Our buyer this month is in desperate need of large family SUV and we mean properly large, something to impress the in-laws with as well as do the school run, hockey bags, saxophone and Labrador included. It must be mildly capable off-road for the annual bush vacation and should look good in the office car park too. Luxury and refinement is high on the list but meneer paying R1.5-million for a new BMW X7 is just not going to work. The kids will want to bring their friends along for the weekend so seven seats is a must. Let’s see what we can come up with without needing the debt doctor.
The safe option: 2013 Kia Sorento 2.2 CRDi AWD
Sure, it may not have the premium badge you’d expect but the Peter Schreyer designed Kia Sorento still looks good and is one of the best value-for-money large SUVs on the second-hand market. The motor, a strong 147 kW 2.2-litre turbodiesel is fit for purpose and so much so that it still powers the latest available models. A new Sorento would cost you around R625 000 for the all-wheel drive version, however, this model can be had for around R250 000. The 7-seat AWD model was the flagship and came with features such as heated and ventilated leather seats, dual-zone climate control, cruise control, a panoramic sunroof, 19-inch alloys, xenon headlights, six airbags… You get the point. It should offer decent efficiency and 20 000 km service intervals mean that high distance drivers will save on maintenance. Kia sold it with a 5 year 100 000 km maintenance plan so make sure that all the scheduled services and repairs have been documented.
Price – R239 900
Power – 147 kW @ 3 800 rpm
Torque – 436 Nm @ 1 800- 2 500 rpm
Performance – 9.9 sec 0-100 km/h, 190 km/h top speed
Fuel consumption – 8.9 l/100km
Luggage capacity – 116 l-515 l-1 530 l
The good option: 2010 Volvo XC90 D5
Most vehicles get replaced every five or six years but the Volvo XC90 was so well rounded that it soldiered on from 2003-2014 having been lightly facelifted in 2007 and 2012. With a classy image, space for a large family, a well thought out interior and excellent refinement it is an appealing package especially with the robust 2.4-litre D5 engine. Primarily used for family transportation look out for ones with tatty interiors, the Swedes love some cream leather. Electrical issues are known faults and could be costly to fix. During its long life 16 recalls were issued so make sure these were seen to for your models year. Defining the 7-seat SUV segment in its day the XC90 too occupant safety seriously with dynamic stability and traction control, roll-over protection, curtain airbags for occupants in all three rows, whiplash protection an intergrated booster seat and ISOFIX child seat mounting points.
Price – R189 995
Power – 136 kW @ 4 000 rpm
Torque – 400 Nm @ 2 000 rpm
Performance – 10.9 Sec 0-100 km/h, 195 km/h top speed
Fuel consumption – 8.3 l/100km
Luggage capacity – 249 l-615 l-1 837 l
The wild-card option: 2008 Audi Q7 4.2 Tdi V8
Time to take off your sensible skoene. The diesel V8 powered Audi Q7 is a mechanical marvel with enough grunt to tear a whole in space and time and is as refined as they come. Yes we know there was a 6.0-litre V12 Tdi but thats way out of our budget. Lets not see this as settling for second place though the first generation Q7 is a monolithic SUV even by modern standards and with 760 Nm in this spec it’s a real road king with immense rolling performance. Audi is know for quality interiors and the Q7 is no exception but for an 11 year old don’t expect the sleek design and technology found in the latest Audi’s. At 2.4 tons it weighs more than a double-cab 4×4 bakkie and on 21-inch alloys replacing tyres are frequent and expensive. It rides on air suspension too so watch for sagging, repairs of failed air compressors could break the bank. Do your homework and save for the unexpected and you could have a fast luxurious German SUV for a 6th of the price of the BMW X7.
Price – R249 995
Power – 250 kW @ 4 000rpm
Torque – 760 Nm @ 1 800-2 500 rpm
Performance – 6.4 Sec 0-100 km/h, 240 km/h top speed
Fuel consumption – 11.1 l/100km
Luggage capacity – 330 l-775 l- 2 035l