Home » Consumer Reports » Mad for It — The Middle Eastern Love Affair With SUVs

Mad for It — The Middle Eastern Love Affair With SUVs

As a result of the 2008 economic downturn, car sales slumped in many countries around the world and manufacturers struggled. A few years on, however, and there are a few markets where recovery is in full swing, not least the Middle East. 

In the richest Gulf Arab economies of Saudi Arabia, the United Emirates, Kuwait, and Qatar, vehicle sales are rising even faster than GDP. But while executive saloons and flamboyant sports cars continue to attract the interest of affluent businessmen, everyday motorists are turning their eyes to something else: the crossover SUV.

Thanks to their design, interiors, additional equipment and power, the Nissan Xterra and similar vehicles are enjoying prolonged success. Just what makes SUVs so popular there, though?


(Off) Road Trip!

In many respects, a lot of the Middle East’s landscape and terrain is a car enthusiast’s dream. Just imagine being behind the wheel of your car with an extensive highway or endless desert in front of you.

It’ll take a titanic struggle to resist putting the pedal to the metal and burning serious rubber down the smooth tarmac, while pushing a vehicle’s capabilities to the limit on rough-and-ready terrain will set the heart racing and the adrenaline pumping.

In fact, more and more car connoisseurs are going off-road in the desert and drifting over sand dunes. The location’s remote nature allows them to indulge in the need for speed without the general public or other motorists honking their horn and shouting “Road hog!” In this barren wilderness, it’s just the man and the machine, in it together, as one.

But whether you’re cruising down the open highway or putting your off-road skills to the test, an appropriate vehicle is required.

SUVs all around

When you consider how attractive these motoring pursuits are, it’s little wonder why SUVs are so popular. Due to their combination of everyday comfort with utilitarian 4×4 capabilities, SUV sales are on the up.

Long stretches of road under an intense sun require interior luxuries like air conditioning, while generous horsepower and all-wheel drive are needed for more demanding journeys.

As mentioned previously, the Nissan Xterra is a fine example. From the outside, you can see that nothing fazes this hardwearing beast with beefy bumpers and plentiful ground clearance. Innovative technology also means the driver of this handsome vehicle can switch between 2WD and 4H at speeds of up to 100 km/h.


Under the bonnet, you’ll find a 291 horsepower V6 engine, which will see you through both the daily commute and more challenging landscapes. All the while you’ll be riding in a feature-packed interior with ample space for family and friends.

Crossover SUVs are well liked by scores of motorists in the Middle East for several reasons. With impressive specifications and abundant equipment, their popularity looks set to continue. Now you know why!

Leave a Reply