British-born car brand MG Motor and its UAE distributor, Al Yousuf Motors, have been pretty busy this year. Not only has a brand new flagship showroom on Shaikh Zayed road sprung up for business making it  five MG centres across the UAE (Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah), but several new models have been launched to help fill it too - including the ZS compact SUV. Meanwhile, prices for the MG5 saloon are as low as Dh36,000 and customers have responded by buying MG cars in record numbers this year; sales in the first six months of 2019 have already exceeded the total figure for 2018 and soon to join the range - and increase sales further - is the brands first-ever seven-seat SUV, the RX8.

To be launched in the region next month, prices for the RX8 – which will feature the largest wheelbase in its segment - start from around Dh80k for the entry level model and Dh94k for the top spec trim. The new 4x4 powered by a 220 horse 2.0-litre turbo motor will be fully equipped with six different driving modes to tackle all sorts of testing terrain. Its spacious interior features adjustable rear seats and the largest third-row space in its segment and it should have an upscale feel to it to what with an array of premium materials including wood grain and soft-touch trim. Some of the tech will include a 10in touch screen in-car entertainment system, ventilated seats and wireless mobile device charging capabilities. It probably won't be as fun to drive as the classic 1500 Midget but as a practical and large family hauler, this has the potential to do very well indeed.

Tom Lee, SAIC Motor Regional Director – the parent company of MG Motor – said: “For the first time in our 95-year history MG Motor is introducing a seven-seat SUV. With the all-new MG RX8, we are making a bold move into a segment we’ve never operated in before, and I am confident that this car will make an impact amongst its competitors. The MG brand is growing in the region, and across the globe; our total global sales for the first half of 2019 exceeded 120,000 units. As we enter unchartered territory for the brand with the new RX8 I am confident that we can offer a robust, practical and well-equipped SUV in a segment which is remarkably popular here in the Middle East.”