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  1. #1
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    Default How tough are these small SUV-buggies like the Ecosport, T-Cross etc.?

    So my mom has started looking around for a replacement vehicle. She has sold my late dad's Isuzu KB300 4x4 and will sell her Polo early in the new year. Now we need to find a replacement that can serve as an ou tannie's runabout (i.e. no bakkies), but is also tough enough to do an annual trip to the Kgalagadi. I'm thinking Duster or even Jimny. She's not keen on the Duster, as the workshop guys are scaring her away from Renault. Her mind is more on vehicles like the Ecosport and T-Cross. She doesn't need space, as she travels light.

    So my question is simple. Will these types of vehicles survive a couple of years of bad corrugations once in a while? Do you get proper tyres for them?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: How tough are these small SUV-buggies like the Ecosport, T-Cross etc.?

    Quote Originally Posted by dph View Post
    So my mom has started looking around for a replacement vehicle. She has sold my late dad's Isuzu KB300 4x4 and will sell her Polo early in the new year. Now we need to find a replacement that can serve as an ou tannie's runabout (i.e. no bakkies), but is also tough enough to do an annual trip to the Kgalagadi. I'm thinking Duster or even Jimny. She's not keen on the Duster, as the workshop guys are scaring her away from Renault. Her mind is more on vehicles like the Ecosport and T-Cross. She doesn't need space, as she travels light.

    So my question is simple. Will these types of vehicles survive a couple of years of bad corrugations once in a while? Do you get proper tyres for them?
    The EcoSport is based on the fiesta, uses very similar suspension components. The shocks and bushes will wear out very quickly on bad corrugated roads.

    I don't know the t cross as well, but I would bet it has the same basic suspension as the polo.

    Basically, they will survive if you drive carefully, but you will have to replace suspension components sooner than on something with a bit more suspension travel.

    The Jimmy will do just fine.

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  4. #3
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    Default Re: How tough are these small SUV-buggies like the Ecosport, T-Cross etc.?

    I have NO skin in the game or actual experience with any of them.

    My feeling is that the Suzuki Vitara could be a great option.

    Or buy "cheaper" run-a-round for Mom with money for a rental for these trips.

    Cheers

    Nico
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  5. #4
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    Default Re: How tough are these small SUV-buggies like the Ecosport, T-Cross etc.?

    I'd vote for the Jimny... small enough for a city vehicle and capable enough for the bush... light on juice.

    Duster...Don't get me started of French vehicles...
    Gary
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  6. #5
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    Default Re: How tough are these small SUV-buggies like the Ecosport, T-Cross etc.?

    I reckon Duster is the most off-road suitable one but if buying new / under warranty, then tyre size is probably the biggest consideration as any newish car will handle mostly tar and the occasional bad road jaunt.

    I take it all wheel drive not an essential?

    That new Hyundai Venue comes with 215 / 60 R 16 and you can get the newer Geolandar G015 AT tyres in that size.

    Also Vitara and if it will suit from a size and drive point of view, new Jimny.

    Not sure of EcoSport, T-Cross etc can fit a decent tyre.

    Also, full size spare tyre is probably useful if not essential.
    Last edited by Andrew5336; 2020/12/04 at 10:18 AM.
    Andrew

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    Default Re: How tough are these small SUV-buggies like the Ecosport, T-Cross etc.?

    Quote Originally Posted by gazza1210 View Post
    I'd vote for the Jimny... small enough for a city vehicle and capable enough for the bush... light on juice.

    Duster...Don't get me started of French vehicles...
    With french products, the rule of thumb is simple. If you can't eat it or sleep with it, don't spend money on it
    Last edited by MANDREAS; 2020/12/04 at 10:18 AM.
    Cheers
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  9. #7
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    Default Re: How tough are these small SUV-buggies like the Ecosport, T-Cross etc.?

    Rav4

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  11. #8
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    Default Re: How tough are these small SUV-buggies like the Ecosport, T-Cross etc.?

    Cool, you guys are basically echoing my sentiments. That is good.

  12. #9
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    Default Re: How tough are these small SUV-buggies like the Ecosport, T-Cross etc.?

    As Cyclone says about the Ecosport, same applies to the VW T-Cross. It's based on the same platform as the current Polo and Audi A1.
    All theses types of crossover vehicles thrive on the thirst for SUVs. Everybody wants something with a higher roof line than the average sedan. Maybe there is a little more headspace inside and a few more cubic cm of boot space, whether it is usable or not.
    Engine, gearbox and suspension are made for normal paved roads, same as the tamer siblings these mini crossovers are based on.
    As to tyres, have a look at the manufacturer's websites and check out the tyre sizes. Even just looking at the photos, you'll see that they usually come with low profile tyres.

    Around 10 years ago some of the large car hire companies tried out the Honda CRV, which was quite popular with tourists for traveling on gravel roads. During that time we saw a lot of these rentals coming home on flat bed trucks with one of the front suspension struts pushing up the bonnet.

    If you use these type of vehicles on unpaved roads, I'm sure you will see at least increased wear on suspension components, if not failures of components.
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    Default Re: How tough are these small SUV-buggies like the Ecosport, T-Cross etc.?

    Quote Originally Posted by mandreas View Post
    with french products, the rule of thumb is simple. If you can't eat it or sleep with it, don't spend money on it
    lmga!!
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  15. #11
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    Default Re: How tough are these small SUV-buggies like the Ecosport, T-Cross etc.?

    Quote Originally Posted by HugoNotte View Post
    As Cyclone says about the Ecosport, same applies to the VW T-Cross. It's based on the same platform as the current Polo and Audi A1.
    All theses types of crossover vehicles thrive on the thirst for SUVs. Everybody wants something with a higher roof line than the average sedan. Maybe there is a little more headspace inside and a few more cubic cm of boot space, whether it is usable or not.
    Engine, gearbox and suspension are made for normal paved roads, same as the tamer siblings these mini crossovers are based on.
    As to tyres, have a look at the manufacturer's websites and check out the tyre sizes. Even just looking at the photos, you'll see that they usually come with low profile tyres.

    Around 10 years ago some of the large car hire companies tried out the Honda CRV, which was quite popular with tourists for traveling on gravel roads. During that time we saw a lot of these rentals coming home on flat bed trucks with one of the front suspension struts pushing up the bonnet.

    If you use these type of vehicles on unpaved roads, I'm sure you will see at least increased wear on suspension components, if not failures of components.
    Best answer here!

    But let her go drive the Jimny first. It is not to everyone's liking
    I agree with the RAV suggestion - but they are eye wateringly expensive for what you get
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  17. #12
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    Default Re: How tough are these small SUV-buggies like the Ecosport, T-Cross etc.?

    I would go Duster 4wd diesel as it will be the more complete package between the lot mentioned, space, economy, safety, and its actually built for gravel travel. I know the people are upgrading to Goodyear Wranglers AT's and Grabber At's in the 215/65x16 so I would stay away from the 17's in the top spec. If she is buying new I wouldn't worry about parts and other stuff as we own a Duster gen1 and at 90000km currently have had no issues.
    Henk Stols

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  19. #13
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    Default Re: How tough are these small SUV-buggies like the Ecosport, T-Cross etc.?

    Quote Originally Posted by gazza1210 View Post
    Duster...Don't get me started of French vehicles...
    The Duster is not a French vehicle. It's actually a Dacia, a Romanian brand. Renault has bought it some time ago and is selling the Dacia Duster as a Renault in SA.
    Have a look at the Renault section of the forum, there is lots of information available. I have heard lots of reasonably encouraging things about the Duster.

    But in the end, a Jimny might just what you are looking for. It's a properly designed off road vehicle that has been designed to cope with the type of punishment that bad gravel roads can throw at it and it will certainly do well in the Kgalagadi.
    I'm sure it will outlast many softroaders and most certainly those crossover SUVs.
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  21. #14
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    Default Re: How tough are these small SUV-buggies like the Ecosport, T-Cross etc.?

    Jimny is the only one that will make it on the roads in and around Kgalagadi.

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  23. #15
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    Default Re: How tough are these small SUV-buggies like the Ecosport, T-Cross etc.?

    Quote Originally Posted by HugoNotte View Post
    The Duster is not a French vehicle. It's actually a Dacia, a Romanian brand. Renault has bought it some time ago and is selling the Dacia Duster as a Renault in SA.
    Have a look at the Renault section of the forum, there is lots of information available. I have heard lots of reasonably encouraging things about the Duster.

    But in the end, a Jimny might just what you are looking for. It's a properly designed off road vehicle that has been designed to cope with the type of punishment that bad gravel roads can throw at it and it will certainly do well in the Kgalagadi.
    I'm sure it will outlast many softroaders and most certainly those crossover SUVs.
    The fact that it's not a proper Renault is a good thing! I have seen that they are quite capable but never looked further due to my aversion for French cars.
    Gary
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  25. #16
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    Default Re: How tough are these small SUV-buggies like the Ecosport, T-Cross etc.?

    My daily is an Ecosport. It is not really an SUV. It is rather a larger normal car. I would not go to Kgalagadi with it.

    Jimny or Vitara allgrip would be much better but if she is going ever want to go to certain places (Bitterpan/Gharagab/Bots side) then the Jimny is the way to go...
    Sarel
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  26. #17
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    Default Re: How tough are these small SUV-buggies like the Ecosport, T-Cross etc.?

    I have a 2017 Ecosport TDCI and Tow a Skipper Model T with it. It does gravel roads pretty well but I agree the suspension components will need additional maintenance and vigilance with regular use on D roads. Also an option is the Haval H1. I drove one last week and oh my I completely underestimated this brand and quality. The H6 was something else

  27. #18
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    Default Re: How tough are these small SUV-buggies like the Ecosport, T-Cross etc.?

    I think mom needs to look at the previous shape Grand Vitara, that will be ideal. 2016/2017 model Dune.

    The 2.4 is a bit heavy on juice compared to ECOSPORT, T Cross etc, but she will pay R 150 000 less than a new one off those, and will never use the balance on fuel. BUT she will have a car that can do gravel roads and is very comfortable on tar
    Last edited by Bostokkelos; 2020/12/04 at 11:15 AM.

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  29. #19
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    Default Re: How tough are these small SUV-buggies like the Ecosport, T-Cross etc.?

    http://www.newcardeals.co.za/new-cars/mahindra/scorpio

    http://www.newcardeals.co.za/new-car...crde-t8/215702

    Seriously..

    They are great value, drive very well, robust, and capable for what she needs..

    Just go and have a look

    The TUV is rear wheel drive and very tough
    The Scorpio is well known and easy on the eye
    _______________________________________
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    I drive a five cylinder bakkie and tow an army inspired van.

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  31. #20
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    Default Re: How tough are these small SUV-buggies like the Ecosport, T-Cross etc.?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hedgehog View Post
    http://www.newcardeals.co.za/new-cars/mahindra/scorpio

    http://www.newcardeals.co.za/new-car...crde-t8/215702

    Seriously..

    They are great value, drive very well, robust, and capable for what she needs..

    Just go and have a look

    The TUV is rear wheel drive and very tough
    The Scorpio is well known and easy on the eye

    OMG!!! I was just that guy, wasn't I
    _______________________________________
    Andrew van Staden
    With a mild case of "Camping Personality Disorder" or CPD

    I drive a five cylinder bakkie and tow an army inspired van.

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