Ford Focus ST (2013): Video Review

Ford Focus ST (2013): Video Review

When we first tested the Ford Focus ST last year, we deemed it the best package of fun, practicality and affordability in its segment. Now we take a look at the savings you can expect from a second-hand...
Mini Coupe S (2012): Used Car Review – Surf4cars

Mini Coupe S (2012): Used Car Review – Surf4cars

The BMW Group took ownership of the Mini brand and reinvented it spectacularly. Recently the portfolio has diversified. Models like this Mini Coupe were spawned.  When it was launched locally in 2012, this S variant had an asking price of R319 000. Quite hard to justify considering the size and impractical nature. But since the Coupe doesn’t seem to be doing as well as was hoped, you’re going to score when you shop around on the second-hand market. This example at Pinnacle Cars in Bryanston is two years old and only has only seen 13 000 kilometres. It’s going for R259 950 and that’s a full R60 000 knock as compared to its new list price. The interior is quite snug. One man’s snug is another man’s claustrophobia though, let’s not forget. But it’s such an entertaining machine to drive – Mini is so skilled in creating cars that are big on fun factor. And in this focussed Coupe guise it’s even more of a hoot. You’d have to have a heart of stone if you don’t smile while behind the wheel.  It begs you to play rough. The S takes heavy-handed cornering in it stride and it’s only too happy when you wring-out its 1.6-litre turbocharged engine. It’s business as usual inside, with all the familiarities you’d find in the normal Mini Cooper. That comically large speedometer dominates the fascia. The knobs and dials have a throwback design and everything’s quite chunky. Hand over a 10% deposit, sign-up for a 72-month term with a 20% residual and you might end-up paying R3500 per month for this Mini. That’s dependent...
Aston Martin Virage (2011): Used Car Review – Surf4cars

Aston Martin Virage (2011): Used Car Review – Surf4cars

From Gaydon with love: Aston Martin birthed the Virage in 2011. The mandate was simple – they sought to offer buyers something that wasn’t as hardcore as the DBS nor as supple as the DB9. We found a three-year old example with 19 000 kilometres on the odometer for this week’s buying used feature. Exotic cars with limited production numbers like the Virage inevitably retain value better than the average mass-produced machines. You’ll pay R2.35 million to place it in your garage. After the big initial price knock that besets new cars, which this has already taken (see new price below), we’re told its rate of depreciation would slow down considerably. When you’re shopping on the second-hand market, for a car from a marque with such pedigree, you’re going to want to do things right. Thankfully this Virage is from the Aston Martin Pre-Owned Assured Programme. That means it’s undergone a thorough 140-point inspection and you also get a one-year warranty. The engine beneath its long nose has a six-litre capacity and a dozen cylinders; producing 365kW and 570Nm – enough torque to make the Skyfall. It’s hand-built  – and here’s a Surf4cars fun fact: over 200 man hours went into crafting each Virage. It might have been positioned as the middle-child. But there’s nothing middle-of-the-road about the way it performs. An underwhelming Aston Martin is an oxymoron indeed. And that magical twelve-man orchestra upfront plays a sound that makes this scribe smile like a bit of a moron. It’s not all juvenile thrills and silly straight-line speed though. This is actually a sharp tool seasoned drivers would enjoy...