2020 certainly had its ups and downs, but one thing was made clear — South Africans can make the best of any situation.
We had great plans to hit the road for the holidays and explore the coast from Cape Town to Knysna. But then we had a ‘family meeting’ with our president and had to amend our December plans slightly. So instead, we kept it local. My choice of wheels? The new Suzuki Vitara — a powerful 1.4l turbo that amazes me every time I get behind the wheel.
The new Vitara’s updated look had me do a double-take when the car arrived at my door, its hot and sexy, and definitely stands out from the crowd. We had the Galactic Grey/black two-toned, score!
Coastal to Cape Point
The first leg of our local trip was one for the books. We jumped in the Vitara, and made our way from Muizenberg, along the coast past Kalk Bay, Fish Hoek, Simonstown and eventually to our end destination, Cape Point. If I can’t be a tourist in another province, I will most definitely be one in my own backyard. The trip was amazing. We saw the penguins at Boulders, some baboons (unfortunately we didn’t spot local celeb baboon Kataza), and encountered so many locals doing what we were doing — making the most of the Cape and continuing to support local tourism.
If you’re familiar with the road, you’ll know that there are plenty of inclines and declines, curves and corners along the way. This isn’t your typical straight highway road, and we could really push the Vitara and see what its fuel consumption could be on this type of terrain. I was pleasantly surprised. We managed to get 7.1l per 100km.
Cape winelands for olives
Next, we headed to the winelands, but without the option of wine tasting, we had to improvise. We hit the olive tasting route instead, carefully curated by myself. The first stop was the spectacular Tokara estate in Stellenbosch. After eating my weight in freshly baked ciabatta bread dipped in one of the best olive oils I’ve tasted, we hit the road again, making our way to Morgenster in Somerset-West. Now, if there was an award for best olive oil tasting experience it would have to go to them. We were ‘wined and dined’ like it was no one’s business. After savouring a selection of 4 olive oils, their balsamic vinegar, tapenades and olives, we could now be called olive connoisseurs.
Nothing like the Bo-Kaap
I consider myself rather ‘colourful’ in personality, but nothing compares to the beautiful hues of the Bo-Kaap. I am slightly embarrassed to admit this as a Capetonian, but I had never been to the Bo-Kaap before. You always see the beautiful pictures of brightly coloured houses along the road, which was about as far as my knowledge went. We caught up with one of the locals who gave us a bit of an impromptu tour and enriched our minds with the rich culture and heritage these streets hold. I will be back, and maybe then with an actual tour guide and not someone who wanted to be paid in “entjies” — aka cigarettes.
Almost every journalist in Cape Town takes their test car up to Signal hill for the obligatory ‘Table Mountain/car’ shot, so why not? The view from here is spectacular and gets me every time. The road was pretty quiet considering it was smack bang in the middle of December, so we could really test the car’s capabilities when it got to cornering, and to see how she handles when pushed just a little bit. Sure, I wasn’t pulling a Ken Block, but I wanted to know how the Vitara would handle. Again, she knocked it out of the park (obviously the driver helped a little bit). With a gross weight of 1 730kg, the Vitara sits firmly on the tar. The hill hold control kicked in when it was needed, which is always a nice touch.
Garden meandering at Kirstenbosch Gardens
Next, we went to Kirstenbosch Gardens. Okay, so it’s not like I could drive the Vitara on the lawns in between the proteas and pensioners, but it got us here. The garden is truly spectacular. I have been numerous times, and every single time I am met with the feeling of sheer joy knowing that this glorious piece of living art is but a stone’s throw away from our doorsteps.
The final word
The Vitara wants to take you places. You just can’t help yourself — you want to get behind the wheel and just go. Whether it’s to the local café or a road trip to the winelands, she is always ready. The car is spacious inside and takes a stand from a physical viewpoint from the outside, too. If I told you how you many heads this car turned… you wouldn’t believe me. I, for one, appreciated the extra attention…
All Vitara’s come standard with a 5year/200 000km warranty and a 4year/60 000km service plan. The Vitara 1.4l Turbo GLX Manual that I drove retails from R406 900.00.