A local banking institution announced this year that the
average amount it finances for new vehicle purchases is
brake-force distribution, as well as dual frontal airbags.
There are many products across an assortment
of segments to be had with such a price ceiling in mind.
This week we are zoning in on a segment that will resonate with a
sizable number of South African families – the category of affordable
multi-purpose vehicles. Simple criteria: cost-effective transporta-
tion for up to seven passengers, with a reasonable level of amenities
and, crucially, a reasonable minimum standard of safety.
First up is the Toyota Avanza. A darling of the public transport
industry, the model was recently treated to a refresh – and the arrival
of the top-level 1.5 TX model grade aimed at private customers. Pric-
ing starts at R238,300 and goes up to R307,500 for the car featured
here. Next is the second-generation Suzuki Ertiga; launched on our
shores earlier in 2019. The range kicks off at R218,900 and the most
expensive GLX automatic example costs R284,900. Our 1.5 GL unit
with a manual transmission has a sticker price of R243,900. Lastly is
the oldest of the trio, the Honda BR-V. It arrived in 2016 and is a
revised, more rugged interpretation of the former Mobilio. Pricing
ranges between R258,800 and R324,800 for the top-tier 1.5 Elegance
CVT we have on test — a smidgen over that price cap we mentioned
in the introduction.
MATTER OF SIZE
Dimensionally, increments set them apart. Let us start with the
newest, the Avanza. We have a width of 1,660mm, a length of
4,190mm and a height of 1,695mm. The manufacturer lists a luggage
capacity of 899l with the third row down. As for the Ertiga, the width
is 1,735mm, the length is 4,395mm and the height 1,690mm – wi d e r
and longer than the Toyota, but slightly shorter. Luggage capacity
with the third row of seats down is 550l. Now for the Honda BR-V: it
is 1,735mm wide, 4,456mm long and 1,666m tall. It is the longest, but
the shortest, although it matches the girth of the Ertiga. Luggage
capacity with the third row of seats down is 691l.
The Toyota Avanza 1.5 TX is standard with anti-lock brakes, brake
assist, electronic brake-force distribution, traction control and vehi-
cle stability control. It has dual frontal airbags and in addition, the
pre-facelift model scored a four-star rating for adult occupant pro-
tection in a 2019 Global NCAP crash test. But it scored a disappoint-
ing two-star rating for child occupant protection although, it is the
only car here with a three-point belt for the centre passenger in the
The Suzuki Ertiga 1.5 GL has anti-lock brakes and electronic
brake-force distribution, as well as dual frontal airbags — but no
vehicle stability control. The centre lap belt for the second row is dis-
couraging. The latest model received three stars from Global NCAP
for adult and child occupant protection, after testing last month. The
Honda BR-V 1.5 Elegance has anti-lock brakes and dual front and
side airbags – but no electronic brake-force distribution or vehicle
stability control. It also makes-do with a rather archaic lap-belt for.