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The SUV style of motor vehicles has adopted an interesting fanbase over the years, with a surprising evolution in popularity. Initially known to be associated with manly adventure vehicles and sporty families who hit the mountain trails every weekend, it has now also become the vehicle of choice for soccer moms and city-dwelling executives.
The surge in popularity of the SUV has given formerly popular heavy hitters like sedans and station wagons a massive knock down the ranks, claiming a top spot as one of the most desired kinds of vehicles on the market. How did it achieve such a broad consumer interest, and where do SUVs originate from?
Read on to discover some of the lesser-known facts about these vehicles, and you’ll soon be very eager to also look at buying a used SUV for sale.
What The Term ‘SUV’ Actually Means
The notion of an SUV, or Sports Utility Vehicle, is based on the characteristic of a vehicle that is equally capable on the road as well as on rough terrain and more difficult to navigate the territory. Defining features usually include a much higher ground clearance than standard vehicles and often include four-wheel drive capacity. In spite of this general consensus, there isn’t really a specific set of qualifying criteria to decide what makes a vehicle an SUV.
Generally speaking, it’s now become agreed upon that the term is quite a broad classification for a vehicle that has integrated features and capabilities to handle off-road conditions. To further complicate the definition, we also now have several iterations that fall under this classification, in the form of crossover SUVs, mini SUVs, as well as mid-size and full-size SUVs thrown into the mix. The baby boomer generation who were fervent fans of the first and original SUVs may argue that these modern-day versions absolutely do not qualify as the real deal, but if Land Rover and the like who pioneered the commercial SUV, feel it’s valid, who would dare argue otherwise?
SUVs: The Origin Story
If you thought the SUV is a reasonably recent development in the car market, you might be surprised to know that the original SUV as we know it today dates back nearly forty years. According to avid car enthusiasts, the very first vehicle that qualified as an SUV as we now interpret it was the 1984 Jeep Cherokee (XJ), although the main credit for being the original SUV tends to be given to the 1990 Ford Explorer. Inspiration for the modern-day SUV stems all the way back to the Second World War in the early 1940s, with the creation of the Willys Jeep, which could successfully take on almost any terrain to transport people and equipment. Once the war was over, there was no need for these vehicles, but Maurice Wilks - the founder of Rover, which would go on to become Land Rover - decided this concept should be continued and re-imagined a bit. That’s when he took the chassis from a Willys Jeep and combined it with the engine of a RoverP3, built an aluminum body, and introduced it as an agriculture vehicle. The classic Land Rover design it was built on ended up becoming the official vehicle of the British military. Meanwhile, the US government approached Toyota in Japan and requested the creation of a tough military vehicle that would even outdo the Land Rover. Inspired by Jeep and Land Rover, Toyota went on to make what is arguably one of the best SUVs ever produced: the great-grandfather of what would eventually become the Toyota Land Cruiser.
The Expansion Into The Global Market
The popularity and effectiveness of the SUV took off, with military organisations around the world seeking and adopting them as the preferred vehicle for troop and equipment transport. This gave way to the creation and rise of other very popular and well-known vehicle brands, including Hummer, which was introduced to the consumer market in 1992 and was strongly based on the design of the US military’s M998 Humvee vehicle. Ford contributed their part to the market when it first released the Ford Explorer in 1990/1991. The sophisticated luxury brand Range Rover has also unveiled thanks to these origins and was initially a side project of Land Rover to create a larger variant of their models; but eventually, they teamed up with Jaguar to create what became entirely synonymous with the upper crust, luxury vehicles, specialising exclusively in SUV models. This inspired other luxury car brands like BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, Porsche and others to create their own variants of a luxury SUV for the executive consumer market.
What initially started as a solution to military transportation needs to be evolved into a practical and rugged off-road consumer vehicle, which then further evolved into a high-spec luxury-class vehicle. SUVs went from being for adventurers and cross-country travelers to entering the standard road use market but were still beyond the reach of most average-income families and individuals because of the high price tag. It was only when manufacturers of affordable cars like Toyota, Nissan, Hyundai, KIA, and others began creating SUVs that weren’t packed to the rafters with features, thereby making them less expensive, that the global consumer market finally had a chance to own what was always a very expensive and rare type of vehicle to see on the roads. Today, SUVs have become remarkably affordable and, while initially, they didn’t come with any luxury features for the average-income variants, today you can buy an SUV and find some of the most state-of-the-art features as standard, along with some of the highest safety and performance rankings for any vehicle on the market. Knowing all this, isn’t it time you invested in a piece of the historical legacy by getting yourself behind the wheel of a used SUV for sale?
The small business sector in South Africa has become a booming part of our local economy in recent years, especially since the Covid pandemic caused so many job losses and forced people to find a new means of earning a living. If you’re a new business owner or looking at expanding your small business, adding a used bakkie for sale to your assets can be a smart investment.
Because of their versatility, bakkies make for great workhorses for towing trailers or carrying larger amounts of stock than you’d be able to transport in a car. Bakkies also provide you with the freedom to manage your own logistics instead of relying on couriers and other transport services to get your products to your customers.
Making the right decision when investing in a bakkie is important, as it’s a large financial investment that could either make or break your business. Here are a few important things to consider before jumping into a purchase.
Firstly, you need to look at what you can safely afford in terms of the selling price of the bakkie, as well as the cost of maintenance, fuel, and insurance. Always research the market resale value of the bakkie and how popular it is in the used car market so that you’d be able to easily sell it at a later stage if you need to.
Size And Power
With so many variants of bakkies available, it’s important to choose one that meets your needs in terms of cargo space and power. If all you need is a basic means of transport for smaller items or work equipment, a simple half-ton model like a Nissan NP200 could do the job. Work out the general volume and weight of the items you’ll be transporting and whether the majority of the travel routes will be on major roads or in rural areas with more difficult terrain. This will help you identify which models will be best suited.
Bakkies generally retain their resale value better than any other type of vehicle, and they’re known to outlast other cars by many years and thousands of kilometers. Whichever used bakkie for sale you choose, with proper maintenance and care you’ll have a reliable workhorse to further your business.
Thanks to modern automotive innovation, most cars are now equipped with electronic components that can be monitored and checked without taking apart the entire system and manually inspecting each part. Car diagnostic tests take a great deal of guesswork out of assessments and can identify the source of problems in a fraction of the time it used to take. They’re also easily accessible and can be done at the best car repair workshop in your area. But what can you expect to learn from a diagnostic test?
What A Car Diagnostic Test Does
Car diagnostics are typically run when your car’s check engine light comes on, or if any of the other warning lights on your dashboard light up. These warning lights don’t specify exactly what the problem is, as it could be one of several potential issues. A car diagnostic test will scan your car’s components one by one, and flag anything that doesn’t check out. From there, the automotive specialist will determine what needs fixing or which parts need replacing.
What Gets Checked
All the major components of your car will be checked, including the engine, exhaust system, brakes, airflow, transmission, and sensors. It will also detect problems before they become obvious, potentially saving you thousands in repair costs down the line. Although it’s extremely helpful, the diagnostic test does not identify the exact problem or fix it. Rather, it’s a tool to help mechanics identify the problem area to focus on inspecting that particular component in person and further assess what needs to be corrected.
When To Get A Diagnostic Test Done
There’s never really a bad time to have your car checked, as it could help identify problems before they worsen. If your car has been feeling a bit ‘off’ but you can’t quite figure out what the problem is, or if any warning lights have turned on, it’s best to book an appointment for a diagnostic test. A check engine light or other warning light coming on does not always mean there’s a serious issue with your vehicle. Because electronics run the system, something as simple as a cable coming loose could cause the warning lights to come on.
Car diagnostic tests are fairly quick to conduct and are crucial to keeping your car in perfect running condition. Whether you currently have a problem with your vehicle or simply want to get ahead of any potentially serious issues, taking it to the best car repair workshop for a diagnostic test is a worthwhile investment.
Temperature changes can have a big impact on vehicle performance. Cold weather tends to cause battery failure, while hot summer months can result in overheating and other issues. It’s always a good idea to take your car to a car repair workshop for a quick checkup at the start of a new season to ensure that everything is still in good working order. Here are a few quick things to check on if you want to keep your car running smoothly this summer.
Keep It Clean
Take advantage of the great weather by washing and cleaning your car thoroughly. Dirt and dust that build upon the exterior start to degrade the quality of the paintwork and can cause rust to form without being immediately visible. Remember to apply car polish in a shaded area to prevent it from drying up and forming smudges.
Refill Your Air Conditioner Gas
Nothing puts a damper on your day like your air conditioner dying as you’re sitting in traffic during a summer heatwave. Take your car to a specialist to check your gas levels and get it topped up. And remember to clean your air ducts.
Rotate Your Tyres
Your car’s tires don’t wear down at the same rate, which is why it’s a good idea to have them rotated every now and then. This will ensure a smoother driving experience and you won’t need to have them replaced as soon.
Clean Or Replace Air Filters
Air filters take extra strain during the warmer months and clogged or old air filters will prevent your air conditioner from working properly. They’re relatively inexpensive and can be easily removed and replaced.
Keep Your Car Away From Direct Sunlight
Whenever possible, park your car under cover or in the shade. Direct summer sunlight wreaks havoc on your paint and will cause fading, flaking, and peeling over time.
Check On All Your Fluid Levels
Summer heat can cause some vehicle fluids to evaporate faster, which is why you should check on everything from your engine oil levels to your coolant, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, and windshield wiper fluid. If you haven’t replaced your engine oil in a while, consider having your oil tank cleared and refilled with fresh oil.
For total peace of mind about your car’s condition this summer, book your car in for a quick checkup at Motus Select’s car repair workshop.
With petrol prices skyrocketing in recent months, South Africans are now faced with having to fork out almost double the amount they used to pay for a full tank of petrol. While trading in your fuel guzzler for a smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicle is one of the best ways to reduce your petrol costs, there are a few basic tips and tricks that any car owner can use to reduce fuel consumption. One important habit is getting your car routinely maintained and taking it for car service and repair work. Here are a few others:
Drive At A Steady Pace
If your driving habits involve rapidly accelerating and braking, you’ll burn through petrol at a much faster rate. Try to maintain an even driving speed and gradually accelerate instead of putting foot when pulling away.
Check That Your Petrol Cap Is Closed
Petrol evaporates very easily, and an open petrol cap or one that isn’t screwed on tightly can cause your tank to empty much quicker, even when you’re not driving.
Keep Your Windows Closed
While driving with the windows down on a warm day may provide a bit of relief, it also increases drag and reduces the aerodynamics of your car. It doesn’t have as much impact when driving at slower speeds, but as you accelerate, the amount of resistance increases, forcing your car’s engine to use more petrol to maintain speed.
Remove Unnecessary Weight
Extra luggage, passengers, and contents in your car add weight, which causes your engine to have to work harder and use more petrol. Get rid of any unnecessary items you may have to lie around in the car.
Keep Your Tyres Properly Inflated
Even when they’re just slightly deflated, tyres can cause a significant increase in petrol consumption. Check on your tyre pressure weekly and watch out for slow punctures.
Replace Dirty Air Filters
Your car’s engine takes a lot more strain when air filters are clogged up with dirt and dust, resulting in higher fuel consumption. Have your air filters checked and replaced routinely to save on petrol costs and keep your car running smoothly.
Keeping your car in good condition by checking on your parts and liquids often will reduce the chances of unnecessary fuel consumption, so be sure to make car service and repair a priority if you want to get the most out of every liter of petrol.
SUVs have steadily risen in popularity and are now one of the most preferred and in-demand types of vehicles in South Africa, besides bakkies. Over the past twenty years, we’ve seen a surge in manufacturers releasing their own variants of SUVs and developing many subtypes, including crossovers and mini SUV models to cater to various consumer needs and budgets. Thanks to this, being able to afford a used SUV for sale has become more achievable than ever, and there’s no better time to upgrade to one of these models than now. Here are just a few reasons why SUVs are so popular in South Africa.
If you have a large family, plenty of pets, or just enjoy knowing that you’ll have ample space available to go on a road trip, transport large items and help move house if needed, there’s no beating an SUV. Most models can very comfortably seat up to seven adults and have impressive boot space. Car manufacturers focus on comfort and practicality when designing SUV models, and you’ll find a host of storage options around the interior cabin, as well as modular seats that can be moved or collapsed to almost double your boot space when needed.
SUVs come equipped with some of the best safety features available as a standard. And because of their sheer size, they are generally more respected and visible on the roads. Elevated seating also provides much better road visibility for the driver, which helps to better identify potential obstacles or oncoming traffic. You can expect to find the standard safety features like brake assist and electronic braking distribution on all models, but most of them are also equipped with parking sensors, rearview cameras, and a monitoring system that alerts you of any dangers or obstacles around your vehicle. Airbags come standard and can vary from four to eight or more, depending on the model. Because of how SUVs are built, their roll cage makes for a much more secure frame that’s much less likely to take serious damage than that of other cars. You could also fit a bullbar to your SUV for even greater protection.
Although features will vary from model to model, most SUVs are equipped with a host of features to provide a truly enjoyable driving experience for the driver and passengers alike. Air conditioning is standard, with some models even having sectioned temperature control and extra vents for the back row of passengers to stay cool during the hot summer months. You’ll also find infotainment systems built into most models, featuring radio, Bluetooth connectivity, steering wheel controls, and – in more recent models – a touchscreen unit to quickly navigate between music, stats about your car, selecting driving modes, and taking calls while driving.
Ready To Take On Any Terrain
Since they’ve become such popular vehicles among urbanites, many SUVs will probably never see mountain trails and dirt roads. Despite this, most models are still built with the capacity to traverse difficult terrain, steep hills, rocky landscapes, and muddy roads. With road and offroad conditions varying so greatly in South Africa – and the reality that potholes are a frequent feature wherever you may find yourself – it’s sensible and reassuring to drive a vehicle that’s able to handle the challenges of the elements better than anything else out there. Depending on which SUV model you own, you’ll either be able to comfortably hop over sidewalks and deal with flooded roads, or if you opt for the more expensive models that feature full all-wheel drive and traction control, you’ll be ready to take on 4x4 trails and journeys far into our country’s most untouched landscapes.
Steadier On The Roads
Because of their scale and weight, SUVs are a lot more stable than many other cars, especially in rougher weather conditions. They hold better to the road and won’t be affected by strong winds or wet terrain as much as what a smaller vehicle would be faced with. Overall, the driving experience in an SUV will give you a sense of confidence and mental reassurance that you’re as safe as you could possibly ever be in a vehicle.
Back when SUVs were still cemented as vehicles only used by hunters, farmers, and game rangers, owning one of these vehicles meant dealing with a hefty fuel consumption rate to power those powerful engines and heavy bodies. Since they started becoming more commercially popular, manufacturers have worked hard on optimising performance and improving fuel efficiency. Today’s SUVs are surprisingly fuel-efficient, and their engines have been optimised to still perform with power while no longer guzzling fuel in the way that Hummers are notorious for.
High Resale Value
Because they are so in demand, the market value for a used SUV remains fairly high, and you won’t have any trouble selling it at a later stage if you choose to do so. Although you won’t ever get the full amount back that you paid for your SUV, it’s reassuring to know that you won’t be left stuck with a vehicle that nobody wants to buy from you or that you’ll have to let go of it for a disappointing amount of money in future.
If you’re considering buying a used SUV for sale, there’s a world of options available to suit your needs, style, and budget. Motus Select has many models available, all of which have been carefully checked and prepared to ensure absolute buyer satisfaction.