New cars in Ramadan buying spotlight

With three weeks left for the month of Ramadan, the attempts to turn around early decisions have started taking the shape of early deals. Traditional favourites and some models hot off the launch pad are teasing buyers this time. Here is a look at some of the new and noteworthy models poised to populate the buyer’s shortlist.

First, 5 from the fast-growing SUV segment.

Audi Q2

The new crossover added to the range of Audi Q series is designed to be winsome and quirky in its appearance. The interiors retain Audi quality and multimedia advantages. Currently available only with a 1. The 150 mm ground clearance and short overhangs make the intentions clear – there isn’t much soft-roading about the Q2 but this makes the car agile and easy at U-turns and parking and on city roads.

Reasonably spacious, the Audi Q2 accommodates 405 L of cargo with a false floor that can grow up to 1050 when the rear bench is folded. It does have the Audi virtual cockpit and 12.3 inch screen graphic navigation and start-stop function, but you might save some bucks with just a funky looking compact crossover with parking sensors!

Available with only a 1.4L engine currently, the 0-100 during my test came up in the higher side of 8 seconds, while fuel efficiency without traffic jams yielded over 14 km/L. The Audi Q2 has art gallery styling and colours that can be best described as party wear!

AED 117,000 – AED 160,100

Read the first drive report.

UAE test review coming up soon.

Or just watch a first report video in 58 seconds!

Nissan Kicks

This is the car that made two popular Nissans redundant in this market with one stoke – the Tiida and the Juke! Naturally, they have retained an element of quirk for those who will miss Juke a lot but tons of practicality from the slightly bland yet blindly popular Tiida. The little crossover has room to stretch and 432 L of boot space for a bunch of luggage. The Kicks will be sticking to a standard third generation 1.6L mated to the new generation X-Tronic CVT. However, going by the test drive, the 118 hp and 150 Nm bundle seems to make the new Kicks game for anything!

Equipped with a generous 200mm ground clearance and a segment leading 5.2 m turning radius, the Kicks seems to be fit enough for quick escapes, whether at a U-turn or on a weekend jaunt to Al Qudra lake.

Impressively enough, three Active Chassis Control features are built into the Nissan Kicks, irrespective of trim level. Active Trace Control, Active Ride Control and Active Engine Braking make the drive more responsive. For those who want a 6-speed automatic gearbox feel from a new gen CVT, Nissan has added some ‘illusion’ trick to do exactly that!

Nissan Kicks price: AED 56,200 to 68,310

If this kick-starts your buying sense, read the first drive review in UAE

Or watch the quick 1-minute video review (waiting for hi-res video)

Renault Koleos

The Koleos is new, and you don’t need a prompter to copy that. The façade is striking, so are the lines and the lights in the front and the rear – even the Spanish bigote styling of the front lights!

The comfortable cushions and the premium looking leather along with the stow and hold nets behind the front seats, and of course the tab-styled multimedia screen in the otherwise clean console and dashboard – all show panache you will appreciate and dollars paid to designers trained to get the world talking.

The All-Mode 4×4-I technology in the car helps capability choices to be made from the dashboard screen, among 2WD front-wheel drive, 4WD AUTO and a third mode called 4WD LOCK that facilitates a permanent all-wheel drive. A 2,705 mm wheelbase makes it one of the longest in its segment.

The R-LINK 2 tablet, also seen in the new Talisman, enables the activation of several safety features including Active Emergency Braking System, Blind Spot Warning, rear view camera, front, rear and side parking sensors and Easy Park Assist. The new Renault Koleos underlines resounding refinement with a 13-speaker Bose audio system.

PRICE: To be confirmed
REVIEW: Will try to put it up by Ramadan

Geely Emgrand X7 Sport

Geely needs no introduction these days, after the wide acceptance found in UAE, and still more in Oman. Designed in Sweden, the signature grille we saw in the Emgrand GT takes pride of place in this first SUV from Geely. Design lines that bring to mind European refinement and American boldness finally admit elegance as a modern Chinese automotive virtue.

While most Chinese cars impress with a low price and an astoundingly high number of driver assistance gadgetry, the Geely SUV chooses to woo customers with premium material and comfort, still keeping the price low enough to surprise. While the boot isn’t notably large, the rear legroom isn’t compromised and what makes an impression is the high quality leather that drapes the cabin. The X7 Sport has a 5-star N-CAP safety rating.

The 2.4L engine is the only one available and charges the SUV with 153 hp and 225 N-m to play with. City fuel economy is reasonable but heavy-duty usage vaporizes it quicker. “Heavy duty?” Well, the vehicle is equipped with a 4WD lock and hill descent control and the 6-speed Tiptronic challenges terrains with a little help from attitude. Besides parking sensors, rear view camera, navigation, and leather comfort the SUV offers quick impressions like a flat-bottomed steering wheel that visually lives up to the Sport badge built into the name!

PRICE: AED 55000 and 80,000

Full review drive to Jebel Al Akhdar in Oman to be published soon.

Peugeot 3008

One of the most awaited and strikingly transformed cars of 2017 Q1 is the Peugeot 3008. In 5 months, Peugeot has claimed 150,000 orders globally. To understand why, simply take a look at the sequential front LED and razor like segmented lights in the rear, or the lion claws tucked away between the inward grille and the lights, or the exceptionally charming material of the cabin and door trims.

The cabin balances a cozy compactness and comfortable spaciousness. The French design innovation is showing the way it should – the console is minimalistic with the right touch of fine gloss and a designer array of aircraft style rocker switches. Two large screens – a 12.3 inch ‘head up’ instrument panel and an 8-inch capacitive touchscreen – along with a very uniquely cut fit-in-your-hand steering are part of the new i-Cockpit. The 5-star Euro NCAP safety rated 3008 has Emergency Brake Assistance, Speed Recognition on the road and even a Driver attention alert system.

The new SUV is happily priced similar to the earlier 3008, which wasn’t half anything as the re-interpreted version. If it helps to see the new Peugeot 3008 with the respect it deserves, well, the new crossover from Peugeot SUV was named the Car of the Year at the Geneva Motor Show 2017 and that’s no mean place!

Price: AED 90,000 – 114,000

2018 Peugeot 3008 Review coming up


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