x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 January 2018

Intrepid Explorer

Arlene Lumley shows off her recently purchased Ford Explorer, a solid replacement for her aging Toyota Land Cruiser.

Arlene Lumley says her decision to buy her car was based on the package offered, which included a deal on servicing, as well as the purchase price.
Arlene Lumley says her decision to buy her car was based on the package offered, which included a deal on servicing, as well as the purchase price.

When full-time mother and part-time businesswoman Arlene Lumley decided to sell her beloved Toyota Land Cruiser and buy a new vehicle, she had several requirements that were essential for her hectic schedule. The British mother of two runs a small business from home and needed a large family car to accommodate her young children. She finally decided on a Ford Explorer. Arlene, whose company is called Tiny Toes, explains: "I make decorative casts of babies' feet. Part of the service involves going to my clients, who are usually tired new mums, taking the imprints of their newborn's feet and then delivering the finished product back to them at a later date. Add that to the usual amount of driving any mother with small children finds herself doing, and it amounts to some serious mileage."

Her decision to buy a new car was eventually prompted by the upcoming law restricting the registration of older vehicles. "We bought this car about six weeks ago," says Arlene. "My Land Cruiser was getting on and with rumours of the rules coming in we decided to get a new one before that happened. We definitely wanted a four-wheel drive as we have two small children, who, along with their accessories, take up a lot of room. We also felt it was safer to be in a bigger car on the roads here. We looked at a few different makes but had heard good things about the Explorer. It was also reasonably priced and came with a good service package."

So far, Arlene has been more than happy with the Explorer. In her own words, nothing niggles. "There is really good visibility, and to be honest I haven't discovered anything that I dislike about the car. In fact, I'm pretty happy with all aspects of it."  Her decision to buy new was also prompted by the price and packages on offer. Arlene says; "We went for a new car, as there didn't seem to be that much difference in price compared with the same model which was a year or so old, and the service package and warranty are always reassuring."

But although she loves the Explorer, she wouldn't be tempted to drive one in Europe. "I doubt I could afford it," she laughs. "I am under no illusions that we have it pretty good here in Dubai. In the UK I couldn't possibly drive a car like this, what with road tax, insurance and petrol prices of course. I doubt I'd be filling up for Dh100, more like Dh1,000!" And though it ticks all the right boxes for now, Arlene admits she has a secret hankering for something rather more expensive.

"For the foreseeable future, it is perfect as a reasonably priced car which suits the purpose. I don't see why we would need to change it for the next few years, at least. "I did have a sneaky peak at a BMW X5 while we were looking for this car. It was lovely, as is the Range Rover Sport. "But apparently, according to my husband, I can get one of those when I go back to 'full-time' work. I can only assume by that he means 'paid work'!"  motoring@thenational.ae