As the Ghanaian economy improved in 2017 and individuals and organisations looked to purchase new automobiles to service their needs, car franchises in the country also set out to outdo each other and win a share of the new car market by launching new brands on the Ghanaians market. In this blog article, Tonaton.com reviews the top 10 cars launched in Ghana in 2017.
RANGE ROVER VELAR
The Range Rover Velar is bigger than the Evoque but smaller than the Sport. It also uses what is for Land Rover a new platform, sharing its underpinnings with the Jaguar F-Pace, which maybe also gives you an idea of is size.
It’s expensive, but it’s its good fortune to look and feel expensive too. It’s luxurious and has more off-road capability than most rivals – and than the Jag. In size, the Velar sits somewhere between a BMW X4 and X6, Mercedes GLC Coupe and GLE Coupe, and above the Audi Q5.
Smooth, pared-back and slimmed-down style takes priority over absolute space or off-road ruggedness. The Velar’s silhouette is quite fast, marked by a rising belt, falling roof, pinched tail and a lot of screen rake. The surfaces are pure as snow. Especially around the nose, it’s naked of step-lines, the grille, lamps and bumper meticulously flush. Which makes the number plate plinth stand out like a flesh wound. Also the fake vents on the bonnet and below the door mirrors.
But in all it’s a very well-worked shape, and if you see it alongside a range Rover Sport you instantly see how the skin has been pulled tight, the roof dropped and the details finely slimmed.
The cabin is even more of a revelation, for the way style and function meet in an all-new glass-cockpit system for displays and controls.
The third-generation Maruti Suzuki Dzire is, in many sense, a whole new car. The 2017 model is now a league above its predecessor in terms of design, interior, features and so on.
The Maruti Suzuki Dzire is clearly the supreme leader of the subcompact sedan space. Still, carmakers have managed to achieve huge profits out of this segment and the success story of the previous two generations of the Dzire sedan is a testament to that. Having said that, the sub 4-meter subcompact sedan market, on the whole, is looking at a decline and at a time like this Maruti Suzuki has introduced the third-generation Dzire. So, could there be a hat-trick in the play for the new Maruti Suzuki Dzire? We drive the car to answer that very question, so read on to know if the new-generation Maruti Suzuki Dzire – that has now dropped the Swift name – still has what it takes to sustain its reign
MERCEDES S CLASS AMG 2018
Based on appearances alone, we could understand any confusion caused by this mid-cycle refresh, but if you go beyond the superficial, the 2018 Mercedes-Benz S-class sedan lineup really is thoroughly updated. Aside from subtly altered trim, bumpers, and wheel designs, every version from the lowest-level S-class to the horsepower-addled S63 and S65 AMG models to the range-topping Maybach twins receives notable changes.
New Engines Beget New Model Designations
Look closely, however, and you’ll notice new badges that indicate where the real changes lurk. S450 and S560 are the new S-class designations boasting new V-6 and V-8 engines. The S450 essentially replaces the outgoing six-cylinder S550e plug-in-hybrid model (there’s no word on the plug-in’s fate) and is powered by a 362-hp twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6. The S560 resurrects a hallowed S-class nomenclature and succeeds the old S550. It also chucks that model’s twin-turbocharged 4.7-liter V-8 for a smaller, also-twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter unit. A number of recent Benzes share this new engine; in the S-class it makes 463 horsepower (14 more than the old 4.7) and 516 lb-ft of torque (same as before). On both S iterations, the engines are mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission.
NISSAN MICRA 2017
Is there a more schizophrenic car maker than Nissan? One minute the Micra is a fashionable Brit-built, bubble-car hit, selling by the million in Europe, the next it’s a forgettable Indian import, languishing at the bottom of the sales chart.
The new 2017 Nissan Micra aims to atone for the sins of its predecessor. The pendulum has swung. It looks to have rediscovered its mojo…
Indeed. It’s hard to remember such a transformation. Where the last Micra was a global car built in India, the new one is a Euro-focused package, designed in Tokyo and London, and built at a Renault factory in Paris.
It’s a striking car, considerably better-looking than the dullard that went before. Granted, it’s quite fussy in that over-styled Japanese fashion in some respects – and may date quickly – but in the right colour it’s an undeniably crisp, cool small hatchback.
The blacked-out windows and floating roofline work well; just watch out for the blindspot they cause if you peer over your shoulder.
HONDA CIVIC 10TH Generation
The 10th generation Civic is an important car for Honda. The Civic now competes in a crowded segment full of more capable competitors and in order for Honda to regain some of its lost credibility, the Civic had to be a home run. The 10th generation Civic hit the showrooms in 2016 and is finally a signal of return to not only the Civic’s glory days but Honda’s as well.
For the 10th Generation, the Civic was completely redesigned, riding on Honda’s brand new Compact Global Platform. The new exterior design is a huge departure from Civic’s prior with a sleek, fastback-like design and sharp character lines throughout the car. Following generations of pedestrian design, the Civic now finally begins to stand out from the crowd.
These same changes followed suit in the interior. The outgoing model had a two-tier dashboard that looked like it came straight from The Jetsons but for the 10th Generation, Honda returned to a more traditional layout albeit with a more modern design.
However, the significant changes were made under the hood. The outgoing model came with an underpowered 1.8-liter, four-cylinder that paled in performance compared to the cars like the Mazda3 and Volkswagen Jetta. For the 10th Generation, the Civic gained two new engines: A base 2.0-liter, four-cylinder producing 158 horsepower and 138 lb-ft of torque as well as a 1.5-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder with a 174 horsepower and 162 lb-ft of torque with both engines delivering power to the front wheels. Power is delivered through Honda’s silk-smooth continuously variable transmission (CVT) transmission or an optional six-speed manual.
Behind the wheel, the Civic feels like no slouch. Both powerplants feel like they have plenty of power under them to make everyday driving more comfortable. The 2.0-liter, naturally aspirated motor will hit 60 in 8.2 seconds, which is competitive for its class, but the real surprise comes with the 1.5-liter turbocharged motor, which will complete that run in a shade under seven seconds (a time that is quicker than most cars in its class). I found the CVT to be very smooth but it still took away from the driving excitement. The optional six- speed manual would revert that. The steering has a tiny dead spot in the middle but is sharp and light nonetheless. It’s by no means a driver’s car but is definitely enjoyable and engaging to drive — something that can’t be said about some past Civics.
ALFA ROMEO STELVIO
Alfa Romeo brings its unique breed of Italian style, performance and craftsmanship to an SUV that meets the demands of both driving enthusiasts and everyday life.
Introducing the all-new Stelvio Quadrifoglio, featuring Best-in-Class 505 Horsepower4, ultralight materials such as carbon fiber and aluminum and an 8-speed automatic transmission with standard Steering Column-Mounted Aluminum Paddle Shifters.
With its interior-design primed to expand the driver’s realm of possibilities, Stelvio Quadrifoglio brilliantly delivers the exhilarating driving experience of a true Italian sports car within a high-performance SUV.
State-of-the-art engines are the beating hearts of each and every Alfa Romeo. The Stelvio Quadrifoglio is powered by the most powerful production engine ever created by Alfa Romeo that embodies the devotion to next-level technology and race-inspired performance.
Unsurpassed performance with best-in-class 505 horsepower4 and 443 lb-ft of torque5 born from its highly-innovative, all-aluminum 2.9L Twin-Turbo and direct injected V6 engine; the Stelvio Quadrifoglio matches muscular strength with pure emotion.
The i30N is the first hot hatch from a marque with a full works entry in the World Rally Championship, and therefore something to be taken very seriously indeed.
That Hyundai’s aim has been to cram in as much performance for the least possible cost to buyers should also have your ears pricked up.
Why now? Well, the brand is on something of a roll, recording an 87 percent increase in European sales in the past five years. To build on that success and translate rally podiums into profit, it’s now launching a performance arm – N.
The fundamental i30N package is nothing out of the ordinary – it’s a five-door hatch with a turbocharged 2.0-litre engine driving the front wheels. What is rather unusual is the level of hardware on offer for modest outlay, getting 247bhp, an electronic limited-slip differential and three-way adaptive suspension.
As for pace, the standard car hits 62mph from rest in 6.4sec, while the Performance model shaves 0.3sec from that time. Both will hit 155mph and manage around 40mpg combined, says Hyundai.
This is the all-new Renault Koleos, a name you might remember from when the French carmaker tried its hand at SUVs before they became truly fashionable. That one was pulled from sale in the UK back in 2010 due to slow sales (and the fact it was a bit rubbish).
One of the first hurdles that the Koleos faces is the five-seat only configuration. Most of its rivals, such as the Nissan X-Trail and Kia Sorento, offer seven seats, so Renault appears to be limiting its audience. Of course, because of its lack of seats, it has plenty of space. There’s enough rear passenger room to make Skoda look twice, and Renault is strengthening its hand by offering good levels of standard equipment, too, adding to the luxury of that space.
The styling is similar to that of the Renault Megane, unsurprisingly. The front of the Koleos features large C-shaped LED daytime running lights that define its ‘face’, while higher grade Signature Nav models get full LED headlights that look high-tech. Chrome detailing runs back along the front wing and into the front doors, while the side window surrounds and door handles get a similar chrome treatment. All this adds up to impressive presence from any angle, and it rides on 18- or 19-inch alloy wheels depending on model.
Practical features like doors that fully cover the sills (so you don’t dirty your chinos as you get in) and an optional electric rear hatch that can be opened by waving your foot underneath notch up brownie points for the Koleos. Both the front and rear doors open to generous angles, too, which parents grappling with their offspring while trying to get them into car seats in the back will be glad of.
The Renault Kadjar is a stylish crossover that’s based on the same platform as the Nissan Qashqai. But, while the Qashqai took undisputed class honours when it arrived in early 2014, the game has moved on, and the Renault equivalent betters it in almost every area. However, the Renault just falls short of the all round appeal of the SEAT Ateca.
The Kadjar’s winning blend of desirability, quality, practicality and low running costs make this a sure-fire family favourite. We’d go for the lower-powered 1.5 dCi diesel in mid-spec Dynamique Nav trim, as it feels almost as powerful as the 1.6 dCi and comes loaded with standard kit.
The launch of the Renault Kadjar caused a bit of a stir in 2015. While Renault had dabbled in the mid-size crossover class before with the unloved Koleos, the Kadjar is a wholly different proposition. Essentially Renault has taken the Nissan Qashqai – Renault and Nissan are joint manufacturing partners – and formed the Kadjar for its own needs.
While the two firms claim that only 60 per cent of parts are shared between the two models, Renault says that 95 per cent of what you see and feel in the Kadjar is completely new. Cleverly, Renault has taken the basic formula of the Qasqhai and improved on it in every area, including more space inside, a range of frugal engines and a comfortable ride.
There’s a single body style for the Kadjar, and it slots into the Renault range above the Captur.
This is the first Made in Ghana car and was rolled out in 2017 together with a range of other SUVs. The company’s range of sports utility vehicles and pick-up trucks prices from $18,000 to $35,000 and looks set for the tough market and comes up against established brands like Toyota, Mercedes, BMW in Ghana which see an importation of about 12,000 new and 100,000 second-hand cars imported every year. The Made in Ghana label means that if you have any problems with the vehicle, you wouldn’t have to import from India or China or America. All the parts are right here and we have a 24-hour service. The jury is still out on the performance of the Kantanka Onantefuor since very few people have purchased it since the launch but trust Tonaton.com to bring you a full review very soon.