[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] 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] 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] 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.