Xinguye Gsmoon and Hajadu fk800

GSMOON AND HAJADU may sound like characters from an ’80s Nintendo game but get over the outlandish monikers and you’ll discover two highly competent off-road adventure machines. Although manufactured in China, both models are partly assembled in South Africa and have officially been licensed for on-road use. To appreciate these vehicles however, you need to look at them in the context of leisure – these vehicles weren’t designed for the daily commute but rather as holiday toys, farm vehicles, security buggies, game viewers or hunting vehicles.

The GSMoon 4×4 has an animated appearance that pays homage to the original Willys Jeep – only on a much, much smaller scale. The GSMoon Sport on the other hand, takes on a far less generic form with squared-off headlamps. Both models are powered by an 800cc Chery developing 39kW and 70Nm of torque. These figures may not sound too inspiring but the GSMoon/Sport models are actually pretty nimble and have no issues traversing rough terrain, hooning up steep inclines or trundling down to the shop thanks to the low kerb weights of 650 and 530kg respectively. My only bugbear is the hyper-sensitive button clutch that potentially makes stalling the car an everyday occurrence – second gear pull-aways are more effective.

The GSMoon is also customisable. Multiple colour options are available and include all the popular hues such as red, British racing green and orange. If that’s not enough, the appearance can beefed up with the choice of rock sliders, cargo racks, a winch, steel roll hoops, a spare wheel holder, leather upholstery and a bikini roof top. More performance? Well, there’s an uprated air filter conversion kit and sports exhaust system if you want to unleash a smidge more power from the bonsai motor.

For those that prefer a more adrenalin-fuelled experience, the Hajadu FK800 buggy is definitely worth a look. Using a CVT transmission and equipped with all-round independent suspension, the range-topping FK800 model is an immensely agile machine capable of tearing through the most challenging of off-road environments. It’s powered by the same 800cc Chery engine as the GSMoon but slightly higher peak outputs (41kW/91Nm), weighs less (487kg) and has a greater top speed of 120kph.

All GSMoon and Hajadu models are covered by a warranty and service plan. The GSMoon models come standard with a three-year warranty while the Hajadu is covered by a one-year engine and gearbox warranty.