test drive a sporty beauty
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Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Test drive: A sporty beauty

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Test drive: A sporty beauty

LONDON - Arabstoday

A lot of thought went into planning our road trip, it being our last weekend of freedom. It's not that we're off to jail but instead a life soon to be ruled by feeding, nappies and sleep deprivation (aka a baby). A final hurrah at the luxurious Qasr Al Sarab, Liwa and the Volkswagen Scirocco was the perfect choice to get us there, fast. The Scirocco was awarded car of the year award by BBC's Top Gear magazine and, having been conditioned by my husband early on in our relationship to take Jeremy Clarksons words as gold, I was excited to try this affordably sporty number out for myself and double check that it wasn't just a Golf in disguise. Stocked up with my breakfast muffin and decaf latte, tunes rocking from the iPod (connector comes as standard for iPod/iPhone in the centre console) we headed off to Liwa. There is a sport mode and a comfort mode. The sport mode locking the car to a tighter suspension and the comfort mode, doing exactly what it says… making the drive more comfortable. Given my condition, and to my husband's horror, I opted for comfort. Though the car is designed for two, there is ample space for two more in the back and the back seats are fully equipped with ISOFIX points. Given that it's a two-door coupé, lugging a baby seat in and out would hardly be practical. It certainly felt every part the sports car from behind the multi-function leather steering wheel. Not that I have much experience driving F1 cars, but the double clutch and the paddle gears on the steering wheel certainly made me believe I was zipping about in the Monaco Grand Prix, especially with the perfect weather and the windows and sun roof open, I could really hear that vroom of the engine. The touch screen console was self-explanatory and neat. Bluetooth, radio, everything you would expect. I didn't rate the GPS too highly, it seemed a little reluctant to map my route and pan in and out which was annoying when trying to concentrate on the road (possibly the wrong road). But any frustrations were short lived given the sheer fun I had driving this third generation remodel of the 1970's legend of a car. Does it man up? This refined looking coupé has a lot of subtle design features which make it distinguishable from other VWs on the market. But the real secret to this car (2.0 TSI/210hp) is its awesome explosion of power and eye-watering speed. Throw in the seven-speed DSG gearbox with paddles on the steering wheel and the fantastic rumbling sound the exhaust lets out each time you shift, and you'll find yourself feeling like Sebastian Vettel on race day… VW, well done! - Cameron Cairns Checklist     Price: from Dh125,000 to Dh136,000.     Colour choice: six different colours.     Boot size: surprisingly big for a sports car. A whopping 755 litres of cargo capacity.     SOFIX: fixing space for two car seats.     Central locking: keyless entry and a handy boot opener option on the key ring.     Aircon: it's ‘Climatronic', so you set the temp that you want and it will keep it even for you. Very handy.     Safety: six airbags     Parkability: rear view camera "Rear Assist", including park distance control, acoustic warning signal for obstacles in the rear.     Cup holders: two Other features >>17-inch alloy wheels, power windows, height-adjustable front seats, leather steering wheel, sport seats, split folding rear seatbacks, ESP (Electronic Stability Programme), power steering and of course a sport chassis.

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