Letters: Some good, some bad

Letters: Some good, some bad

Over the past month, I think I’ve received more than 100 emails asking for help on which car to buy, among letters of praise and criticism. I did reply to all of them personally, but I might have to start publishing only a select few from now on, as the barrage of e-letters per month is enough to fill a book. These are some of the letters from a month ago.

Prateek says: Hi, i did like your ultimate car guide but the new vehicle guide in one way was better it had required vehicle information in one page like say Toyota and all its models were described in brief in one page.You can do one thing by keeping new vehicle guide and than keep an option by which u can give in detail each car.

It’s actually a programming issue. Updates for the old guide was done by hand-coding, which was tedious and that’s why it took so long to see new cars added. The new system is quicker for me to update, and also older car records can be saved. So the old guide has been phased out slowly. – MHC

Khalid says: Hi, my name is Khalid and I wanted your advice regarding my next vehicle purchase…I’m looking for an 4×4 SUV with the following traits, in descending importance: Car-like handling; Good fuel economy (relative to other similar vehicles); Reliability and low maintenance costs; Comfortable for long distance travel and highway travel; Capable of some decent off-roading. With regards to the comfort level and long-distance travel, this is mostly to make trips to Mecca for Umra/Hajj. Having more than 5 seats would be a plus for this as well.With regards to off-roading, I go out about twice a month for some desert off-roading on sand and sometimes rocks. The rest of the time the vehicle will mostly travel on roads and highways. I had initially thought about the Mitsubishi Pajero but from what I’ve read its has bad handling (too much body-roll) and poor fuel economy. Speed is not really an issue for me, but I don’t really want to be overtaken by Toyota Corollas and Nissan Sunnys!! What do you think is the best 4×4 for my needs. Thanks for your help. Best Wishes.

You will have to come up with some choices based on your preferences. The thing is, only the most expensive 4WDs combine true car-like handling and also off-road ability, and those expensive ones are unreliable. However, I think you should give the Pathfinder, Prado and even the Pajero a look, since they fit your requirements the best in that price range. Their handling is fine if you drive sensibly, but of course, they cannot be driven hard like a sports car, like you can with “soft-roaders” such as the RAV-4 and CR-V. – MHC

Tomas says: Hi, I like the new style of the web site and I thank you. For the videos I recommends drive Arabia to add a speaker about the cars and talk about some of spec. or performance and there are more. I apologize but I don’t think the songs are working with those kind of video. Thanks again.

Lack of resources is always an issue. I don’t even have a video camera yet, and even then, I don’t think the consumer camcorders available will be able to record voice that well. I am not sure yet how to add a voiceover either. You may have noticed the lack of ads on the site, as most companies here still rely on magazines to spend ad dollars on, like in the 1980s. Until I get more funds, I cannot do the more cost-intensive things that require more than time alone. Thanks for your comments, and hope you recommend the site to others. If more of you want video reviews, let me know, as I have lots of funny scripts rotating in my mind all the time. – MHC

Ahdad says: Dear Sir, I have to admire the amount of work and effort you’ve put in the new website design. I, however, found that navigation and finding the cars I need to know about need more effort and more clicking to do. Previously, I just picked the brand from the drop down list and voila, a whole webpage of the same brand to look at the different cars. But now, I have to click on the “select a brand” link, then click on the model just to get to what I want. Bearing in mind that I would like to look at all the models of the same brand at the same time, it would take me more time to click back and forth. I hope you take this into consideration and change the current design to allow for a quicker and better navigation.

The previous pages were hand-coded, so it used to take too long to update for me. The new design has an easy data-entry system (so no more digging through code for me), and it also allows me to sort cars by year as well as add more data about each, since each car now has a separate page. While I will keep tweaking the design, there isn’t much more I can do in terms of programming, since the main code was done for free by someone else. Hopefully the site loads as fast for you as it does for me, so the time to jump between pages is minimal. – MHC

Mohamed Nazeeb says: Dear sir, you offer a very good site, which is easy to use and lots of information. However i recommend that you add commercial vehicle on your website.

I thought about it, but the problem is I am not familiar with many of the available models, and it is hard to track down information about them on dealer websites, since they concentrate on passenger cars. – MHC

Natalie says: Help! I am confused as to which car to buy. I had my heart set on a Nissan X-Trail but of course they are sold out until October. Can you recommend any other 4WD in that price range (AED70,000 – 85,000) or perhaps a good sedan/hatchback? I am worried about safety driving in Dubai hence the reason for the 4WD, I would also like good storage space. Many thanks!

A new 2009 X-Trail is coming out, probably in October as you say. As for safety, I wouldn’t worry too much about that in a car, as car-platformed X-Trails and such are no more safer than cars themselves. Midsize sedans nowadays also have rather large luggage compartments, so check them out to see if that is enough for your needs. For that price range, I cannot think of any other 4WDs besides the Hyundai Tucson, the Kia Sportage and the Nissan Qashqai, (all with short luggage areas) and possibly a basic version of the Honda CR-V, and none of these are any safer than a car. – MHC

Mohammad Shafiq says: Dear Sir, It is really very nice favor of your to provide expert opinion on various vehicles. I intend to buy a small car for my wife (I already have Honda Accord 2007). There are two choices i.e. Nissan TIIDA (hatchback) and Honda Jazz. Please let me know which one is comparatively good in reliability and resale aspects. Best Regards.

Resale value and reliability should be about the same, but I like the Tiida better. It feels quicker, looks less like a van, and has a huge interior that feels less cheap than that of the Honda. – MHC

Rehan Butt says: Hi, well i appreciate your efforts and time you spent to keep this website up-to-date. Just sharing my views about new Corolla 2008 model, which i will be getting next week, I fully research market and finally decided for this brand (as matter of fact this is my first ever Toyota car, previously i owned Honda, VW and Mazda). Quite often, people neglect Toyota brand just because its too common but fact is its reliable and had good re-sale. Performance and comfort wise it does compromise on many things but overall its not a bad car to own. Do you agree with this?

My father bought a brand new Corolla back in 1997. It is still the only car he drives. And it has never had a total breakdown. Enough said. – MHC

Muhammed Hatem says: Dear Mr. Choudry, Firstly I’d like like to applaud your brilliant work on this world-class website which I think is undoubtedly the best in the Middle East.I’m going to buy either a Nissan Tiida Hatchback 1.6 or a Mazda 3 Sedan 1.6 They both cost roughly the same, about $23.000 (I live in Egypt so that’d explain the ridiculously high price!!) I’d like to hear your advice on which car is best in terms on performance, reliability, and safety . Since I’m in Egypt I know you won’t be able to guess the resale value.Thanks in advance.

In performance terms, the Tiida is quicker and has the stronger engine, while the Mazda is slower but has better handling. You’ll probably find the Tiida Hatchback more practical too, with good interior and luggage space. Safety and reliability levels should be about the same. And yes, you spelt my name wrong, not that I even use my last name much. – MHC

Send me direct emails by clicking here. Also, be sure to vote in the stupid poll I’ve set up. Some of the questions will be personal, but your votes are anonymous, and I need such nonsense intrusive info to satisfy ad agencies and attempt to get some sponsorship for this site to keep it running. You wouldn’t believe how many people view these pages nowadays, and I’ll have to upgrade the server next month.

What do you think?



  1. about the car guide…i think now its much better..because with the time the performance changes and many stuff and that what you included…

  2. Hello Mr.Mash, Thanks for replying to my Fortuner Query. I went through your website and indeed it has got good information related to vehicles. However, like Fortuner, i missed information related to Suzuki Cars, especially the Grand Vitara..Read some of the old blogs from Auto News section…seemed KIA people are not too co-operative…allowing their products to be tested..may be they fear their products will fall apart in testing stage itself…why is Suzuki missing from list…are they also reluctant? I think the guy in the opinions what to buy can go for VITARA which will cost around aed 79,000 starting and X-Trail, RAV4 or CRV cannot even come close to offroading capabilities to Vitara. If Suzuki can run on horrible Indian, Pakistani & Sri Lankan rural roads..i am sure it will last long in UAE.

  3. man..about the FX…in the car guide you said…it has optional lane-departure warning…actully here in GCC we dont have it even in the full options FX50…they might bring it later in the comming models…also what is known is that the HP of the 35 is given here to be 307…in America it is said to be 303(the one you wrote)..the japanese are saying its 306…why you took the american one…is that always the case…i mean do i need always to look at the american website for the power data??? 😕

  4. Author

    Hey v6turbo, Suzuki has never ever contacted us for any reason, which shows their interest in promoting their products on the net. It’d require a bit of digging to find their proper PR contacts (beyond the dealer), which we never did because we have no shortage of cars to test. The Grand Vitara simply slipped my mind when recommending cars.

    Hey thatsit, you are right. I’ll fix it.

  5. hey guys check this out
    “a 10 sec lengthy version of Mustang burnout video”

  6. this is the new infiniti M35S
    it has a new dark head lights and the engine that the NEW G37 sedan get rid of. it has a 303HP instead of the old 275 hp(around)..it will have the new 7 speed trany that all new infiniti models have..the rims are taken form the M45 model. also the paint gaurd that infiniti models are famous with will be added to the list…its even better than the old one in case of fuel eco.
    also some people are saying even the normal M35 (without S) will take this engine in the coming models…lets wait and see.

  7. thatsit(mohamad), i saw the new FX35 on the street and i didn’t like it at all, the front side is awful and the back side looks like the Hyundai Veracruz. totally it looks like the EX35. at least it doesn’t look better than the old model.

  8. good to know UR opinion….but dont forget this is UR own one….wait and U will see it more than corollas in streets. 😉

  9. saw the new FX, looks funky, perfect snobby chick car ! 😆

  10. Dear Mash,

    I wanted to know the extra kit in your 2008 accord copue, where can i get it from. Is it dealer provided ?
    I just got a coupe 2.4l without the kit and now want to go for the kit ..
    any suggestions would be nice !!


  11. Author

    It is from the dealer, so I think they will sell and install one for you.

  12. Hi, I am planning to buy a compact SUV and I am very much confused between Mitsubishi ASX and Hyundai Tucson (2WD). This is my first car and one of the major factors which I am looking for is the resale value of the car. Can you please let me have your advice on this as its getting very difficult for me to decide.

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