Whether you’re a rough-and-tumble beach-bum or a suit-and-tie soldier, deciding on a new car is always a convoluted conundrum, because not only do you need your car to be practical, but you want it to showcase your personality.
In needing these two boxes to be ticked, it narrows down the choice dramatically as to what vehicle you may adopt as your own, but there are a few key things to consider that will help you find the ideal A-to-B machine.
Firstly, keep in mind that whatever car you buy, you’re going to need some serious space. Whether you want to accept it or not, you’re going to need to transport something relatively obscure in your car (and having a giant gorilla balloon hanging out of your window is not a good look, trust us), so look to find something with a fair bit of space.
Under the hood
Now, as much as we love South Africa, the roads are not exactly the Monaco-level of smoothness. You’re going to need a human-transporter that can handle a few bumps and dips here and there, and something that has a bit of height and suspension. Not to mention a little power under the hood – at least a 1.4 litre engine to get you up those hills with little fuss.
Usually practicality falls away as style enters the frame, but it is possible to find something that delivers on both those fronts. We all want something that is subtle enough to not attract attention for the wrong reasons, but has its moment to shine in the right environment.
Looking at your first or second car in the market is always tough when crunching the numbers of what the budget can handle, but aiming for something between the R150k-R180k mark will ensure a level of quality and won’t leave you surviving on cereal for the rest of your life.
Of course, one of, if not the, most important aspects of buying a new car is safety. You have to be secure in your vehicle while driving, and it needs to be protected from theft and other criminal activity.
Understandably, it’s hard to find a car that ticks all these boxes, but such unicorn-like vehicles do exist, and there’s one that signs under the boxes with a sexy signature.
The Nissan NP 200 Stealth is not only a viable option, but an incredibly unique one, combining the best elements of a workman’s vehicle and injecting some fun and leisure into it.
Priced at a reasonable R169,000, the NP 200 literally features a bakkie-load of space (800kg payload), 1.6 litre engine, two airbags, roll bar, smash-and-grab protection, central locking, and of course, a stylish exterior featuring a dark grey techno paint, darkened sports bar, and a colour-coded grill frame.