ready to rough it in style

IN THE week when some of the world's greats of soccer are in the country and just might have a read through Sowetan, I will proclaim something and they will be my witnesses.

IN THE week when some of the world's greats of soccer are in the country and just might have a read through Sowetan, I will proclaim something and they will be my witnesses.

You see, I've just spent an entire week with a D/Cab bakkie - an Isuzu complete with a roof rack, a shovel and an axe - and I've just begun a love affair with these vehicles.

Bakkies are simply a higher form of being; they are true companions that can touch your life in a manner you never thought possible.

Do you need to ferry the family? Sorted. Need to transport a fridge? No problem. Want to go off-road? Any time. And all this at a relatively cheaper price than sedans, hatches and convertibles.

We are hosting the Confederations Cup and I've heard many accolades given to people but not a single one to the vans, trucks and cranes that helped in the process, so the next person who says to me: "As a motoring journalist, which car would you suggest I buy?" my answer will simply be: "Buy a van."

This week's specials begin with trucks. There are many more van-men out there who have heavy-duty work to do.

The two Hino dealers, Jozi and Midrand, have plenty of stock but I found a pre-owned 2007 700 series 10m Tipper in Midrand costing R660000.

Negotiations for an even better deal are open. Also on sale is a low-mileage 2006 Hino 12-217 with a van body and rail-lift for R350000. Not everyone is the full-on overall-and-spanner type and for those who have a bit of rough stuff in their DNA but require car-like comfort and chic styling, Chrysler Jeep Dodge in Sandton has specials on almost all its range of cars. But my attention went to the Dodge Journey 2,0litre CRD auto.

This is a practical 5+2 seater with plenty of storage space, including the front passenger seat squab that can be lifted up to double as a hidden cooler for beverages. The Journey will scale pavements and do well on gravel tracks.

Compared with the 2,4litre model, the CRD version is the better option, not only for fuel economy but in keeping up with man-torque delivery.

This dealer has cut R18000 from its price, which now stands at R387900. From the same stable, they will sell you a Jeep Cherokee V6 Sport for R329900, R25K less than list price.

If you need something that will fit in with the life of trendy restaurants and party places as perfectly as it does in mud, tilted on its side or negotiating boulders with ease, you've got your car.

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