2009 Mitsubishi Nativa
Under that SUV-esque bodywork, the Nativa is really a rather sturdy truck, rather than just a jacked-up passenger car like most SUVs.
If you actually want to attack the desert with a full compliment of passengers all traveling in comfort, then the Nativa is well worth a look, especially when you consider the reasonable price.
The Nativa body actually rides on the Mitsubishi L200 truck chassis and shares the same four-wheel-drive system and suspension, so you get all the off-road benefits of a fairly beefy truck, but unfortunately all of the bad on-road manners, too.
So, with the Nativa you really must work out where your traveling loyalties lie; are you mainly in the rough stuff or are you constantly cruising on the motorway? Because, when compared to the more modern road-biased SUVs of the current market, the Nativa handles rather poorly on the road, but it will eat up those so called soft-roaders all day long in the desert.
The four-wheel-drive is switchable between all-wheel drive or just rear-wheel-drive and there is a low-ratio gearbox to help you tackle the very serious terrain that would most definitely burn a normal SUV. The payback for this rough capability is, well, truck-style handling on the road, which basically means that the Nativa will wallow through the bends and bounce over bumps, and while this jumpy, rough and ready ride can be fun for a while, it soon get tedious when you realize that the cabin just doesn’t stop bouncing until you actually get out of the car.
As with the trucky exterior design, the interior design is starting to get a little dated, too, and because of this dated design you can’t really expect the latest on gadgets and gizmos, more the right necessities to keep you comfortable. But, the price is good for what you do get.
And those standard features include an AM/FM radio cassette player with four speakers, driver and front passenger dashboard airbags, power-assisted steering, electrically operated windows, power central locking, powered door mirrors, alloy wheels, keyless entry system and fairly generous seating space for up to five people, plus plenty of room in the trunk for their associated luggage. And the rough and tough build quality of a proven Mitsubishi truck.
You only get one engine choice with the Nativa, but for this rugged workhorse it seems to be about the right choice. Namely a 3-litre, V6 petrol engine that makes decent enough numbers at 175bhp and 255Nm of torque, and it is that good dollop of torque that will come in handy in the rough stuff. And it is those drivers that still believe that a 4×4 should get dirty from time to time who will be looking more closely at the Nativa.
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Price Range (AED) 71,000-82,000