Feature Stories

First drive: 2019 Ford Focus in France

First drive: 2019 Ford Focus in France

Ford’s Focus is a big seller in Europe, but it’s an underrated entity in our UAE market. Despite its tidy looks and arguably class-leading driving dynamics, the C-segment hatchback – and sedan – has been forced to take a back seat (in sales terms) to the likes of the Japanese and the Koreans in the GCC.

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First drive: 2019 Renault Duster in Jordan

First drive: 2019 Renault Duster in Jordan

It may not be the first small, affordable or capable small SUV, the Renault Duster is however the people’s car of the crossover era. Bridging the gap between dedicated compact off-roaders like the Suzuki Jimny and small sensible saloons pitched at emerging markets, the Duster made the practical SUV an accessible option for budget-minded drivers, with 2.45 million sold since its 2010 launch as a Dacia and 2012 Middle East introduction as a Renault.

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First drive: 2018 Cadillac XT5 in the UAE

First drive: 2018 Cadillac XT5 in the UAE

If you’re a connoisseur of crossovers, you may already know that the Cadillac XT5 debuted two years ago as a replacement for the SRX. What you didn’t know is that the XT5 is a bit smaller than the last-gen SRX in terms of length. And what may surprise you even more is that the XT5 is not really a compact SUV, despite what it may appear to be. It’s built on the GMC Acadia platform and shares an identical wheelbase. Overall, the XT5 is only a thumb shorter than the Jeep Grand Cherokee, a thumb longer than the Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class,

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First drive: 2018 Fiat Abarth 124 Spider in the UAE

First drive: 2018 Fiat Abarth 124 Spider in the UAE

Italian cars have a certain kind of reputation. Japanese cars have a certain kind of reputation. You don’t have to think too hard about what we’re referring to, because the stereotypes are generally true. But what if you could have a car with Italian style that’s built by the Japanese? That is exactly what the Fiat Abarth 124 Spider is.

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First drive: 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Convertible in the UAE

First drive: 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Convertible in the UAE

Chevrolet’s current-gen Corvette will be usurped in about 18 months by the revamped C8 model based on a tradition-shattering mid-engine architecture, but the C7 isn’t quite done just yet. Want proof? Here it is – the just-released top-dog ZR1, backed by performance stats that should send a shiver or two down the collective spines of the boffins at Zuffenhausen, Maranello and Sant’Agata Bolognese.

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First drive: 2018 Volvo XC90 T8 Excellence Hybrid in the UAE

First drive: 2018 Volvo XC90 T8 Excellence Hybrid in the UAE

Building a luxury car brand is hard. It’s even harder when you’re trying to reinvent an existing brand as a luxury contender. Volvo used to be a purveyor of safe automobiles, slightly premium in price due to their Swedish sourcing. Some thought that the Chinese buying out the carmaker would be a bad thing. But things couldn’t be better once Volvo left previous-keeper Ford’s shadow. Starting with the all-new XC90 a few years ago, Volvo’s offerings have become premium enough to compete with the best that Germany has to offer. When it was first launched here though, the XC90 only came in T6 guise,

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First drive: 2018 Fiat 500 Abarth 595 in the UAE

First drive: 2018 Fiat 500 Abarth 595 in the UAE

It’s not often that on-a-budget car enthusiasts in the GCC actually get what they ask for. But there are good times ahead. The next-gen Ford Focus is coming here, and with it an updated ST surely. There is a Honda Civic Type-R test car running around Dubai. And then there is this one — the Fiat 500-based Abarth 595. There is now an official Abarth showroom in Dubai, and we somehow snagged one for a brief drive around town.

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