When I started my journey as a motoring journalist many months ago, Andre Potgieter (Dealer Principal of New Vaal South dealership) was one of the first people to welcome and empower me. There could truly not be any better person to have given me insight into the three brands represented through this dealership, than Andre. Having played an integral part in my career as motoring journalist, Andre’s commitment and support is a golden thread that runs throughout his dealership too. With almost thirty years of experience and as a true fanatic of classic motor cars, the excitement of this industry is what keeps him doing the job he loves.

The success of the New Vaal South dealership lies in team dedication and loyalty, as described by Andre, and his own care for his staff is very much the reason why customers are always treated with respect and kindness. In this way, Andre recognised great potential in dealership receptionist TK Zwane, who has served the company for the last four years and is now being equipped as a sales executive. With a magnetic personality that is both welcoming and jovial, TK is on the road to success. Under the capable guidance of Andre, I believe TK will make a success of his new career. A natural tendency to connect with people and inspire their trust will serve TK well in this regard.

Representing Fiat, Alfa and Jeep, New Vaal South is perfectly located to provide quality vehicles and services to the greater Johannesburg. With a superb range of Fiat vehicles on show, the Fiat Tipo hatch is catching the eye of Fiat enthusiasts for its sleek styling and feature-packed capabilities. Designed to be efficient and comfortable, the Tipo hatch is summed up by the sales teams as being a good, solid and fun car.

Classic Italian styling makes this hatchback one of the better-looking small cars on the market; wide-eyed headlight and grille styling in the front creates a fresh, alert look, whilst the elegant body lines flow to a shapely rear end. Presenting as very well put-together, the interior is similarly designed to be modern with a touch of symmetry and simplicity that I enjoy. The cloth upholstery is good quality and comfortable; and even the entry-level 1.4 variant includes six-speakers, heated electric side mirrors, electric windows, dual front airbags, ABS, EBD and ESP, and Hill Hold Assist. Parking sensors and cruise control are standard on the top-of-the-range model only.

Speaking of which, the top of the range hatch has chrome door handles and a leather trimmed steering wheel as standard. Reverse camera and techno-leather seats are included in the top of the range variant too, as well as really sexy 17-inch alloy wheels. Across all variants however, clean-cut design elements culminate in a logical and sensible cockpit layout that makes for an uncluttered sense of comfort. Depending on the derivative, there is a basic infotainment system with Bluetooth and USB connectivity, and the optional extra of a five-inch Uconnect system that adds Satellite Navigation to the list of features available (standard in the high-end version).

The 1.4 litre manual variant which I drove for review, was nippy and nimble on the road, although being a little slow at take-off. Acceleration once the vehicle is going is not bad and there is a light feel to the steering. Agile responses and supple handling make for a smooth drive and soft suspension systems even out bumps and jostles. The cabin is incredibly quiet and is well-dampened to road noise. With 440 litres of boot space, the Tipo is also quite generous in space. Two adults in the rear would fit comfortably and for children would be ample. The Tipo hatch would be really well suited as a small family vehicle.

Fuel consumption for this vehicle is phenomenal to say the least, with Fiat promising between 4-7 litres per 100 kilometres, depending on traffic and engine capacity. Available in four variants, three of which have a 1.4 litre naturally aspirated engine that produces 70 Kw of power and 127 Nm of torque. The 1.6 litre engine provides slightly more power, noted at 81 Kw and 152 nM respectively, all of which accounts for the low fuel consumption, making this a great vehicle for the current economic climate (and the startling increase in fuel price due this week).

Back at the dealership, the Workshop and Parts department provide an overview of their success: as winners of the Aftersales Dealer of the Year for 2017, New Vaal South has a reputation for maintaining the satisfaction of their clients as well as the longevity of their vehicles.

For more information, specials and events, follow the New Vaal South Dealership at:New Vaal South



Journalist: Desh Bechan

Reporter: Inge Stols

Editor: Belinda Anderson