Auas Motors and a group of journalist last week drove the Isuzu bakkies and Chevrolet Trailblazers on a 4×4 trek from Windhoek to Walvis Bay. The drive was through the famous Aus, Bosua, Kupferberg and Gamsberg passes into the Namibia Naukluft Park.
Journalist had the opportunity during the drive to change between the Chevrolet SUV and the Isuzu bakkie, in order to get a good feel of both cars on the different road conditions they were put through.
On a cold Thursday morning, we headed out of Windhoek via the C26 to Walvis Bay. By the time we reached the Aus pass, the Isuzu has impressed me with its capabilities to handle rough gravel while rendering comfort ride to its occupants.
During the journey I had to upgrade to what we termed the “business class” and took control of the Trailblazer SUV. My first observation was the identical of the Trailblazer dashboard to that of the Isuzu. Yet the ride comfort was totally different to that of the Isuzu. I had so much comfort in the Trailblazer that I drove in that car all way to Walvis Bay.
For both the Isuzu and Chevrolet, going off-road is made simple by means of a terrain command dial between the front seats, which allows you to shift on the fly between two – and four – wheel drive. No need to stop the vehicles like in the old days, to select 4-wheel drive.
The real challenge was the four-wheel drive on the Walvis Bay dunes, which put some of my media colleagues on the spot. We had expert assistance of a local tour guide who took us out to drive on the beach and the dunes. The cars handled the challenge very well. However, not all journalists were able to follow the instructor’s details on driving on the dunes and handling the cars. But for the drivers who did, the vehicles were all able to deliver any obstacles thrown at them. The song for the day was “keep the momentum”. It was mind blowing to put our lives in the hands of machines manoeuvring through some steep dunes.
Neither the Chevrolet nor the Isuzu were disappointing at their tasks.
The Isuzu bakkies that we used on the trip were all top of the range vehicles. They all had six airbags, ABS brakes, central locking, electric windows, aircondition and audio systems with MP3, Bluetooth and USB functionality. As if that’s not enough, they al had cruise control, park distance control and steering wheel audio controls.
The Chevrolet Trailbazer feature alloy wheels, eleven cup holders, air conditioning for all three rows of seats, a multi-function steering wheel, a multi-information trip computer, four 12V power sockets, cruise control, Bluetooth, USB and auxiliary connectivity, a front-loading CD player, remote central locking, electric windows all-round, electric mirrors, a rear view camera, front fog lamps, mud flaps and side steps.
Safety equipment includes ABS with EBD, PBA (Panic Brake Assist), HBFA (Hydraulic Brake Fade Assist), a limited slip differential, six airbags including the two additional side airbags, ISOFIX child seat anchors, a collapsible steering column and remote central locking with auto-locking doors.
Addition to these, there is the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Traction Control System (TCS), Hill Descent Control (HDC), Trailer Sway Control (TSC) and Engine Drag Control (EDC) and Hill Start Assistance (HSA).
Woema would like to thank the team of Auas Motors for the opportunity to experience the beauty of Namibia from the comfortable seats of both the Isuzu and Chevrolet. Thanks to the team of Frans van Staden, Gawie Koekemoer en Gerhard Engelbrecht.