BMW has been exceptionally proactive over the past decade in fattening up its model line-up with a dizzying array of coupe-wannabe SUVs, chop-top sedans, ‘Active Tourers’, M-tweaked road rockets and electrified vehicles. Yet, it’s taken until now for the Bavarian marque to dip its toes in the potentially lucrative luxo seven-seater SUV segment.
Chevrolet recently launched the all-new 2019 Silverado pickup truck in the Middle East, as well as adding two exclusive models just for our region. The new Silverado is not only longer, wider and taller than the outgoing model, it is also lighter thanks to the partial use of aluminium for the first time in its construction.
Kia is no stranger in the full-size SUV 7-seater market, having already had the Mohave in their lineup for the past decade. However, despite being forcefully kept on life-support, the Mohave never really caught on with the general public as their other more-modern models have. Hoping to change that, Kia has now introduced an all-new model, the Telluride. We were invited to a media launch event in Dubai to try it out on a pre-determined route.
The 2019 Peugeot 508 has finally made its way to the UAE and other GCC markets since it was officially revealed at last year’s Paris Motor Show in October. The reason for the slight delay is apparently because Peugeot has been testing the cars in this region to address any reliability issues. That’s good news from a brand that became synonymous with cars that didn’t go more than a few years before they were given up on, including us when we owned a Peugeot 307 XSi a decade ago.
A 585 hp rear-wheel-drive supercar and a rain-soaked Hockenheimring – venue for the German F1 Grand Prix, and a track I’ve never previously been to – are ingredients that pretty much guarantee the day ahead will be anything but dull. Throw in a man named Bernd Schneider, a hard-pedalling five-time German touring car champ, as a pacemaker and you can bet fireworks are in store.
Open-topped cars have been an integral part of Porsche’s DNA ever since the first 356 burst onto the scene back in 1948. Porsche ditched fully open cars and went down the Targa route in the early 1960s due to US safety regulations, but the ragtop format was reprised with the debut of the first 911 Cabriolet at the 1982 Geneva Motor Show.
The past year has been major when it comes to midsize sedans — if you can call that niche major any more. All-new versions of the Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord debuted in 2018, and their sales have already stagnated as consumers increasingly gravitate toward crossovers. Meanwhile, Ford and GM announced plans to kill off their sedan models in some markets entirely. That means the segment, shrinking or otherwise, will continue to be dominated by the Japanese, especially now that Nissan has debuted their all-new Altima.
With the rise of crossovers dominating over every other automotive niche, there was a glaring hole in Honda’s local line-up that cars like the Nissan Kicks, the Renault Duster and the Ford Ecosport have been playing for the past few years. That gap has now been filled with the introduction of the Honda HR-V, reviving a nameplate that’s been dormant here since the turn of the millennium.
A couple of months ago, if you remember (before the whole debacle over Nissan’s CEO pay in Japan that has nothing to do with the products), some new variants of the Patrol Y61 were launched just for the GCC, joining the Patrol Super Safari that debuted a year earlier. We actually drove some of these new models, marking our first time properly driving a Y61 after all these decades in the UAE.
Cadillac debuted their new entry level SUV, the little XT4, at this year’s “Sole DXB” event in Dubai Design District. It is the first model release from their new plan to introduce a fresh model every six months all the way till 2020. The XT4 will sit under the XT5 as the smallest crossover offering.
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