Paul O’Sullivan, Ford Ireland Director of Sales; Ciarán McMahon, Ford Ireland Chairman and Managing Director; with Ray Porter and David Porter of Porter Ford.

Porter Ford Appointed As Ford Dealer In Sligo

Paul O’Sullivan, Ford Ireland Director of Sales; Ciarán McMahon, Ford Ireland Chairman and Managing Director; with Ray Porter and David Porter of Porter Ford.
Paul O’Sullivan, Ford Ireland Director of Sales, Ciarán McMahon, Ford Ireland Chairman and Managing Director, with Ray Porter and David Porter of Porter Ford.

Ford Ireland has appointed Porter Ford in Castlebaldwin, County Sligo, as a Main Ford Dealer.

Porter Ford will offer the full range of Ford’s passenger and commercial vehicle range from their new dealership facility, which employs 12 people.

Speaking about the new dealer appointment, Ciarán McMahon, Chairman and Managing Director of Ford Ireland, said: “We are delighted to be bringing Porter Ford on board as a Main Ford Dealer in Sligo.  David and Ray Porter who will be heading up the Dealership both have an excellent business pedigree. Ray has extensive automotive experience with some 12 years in the motor trade. David has spent nearly 20 years in the finance sector and his most recent years with the family chartered accountant practice in Sligo. Both brothers are rooted in Sligo and are looking forward to raising the Ford profile there. The new Dealership will be a great boost for Ford’s business in Sligo and surrounding counties”.

Ray Porter, Director of Porter Ford, said: “We are really excited about the prospect of setting up a Ford Dealership in our home county of Sligo.  Ford cars and vans are some of the best on Ireland’s roads today and, rightly, have a broad and loyal customer-base.  We can’t wait to bring the latest award-winning Ford passenger and commercial vehicle models to motorists and van operators in Sligo and adjoining counties”.

Porter Ford is located at Castlebaldwin on the N4 route to Dublin, 10 minutes from Sligo town. The new dealership will offer new/used car and van sales, business leasing, finance, servicing and parts sales.

Katie Taylor with her new Honda Civic

Katie Taylor Announced As New Honda Brand Ambassador

Katie Taylor with her new Honda Civic
Katie Taylor with her new Honda Civic

Katie Taylor has joined the Honda brand as a brand ambassador for Universal Honda Ltd. and Castle Garage Honda in Bray Co. Wicklow.

The Olympic Gold boxing medallist - who is currently the IBF & WBA World Boxing Champion - collected her new Honda Civic hatchback at Marlfield House, Gorey, Co. Wexford at the launch of the new Honda Civic Four Door Sedan.

Speaking of the new partnership, Katie said: “I'm delighted to be partnering with Honda and really looking forward to getting out on the road in the new Civic!"

John Saunders, Director of Sales and Marketing for Universal Honda Ltd., said: “We are absolutely delighted to bring Katie on board as a Honda Ambassador. Katie is one of Ireland's most successful athletes ever. With a record breaking amateur career behind her, including multiple world titles and of course Olympic GOLD, she continues her dominance in the professional world. We are really delighted and honoured to welcome Katie, and we wish her all the very best in her next title defence in October".

Derek Bradshaw, Dealer Principal of Castle Garage Bray Co. Wicklow said: “We at Castle Garage are truly honoured to have this association with Katie, one of Ireland’s all-time great sporting heroes. Not only a phenomenal sportswoman but a fantastic role model too.  The fact that she is also a local Bray girl makes this association very special for us. We really do hope she enjoys driving her new Honda Civic and wish her continued success in the future."

2018 Citroen C4 Cactus

2018 Citroen C4 Cactus Review

2018 Citroen C4 Cactus
The 2018 Citroen C4 Cactus

Caroline drives the 2018 Citroen C4 Cactus.

The Citroen C4 Cactus first went on sale in Ireland in 2014 at a time when crossovers were cool and hatchbacks were becoming less de rigeur.

In 2018 you could say we are still in this phase. Consider that Citroen used to market a C4 hatchback. Now that model has been discontinued and this second iteration of the Citroen C4 Cactus has been designed to plug the gap. As buyers continue to go gaga for crossovers, raised ride heights and SUV-inspired styling, the Citroen C4 Cactus seems like a car that could make a lot of people very happy.

What's new for the 2018 Citroen C4 Cactus?

For 2018, Citroen has toned down the styling of the C4 Cactus. It's marketed now as a C-segment hatchback but still with plenty of crossover attitude, like last year's Citroen C3 supermini. The innovative 'Airbumps' are less prominent, and have been moved further down. Customisation packs still feature so there is the option to keep your C4 Cactus discreet or go more colourful.

The dimensions of the 2018 Citroen C4 Cactus have not changed and once you slip inside, you are welcomed with a spacious airy feel to the cabin and wide, slim seats that add to a ‘lounge’ feel inside that characterises this current generation of Citroens. There are new 'Advanced Comfort®' seats and yes they are very comfortable and supportive!

The interior of the 2018 Citroen C4 Cactus
The interior of the 2018 Citroen C4 Cactus

The interior trim features quite a few hard black plastics but the two-tone colour scheme on my 'Flair' test model added some pleasant distraction. A digital instrument panel displays your speed and other relevant information, but there is no rev counter. So if you are the type of person that likes to keep an eye on your revs while driving, then this is not the car for you!

On a practical note interior space in the 2018 Citroen C4 Cactus remains competitive for this segment with rear accommodation more suitable for two rather than three. Weight-saving measures mean that there are still pop-out windows in the rear, but air conditioning is standard on all models. There’s a relatively high load lip but the boot makes up for it in outright space (358 litres), and a spare wheel included.

Pricing and equipment for the Citroen C4 Cactus

In Ireland there are three trim level: Touch, Feel and Flair. Pricing starts from €19,995 for an entry level Touch 1.2 petrol model or €22,195 for a diesel. Standard equipment on Touch models includes cruise control, 7” touchscreen, front fog lights, air con and LED daytime running lights.

Feel models start from €22,495 and add 17” alloys, rear privacy glass, Android Auto/Apple CarPlay, auto lights and wipers, rear parking sensors, reversing camera, and automatic air con.

Rear seating space in the 2018 Citroen C4 Cactus
Rear seating space in the 2018 Citroen C4 Cactus

Flair models start from €24,495 and add an exterior colour pack, front parking sensors, Active Safety Brake, driver attention alert, speed sign recognition, lane departure warning and keyless entry/push button start.

The 1.2-litre turbo petrol is available in two outputs (110hp or 130hp), while the 1.6-litre diesel has 100hp. Manual or automatic gearboxes are available. Emissions are low with motor tax for the range from €180 to €200.

My test car was a 1.2-litre turbo petrol with 130hp, mated to a six speed manual gearbox. In Flair trim this model retails from €25,795.

What's the Citroen C4 Cactus like to drive?

On the road the 2018 Citroen C4 Cactus is softly sprung and soaks up uneven road surfaces very well. The C4 Cactus is the brand’s first car in Europe to use a new suspension system with’ Progressive Hydraulic Cushions’. With the perky petrol power of the 1.2-litre turbo petrol the C4 Cactus is agile and fun to drive, while also scoring for efficiency and running costs. It's lighter than rivals and feels it on the road. It's stable but doesn't have the same hunkered down feel in corners as some of its hatchback rivals and the steering is on the light side. But the C4 Cactus is more charming for being smooth, comfortable and quiet on the move.

The Citroen C4 Cactus range starts from €19,995 in Ireland
The Citroen C4 Cactus range starts from €19,995 in Ireland

Citroen is currently revolutionising its line up with some very current and comfortable models. The new positioning of the Citroen C4 Cactus is spot on: pitched as a hatchback but offering something completely different to rivals with its distinct, crossover-like styling. The interior can feel a bit budget in places and dynamically it's not the sharpest among rivals. The petrol models are particularly pleasant and efficient, but the real charm of the C4 Cactus is that it's just so relaxing to drive and spend time in!

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Citroen C4 Cactus Puretech 130 Flair
€25,795 (Available from €19,995)
Engine: 1.2-litre turbo petrol
Torque: 230Nm
8.2 seconds
Top speed: 193km/h
Claimed Economy: 
CO2 emissions:  
Motor tax: 
€190 per year

The new Honda Civic Saloon

2018 Honda Civic Saloon Arrives In Ireland

The new Honda Civic Saloon
The 2018 Honda Civic Saloon has arrived in Ireland!

The 2018 Honda Civic Saloon has arrived in Ireland priced from €24,750 for petrol models and from €26,550 for a diesel.

The new four door saloon is based on the tenth generation of the Civic that first arrived in Ireland as a hatchback in 2017. Honda Ireland lobbied hard to receive right hand drive versions of the new Civic Saloon, as saloons traditionally still sell well here.

The new Honda Civic Saloon goes on sale with a 1.0-litre VTEC turbo petrol engine with 129hp and a 1.6-litre DTEC turbo diesel engine with 120hp and emissions as low as 91g CO2. Manual and automatic gearboxes are available.

The new Civic Saloon has more elongated styling to accommodate generous rear seating space and a large 519 litre boot, which is 41 litres more than the Civic hatchback.

There are three trim levels in Ireland for the new Civic Saloon: Smart, Smart Plus and Premium. The Honda Sensing suite of advanced safety and driver-assistance features is standard across the Civic range, ensure the car is among the very safest in its class.

The new Honda Civic Saloon
The new Honda Civic Saloon goes on sale priced from €24,750

The new Nissan Leaf

New Nissan Leaf Records Strong Sales In July

The new Nissan Leaf
The new Nissan Leaf is selling well in Ireland

Nissan Ireland is reporting that 306 new Nissan Leafs were registered during the month of July, which historically has been close to the total number of electric vehicles sold in Ireland in a full year.

The July sales result brings the total number of Nissan Leafs on Irish roads to date to over 2,700 units.

The new Nissan Leaf 40kWh electric vehicle arrived in Ireland earlier in 2018. According to Nissan Ireland, demand for the new Leaf is being driven by the fact that the car's range on a single charge has increased by 50% to 378 kilometres (NEDC) - about 250km in real world terms - and "by a growing awareness amongst Irish householders that switching to a new Nissan Leaf can help them to save significantly on the cost of running their car".

“This result for July is a real benchmark and provides huge encouragement for the future of Electric Vehicles in Ireland,” said James McCarthy, CEO, Nissan Ireland. “We have been advocates for electric driving over the last 8 years and it’s fantastic to see people starting to make the switch in numbers now".

"Consumers are conscientiously weighing up whether the car can save them money. Our Leaf customers have shown us that they are at least €1,350 a year better off for driving the 100% electric Nissan Leaf,” said Mr. McCarthy, “and no other drivetrain – petrol, diesel or hybrid, can come close to delivering that level of running cost savings".

Citroen South Dublin

Citroën Welcomes New Dealership Citroën South Dublin

Citroën Ireland has appointed a new dealership - Citroën South Dublin - based on the Whitechurch Road, Rathfarnham.

Citroën South Dublin is part of the family owned Fort Motors Group, which was founded in 1959 by Cyril Molloy and is managed today by his sons, Paul and Cyril. The team at Fort Motors are very proud to have built up a great reputation with customers thanks to their knowledge and dedication to customer service and satisfaction.

Speaking at the contract signing, Pat Ryan, Managing Director, Citroën Ireland, commented, “We are delighted to appoint Citroën South Dublin as our latest addition to our growing Network. It's a very exciting time to join the Citroën Brand with the 100-year anniversary taking place in 2019 and the highly anticipated Citroën C5 Aircross and New Generation Berlingo launching later this year. We are really looking forward to working together with Cyril, Paul and all the team to serve many current and new Citroën customers in South Dublin over the coming years.”

Cyril Molloy, Dealer Principal, Citroën South Dublin said, “We are excited at the opportunity which the Citroën range of cars and vans holds for the South Dublin area. Our understanding of this local market has been built over almost 60 years, and we are confident that the Citroën brand will resonate with motorists here on a number of fronts, not least its individualism and contemporary styling.”

Hyundai Tucson

New Car Registrations In Ireland July 2018

Hyundai Tucson
The Hyundai Tucson was Ireland's bestselling car in July

The Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) has released the official 182 new vehicle registration figures for July. Car sales were down 2.75% (26,944) compared to July 2017 (27,707).

The top five selling car brands so far in 2018 are 1. Volkswagen, 2. Toyota 3. Hyundai 4. Ford and 5.Nissan.

The top  five car models so far in 2018 are 1. Hyundai Tucson, 2. Nissan Qashqai, 3. Volkswagen Golf, 4. Ford Focus, and 5. Skoda Octavia.

The bestselling car in Ireland in July 2018 was the Hyundai Tucson.

Light Commercial registrations are currently up 12.4% (4,433) compared to July last year (3,944), while Heavy Goods Vehicle registrations were also up 23.28% (376) in comparison to July 2017 (305).

The SIMI's second Quarterly Motor Industry Review of 2018 highlights that while Ireland’s economic indicators continue to evolve in a positive manner, the depreciation in the value of sterling since the end of 2015 has made life more difficult for the Irish motor trade, with new car sales been displaced by used imports from the UK.

Used car imports have increased by 11.7% year to date, aided by the weakness in sterling. There have been monthly declines in new car registrations figures, reflecting the substantial impact of Brexit.

Looking ahead to the remainder of 2018 Jim Power, Economist and author of the SIMI Report said: “The economic fundamentals that underpin new car registrations look set to remain positive but continued strong growth in used imports will continue to undermine new car sales. For 2018, the used import market is projected to grow by around 12% to reach 104,660. New car registrations in 2018 are forecast at around 125,000, which would represent a decline of 4.8% on the 2017 outturn."

Alan Nolan, Director General, SIMI commented: “The 182 sales period has been a good month with new car registrations only slightly down on the same period last year, while registrations in the commercial sector in particular are showing positive signs of growth, with businesses investing in the renewal of their fleets. Electric vehicle registrations have seen a marked increased despite currently only holding small percentage of the marketplace and will continue to grow over the coming years."