Connect with us

Shopping & Style

Guide to buying a new car in the UAE

Published

on

Summer is now officially here. And while your laundry bill might suggest otherwise, this is good news. It’s this time of year that car dealerships across the country are offering staggering deals on this this year’s models. If you’re after some weekend wheels or simply want to make your commute a tiny bit more bearable, there are some unbelievable offers tearing up the nation’s showrooms. Here is the ShortList guide to some of the best buys on offer…

HATCHBACKS
Small, compact and extremely wallet-friendly, the hatchback may be your inner-city best-friend.

Star buy
Mazda 2
How much? AED43,600 (including AED6,400 discount for Mazda/Galadari 45th year campaign)
Where do I get it? Galadari Automobiles, +9714 299 4666
It’s as cheap and basic as hatchbacks come, but the Mazda 2 is a perky and engaging driver’s car that will put a bigger smile on your dial than anything else at this price. The pint-sized Mazda serves up crisp handling and peppy performance from its 1.5-litre engine, but it’s not the most spacious in the back seat or luggage compartment. If these criteria aren’t deal breakers for you, it’s definitely the pick of the cheap and cheerful brigade.

Style Statement
Alfa Romeo Giulietta
How much? From AED99,000 (after AED9,000 discount)
Where do I get it? Gargash Motors +9714 340 3333
A recent price cut has pulled the Giulietta under the AED100k mark (it was AED108k when launched in 2013), so it’s now a tempting proposition. It’s fun to drive, thanks to well-sorted chassis and a 170hp 1.4-litre turbo engine that propels it to 100kph in 7.7 seconds. The basic Giulietta comes with cloth trim and has its quirks, but its Latin flair and svelte styling are drawcards.

Top Performer
Ford Focus ST
How much? AED95,000 (includes AED10,000 discount; also comes with free three-year service contract and one-year insurance)
Where do I get it? Al Tayer Motors, +9714 266 6489
The Focus ST is the fastest new car you can nab for under AED100k. With a punchy 250hp engine spinning the front wheels through a six-speed manual, the ST sprints to 100kph in just 6.5 seconds and can clock 250kph if you have access to a racetrack or private stretch of road. Apart from its rapidity, the Focus ST is also practical, comfy and great value – but the lack of an automatic may deter some buyers.

Treat yourself
VW Golf GTI
How much? From AED121,000
Where do I get it? Al Nabooda Automobiles, +9714 705 3333
If you’re after an everyday hatchback that can make you grin like a lunatic, the Golf GTI is it. Equally comfortable tackling the daily grind as it is making mincemeat of twisty roads, the Veedub is a consummate all-rounder. The 2.0-litre turbo engine and six-speed dual-clutch DSG is a potent and seamless combo, and the chassis is beautifully balanced. You also get German levels of fit/finish. The classiest boy-racer around.

COMPACT SUVS
Probably the biggest segment in the UAE car market, these roomy family cars are Versatile, spacious and cheaper than they should be.

Star buy
Hyundai Tucson
How much? Base model reduced from AED85,000 to AED69,800; full-spec 2.4-litre model reduced from AED121,900 to AED102,900
Where do I get it? Juma Al Majid Est, 800 Hyundai
The latest-gen Tucson perfectly embodies the huge strides Hyundai has made in recent years. With quality levels that are at least a match for its Japanese and Euro rivals, the all-new Tucson is also a great drive. Longer and wider than its predecessor, the newbie is appreciably roomier inside, as well as being more refined. The 4×2 entry model comes with a 156hp 2.0-litre engine, while the range-topper scores a punchier 185hp 2.4 unit.

Great value
Renault Duster
How much? From AED49,900
Where do I get it? Arabian Automobiles, +9714 407 5555
What you see is what you get with the Duster. Its rugged, boxy styling provides a clue to the durable, no-frills nature of the Frenchie, and it’s this simplicity that has made it a massive hit here. Although not a hardcore all-terrainer, the Duster’s ample ground clearance means it’s fit for light off-roading duties – and park-anywhere potential. The Renault is cavernous inside but, befitting its bargain-basement price, trim levels are basic.

Inner-city warrior
Ford EcoSport
How much? From AED55,950 (after AED14,050 discount)
Where do I get it? Al Tayer Motors, +9714 266 6489
The EcoSport is an inner-city runabout with a SUV-style tallboy stance to lure those who like an elevated driving position. The Ford’s fortes are great manoeuvrability, ease of driving and thrifty fuel economy. The 1.5-litre engine and six-speed auto isn’t the gutsiest in class, but it’s more than fine for the urban crawl. The EcoSport offers strong value as a summer offer means you now save an incredible AED14,000 on the base model.

The all-rounder
Jeep Renegade
How much? From AED69,900 (special Ramadan offer)
Where do I get it? Trading Enterprises, Dial 800 4119
The Renegade is Jeep’s first baby SUV and it offers at least a modicum of the off-road ability the brand is rightly famed for. However, the Renegade is clearly designed more for on-road use, and in this domain it’s comfortable, refined and quite nimble. All models feature a 180hp 2.4-litre engine, mated to a nine-speed auto. There’s room in the back for three at a pinch, but luggage space is pretty tight.

PREMIUM 4X4S
Almost designer and for summer road trips

Star buy
Volvo XC90

How much? From AED275,000 (includes three-year free servicing)
Where do I get it? Trading Enterprises, +9714 206 6300
The XC90 is on the pricey side, but it’s a still a very desirable SUV, with seven proper seats and a generous load bay. It’s also packed with a barrage of safety kit, as you’d expect of a Volvo. A 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine may not seem too hefty, but it punches out a healthy 320hp and the performance is lively. The cabin has a real premium feel, and the XC90 offers top-class connectivity and infotainment. Ideal for that Sir Bani Yas trip you’ve been promising yourself.

Off-road titan
Jeep Wrangler
How much? From AED99,900 for two-door model (special Ramadan offer)
Where do I get it? Trading Enterprises, 800 4119
The Wrangler is the off-road junkie’s favourite around here, and that’s no surprise. The Jeep is excellent in the rough stuff, and there’s a huge array of accessories and mods on offer from the Mopar catalogue. It’s not the most refined on-road chariot, but that doesn’t seem to deter its target audience. Even roof lining isn’t standard, so be prepared to tick many options boxes.

Power player
Toyota FJ Cruiser
How much? From AED119,500 for manual and from AED132,500 for automatic (prices are for 2015 runout models)
Where do I get it? Al Futtaim Motors, 800 2366 8677
The FJ Cruiser is in some ways like the Wrangler as it’s highly capable in the dunes, although the Toyota is slightly more refined and better built. The 4.0-litre V6 delivers gutsy performance, but the Cruiser’s soft suspension means it’s a bit roly-poly on the tarmac. Not everyone will warm to the FJ’s exterior styling – it has a slightly toy-like appearance – but the cabin is practical and has a useable back seat. There’s also a plethora of useful storage cubbies inside.

Great value
Nissan Xterra
How much? 2015 models range from AED98,000 to AED110,500
Where do I get it? Arabian Automobiles, 800 Nissan
The Xterra is a bit long in the tooth now, but it remains a robust, practical package that’s also very capable off the beaten track – and there’s a reason why it’s still in production. All models come with a chunky 270hp 4.0-litre V6 and five-speed auto, with the range-topper also scoring off-road tyres and a differential lock for hardcore all-terrain aficionados. There’s great deals to be had on 2015 runout models, with prices starting at AED98,000.

FOUR-DOOR SALOONS
Because sometimes a four-door, four-seat saloon ticks more boxes than any car on the market.

Star buy
Nissan Maxima
How much? From AED108,000 for base model; AED147,000 for range-topper
Where do I get it? Arabian Automobiles, 800 Nissan
The latest Maxima ditches the staid styling of its predecessor in favour of an edgy profile inspired by the US Navy’s Blue Angels fighter jets. With an assortment of bulges and sharp creases reminiscent of recent BMW facelifts, the Maxima oozes visual muscle, and this is backed up by a punchy 296hp 3.5-litre V6 that delivers rapid performance. It also comes loaded with mod-cons, especially in range-topping form.

Great value
Kia Optima
How much? From AED66,900 for the 2.0 model (special summer offer)
Where do I get it? Juma Al Majid Motors, 800 KIAUAE
The Optima isn’t the most dynamic saloon to drive, but what it does offer is great styling, excellent refinement and a lot of kit for the money. The Kia is one of the best lookers in its class, and it’s available with seven airbags, auto cruise control and cornering lights. The entry model comes with a 157hp 2.0-litre motor, but it’s worth stretching to the 178hp 2.4-litre version if you can afford it.

Supreme styling
Mazda 6
How much? From AED79,900 (after AED15,000 discount for Mazda/Galadari 45th year promo)
Where do I get it? Galadari Automobiles, +9714 299 4666
The Mazda 6 is the most capable saloon in its class, no two ways about it. Impeccably styled, the 6 has the substance to back up its sleek looks. There is no crisper handling car in this class, and the Maz is comfy and spacious inside. The 185hp 2.5-litre engine and six-speed is also a smooth, gutsy combo. A recent overhaul has improved the formerly lacklustre dashboard/centre console, too.

Treat yourself
Cadillac CTS

How much? From AED169,000  for 2.0-litre 4-cyl turbo; from AED230,000 for 3.6-litre V6
Where do I get it? Liberty Automobiles, +9714 341 9341
This CTS is a worthy alternative to the Euro prestige brigade, and it’s proof of how far Cadillac has progressed lately. Unlike Caddies of yesteryear, the CTS is exceptionally agile and composed on the road. It’s also decently potent, with the 272hp 2.0-litre turbo engine outpunching its direct rivals from Germany. Inside, you’ll discover a cabin with suitably upscale trim and craftsmanship.

COUPÉS/ROADSTERS
Want something with a little more sass than a saloon? One of these sports cars ought to add some pep to your next early-morning drive.

Star Buy
Porsche 718 Boxster
How much? From AED220,800 for manual base model; from AED248,000 for Boxster S manual (add AED9,000 for PDK auto transmission)
Where do I get it? Al Nabooda Automobiles, +9714 705 3333
The new 718 Boxster comes with a four-cylinder turbo engine in lieu of the old six-pot, but the sublime roadster has lost none of its appeal. The base-model 718 Boxster ekes out 300hp (the range-topping “S” punches out 350hp), so there’s plenty of poke with which to exploit the perfectly balanced chassis. The curvaceous exterior styling is complemented by an equally attractive cabin, and this dynamic Porsche exudes quality throughout. This is a truly magnificent sports car.

The Entertainer
Toyota 86
How much? From AED104,900 for manual; from AED114,900 for auto

Where do I get it? Al Futtaim Motors, 800 2366 8677
Toyota’s 86 launched to a wave of hype four years ago and it remains an entertaining and affordable sporting coupé. Although the 2.0-litre engine isn’t the most potent, the 86 compensates with a nicely balanced chassis that encourages you to “drive it like you stole it”. It’s a playful car that’s not averse to wagging its tail. The plasticky interior is a bit low-rent, but functional nonetheless.

Great value
Nissan 370Z
How much? From AED134,000
Where do I get it? Arabian Automobiles
The 370Z has been around since 2009, but it still offers plenty of bang for your buck. Propelled by a 328hp 3.7-litre V6, the Nissan has way more grunt than the Toyota 86, even though its chassis lacks the latter’s balance and tactility. The 370Z has muscular styling and its 19-inch rims give it a beefy stance. It was initially overpriced, but a massive cut has brought the entry level to a keen AED134,000.

Treat yourself
BMW M235i
How much? From AED244,000
Where do I get it? AGMC Motors, +9714 339 1555
The M235i certainly isn’t cheap, but it’s a lot more affordable than its stablemates the M2 or M4, while it still manages to offer enough punch and panache to satisfy even the most spirited drivers. The 326hp 3.0-litre twin-turbo engine propels the BeeEm to 100kph in just 4.8sec, and its crackling exhaust note is a treat for the ears. You also get a brilliantly tied-down chassis, tactile steering, a classy interior and a decent-sized boot.

MUSCLE CARS
Judging by the amount of traffic-light revving that goes on, we love a bit of muscle in the UAE.

Star buy
Ford Mustang
How much? From AED145,000 for V6; AED195,000 for 2.3 EcoBoost; AED210,000 for V8 (with a AED5,000 discount across the range)
Where do I get it? Al Tayer Motors +9714 266 6489
The latest-gen Mustang has retained enough traditional styling elements to distinguish it as a pony car, but it’s a quantum leap forward in every other respect. With a more comfortable and spacious cabin than the oldie, it’s also much more refined, composed and dynamic on the road. The base model comes with a 3.7-litre V6, but there’s also a 2.3-litre four-cylinder turbo model and, of course, a 5.0-litre V8. Go for the latter if you can afford it.

Great value
Dodge Challenger
How much? From AED139,999 for SXT Super Track (includes five-year warranty and three-year free service)
Where do I get it? Trading Enterprises, 800 4119
The Challenger is a bit of a dinosaur now yet there’s something timeless about its classic muscle-car profile. It’s more a cruiser than a lap-record chaser, partly a result of its sheer size. The V8-powered R/T and SRT models are the tastiest, but the 3.6-litre V6 SXT Super Track now starts at a keen AED140,000. Standard kit includes 20-inch rims, reversing camera, GPS navigation and a rear spoiler.

Top performer
Chevrolet Camaro
How much? From AED138,000 for V6 LT; from AED225,000 for SS V8
Where do I get it? Al Ghandi Auto, +9714 231 0800
The all-new Chevy Camaro has just landed and it is a far more sophisticated offering than its predecessor. Like the latest Mustang, there’s a swag of retro design cues, but underneath everything is new. This reflects in its crisp driving dynamics, which are well removed from the “Yank Tanks” of yesteryear. The base model gets a 3.6-litre V6, but our pick is the 6.2-litre V8 range-topper.

Treat yourself
Lexus RC F
How much? From AED310,000
Where do I get it? Al Futtaim Lexus, 800 Lexus
The RC F has taken Lexus into new territory with its sonorous 5.0-litre V8 and brutal exterior styling. The assortment of scoops, bulges and flares is backed up by the RC F’s performance, which is nothing short of electrifying. As you’d expect of a Lexus, it comes loaded with kit, including GPS navigation, LED daytime running lights, eight-way power-adjustable front sport seats, user-selectable drive modes and lots more. It’s also supremely luxurious inside.

Hot new launches for the summer

Audi R8 
Ballistic V10 coupé is tasty, but very, very pricey.

BMW M2
This pocket rocket might be BMW’s best yet.

Jaguar F-Pace 
Britain’s leaping cat rolls out its first SUV.

Maserati Levante
Latin crossover oozes charisma.

Mercedes SLC 43 AMG
New roadster replaces the SLK 55 AMG.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Trending