Forget singularity resulting in the enslavement of the human race, we have another uprising on our hands that’ll get us first. The SUV. With nearly every manufacturer having jumped on board this bandwagon, each churning out a myriad of models in every conceivable SUV shape and form, not all of them can be winners. With that said, if you and your significant other are expecting a new addition to the family and require a functional crossover, or are just looking for a change, that’s cool, these three have you covered. Family friendly (including your mother-in-law), they offer a high driving position, long list of standard safety features, and all-round practicality without claiming to be hardcore off-roaders.
The safe option: 2014 Honda CR-V i-VTEC 4×2
The CR-V could be considered one of founding fathers of the family SUV dynasty. Now in its fourth generation and with 20-years experience under the belt, it is much likened to Mr. Miyagi from The Karate Kid. The CR-V is a solid offering in terms of standard features. For example, lane assist for those who find it a challenge to drive in between the white lines. For peaceful sleep, you’ll get Honda’s ever dependent reputation for reliability, and knowing your money is in a safe place come resale time. There’s also the ability for the rear passenger doors to open a full 90 degrees, which means your mother-in-law can easily get in and out (see what we mean). Additionally, fitting a baby seat is made light work of. Whilst it’s not the most attractive car, it more than makes up for that in efficiency, reliability and functionality.
Price – R199 999
Power/Torque – 114 kW/192 Nm
Performance – 10 sec 0-100 km/h, 192 km/h top speed
Fuel consumption – 7.7 l/100km
Boot capacity – 513 l
Tyre cost – R9 142
Service cost – R2 800
The good option: 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0 TDI DSG
Out of all the choices when it comes to design, the Tiguan is the diamond that shines brightest aesthetically. Climb inside the Tiguan, and you’ll find the most modern finishes out of the three. With Volkswagen’s build quality present, which is always refreshing for an older car, it firms up the notion that SUVs need not to be mundane inside and out. The 2.0-litre TDI mill offers a broad spectrum of ability through fuel efficiency and decent performance, aided by the now revered DSG automatic box. As there can be minor issues with this motor, we advise that you find one with a full service history. Do so and you’ll be tapping into its full potential and reaping the rewards of a smart purchase. Scour the classifieds and you may find a good example with low milage.
Price – R199 995
Power/Torque – 103 kW/320 Nm
Performance – 10 Sec 0-100 km/h, 182 km/h top speed
Fuel consumption – 7.5 l/100km
Boot Capacity – 471 l
Tyre cost – R9 996
Service cost – R1 400
The wild card option: 2011 Subaru Forester 2.5 XT
Sharing that legendary 2.5-litre boxer motor DNA used in the Impreza, which rocketed Subaru to international rally stardom, you won’t be able to resist channeling your inner Colin McRae on those school runs or picking up supplies from your local hardware store for your DIY projects that’ll never get finished. This car fits into the cool dad category with more than adequate power and that dramatic flat-four growl. The 2011 model comes packed with all the right gadgets, like reverse parking sensors, a touch screen, dual climate control and tons of space to pack everything. In addition to this, it has Subaru’s permanent all-wheel drive system that ensures the Forester remains balanced and in control at all times. Turbo powered Subarus do, however, have the tendency to be thirstier than their non-turbo bretheren. But if you’re not raking up ridiculous mileage on your daily commute then this shouldn’t be much of an issue.
Price – R179 995
Power/Torque – 155 kW/320 Nm
Performance – 7.9 Sec 0-100 km/h, 207 km/h top speed
Fuel consumption – 10.5 l/100km
Boot Capacity – 4 50 l
Tyre cost – R5 980
Service cost – R1 500