As the competitive SUV market shapes up for another bumper year, Alvin Thomas looks at three rivals gearing up to get ahead of the pack.
There was a time in the Sultanate when Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) were only owned by a select few. The necessities of owning an SUV were simple: it had to give the driver some presence on the road when cruising around the city and when the time was right, it had to bash the desert dunes without breaking sweat.
However, as families in the Sultanate continue to grow, so do their automotive requirements. Families tend to enjoy the sheer comfort, versatility and practicality these vehicles offer and, as a result, more SUVs roll onto the roads today than ever before.
But come 2017, Oman will be getting ready to welcome a host of new SUVs, one of which could soon become your next big investment. Y takes a look at what’s worth waiting for.
Volkswagen fans, rejoice! For the first time ever, the German car giant will be selling you a seven-seater SUV.
This move should come as quite a surprise to those who opted out of buying the marginally smaller Touareg due to its lack of third-row seating. This is because the Atlas, while larger than its sibling, is still only based on the MQB platform that underpins smaller cars like the VW Golf and the Audi A3. But VW promises ample space for passengers in the second and third rows.
Underneath the bonnet, you could either have a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine breathing out 238hp or a more potent 3.6-litre V6 engine pumping out 280hp. Both these engines will be mated to an 8-speed dual-clutch gearbox, meaning the acceleration will be silky smooth and the gear changes lightning quick. Despite its German fascia, however, we’re still not completely sold on its looks. Expect to see it in showrooms sometime later next year.
Is it an SUV? Is it a crossover? We can’t be too sure. However, the reason why we have added the Compass to our list is because of its capabilities as an off-roader. The Compass will technically fall into a list of small C-Segment SUVs but will still be wedged in between the brand’s tiny Renegade and large Cherokee. If you look closely, the Compass also bears a resemblance to the larger Cherokee, translating to a spacious interior as well as a sporty exterior.
And because FIAT Chrysler Automotive is now involved in the production of Jeep vehicles, you could also opt for a variety of engine options. Our sources say that the Compass could be had with 17 different engine choices. So if you’re only going to cruise around town, you could ideally stick to the small 2.0-litre in-line four cylinder turbocharged engine, or upgrade all the way to a Cherokee engine for more added grunt.
We’re keeping a close look at the Compass, and will update you with a review as soon as it hits the Middle Eastern market. We estimate the SUV to be available in showrooms early next year.
Back in the day, if you were looking for a handsome SUV with ample amounts of space and practicality, you would simply head into a Toyota or Nissan showroom. However, for 2017, Honda is bringing the fight to its rivals with the all-new CR-V, which has been redesigned from the ground up.
For starters, it looks quite butch and in tone with the brand’s new styling nomenclature – much like the new Civic, which we absolutely adore – while still maintaining the hexagonal grille and a new version of their pillar-mounted tail lights.
The CR-V will feature a 184hp 2.4-litre four-cylinder in base variants and perhaps a 190hp turbo 1.5-litre four-cylinder in mid-spec and top trim levels. All engines will be sending power to a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) automatic to either the front wheels or all wheels depending on variant.
We haven’t had a go in it yet but judging from the pictures, we still think that the new CR-V has undergone a radical change in the interior with a newer looking touchscreen as well as better-looking interior trim pieces.
Expect to see this in showrooms mid-2017.