JOHANNESBURG - For a growing number of South African motorists, there’s nothing better than a luxury sports utility vehicle (SUV). We see it in the monthly sales figures; this unabated rise in uptake of multi-million Rand high-riding luxo-barges. After all, SUVs arguably offer the practicality of an off-roader combined with the luxurious drive of a limousine. And while we’d love a brand new Lamborghini Urus or Bentley Bentayga or Aston Martin DBX to commute around in, chances are these vehicles are out of reach for most of us.
But, what if you set yourself a budget of R1 million (it’s not much these days considering the price of a decently specced D-segment sedan), which of these one-size-does-all vehicles do you want in the garage?
We looked at the most searched for SUVs priced between R900 000 and R1 million on AutoTrader for the period 1 January 2021 to 31 March 2021. The list includes the average price, mileage and registration year.
The list reveals that Land Rover is the marque of choice when it comes to buyers of luxury SUVs. According to George Mienie, AutoTrader CEO, this is somewhat to be expected. “The SUV segment is the fastest-growing body-type both globally and in South Africa. Accordingly, all car manufacturers have been launching SUVs en mass for some time now. But, unlike the other companies on the list, Land Rover only produces 4x4s and SUVs – and not passenger cars. It is therefore likely that the Land Rover brand is more top of mind for buyers of SUVs,” he notes.
It has been interesting to see how the Land Rover brand has evolved over the years. The very first Land Rover – revealed to the world on 20 April 1948 at the Amsterdam Motor Show – was completely different to the modern vehicles from this illustrious brand. That’s because – since they were Britain’s answer to the Jeep – they were basic, tough, go-anywhere vehicles with very few bells and whistles. Today, nothing could be further from that truth – with the interior of most Land Rovers (most notably Range Rover models) being right up there with luxury cars.
The only other manufacturer to have more than one vehicle on the list of most searched for SUVs is BMW, which – according to the latest AutoTrader Car Industry Report, is the most searched for brand in South Africa (the report covers the period July 2020 - December 2020.) As recently as 1999, BMW launched its first-ever SUV: the X5. Prior to that, it had been a producer of premium cars only. Now, SUV sales make up 44% of the BMW brand's global sales.
Mienie says that the increasing demand for SUVs bodes well for motorists. “As can be seen from our data, motorists are now spoilt for choice when it comes to a luxury SUV. Going forward, this selection will only grow. And, in future, don’t be surprised to see electric SUVs too” he concludes.