Letters: Pollution, tint, SUVs & more

Letters: Pollution, tint, SUVs & more

So we went on a whirlwind tour of various ad agencies last month in a bid to get sponsorship for this “little” website, which happens to be the biggest English car portal in the region. After wasting all that time, all we’ve got are lame excuses and clueless rejections, while our smaller competitors enjoy the fruits of a good income. I have come to the conclusion that I will not waste this much of my own time any more, and will concentrate on my other income sources. Oh, but DriveArabia is going to continue as is, and every review I write will be a favour to the manufacturer, because their ad agencies sure aren’t doing me any favours. On another note, the latest batch of letters are rather interesting. Topics include green motoring locally, the latest crackdown on tint, and dilemmas on which SUV to buy.

Salman Hussain says: Hi, I love browsing through your website as it is a great resource to the Middle East car enthusiast, which is a vast crowd. I, however, do feel that you could give a greater understanding of the environment in these testing times with climate change a real possibility, and educate the readership about how much they can do to reduce pollution and CO2 emissions by choosing a green car. I’m sure you already know about Dubai’s infamous pollution but your website has the potential to really make a difference to people’s opinions that bigger isn’t always better and towards buying eco-friendly vehicles. I would really like to hear your thoughts regarding the matter.

Unfortunately, having lived here for more than 2 decades, I know that people here do not care much for the environment, and the car
companies in turn encourage excess by dumping all their unsold SUVs in the UAE market because they are not selling in America or elsewhere. I have on occasion written about the Volt, the Prius and the Insight, but when these cars are not available here, there is not much I can do. I had also promoted an article last year on how to save fuel while driving, which got a good response, but that is the best I can do at the moment. So far, I am the only one in the region reporting on fuel consumption numbers for all cars. The only reason is don’t do CO2 numbers is that there is no set standard for all cars of the world on that, and I cannot measure it either during my own tests. Thanks for bringing it up. – MHC

Waters says: I know your Honda Civic 2007 road test is from couple of years back, but I read it today, am a fan of drivearabia and would want some truth to go to the readers through your website. How many readers and testers have actually looked at the civic car manual? Read civic recommended engine oil, which recommends 0W to 15W thickness of engine oil and SL API class. Honda dealer here uses SJ class(this class of oil is now expired and replaced by SL since 2-3 years now and is extremely harmful to your engine) and 20W thickness engine oil leads to a drastic drop in smoothness and acceleration. Put 0W or 5W engine oil and you will see drastic increase in acceleration and smoothness and quietness (no extra spending since it can be replaced after 10,000 kms). So most probably, your civic test car was serviced here once before you tested it. To all civic readers – put 0W oil in engine and it will perform like you never thought it would.

Maybe Honda Civic owners can look into this. – MHC

Shahab says: Hey Mash how r u???? its long time i havent come to check ur site … but as i can see there is few updates….Ok let me get to the point of this mail …. i took one of our cars to RTA for the licence update before 2 days this is wat happened ….. when i went took my car back i saw that they removed all the tints on my car and when i went to them they were like its not allowed any more is that true or wat ????? i had kept it just a week ago.

Whoa! I don’t know about anything like that. Is it possibly because
you tint was too dark? The last time I renewed a car was in February, with legal tint, and had no problems. Some say even clear windshield tint is banned, but I have had no issues so far. – MHC

Ahmed Ramadan says: Hi guys, is there any updates or rating for the new Kia Cerato released lately?

I do not hear anything from the Kia people any more, so I can’t say. They are the worst company in the world when it comes to marketing to actual buyers. I’ll add to it to the guide once there is more info on GCC models. – MHC

Umashankar says: After a bit of googling I found your website. Kudos to your team for doing a great job. I am in the market to replace my more than a decade old Maxima (will surely miss its fantastic pick-up) and to upgrade to a 4WD. Possibly the last new vehicle we plan to buy while in the UAE – hence the 4WD; and of course the safety aspect considering I hit the SZ Road to JA each day. So we have narrowed down to the HONDA Pilot (the EXL version (leather + rear view camera + sun roof) and the VW Touareg (the V6 Standard version) Both are now similarly priced at around AED 140k (thanks to the meltdown). Pros for the Pilot – some toys like the RV camera; 7 seater; and is a new model. But concerned re resale? The CRV’s seem popular; not seen as many MRVs of yore; and even fewer sightings of the Pilot. Pros for the Touareg – just seems a better 4WD.We are not a very outdoor family. Some off road perhaps (not real sand & dunes) is what we may venture out for. Looking forward to some guidance / inputs from you to help us decide.

The Pilot will have a bit better resale value than the Touareg in the
long run. Neither are true best-sellers. The Touareg handles both
onroad and offroad better. The VW also costs more in general
maintenance. Both can handle at least minor sand areas. Safety is not an issue in either. It is interesting that you are in the market for such SUVs, because the marketing people I dealt with think Indians are “cheap” and therefore ignore the Asian community.

Ruchir Kumar Pathak says: I’m regular surfer of your site and always impressed with your suggestions. Now I’m in need of your expert advice. I’m planning to buy a 7 seater 4×4 with good resale value. I’ll drive this for 15,000 kms in a year never going to desert, 3-4 trips every year to Muscat only, and after 3 years I‘ll change. My approximately budget is Dhs 100,000. I liked following cars but have few doubts: 1. Ford Explorer – Everything is fine but Resale value and ownership cost is doubtful. 2. Hyundai Santa Fe – Quality and resale value are doubtful. 3. Mazda CX9 – Quality and resale value are doubtful. 4. Mitsubishi Pajero – Its value for money, Dhs 104,000 for full option 3.0 litres and Dhs 119,000 for full options 3.8 liters. Is 3.0 litres engine is sufficient for this size and my usage? I suspect quality of Mitsubishi engines for power and fuel economy.5. Toyota Prado – Has good resale value but heavily priced. If 2.7 litre engine is big enough for this car and my purposes I can spend Dhs 126,000 for 2.7 litres full options (without leather and cruise control). I can’t afford 4.0 liters for Dhs 145,000. Please suggest me for which car I should go? If it’s Pajero is OK then which engine? or Prado 2.7 is OK or any other?If you think my budget is in sufficient for 7 seater then should I go for Honda CR-V, which is also heavily priced but has good resale value or you can suggest me any other? Looking for your valuable suggestions.

Seeing purely from a resale standpoint as well as value, your choice
would simply be the Pajero, since the Prado is overpriced. As for
which engine, see the specs in the guide and test-drive both engines
to see which is more satisfactory for you. – MHC

Jan-Peter Mohwinkel says: Please could you give some informations about the new Ford Focus RS 2009, which time the car will come to the UAE and what will it cost. Thanks and best regards.

There are no current plans by Ford to bring the Focus RS here. You can buy a gay little multi-colour Fiesta though. – MHC

Arsalan Rizvi says: Just needed some information from you about mitsubishi eclipse 1995 turbo. My friend has one and he is selling it to me. Many people say that spare parts and maintaining the car is quite expensive but i really like eclipse and it is my first car and fits my budget so just need your help and information about the car. Will wait for your reply. Take care.

It really is hard to maintain one here, considering it was never sold
here officially, so parts are rare. Also, the turbo version is known to
have serious engine problems eventually. – MHC

Send in your emails from the contact page.

What do you think?



  1. DriveArabia will probably last longer than any of the cars companies :mrgreen:

  2. Dear Ruchir, just take the test drives of vehicles you like and other vehicles that come in same price, note down in a book, what you pay for, and what you get (Accessories, Crash Test Results, Engine Power, Towing capacity, comfort, saftey features, gadgetry like (rear view camers, tire pressure monitor, trip meters, stereo system, heaters etc..)including brand name, resale, and the number of years you plan to own vehicle…you will find out some surprising results.

  3. To Ahmad Ramadan, the Kia Cerato will be replaced by the Kia Forte… any body have another adea??

  4. true mash. al majid totally suck at marketing! anyway, the cerato will be replaced here and as far as i’ve heard the name of the car will remain cerato and there will also be a 2-door.

  5. @ BJD (Boris),,, yeah thats the Kia Forte… but for ME, they will keep the name as Cerato…


  6. When i want to check for current car prices, i surely go to this site.

    More power to Drivearabia.com team ^__^

  7. Please provide me the cost for repainting(honda civic black colour 2007 model) the scratch on rear side of mud guard, this scratch might cuased due to some careless person opened his back door that cuased scratch on my car.
    please suggest suitable efeective remedy

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