2017 Land Rover Discovery Review Ireland

2017 Land Rover Discovery Review

The Land Rover Discovery is a legend of 4x4s, beloved of everyone from well-heeled urban families, to farmers, film crews and rural dwellers. The Land Rover brand is synonymous with heavy duty off-roaders that can go far into the wilderness traversing rivers, rocks and hills with little fuss, but these days style is just as important.

As such the new 2017 Land Rover Discovery has had one heck of a makeover. The Discovery is now on its fifth generation and this is the most stylish yet, following in the footsteps of the smaller Land Rover Discovery Sport. The new car still plays some homage to its boxy predecessors, including the stepped roof and the offset rear number plate, the latter being a particular point of controversy because it does look odd here.

Climbing into the new Land Rover Discovery reveals a plush cabin that will have you seated head and shoulders above most other road users. Sitting in the Discovery is nothing short of ‘stately’. The new interior has a beautiful mix of materials including lots of leather and stylish wood inserts built around the new 10" InControl Touch Pro infotainment system.

2017 Land Rover Discovery Review Ireland
The interior of the 2017 Land Rover Discovery

Passenger accommodation is royal too, with both five and seven seat versions available in Ireland. The car is longer than before but narrower and lower with a longer wheelbase boosting interior space. The footwells are large and three will sit comfortably in row 2, while row 3 is better than most too. There are five ISOFIX points to please family buyers. The second row seats slide forwards and back so luggage space or rear legroom can be optimised depending on preference. The boot is huge in five seat mode, with a smaller 258 litres in seven seat mode.

In Ireland the new Discovery range starts at €57,815 for a five seat model, while seven seat models start at €68,950. There are four trim levels for the Irish market including S, SE, HSE and HSE Luxury, while standard equipment includes 8" touchscreen, 19" alloys and air con.

The new Land Rover Discovery has a new lightweight construction that saves a massive 480kg when compared to the older car, thus boosting efficiency. Land Rover's Ingenium family of 2.0-litre diesels are available for the first time in the new Discovery, with either 180hp (badged Td4) or 240hp (badged Sd4). There is also a 3.0-litre TDV6 with 258hp and 600Nm of torque. Four wheel drive is standard, as is an 8 speed automatic gearbox.

My test car was a 2.0-litre Sd4 HSE Luxury 7 seat model with an eye watering list price of €94,120. Equipment included 20" alloys, LED headlights, rear view camera, Windsor leather seats, keyless entry, electric sunroof, Meridian sound system with 16 speakers and subwoofer, 10" touchscreen and tri zone climate control.

2017 Land Rover Discovery Review Ireland
The new Land River Discovery has had a stylish makeover and has even more space inside

The Land Rover Discovery feels nothing short of a luxury barge. Seated high above most other road users, occupants are well isolated from the great outdoors and the road underneath. The ride on the standard air suspension is beautiful and the automatic gearbox changes gear with little fuss. The 240hp 2.0-litre diesel moves the Discovery along nicely and returned about 33mpg for me over a week of driving.

The Land Rover Discovery does feel large on the road but you can hustle the car along with a great deal of precision. Don't get me wrong - it's definitely not sporty - but it's far from lumbering and Land Rover has improved the on road driving manners considerably.

A glance down at the dials and switches on the centre console reveals the true mastery of this car. Land Rover has boosted ground clearance of the new Discovery by 43mm and the maximum wading depth is 900mm, an increase of 200mm. There is also the multi mode Terrain Response 2 system on board that adjusts settings for whatever terrain you encounter from rocks to sand and everything inbetween. The All-Terrain Progress Control (ATPC) can keep the car in an automatic crawl speed so the driver can concentrate on just steering when taking on challenging terrain.

2017 Land Rover Discovery Review Ireland
The 2017 Land Rover Discovery benefits from a new lighter construction and greater efficiency

The Land Rover's offroading ability is undisputed but it's a sign of the times that this new generation of the Discovery has gone upmarket and more stylish, with generous accommodation and practicality for families. As well as benefiting greatly from a more lightweight structure and greater efficiency from the Ingenium family of 2.0-litre diesels, the new Land Rover is beautifully appointed and the comfort and refined cruise ability of this car will have you on cloud nine as soon as you climb aboard. The looks might be controversial but the Land Rover Discovery remains utterly desirable.

Model tested: Land Rover Discovery 2.0 Sd4 HSE Luxury 7 Seat
Price: €94,120 (Range starts €57,815)
Engine: 2.0-litre turbo diesel
Power: 240hp
Torque: 500Nm
0-100km/h:  8.3 seconds
Top speed: 207km/h
Claimed Economy: 6.3/100km
CO2 emissions:  171g/km
Motor tax: €750 per year

Caroline Kidd


2017 Skoda Rapid

Irish Launch For Updated 2017 Skoda Citigo And Rapid

The new-look Skoda Rapid and Skoda Citigo have arrived in Ireland.

The 2017 Skoda Rapid range starts from €18,995. The Rapid and Rapid Sportback have some mild styling tweaks at the front with new LED daytime running lights. Inside there are more modern touchscreen sound systems and new interior trims.

The Skoda Rapid range is now available for the first time with the Volkswagen Group's new 1.0-litre TSI three cylinder turbo petrol engine with 95hp.

The Skoda Citigo city car has also had a mild facelift and there are new colours, wheels and connectivity features. Prices remain unchanged, with five door versions starting from €10,995.

Skoda Ireland has a number of offers available on the current range with 0% PCP Finance offered on Fabia, Rapid, Octavia and Superb models.

The Skoda Scrappage EcoGrant is also available until 31st December.

The updated Skoda Citigo and Rapid are in Skoda dealers now.

Caroline Kidd

2017 Skoda Citigo
The 2017 Skoda Citigo range priced from €10,995

Trackerjack GPS Tracker

Track Your Car With GPS Tracker From Tracker Jack

Tracker Jack is an Irish company that specialises in the sale of GPS trackers that can be used to keep family members safe, and track the location of objects of value like cars or motorbikes.

The Tracker Jack GPS device for vehicles is a convenient and accurate way of always knowing the location of your car, motorbike or piece of machinery. If someone steals your car, you can track its location in real time from an app on your phone.

With the Tracker Jack GPS device you can track your car from anywhere in the world. It's a small device of about 8.5cms that you can leave in the glovebox, under the boot floor or in some other hidden place in your car.

You can charge the device using a USB connection and the charge lasts for one to two weeks, depending on the settings. You can download the Yepzon app for free, sync the device to your phone and start tracking your car. If your car is stolen or moved, you will receive an alert to your mobile phone and you can track where it is through the app and alert the Gardai.

Tracker Jack GPS Tracker
The device is easy to sync with your phone

I found it very easy to sync my mobile phone to the device. It's also an advantage that the tracker does not need to be integrated into the car in an invasive way - it's as simple as throwing it into your glovebox. It was amazing to see the tracking in action on Google Maps from my phone.

Tracker Jack says that the device is most popular among men and women with vintage and modified cars, but it's of interest to any car owner. One device can be tracked on a number of different phones, so you could share access with another family member.

The device costs €149.99 when bought through Tracker Jack. It has a built in SIM that comes with 5MB worth of free data. To top up the device it is €3.95 per 5MB of data.

The device is not cheap but for owners worried about their car, motorbike or piece of machinery, it does offer extra peace of mind. According to Tracker Jack, the GPS Tracker does bring down insurance premiums because the tracker is considered a security feature like an alarm, so that is an extra boon and worth investigating.

Find out more about Tracker Jack by visiting the website here.

Caroline Kidd


Citroen C4 Cactus

Revised Citroen C4 Cactus To Land In 2018

The quirky Citroen C4 Cactus has had a large makeover and is set to land in Ireland towards the middle of 2018.

Notably Citroen are dubbing it as a hatchback, not a crossover, and that's because production is ending of the rather unfashionable C4 hatchback, so the new Citroen C4 Cactus is to fill the gap.

The new car claims to merge the best bits of both cars: the comfort of the C4 and the individuality and personality of the Cactus.

The front end styling has been significantly revamped in line with the Citroen C3 family, while the back has also been revised.

Inside there is a new centre console, while many of car's functions are controlled by the centrally mounted touchscreen. In-car technology includes Mirror Screen Function with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay™ and MirrorLink®, Citroen Connect Nav and Citroen Connect Box incorporating Citroen’s Emergency & Assistance system that links to a specialised assistance platform in the event of a breakdown or accident.

Citroen C4 Cactus
The interior of the Citroen C4 Cactus

Driver assistance equipment and technologies for the 2018 model year include Active Safety Brake, Lane Departure Warning, Coffee Break Alert, Speed Limit Recognition, Blind Spot Monitoring and Reversing Camera.

There is a revised engine line-up for new Citroen C4 Cactus of diesel and petrol engines, with units now developing up to 130hp.

New C4 Cactus is the first model in Europe to be equipped with the Citroen brand’s new suspension system with Progressive Hydraulic Cushions™ (PHC), and the first in the world to feature Advanced Comfort seats.

Sound insulation has also been improved.

Customisation will still be a key feature with up to 31 exterior customisation possibilities, with nine body colours and four Colour Packs,

Caroline Kidd


2018 BMW X2

New BMW X2 Revealed

BMW has revealed the new BMW X2 in full. The new compact SUV will reach Ireland in March 2018, priced from €50,320 on the road.

"With a design oozing individuality from every pore and a sporty suspension set-up, the BMW X2 pushes back boundaries, puts a firework under old habits and brings previously uncharted levels of driving pleasure to this vehicle segment," BMW said as the new X2 was revealed.

The BMW X2 is dubbed as a "Sports Activity Vehicle" and will slot in between the BMW X1 and X3 SUVs.

The BMW X2 is two centimetres shorter and more than seven centimetres lower than the BMW X1, yet has the same wheelbase.

In Ireland there will be four trim levels: SE, Sport, M Sport and M Sport X. The latter brings together design elements from BMW M and the BMW X family.

Key design features include an 'upturned' BMW kidney grille, BMW badge on the C-pillar, coupé-style silhouette, squared off wheel arches and model specific trim inserts and cladding.

2018 BMW X2
The interior of the 2018 BMW X2

In Ireland one engine variant will be available from launch, the xDrive20d with 190hp. Further engines to be added to the line-up include the sDrive20i, X2 sDrive18d and X2 xDrive18d.

The options list for the BMW X2 includes the latest generation of BMW ConnectedDrive and the most recent update of the BMW Connected App. There's also the option of Apple CarPlay, driver assistance systems and a full-colour BMW Head-Up Display.

New colours include Galvanic Gold metallic, Sunset Orange and Misano Blue metallic.

The new BMW X2 is available to order from mid-November.

Caroline Kidd

2018 BMW X2
The new BMW X2 will arrive in Ireland in March 2018

Citroën C3 Aircross Arriving In November

The new Citroën C3 Aircross is available to order in Ireland now, with pricing starting from €20,695. The car officially goes on sale from 6th November 2017 when the car will arrive in Irish showrooms.

Available in three trim levels Touch (from €20,695), Feel (from €21,995) and Flair (from €25,095), the new Citroën C3 Aircross is available with a choice of 1.2-litre PureTech petrol and 1.6-litre BlueHDi diesel engines, as well as the latest generation EAT6 fully automatic gearbox.

Standard equipment includes manual air con, rear parking sensors, four electric windows and lane departure warning. Equipment on Feel includes 16" alloys, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, and rear privacy glass, while Flair includes wireless phone charging, 17" alloys, satellite navigation, keyless entry and start, and more safety equipment.

Customisation will be a key feature of the new Citroen C3 Aircross and the exterior bi-tone roof, standard on the Flair trim level and available in three colours, can be complimented by one of the four exterior colour pack options, giving a total of 85 combinations.

The new compact crossover introduces a number of new technologies to the Citroën range including Wireless Smartphone Charging and Grip Control® with Hill Descent Assist.

Citroën’s Family Pack is standard on Feel and Flair models and includes folding front passenger seat, 60/40 sliding rear bench, 60/40 reclining rear seats, rear sun blinds, ski hatch and a rear middle armrest with cup holders.

Caroline Kidd


2017 Kia Stonic ireland review

Kia Stonic First Drive Review

Read a full Irish road test of the Kia Stonic 1.4

The Kia Stonic is Kia’s new B-segment compact crossover and will arrive in Irish showrooms from October 27th, priced from €18,599. I’ve been driving the new Kia Stonic at the Irish launch in Barberstown Castle.

Styling

The Kia Stonic is based on the Kia Rio supermini but is sporting a whole new ‘outdoorsy’ look. It’s got a raised ride height and cladding and is a compact but smart presence, likely to look equally at home in the city or in the country.

Interior

The interior has more character than the interior of the Kia Rio supermini: there is a greater mix of materials and colours that lift the cabin a bit more. Hard plastics prevail but that’s common in this segment and it doesn’t look too cheap. A 7” touchscreen with Bluetooth comes as standard and is easy to use.

Practicality

In terms of space, it’s not much bigger than the Rio but the increased headroom makes it feel more spacious. In the back, it will be tight for a tall driver and a tall passenger, but the flat transmission tunnel is a welcome addition for middle passengers. The boot is a respectable 352 litres with a false floor giving a flat loading area.

2017 Kia Stonic ireland review
The interior of the new Kia Stonic

Engines

The new Kia Stonic is available in Ireland with a choice of three petrol engines and one diesel engine: a 1.2-litre petrol (84hp), a 1.4-litre petrol (100hp), a new 1.0-litre turbo petrol (120hp) and a 1.6-litre diesel (110hp).

At the launch I drove the Kia Stonic 1.4-litre petrol with 100hp. It needs to be revved hard to pick up speed but feels nippy enough and should be plenty for urban driving. CO2 emissions for this model are 125g so motor tax will be €270 and fuel economy is a claimed 5.5l/km.

On the road

On the road the new Kia Stonic is light and easy to drive. It feels agile and holds the road well through bends. There is some road noise and a little bit of firmness in the suspension catches it out over rough surfaces. A full review will follow in 2018 when I have the car for a longer road test.

Equipment

The new Kia Stonic is available in four grades: K1, K2, K3 and K4. The K1 entry level spec includes a skid plate front and rear, Bluetooth, 7 inch touchscreen, 15 inch alloys, front armrest, spare wheel, privacy glass, speed limiter and cruise control. K2 includes 17 inch alloys, roof rails, auto lights, DRL LEDs, electrically heated and folding wing mirrors, and manual air con. K3 includes ADAS safety equipment, LED rear lights, chrome belt line, two tone leather, heated front seats, Sat Nav, DAB radio and rear view camera. The top of the range K4 model includes Smart Key, metal pedals, blind spot detector, and dual auto air con.

All K3 and K4 models come with the option of two tone roof and interior trim personalisation.

Pricing

Petrol

Stonic K1 model 1.2 €18,599

Stonic K2 model available in 1.4 €21,099

Stonic K3 model available in 1.4 €22,599

Stonic K4 model with 1.0TDGi €24,599

Diesel

Stonic K2 1.6 D €23,099

Stonic K3 1.6 D €24,599

2017 Kia Stonic ireland review
The Kia Stonic is on sale in Ireland at the end of the month priced from €18,599

Rivals

The Kia Stonic will face competition from established names like the Peugeot 2008, Nissan Juke and Renault Captur and newcomers like the Hyundai Kona and SEAT Arona.

Verdict

The new Kia Stonic commands about a €3000 price premium over the similarly sized Kia Rio supermini but B-segment crossovers are hugely popular and in this segment image counts. The Kia Stonic has the SUV ‘image du jour’ and is well specced. Engines vary from the more breathless naturally aspirated units to a punchy turbo unit so it depends on budget. In a busy segment, the Kia Stonic will be up against it but Kia has a good track record of selling SUVs.

Caroline Kidd


Continental Tyres Ireland Vision Zero

Continental Brings Vision Zero Live Event To Mondello

Continental Tyres recently brought its Vision Zero Live event to Mondello Race Circuit in Co. Kildare. Over three days, general consumers, staff from tyre retailers and managers of large company fleets had the opportunity to participate in a range of ‘hands on the wheel’ demonstrations of the company’s latest tyre and automotive technologies.

The company wants to achieve zero injuries, zero fatalities and zero accidents on our roads – hence, Continental’s Vision Zero initiative.

Using a fleet of some 20 vehicles to run a series of eye-opening demonstrations, participants at the Vision Zero Live event were shown how dangerous it is to drive on tyres that are at or near the legal tread depth level of 1.6mm.  In addition, there was the opportunity to get behind the wheel and perform emergency braking manoeuvres in cars fitted with premium and budget tyres and to observe the difference in performance and stopping distances.

Some of the Continental automotive technologies that were on display included Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) where the car will stop automatically if the driver does not intervene to avoid a collision.  AEB is becoming ever more popular on all types of cars and is no longer the preserve of the more premium brands.

Continental Tyres Ireland Vision Zero
A blacked out Mercedes-Benz to demonstrate some of Continental's technologies at the Vision Zero Live event at Mondello Park

One of the most popular activities from Vision Zero Live was the opportunity to get behind the wheel of a Mercedes-Benz E-Class with all of the windows blacked out and just the option of using the car’s camera and sensor systems to navigate a pre-prepared course.

Speaking about Vision Zero Live, Tom Dennigan, Head of Continental Tyres Ireland, said: “This event is all about educating the public about the wider expertise of the Continental Group and showing our long-standing commitment to safety. Many people know us for our premium tyres but we also wanted to show people that we have long been experts at developing automotive safety systems that are embedded in many of the cars that we see on the highways and byways of Ireland. It was also a great opportunity to show participants in a practical way the importance of proper tyre care, with many consumers commenting on how scary it was to see the danger of driving on tyres with excessively worn tread.”


Kia Stonic Vlog

Vlog: Kia Stonic Launch

My vlog from the Kia Stonic Launch in Barberstown Castle. Also includes a car swap!


2017 Hyundai Kona

Hyundai Kona Pricing And Specs For Ireland

Thinking of buying a Hyundai Kona? Read an Irish review here.

Hyundai Ireland has announced the specification and pricing for the all-new Hyundai Kona compact SUV due in Hyundai dealerships nationwide from November 1st.

The Hyundai Kona sits on a new compact SUV platform and has a bold, sharp design with a two-tone roof option and the choice of ten exterior colours.

The Hyundai Kona will launch in Ireland with a 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine, priced from €20,995. There is a top of the range 1.6-litre petrol automatic.

Late 2018/2019 will see the arrival of a new 1.6-litre CRDI diesel engine and a Kona electric vehicle.

2017 Hyundai Kona
The interior of the 2017 Hyundai Kona

Kona Comfort 1.0 Petrol - €20,995

  • 120 PS Turbo Engine
  • 16 Inch Alloy Wheels
  • Air Conditioning
  • Roof Rails
  • Cruise Control
  • 5” Chrome Screen
  • L.E.D Running Lights
  • Lane Keep Assist
  • Driver Fatigue Warning System

KONA Executive 1.0 Petrol - €22,995

  • 120 PS Turbo Engine
  • 17 Inch Alloy Wheels
  • Automatic Air-conditioning
  • 7 Inch Color Touchscreen and radio
  • Privacy Glass
  • Automatic Windscreen Defogger
  • Front Fog Lights
  • Android Auto and Apple Car Play
  • Rear-View Camera
  • Air Conditioning
  • Roof Rails
  • Cruise Control
  • 5” Chrome Screen
  • L.E.D Running Lights
  • Lane Keep Assist
  • Driver Fatigue Warning System

KONA Premium 1.0 Petrol - €25,995

  • Leather Seats
  • 18 inch Alloy Wheels
  • Blind Spot Detection
  • Front Park Assist
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert System
  • Black Coated Grill
  • Door Sill Inserts
  • Skid Plates
  • 120 PS Turbo Engine
  • Automatic Air-conditioning
  • 7 inch Color Touchscreen and Radio
  • Privacy Glass
  • Automatic Windscreen Defogger
  • Front Fog lights
  • Android Auto and Apple Car Play
  • Rear-View Camera
  • Roof Rails
  • Cruise Control
  • L.E.D Running Lights
  • Lane Keep Assist
  • Driver Fatigue Warning System

KONA Premium 1.6 Petrol automatic - €29,995

  • Leather Seats
  • 18 inch Alloy Wheels
  • Blind Spot Detection
  • Front Park Assist
  • Rear cross traffic alert system
  • Black Coated Grill
  • Door Sill Inserts
  • Skid plates
  • Blind spot detection
  • Front Park Assist
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert System
  • Black Coated Grill
  • Door Sill Inserts
  • Skid plates
  • 120 PS Turbo Engine
  • Automatic Air-conditioning
  • 7 inch Color Touchscreen and Radio
  • Privacy Glass
  • Automatic Windscreen Defogger
  • Front Fog lights
  • Android Auto and Apple Car Play
  • Rear-view Camera
  • Roof Rails
  • Cruise Control
  • L.E.D Running Lights
  • Lane Keep Assist
  • Driver Fatigue Warning System

Caroline Kidd