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Road Test: Infiniti QX50 (2019)

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The 2019 QX50 from Infiniti is an all-new, redesigned version of the company’s compact luxury SUV. The QX50 comes packed with a wide range of top notch safety and driver-assistance systems, added comforts and a high-tech engine, which has been optimised for performance and efficiency.

The QX50 is the world’s first vehicle to use the new variable compression engine, which Infiniti claims is one of the most advanced internal combustion engines ever created. It comes with a 2.0L VC-Turbo 4-cylinder engine that produces 268 horsepower at 5,600-rpm and 380Nm of torque between 4,400-4,800-rpm.

The Infiniti QX50 accompanies one of the most prettiest exteriors for a compact SUV, which is complemented by an interesting set of interior design cues in its class. You get LED headlamps (LED high/low beam) and LED signature daytime running lamps, a power lift-gate, and 19-inch silver-painted alloy wheels with run-flat tyres.

The SUV also comes with the world’s first active engine mount vibration damping system, which has been designed to cancel out engine noise and vibration during acceleration. The damping system has been placed on the upper engine mount, and hence it isolates and dampens engine harshness and noise through counter-balancing vibrations.

The Infiniti QX50 comes with a front wheel drive, while an Intelligent All-Wheel Drive (AWD) option is also present. The QX50 is a bigger and practical vehicle, but it is slightly lighter than the outgoing predecessor. The interior styling has a mix of materials including microfiber suede and leather. The infotainment system though is the same as the outgoing model with a dual screen setup – the INFINITI InTouch dual display Navigation system, with upper 8-inch and lower 7-inch VGA LCD touch screens.

You also get an 8-way power-adjustable front seats, paddle shifters, anti-glare rearview mirror, a Bose 6-speaker audio system, a drive mode selector (with modes such as standard, eco, sport, and personal), and electronic parking brake. Power delivery is smooth in most driving conditions and the overall drive quality is pretty good.

With the new QX50, Infiniti has put some thoughts into making this vehicle fuel economy-friendly. You can do around 12 kms per liter with an average of 9 liters per 100 kms. It offers a very comfortable ride and is very quite – whether you are driving on-road or off-road.

The Infiniti QX50 boasts of one of the most accommodating back seats in the segment, a large cargo area, the best interior Infiniti has ever crafted, class leading fuel economy and a boatload of new technologies. If you are on the market for a compact luxury SUV, you should definitely check out the new Infiniti QX50.

Price: AED 162,000 onwards

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GMC Intros its new Sierra 1500 Lineup

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All-new technologies alongside elevated levels of premium craftsmanship and capability, make the newest GMC Sierra the most advanced and luxurious Sierra line-up to date. The range is led by the new Sierra Denali Ultimate trim, the most advanced and luxuriously appointed Denali model ever, as well as the most advanced and luxurious pickups in its class. Accompanying the Denali Ultimate is the first-ever Sierra AT4X — the new peak of premium off-road with serious capability and uncompromising refinements.

Sharon Nishi, Chief Marketing Officer, GM Africa, and Middle East said: “The GMC Sierra is one of our most popular models and highest-selling vehicles in the Middle East. Over the years, we have introduced new generations of the model, including exclusive trims such as the Elevation and AT4 reg-cab, designed specifically for our market. With the global reveal of the newest GMC Sierra and the introduction of the first-ever Denali Ultimate and AT4X trims, we are setting the bar high in the truck segment. The all-new Sierra perfectly blends design, capability, and technology, all of which are significant elements for our regional customers. We truly can’t wait to see the new Sierra on-road and off-road in the Middle East.”

Sierra Highlights
The new Sierra features an elevated exterior design and all-new, expressive interiors, with enhanced technology integration, including a large, 13.4-inch-diagonal touchscreen with Google built-in compatibility.

Additionally:

  • The refreshed exterior features a new grille and revised headlamp design and expressive lighting animation when approaching, starting, or walking away from the vehicle
  • A new, unique interior design includes a cockpit-oriented instrument panel along with a new, more functional center console that features electronic precision shift on models with front bucket seats.
  • The new, larger 13.4-inch-diagonal colour touchscreen is complemented with a new 12.3-inch-diagonal configurable digital instrument cluster and 15-inch-diagonal multicolor head-up display to provide more than 40 diagonal inches of digital display, the most in its class.
  • Previously announced for the 2022 GMC HUMMER EV Pickup and introduced on the 2022 Yukon, Sierra comes with Google built-in.
  • Sierra Denali Ultimate trim offers exclusive design and premium materials, along with technologies and a standard 420-hp 6.2L V-8 engine.
  • All-new AT4X trim that offers an exclusive premium interior and advanced off-road capability, with features such as Multimatic DSSV dampers, front and rear e-lockers, and Terrain Mode with one-pedal crawling, while delivering excellent on-road comfort and trailering capability.
  • A new 2.7L Turbo High-Output engine offers greater refinement, performance, and enhanced trailering capability.

First-ever Sierra Denali Ultimate trim
The first-ever Sierra Denali Ultimate trim is the most advanced and most luxurious pickup in its class, taking the popular Denali sub-brand to an even higher threshold of capable luxury. Unique exterior styling cues, along with exclusive interior trim and features, are complemented with more standard equipment — including the segment-exclusive CarbonPro composite cargo box, offering best-in-class short-bed cargo volume — to set a new standard for premium truck buyers who want to reward themselves.

On the exterior, a unique grille in exclusive Vader chrome, along with exclusive 22-inch wheels, finished in Low Gloss Black with machined accents, Vader chrome GMC logo, and unique front fender trim featuring Mount Denali, distinguish the Denali Ultimate. Additionally, GMC’s six-way MultiPro tailgate, the Denali Premium Suspension with segment-exclusive Adaptive Ride Control, and power assist steps are standard.

The Denali Ultimate’s Alpine Umber interior builds on the already luxurious Denali cabin, with full-grain leather appointments and open-pore Paldao wood trim. The wood’s darkened finish creates a distinctive color blend, while the unique graining adds bespoke attention to detail.

Additional content includes:

  • Leather-trimmed instrument panel
  • Full-grain leather-wrapped door panels with etched stainless-steel speaker grilles
  • Full-grain leather-wrapped console lid
  • Full-grain leather front and rear seats with the Denali Ultimate badge on the front seatbacks
  • Premium microsuede headliner, visors, and A- and B-pillar trim along with leather-wrapped A- and B-pillar handles
  • All-new best in class 16-way power-adjustable and massaging front seats
  • All-new 12-speaker Bose Premium series with Center Point surround technology with AudioPilot and Richbass woofer
  • Standard Rear Camera Mirror, with full camera display
  • Standard 15-inch-diagonal multicolor Head-Up Display
  • Standard power sunroof

Embossed and laser-etched across the interior are a number of topographical maps of the summit of Mount Denali, the highest peak in North America. These maps can be found laser-etched onto the open-pore Paldao wood on the front passenger-side dashboard, in the full-grain leather on the front and back of the front seats, rear seat, and door panels, as well as on the exterior fender vent badges.

When it comes to propulsion, the Sierra Denali Ultimate’s standard engine is GMC’s 420-horsepower 6.2L V-8 and it is matched with a 10-speed automatic transmission featuring Electronic Precision Shift. Four-wheel drive, with an electronically controlled two-speed transfer case, is standard. Additionally, GMC Pro Safety is standard and includes Forward Collision Alert, Automatic Emergency Braking, Lane Change Alert Side Blind Zone Alert, Following Distance Indicator, and IntelliBeam auto high-beams.

Sierra AT4X: the new peak in premium off-roading
As GMC continues to break ground in the premium truck category, the all-new Sierra AT4X — a balanced execution that delivers advanced off-road capability when called upon without compromising the on-road comfort, tech, towing, and payload capability expected from a premium pickup.

Highlights include:

  • Standard 6.2L V-8 engine and 10-speed automatic transmission
  • Unique Multimatic DSSV spool-valve dampers
  • Unique springs that, with the Multimatic dampers, increase maximum front and rear suspension travel by 50 mm and 25 mm, respectively, compared with the standard AT4 suspension
  • Two-speed transfer case, with selectable modes for different off-road conditions — including Terrain Mode, which allows one-pedal rock crawling
  • Front and rear e-locking differentials, a combination not offered by any other competitors in its class
  • Specific off-road chassis and suspension calibrations
  • Unique, larger steel transfer case shield
  • 18-inch black wheels with LT275/70R18 Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac Mud-Terrain tires
  • Available rocker guard accessory

The functional features are complemented with a unique, luxury-focused AT4X Obsidian Rush interior that balances the off-roader’s capability with comfort and convenience. The cabin is awash with premium leather, including full-grain leather-wrapped and technical grain leather accents, all of which are highlighted with white piping and red stitching. The interior also features authentic, dark Vanta ash wood trim, best in class 16-way power-adjustable and massaging front seats, a premium microsuede headliner, a 15-inch-diagonal Head-Up Display, power sunroof, a 12-speaker Bose Premium Series audio system with Center Point technology, and more.

AT4X’s payload capability is 644-kgs and its trailering rating is 4037-kgs.

Elevated design — inside and out
In addition to the distinctive design cues of the Sierra Denali Ultimate and Sierra AT4X, the vast majority of the new Sierra lineup is elevated with styling and design updates, inside and out. Exterior highlights include:

  • Revised front bumper, fascia, grille designs, and finishes on each trim.
  • New dual-projector LED headlamps, along with a revised execution of GMC’s signature C-shaped daytime running lamps, give the Sierra a bolder, wider appearance.
  • Animated lighting sequences that activate when approaching, starting, or walking away from the truck.
  • New wheel designs on SLT and Denali
  • Three new exterior colors (extra cost): Titanium Rush Metallic, Dynamic Blue Metallic, and Desert Sand Metallic.

What hasn’t changed with the new Sierra’s exterior are the professional-grade features that underpin its capability, including the available, industry-first six-function MultiPro tailgate, the available CarbonPro carbon fiber composite bed, which provides more short-bed cargo bed volume – 63.9 cubic feet – than any other competitor

Inside, GMC designers set apart Sierra from the competition with unique, new interiors on SLE, Elevation, and SLT trims, as well as unique premium interior designs for AT4, AT4X, Denali, and Denali Ultimate trim. There are also new color and stitching designs throughout, with more premium materials throughout the cabin, further elevating Sierra’s premium look and feel.

Additional interior highlights include:

  • All-new 13.4-inch-diagonal horizontal infotainment touchscreen (standard on SLE trim and above).
  • All-new 12.3-inch-diagonal digital, configurable instrument cluster (standard on SLE trim and above).
  • A new center console design.
  • All-new Electronic Precision Shift on models with front bucket seats (a column shifter is available on models equipped with a front bench seat) New power-adjustable steering column is standard on up-level trims.

New 13.4-inch-diagonal screen, Google built-in, and more
The centerpiece of the new Sierra’s redesigned interior (SLE trim and above) is an all-new and customizable 13.4-inch-diagonal horizontal touchscreen, along with a 12.3-inch-diagonal digital, configurable instrument cluster. Together, they provide users with incredible levels of personalization and intuitive engagement, starting the moment the driver slides behind the wheel and the driver information center comes to life.

Those personalization options allow customers to prioritize their views and even have two areas of information, to display navigation and trailering details simultaneously, for example, with the option to prioritize one over the other. Or, the customer can choose full-screen navigation, or entertainment, or other options. It’s all about enabling a more personalized experience that enhances comfort and convenience.

Additionally, the Sierra comes with Google built-in compatibility (standard on all trims except Pro). With it, many of a user’s favorite phone features are available in the vehicle, through the infotainment system, including Google Maps, Google Assistant, and Google Play. With Google Assistant, drivers can use their voice to get directions, play their favorite podcasts, control vehicle functions, and more allowing drivers to keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.

Google built-in is compatible with both Apple and Android devices, working with and complementing existing connectivity features such as wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as available Amazon Alexa (standard on SLE trims and above). Additional Sierra technologies include available multicolor 15-inch-diagonal Head-Up Display, which, along with the 13.4-inch-diagonal horizontal touchscreen and 12.3-inch-diagonal digital, instrument cluster,  take the total of available digital display space in the new Sierra to more than 40 diagonal inches, each helping provide an engaging, customizable and comprehensive driving experience.

Enhanced 2.7L Turbo High-Output engine
The new Sierra includes an enhanced 2.7L Turbo High-Output engine. Highlights:

  • Torque estimated at 420 lb.-ft. (569 Nm) more than a 20-percent increase over the current engine.
  • A new, more rigid cylinder block casting is complemented with a 30-percent-stiffer crankshaft, which enabled engineers to enhance smoothness, reduce noise and tune the engine for greater torque production, particularly in the usable low-mid rpm range.
  • Higher maximum trailering ratings of 9,600 pounds with 2WD models and 9,300 pounds with 4WD models are achieved with the new 2.7L Turbo.
  • Shift scheduling revisions with the 2.7L Turbo’s eight-speed automatic transmission enhance refinement and deliver quicker downshifts, for a greater feeling of power on demand.
  • The available proven 5.3L V-8 and the 6.2L V-8 both with Dynamic Fuel Management.

The new GMC Sierra is set to arrive at dealerships across the Middle East in Summer 2022.

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Nissan Shows Off All-Electric Ariya at Expo 2020

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Nissan is moving towards sustainable mobility with the first regional showcase of its stunning all-electric Ariya crossover car that is targeted towards the mass market. The Japanese company unveiled its all-new electric vehicle on 14th October, 2021, at the Let’s Move event at Dubai Exhibition Centre, Expo 2020 Dubai. “As Expo 2020’s Official Automotive Partner, Nissan is strongly committed to championing more sustainable transportation,” the company said.

Thierry Sabbagh, Managing Director of Nissan Middle East, said, “It’s a really exciting moment for us as a brand because our partnership with Expo started three years ago and we have been a part of the entire development, whether it is of the site or also of all the plans that have been set. And today, the partnership between Expo and Nissan is very natural. Because today, when we look at the pillars of Expo, whether on Sustainability, on Mobility, and on Opportunity, I can tell you that Nissan’s strategy is very much based on that.”

Joni Paiva, Divisional Vice President of Nissan Motors, said, “When you align Nissan’s purpose to drive innovation to enrich people’s lives and you look at Expo 2020’s purpose [and theme], ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, these two visions align extremely well, especially when you use the subthemes of Expo 2020 of Sustainability, Opportunity, and Mobility.”

Sabbagh said that unlike other electric vehicles currently available on the market, the new Ariya is made to appeal to people of all backgrounds, rather than target a niche audience only. He added, “Nissan as a brand has always brought products to the market that have very high demand and have always really been very much the best when it comes to the technology, to the innovation. And definitely, this is part of our passion. When we bring products to the market, we want to ensure that people from different categories, and from different aspirations, are able to drive our product. And definitely, I don’t see a difference with the Nissan Ariya, once it is fully launched in the markets. I will definitely be convinced that this will be available and offered to customers with different needs and also different profile customers.”

“The Ariya will drive the beginning of the Nissan NEXT transformation journey, a forward-looking plan building on the brand’s reputation for innovation, craftsmanship, customer focus, and quality,” the company said.

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Al Majid Motors Launches the 2022 Kia Cerato

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Bringing the latest innovations in a compact car to life, the 2022 Kia Cerato is now available at Al Majid Motors, the exclusive distributor of the KIA range of vehicles in the UAE. The latest edition of one of the world’s best-selling compact cars, the Kia Cerato blends together a sporty character with a firm foundation of powerful performance.

Swift suspension and responsive drivetrain, along with spacious interiors that set the car apart by an enriched dashboard, metallic trim, and sleek design, and aerodynamic contours, make the 2022 Cerato a head-turning vehicle. Available in 1.6-liter gasoline engine and available in four-door sedan or five-door hatch-back variants, the new Cerato is capable of doing much more than just deliver an exceptional driving experience for you — it is designed to bring the best out of a driver.

The 2022 Cerato also comes equipped with higher trim levels, the extensive smart audio system features with Android Auto and Apple Car Play, and wireless charging options, giving you the power to stay connected to all that matters. Additionally, a vivid 8-inches color LCD touchscreen ensures smooth navigation and the rearview camera features dynamic guidelines for easier parking.

Other features include a wireless charging tray, smart trunk, remote engine starting, and Power Driver Seat. Safety-wise, Kia Cerato is loaded with Kia’s safety features viz all-four disc brakes, Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), six airbags, ESC, and Front and Rear warning system. A smart and ideal option for those searching for a compact car, the 2022 Kia Cerato is an ideal choice. Price starting from AED 67,000 till AED 82,000, it is now available across the UAE at all Al Majid Motors showrooms.

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