[Henrie Geyser: motoring editor] Japanese luxury brand Infiniti has adopted a "Premium Challenger" mission to equal or better the same high standards set by the market-dominating fancy cars badged with a blue propeller, four rings or three-pointed star.
[Henrie Geyser: motoring editor] Volkswagen has expanded its popular people mover range with the introduction of its 7-speed DSG transmission in its 103kW Kombi, and it has also increased its lifestyle footprint with the addition of a new Cross Caddy model.
[Henrie Geyser: motoring editor] Like a number of other brands, Toyota also has a cute pretend-toughie. It's called the Etios Cross and like Renault Stepway and VW Polo Maxx, it is also very much a lamb in wolf's clothing.
[Henrie Geyser: motoring editor] Honda has just launched its latest seven-seater Mobilio in South Africa in two specification levels and powered by the same 1.5-litre i-VTEC engine that is already doing duty in the Honda Ballade.
[Henrie Geyser: motoring editor] New engines and transmissions and a whole spectrum of added fancy features, including an eye-catching new R-Design interior and body trim, are signature features of the latest Volvo XC60 range.
[Henrie Geyser: motoring editor] Mazda has launched a renewed all-out attack on the South African market with a heavily armed fighting force made up of 20 new SUV, hatchback, and a brace of small and medium sedans all brimming with new technology.
[Henrie Geyser: motoring editor] The South African market is swamped with crossover-urban-sports-utility- school taxi-mum- shopping wagons, each with its own foibles and charms, but one of the most charismatic of the new breed is Volvo's six-model V40 Cross Country range.
[Henrie Geyser: motoring editor] MG, the brand steeped in British sports car history, is making a cheeky comeback to this country with an attractive, well-equipped and competitively-priced MG3 baby hatchback.
[Henrie Geyser: motoring editor] Suzuki has given its popular Swift the go-faster, go-cleaner and go-pull-some-looks treatment and have come up a natty little fun to drive version it calls the Swift Sport which is good enough to give the Fiat Abarth, Ford Fiesta, Citroen DS3 and the Renault Twingo a good dice for their money.
[Henrie Geyser: motoring editor] The Mercedes-Benz M-Class, South Africa's top-selling snooty SUV, has been substantially upgraded so that it looks prettier, feels classier and is now even safer, considerably less thirsty and more fun to drive.
[Henrie Geyser: motoring editor] Like many other carmakers Citroen has now also waltzed on to the rapidly growing SUV market enticed by the sweet tunes of the Jewish Harp and confident that its new three-model Aircross range is sexy enough to lure SUV-addicted South Africans away from the brands that dominate this lucrative market segment.
[Henrie Geyser: motoring editor] Mazda's trail-blazing new CX-5 has arrived in South Africa just few months after its international debut and it's easy to understand why it has ignited such a world-wide frenzy of debate, praise and enthusiasm, most of it about its pace-setting new Skyactive technology.
[Henrie Geyser: motoring editor] Lexus has always been a leading stalker of the dominant German three-brand gang but now that it has unwrapped its new GS range its status has moved from amber threat to red attack alert because for the very first time Lexus has the weapons to take on the enemy on all fronts - and to outclass and beat them.
[Henrie Geyser: motoring editor] Volkswagen has prettied up and added more glitter to its already good-looking four-door coupé range and this time round the CC might just rattle the comfort zone cages of the Audi A4, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and BMW 3 Series in key departments such as ride quality, comfort, performance and looks.
[Henrie Geyser: motoring editor] BMW has taken its first major step into twin-engine technology in South Africa with the introduction of the ActiveHybrid 5 whose green credentials immediately elevate it to the top of its class, not only for its kindness to Mother Nature but also in terms of looks, impressive features, comfort, ride and safety.
[Henrie Geyser: motoring editor] To true Alfisti just the thought of sticking an automatic transmission into the much-revered Giulietta would be as incomprehensible as adding coke to grappa or garam masala to polenta - but that's exactly what the white coats in Italy have done to its latest model, which has just landed on local shores.
[Henrie Geyser: motoring editor] House husbands have become a common phenomena ever since international belt-tightening sparked off job losses and unemployment with more and more men forced to work from home and take on school run duties, household chores and don aprons while their wives stuffed their iPads and fancy phones into their Gucci bags and headed off to their executive jobs to earn the household's main income.
[Henrie Geyser: motoring editor] In this day and age of impersonal "likes" and distant Facebook "friends", light beer, political correctness and over-enthusiastic environment prophets it is a real treat to come across something real for a change - a car that loves to rip off its Ralph Lauren Blue Label suit and to slip on a pair of tatty jeans and T-shirt to party big time.
[Henrie Geyser: motoring editor] Citroën's new ooh la la flagship DS5 has just strutted onto the local market and its stylish and controversial looks have already set the tongues wagging with the same enthusiasm as any latest haute couture unveiling in Paris.
[Henrie Geyser: motoring editor] Some of the best off-road jockeys in the country have saddled up Volkswagen Amarok 2.0 TDi steeds and battle has commenced for top honours in the Spirit of Africa 4x4 competition - one of the toughest competitions of its kind on the continent.