Feature Stories

First drive: 2020 Volkswagen Passat in the UAE

First drive: 2020 Volkswagen Passat in the UAE

Hard to believe that it’s been 8 years since the Volkswagen Passat’s last full redesign in 2012. That was the year when the European Passat and the American Passat diverged into two distinct cars, as the latter became a larger car with class-leading space for a midsize sedan, but also less sophisticated in terms of execution and features. The GCC market gets the American one. And it’s now on its second facelift, the first one being back in 2016.

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First drive: 2020 Mazda 3 in the UAE

First drive: 2020 Mazda 3 in the UAE

Mazda has built a bit of a reputation with enthusiasts on a budget. Building cars that drive well, no matter what category they play in, it is popular among certain younger buyers. Of course, the problem is most buyers aren’t of the enthusiastic variety, and Mazda has always been way behind when it comes to the basics of space and comfort, thereby giving up market share to brands which understand their respective segments better. Does the new Mazda 3 change that?

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Opinion: Should you still buy a car during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Opinion: Should you still buy a car during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Let’s not beat around the bush. Car sales have crashed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. There’s no avoiding its effects, as stock markets, retail and travel have also been murdered by the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis, with no sign of relief any time soon and people are losing their jobs in these and others sectors. If you still feel like buying a car, there are some options, but on the whole, there probably won’t be any new cars to buy soon as several carmakers are switching focus for the time being.

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Car subscriptions: Change your car every month, and cheaper than buying?

Car subscriptions: Change your car every month, and cheaper than buying?

Car shopping is probably one of the most stressful activities you’ll ever undertake, thanks to the amount of money involved and the utter disdain for customers at most car dealerships. Add the generational shift towards app-based on-demand and subscription services for everything from hailing a taxi to watching TV shows, the urge to actually own a car for mobility is diminishing among certain sections of young affluent consumers. As a logical progression, now there are even car subscription services where you can sign up to use a car for a month using your smartphone, pay a monthly fee with all service and maintenance included without being locked into a multi-year lease,

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First drive: 2020 Lincoln Nautilus in the UAE

First drive: 2020 Lincoln Nautilus in the UAE

The Lincoln Nautilus is basically the facelifted version of the outgoing MKX. As the Ford-owned American luxury brand steers clear of the ill-conceived “MK-whatever” naming convention that was introduced just a decade ago, proper names are back on the tailgates of Lincoln models, all of which are now taking design cues introduced on the flagship Continental sedan and made familiar with the new Navigator.

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First drive: 2020 Chevrolet Malibu 1.5T Premier in the UAE

First drive: 2020 Chevrolet Malibu 1.5T Premier in the UAE

The midsize sedan segment is a competitive one dominated by the Japanese. But Chevrolet has had a competent entry for a few years now that hasn’t gained traction, even with competitive pricing. The current Malibu garnered a decent review from us when it was launched in late 2016, but then the well-known Japanese trio all got redesigns as well, raising the bar for what a midsize sedan can offer. The Korean-built Malibu received a quiet facelift for 2019 though, along with a new engine that’s a huge improvement.

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First drive: 2019 Lada 4x4 Urban in Jordan

First drive: 2019 Lada 4×4 Urban in Jordan

Renamed but little changed since it first launched 40 years ago, Lada’s legacy model remains the brand’s defining model as it makes a comeback to Middle East markets. Formerly known as the Niva, the diminutive Lada 4×4 is both precursor to the crossover segment and a highly capable off-roader. With uni-body construction, rugged four-wheel-drive, and coil spring double wishbone and live axle suspension, it was designed as an affordable people’s car for city streets and rugged rural Russian winters alike.

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