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This is the home of automobile road tests in South Africa. I drive South African cars, SUVs and LCVs under real-world South African conditions. Some of the vehicles driven are world cars as well, so what you read here possibly applies to the models you get where you live.

Contact: gordon@scarletpumpkin.com

My most recent drive is on this page. Archived reviews and opinion pieces are filed separately. In other words, look for previously filed launch reports and reviews under each manufacturer’s page. These will be added as new test cars become available. For material filed prior to January 2023, please go back to www.scarletpumpkin.com

Editor’s note: SA Roadtests accepts multi-day vehicle loans from manufacturers in order to provide editorial reviews. All vehicle reviews are conducted on our turf and on our terms.

For out-of-province vehicle launch features however, travel costs are covered by the manufacturer concerned. This is common in the motor industry, as it’s more economical to ship journalists to cars than to ship cars to journalists.

Judgments and opinions expressed on this site are our own. We do not accept paid editorial content or ads of any kind.

What We Do

This is a one-man show, which means that every car reviewed is thoroughly researched, given my personal evaluation and receives my own seat of the pants judgement – no second hand input here.

Every test car goes through real world driving; on city streets littered with potholes, speed bumps and rumble strips, on freeways and if its profile demands, dirt roads or goat tracks as well. As a result, my test cars do occasionally get dirty. It’s all part of the reviewing process.

I do my best to include relevant information like real life fuel economy or a close mathematical calculation, boot size or luggage space, whether the space is both usable and accessible, whether life-sized people can use the back seat (where that applies), basic specs of the vehicle and performance figures if they are published. In the case of clearly identified launch reports, fuel figures are of necessity the laboratory numbers provided with the release material.

If ever I place an article that doesn’t cover most things, it’s probably because I have dealt with a very similar vehicle already, so you will be able to find what you want in another report under the same manufacturer’s heading in the menu on the left.

Hope you like what you see, because there are no commercial interests at work here. There are no advertisers and no “editorial policy” rules. I add bylines to acknowledge sponsored launch functions and the manufacturers or dealerships that provide the test vehicles. And, as quite a few readers have found, I answer every serious enquiry from my home email address, with my phone numbers attached, so you can see I do actually exist.

Comments or questions?
Want to ask a question, comment or just tell me you completely disagree with what I say? If you want advice or have a genuine concern, I will be happy to hear from you. All I ask is that you write something in the subject line so I know which vehicle you’re talking about.