With the crossover market booming over the past decade, with 7-seater options particularly popular in the U.S. market, Volkswagen finally jumped on the bandwagon and created the Teramont, their largest SUV. Built in the States and known as the Atlas over there, the Teramont is a logical addition for the GCC market as well, even if it is confusingly placed between the Tiguan and the flagship Touareg in terms of price.
Believe it or not, China’s state-owned SAIC is actually one of the biggest carmakers in the world, as they are wildly successful in their fast-growing home market. About a decade ago, they purchased MG Rover, turning the once-British maker of family cars, sports sedans and iconic sports cars into a mainstream maker of, well, family cars. MG’s first crossover was the GS, launched in the GCC a couple of years ago. They’ve now added to the portfolio with the RX5 and the ZS, both compact crossovers roughly the same size as the existing GS.
The Audi Q5 isn’t particularly common in the GCC, but it is currently the VW-owned carmaker’s top-selling model worldwide. It still sold around a healthy 280,000 units in its final year, and 1.6 million in total since its inception in 2009. As it remains hugely popular, just like the A4, Audi has gone for evolution, rather than revolution, when it comes to the exterior. However, underneath the skin, everything has changed, with more technology, power and efficiency.
Keeping in mind the current trend of crossovers becoming the most popular type of vehicle among car buyers, Chevrolet recently launched the all-new 2018 Equinox for the Middle East market. Chevrolet will be hoping the Equinox proves to be just as popular as it is in the United States, where it is their best-selling vehicle, only behind the Silverado. It will replace the Korean-built Captiva, which never quite gained a foothold here.
Alongside the updated Outback wagon, Subaru showcased the new version of its smallest car-based crossover, the Crosstrek, at the recent 2017 New York Auto Show. Unlike the refresh given to the Outback, the Crosstrek comes with an updated engine apart from the visual tweaks.
Remember that time when Chinese cars were considered to be at the same level as week-old sushi. And speaking of sushi, believe it or not, even Japanese cars had just as bad a reputation about half a century ago. The Koreans were on the same boat just a decade ago, and now they are among the top sellers in most developed car markets thanks to their world-class quality at affordable prices. So how far are the Chinese is reaching the level of established brands in terms of design, quality and image. Not far, as we’re seeing, and leading the charge is Geely.
Arguably, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class reached its peak back in the 1980s, when it wasn’t even called the E-Class. Comprising of models such as the all-rounder 300E, the handbuilt-by-Porsche 500E and the aftermarket-tuned AMG Hammer among others, the German carmaker’s W124-generation sedan was iconic. Unfortunately, right after this model was discontinued in 1995 after an 11-year run, Mercedes-Benz entered an era of confused designs and cost-cutting measures that didn’t subside until more than a decade later. Now, four generations later, there is an all-new Mercedes-Benz E-Class, but does it have what it takes to become an icon again?
Volvo is riding high on accolades for the Volvo XC90, and they implemented the same DNA used to create their successful SUV on to their all-new luxury sedan offering, the Volvo S90, which we got a chance to drive in Oman.
In its inaugural year, the Auto Excellence Awards 2016 has been proclaimed to be the only audited automotive awards in the country, and quite possibly the region. Organised by and held at the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre, the awards ceremony saw dealer representatives for all the major automotive brands in Oman gather to see if they won. But two weeks before that, the judges had a go at all the nominated cars — close to 80 in total — over just 2 days of hectic testing at the Oman Automobile Association’s Muscat Raceway compound, and while I was one of the judges,
MG has confirmed that the new MG ZS, which made its global debut at the recent 14th Guangzhou International Auto Exhibition, is set to arrive in the Middle East by late 2017. The new SUV introduces a new design language from MG that will form the corporate look of future models.
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