If you really want to test out a road-going car's potential when it comes to the rough stuff, there are fewer places better to take it in the UAE than Hatta, an area with some of the country's dustiest and rockiest terrain. That, then, was the destination Volkswagen chose to give its new Teramont a workout.
The company organised a drive for a convoy travelling from Dubai that took in some of the windiest passages of road heading east. There were sections dedicated to trying out the seven-seater's capabilities on ragged tracks, through streams and up and down a series of sharp gradients – appropriate for a vehicle the manufacturer touts as its boldest and most robust creation.
Swinging the Teramont around tight bends on public roads was never going to be an issue. The car is big and solid, and there is plenty of give in the seating to cushion the driver and riders alike.
It handled competently off-road, too, taking the aforementioned tarmac-free terrain with the sure-footedness of many other vehicles specifically designed for off-road, rather than urban, use. You may still want to opt for a dedicated 4x4 if you're heading anywhere particularly drastic, but none of the Teramonts looked in danger of getting stuck at any stage on the ground they were presented with.
And, of course, like any big car, you get a suitable lord-of-the-manor feeling thanks to the raised seating position. This is most convenient when you need to see what might be ahead over a suitably steep drop.
This latest Teramont has had some attention because, no doubt, of its popularity. The model is currently Volkswagen's bestselling car in the Middle East (surprising for many, bearing in mind the Golf, a vehicle that has been a mainstay of the company's roster since 1974), so the new car is somewhat under the spotlight.
Take a look at the 2021 Nissan Patrol Nismo:
There are two distinct models available with a number of variants in between. The basic difference is engine size, with 2.0-litre four-cylinder and 3.6-litre six-cylinder options available. Among these you have a series of trims, which comprise Trendline, Comfortline and Highline.
Inside, there is a new multifunction steering wheel, in addition to the eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system. There's a 12-speaker Fender sound system, while wireless phone charging options are now also available. The decor is all brushed metal with suitably shiny wood inserts.
It might not be obvious at first glance, but the 2021 Teramont has had an external facelift as well. The new look includes a revitalised, three-bar front grille fitted with the new company logo, with similarly assertive treatment being given to both bumpers. The front and rear lights have been revamped and given an LED upgrade. The Teramont also now has a lower positioned front diffuser with a chrome silver lip.
Hatta’s hills and dales provided a decent workout for a vehicle that is more capable than you might expect. It seemed a shame to get the assembled group of initially smart and shiny cars all dusty, but few off-road fans would not have found it a lark getting them that way. And, let’s face it, you’re never too far from a hosepipe, so what’s a little grime between friends?