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How much South Africa’s most reliable SUVs will cost you

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How much South Africa’s most reliable SUVs will cost you

Lexus SUVs have been voted the most reliable models worldwide, but it seems like South Africans still prefer the cheaper brands.

There is just no denying that luxury SUVs have taken the South African market and the world by storm. In fact, SUV and Crossovers accounted for more than half of all the motor sales in South Africa in 2023.

And, when you start comparing traits like versatility, safety, practicality, off-roading capabilities and comfort – it is not that difficult to understand why these all-rounder machines have become such a popular choice.

What is South Africa’s most reliable SUV?

While there are certainly many benefits to driving an SUV on the sometimes unpredictable South African roads, it can be difficult to know where to turn when you are considering making such a big purchase.

Fortunately, the independent, non-profit organisation, albeit non-South African, Consumer Reports, has done a lot of the legwork for you. A recent, November 2023 Consumer Reports study gathered 12 months’ worth of data on over 330,000 different vehicles (including models from 2000 to 2024), detailing several trouble areas to determine a ‘predicted reliability score for each vehicle.

Once all of these scores were tallied up, Lexus emerged as the clear victor and officially earned the moniker of being the most reliable SUV brand in the world (according to this one report, at least), with a predicted reliability score of 79. This was closely followed by Toyota, which earned a predicted reliability score of 76, and then Mini, which earned a score of 71.

Which models are the most reliable?

Although it is always good to have a starting point for your luxury SUV hunt, simply knowing which brand to look at, will not get you very far, as most of the popular brands have introduced a handful of SUV models within the South African market.

However, Consumer Reports have taken that into consideration, and list several Lexus SUV models that stand out as the brand’s most reliable options. These models include:

Model Specifications
ES and the ES Hybrid
  • 2.4 litre engine capacity
  • Direct Shift Automatic 8-speed and ECVT transmission
  • Petrol and Petrol Hybrid fuel type
  • Between 4.6 and 6.6 litre/ 100km fuel consumption
NX and the NX Hybrid
  • 2.4 and 2.5 litre engine capacity
  • Automatic 8-speed and CVT transmission
  • Petrol and Petrol Hybrid SFI +D-4S fuel type
  • Between 5.0 and 8.1 litre/ 100km fuel consumption
RX and the RX Hybrid
  • 2.4 and 2.5 litre engine capacity
  • Automatic 6-speed, 8-speed and CVT transmission
  • Petrol SFI and Petrol Hybrid SFI fuel type
  • Between 5.4 litre and 8.7 litre/ 100 km fuel consumption
  • 2.0 litre engine capacity
  • ECVT transmission
  • Petrol Hybrid EFI+D-4S fuel type
  • 4.5 litre/ 100 km fuel consumption

What these reliable SUV models cost

As always there are a variety of factors that will influence the price that you end up paying for your luxury SUV, once all is said and done. But, the recommended retail prices of these ultra-reliable Lexus models can be summarized as follows:

Model Recommended retail price
ES and the ES Hybrid From R862 500
NX and the NX Hybrid From R977 700
RX and the RX Hybrid From R1 453 600
UX From R866 500

In general, choosing to go with the F Sport models, or adding on additional luxury features, will increase the purchase price of all the above-mentioned models.

How popular are the Lexus SUVs in South Africa?

While the Lexus SUV models have now earned international acclaim for being some of the most reliable cars on the road, South African motorists do have quite a few unique circumstances to consider when they are investing in new vehicles.

And, since the South African roads are not always in the best condition, and other costs such as fuel and repairs can add up quite quickly when you are travelling through the country. In the end, it seems as though the higher-priced Lexus SUVs – as reliable as they may be – have not quite managed to overtake their lower-priced competitors in popularity, just yet.

How these prices compare to South Africa’s most popular SUV models

According to TimesLive, Toyota (which scored three points lower than Lexus in terms of predicted reliability) is still South Africans’ brand of choice.

The Corolla Cross, which is produced locally and available to purchase from about R408 000, and the Fortuner, which is a long-time favourite amongst consumers (and is available from about R670 000), are still the country’s top sellers.

Models like the Chery Tiggo 4 Pro (available from R308 000), the Haval Jolion (available from R348 000) and the Nissan Magnite (which took spot number 17 in terms of predicted reliability and is available from R233 000) also proved to be quite popular amongst South African motorists in 2023.