeot has just undergone. Its new brand identity is all about Excellence, Allure and Emotion. And I think the new logo looks smashing! Needless to say, Peugeot has stepped it up and I think it is about time we all changed our tune about this brand and its reputation. In fact, I think some people are way ahead of me on this. Q1 in 2021 saw Peugeot’s best quarter in terms of sales in five years. This is thanks, in part, to the awesome 2008. BUT LET’S TALK 3008 This is a car that needs no introduction. Crikey, I don’t think there is an award it hasn’t won! It was launched in 2016 and since then has notched up more than 67 international awards including Car of the Year in 19 countries. INSANE, right?! We really should be seeing a lot more of these models on our roads! This updated model doesn’t see a change to the model line up or to the engine. It is a mere nip and tuck to the design and such. The front has been restyled with a frameless grill that integrates in to the front bumper. There are new LED head- and taillights and the GT model boasts a chrome roof trim, which looks pretty cool, as well as new 19-inch aluminium wheels. The 3008 also has scrolling indicators which is always a crowd pleaser. And there are two new colours up for grabs; Celebes Blue and Vertigo Blue. GET IN The GT model gets a 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system with all the bells and whistles. You’ll be able to hear whistles loud and clear thanks to the Focal Premium Hi Fi audio system which boasts 10 speakers. There is also now an option of a red Nappa leather interior which looks all kinds of…well…I am not sure. It is certainly not my vibe but I will try not judge you if it is yours. There are new textiles on the Allure model so don’t think it is all about the GT here. Although it pretty much is with the frameless rearview mirror. Which, if I am being completely honest, I just don’t see what the hoo-ha about. Regardless of whether you choose the Active, the Allure or the GT model, you are guaranteed a bunch of standard spec and a fantastic cabin all-round. The only thing I don’t love about the interior, which isn’t something unique to the 3008, but in fact stretches in to most of the models, is the “piano key” vibe. I am so appreciative of actual buttons instead of just a touchscreen, but I find them to be a bit tacky, if you will. But this is completely subjective and goes against all my journalistic integrity. Bah! Like you believe I had any anyway! UNDER THE BONNET The range is still powered by a 1.6-litre turbopetrol that produces 121 kW and 240 Nm of torque. It is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, across the range. And this makes sense due to the fact that 88% of models sold in this segment are in fact automatics. Manuals are so last season. As are diesel engines in this segment. The drive on this car is just superb. It is smooth and beautifully refined. I adore the small steering wheel and the manoeuvrability of this car. Everything just works and it works well. It is super comfortable as well. SAFE AS HOUSES I am going to let the press release help me out here because there is an array of standard safety features and driving assist technology packed in to the 3008 and I can’t be bothered to go and reword it all just to make it sound like I have written it. We all know the PR at Peugeot would have done a much better job than me anyway. Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop and Go function on the GT, and it automatically restarts the vehicle if the stop was less than 3 seconds. Otherwise, a simple press action by the driver will restart the function. This forms part of the Drive Assist package. Lane Keep assist, the system monitors road marking and road edge to actively assist in keeping the vehicle in the lane should it unintentionally drift across without the indicator being put on. Part of the Safety Plus package. Latest-generation automatic emergency braking (detects pedestrians and cyclists, day and night, from 5 km/h to 140 km/h depending on version) with collision risk warning, Extended recognition of traffic signs (stop, one-way, no overtaking, etc.). Visiopark 1 with 180° rear view camera, Visiopark 2 with 360° front and rear cameras, Park Assist, sensors to assist in parking, Active warning of unintentional lane (or roadside) departure with trajectory correction, Driver Warning Alert, to detect driver alertness over long driving times and at speeds above 65 km/h by analysing steering wheel micro-movements, Automatic switching to and from high

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Suzuki Ignis

Juliet drives the Suzuki Ignis

I have always been a huge fan of the Suzuki Ignis, or as one of my industry colleagues at Suzuki likes to call it, “Iggy.” Go Chels! It serves as a budget car, but it can also be the perfect run around if you live on an estate or a farm that has a bit of gravel going on. It has a load of spec and we cannot deny its weird, but wonderful looks. Its the perfect little all rounder! Last week I was in the Mazda3, in case you were wondering. And if you want more entertainment, check out Terence and I in the new Land Rover Defender 110. Also, if you want to chat, catch me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. And don’t forget to be a peach and subscribe to my YouTube channel obviously follow me on TikTok. And now for the main event: The Suzuki Ignis

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Corolla Quest

Juliet drives the Toyota Corolla Quest

The Toyota Corolla Quest is as practical as ever! It truly is a fab car and it is a bit of a shame that it is only really considered more of an Uber/fleet car than a family car…you know, because you’re all obsessed with SUVs! I get it! I get it! But if you are keen on a family car that won’t break the budget, then seriously consider this Corolla Quest. It’s pretty darn good-looking, which is something I didn’t think I would ever say. Speaking of practical cars, if you missed last week’s review, you will want to watch it because it is on the Volkswagen Caddy. Also, if you want to chat, catch me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. And don’t forget to be a peach and subscribe to my YouTube channel obviously follow me on TikTok. And now for the main event: The Toyota Corolla Quest. PLEASE NOTE: IT HAS 103 kW AND NOT 73 kW LIKE I SAY, SPAZ MOMENT!

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