It is a well-accepted fact in the car industry that most owners of 4X4s rarely use their vehicles’ off-roading capabilities. In many parts of the world big-engine off-roaders is merely a fashion accessory.
The 4X4 is often the housewife’s choice. This is not so in the UAE, which is probably one of the few places where the 4X4 will see as much action on rough terrain as in tarmac. There is, of course, a disadvantage this. A trip through the desert conjures up images of very hot, lonely isolation. Unfortunately, a weekend in the desert outside Dubai will probably result in more encounters with carloads of wannabe ‘adventurers’ than you can imagine.
A combination of low fuel prices and similarity low car prices mean that driving a high powered, gas-guzzling 4x4 is within reach of a large amount of people. (A new Mitsubishi Pajero can be bought in Dubai for around Dhs100, 000. The same car will cost up to Dhs200, 000 in Europe). We spent a day thrashing about in a new Hyundai Galloper in the dunes near Hatta. Built around the same design as the 1991 Mitsubishi Pajero, the Galloper had some doubters when it was launched in 1995. Basing a new car on an old model of a different car does not sound like a recipe for success, especially in a place where appearance is often regarded as more important than performance or reliability.
However, the Galloper’s trendy facelift has been a step in the right direction. Diehard fans (and there are now quite a few) will be glad to know it is still a reliable workhorse under the bonnet, using a Mitsubishi V6 3000 engine.
Now that it looks good to you probably can’t go wrong when prices start from only Dhs60, 000.