It’s not all bad being unmarried without kids. Here in the GCC you can pick up some memorable motors without having to worry about space for the kids
1. Chevrolet Camaro
With petrol prices as low as they are in the UAE, you might never get a better to own a raucous American muscle car. With its aggressive looks, the Chevy’s dripping in charisma and unlike the stereotypes about American cars; the Camaro can actually handle corners. Yes, the back may be a bit cramped and it’s only a three door, but the roar of the V8 should more than compensate for any of these shortcomings. Oh, and it’s not bad value for money either.
2. Porsche Cayman
Consistently heralded as one of the best handling cars, not just in its class but on the entire planet, the Cayman might just be the sweetest model in the Porsche’s range. With faster models becoming ever more insanely quick, the German two seater is a car you can actually enjoy legally on the public roads. With the current 911 Turbo S hurtling to 100kph in less than 3 seconds, if you’re enthusiastic with the right pedal, you’re likely to find yourself behind bars if you use the car’s entire performance. Not so with it’s cheaper sibling. And, with plenty of examples on the second-hand market, Cayman prices are competitive if you’re looking for a cheap example. Slip behind the wheel in the Hatta Mountains and you’ll soon see what all the fuss is about…
3. Mazda MX-5
There are plenty of reasons why the MX-5 is the best-selling two-seater sports car in history. It’s affordable, it’s simple and it’s involving to drive. It’s also a bit of a looker and reliable to boot. The mini Mazda’s came in for criticism in the past for looking a little soft around the edges but the latest version has a more chiselled, masculine appearance that should appeal to both men and women. The current incarnation’s construction extensively utilises aluminium, which keeps the weight down and means that the little MX-5 will zip to 100kpm in a respectable 6 seconds.
4. Honda Accord Coupe
With universally positive reviews in the motoring press, the only major fault you could accuse Honda’s mid-sized executive saloon of is being a little nondescript. It’s nicely proportioned and sharp looking but it won’t be turning too many heads in carparks. Buying the car in coupe guise rectifies this though. By losing the rear doors, the coupe’s roofline sweeps artfully and lends more personality to this highly competent motor.
5. Mini Cooper S
The cliché about cars, ‘handling like a go-kart,’ is over used. In the case of the Mini though, it truly handles with go-karty panache. Although it will eventually oversteer, the apparent lack of body roll and the sharp, meaty steering make the compact hatch a hoot on mountain roads. Admittedly, you’re unlikely to fit people in the back comfortably, if you opt for a neater-looking three-door version. Yet, if rear seat space isn’t essential, then you won’t find many motors that are as fun to drive as the Mini, particularly if you’re on a budget.
6. BMW 1 Series
For a funky coupe with a premium badge, one of the most affordable options on the market is the BMW. The smallest coupe in the German manufacturer’s range, the rear-wheel drive set-up and darty handling means the Bimma drives as you’d hope from the badge. Now manufactured under the badge of the Two Series, if space isn’t a priority, there are few cars available second-hand that offer both the excitement, quality and kudos of the compact German coupe.
7. Audi TT
When Audi released its TT model in 1998 it was a revelation. Pleasingly symmetrical looks meant that, while it was never the grittiest car to drive, with its exceptional build quality and head turning credentials, it was a hugely successful mixture of refinement and style. Now in its third generation, each subsequent model has seen improvements in the car’s sportiness, and the latest model is an involving driving experience. If space isn’t a priority, owning a second-hand TT makes a lot of sense. And, if you’re on a tight budget, you should be able to negotiate a 2010 model, with average mileage, for around AED 40,000.
8. Jeep Wrangler
While you’re in the UAE it’s a shame not to take advantage of the environment and get behind the wheel of a 4×4 with dune-bashing potential. The cabin may not be the most modern in its class and the seats may not be the most comfortable, but if a commanding driving position and off-road capabilities are priorities, it’s hard to fault the rugged Wrangler.