Car shopping

25 Mar, '07


Frances’ car is about crapped out and she needs a new one. So out we went this morning to test drive a few and visit the various car showrooms in the island, but although we have almost decided, we still are unsure on what it would be.

1. Family car with space for 3 kids, a maid and a couple of dogs
2. Not expensive and not flashy
3. Easily maintained
4. Have some resale value

Although I promised not to buy a Ford, their SUV is at the top of the list at the moment, we were not impressed with Nissan’s offerings and although the Toyota Avalon was very nice and we liked it, it is missing a space for the dogs, so that’s out of the equation at the moment.

Any ideas what else we could look at in Bahrain before we plonk the down payment? Our budget is about BD10k.

Update 26 March, ’07: Khalas, the deed is done! No more car shopping for a while…

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Comments (60)

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  1. Bahrainiac says:

    Two words: Honda Odessey. Space, great reliability, some resale value, good looks, and a nice ride.

  2. Ahmed says:

    Toyota Previa?

  3. Silver says:

    Mahmood, Envoy is good and the new Honda CRV.

  4. Mahmood. I would get Frances the Lexus RX SUV! And while at it, reserve one for me too :biggrin:

  5. Ash says:

    I’ve got a Toyota Corolla Verso – lovely drive for a car of its kind, totally reliable, can hold its own in a fight, and plenty of room for passengers and for two large dogs in their own space.

  6. Abu Arron says:

    In short. Honda and Toyota are by far the most reliable and stand a better chance of resell value.

  7. Butterfly says:


    According to your requirements, I think that you need a van type car rather than a salon one.

    I don’t advise you to buy Honda Odessey, we had a very bad experience with this car. The spare parts are expensive for a car like HONDA and it has no sale value.

    Toyota Previa is practical and the price is reasonable, and as per my sister recommendation, the car is easy to maintain, they have it since 2005 and it is driven by their driver who knows nothing about driving
    :biggrin: so you can imagine how good and kind this car is!

  8. You just can’t go wrong with Toyota Mahmood. You just can’t. A Quad Cab TUNDRA ought to do the trick. Pleanty of room for the kids and the maid. Toss the dogs when needed in the bed and that will be that. Big beefy V8 provides pleanty of power with the comfort of a car and the benefits of a truck. Great resale value as well.

  9. flavio says:

    I would recommend the toyota previa for the space and reliablity.

  10. Ahmed says:

    A toyota landcruiser..if the price doesnt suit u in bahrain, u cud go to qatar or KSA to get a better price or some more options..

  11. Anonymous says:

    GMC Envoy or Yukon?

    Although i am not sure about their prices in Bahrain :ninja:

  12. Dibujante says:

    for ur requirements, i’d suggest GMC tahoe, or any of GMC 4X4’s …. u’ll get enough space to live in. hehhe … plant some flowers walk ur dogs in the car 😀 …. and its better than ford by miles…

  13. Amjad says:

    I would recommend Toyota Previa and Toyota Fortuner.

  14. Butterfly says:

    Yukon is great but the price starts from BD13,000

  15. Butterfly says:

    Its about time to change my car, laptop, mobile .. I don’t know what to start with 🙁

  16. docspencer says:

    Both the Toyotas and Hondas are very reliable. The Hondas, if there is any problem, are very difficult to work on. I would also suggest the Toyota models others have mentioned.

    We have a monthly magazine called Consumer Reports. They do a large survey each year on cars (and many other things). You can probably get it in Bahrain. The annual auto issue is excellent, and will have all you need, including repair records by model by year.

    You can also get to all this info for a very reasonable fee on the Internet at . This is a US non-profit organization and we found their services, advice and publications very helpful.

    Best regards,


  17. mahmood says:

    Guys, Toyota sucks because they never have cars in stock. We visited this morning and where prepared to plonk the cash but they told us that we have to wait for 2 – 3 months on a waiting list to get it!

    Sorry, to me a car is a consumer item that should be thrown out after 4 years of driving and I’m not going to wait around for them to get their stock purchasing cycle to wait for a car.

    At the moment, the Honda CR-V is looking very nice, and they have them in stock too!

  18. Might be interesting to you Mahmood.

    I must agree with you that if Toyota doesn’t (for whatever reason) have cars in stock then why wait. But you did wait a bit for the Cayanne……. 😎

  19. mahmood says:

    I did not, Mark!

    I called and asked what they had in stock, chose one, sent them the cheque and picked it up the next day!

  20. My apologies Mahmood. I sincerely thought you had to wait for it to be shipped in as the model was so new that it wasn’t available. I was wrong!

    The CRV is a good auto. I don’t think you can go wrong with it or virtually any Japanese make for that matter.

  21. Redbelt says:

    Ford Expedition: As poorly built an American car is, this probably has all what you need. Space, Power, new face lift for 07, so it will resale very well.

    I say you need the 7 seater type like that ford. If you will have all the people you said you’ll have in, I’m thinking:
    you + wife + 3 kids + maid = 6 human beings
    + 2 dogs
    = 8 erm… carbon based living things (couldn’t call you all “people” sorry) in the car. + Space for luggage or bags from the Barrada, there you go.

    I would also reccomend very much the Nissan Armada.

    Thoes are very sturdy and beautiful and have immense sale value.

    If you wanna step up, the Audi Q7 is exactly the same category albiet leather trim and posh interior. For less than that Infiniti has a great option as well.

    So in order of utility and value, I’d say:

    1- Ford Expedition
    2- Nissan Armada
    3- Infinity QX
    4- Audi Q7

  22. RedhaA says:

    Try looking at Ssangyong ?? …..

  23. Ati says:

    Seriously speaking? Drop out dogs and bring in the best one for your REAL needs. Family + dogs = car, nah meshaih (impossible); family > (dogs+car) meshaih (suitable). Besides, over and above dogs being a very serious risk hazard to house hold health and wealth, it is a sin in Islam to have dogs as a part of the household.

  24. I loved my Ford Explorer when we were in Abu Dhabi, but wished I had gotten the Expedition. Ford’s are reliable. We had it for 5 plus years, sold it for a good price and the next owner found it to be reliable too.

  25. Melody says:

    You need a well built vehicle for safety. I love the GM Yukon for safety maneuverability and space. I am on the road for my job most days and cannot say enough about the vehicle.

  26. mahmood says:

    I would rather avoid Ford, but will consider it if pushed. We’ve had a less than exemplary experience with our Windstar, in 2006 I spent more than 1,000 dinars fixing it, and it came back with exactly the same problem that it went in for (engine hunting) now they tell us that we need to open up the engine (again) and replace some seals and gaskets “to make sure” that the problem disappears.

    That was the end of the road for us with Ford.

  27. mahmood says:

    Redbelt thanks for the advice. We rarely have all “carbon based beings” in the car at the same time. We take the dogs to the vet sometimes and that’s when they need to be in there with a body to control one or both, so having a huge car is not really a necessity.

    Sorry I wasn’t clearer in my description of the requirements. Having a large enough boot space would do for the dogs (or shopping).

    Having 4 bodies + driver would be more than sufficient, so I 5 seater would be ok. Going beyond that would bring in those big huge SUVs or people carriers which we want to avoid.

  28. Yousif says:

    Whatever you buy, DON’T BUY GMC/Chevy( from National Car)! The dealership in Bahrain will rip you off like a whore working on a drunk guy. They never repair things, they only replace! Parts are sometimes DOUBLE the price in neighboring countries. And GMC/Chevy cars breakdown too easily. Plus they drink petrol like there is no tomorrow :biggrin:

  29. Bernie says:

    Why not try something like a Toyota Intimidator or a Nissan Navarra with a proper canopy back on it.
    Loads of room and a completely separate compartment for the dogs or would she not fancy a pickup?

  30. mahmood says:

    ehm, I do want to continue to live you know Bernie!

    Yousif, which car agency in Bahrain doesn’t treat you like that as far as spares and service is concerned? And the “Consumer Protection Society” continues to snore.

  31. moodz says:

    The new Mitsubish Pajero is worth considering Mahmood, give a free test drive!

  32. Grace says:

    Mahmood, I strongly suggest a Toyota Fortuner, it suits all your needs:

    Trendy, spacious, adjustable seats, four wheel drive, within budget, good car dealership…..

    Lovely for trips, shopping, family outings, bringing the kids home on a hot sunny day (when each of them has to sit as far away from the other as possible before they get into an argument)…

    Good luck.

  33. reem says:


    We’ve had a Previa for about 5 or 6 years now, and my dad loves it (maintenance costs are really low… if it needed to go for maintenance in the first place!)

    Before that, we had the Chrysler van.. i cant remember the name.. but it was toooo expensive to maintain…!! The A/C was really bad… spent a fortune trying to fix it!

    I personally didnt like driving the Previa much cuz of the blind spot to the left side of the windscreen.. sorta made it difficult on roundabouts (but it’s ok… they’re disappearing anyways!)

    The model has changed since then, so you might want to give it a go!
    It might be worth waiting 2-3 months…. given how much money it’ll save you in the long run compared to a Honda.

    It not flashy at all (you can ask the kids.. they’d like something a bit more flashy…) but it does the job well… it has been for the past 5-6 yrs…!

  34. mahmood says:

    It’s done!

    Honda CR-V

    We decided on the Honda CR-V in the end. It’s full options with on the road price of almost exactly the budget we had in mind.

    Frances has to wait about a week to get the undersealing and window tinting done before she gets her sticky mitts on it!

    Congrats Frankie, as we Arab say: May you have all its benefits and none of its bad temperaments. I think this saying originated when one bought a horse or a camel, but hey, it’s a vehicle!

  35. Dog Lover says:


    You have just hit the nail on the head there. I mean I know this is not the religious thread or anything but that is the point isn’t it about cultural differences.

    Do Moslems love their dogs as part of the family – and should we ban all Walt Disney Movies from Arab cinemas. If it is a serious sin ( you know to stop you from going to heaven) then for the love of our dogs we should all convert to Christianity.


    I think your wife would really appreciate a BMW with leather seats so the dog cant mess them with the muddy paws and the kids can’t stain them with their ice creams and you can then live a little – you work hard so you deserve it.

  36. mahmood says:

    Thanks Dog Lover, she got the full option CR-V and that’s all leather. Let’s see how long it lasts!

  37. abdulla says:



    great car..

    but I think CRV2006 better than this model..

    How much exactly it cost..?

  38. mahmood says:

    Showroom price was BD9,350. Add to that the “on-road” charges (comprehensive insurance, registration, etc.) of about BD500 and you’re there.

  39. Sami says:

    CR-V Rocks! Honda is the best … Congrats Mahmood!

  40. Congrats Mahmood and Frances, the kids and the dogs!

  41. save bahrain says:

    As you already own one gas-guzzling, C02 emitting SUV (Cayenne) may I entice you into buying a nice small low consumption car and use the Cayenne for the family+maid+dog trips. Even better, you could buy the CR-V (has much better fuel consumption) and sell the Cayenne off.

    Save precious natural resources, save the environment, save Bahrain!

    happy driving

  42. Bernie says:

    I still think a Toyota Vigo Intimidator would have been a lot more fun. :ninja:

  43. Sam says:

    Be carefull driving it on any road in riffa, going to work this morning at 5:30 pulled up to a red light a big red dump truck next to me and a traffic police car behind me well this is a long light the red the dump truck decides to go through the red light I am thinking good there is a cop behind me he will take chase, flash me to get out of the way he does nothing continue to smoke his cigarete when the light turns green continues driving and turns off to bukawara road. It hit me like a diamond tip bullet some body will die one of these daze from this truck driver and his 25 ton machine and this chain smoking lazy ass cop will have played a part.

  44. Johnster says:


    Does anyone know anything about buying a car (new or used) in Dubai and shipping it here?

    By the way Mahmood, I am importing a very special car (from 6000 miles away). I might let you see it when it arrives on 29 April……

  45. Redbelt says:

    If I’m getting an SUV, I want something that I can Ram people with and go through brickwalls! Waahahahaha. :devil:
    But for dog carrying, CRV should do the trick. Pretty pricy for a CRV, I thought they’d be cheaper.

    But congrats!

  46. mahmood says:

    I’m ready, what’s your offer?

  47. mahmood says:

    Johnster, if it’s not this one or its like I might not be interested!

  48. mahmood says:

    Redbelt, isn’t that what they invented the Hummer for? :w00t:

  49. billT says:

    Darn Mahmood I havent been able to get the dogs to ride in the bed of my pu yet and your giving yours leather.

    So what does BD9,350 convert to in USD?

  50. mahmood says:

    That would be $24,735 (BD1 = US$2.65 approximately)

  51. billT says:

    That seems comparable to prices here in Hawai’i.

  52. punk rock.. says:

    its a move in the right direction, you will get more bang for your buck if you decided on a “SUV” from the people at general motors. they have a great line up, just bought one last January.. it’s about the size of a mobile home, and moves like a rocket.. “Yukon”, its great but no leather to save on cost, and i don’t have dogs.. but a wife, three kids and a nany..come with the package.. no tade in’s on this offer.. the “SUV”, has resale value i mean.. auto start, MP3 player, window tint its great especially from the dealer.. the product is first rate.. and does wonders in our weather.. enjoy and be merry.. a wise aproach to life on the road, by the way ignore them and keep the cayyane..

  53. johnster says:

    No, more like this one

  54. mahmood says:

    ooooh gangsta!

    me likes…

  55. Anonymous says:


  56. mahmood says:

    Shit, I forgot to thank Bahraniac for suggesting Honda in the first place! Honestly I would not have considered it had he not mentioned it!

    So thanks mate, even if its too late, but your suggestion is the one that made us consider looking at Honda in the first place. :wassat:

  57. can we talk says:

    my husband “Potstirrer” says to ask you how come YOU get the luxury car?????

  58. mahmood says:

    tell him to mind his own business, and I’m still waiting for that bbq he promised! :devil:

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