First love

First love

Everyone has dreamt about owning their first car and what the make and model should be.



We have all imagined driving down a tree-lined street with the windows down on a sunny day, a warm rush of air streaming through your hair. Just like your first day at university, the first car you own will be a memory that you will cherish.

It is unlikely to be the most expensive, luxurious or the fastest car that you will ever own, but your first car is likely to provide the greatest fun and the most memories you’ll ever have behind the wheel.

Ask your parents. It could have been a broken down wreck from the 1970s, or have a V8 under the hood, but they will be able to tell you all about their first car. They will reminisce and smile, because you never forget that experience — it leaves a lasting impression.

Choosing your first car is never easy. Cars reflect your personality, especially when you’re just starting out in the world aged 18-25. So you want to make the right first impression.

Students will place importance on a car’s style, appearance, accessories, features — to look good when giving their mates a lift to the campus — and on a good sound system to play their latest downloaded tunes.

Young ladies (not to generalise, but) may put emphasis on the colour and design of their first car, while young guys will look at its sporty appearance, performance and high-tech features.

But any first car also has to receive your parents’ approval. Above all else, they will want their child’s first car to be safe. Then it needs to have a low ownership cost and be reliable and dependable as no parent wants their son or daughter stranded on the side of the road in a car that has broken down.

Chevrolet Sonic

At Chevrolet, a lot of time and money has been invested to design and engineer a car that excites and inspires young drivers, while also appeasing parents and their want for safety and value.

Students and first-time owners will love the Sonic as it has all the necessary features both inside and outside that will make you look cool and be the envy of your mates and colleagues. The Sonic is equipped with a four-cylinder, 1.6-litre engine (115 hp), dual overhead camshaft (DOHC) petrol engine that offers a superb balance between performance and efficiency. Fuel consumption on a combined cycle is 6.6 litres/100km. It comes in a five-speed manual and six-speed automatic.

VW Golf

“You won’t believe this car has a 1.4-litre engine,” the Volkswagen representative intoned as he handed over the keys. And he was right. From the off, bets could have been placed on the size of the engine and no one would have plumped for such an economical number.

The fact that the new Golf is so quick off the mark and at no point strains for power is testament to Volkswagen’s precision engineering and knowing how to get the best out of small packages.

In Europe, a VW Golf is a rite of passage. Most people either have one when they’re young or know someone who does. Many youngsters aspire to have the latest Golf, but have to settle for its more diminutive sibling, the Polo, as a result of various insurance laws. Thankfully in the UAE this is not an issue and everyone is free to enjoy one of the most fun cars on the road.

The Chevrolet Cruze LTZ Hatchback

In a land where a gallon of fuel is the same price as a bottle of Evian and insurance costs are negligible, most people subscribe to the notion that ‘bigger is always better.’ While this is true in some cases, you’d be doing yourself a disservice by overlooking some of the niftier four-wheeled specimens on offer.

Smaller cars are easier to drive, easier to park, less ostentatious (okay, may have lost you, but hear me out) and can fit just as many people inside as your regular saloon. In fact this incarnation of the Cruze, if we may be so bold, can fit three people more comfortably in the back seat than quite a few executive sedans. All right so there may not be a footrest, or an in-built massage function or even a mini-fridge in the armrest, however, in the Cruze LTZ you do get some snazzy leather effect seats and it’ll get you to where you need to go for a fraction of the cost. But what about the power, you cry. Granted, you’re never going to get supersonic speed in one of these, but the 1.8-litre engine copes well with motorway driving and the work-home run.

MINI Mayfair

The Mayfair is available in both the Cooper and Cooper S editions. The MINI Cooper S comes with a 1.6-litre engine and combines agile handling with exemplary fuel economy and emission management. With a maximum output of 175bhp, the four-cylinder engine produces a top speed of 238 km/h.

Peugeot 308CC

It may not be a hatchback in every sense of the word, but the Peugeot 308CC takes its cues from a long line of established smaller cars.

The 308CC is a quaint, yet well stocked car. It may have the smooth lines that the fairer of the species may be more suited to — but inside are enough bits and pieces to keep everyone happy.

The well thought out, well-made simple interior doesn’t have the clutter one might expect when first approaching the vehicle and feels solid to the touch. Sit behind the wheel and you will garner the same feeling you would in a far more opulent car. Another surprise is that the rear seats are big enough to fit two actual humans, which in a two-door cabriolet is a unique feature in itself.

wknd@khaleejtimes.com


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