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Drifter is efficient on rocks but it doesn't rock you

By unknown | Nov 08, 2006 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Charles Mogale

Charles Mogale

Apparently the Mazda Drifter was put together with the outdoors in mind. Out in the bush, doing serious off-roading, it must acquit itself with distinction.

That much should be evident just hearing the angry roar of the 2,5litre diesel motor, which chugs out 257Nm torque from 2000 revs, and 80kW at 3500rpm. At the outset, I was particularly impressed with the smoothness of the five-speed gearbox which takes the "grind" out of the gear-changing process.

The aircon is unbelievably effective, and coming from baking- hot, freak temperatures in parts of Gauteng last week, I found myself almost freezing.

The character of the car is reassuring in many ways. You will have smooth passage where the average vehicle fears to tread. You can stack your load without having to worry about over-steering.

The interior is fairly roomy and the seating quite comfortable.

There is very little that separates the Drifter from the rest of its competitors, or even its previous models. A few cosmetic facelifts here and there , such as the stainless steel roll, nerf bar and step bumper, which add to the sporty image of the Drifter.

For its price tag - R259535 - Mazda surely could have thrown in some more specs. If you are looking for "bells and whistles", you will be sorely disappointed. That is unless you are still excited by electric windows and mirrors, radio-CD combo, two airbags and aircon. Sum total of the luxuries you get.

You do not even get a driver's central-lock button; you have to bend over to unlock each door manually.

But when driving the car, you can believe Mazda when it says it has not compromised on safety.

"A leading-edge crumple zone design, a cab roll-over bar, inertia-reel seatbelts and padded tream elements are standard. Side-impact beams and a collapsible steering column are also in place to prevent injuries," Mazda claims.

The Drifter is available in 4x2 and 4x4 options, both with diff-lock.

But overall, there is hardly anything about the car to shout about beyond its sturdiness. You could call it plain John.

Prices: DrifterX 2500TD S-Cab 4x2 R211960; DrifterX 2500TD S-Cab 4x4 R265955; DrifterX 2500TD D-Cab 4x2 R265990; DrifterX 2500TD D-Cab 4x4 R317990.


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