Hi all. (Mods please move if not in the right section of forum - ta)

So I recently started working full time again (YAY!). I live about 3km from my workplace and have noticed that my current 2006 Mahindra is chugging fuel like crazy (understandably so). My morning run takes less than 15 minutes, and when I get to work, the temp needle hasn't even risen to the first indicator line. I feel that this may be damaging the engine, and hence, I'm considering getting a much smaller, lighter, petrol.

So I've been looking around at some vehicles with some intent of trading in Mandy (for whatever I'll get - thinking about 40-50K due to some rust issues).

My budget would preferably be below the 200K mark, and unfortunately wouldn't be a cash purchase (damn taxes!).

The vehicles I've been looking at need to tick some boxes, such as:
  • Be economical to run and maintain.
  • Be able to survive the odd gravel road when camping and fishing (main point).
  • Be able to fit a golf bag and trolley with some ease.
  • Be safe on today's roads.
  • Be a useful town runaround with occasional long trips to visit family in other cities.
  • Be within budget and not have ridiculous Kms.
  • Be suitable for a bachelor with the occasional-potential SWAMBO...


I've been looking at the Suzuki Ignis. I have kinda fallen in love with the look of it and appreciate the ground clearance. From the various YouTube videos I've watched, it appears to be rather zippy and spacious. I haven't taken one for a drive yet but I'm very keen to see what they are like. However, I was informed today that they have a rather poor to non-existent NCAP rating, which is rather off-putting...

Alternatively:

Suzuki Swift - due to price. While I sort of like the look of the Swift, it appears to me that it would struggle with gravel roads, and also has a shoddy NCAP rating.

Alternatively:

Renault Duster (diesel) - First choice but worried about the diesel on short trips to work and back. The duster seems to tick the boxes for safety and ride height and I've seen so many good reviews on this forum about the vehicles, with a somewhat decent safety rating.

I considered the S'Presso, Kwid, etc but don't like the idea of turning into a pancake if I hit a pothole...

Any advice would be greatly appreciated and welcome. Obviously I want to try and pay as little as possible to stay out of debt...

Please note that I am in the Eastern Cape...