ChangingLanes.ie has gone from strength to strength in 2016 and I’ve been lucky to have the opportunity to write about some great cars and experiences this year. This is kind of like my end of year review so I’ve handpicked some of my favourite blogs and car reviews from this year. Hope you will enjoy them as much as I do!
This was easily my favourite story to write this year. I discovered that there was a car collector in Clare with the most eclectic collection of old Renaults I’d ever come across. The beauty of this collection was that none of the cars were priceless classics in the conventional sense, or high performance exotics for that matter – they were the ordinary cars that people drive to work or to the shops, lovingly restored and with a beautiful story behind each one of them. It was a great privilege for ChangingLanes.ie to be the platform for car collectors Breandán and Ailbe to share their story of how they came to be the proud owners of such a collection of cars.
Audi hosted a test drive event back in April and the list of cars available to drive on the day made me sweat a little… 326bhp A7 Competition, the 310bhp TTS, the 367bhp RS3, the 610bhp Audi R8 V10 Plus…The R8 blew my mind with its power and earned a place in my dream garage.
When the Ford Mustang arrived in Ireland in right hand drive for the first time back in February, Ford Ireland organised a launch event for press to drive the 5.0-litre GT and 2.3-litre EcoBoost. Our encounter was brief but memorable.
Spending a week with the Peugeot 308 GTi was a particularly nice experience. As I approached the 308 GTi for the first time, at the back of mind was the memory of the ‘supermarket-spec’ 308 I’d driven two years earlier, but the GTi quickly showed me that it was a different beast entirely.
I fell a little bit in love with the Jaguar F-Pace because it was such a bloody good drive for an SUV and I probably got a bit of an ego boost from the big grille and badge. It’s hard not to feel a little bit superior behind the wheel of a €56,000 Jag and it was one of those pinch yourself moments. Did they really give me the keys to this? Has there been a terrible mistake? I would opt for an XF over an F-Pace, but I still have huge respect for this car and the XF DNA runs deep through it.
Honorary mentions for other memorable drives in 2016: SEAT Ibiza Cupra, Audi A4, Toyota Prius and Volkswagen Golf GTE.