#FathersDay: Spoiling a veteran petrolhead - 'Here are 6 cars I'd want to buy my dad'

Image: Warren Wilson
Image: Warren Wilson
Warren Wilson

My father loves cars. I remember being just a tiny tot and how much he loved Fords - "Ford is lord" - as he used to say. 

I remember the mint green 1600 Escort Sport he had so proudly purchased when I was about 6 years old.

It was his pride and joy.

There was a blue Escort he had bought in 1976 and recalls: "I still have the higher purchase documents for both those cars and I only paid about R2 600 for it back then."

ford escort_janine

Wheels24's Janine Van der Post in her younger years posing for a picture with her dad's mint green Ford Escort Sport 1600. Image: Marcus Gordon 

My father purchased several Ford models through the years. There was a Sapphire, Sierra and then another Escort.

It was also his last purchase with the brand before my folks went another direction and bought a VW Golf Mk1. While my mom still drives it, my dad later purchased a 1998 Nissan Sentra but sadly it was stolen a day after his 60th birthday.

My father is the reason that petrol runs deep in my veins and I don't think he knew that his petrolhead influence would have such a huge affect on his little girl's life.

Cars were (and still are) a huge part of his life and steered me on a path toward motoring as a career. If and when you read this dad, I'd like to thank you for instilling, albeit unknowingly, a love for cars that will last forever.

I dream of being able to purchase my dad a vehicle he could use during his retirement, here are six cars I think he would love, and suit him best:

1. Kia Grand Sedona

My dad is the youngest of four siblings, are of whom are about 20 years older. That means as the only boy, he still has to run errands for his two surviving sisters who are both in their 80s. And since he has to chauffeur them around often, he would need a vehicle that would be practical and spacious.

The Kia Grand Sedona ticks all the boxes in this regard.

There are sliding doors on both sides of the vehicle which he could open and close with a touch of a button inside the vehicle, or even from the key fob.

There are nifty grab handles on the inside of the doors which enables great ease of ingress.

The 2.2-litre 'R' turbodiesel engine is a treat to drive with ultra-smooth gear changes. For such a large vehicle, it delivers 147kW and 440Nm. Perfect for cruising and shopping trips to the mall.

2. Ford Kuga ST-Line

Of course I have to throw a Ford in the mix.

This list just wouldn't be complete without one since it was his favourite automaker for years, and frankly, he still has a soft spot for any Ford; you can tell due to the passion in his voice when he talks about the brand.

Since my ol' man is a Ford-boy, the 2.0-litre TDCi would be a treat for him and remind him of his former favourites. It delivers 132kW/400Nm and comes with Ford’s Intelligent All Wheel Drive system and six-speed PowerShift Automatic gearbox.

The Ford Kuga ST-Line looks really stylish in this trim - the front grille is in a high-gloss Ebony Black finish with a honeycomb design, and matching sports mesh finish on the fog light bezels.

The integrated body kit is colour-coded and includes the front skid plate, side skirts, mirrors, door handles, rear roof spoiler and wheel arches, and works well with the contrasting black rear diffuser, black roof rails, tinted lights, and rear privacy glass.

3. Volvo XC60

My father is a simple man but who wouldn't mind being spoiled with the finer things in life - at least in terms of new car? The Volvo XC60 is a vehicle that exudes opulence on the road. 

The soft touch materials, tiny luxury details and exquisite inserts all combine to deliver a luxurious cabin that is a haven of bliss.

Since my father is sadly getting on in years, and he has three grandchildren to kart around, in addition to his two sisters, I chose this vehicle due to its high safety rating.

The XC60 is one of the safest cars yet. In 2017, when tested by Euro NCAP, it received the highest score of all new vehicles, with a 98% rating in the Adult Occupant category.

Safety features include Volvo's City Safety Autonomous Emergency Braking system has been enhanced with steering support when automatic braking alone may not help avoid a potential collision.

There's also oncoming Lane Mitigation with Steer Assist (which helps mitigate head-on collisions) and Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) with Steer Assist functionality, which helps reduce the risk of lane-changing collisions.

4. Porsche Cayenne S

One would think this is the exorbitant pick but with two other cars well over the million-rand price range, the Cayenne S is an all-rounder: it's luxurious without being obnoxious, an absolute pleasure to drive, and a good-looking vehicle. 

The Cayenne S is powered by a 2.9-litre bi-turbo V6 engine and makes 324kW and 550Nm. It's mated to a delectable 8-speed tiptronic transmission.

It goes from zero to 100km/h in 5.2 seconds and 4.9-seconds with the Sport Chrono Package, and has a claimed top speed of 265km/h. 

It's the kind of car my father could drive anywhere with no fuss behind the wheel.

And, although he only drives my Toyota Corolla at 60km/h, I know he would enjoy putting some extra pressure on the throttle in this car.

The Cayenne S also isn't the kind of car most people would take off-roading, but its capabilities are astounding, even in pouring rain it could perform the most challenging driving tasks if needed.

5. Audi RS 4 Avant

I believe the RS4 stationwagon is one of the sportiest mommy-vans yet. It also makes another great choice for my father. My mother and toddler have one thing in common; regardless of where they are going, they always have more than one bag.

Boot space is needed and the large cargo area in this Audi is voluminous.

Besides that, this car is a good-looking sporty monster. He'd probably ask me something like "How many horses does this baby have?" or "Hoe vinnig is die perd? (How fast is this horse?)".

The new RS4 Avant might no longer have a burly V8 unit but the lighter, more powerful 2.9-litre V6 engine is pretty sonorous too. Power figures are rated at a beautiful 330kW/600Nm.  

It's muscular in all the right places with thick wheel arches and a 30mm lowered ride height. 

6. Nissan Qashqai

Probably the most affordable car on this list and a more realistic choice for my dad. I drove the current generation in 2018, and the Qashqai was a vehicle to which he had taken a big liking.

He said: "Of all the cars I have ever driven in with you, ry hierdie kar die lekkerste (this car drives the best), it's so comfortable - even the way you sit in the seat, and the driving position is good too. I can see the entire road without struggling to look over the bonnet, even from the passenger side. And best of all, it's very fuel efficient."

It's extremely fuel efficient and I reached an average combined fuel consumption of 4.9-litres/100km during my stint.

The diesel engine is mated to a 6-speed manual transmission and the gear changes are as smooth and delightful as new rose petals.

It's not a sports car but it's dynamic and its handling is splendid. The 2WD Qashqai delivers 81kW and 260Nm, along with a claimed top speed of 182km/h.


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