The team at James Barry Motors with members of the team from Citroën Ireland

James Barry Motors Appointed Citroën Dealer In Limerick

The team at James Barry Motors with members of the team from Citroën Ireland
The team at James Barry Motors with members of the team from Citroën Ireland

Citroën Ireland has appointed James Barry Motors as a new dealership in Limerick.

James Barry Motors is based on the Dock Road in Limerick City. The dealership is run by husband and wife team, James and Diane Barry.

Speaking at the contract signing, Pat Ryan, Managing Director, Citroën Ireland, commented, “We are delighted to welcome James Barry Motors to our growing Network which now stands at 22 sales dealerships throughout the country. All at Citroën Ireland are really looking forward to working with James, Diane and all the team at James Barry Motors at this very exciting time for the Brand with the 100-year anniversary coming up next year as well as the upcoming arrival of the highly anticipated Citroën C5 Aircross SUV and New Generation Berlingo.”

James Barry, Dealer Principal, James Barry Motors said, “This is a really exciting time for us at James Barry Motors and is another milestone in our ambition to grow and develop the business as we constantly expand on what the dealership can offer to customers in Limerick and the wider area. Citroën’s range of cars and commercial vehicles stand apart from other car brands through their unique design and state of the art comfort and the vehicle range is instantly recognisable. The Brand really compliments our growing business, how we see ourselves as a Dealership and also how we want our customers to see us.”

The new Ford Focus

New Ford Focus Arrives In Ireland!

The new Ford Focus
The new Ford Focus has arrived in Ireland!

The new Ford Focus has arrived in Ireland, priced from €24,900.

Available as a five door hatchback or a wagon, this is the fourth generation of Ford's popular mid-size car. More than 129,000 Ford Focus models have been sold in Ireland since its original launch in 1998, making it one of the most popular cars in Ireland.

“Our all-new Ford Focus is the pinnacle of technology and driving appeal in its segment,” said Ciarán McMahon, Chairman and Managing Director of Ford Ireland. “In spite of the rise of the SUV over the last number of years, Focus is consistently in the top 10 for car sales in Ireland and we are sure that this high tech new Focus will delight the many fans that the nameplate has won over the last 20 years.”

The new Ford Focus will be on sale in Ireland with a 1.0-litre EcoBoost 125hp petrol engine (from €24,900) and a new 1.5-litre EcoBlue 120hp diesel engine (from €26,800). Every model now features Drive Modes as standard that adjust the car’s characteristics to match the driving situation, including Sport, Eco and Normal driving modes.

A six-speed manual transmission comes as standard while there is also a new eight-speed automatic gearbox available.

The 2018 Ford Focus will be available in four trim levels: Zetec, ST-Line, Titanium and Vignale.

Standard equipment on the Focus Zetec includes 16” alloys, LED daytime running lights, 6.5” SYNC 3 with Android Auto & Apple CarPlay, cruise control with lane-keeping aid and pre-collision assist including vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists.

The Focus ST-Line (from €26,400) adds 17” alloys, ST-Line body kit, twin polished tail pipes, large rear spoiler, keyless start, interior sports trim, sports suspension and ST-Line scuff plates.

The Focus Titanium (from €27,400) adds front and rear parking sensors, 8” SYNC 3 with navigation & Android Auto & Apple CarPlay, FordPass Connect embedded modem, keyless entry/start and LED rear lamps.

The Focus Vignale (from €32,230) adds 18” alloys, unique Vignale body-styling, 8” SYNC 3 B&O Play with navigation, Android Auto & Apple CarPlay, full leather seats and armrest, head up display, privacy glass and Vignale chrome tail pipes.

An all-new Ford Focus Active crossover model will arrive in Ireland in early 2019, featuring rugged sports utility vehicle-inspired styling, raised ride-height, roof bars and additional cladding.

The new Ford Focus is on sale now. Read our driving impressions here.

The Ford Focus is available with two engines and four trims
The Ford Focus is available with two engines and four trims

The 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

Updated Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV On Sale In October

The 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
The 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

A new Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) will go on sale in Ireland in October 2018 with reduced pricing from €39,900.

The 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is also one of the first plug-in hybrids to be officially rated in the new WLTP fuel consumption and emissions tests. The Outlander achieved a CO2 emissions figure of 46g/km (a change of 5g/km from previous NEDC protocol), and a maximum EV range of 45 km.

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV has been extensively updated for model year 2019 and will start from €39,900 for the Intense model, €43,900 for the Instyle model and €47,500 for the S-Edition model.

More power for updated Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

A new, 2.4-litre petrol engine uses MIVEC variable-valve timing system to seamlessly switch between Otto and Atkinson combustion cycles depending on the driving situation. It produces more power compared to the older unit (135 hp vs 121 hp) and more torque across a wider rev range (211 Nm vs 190 Nm).

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV’s electric powertrain has also been improved, with the rear electric motor now producing 95hp and a drive battery with a 10% higher output and increased capacity to 13.8kWh. 0-100kmh acceleration is now 10.5 seconds, 0.3 seconds faster than before.

The interior of the revised Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
The interior of the revised Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

Improved comfort and refinement

Shock absorbers have been revised to improve the low-speed ride and a new “Sport Mode” brings sharper throttle responsiveness and more grip via the Super All-Wheel Control system. The steering rack has been quickened and the power steering ECU re-mapped to offer more responsiveness and feel, while larger front brake discs boosts stopping power. There’s also a new “Snow Mode” to improve low-grip launching and cornering abilities on slippery surfaces.

Mitsubishi says the Outlander PHEV is also "quieter and more refined, with more comfort and supportive front seats", as well as new switchgear, a revised instrument cluster, the addition of rear vents, more convenient USB ports and new interior accent trim.

A new front end with a redesigned grille, new bumper extension and new lighting help distinguish the 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, while the rear is enhanced with a redesigned rear bumper extension and a large roof spoiler. New 18-inch multi-spoke alloys complete the exterior revisions.

The new Volkswagen Polo

2018 Volkswagen Polo 1.0-litre Review

The new Volkswagen Polo
The new Volkswagen Polo

Caroline drives the new Volkswagen Polo.

The Volkswagen Polo is one of the perennials of the supermini class: it's been around for years and it's as popular with young drivers as it is with retirees. In late 2017, Volkswagen introduced the sixth generation of their evergreen supermini.

Built on the Volkswagen Group’s new MQB AO platform, Volkswagen is taking the Polo into a new era with more space and improved technology. The new Volkswagen Polo range goes on sale from €16,795, and it's now five door only.

The Volkswagen Polo has always felt more mature compared to competitors, but the competition is closing in fast, even from within the Volkswagen Group’s own stable. The SEAT Ibiza uses the same platform while new generations of the Ford Fiesta and Citroen C3 launched in the last 18 months each form compelling cases for themselves.

The Volkswagen Polo has great interior space

The use of the MQB AO underpinnings has allowed Volkswagen to create significantly more dynamic proportions for the new Polo, with a long wheelbase and short body overhangs. The body panels all sit well on this new frame, with the sort of reserved confidence that Volkswagen is known for.

The interior of the new Volkswagen Polo
The interior of the new Volkswagen Polo

The new Polo is longer and wider with a lower overall height but improved headroom versus its predecessor. Up front the Polo is one of the most spacious cars of this ilk. In the back the footwells are generous, as is headroom. Of course, it's still going to be on the uncomfortable side for a middle passenger but the use of space is excellent on this new platform. The boot volume has grown 25% from 280 litres to 351 litres.

The interior is well-made and sturdy with familiar Volkswagen switchgear. It’s a little dull but coloured dashpads are available, which would go some way to brighten the cabin. Volkswagen is keen to stress that this Polo is the one for the digital era, so that means slick infotainment systems, seamless integration with smartphones and the option of a flashy new digital instrument cluster, available for the first time in this class.

How much does the new Volkswagen Polo cost?

So far the Volkswagen Polo serves up a mature small car experience - but you will also pay a bit more for it. Several rivals undercut the Polo's starting price of €16,795 and that's for a very basic 1.0-litre, naturally aspirated three cylinder petrol engine with 65 hp. A 75 hp version of the same engine will set you back €17,350 while the tastier 95 hp 1.0-litre turbo petrol unit starts from a more prohibitive €21,995 - though it does come in a more well equipped Comfortline spec. There is a 1.6TDI diesel with 80 hp priced from €20,195.

The Volkswagen Polo starts from €16,795 in Ireland
The Volkswagen Polo starts from €16,795 in Ireland

The entry level Trendline models come with 15” steel wheels, four electric windows, forward collision warning, autonomous emergency breaking, pedestrian monitoring, auto headlights, 6.5” Composition Colour radio system with four speakers and Bluetooth. The Comfortline model is a much nicer equipped car with air con, cruise control, 15” alloy wheels, front fog lamps, 8” touchscreen with clear glass surround and 6 speakers, voice control and App connect.

My test car was a 1.0-litre 65hp Comfortline model with a list price of €18,695. The test car had a Technology upgrade for €499 with 16” alloys, parking sensors, lights and vision package, folding mirrors, driver alert system, and a space and weight saving spare wheel. With this engine, the Volkswagen Polo is very efficient and my fuel consumption over a week of driving was 5.2 litre/100km. Motor tax for this model is €190 per year.

The Volkswagen Polo 1.0 shines in the town and city

Power is not a strong point for this model. The 65 hp and 95 Nm of torque translate to lethargic performance on the road that will require some serious planning for overtaking manoeuvres! But for town driving, this 1.0-litre Polo is completely adequate.

Elsewhere, steering is light but precise, and the Polo is agile and fun within urban surroundings. The three cylinder engine transmits some vibration through the pedals at idle though generally refinement on the road is good with decent sound insulation for a small car. The Polo is also one of the most comfortable and compliant small cars. This makes it very likable.

The Volkswagen Polo: the mature small car!
The Volkswagen Polo: the mature small car!

The Volkswagen Polo is a safe choice of supermini and that is what has made it a household name over the past 40 years. It does require some investment and there are quite boring but efficient engine choices to kick the range off. The biggest threat to the Polo is the SEAT Ibiza with its more value pricing, exciting persona and similar hardware underneath that makes it equally spacious.

But realistically the Polo doesn't have much to break into a sweat about; there will always be a market for the quiet, comfortable and dependable Volkswagen Polo!

Model tested: Volkswagen Polo 1.0-litre Comfortline
€18,695 (Range starts at €16,795)
Engine: 1.0-litre petrol
Torque: 95Nm
15.5 seconds
Top speed: 165km/h
CO2 emissions:  
Motor tax:
€190 per year

Caroline Kidd

Rose of Tralee Kirsten Mate Maher and her new Kia Ceed

2018 Rose Of Tralee Collects Her New Kia Ceed

Rose of Tralee Kirsten Mate Maher and her new Kia Ceed
2018 Rose of Tralee Kirsten Mate Maher and her new Kia Ceed!

The newly crowned Rose of Tralee, Kirsten Mate Maher, has collected her new Kia Ceed from Sheridan Motors, Waterford. Kirsten will have use of the car during her year as the Rose of Tralee.

Kirsten is the third Waterford Rose to be crowned the Rose of Tralee, with Orla Burke winning in 1977 and Brenda Hyland who won in 1983. The 21 year old winning Rose works in a boutique in Waterford, sings with the Island of Ireland Peace Choir and also plays hockey with Waterford Ladies’ first team.

The new Kia Ceed arrived in Ireland in August. It's available with petrol and diesel engines, priced from €22,695.

Pictured below at the handover in Sheridan Motors are Gerry Sheridan from Sheridan Motors, Woojai Kim, President, Kia Motors Ireland and Kirsten Mate Maher, Rose of Tralee 2018.

Kirsten Mate Maher, Rose of Tralee 2018, Woojai Kim, President, Kia Motors Ireland and Gerry Sheridan from Sheridan Motors.
Kirsten receiving the keys to her new Kia Ceed from Gerry Sheridan, Sheridan Motors, and Woojai Kim, President, Kia Motors Ireland.

WLTP will give car buyers more realistic fuel economy and emissions values when buying their new car

WLTP: Everything You Need To Know

WLTP will give car buyers more realistic fuel economy and emissions values when buying their new car
New WLTP emissions testing for new cars and vans looks set to shake up the motor industry

What is WLTP?

WLTP is a new, more realistic test procedure for measuring fuel consumption and CO2 emissions for new cars, as well as their pollutant emissions directly on the road by the Real Driving Emissions (RDE) test. Here's a simple guide to the new procedure and what it means for motorists in Ireland.

What does WLTP stand for?

Worldwide harmonised Light vehicle Test Procedure.

What does WLTP measure?

Under EU law, all new passenger cars must undergo emissions testing. WLTP is a new laboratory test that measures fuel consumption and CO2 emissions for passenger cars, and their pollutant emissions. It replaces the New European Test Cycle (NEDC) that was used since 1992.

Why the change?

The WLTP is a stricter set of test conditions that will give more realistic fuel consumption and CO2 emission values for the benefit of consumers. NEDC was based on theoretical driving; the new procedure is based on real driving data that better reflects on-road performance.


  • Dynamic cycle more representative of real driving vs single test cycle
  • 30 mins cycle time vs 20 mins cycle time
  • 23.25 km cycle distance vs 11 km cycle distance
  • 4 more dynamic driving phases vs 2 driving phases
  • 46.5 km/h average speed vs 34 km/h average speed
  • 131 km/h maximum speed vs 120 km/h maximum speed
  • Influence of optional equipment on CO2 and fuel performance considered under new procedure
  • Different gear shift points for each vehicle vs fixed gear shift points
  • Measurements at 23 degrees Celsius, CO2 values corrected to 14 degrees Celsius vs measurements at 20-30 degrees Celsius

What's the impact?

Due to more realistic test conditions, the fuel consumption and CO2 emissions measured under the new procedure are in many cases higher compared to those measured under the NEDC. In countries like Ireland that follow CO2 based taxation, this obviously will have an impact on the price of our cars and motor tax if adjustments are not made by national governments. The new test also measures the influence of optional equipment on CO2 and fuel economy, so these values may vary for cars within the same model range depending on vehicle specification.

When does WLTP start?

The new procedure is being phased in between 2017 and 2020. It's in the news now because from 1st September 2018, all new cars must be approved under the WLTP test procedure. In the transitional period, new cars will have both a WLTP and a calculated NEDC equivalent CO2 and consumption value, the latter which can still be used for vehicle registration and taxation purposes until full bedding in of WLTP in 2020. From 1st January 2019, the EU recommends that only fuel consumption and CO2 emissions values under the new procedure are used for consumer information purposes.

Does WLTP apply to vans?

Yes it does. From 1 September 2018 manufacturers will have to provide WLTP values for newly introduced light commercial vehicles.

WLTP in Ireland

WLTP values for CO2 emissions and fuel consumption, and the calculated NEDC values that can be used during the transition to full WLTP, will in many cases be higher compared to the NEDC values for the same car. In Ireland, this could mean that cars become more expensive to buy and to tax as we transition. Some brands are predicting increases of a few hundred euro based on the NEDC-correlated values. SIMI is calling on the Government to review VRT Bands in the next Budget to accommodate for higher, more realistic CO2 emissions on new cars as a result of the new emissions testing procedure, so that the consumer does not incur additional costs. Industry experts predict that some models could be discontinued if they are no longer deemed to be suitable for the Irish market based on rising costs as a result of CO2 based taxation. However there is still uncertainty in the industry to the full impact, with many insiders taking a 'wait and see' approach.

Which cars are WLTP compliant?

Up to date information can be found from the manufacturers' websites. Some manufacturers have already released revised fuel economy and emissions data for their range of vehicles.

For more information, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) has created this resource.

Caroline Kidd


Featured On YourParkingSpace


I was asked recently to contribute to an article on YourParkingSpace on clever ways to earn a side income.

YourParkingSpace helps driveway, garage and car park owners earn money by connecting them with drivers looking for affordable parking spaces.

You can read the article here.

The 2018 Dacia Duster has arrived in Ireland!

New Dacia Duster Arrives In Ireland!

The 2018 Dacia Duster has arrived in Ireland!
The 2018 Dacia Duster has arrived in Ireland!

The new Dacia Duster has arrived in Ireland, priced from €17,390. The 2018 Dacia Duster has a new look and interior with significant tweaks to refinement, comfort, engines and technology.

This is the second generation of the popular Duster. Since 2013, over 10,000 Dusters have found homes in Ireland.

Specifications and pricing for Dacia Duster in Ireland

The new Duster will be available in three trim levels in Ireland: Essential, Comfort and Prestige.

Essential trim, available from €17,390, includes LED daytime running lights, 16-inch steel wheels, body coloured front and rear bumpers, heat adjustable driver’s seat, DAB radio with steering-column mounted controls and Bluetooth connectivity.

Comfort trim, available from €19,790, adds 16-inch alloy wheels, manual air conditioning, leather steering wheel, rear parking camera and sensors, electric front and rear windows, heated and electrically adjustable door mirrors and a MediaNav 7" touchscreen multimedia system (Satellite navigation, USB and AUX connection points).

The top-of-the-range Prestige version, available from €21,290, adds 17-inch alloy wheels, multi-view camera, blind spot warning, climate control and keyless entry.

Prices above are for petrol models; diesel models carry a €1,200 premium.

Diesel power and a new petrol engine for Duster 

The new Dacia Duster will be available with an improved 1.5-litre diesel engine 'Blue dCi 115'. New for 2018 is the 'SCe 115', a 1.6-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine, also with 115hp. Both engines use a manual gearbox. The Blue dCi 115 will be available with a 4x4 transmission from January 2019 with pricing from €20,590.

The new Dacia Duster is available from Dacia dealerships nationwide from 10th September.

The new Audi A6 saloon

New Audi A6 Available Now

The new Audi A6 saloon
The new Audi A6 saloon

The new Audi A6 is available now in Ireland, priced from €51,650.

Buyers can choose their new Audi A6 from two trim lines, SE and S Line. Standard equipment includes LED headlamps, Lane Assist, Pre Sense front, Audi Connect, leather interior, smart phone interface and an 8.8" touchscreen ('MMI touch response system').

Audi says that there is more interior space in the new Audi A6, with more legroom, headroom and shoulder room for passengers.

'Mild hybrid' engines feature in the new Audi A6 to improve efficiency across the range. The 2.0-litre, 204PS 40 TDI and two 3.0TDI V6 engines are now available to order. A 2.0 TFSI variant will follow later in 2018.

Launch models are front wheel drive, though 'quattro' four wheel drive will be available at a later date.

The interior of the new Audi A6
The interior of the new Audi A6

The Ford Focus was Ireland's bestselling car in August!

New Car Registrations For Ireland In August 2018

The Ford Focus was Ireland's bestselling car in August!
The Ford Focus was Ireland's bestselling car in August!

Official data released by the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) shows that the total new car registrations for the month of August were up 3.5% - from 5,729 in August 2017 to 5,932 cars.

Overall in 2018, registrations are down 3.8% (119,937) on the same period last year (124,651).

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

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

The top selling car in August 2018 was the Ford Focus.

New Light Commercial Vehicle registrations (LCV) were up 1.4% (1,400) on August 2017 (1,380) and year to date are up 6.8% (22,485).

New Heavy Commercial Vehicles (HGV) have seen a small decrease of 1.5% for the month of August (201) when compared to the same month last year (204), and are up 2.3% (2,146) year to date.

Imported Used Cars have shown an increase of 4.4% for the month of August 2018 (8,814) when compared to August 2017 (8,445), while year to date the number of imported used cars are 10.7% (68,784) ahead of 2017 (62,151).

Commenting on the figures, SIMI Director General, Alan Nolan, said, “The economic fundamentals that underpin new car registrations look set to remain positive but strong growth in used imports will continue to undermine new car sales. For businesses in the Sector, the impact of low Sterling exchange rates, due to Brexit, will have driven used car imports to levels close to the new car sales total by the end of this year, with consequences for the State in terms of tax revenues and the environment, as the combined VAT and VRT receipts on imported used cars are significantly less than from new car sales and their average emissions are higher. 

Further challenges for the Industry arise as from the 1st of September all new cars are now subject to the rollout of WLTP (Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure). For consumers the changeover to the new emissions test was intended to be a very positive step providing better and more accurate information on environmental emissions and on fuel consumption to help them make better buying decisions. It was never intended that consumers should have to pay increased taxes as a result of this changeover but, if this is not addressed over the next two Budgets this is exactly what will happen.  

While there is not enough data available to be precise, indications are that CO2 values may increase by up to 10% in 2019 and perhaps by a further 19% in 2020 as we move to the full WLTP system. If there is not an appropriate adjustment to the VRT Bands to off-set the increased emissions values under the new test, in October’s Budget, then the improvements in emissions testing will simply deliver increased taxation and higher prices for the consumer. As a result new car sales will be further eroded which again impacts on businesses, on State revenues and on the environment”.