You'd expect 2017 to mark a period of consolidation for automakers in South Africa, considering the recent decline in new vehicle sales in our market. But the number of new models on the way to our shores may well surprise you.
1. Audi Q2
Like the Volkswagen Tiguan, the new Q2 is based on the VW Group's MQB platform, which will likely mean both excellent on-road manners and impressive packaging. Expect the Q2 to provide tough opposition to other boutique offerings in the segment, including the Mercedes-Benz GLA. It is set to arrive in the first quarter of 2017, powered by a 110 kW 1,4-litre turbopetrol (with a 1,0-litre turbopetrol and 2,0-litre TDI to follow later).
2. Hyundai Creta
We expect the Hyundai Creta to finally make its way to our shores in February 2017, after being revealed as long ago as 2014. The local range will likely offer the option of a pair of 1,6-litre engines; one in petrol and one in diesel flavour. The Creta will slot into Hyundai's local line-up below the new Tucson.
3. Mini Countryman
The Countryman has grown in size and is 200 mm longer than its predecessor, offering increased interior space and versatility. A range of familiar engines will be on offered when the new model is launched in the first quarter, including the 100 kW 1,5-litre turbo-triple and the 141 kW 2,0-litre turbopetrol. The first-ever plug-in hybrid Mini will also make a local appearance, with a total system output of 165 kW.
4. Toyota C-HR
Due to arrive in March 2017, the C-HR is hands-down the boldest Toyota since the 86. It is built on the same platform at the new Prius, and is thus on offer in certain markets in hybrid form. Local models, however, will employ the brand's new 85 kW/185 N.m 1,2-litre turbopetrol unit, mated to either a six-speed manual or a CVT.
5. Suzuki Ignis
This little crossover has been on sale in Japan for a while now (and was actually revealed as long ago as the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show), but made its European debut at this year's Paris Motor Show. We expect it to arrive in South Africa in April 2017, employing Suzuki's latest lightweight platform. Although the engine range has yet to be confirmed, we're hoping it will include the new 1,2-litre Dualjet mill.
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