Tesla has played a lone hand in the premium performance EV segment for the past several years, but the genre is now starting to gain critical mass, with virtually every mainstream prestige manufacturer pouring massive investments into developing and marketing battery-powered offerings.
The global launch of the 2020 Nissan Patrol was probably the biggest car launch the Middle East has ever seen. While the model is sold in only a handful of countries, it is clearly one of the best-selling premium cars ever in the UAE. The new model is more of an extensive update than a full redesign, but there’s no one better to review the changes, considering we actually own the outgoing model.
We love grand tourers. They have the perfect balance of excitement and practicality. We owned a big brash third-generation Toyota Supra (the one before the Farce & Furious hero car) about a decade ago, and it had immense road presence as well as the ability to carry four people in a pinch. From that we moved on to a Jaguar XK, and even considered an old Bentley Continental GT at some point. But the 2020 Toyota Supra is not a grand tourer. It’s a full-blown sports car.
For most of its 102-year history, Lincoln has churned out solely sedans and coupes, but over the past decade the marque has become a purveyor of predominantly SUVs – a shift that’s in line with changing buyer tastes. Forget the gargantuan Continental land yachts of yesteryear, the lion’s share of Lincoln’s sales volume today comes from high-riding wagons, and these now represent two-thirds of the brand’s model line-up.
Audi was one of the first Euro players to enter the luxury seven-seat SUV space when the first-generation Q7 launched back in 2005, and Ingolstadt’s big all-terrainer has since carved out a solid niche for itself. That said, a decade ago the Q7 didn’t have too many direct competitors, but it now must stave off the likes of BMW’s brand-new X7, reinvigorated Mercedes-Benz GLS, Cadillac Escalade, Lincoln Navigator, Infiniti QX80 and Lexus LX570, all of which are arguably one size bigger.
Sedans are dying – this is what automotive sales charts around the world indicate, thanks to the mass exodus of buyers to the crossover SUV segment. The latter genre is booming and virtually every manufacturer under the sun – Audi included – has been stuffing its line-up over the past decade or so with an assortment of high-roofed contraptions offering at least a pretence of off-road ability.
Hyundai is on a roll. The Korean brand have wet their feet in every mainstream category there is, with a decent amount of success thanks to good design and great value. However, they’ve been conspicuously absent from the large SUV market. Their largest SUV was the decidedly midsize Hyundai Grand Santa Fe. But now they have the all-new 2020 Palisade — a slightly-bigger midsize SUV.
The midsize segment has always been a bit of a snooze-fest, but the offerings have become more interesting in recent times. Many brands now have great products with good design, luxury features and entertaining handling. But while some are giving up the niche in favour of crossover SUVs, Hyundai has doubled up with a new Sonata that seems to be pulling design ideas from the premium segment into the affordable mainstream. We were invited to South Korea for a week in which we got to take a spin in the all-new 2020 Sonata.
There was a time when sports cars were low-slung and had two seats, while SUVs were slow, lumbering behemoths that were good at hauling loads and conquering rugged terrain, but not much else. However, boundaries have been blurred over the past decade and a half, and a sub-genre has emerged that morphs these two divergent vehicle types into a single entity.
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.
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