With or without an internal combustion motor … here are half a dozen ways to get ahead (and stay ahead) of the pack.

A: HUMAN-POWERED

1          In the wild – SPOT Gen3 Tracking Device

WHAT IS IT: The SPOT Gen3 is the latest generation of award-winning SPOT trackers, a device which facilitates a critical, life-saving means of communication should you venture beyond cell signal. Eminently portable, the units utilise 100% satellite technology.

WHY DO YOU WANT IT: The SPOT Gen3 enables family or friends to track your movement or, if the worst should happen, it can send emergency responders to your GPS location, all at the push of a button. This rugged, pocket-sized device should unarguably be a part of your essential gear to enable you to stay connected.

DESIGN USPs: Customised tracking allows you to change the rate at which tracks are sent. Tracking is also motion-activated, with a vibration sensor informing your SPOT device to send track updates whenever you move and/or stop, thus conserving battery power. Track messages will be sent until the device is turned off, and there is no need to reset after 24 hours.

GO GET IT: Available online from www.indigosat.co.za

PRICE: R2 999

2          On your feet – Hi-Tec Namib Adventure Sandal

WHAT IS IT: The rugged Namib Adventure sandals are ideal when the weather is warm and the outdoors beckon. Superbly suited to summer active and leisure outings, or just to hang around the braai.

WHY DO YOU WANT IT: These sandals will be your trusty companions on any journey or adventure. The uppers are crafted in leather to ensure durability and a classic look, while a microfibre footbed lining will keep your feet fresh. Comfort is guaranteed thanks to the phylon midsole which provides constant support, cushioning and flexibility. Dress them with your favourite outdoor shorts and tee for that adventure-ready look.

DESIGN UPS: The microfibre footbed lining wicks away moisture from the soles of your feet, while a tricot padded lining provides added comfort; carbon rubber outsoles ensure superior traction and durability.

GO GET IT: Available online from www.hi-tec.co.za, or find a registered dealer on the site.

PRICE: R699

3          In your body – DripDrop ORS Hydration Powder

WHAT IS IT: DripDrop ORS Hydration Powder is a hydration solution which combines medical standard electrolytes with great taste (ORS stands for ‘Oral Rehydration Solution’).

WHY DO YOU WANT IT: DripDrop ORS provides a simple and cost-effective solution to enable anyone to treat mild to moderate dehydration with a safe and medically proven product. Simply mix one sachet with half a litre of water and consume; the powder is loaded with electrolytes that promote professional hydration when regular sports drinks just won’t do the job!

DESIGN UPS: With up to three times the electrolytes and half the sugar of a sports drink, the Drip Drop ORS patented formula enhances performance, increases endurance and accelerates recovery after exercise. 

GO GET IT: Available online from www.dripdropors.co.za 

PRICE: R110 (box of 4 sachets, providing for 2l of medical-grade hydration)

On the motorised side, we bring you three aspirational cars for different stages of your life. 

FOR THE HEART: BMW 420i Convertible

WHAT IS IT: The 4 Series is available with two doors or four, in convertible, coupé or gran coupé (four-door) configuration, and with a number of engine options.

WHY DO YOU WANT IT: Because we live in South Africa, where the sun shines and the sky is beautifully blue. Frankly, everyone should drive a convertible this good on a beautiful autumn day at least once in their life. It has a lovely engine, spectacular good looks, a premium interior, and the hard roof folds into the boot.

DESIGN USPs: One thing that makes the 4 Series convertible such a great car is the interior space – it has four full-size seats, and you can even fit a baby seat in the back! It’s also got fans that keep the back of your neck warm while you drive, and the roof takes just 20 seconds to go up or down. It doesn’t, however, leave the boot with much space for belongings. The engine produces 135kW and 290Nm, and uses 6.2 litres of petrol per 100km. There are more powerful options too.

GO GET IT: The 420i convertible is priced from R718 000, including a 5-year/100 000km maintenance plan. Visit www.bmw.co.za for more information.

FOR THE HEAD: Audi Q5 2.0 TDI Quattro

WHAT IS IT: The Q5 is pure class. A luxury hatchback on stilts, it offers practical space and it is virtually impossible to fault.

WHY DO YOU WANT IT: If a sedan is too sensible, a hatchback too youthful, the Q5 is for you. It’s an SUV of the times – brilliant around town and on the highway, but still capable of leading you on an adventure into the hinterland. The 2.0 TDI is the model to go for, producing 140kW and 400Nm, with average fuel consumption of just 4.9L/100km. The new model is a decidedly handsome beast, while the interior is as good as you’d expect from Audi.

DESIGN USPs: Despite being bigger in all directions than its predecessor, and therefore much more spacious, the new Q5 still drives like a compact, agile vehicle. All models are equipped with Audi’s celebrated Quattro all-wheel-drive system and S-Tronic automatic gearboxes.

GO GET IT: The Q5 range is priced from R698 000 for the 2.0 TDI Quattro S-Tronic model. All models come with a 5-year/100 000km warranty, while a service plan is an optional extra. More information can be found at www.audi.co.za.

FOR THE PLANET: Kia Picanto 1.2

WHAT IS IT: I have a weakness for cheap and feisty hatchbacks, and they don’t even have to be fast to win my heart. Of all the little contenders in this segment, the Kia Picanto is my favourite (although it only just fends off the Fiat Panda and Suzuki Ignis).

WHY DO YOU WANT IT: Character. The Picanto is chockers with character, but that’s backed up by a fair bit of substance. The 1.2-litre version is the one you want, and the performance is surprisingly peppy – far more so than the figures of 61kW and 122Nm would suggest. As you’d expect, the fuel consumption is excellent, at just 4.6L/100km – and the 1.0 will use less! Five-speed gearboxes are standard across the range, in either manual or automatic form. 

DESIGN USPs: Every time I drive a Kia I am amazed by how quickly they are improving – there’s a tangible leap in quality for every generation, and that’s from an already impressive base. The Picanto has a quality little interior, handles like a star, and offers high spec levels for the price.

GO GET IT: While the Picanto starts at R135 000, the 1.2 is priced from R150 000. That does include a 5-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty, but service plans are an optional extra. See www.kia.co.za for more.

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