The new Kia Ceed, arriving in Ireland in August

2018 Kia Ceed Irish Pricing And Specs

The new Kia Ceed, arriving in Ireland in August
The new Kia Ceed, arriving in Ireland in August

The new Kia Ceed will go on sale in Ireland this August priced from €22,695.

At launch, Kia Ireland will offer four trims for the new Ceed: K2, K3, K4 and K5.

Engines are trim specific and include Kia's 1.0-litre turbo petrol (120hp), a new 1.6-litre diesel (115hp) and a new 1.4-litre turbo petrol engine (140hp).

Diesels are available from €24,995.

The new 1.4-litre petrol is only available in the top level trim and is priced from €28,595.

Safety equipment in the new Kia Ceed like Forward Collision Assist, Lane Keep Assist, High Beam Assist and Driver Attention Warning are standard across the range.

The interior of the new Kia Ceed
The interior of the new Kia Ceed

Standard equipment on entry level K2 models includes 16” alloys, leather wrapped steering wheel, 7” display, Bluetooth with voice recognition and a reversing camera.

K3 equipment includes LED headlamps and rear lamps, wireless phone charger, electric parking brake, half leather seats and parking sensors.

K4 equipment includes 17” alloys, 8” display, rain sensing wipers and automatic temperature control.

K5 equipment includes leather seats, heated seats front and rear, front ventilated seats, heated steering wheel, Smart key and push button start, blindspot collision warning, and parking distance warning.

There is a seven-year, 150,000km warranty on every model.

The new Kia Ceed arrives after a busy start to the year for Kia with the launch of the Kia Stonic, Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid and the Kia Stinger.


Skoda Karoq 1.5TSI

Skoda Karoq 1.5TSI Petrol Review

Skoda Karoq 1.5TSI
The new Skoda Karoq 1.5TSI

Caroline drives the new Skoda Karoq.

Following the successful launch of the new Skoda Kodiaq in 2017, you would think Skoda had been making SUVs for years. Now they’re back with the new Skoda Karoq, slotting in below the Kodiaq, but bringing a reassuring blend of ‘Skodaness’ to the ever popular compact SUV segment.

The new, five seat, Skoda Karoq is entering a competitive segment where the Nissan Qashqai and Hyundai Tuscon currently occupy a lot of ground. Still Skoda is now a well-established car brand in Ireland, sitting just outside the country's top five bestselling brands. Cars like the Octavia and Superb record strong sales here, but the Karoq is where it’s at for buyers currently going gaga for a lofty driving position and SUV stance.

The new Skoda Karoq range kicks off at €27,715 in Ireland. There is a great choice of engines across the range and two well-stocked trim levels – Ambition and Style.

How big is the new Skoda Karoq?

In styling terms, the Karoq looks like a scaled down version of the Kodiaq. It's plain but inoffensive at the same time, and 17″ alloys and roof rails come as standard. Being a Skoda, the brand has done well to make good use of the space inside with large footwells, decent headroom and an excellent 521 litre boot. There are also plenty of Skoda’s famed ‘Simply Clever’ features on board including an umbrella under the passenger seat, ice scraper in the fuel cap door and cupholders that facilitate the easy opening of bottles due to a grippy surface.

Interior of the Skoda Karoq
The interior of the Skoda Karoq

The cabin has a pleasing, simple layout built around a touchscreen and the perceived quality in the places you touch and see regularly - like the steering wheel and door panels - is good. Entry level Ambition models come with an 8″ touchscreen, while Style models have a really cool 9.2″ screen with navigation. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard on all models.

Standard equipment includes air conditioning, cruise control, Skoda Connect with driver assistance features like emergency call and remote access through an app, rear parking sensors, and chrome roof rails and window surrounds.

The Style trim adds 18” ‘Mytikas’ alloy wheels, 9.2” ‘Columbus’ infotainment system with navigation, rear view camera, DAB radio and keyless entry with a start/stop button. Skoda Connect on Style models is enhanced with more features like real time traffic information and RSS news feeds, fuel prices and weather alerts. Google Earth overlays for navigation are also featured.

What engines are available for the new Skoda Karoq?

About those engines. The Karoq range kicks off with the Volkswagen Group's now infamous new 1.0-litre TSI turbo petrol with 115hp. There’s also a larger 1.5-litre TSI turbo petrol with 150bhp. Diesels come in the shape of 1.6 and 2.0 diesels. 4x4 is available on some models, as is the DSG automatic gearbox.

Skoda Karoq 1.5TSI review
The Skoda Karoq range starts from €27,715 in Ireland

My test car was a Skoda Karoq 1.5-litre TSI in Style trim with a 6-speed manual gearbox, and is available from €32,315. It’s a powerful petrol option for the Karoq with smoothness, flexibility and excellent refinement. On the road, the Karoq is a smooth and effortless drive with light controls. It’s by no means sporty but it’s agile and comfortable.

It’s fair to say Skoda may be new to the game of SUVs, but the brand already has momentum and notoriety in this segment. The new Karoq enhances Skoda’s range considerably offering a five seat, mid-size SUV option that takes all we love about the Kodiaq, but packaged in a smaller size. The Skoda Karoq is an unassuming blend of practicality, competitive pricing, and the sort of affable driving character that makes it a great accessory to daily life. The competition is stiff but the Karoq has a range of great engines borrowed from the Volkswagen Group. That should make it a strong fixture on Irish driveways.

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Skoda Karoq 1.5-litre TSI Style
Price: 
€32,315 (Available from €27,715)
Engine: 1.5-litre turbo petrol
Power: 
150hp
Torque: 250Nm
0-100km/h: 
8.4 seconds
Top speed: 204km/h
Claimed Economy: 
5.4/100km
CO2 emissions:  
123g/km
Motor tax: 
€270 per year


Toyota Camry Returning To Ireland In 2019

Toyota Camry Returning To Ireland In 2019

Toyota Camry Returning To Ireland In 2019
Toyota Camry returning to Ireland in 2019

Toyota Ireland is re-introducing the Toyota Camry  to Ireland after 14 years. This move comes as Toyota imports the Camry into Europe again, to maintain the brand’s presence in the D/E-saloon segment.

The new Toyota Camry is the 8th generation of a car that first went on sale in 1982 and it will be available here as a self-charging hybrid.

Toyota says that the 2.5-litre hybrid electric powertrain "combines fuel efficiency and low emissions and quiet operation with more power and greater responsiveness".

The Camry sits on Toyota's New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform and the driving dynamics have been specifically tuned for the European market.

The new Toyota Camry Hybrid will be available in Ireland in the second quarter of 2019.

To follow the Camry’s return to Ireland, you can register your interest on Toyota.ie, and receive regular updates between now and the launch in Q2 2019.

Toyota offers an extensive hybrid range already in Ireland, including the Yaris Hybrid and Prius Hybrid.


Skoda Kodiaq Scout 2.0TDI 4X4 DSG

Skoda Kodiaq Scout 2.0TDI 4x4 Review

Skoda Kodiaq Scout 2.0TDI 4X4 DSG
The new Skoda Kodiaq Scout 2.0TDI 4X4 DSG

Caroline reviews the Skoda Kodiaq Scout.

Following on from the successful 2017 launch of the new Skoda Kodiaq SUV, Skoda has enhanced the Kodiaq range further with the addition of an upscale Kodiaq Scout model, packed with features, style upgrades and 4x4 for when the going gets rough. All ‘Scouts’ will need 4x4 at some point, right?

If Skoda were a fashion label, the Scout line of models would be their Outdoors range. The Skoda Kodiaq Scout wears extra body jewellery in the form of special Scout off-road front and rear bumpers, a rear diffuser, Scout plaques on the front wings, silver roof rails and door mirrors, and unique 19" 'Crater' alloy wheels. The silver details heighten the Kodiaq's visual chutzpah considerably, going a long way to justify the €50,395 price tag bestowed upon my test model.

The Scout also features a 'rough road package' as standard that includes an engine guard and underbody protection.

Does the Skoda Kodiaq Scout make a good family SUV?

Inside the Skoda Kodiaq is naturally cavernous with 5 or 7 seat models available. It offers tonnes of space in row 2, while row 3 is more than good too. There's an optional electric tailgate (€508) that opens to reveal 720 litres in 5 seat mode, and 270 litres in 7 seat mode.

Skoda Kodiaq Scout 2.0TDI 4X4 DSG
The Skoda Kodiaq Scout is available with five or seven seats

The cabin of the Kodiaq Scout is well-finished with controls and an infotainment system that are pleasingly logical to use. The Columbus navigation system, has a 9.2-inch monitor, a Wi-Fi hotspot and an LTE module. An automatic Emergency Call function comes as standard.

The Scout features Alcantara-trimmed seats, wood-finish dashboard and door inserts, and a Scout plaque on the dashboard. There's also aluminium-trimmed pedals, LED ambient lighting, dual zone climate control, cruise control, rear parking camera and parking sensors.

Driving Mode Select comes as standard with Eco, Comfort, Normal, Sport, Individual and Snow settings, which can be used to control the engine, automatic transmission, power steering and air conditioning.

In Ireland the Skoda Kodiaq Scout is available with a 1.4TSI petrol (150bhp) or the 2.0TDI diesel (150 or 190bhp). 4x4 is standard. The Kodiaq Scout range starts from €44,650 for a 5 seat 1.4-litre model. Depending on model, there's manual and automatic gearboxes available.

My test car was a 7 seat 2.0TDI 190bhp with DSG automatic gearbox for €50,395.

The interior of the Skoda Kodiaq Scout
The interior of the Skoda Kodiaq Scout

What's the Skoda Kodiaq Scout like to drive?

On the road the Skoda Kodiaq Scout is easy to drive and relatively agile for its size. It's smooth on the road and the DSG gearbox never misses a beat. The steering is light making it an effortless daily drive, and while it can’t be described as sporty, grip is good in the corners and body roll neatly contained. It's refined and comfortable on the move, and the 2.0TDI provides plenty of strength and flexibility.

The Skoda Kodiaq makes a great family car because it's spacious, comfortable and nice to drive. The Kodiaq Scout errs more on the expensive side, but the Scout makes a compelling case for itself. The test model with range topping 2.0-litre diesel, 4x4 and automatic gearbox leaves drivers wanting for nothing, while the car has a lot of visual clout and smart touches. Skoda just keeps raising the bar and it would be foolish to bypass an SUV as good as the Kodiaq Scout.

Skoda Kodiaq Scout 2.0TDI 4X4 DSG
Skoda Kodiaq Scout range is priced from €44,650 in Ireland

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Skoda Kodiaq Scout 2.0TDI 4X4 DSG 7 seats
Price: 
€50,395 (Scout available from €44,650)
Engine:  2.0-litre turbo diesel
Power: 
190hp
Torque: 340Nm
0-100km/h: 
10.1 seconds
Top speed: 192km/h
Claimed Economy: 
5.7/100km
CO2 emissions:  
149g/km
Motor tax: 
€390 per year


Mark Howard (Q-Park) and Michael Gaynor (Toyota Ireland) pictured with the Toyota C-HR Hybrid

Toyota & Q-Park Launch Hybrid-Only Parking Spaces

Mark Howard (Q-Park) and Michael Gaynor (Toyota Ireland) pictured with the Toyota C-HR Hybrid
Mark Howard (Q-Park) and Michael Gaynor (Toyota Ireland) pictured with the Toyota C-HR Hybrid

Toyota Ireland has announced a new partnership with Q-Park that allows all drivers of self-charging hybrids to take advantage of priority parking in four Q-Parks around Ireland.

In what is a first for Ireland, there will be two parking bays in four Q-Park locations exclusively for the use of self-charging hybrid cars. The spaces are conveniently placed in proximity to exits, alongside other priority spaces for mothers and babies.

Supporting the Built For A Better World brand promise, according to Toyota Ireland, "these parking bays are just one more way to make life easier for families".

The spaces are for all self-charging hybrids, not just Toyotas!

Toyota’s hybrid only parking bays are currently located in the following Q-Park locations:

  • St. Stephen’s Green – Dublin
  • Clery’s – Dublin
  • Grand Parade – Cork
  • Harvey's Quay – Limerick

In addition to these reserved parking spaces, hybrid driving Q-Park customers can already save 25% on the standard annual Q-Park Premium Card by availing of the Unlimited Hybrid Premium Card.

Commenting on the partnership, Michael Gaynor, Marketing Director at Toyota Ireland said, “We’re delighted to partner with Q-Park to bring this added benefit to all drivers of self-charging hybrid cars. While hybrid is going from strength to strength, with 50% of Toyota’s car sales in 2018 being hybrid, we need to continue to innovate and do everything we can to encourage the swift transition to alternative cleaner vehicles such a self-charging hybrid that are in electric mode up to 50% of the time. This partnership represents another step in the journey towards cleaner air for future generations.”

Mark Howard, Country Director at Q-Park Ireland said, “As part of our corporate social responsibility programme, and our goal to support and encourage responsible, greener driving, we are always consciously looking into innovative ways to improve our parking facilities and services. When Toyota approached us with the idea of hybrid-only parking spaces it was a natural fit for us and we’re very happy to be on-board for this very unique initiative.

Read a review of the Toyota Prius Hybrid.


The Volkswagen Touareg

Volkswagen Ireland Push Last Of The Touareg N1 Commercials

The Volkswagen Touareg
The Volkswagen Touareg

The new Volkswagen Touareg will arrive in Ireland later this summer, but Volkswagen Ireland is warning that the clock is ticking for anyone who wants to save money on the last of the current Volkswagen Touareg N1 Commercial models.

The Touareg N1 Commercial is a 5-seat commercial vehicle that offers significant savings for buyers compared to the passenger version of the Touareg.

The opportunity for buyers to avail of one of these N1 models ends on July 30th - the vehicle must be registered by or on this date.

Volkswagen Ireland says that all of the Touareg N1 models that are left come with a technology pack with over €5,500 worth of equipment for just €1,499, and many of them come with the R-Line package too.

Compared to the full retail price of a passenger example of the same model, there is a total of €23,400 of savings to be made on many of these examples of the Touareg Commercial. They can only be sold to VAT-registered businesses and cost €62,925 including VAT.


The Mercedes-Benz CLS Coupé

Mercedes-Benz CLS Coupé First Drive Review

The Mercedes-Benz CLS Coupé
The 2018 Mercedes-Benz CLS Coupé

The new Mercedes-Benz CLS Coupé has just arrived in Ireland, priced from €64,085. Caroline has been driving the new CLS at the Irish launch.

Styling

The Mercedes-Benz CLS Coupé is now in its third generation and it’s looking better than ever. It’s a cross between a saloon and a coupé with a lot of physical presence, but a more unique and sportier design than an E-Class saloon for example.  Frameless side windows add prestige to the low sporty profile and high waistline.

Interior

The new CLS Coupé shares interior features with the S-Class and comes with the latest Mercedes-Benz touchscreen infotainment, safety and driver assistance systems. The driver information display is fully digital and there are a number of other cool features including 64-colour ambient lighting, illuminated air vents, and air conditioning with colour-guided, red/blue, warmer/cooler temperature control. It’s plush!

Practicality

The CLS Coupé used to be a four seater, but now it’s a five seater. The large transmission tunnel won't be much fun for a middle passenger and a sloping roofline to the rear eats into headroom. The boot is a generous 520 litres.

The interior of the the Mercedes-Benz CLS Coupé
The interior of the the Mercedes-Benz CLS Coupé

Engines

Engine options include a CLS300d – this 245hp 2.0-litre diesel is expected to be the most popular choice in Ireland – along with a CLS350d 4MATIC and CLS400d 4MATIC. A CLS220d version will follow in early 2019. The most powerful model is the CLS450 4MATIC with 367hp.

At the launch I drove the CLS300d. With 500Nm of torque, 0 to 100kmh is just 6.4 seconds, while emissions are 142g CO2. The engine is refined and capable.

On the road

The Mercedes-Benz CLS Coupé is a comfortable and relaxing drive. The handling is confidently agile, though it never feels overtly sporty. A steel comfort suspension comes as standard but a sportier setup is available as an option with continuously adjustable damping at the front and rear axles with selectable comfort, sport and sport plus modes. Air suspension is also offered.

Equipment

In Ireland the CLS Coupé is available as an entry model or in AMG Line. Standard equipment includes 18” alloys, active brake assist, active lane assist, ambient lighting with 64 colours, leather upholstery, heated front seats, dynamic select, reversing camera, and speed limit assist.

AMG Line models add 19” alloys and AMG bodystyling.

Mercedes-Benz CLS Coupé
The Mercedes-Benz CLS Coupé goes on sale in Ireland priced from €64,805

Pricing

Irish pricing for the new Mercedes-Benz CLS diesel start at €64,805 for a CLS300d Automatic, €76,965 for a CLS350d Automatic 4MATIC, and €85,760 for the CLS450 Automatic 4Matic.

Rivals

The new Mercedes-Benz CLS Coupé goes up against other premium four door coupé rivals like the Audi A7 Sportback, Porsche Panamera and the BMW 6-Series Gran Coupé.

Verdict

The new Mercedes-Benz CLS Coupé is a handsome, long distance cruiser with plenty of style and kerb appeal. The new CLS Coupé brings significant enhancements in technology, safety and comfort, while Mercedes-Benz Ireland is pricing it keenly among rivals.

Caroline Kidd


2018 Hyundai Santa Fe

New Hyundai Santa Fe Launched In Ireland

2018 Hyundai Santa Fe
The new Hyundai Santa Fe goes on sale in Ireland priced from €41,995

Hyundai Ireland has released details of specification and pricing for the new Hyundai Santa Fe seven seat SUV

The fourth generation of Hyundai's popular large SUV will go on sale in Ireland priced from €41,995.

There will be 3 trim levels for the new Santa Fe: Comfort Plus, Executive Plus and Premium Plus. 2WD and 4WD models are available, as are manual and automatic gearboxes.

The Hyundai Santa Fe comes with a 2.2-litre diesel with 197hp.

Equipment for the new Hyundai Santa Fe

Standard equipment on Comfort Plus (from €41,995) includes 17" alloys, roof rails, heated leather steering wheel, automatic air con, drive mode select, electric windows, radio with 5"screen, auto lights and wipers, rear parking sensors, cruise control, autonomous emergency braking, driver fatigue detection and lane keep assist.

Executive Plus (from €43,995) adds 18" alloys, privacy glass, electric parking brake, heated leather seats, front fog lamps, rear ventilation controls, front parking sensors, 7" screen with Android Auto/Apple CarPlay and a wireless phone charger.

Premium Plus (from €57,495) adds 19" alloys, electric adjustable driver's seat, panoramic sunroof, LED headlamps, front and rear LED fog lamps, 8" screen, navigation, head-up display and active cruise control.

The new Hyundai Santa Fe is in dealerships now.

The new generation of the Hyundai Santa Fe joins the newly launched Kona and popular Tucson in their SUV range.


BMW 8-Series

New BMW 8-Series Irish Pricing

BMW 8-Series
The new BMW 8-Series will arrive in Ireland in November

The new BMW 8-Series will arrive in Ireland in November, priced from €125,725 OTR.

The new 8-Series will launch here in two model variants: the BMW M850i xDrive Coupe M Performance model with a new, 530hp V8 engine, and a BMW 840d xDrive Coupe with six-cylinder in-line diesel unit developing 320hp.

Both models have been developed in parallel with the BMW M8 and the BMW M8 GTE endurance racer.

Adaptive M suspension, Integral Active Steering and mixed-size tyres come as standard. Active roll stabilisation is optionally available for the BMW M850i xDrive Coupe.

There's also a new BMW Operating System 7.0 display and control concept. The BMW Live Cockpit Professional includes a fully digital instrument cluster and 10.25-inch Control Display.

The BMW Digital Key will permit access to the vehicle and engine start by smartphone. Software updates “over the air” will also feature.

BMW 8-Series
The new BMW 8-Series will arrive in Ireland before the end of the year

Caroline celebrates ChangingLanes.ie's 4th birthday

ChangingLanes.ie Turns 4!

Caroline celebrates ChangingLanes.ie's 4th birthday
Caroline celebrates ChangingLanes.ie's 4th birthday!

ChangingLanes.ie turned 4 on 16th June 2018. So it was time to organise a little celebration of my own: cue cupcake, candle and a party for one in the cabin of one very large pick-up - review coming soon ;).

I started ChangingLanes.ie in June 2014. Looking back, there was no real plan. I was feeding an idea I'd had more than two years previous and exploring my own creativity in a way that was new and exciting. I didn't know where it was going, or where I was going. But I showed up every day, sifting through the manufacturers' press releases and writing reviews of whatever cars I could get my hands on. I was motivated by passion for cars and the motor industry, a desire to express that through words, and a belief that there was a gaping need in the automotive industry for young female voices like my own.

Gradually I settled into a rhythm and the site showed me the direction it wanted to take. I took the baton and in the early days I can see I benefited greatly from the help and opportunities given to me by some colleagues and industry professionals, at a time when I didn't know anyone and I wasn't quite sure of myself.

The last four years have been incredible, and the site has helped me in numerous ways, both personally and professionally. As clichéd as it might sound, Changing Lanes is indeed the gift that keeps on giving.

I'm grateful to all of my regular readers and casual browsers. I really hope you enjoy the content on this site and find the car reviews useful.

As always if you would like to get in touch or comment, please email me caroline@changinglanes.ie.

Thank you,

Caroline.