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  • Uploaded 1 year ago

    Kia ups its game with new Rio

  • Uploaded 1 year ago

    The New Kia Picanto reimagined

  • Uploaded 1 year ago

    Kia heads US J.D. Power Initial Quality Survey

  • Uploaded 1 year ago

    Mercedes X-Class double-cab bakkie heading for South Africa

  • Uploaded 2 years ago

    5 Advantages of Purchasing Pre-owned Bakkies Instead of New

Uploaded 1 year ago

Kia ups its game with new Rio

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The Kia Rio has been a phenomenal success for the South Korean brand within the local automotive market, although this was not always the case.

The first generation model graced South African shores at the turn of the century, and was a rather forgetful but dependable econobox. The second generation was better, but failed to capture the sales figures Kia were looking for.

But, in 2011, South Africans were introduced to the third generation Rio, an all-new product with a design language that appealed to the masses. Some 37 237 local unit sales later, the third generation has been replaced by the fourth iteration, which I drove in Johannesburg recently.

Grown-up looks

The latest Rio certainly demonstrates the newfound maturity of the Kia brand first seen in the latest Sportage. We now have a car with a more grown-up, upmarket exterior design. While not the most radical of departures from its predecessor, I feel that consumers will still get the idea that this is most certainly a new model.

Up front, we see an evolution of Kias signature Tiger Nose grille, which is now slightly shorter and thinner. There are also new headlamps and U-shaped daytime running lights. The side profile is typically hatchback and at a glance, could be something more premium, more German, which is a good thing.

At the rear, there are new LED taillights that benefit from an arrow motif, while keen observers will note that the rear overhang is a bit shorter than before. Overall, the Rio continues to display the brands successful interpretation of modern motoring design with aplomb.

Interior updates

For those accustomed to Rio interiors of old, the new model is not likely to surprise, particularly in the entry-level models. The basic ergonomic layout is commendable, with all of the controls and their placement being easy and logical when put into practical use.

Kia also claims that there are new, improved materials used throughout the cabin, but expect the odd hard plastic surface to linger. The big change to the interior though has to be the inclusion, or option should I say, of a touchscreen infotainment system. There are three options within the range the more basic models get a 3.8-inch mono-TFT screen with Bluetooth, USB and Aux compatibility.

Moving up the range, we have a five-inch colour touchscreen unit with the same features as the mono-TFT, while flagship models receive the brands new seven-inch touchscreen setup complete with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and voice control. The top-line system really improves the look of the cabin and modernises the facia, a useful option worth ticking.

Driving Rio

In terms of the powertrain department, Kia has decided to stick with the more tried and trusted variants, with the much anticipated 1.0-litre turbo mill still under consideration for South Africa. Instead, we get mildly revised versions of the 1.2 and 1.4-litre naturally aspirated petrol motors.

The entry-level unit produces 62kW/120Nm through a five-speed manual gearbox, and the 1.4-litre 74kW/135Nm with transmissions consisting of a six-speed manual or four-speed automatic. I drove the top-of-the range 1.4-litre manual TEC derivative at launch up at altitude.

I have to say that the car does feel rather underpowered most of the time, add a hill into the equation and the problem is compounded. That said though, it wasnt frustratingly slow with the lack of power being made-up somewhat by very little road noise and a good level of interior comfort, two traits buyers in this segment want, along with low costs and fuss-free motoring, which the Rio delivers.


While Kia hasnt really re-invented the wheel, so to speak, with the new Rio, it didnt really have to. The updated looks, improved quality, added interior technology and the fact that the new model is similarly priced to the older version, will likely ensure that this generation Rio is as successful as its predecessor.

Warranty and service

All Rio models come with a four-year/60 000km service plan as well as a five-year/unlimited mileage warranty.


Rio 1.2 LS - R 219 995
Rio 1.4 LX - R 234 995
Rio 1.4 LX AT - R247 995
Rio 1.4 EX - R 249 995
Rio 1.4 EX AT - R262 995
Rio 1.4 TEC - R 274 995
Rio 1.4 TEC AT - R287 995

Article written by Sean Nurse - 09.06.2017 - https//

Uploaded 1 year ago

The New Kia Picanto reimagined

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Kia Motors South Africa entered the A-segment market back in 2004 with the boxy Picanto, which if we are honest didnt capture the markets attention in quite the way the South Korean brand wanted.

This changed with the unveiling of the second generation Picanto in 2011, which also resulted in global sales totalling 1.4-million units. Now though, there is a new Picanto and I travelled to Cape Town to find out if it has what it takes to remain one of the most popular Kia models to date.


The first generation Picanto was a bit of a hit and miss in terms of styling. The second generation however featured a more youthful yet modern design which seemed to be just what the public wanted.

New Picanto Exterior

This new model builds on that with a seemingly more mature design, the result of a collaboration between Kias design centres in Namyang, South Korea and Frankfurt, Germany.

The front end features strong, straight lines which run horizontally across the front of the car There is also the trademark tiger-nose grille and new headlights as well as a distinctive line down the side and around the wheel arches.At the rear, the Picanto features a revised bumper and taillights. The engineers have also increased the width of the C-pillar which now stands more upright than that of the previous model.


When I got into the Picanto, I was impressed with the layout of the dash. I immediately got a sense that Kia were trying to play the premium card.

New Picanto Interior

This is due to the stylish design of the dashboard which features a snazzy satin chrome-effect strip, the new top mounted infotainment screen and nicely designed climate control dials. The instrument cluster also features a more up-to date look with the same going for the steering wheel.

About that infotainment system

As mentioned, one of the cabins standouts, on high spec models that is, is the seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system incorporating Bluetooth, USB and Aux inputs, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Lower spec models make do with a 3.8-inch monochrome TFT LCD display.

The drive

On the launch, I got the opportunity to put the Picanto through various scenarios which included navigating the narrow streets of the Cape Town CBD, as well as heading out into the wine lands to fully exploit its talents.

There are two engine options available a 49kW/95Nm 1.0-litre three-cylinder and a 61kW/122Nm 1.2-litre four-cylinder. While they might not be the most powerful motors around, the Picanto does weigh less than the previous model, with the former motor also benefitting from a new cooling system and shut-off valve.

All models are fitted with a five-speed manual gearbox as standard with a four-speed automatic optional on some versions.

From Start to Smart

At launch, the Picanto will be available in a choice of four trim levels mimicking those of the Soul. The base Start gets a two-speaker Bluetooth enabled sound system with USB and Aux inputs, trip computer, dual front airbags and air-conditioning but importantly, does not feature ABS while the next step up Street receives front electric windows, remote central locking and ABS.

Building on this, the Style adds a four-speaker sound system, steering wheel audio controls, projection type headlights with daytime running LEDs, 14-inch alloy wheels and automatic lights.At the top of the range, the Smart benefits from 15-inch alloys, Bluetooth with voice activation, electric rear windows, bi-projection headlights, the aforementioned infotainment system, leather wrapped steering wheel and gear knob, reverse camera and rear parking sensors.


After spending time with the new Kia Picanto, I can conclude that it remains an attractive option within the A-segment. I like the styling, the features and the range of new colours. I also found the ride and handling impressive considering its size.

Its no high speed cruiser though and did feel a bit out of its comfort zone when rushed. Considering one? I would, especially when the price remains virtually unchanged from the previous model.


Picanto 1.0 Start - R134 995

Picanto 1.0 Street - R149 995

Picanto 1.0 Style - R159 995

Picanto 1.0 Style AT - R172 995

Picanto 1.0 Smart - R179 995

Picanto 1.2 Start - R150 995

Picanto 1.2 Start AT - R163 995

Picanto 1.2 Street - R165 995

Picanto 1.2 Style - R175 995

Picanto 1.2 Syle AT - R188 995

Picanto 1.2 Smart - R195 995

A five-year / unlimited km warranty is standard across the Picanto range with a service plan being optional.

Article written byJustin Jacobs - 09.06.2017 -https//

Uploaded 1 year ago

Kia heads US J.D. Power Initial Quality Survey

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Kia heads US J.D. Power Initial Quality Survey Kia has topped the J.D. Power Initial Quality Survey in the United States for a second time with the least number of problems per (PP) 100 vehicles experienced during the first 90 days of ownership.

With an industry average of 97 PP100 vehicles, the Korean auto giant came out ahead with 72 PP100 followed by sister brand Hyundai's Genesis luxury division (77 PP100), Porsche (78 PP100), Ford (86 PP100), Ram (86 PP100), BMW (88 PP100), Chevrolet (88 PP100), Hyundai (88 PP100), Lincoln (92 PP100) and Nissan (93 PP100).

Aside from the Forte (Cerato), Soul, Sorento, Cadenza, and Niro hybrid coming out tops in their respective segments, other winners include the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and Silverado HD, Chevrolet Sonic, GMC Terrain, BMW 2-series, 4-series and X6, Mini Cooper, Chrysler Pacifica, Ford Expedition, Ford Mustang, Infiniti QX80, Lexus GS, Mercedes-Benz GLA, Nissan Frontier (Navara), Porsche 911 and Macan, and the Toyota Camry.

"Automotive manufacturers are responding to consumer feedback and producing vehicles of the highest quality. The industry has improved significantly in each of the past three years. Todays vehicles have more things that could go wrong but fewer things that actually do go wrong," J.D. Power Global Automotive Vice President, Dave Sargent, said.

The survey also noted a significant improved compared to 2016 with a record eight percent improvement in customer satisfaction, and 27 of the 33 brands surveyed bettering their overall quality. Highlighted problem areas are driver assistance system such as Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Warning and Collision Avoidance Alert, as well as certain infotainment display system.

Out of the worst performing marques, Fiat come in last with 163 PP100 in front of Jaguar (148 PP100), Volvo (134 PP100), Mitsubishi (131 PP100), Land Rover (131 PP100), Mazda (125 PP100), Audi (115 PP100), Subaru (113 PP100), Jeep (107 PP100) and Infiniti (107 PP100).

Uploaded 1 year ago

Mercedes X-Class double-cab bakkie heading for South Africa

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Mercedes X-Class double-cab bakkie heading for South Africa
Premium German automaker Mercedes has announced the arrival of the Mercedes X-Class unveiled in Stockholm in October. Set to be launched in South Africa early in 2018, the X-Class will be the first Mercedes-badge bakkie to be sold in South Africa since 1955.

Explorer vs Adventurer
The double-cab Mercedes will be available in two trims the design-focused Stylish Explorer and its rugged brother, the Powerful Adventurer. Each offers its own set of credentials with architecture based on Nissans Navara, but everything else distinctly Mercedes.
Premium Power
The X-Class will offer power a plenty with its headline act a 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine mated with the companys all-wheel drive system. Two other engines will be available a smaller 2.3-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel and a 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol. Power figures have yet to be revealed. Drivetrains on offer will be a manual and a 7G-Tronic automatic.
Added Luxury
Not bothered by the idea that a bakkie should be rugged throughout, Mercedes didnt hold back on fitting the X-Class with a classy interior. The Stylish Explorer boasts dual-tone leather while the Powerful Adventurer boasts carbon-fibred elements. 'Nubuck' leather is used to trim the seats and dashboard in addition to contrasting white nappa leather. Cameras, radars, ultrasound sensors and driver assistance systems will enhance safety and comfort.
Will It Work?
The popularity of the X-Class will come down to whether South-Africans would buy a bakkie with leather seats and a designer dashboard. The X-Class could be a hit with city dwellers, but whether a Karoo farmer would buy one remains to be seen.
Uploaded 2 years ago

5 Advantages of Purchasing Pre-owned Bakkies Instead of New

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5 Advantages of Purchasing Pre-owned Bakkies Instead of New

With the economy the way that it is and the Rand steadily plummeting in value, it is now more difficult than ever to afford a new vehicle. Those who drive bakkies are usually quite dependent on them for an income or for a reliable form of transport, and reliability is vital.

Many people still question the second-hand car market, and horror stories about vehicles costing a fortune to repair just after they were purchased can be really daunting. However, times have changed and if you need to purchase a bakkie, it is now a better time than ever to enter the market for pre-owned bakkies. When it comes to used vehicles, there are several advantages over purchasing a new vehicle, and these include

  1. More cost effective Not only is a second-hand or used vehicle significantly cheaper than purchasing a new one, but the depreciation on a second-hand model is much less than a new one. When a vehicle moves off the showroom floor, it loses up to 15% of its purchase value, and for the first four years, it depreciates rapidly until it reaches about 50% of its original purchase value. This means that if you want to sell a new vehicle, you will get back less of your money than if you wanted to resell a used vehicle. Taking into consideration that four year old pre-owned bakkies and other vehicles are still relatively new, they are much more cost effective and provide better value for money in the end.
  1. Cheaper to insure Second-hand vehicles are significantly cheaper to insure than new ones. Dont be fooled if a new model costs relatively little you still have to factor in your insurance payments, and this brings up the total amount that you pay annually by quite a long stretch.
  1. High rate of durability While it used to be quite risky to buy pre-owned bakkies ten years ago, developments in the industry have made vehicles significantly more reliable and durable in the long term. Studies have proven that there are now less engine and transmission problems in used vehicles than ever before, and this is largely due to better manufacturing processes and better materials and technology. This means that you can now buy the reliability of an almost new vehicle for much less. So, if you want to buy pre-owned bakkies, you can go right ahead with peace of mind.
  1. More sustainable In order to remain environmentally friendly, we all make certain adjustments in our lives, and recycling and re-using are part of our daily lives. This should not change when it comes to vehicles! The better part of the carbon emissions that a vehicle produces during its lifetime occurs during the manufacturing process, and if you recycle a vehicle by purchasing a new one, it reduces the need for a new vehicle to be made. In the long term this could be a good thing!
  1. Safer than ever Vehicles that were made over the last five years already have all the desired safety features built in, and you dont have to forego any of these if you buy pre-owned bakkies or cars. Years ago, we had to compromise on safety features such as ABS and airbags, but nowadays all vehicles are fitted with safety features according to the specifications of various professional standards and regulating bodies.

If you need further convincing that buying pre-owned bakkies instead of new ones is actually better, we recommend that you come and talk to our floor managers at Bakkie Deals, and we will clarify it for you!