First Drive

BMW i5

First drive – BMW i5 in Portugal

BMW is going electric. Well, it hasn’t ditched combustion power just yet – and may not do so for at least the foreseeable future – but the Bavarian marque’s agenda is to electrify a substantial chunk of its lineup by the end of the decade. In a telling sign of what’s to come, the all-new G60 5 Series (due on sale locally by the end of the year) has been split into two distinct offerings. As before, there will be the petrol-powered 520i, 530i, 540i and (eventually) M5, but, for the first time, there are also battery-powered BMW i5 models.

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Land Rover Defender 130

First Drive: 2023 Land Rover Defender 130 in the UAE

The 2023 Land Rover Defender 130 arrived in the UAE this year and is the third Defender variant currently being sold in the GCC market. To recap, there is the Defender 90 and the Defender 110, both of which debuted in 2020. The Defender 130 more closely relates to the 110, as it shares the same wheelbase but adds extra room at the back to seat eight passengers comfortably—the Defender 110 tops out at seven.

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First-Drive: 2023 Nissan X-Trail in the UAE

The new fourth-generation 2023 Nissan X-Trail has been completely refreshed and was recently launched in the UAE and the rest of the GCC. The new model has a bolder design and features lots of new technology and safety features. Starting at just AED 99,900, it is positioned as an urban crossover in a very competitive compact segment. Like its predecessor, the fourth-generation trims come with a 7-seater option as well. It follows Nissan’s new design language, which we have seen already on the new Pathfinder that was released last year.  

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First Drive: BMW M2 in Phoenix, USA

Scorching performance and taut dynamics are givens in any car rolled out by BMW’s M Division, but the M2 arguably nails the sweet spot better than any other model. Fast, compact and agile, it recaptures the feisty spirit of past Bavarian icons such as the BMW 2002 Turbo and the much-loved E30 M3.

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Hongqi Ousado

First Drive: 2023 Hongqi Ousado in UAE

Entering the UAE market of competitive premium sedans dominated mainly by German manufacturers, the Chinese-built Hongqi Ousado hopes to make its mark in the world of automotive luxury. Saudi-based ALTAWKILAT officially launched Hongqi vehicles in the UAE as its exclusive distributor for the region.

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