I recently shifted to the UAE in pursuit of better job opportunities. I was lucky to get a job in the Automotive sector. I was furthermore lucky to get a license within one month of becoming a UAE resident (passed in first attempt). My next target was to get a good house and a good car. Once the house was sorted, my search for the car began. Car search:
Actually, we all are automotive enthusiasts. Our research about the car begins centuries before we are planning to make the purchase. Even in my case, my car search began when I was in India, even before I got the visa for Dubai and even before I had a job or license in Dubai! I was pretty sure that I will be going for a used car only. After buying a used Civic back home, I really like the concept of buying better and bigger cars for lesser money! Dubizzle.com is a really nice website for all kinds of classifieds in the UAE. I calculated my budget and ran a search on the kinds of cars that will fit in my budget. I quickly narrowed down to the following:
* Mitsubishi Lancer GT 2.0
* Mazda 6
Later on, when I started working, I even added the Hyundai Elantra & Kia Optima to my list since I could procure spares for very cheap (I work in Hyundai) and it made economical sense. However, I did not really like those cars. I needed something sporty and practical. The Elantra and Optima were good cars but not something you would like to drive on UAE roads. Nevertheless, they were an option. I also considered the Chevy Cruze for a while since resale value of Chevy is poor in UAE and I was getting good cars for cheap. But every person I met advised me against Chevy as they informed me that the spares cost a bomb.
Dubai - The Queen of the Middle East:
I will talk more about Dubai in some other thread. Let us focus on the car here. After I was kind of settled in here, my real car hunt began. I soon realized that I dont have enough credentials to avail a bank loan easily (my visa was just 2 months old) nor do I have enough money to make any downpayment. Do not forget that I had just acquired a house on rent and all the deposits plus other charges drained my bank balance totally. I was looking for a zero DP loan and mostly all banks wanted minimum 20% DP. I soon realized that my best bet would be to buy from a dealer, even if that means paying a small premium. Finding my baby:
Visited a couple of dealers here and there but could not find my type of car. Finally, I visited the Al Awir used car market. I was looking for used Elantras when I spotted this beauty - a red Lancer GT. It had accumulated some dust but still looked H-O-T! Went to the dealer and expressed interest. Had a thorough look at the car. It was a 2011 model with 85,000 kms on the odo. Now, unlike India, used cars with 80,000-1,50,000 kms are common in UAE, because of the distance an average user drives daily. Since the roads here are very good and free of dirt, cars tend to be in great condition.
Upon inspection, I found 2 small dents on the right rear door, probably caused by flying stones. A small scrape on the front bumper was also noticed. Interiors however were clean and well maintained. The car is a top of the line Lancer GT, I will talk more about the features and specifications later.
I gave the dealer the confirmation the same night and gave him the booking amount the next day. The bank loan was processed within 3 days and I was handed over the car in exactly 7 days.
Now, I did not follow the basic steps while buying a used car:
* I did not call the dealer to find the service history
* I did not take it to the service centre for a complete check
Reason being, I was really short on time and I wanted the car urgently. I just bought the car on a gut feeling and took a huge risk. I hope I don't have to bear the brunt of being careless. GT 2.0:
Let us talk about the car now. I have just received her yesterday, so driving impressions and ownership experience will eventually follow. For now, we will concentrate on the specifications and features. Specs:
2.0 ltr MIVEC engine
INVECS-III CVT tranny with 6 speed Sports Mode
Front & Rear disc brakes
Low profile tyres - 215/45 R18
0-100 kmph in 10.7 sec (A/T) Features: ABS
HID headlights (Xenon) with Adaptive Lighting System (illuminates corners while turning)
Sports front bumper
Keyless entry & go (starter button)
Power assisted sunroof
Rockford Fosgate premium 9 speaker (4 speakers, 4 tweeters, 1 subwoofer) music system with 6 CD changer
Audio controls on steering
Dark red colour (that I totally love!)
There is a huge difference in the road presence of a normal 1.6 Lancer and the GT and you have to see it to believe it. Price:
I believe I got a very good deal on this car (42,000 AED). Lancer GTs command a premium due to their high sticker price and abundance of premium features. Problem is, people compare the GT to a normal 1.6 Lancer EX and think that the price I paid is too high (I have received such feedback!). Anyways, everyone has their right of opinion and I like to leave it at that! Driving Impressions:
The car has a sweet engine. It is adequately powerful and very refined. But the CVT transmission is a downer and spoils the fun. This car lacks the sudden burst of acceleration you expect from this engine. What you get instead is a linear and smooth pull. I am not saying it is slow. But the CVT dampens the excitement. It is a lot better in Manual/Sports mode, especially when you are using the paddles. I honestly reckon that if this car has a 6 speed conventional A/T instead, it would have been a hoot to drive.
Handling & Ride, Fuel Efficiency and other areas will be covered soon...
Meanwhile, some pics -