Volkswagen Tiguan

Entry sportutes offer great used value


Into the final stretch of our Auto Bakkie Race 2019 Gumtree Pre-Owned Car Awards coverage, we step up to the Sport Utility Vehicles. A booming segment overall, the used market offers some pretty sharp 2-year old bargains, but which is best?

Finest Five
This report considers the five two-year old SUVs that best retain their new value based on Unitrans pre-owned car sales data, so in alphabetical order, the Ford Kuga, Kia Sportage, Mazda CX-5, Toyota RAV4 and Volkswagen Tiguan represents your most efficient way into the real SUV world.

We will now take you through why which one of these we think is our favourite, but how close – or how far we will be off the full Jury decision come the announcement of the real winner Thursday evening 24 October? We only tested these five cars new in 2017, so before we consider how they shape up against each other as pre-owned bargains today, let’s look back at what we said about them new then…

Ford Kuga – C’mon Baby!
OK, so the self-igniting Ford Kuga has been in the news of late, but that now seems a thing of the past and driving this new one proved a most pleasing experience. The 1.5 turbo engine is a high point, it’s performance solid, and it is economy frugal enough.

Road holding is another pleasant upside via a fine mix of positive road-feel and sporty handling, but its biggest step forward is Kuga’s considerably cooler new look and style – more like a new car, rather than the facelift it is, never mind all the tech packed in .

KIA Sportage – Sportage Advantage?
KIA’s popular Sportage SUV has enjoyed a slight nip-and-tuck noticeable by a more prominent grille and masculine bumper designs, while it retains its familiar 115kW 196Nm 2-litre petrol engine and a most impressive five-year warranty and service plan

Well specced, good looking, spacious and comfortable, soft Sportage makes for a welcome change among a market of edgy styling and offers a fair value alternative in a most competitive family motoring niche.

Mazda CX-5 – Price Fighter
I was looking forward to testing Mazda’s CX-5 hot on the heels of the brilliant CX-3, so expectations were high. Still it starred – especially considering it costs R200K less than expected with a level of spec and kit to rival cars we expect to cost that much

Strong performance and frugal economy add to the allure and while its dash cabin may seem a little staid versus some of the Mazdas we’ve seen of late, CX-5 is an SUV bargain of note – it still looks a million bucks. But in costs half that.

Toyota RAV 4 – Rave On!
The fourth generation of Toyota’s ground-breaking RAV-4 continues to impress, even though this one’s CVT may not satisfy all tastes. Yet it’s still quiet and rattle-free, and on-road the VX’s ride quality, while a tad stiff, is well balanced and compliant. 

Off-road it’s also adept, enhanced by an interactive traction system, it’s well positioned out there and delivers a competent, capable vehicle and with proven Toyota reliability and resale value, so it’s bound to stay a the top seller in this segment …

Volkswagen Tiguan – Buy Me!
Volkswagen’s splendid all-new Tiguan screams ‘buy me’ at first sight. Volksie’s first SUV to ride on the MQB platform, it’s new from the ground up, so the revolution goes far beyond just styling, a spacious and more practical cabin and a bigger boot too.

Capable on and off the tar, this 110kW 1.4 TSI Comfortline is generously equipped and well up to any family’s needs with great versatility, practicality in a supremely family friendly answer to that ever-mushrooming small SUV demand in SA.

Ticking that score sheet
So, how do they shape up, two years down the line sitting on they used car lot down the street? 

Well space and practicality are the biggest buzzwords in this generally front-wheel drive entry SUV segment – it becomes a bit more complex when we consider their all-wheel drive rivals tomorrow. The biggest car and the biggest boot belong to the Kia, but the VW runs it close and those versatile rear seats see the Tiguan take this one.

If performance is your thing and you are replacing your GTI with one of these, then the Mazda is for you – it’s the drag race star for sure and pretty much in a class alone in that respect. But it’s not the most sophisticated – in fact all of the rest are 2-litre normally aspirated dinosaurs versus the downsized turbo 1.4 Tiguan, which is not just the most frugal, but pretty handy on the road too.

Which looks after you best?
Moving on, the Kia and the Ford fight it out for the best covered badge – Kuga still has four years of service plan and two years of warranty remaining, while Sportage – its three years each left to trump the VW and Toyota, both of which only have a year of warranty and two years of service assistance behind them, but the VW’s cheapest parts basket will help once you are out of plan...

Getting down to the good old resale double-edged sword, the Toyota shapes up well in that it hangs on to its new value pretty well, while also offering a fair price, but it’s nowhere near the bargain of the Kuga, which reputation makes it by for the best buy. As an owner however, the Tiguan will look after you best when it comes down to selling it, you – it keeps its value by far the best.

It's a close-run thing in the end – there are two cars here that stand apart from the rest and it’s a tie-breaker between the Mazda and the Volkswagen, which we score in favour of the Tiguan, purely because it’s more efficient engine and tech give it a technological edge we find hardest to ignore…

Double winner?
Now we wait to see which of these five is the official winner when Gumtree announces its Entry SUV winner on Thursday evening. We will wrap our extensive Auto Bakkie Race Pre Owned Awards coverage up with one of the three bigger SUV categories every day over the next three days before posting the winners right after the big announcements this coming Thursday evening 24 October. 

Come back to read our opinion as they roll out and use links below to navigate between the rest of the categories so far too and then check out the winners late Thursday. – Michele Lupini

Gumtree is offering South African motorists the opportunity to win a car by simply placing their vote for the People’s Choice Award. To vote simply go to click here and follow the prompts.

Gumtree Pre Owned Awards Program & Links

Budget City Cars 
Light Hatchbacks
Medium Hatchbacks
Medium Saloons
Medium Luxury Saloons
Performance Cars
Double Cab Bakkies
Crossover Vehicles
Entry SUVs
Medium SUVs
Large SUVs
Luxury SUVs

All The Winners

Auto Bakkie Race has revised its Road Test Rating System to deliver a more versatile 1-10 score. Over the past few years, very few cars tested ever achieve less than 75% in our previous scoring system and hardly any more than 95%. The new ABR Rating works in a 1 to 10 basis, where 1 represents a traditional score of  75% or less and 10 is 95% or more.

Auto Bakkie Race road tests all cars using state of the art Racelogic VBox test equipment, both at coastal altitude or at the Reef. All cars are tested starting at the same point on the same test road in all tests. Reef tests are differentiated by (1500m ASL). Where we have tested both sides, both sets of figures are published. Coastal acceleration data most often delivers quicker results due to the higher oxygen content of air at lower altitudes.