As time progresses, an increasing number of consumers are showing a preference for spacious and stylish SUVs, leading to a growing prevalence of these vehicles on the streets. The popularity of these hatchbacks on stilettos is further adding to the bustling and chaotic nature of urban roadways.

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By Dumi Xaba

Gone are the days when hatchbacks and sedans were kings of the road, for we are now witnessing the rise of the SUV revolution!

With each passing day, more and more car buyers are gravitating towards these sleek and roomy vehicles. Our streets resemble a bustling urban jungle, and these fashionable hatchbacks on stilts only contribute to the unrelenting madness. It is of little or no surprise that many buyers are now giddily transitioning towards crossovers. Even those loyal fans who ardently admired fast cars and compact hatches are succumbing to the irresistible appeal of a heightened seating position.

These SUVs are as abundant on our roads as streetlights, popping up every five minutes and adding more excitement to our daily commute. But hold on, because the price tag on some of those sub-4-second SUVs can make your jaw drop – we are talking about a million to upper millions in rands. Thankfully, the market has come to the rescue with newer models, giving consumers a wide range of options. However, this abundance can also leave you feeling overwhelmed and unsure about which one is the perfect fit for you.

With so much to choose from, we have provided a snippet of options to simplify purchasing a new or used crossover vehicle.

So, buckle up and read on!


When the VW Polo zoomed past Toyota’s Corolla, their prized subcompact, it was like a signal from the universe for Toyota to step up its game. And boy, did they deliver!

Enter the Toyota Cross, a stunning creation that has taken the market by storm, selling an astonishing 22,000 units and snatching the crown as the reigning king of crossovers. Not too far behind is the mighty Fortuner, flexing its muscles with over 10,000 units sold last year. It’s crystal clear that Toyota has claimed its throne and reigns supreme in the crossover realm.

The Toyota Cross has a loyal customer base and an extensive network of authorised dealers, ensuring that there is support and assistance available wherever you go. While it may not be the most luxurious SUV on the market, it more than makes up for it with its appealing design and practical features. Plus, just like other Toyota products, the Cross holds its value over time, giving you the peace of mind to upgrade to a newer model without worrying about getting a better deal.

Priced at a little over R400,000, the base price of the Toyota Cross is comparable to that of the Polo. Additionally, the three-year warranty covers up to a hundred thousand kilometres or six maintenance visits, ensuring that you are taken care of in case anything goes wrong.

I must disclose that I have a preference for the Toyota Cross when it comes to adaptable vehicles. Despite being smaller than the RAV4, the Toyota Cross’s sleek lines and curves make it more visually appealing than its bulkier elder brother.

China is revving up the car market

Despite initial scepticism towards Chinese products, the Haval Julion has emerged as a standout contender in the SUV market. Its appealing design and budget-friendly price have caught the attention of many. While it may not be the most fuel-efficient option, drivers will find solace in its comfortable ride and top-notch build. In fact, the vehicle’s popularity is evident with over 8,500 units sold just last year.

In an impressive feat, the Tiggo Pro, another remarkable product from China, soared in sales last year, coming tantalisingly close to the Toyota Fortuner with nearly 10,000 units sold. With its captivating features and undeniable appeal, the Tiggo Pro made waves in the market, leaving competitors in awe of its remarkable performance.

Many car brands that have been popular in the market have a long list of additional features that customers can choose from for an extra fee. In contrast, the Chinese car industry has taken a different approach by offering all features as standard without compromising on quality or charging extra. People are increasingly choosing Chinese cars over traditional American and German brands, indicating the success of this strategy.

The Cherry Tiggo Pro brand is a notable example, having been introduced with an impressive 10-year or 1-million-kilometre engine warranty. This warranty surpasses industry standards by 40% and covers a distance five times better. The warranty comprises two components: a standard 5-year / 150,000 km factory warranty applicable to all new Tiggo 4 Pro vehicle models and a complimentary extension of an additional 5 years and 850,000 km specifically focused on the engine, automatically added upon expiration of the initial warranty, provided the vehicle remains under the ownership of the original owner. Consistent with industry norms, the warranty requires that the vehicle be serviced and repaired by Chery Dealerships, following Chery standards, and using original Chery parts and components.

Despite not making it into the top ten, the Tiggo 8 Pro is an excellent product that is gaining popularity. Its competitors do not offer engine warranties that last 100,000 kilometres. Many people have been reaching out to me for my opinion on this unique vehicle. Compared to the top-tier Volkswagen Polo, which costs just over R500,000, the Tiggo 8 Pro offers a wide range of features that are not typically found in a vehicle at that price point.

After spending some time with it, I found that the only real downsides were its fuel consumption and slightly soft steering, both of which became manageable after driving about fifty kilometres. The vehicle exudes a luxurious look and feel, thanks to its plush leather upholstery and digital cockpit. Its third-row seating and plug-in hybrid technology make it an irresistible choice.

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