OPINION | 3 Alternative 'half a bar' SUVs that might be worth considering as 2022 buys

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Haval H6
Haval H6
  • For less than R500 000 you can choose from several makes and models.
  • Mahindra, Haval and Nissan stand out for us in this selection.
  • Manual, auto, all-wheel-drive, the choice is yours in this segment.
  • For motoring news, go to Wheels24


Audi. BMW. Mercedes-Benz. Porsche. They're tried-and-tested SUV brands, and we all, arguably, love them and want them. But they're moving on in price.

Half a million rand might not buy you your dream German SUV, but if you're in the fortunate position of having around R500 000 to spend on a new vehicle for you and your family in 2022 in South Africa, we have a few SUVs in mind that you might find compelling enough to sign an offer to purchase on.

We took a look at new car prices in South Africa and narrowed down a list of new sports utility vehicles (priced between R400 000 and R500 000) that we consider as genuinely good alternatives to some of the mainstream German brands.


Are you in the market for a new SUV? What make or model are you considering buying in 2022? Let us know in the comments section, or please send us an email here.


If you want space for people and cargo in a traditional SUV body and a decent selection of features with good warranties, here's a list of SUVs you can consider buying for your 2022 new car garage:

Mahindra XUV 500
Mahindra XUV 500
Mahindra XUV 500
Mahindra XUV 500
Mahindra XUV 500
Mahindra XUV 500
Mahindra XUV 500
Mahindra XUV 500 interior.

1. Mahindra XUV 500

Priced at R415 999 (when I wrote this) for the large front-wheel-drive 2.2CRDe W8 version, the XUV 500 comes in closer to the R400 000 mark, leaving you with plenty of spare cash from your R500 000 budget. It's decently appointed with electrically operated windows and enough entry-level features to keep modest shoppers content. This version comes with a manual gearbox, but you can have an automatic version for R448 999. 

Read about the Mahindra XUV500 here.

If you spend a little more money, closer to R500 000, you can jump into an XUV 500 2.2CRDe W10 for R463 999. This model offers more interior features such as a better audio system and dual-zone aircon, but a manual gearbox. All XUV 500 models come with a five year or 150 000km warranty and a five year or 100 000km Service Plan. Mahindra is selling up a storm of Scorpios (also in this price range) and Pik Up bakkies, and we don't hear horror stories about them when it comes to reliability.

Haval H6
Haval H6
Haval H6
Haval H6
Haval H6
Haval H6
Haval H6
Haval H6 interior.

2. Haval H6

Haval consistently challenges SA's leading new car brands in the sales charts with its budget-friendly Jolion compact SUV and its striking H6 mid-size SUV. The Chinese automaker is carving a solid niche in South Africa, with more than 500 of these new vehicles finding homes around the country every month. For R419 900, you can jump into the front-wheel-drive Haval H6 2.0T Premium. It's packed with standard features and comes with decent styling and a turbo engine that's said to remain efficient while providing the kind of performance South Africans prefer.

Read about the HAVAL H6 here.

For more money, R454 900, you can buy the Luxury version of the H6, which comes with added benefits such as a premium interior finish and an upgraded audio system. You can also have the Luxury version with an all-wheel-drive system if you plan on venturing into the rough stuff a bit, and it's priced at R479 900. The H6 models come with an automatic gearbox, which means fewer hassles in traffic and more comfort when cruising on the highway. All H6 models also come with a five year or 100 000km warranty and a five year or 60 000km Service Plan. Let us know in the comments section if you own one of these H6 vehicles and what your thoughts are on it.

Nissan X-Trail
Nissan X-Trail
Nissan X-Trail
Nissan X-Trail
Nissan X-Trail
Nissan X-Trail
Nissan X-Trail
Nissan X-Trail interior

3. Nissan X-Trail

Out of the three cars in this list, this is the one we'd probably end up buying if we were shopping for an SUV right now. The Nissan X-Trail is one of the founders of this segment, and although the latest version has been around for some time, it's still a stunning vehicle with loads of spec and a decent engine. For R475 900, you can jump into a 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated Visia derivative. 

Read about the Nissan X-Trail here.

With enough space for five adults and more than enough boot space for families, you'll be pleased with its overall ride, handling and character. Nissan's interiors are one of the best in the business regarding durability, and while it might look a bit dated inside compared to the Haval H6 we mentioned above, it has everything you will need for your daily drive and then some. Nissan's nationwide dealer network is one of the key reasons we like the X-Trail, and it brings peace of mind when touring the country. We also appreciate its six years or 150 000km warranty. It also comes with a three-year or 90 000km Service Plan.

Of course, there are other models for you to consider between R400 000 and R500 000, such as the Kia Sportage, Mazda CX-5, Renault Koleos, Subaru Forester and Toyota RAV4. Keep in mind, however, that the all-new Kia Sportage arrives at some point next year. Our Subaru sources say there's a Forester facelift coming next year too. We've reached out to the OEMs to test drive the latest versions of these vehicles in 2022, so be sure to subscribe to our free weekly newsletter, so you don't miss any of our road tests or features.


KEEP UP TO DATE with the latest motoring news in South Africa by subscribing to our free weekly newsletter, 'LET'S DRIVE'.


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