Many manufacturers were forced to postpone new vehicle introductions during the past two years. Despite ongoing supply difficulties, 2022 is shaping up to be an exciting year for those in the market for a new set of wheels. Adventure Afrika chatted to the various manufacturers, and scoured the internet and online forums to pick our favourite upcoming models.
FORD: As reported last month, Ford’s big news is the introduction of the next-generation Ranger, to be built locally at Silverton. The drivetrain options and exact launch timing are still to be confirmed. Coupled with the bakkie launch, one expects its SUV cousin to undergo some changes too – and we can expect a global reveal of the all-new Everest during the 2022 first quarter. This solid all-rounder is currently undergoing final testing in various international markets.
GWM/HAVAL: Looking at the influential Chinese automotive brand’s Tank 300 (developed by one of its sub-brands, Wey), it is clear they are targeting the adventure vehicle customer. With a launch date rumoured for the end of the year, the Tank 300 features a very boxy design with a flat grille, angular bonnet and extended wheel arches. From what we could gather, it will borrow the Haval H9’s 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Haval will also be launching a new generation H6 HEV during the first half of the year.
HYUNDAI: Last year saw the introduction of the futuristic-looking Hyundai Staria Nautica, replacing the long-serving H1. 2022 will be kicked off with a five-seater version of this model, promising to be a versatile cargo-carrying van for both business and leisure use. Hard on its heels, the all-new Tucson will be introduced locally. Arguably the most
progressively-styled vehicle from the Korean automaker’s stable, the next-gen model will be available in two longer configurations – a short-wheelbase (4 500mm overall) and a long-wheelbase option (4 630mm). At present, it is not clear which will be offered to South African buyers, but the longer version’s practicality may weigh heavily in the decision. Overseas, the Tucson will be offered with a 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol (141kW/246Nm) and a 1.6-litre turbo-petrol, in conjunction with hybrid or plug-in hybrid configurations. Local specs and models will only be released at launch in February/March 2022.
ISUZU: We received a glimpse of the all-new Isuzu D-Max with the 2021 introduction of the Mazda BT-50, which shares the platform. While the Mazda is an import from Thailand, the D-Max will be locally built and tuned for local conditions. Powered by a revised version of the current 3.0-litre turbodiesel motor, packing 140kW and 450Nm and paired to a 6-speed auto or manual box, it should continue to fare well in the busy bakkie market. Looking at current trends in the segment, the interior should be a vast improvement on the outgoing model with higher connectivity levels and greater comfort.
KIA: While not a typical off-road brand, the Korean automaker’s crossovers and SUVs are surprisingly capable. The Carnival and all-new fourth generation Sorento hit showrooms floors in January. The Sorento has increased in size, now riding on Hyundai/Kia’s all-new N3 platform, making it 10mm longer and wider than its predecessor. Significantly for off-roaders, 24mm was added to the ground clearance, and the 35mm added to the wheelbase will certainly benefit passengers in the front two rows. The 2.2-litre diesel motor is carried over and has been redeveloped to produce 148kW and 440Nm of peak torque. Another 2022 highlight from Kia is the long-awaited new Sportage which, with its chiselled design lines and state-of-the-art interior, is sure to turn heads. A Sonet 1.0T is also under consideration
MAHINDRA: The all-new XUV700 was revealed in India in August 2021, and is the first model in the automaker’s stable to feature the brand’s new “Twin Peaks” corporate logo. The most luxurious Mahindra to date, the XUV700 will offer two powertrains – a 2.0-litre mStallion turbo-petrol producing 147kW and 380kW (paired to a 6-speed auto box). Alternatively, a 2.2-litre mHawk turbodiesel comes in two stages of tune: it either produces 114kW/360Nm in combination with the manual gearbox or a punchier 136kW and 420Nm (manual) or 450Nm (automatic) of torque. Local specs will be confirmed at launch, which is expected in the second quarter.
NISSAN: Towards the end of last year, a media roundtable with Nissan marketing director, Stefan Haasbroek, revealed that the brand plans to fill the gaps in their product line-up with a key focus on crossovers. The ever-popular Qashqai compact crossover has undergone a complete make-over, and the local engine line-up (including electrified powertrains) will be revealed at the first quarter launch. Nissan’s much-talked-about and long-awaited Terra SUV – based on the Navara’s ladder-frame chassis – is also set to debut in 2022.
RENAULT: The French automaker has confirmed it will introduce an all-new Captur compact crossover, built on the brand’s advanced CMF-B platform, during the second quarter of It promises to be more spacious (110mm longer), more refined and filled to the brim with driver aids and safety features. Updates to the range include a face-lifted Kwid and Triber for the second half of the year, and ongoing plans to introduce the Oroch single-cab bakkie in early 2023.
STELLANTIS: A busy year awaits the Stellantis stable, which comprises the Jeep, Fiat, Opel, Alfa Romeo, Citroën and Peugeot brands. First up is the next-generation Opel Mokka, sure to ruffle a few feathers in the overpopulated compact crossover segment. It is likely to be offered with a 1.2-litre turbo-petrol (96kW/230Nm) or 1.5-litre turbodiesel (81kW/250Nm). The new Jeep Grand Cherokee is slated for the second quarter, with the Jeep Compass following shortly after. Global reports indicate a complete overhaul of the Compass interior and a revised front end, upping the style levels of this mid-sized SUV. Other Stellantis stable highlights include an upgraded Fiat 500X and Alfa Romeo’s entry into the premium subcompact crossover segment with the Tonale.
SUZUKI: With a busy 2021 behind them, Suzuki will be adding a GL-spec to its popular Jimny and reintroducing the Rhino Edition Kit on all models. This kit includes a Suzuki Heritage grille, red mud flaps, rain and wind deflectors, a Rhino-branded spare wheel cover and exclusive Rhino decals. On the passenger front, the all-new Celerio will make its way to our shores during the first half of the year.
TOYOTA/LEXUS: Probably the most tight-lipped of all the local PR teams, we confirmed that it would be a rather big Lexus year for the Japanese brand, with both a new generation Lexus NX and LX confirmed for release during the first quarter. During the global LX reveal towards the end of last year, we saw a very prominent grille, offset by gigantic 22-inch alloys and new L-shaped rear lamps. The bodyshell reminds of the Land Cruiser 300 Series released in 2021, and so do the engine choices: a 3.5-litre twin-turbo petrol V6, and a 3.3-litre twin-turbo diesel V6. On the Toyota front, petrolheads will be excited to hear that GR-S versions of the Hilux and the Corolla Cross have been confirmed for the first half of the year (no specs have been shared, though).
VOLKSWAGEN: The third generation of VW’s Amarok is set to be produced at Silverton in South Africa and Pacheco in
Argentina, confirming an extensive platform sharing with the new Ford Ranger. So far, Volkswagen is tight-lipped on design features, with only the sketchiest renderings of the exterior and interior available to date. However, VW promises a “completely new appearance inside and out” with a “clear Volkswagen DNA”. Developed by teams in Australia and Europe, a local reveal has been hinted for the end of 2022.
VOLVO: Fans of the Swedish luxury brand can look forward to the arrival of the new Volvo XC60 during the first quarter. Volvo Cars’ top-selling vehicle since 2009 (with over 1.6 million units sold globally), the XC60 will be smarter than ever before, thanks to an intuitive next-gen infotainment system that offers customers unparalleled connectivity.
While many of the significant changes to the new XC60 are under the skin (details to be revealed at launch), there are also several subtle refinements to the exterior, including a new grille, front bumper, and exterior colour and wheel options.
OTHERS: The long-awaited Ineos Grenadier is making its way to the local market, with pre-orders already open. We have been invited to a local co-drive and global manufacturing plant tour in the coming weeks – watch this space for our initial thoughts and reactions. The tech-heavy and super sophisticated Jaguar Land Rover flagship Range Rover (reported on in a previous edition) is also due to set sail towards the middle of 2022.
*Please note that photos shown are not necessarily the South African spec models, and, in most cases, local specs and derivatives will only be confirmed at launch.