Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Mazda 6 Ultra Review

All cars reviews are sponsored by Omanternity.

If you are above 18 and you were interested in cars 10 years ago, you would probably remember what the name “Mazda” used to mean back then. It was at the bottom of the cars food chain. Nissan, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Subaru, any Japanese name would be better than Mazda. Omanis used to call Mazdas two things: “Mozooh” (as in banana) and “one-year visa” because it expires after that. I believe the 180 degrees turn started when the Mazda 6 was introduced back in 2002 (was it the year Ford increased its shares in Mazda to 34 %?). Passing other milestones like the Mazda 3 and the CX-9, Mazda started building a new reputation: a Japanese manufacturer that offers top-of-the-notch stylish cars that are reliable in terms of performance and life span.


The new Mazda 6 brought up a revolutionary look and futuristic design concepts. Since looks are subjective, I won’t hesitate to say that the Mazda 6 is on top when it comes to exterior design. I like its design much more than any of its competitors. It is indeed “6 and the city” as AutoWeek mentioned. However, I honestly think that the changes made in the Ultra version made it look worse. The headlights are so narrow and the tailpipes are a little bit oversized. If I am to express the differences in emoticons language, the normal Mazda 6 is the (-_-) and the Ultra is the (>_<) and I am personally a (-_-) fan. That is simply my humble opinion as I’m sure there are many Ninja-style fans out there. Ugly orange reflectors on the front fenders are not helping the design either.


This is where the Ultra shows its muscles in front of the normal Mazda. It offers one of the most accommodating cabins of any midsize sedan. The nice leather and wood trim gives you the chill of entering a car with nice materials. The Ultra also comes with rear passengers ACs which is a big plus in our country. Smart key-less start is the trend these days and Mazda didn’t fall behind because it is available. The nice far away display is very useful to get info like: time, temperature, average consumption and kilometers range. Other standard features include: 10 speakers BOSE system, AUX port, steering wheel stereo controls and cruise control. Something I didn’t like about the interior is the 2-tone trim. It is something nice to have if the colors were Black & Red, Black & Blue or even Black & Yellow. But having it as Black & Beige in a luxury-feel car doesn’t seem right to me.


So far, whatever I wrote above were stuff I checked while the car was sitting in the showroom. So if you’re a person who would like a car based on its looks and interior, I would say: ignore this section and go for the Mazda 6 Ultra (providing that it’s in your budget). The first driving test was the launch from stop. The car burns so much rubber even if the TC was on! I expected something like that when you give a 275 hp car a front-wheel drive. I head to the highway to tryout the performance of the 3.7L V6 Powerplant with a question floating in my mind: are those 275 horses under the hood Japanese or American? (Because I know that sometimes the Japanese HPs are slightly overrated). That’s when I realized that Mazda shouldn’t have used the word Ultra for this model. The Acceleration is really good but I have driven 200 hp cars which were faster. I didn’t really reach high speeds but if the car still didn’t show its power till the 4th gear, then when? Perhaps the high expectations I had got me disappointed easily. Taking the car through corners wasn’t pleasant either. Massive understeer and unbalanced ride when going through steep corners tells you this is “power without control” (and believe me no Pirelli tires would fix that). Don’t take from what I said that the new Ultra is bad on the road, it is only less than what I expected.

  • Engine Type, 3.7L V6
  • Horsepower @ RPM, 275 @ 6000
  • Torque @ RPM, 365 Nm @ 4250
  • Drivetrain, Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission Type, 6-speed auto
  • 0-100, 6.2 seconds
  • Average fuel consumption, 11.2L/100 km
  • Weight, 1500 kg

  • Futuristic design.
  • Roomy interior and a big boot.
  • Advanced technology

  • Not so fun to drive.
  • Acceleration is not impressive.


Around 11,350 Rials.


A nice sport sedan that isn’t extremely sporty but has everything else.

[Photography] Roxy and Co. Photoshoot

Roxy, a Z4 s-Drive35i, and an MK6 GTI

Tuesday, 14 June 2011


Haven't been blogging lately. Not that I'm that busy but I need to get into the "mood". And I don't want to write shitty posts.

So hopefully I will continue blogging again, even though the last few posts haven't been read at all =P

2 more posts catagories that I will probably add: Photography and Office drama. Stay tuned!

tc. Ciao

End of Blog Entry ...

Sunday, 6 March 2011

The Revolution of Libya

Following Tunisia and Egypt, Libya became the 3rd North African country to start a revolution this year.

Gaddafi has been their ruler for 40 years. 40 years of depression that is.

on February 17th, the Libyan people started their revolution (it started a day earlier in Benghazi, the 2nd largest town in Libya)

As I expected, this revolution is going to be tougher than Tunisia's and Egypt's. That's because of a simple reason: Gaddafi doesn't give a shit about his people, and he wouldn't mind killing every single one of them in order to stay the ruler. Probably every single member here knows how crazy Gaddafi is.

A low move by the dictator was hiring mercenaries from other African countries to kill the protesters!

Another problem with the Libyan revolution: there is not enough media coverage. All the news agencies have been kept away and prohibited from covering the revolution. In the 1st few days, the only sure news were the ones made by direct phone calls and facebook/twitter updates by individuals.

The revolution is in its 20th day and the number of martyrs is estimated at 8,000+

Here are some interesting videos:

Videos worth watching (either interesting or hilarious)

Libya uprising:

Saif Al Islam speech:

Gaddafi's "umbrella" speech:

And a remix

heated conversation between Kreshan from Aljazeera and the undersecretary of foreign affairs:

CNN's "Daffy Gaddafi" video:

I pray for Libyans to get their freedom, and may Allah have mercy on the martyrs.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Who to blame? MHD or Land Rover?

Over the past few weeks, I've been visiting MHD (Land Rover service center) a lot. I never left that place satisfied. As always, I like to list down points so that my point is clear to all readers.

- Warranty on my father's LR3 ended on September 2010.

- Before the warranty ended, we had numerous complaints about the suspension and transmission, and the dealer fixed some but refused to acknowledge others.

- In these 2 months (Sep to Nov 2010): all these parts got defects: Rear axle/differential, A/C blower, Air suspension compressor, Transmission, and control arm bush. A total amount of R.O 2,300 after discount.

- The dealership stated that Land Rover UK doesn't have goodwill in their policy (huh?!)

- The service manager's reply to our dissatisfaction was: "This is unfortunate, but we can't do anything about it."

I really feel like going to the showroom and make a scene in front of the customers.

End of blog post.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Marriage stories Chapter 5: Persistence.

Many of my friends/relatives are getting married but it's either a really traditional marriage or I don't have enough details. So this will be my last marriage story till further notice. It's not really interesting but worth mentioning.

I couldn't find photos/drawings/cartoons that suit the story so I'm just gonna throw 2 random funny ones the start telling the story:

Our character in this story is T. S. Al-A. We shall call him T.

I did not live the story with T. He just gave me all the details few weeks before his wedding.

Sheikh T was in his 3rd year in SQU. for the past 2.5 years he has been studying/working closely with one of his female colleagues. He liked her from the beginning but kept his feelings inside. He thought he would get closer then bring up the million Rials question. He later told me that it was a big mistake to follow that approach.


Place: Lab 101

Time: 5.05 pm. Right after the lab session was over.

T and his lab partner made a breakthrough in one of the experiments and got the appreciation from the instructor. After everyone left T thought this was the right moment to pop the question. T didn't go into the details but he gave me "El zibda"*. He told the girl that he really likes her and that he's interested in her. She rejected him. Again, T didn't tell me how she did, what she said or even why she rejected him.


T was shocked. I can't imagine how he felt but he said that even he didn't know how he felt exactly. Frustrated? Sad? Disappointed? All of the forth mentioned? All of that and a million ideas went through his head at the same time. Following "the incident", T got a bad taste in his mouth and marriage was something he neither believed in, nor wanted to talk about. He saw marriage as a negative thing. He even saw women as a negative thing. The insensible man inside him kept telling him "If she rejected you, then who would say yes. everything was perfect with her. she gave you all the positive vibes". I met T during that period. I absolutely HATED him because he was always rude to girls. He would insult guys and girls in public if he sees them talking to each other. He was the guy that would publicly tell you that you are doing a wrong thing, and even if everyone knows it's not wrong, the way he says it makes it sound wrong.

My approach with T was "ib3ed 3an el sharr oo '3aneelah"**. I would keep my distant and in any encounter with him, whatever comment he throws at me, I would laugh and walk away. I didn't even pay attention to what he says and would keep doing what I'm doing.


Months passed, activities/events were organized, and as our big annual exhibition was approaching, me and T were getting closer because of all the work we had to do together. I also started noticing that he became a better person. Could it be because he started knowing me better and maybe that made him realize that people usually have good intentions? As much as I wanted to flatter myself, I felt there was something else affecting him. After 2 years of meeting T (That's 4 years after "the incident") we became good friends.

Ok I guess to understand the story; we need to go back 1 year. T's close friend who's married never gave up on him. He kept telling T how marriage is a good thing once you find the right person and how you can't see the word in one way because of ONE bad experience. He finally convinced T to consider marriage again. T friend's wife had a friend who she really admires. The married couple thought of playing cupid and hooking up T with that girl. As much as hesitant T was, he thought he'd give it a try just to please his friend.

T thought the girl was interesting based on what he heard from his friend. There were couple of phone calls here and there and the frosting on the cake was a photo of the girl :P

What do you know? They liked each other! A lot.


T was determined. He told his parents and they were happy about it. They decided to go to the girl's family house to propose. They were from different town and it would take them 3.5 hours by car to reach her house.

Nothing is perfect in this life. Nothing.

T was rejected again. This time it was the family. however, it was no surprise to him.

The girl told him her family is the type that will only let the women marry their cousins, no one else, not even relatives that are not direct cousins.

That didn't stop T from trying. His family went again, and again, and again. They were rejected 4 times. T never listened to the people telling him "Why this girl? there are many out there, all of them would agree from the first time". T said: "I want that girl, and I will marry that girl". To go propose the 5th time, T didn't just ask his family to accompany him, he also asked people from other close families. This time they were more than 25 men. All dressed up in full traditional clothes, including the Khanjars*** and the Khaizarans****. They all went to her family's house. They got the approval.


"Wow. I never thought that proposing more than once would actually change people's mind. Specially the families that only believe in cousins' marriage" I said commenting on T's story with a dorky smile on my face. T said the only thought going through his head was marrying that girl. "No" was not an option for him.

T is now married and has a beautiful daughter.

End of Blog Entry...


Note: If some of the events don't make sense, it's either because I skipped some details or because I don't remember all the details.


*Zibda: Butter. It's used as "conclusion" in this context.

** a proverb means stay away from problems

***Khanjar: Dagger

**** Khaizaran: A stick made of bamboo wood.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Dealerships criticism part 1: MHD

New Series. (I always start a series but then stop posting about it).

I decided to be like any other frustrated Omani in the Sabla and start bitching about the crappy cars dealerships here in Oman. I used to take it because I didn't face big problems but it reached a limit where I have to speak about it. I will mention my own experience with the dealerships and the bad things I've been through.

I will start the series with an average post about Mohsin Haidar Darweesh (MHD), which is the dealership for Land Rover, Volvo and Jaguar. (God I thought this was going to be a short post. It's not!)

Encounter one: Volvo S40 accident.

My sister got into a small accident in her Volvo S40. So I took it to MHD get an estimate of the total damage and a quotation of the needed parts/labor for the job.

- I went twice without the ability to meet the concerned person. One time because I went at 5.25 PM and they close at 5.30. The other time because he had a meeting and nobody knew when he was gonna finish.

- After I met the concerned person, I had to wait for around a week to get the quotation. And that is with me pushing them to finish it. They never called to update me. I had to call every single time to check whether it was done or not.

- Once I got the quotation, it was so high I didn't even want to bargain about the price, even though the omani employee wanted to set me a meeting with the body shop manager to discuss the quotation.

- Parts were expensive as hell. and I thought BMW parts were expensive. A really tiny piece of plastic (the hook cover, 5x5 cm) costs around 16 rials.

- They told me it will take 2 days to get the part. it took them 2 weeks to get it (and I'm not exaggerating).


Encounter 2: Jaguar XF test drive.

- Simply put: I took the XF for a test drive and I couldn't start it in the morning because it had a gear fault. The salesman was so cold and after the dealer truck took the car, I never heard from him again.


Encounter 3: Land Rover LR3 technical issues.

- Any person with a good amount of general cars knowledge knows that Land Rovers (including the Range Rover) are cars that suffer from technical problems.They would be the most amazing SUVs if it wasn't for these problems because everything else is great about them.

I won't write every single problem we had with MHD regarding the LR3 because they are endless. The staff there know us well but still the treatment wasn't good. They are always late, the car goes in for the same problem several times, and only 2 out of the thousand times our LR3 went there, we got a courtesy car.

The MHD staff we know are very helpful. I really don't know who to blame for all of these problems.

End of Blog Entry...