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Weekend getaway cars

As the country slowly but surely gets back to as close to normalcy as possible, travel starts occupying both our thoughts and lips.

By Thami Masemola on 27 Sep 2021
As the country slowly but surely gets back to as close to normalcy as possible, travel starts occupying both our thoughts and lips. And with summer just around the corner, those juicy weekend getaways look more and more enticing. Quiet far off places, nature all around, perhaps some wild animals lurking in the bushes, clean fresh air. South African's love a shot left. So which cars are best-suited for these personal excursions?

The answer to that is not as simple as it seems. Basically it all depends on the type of weekend getaway one is planning.

Bush getaway
Nothing says “ I’m South African” than a convoy of double cab bakkies rushing out of town, taking the long snaking route, getting off the tarmac and facing rough gravel terrain. The bush is always calling us, inviting us to pursue our purest form of holiday, where only the sound of crickets at night and a lone howling wild dog can be heard at a distance. The double cab - today with more brands to choose from than ever before – is our favourite leisure vehicle. Versatility is top of mind as a vehicle that parks at the posh underground spot during the week and carries tents, braai stands and boerewors on the weekend. Recommended ones include the Toyota Hilux, Isuzu D-MAX, GWM P Series and Volkswagen Amarok.

City getaway

A city getaway really involves places like hotels, city lodges, apartments, penthouses and so on. Activities are varied too, from lazy brunches, shopping, to dinners in open restaurants. Thus anything nimble and zippy will suit you just fine, as long as it has an automatic gearbox. City getaways can be spoiled by heavy traffic, so your left leg and expensive clutch will thank you later. Also, it is easier to park the more compact cars inside the mall, or to find a tiny spot outside that chic restaurant. Whatever vehicle you currently have should be fine, as long as these criteria are met, including luggage space.

Beach getaway
With public 4x4 vehicles having been banned from driving on the beaches some years ago already, pretty much any car is good for the beach getaway. Of course terms and conditions do apply. Like the fact that there should be safe parking nearby. A car with air conditioning is always recommended by the beach, since it can get extremely hot inside. If you must get onto the sand you had better be driving a real 4x4 with at least one differential. Land Rover, Toyota and Jeep sell some of the best pure 4x4 vehicles in the country, such as the Defender, Land Cruiser and Wrangler respectively.

Country getaway
The country belongs to the SUV, which, depending on the terrain, could be front ( FWD) or all-wheel-drive ( AWD). With the trees and flowers beginning to bloom, sights are lovely all over the place. These vehicles ride higher than normal, giving the occupants a better outside view. Additionally they tend to reach places normal cars cannot, which is useful when one is getting up to look at the stars or the valley below. Small SUVs like the Volkswagen T-Cross or Kia Sonet will do. Even better if you have something like a Renault Duster, Toyota Fortuner or Mitsubishi Pajero Sport because you can also pull a trailer or caravan if that is your preference.
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