The Master Cars of 2017
There is undoubtedly more than a legion of cars to choose from when buying or browsing for the perfect human and goods carrier. Some are fanatics of the old classic cars – maybe a 1915 Rolls Royce (where Silver Ghost is still a phenomenon), or the older rugged, bad boy cars – such as the 1967 Ford Mustang, what a beauty. There is no denying that every year has had its car of the year, and arguments will unquestionably rage on about the car of the century. But what is to be said about the possible master car of 2017?
Compared to some other industries the automobile one only came to light in 1885/86, now considering where we are in 2017 with our vehicles and perhaps compare it to where we are with our ships, the automobile industry flew into rapid motion since its inception. Many would like to say it was put into motion by Karl (Carl) Benz, yes, the man that later gave us Mercedes-Benz in association with DMG (Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft). 132 years have passed since Benz made his first gasoline automobile and luckily for us, we can look forward to a myriad more features than Benz could in his day.
2017 is no exception when it comes to cars being released, each dealer believing this is their year, and naturally, for some, it will be. I have chosen my top five cars for 2017, based on a mixture of handsomeness, quality, high-tech features and definitely not affordability (who are we kidding?)
Alfa Romeo Giulia
This car in blue is a spectacular beauty and to be honest, it was added to my list before I even saw the specs. Reading up on it and the first quote I see is, “Proof that love is worth the wait” and I could not agree more. For this car, I could wait.
Alfa Romeo brags with this car as the study in power. And that simply means in regards to weight and power. This is a car you can feel safe in while chasing the horizons, with the body made of high-strength steel, say goodbye to your tuna can car.
This sedan boasts a host of technologies: 8-speed transmission, 4 different driving modes (by default “race” is included there, what is the point of power otherwise?) Top speed 191 mph, which translates to about 305 km/h. Pricing in South Africa comes in at a whopping R1.4 million to R1.6 million for the Launch and Race editions while the base cars can cost you anything from nearly R600 000.
The Levante is an SUV made to effortlessly handle any situation, like the Alfa Romeo it brags with weight distribution and it must be quite a feature considering the size of the Levante. Also carrying the 8-speed gearbox, it seems to be a norm for these luxurious beauties of 2017.
Their leather seats will keep you comfortable driving up a mountain whilst gifting your ears audio perfection with a Bowers & Wilkins Surround Sound. I have seen many SUV’s but none with an elegance like this Maserati. A pure, clean design of sculpted lines it whispers an authoritative exclusivity.
What really impresses me is the safety features: six dual stage airbags, adaptive cruise control, blind spot alert and forward collision warning - to name just a few. Top speed 164 mph (262 km/h). This one will cost you a pretty penny though, at approximately R1.65 million.
The Lincoln has finally made its return in the hopes to salvage its name. These stately cars may just have one-upped the Levante where comfortable seats are concerned, showing off “30 ways of movement” it promises a near embrace from your seat or “cradle” as they describe it to take stress off your shoulders. They also have “power thigh adjusters” for individual leg comfort, which truly could be an enhancing experience. But it does not stop there, the seats have the option of heating, cooling and massage!
This car can also boast with numerous safety features but you will have to pay up to have them installed in your car. I have seen various reviews by now where people are complaining about the backseat headroom. So if you have a tall family like me, maybe give it a pass.
Top speed 147 mph (235km/h) Unfortunately this car is not available in South Africa – price wise this car rings in at a low $49 365 which roughly amounts to R638 901. But importing will push the price up an exorbitant amount. The costs of importing a car of only R200 000 will result in +-70% of the market value of payable taxes and cumulative duties.
Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cabriolet
This is not a family friendly car, but get your glamorous friends ready for a ride in this sleek convertible. There were a few other Mercedes cars that I wanted to add so I have to give an honourable mention to the Mercedes-Benz C-Class (purely for its familiar beauty).
I see the Mercedes have got rid of the pesky old problem that evening air gets chilly and makes a convertible ride an uncomfortable one. Introducing AIRSCARF which bathes your neck and shoulders in warm air, it is now a delight to cruise around at night in your convertible. The luxury, fortunately, does not stop there, taking a page from the Lincoln in seat comfort - this convertible offers you a hot stone massage. It seems like a drive to the spa in your S-Class is a better investment than the spa itself.
The tailored soft top of your car can come in four colours and goes into hiding in under 20 seconds. Grab your three best friends for a ride in luxury and let passersby admire the splendour in which you drive. Top speed for all the models is apparently capped at 250km/h. Depending on which of the three Cabriolet’s you take the price will range anywhere from R2.3 million to R3.5 million (who needs a home when you got this car?)
Lastly but not least the monstrous Ford Raptor. This is for all your off road needs. This is an impressive car, a beast as they describe it to get you over anything – from steep hills or dunes to your latest heartbreak – all you need is the Ford Raptor. You wouldn’t expect the amount of space and comfort it offers from a car named Raptor but it hosts quite a spacious inside and seats for five.
It boasts a powerful 450 horsepower and a top speed of 100 mph (160km/h) This is, unfortunately, like the Lincoln, one car South Africans will have to import if they want it badly enough. This monster goes for $50 000 to $53 000 (R643 215 – R681 807)
Some of these cars have already been voted into the Top 10 of 2017 but opinion differs and everyone’s Top 10 might be a little different. There is no doubt that we can look forward to the bigger and better of 2018.
(Photo and information credit to each dealer's respective sites.)