The new Citroen C3 Aircross will be used for driver training

Citroën Supports ‘Driving for Work’ Safe Driving Experience

The new Citroen C3 Aircross will be used for driver training
The new Citroën C3 Aircross will be used for driver training at a new purpose built Road Safety Experience Centre in Co. Monaghan

Citroën Ireland has joined forces with Road Safety Ireland to support their new ‘Driving for Work’ Safe Driving Experience, which is now being offered at a new purpose built Road Safety Experience Centre in Co. Monaghan.

Citroën will provide a new Citroën C3 Aircross and a Citroën C3, which will be used in the new training experience programme.

The ‘Driving for Work’ Safe Driving Experience aims to build knowledge and awareness to the five causes of collision fatalities and serious injuries: speeding, drink / drug driving, distraction, seatbelts and driving while tired.

The training will take place in the world-class training suite and drivers experience Winter Driving / Skid Control / Skid Pan Experience on a purpose built track using the very latest in immersive learning techniques, equipment and technology.

Carried out in a safe and controlled environment the Citroën vehicles will be used to demonstrate correct steering and seating position, enhanced driving skills covering the latest safety features available and learn about vehicle dynamics. Training will be targeted at driving for work, new to the road – younger drivers, professional drivers, transition year students as well as post-accident and remedial driving courses.

The Citroen C3 and Citroen C3 Aircross at a new purpose built Road Safety Experience Centre in Co. Monaghan.
The Citroën C3 and Citroën C3 Aircross will be used throughout the Safe Driving Experience

Speaking about the new safety experience, Pat Ryan, Managing Director, Citroën Ireland, commented, “We are delighted to support this dynamic, new driving initiative by providing Road Safety Ireland with the new Citroën C3 Aircross and a Citroën C3, which will be used throughout the Safe Driving Experience. Driver safety is a priority for the Citroën brand, with our vehicle safety features including lane departure warning and coffee break alert, so we are delighted to be involved with this advanced safety driving experience,”

To book your “Driving for Work” Safe Driving Experience contact Road Safety Ireland on 047 89098 or email info@roadsafetyireland.ie.


Pricing announced for 191 Ford Focus range

Ford Announces 191 Promotion Prices For New Ford Focus

Pricing announced for 191 Ford Focus range
Ford Ireland has released discounted pricing for the 191 Ford Focus range

As part of Ford Ireland's 191 new registration promotion, revised pricing has been announced for the Ford Focus range, which arrived in Ireland last month.

The lead-in price to the new Ford Focus range in Ireland is now €22,495, down from €24,900. This 191 registration promotion covers vehicles ordered before the end of December 2018.

Commenting on the 191 promotional prices for the new Focus, Ford Ireland Chairman and Managing Director, Ciarán McMahon, said: “Since it first arrived in Ireland 20 years ago, the Ford Focus has been hugely popular with Irish motorists who loved both its standout design and great driving dynamics.  Our 191 registration promotion will make Focus as enticing to new car buyers across the country as it was when the car first appeared here back in 1999.”

191 Registration Pricing for Focus*:

 Model Bodystyle Engine Price from
Zetec 5D 1.0T EcoBoost 125PS Manual 6 speed €22,495
Zetec 5D 1.5TD EcoBlue 120PS Manual 6 speed €24,368
Zetec 5D 1.5TD EcoBlue 120PS Automatic 8 speed €26,361
Zetec Wagon 1.0T EcoBoost 125PS Manual 6 speed €23,565
Zetec Wagon 1.5TD EcoBlue 120PS Manual 6 speed €25,438
Zetec Wagon 1.5TD EcoBlue 120PS Automatic 8 speed €27,432
ST-Line 5D 1.0T EcoBoost 125PS Manual 6 speed €23,495
ST-Line 5D 1.5TD EcoBlue 120PS Manual 6 speed €25,403
ST-Line 5D 1.5TD EcoBlue 120PS Automatic 8 speed €27,387
ST-Line Wagon 1.0T EcoBoost 125PS Manual 6 speed €24,565
ST-Line Wagon 1.5TD EcoBlue 120PS Manual 6 speed €26,444
ST-Line Wagon 1.5TD EcoBlue 120PS Automatic 8 speed €28,457
Titanium 5D 1.0T EcoBoost 125PS Manual 6 speed €24,495
Titanium 5D 1.5TD EcoBlue 120PS Manual 6 speed €26,373
Titanium 5D 1.5TD EcoBlue 120PS Automatic 8 speed €28,356
Titanium Wagon 1.0T EcoBoost 125PS Manual 6 speed €25,565
Titanium Wagon 1.5TD EcoBlue 120PS Manual 6 speed €27,443
Titanium Wagon 1.5TD EcoBlue 120PS Automatic 8 speed €29,427
Vignale 5D 1.0T EcoBoost 125PS Manual 6 speed €28,495
Vignale 5D 1.5TD EcoBlue 120PS Manual 6 speed €30,419
Vignale 5D 1.5TD EcoBlue 120PS Automatic 8 speed €32,388
Vignale Wagon 1.0T EcoBoost 125PS Manual 6 speed €29,566
Vignale Wagon 1.5TD EcoBlue 120PS Manual 6 speed €31,453
Vignale Wagon 1.5TD EcoBlue 120PS Automatic 8 speed €33,420

 *At participating dealers; terms and conditions apply


The new Dacia Duster is on sale in Ireland now

2018 Dacia Duster 1.5dCi Review

The new Dacia Duster is on sale in Ireland now
The new Dacia Duster is on sale in Ireland now

Caroline drives the 2018 Dacia Duster.

The Dacia Duster has been a bit of a runaway success in Ireland, with over 10,000 Dusters finding homes here since it first arrived in 2012. Not a bad performance for Dacia, a relatively new challenger brand to the Irish market. It’s fair to say Irish buyers have embraced the Dacia Duster’s ‘no nonsense’ approach to motoring and accepted this budget SUV into the fold.

The next generation of the Dacia Duster has just arrived in Ireland so I was keen to secure a test drive to see what makes the Duster so popular.

For a start there is the price. The range kicks off at supermini money - €17,390 for a compact SUV. That certainly sparks interest. Diesels are available from €18,590. Yes, this is ‘shockingly affordable’ motoring.

Duster's got rugged, boyish charm

Part of the Dacia Duster’s charm I believe also has to be its styling. Though it occupies the compact area of the market, the Duster is not small on attitude. It has the presence of a tough little off-roader and whether intentional or not, Dacia has created something quite distinct in the segment while rivals like the Renault Captur and SEAT Arona go for a softer look.

Now don't get me wrong, Dacia has taken some of the angles off this new Duster and it’s looking less square. All the body panels are new, but it’s a gentle evolution of styling that enhances the Duster’s rugged appeal and will certainly not isolate fans of the first generation of the vehicle.

The interior of the 2018 Dacia Duster
The interior of the 2018 Dacia Duster

Inside the 2018 Dacia Duster

Hop inside and you will be greeted with swathes of hard grey plastic that allow the Duster to compete at such a low entry price. The dashboard and interior have been revised, though it remains plain but seemingly well screwed together. There’s a multimedia touchscreen display in the centre of the dash, though the graphics do look quite dated. The seats have been completely redesigned with denser foam for improved comfort and support, and the driver enjoys the same high seating position as the previous car.

In Ireland there are three trim levels: Essential, Comfort and Prestige. Standard features include LED daytime running lights, Emergency Brake Assist, 16-inch steel wheels and DAB radio with steering-column mounted controls and Bluetooth connectivity. Comfort trim  (from €19,790) adds 16-inch alloy wheels, manual air conditioning, leather steering wheel, rear parking camera and sensors, electric front and rear windows and the MediaNav 7" touchscreen multimedia system. The Prestige version (from €21,290) adds 17-inch alloy wheels, multi-view camera, blind spot warning, climate control and keyless entry.

Will the Duster fit my gear?

Interior space in the Duster is good for this size of vehicle. The footwells in the rear are of a good size, and there’s plenty of headroom. In terms of the width of the rear bench, two will be more comfortable than three, which is similar to competitors. The boot is also very usable with a practical shape and a generous capacity of 445 litres.

The Dacia Duster is available from €17,390
The Dacia Duster is available from €17,390

In terms of engines, Dacia Ireland is now offering the Duster with a 1.6-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine, along with the well proven 1.5dCi. Both engines offer 115hp, though the diesel has more torque and is the best for economy in the range. Standard models are front wheel drive, though 4x4 is available from €20,590 with the diesel engine from January 2019.

What's the 2018 Dacia Duster like on the road?

The model I tested was a front wheel drive Dacia Duster Prestige 1.5 dCi with a list price of €22,490. With that pricing it’s still quite the bargain for a diesel compact SUV. Over a few days of driving my fuel consumption was 6.1 litres per 100kms and motor tax for this model is €200 per year.

On the road, the diesel has plenty of power to move the Duster efficiently and is reasonably refined too. Dacia has improved the sound insulation in the cabin and the 2018 Duster also comes with a new electric power steering that reduces the effort required to turn the wheel by 35 per cent.

The steering is very light, so it’s great for parking and manoeuvring, but contributes to a more vague feel at speed. Dynamically the Duster could be sharper and more refined, but on the plus side it's comfortable and perfectly acceptable considering the price point of the vehicle.

Dacia has improved the packaging of the Duster considerably with a smarter exterior, more equipment, and improved comfort and refinement. The interior finish and the driving experience hint at the Duster’s more budget positioning in the market. But this Duster is a likable and very affordable compact SUV with an attitude far bigger than its humble beginnings!

The Dacia Duster offers great value in the compact SUV segment
The Dacia Duster offers great value in the compact SUV segment

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Dacia Duster Prestige Blue dCi 115 4x2
Price: 
€22,490 (Range from €17,390)
Engine: 1.5-litre turbo diesel
Power:
115hp
Torque: 260 Nm
0-100km/h:  
10.5 seconds
Top speed: 178 km/h
Economy: 
4.4/100km
CO2 emissions: 
115 g/km
Motor tax: 
€200 per year


The Ferrari Monza SP1

2018 Paris Motor Show

The Ferrari Monza SP1
The Ferrari Monza SP1 at the 2018 Paris Motor Show

What will the 2018 Paris Motor Show be remembered for? This year’s show was a reasonably calm affair: fewer manufacturers and fewer press conferences, with brands such as Volkswagen, Ford, Volvo, Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Mazda, Opel and Bentley not attending this year.

Yet there were still plenty of manufacturers taking up floor space at Paris, with Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, Peugeot, Citroen and Renault some of the brands putting on a considerable display of confidence in the biennial motor show.

It was the usual mix of performance car, concept car, family car, and increasingly electric car and hybrid car.

Audi's new all-electric SUV, the e-tron
Audi's new all-electric SUV, the e-tron

High profile debuts included the Audi e-tron SUV, BMW 3-Series, Kodiaq RS, Kia Proceed, SEAT Tarraco, DS 3 Crossback, and Mercedes-Benz GLE, while Toyota brought three new models that you are going to hear a lot about in the next 12 months - the new Corolla, Camry and RAV4 Hybrids.

Renault and Peugeot brought their A game when it came to concepts - the retro-inspired Peugeot e-LEGEND Concept the unofficial star of the show, and the Renault EZ-Ultimo ticked the weird but wonderful box, obligatory for any motor show.

But there were few brags of horsepower; electric range is far more fashionable these days. Kia brought the e-Niro, Mercedes-Benz the EQC and Audi the e-tron SUV, all touting a range over 400km.

The Peugeot e-LEGEND Concept was a stand out car from this year's show
The Peugeot e-LEGEND Concept was a stand out car from this year's show

The performance cars were present but this year sitting a but more shyly among the SUVs and eco-warriors. Ferrari brought the 488 Pista Spider, Monza SP1 and SP2, Hyundai brought the i30 N Fastback, Audi brought the new SQ2 and R8 LMS GT3, BMW brought the Z4 and 8-Series, and Mercedes-Benz the A-Class A 35.

The 2018 Paris Motor Show was also an opportunity to explore some of the other cars making their way to Ireland imminently including the Audi A1 and Q3, Citroen C5 Aircross, Peugeot 508, Renault Kadjar (facelift), BMW X5, Suzuki Jimny and Honda CR-V Hybrid.

Citroen brought a C5 Aircross plug-in hybrid, expected in Ireland in 2020
Citroen brought a C5 Aircross plug-in hybrid, expected in Ireland in 2020

For more photos and commentary from the show, please visit my Instagram and Twitter profiles!


The new Ford Focus is selling well in Ireland

New Car Registration Data For Ireland In September 2018

The new Ford Focus is selling well in Ireland
The new Ford Focus is selling well in Ireland

Official statistics released by the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) show that the total new car registrations in Ireland for the month of September were down 17.9% (3,201) when compared to September 2017 (3,897).

Registrations year to date are down 4.2% (123,099) on the same period last year (128,548).

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

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

The bestselling car in September in Ireland was the Ford Focus.

New Light Commercial Vehicle registrations (LCV) were down 12.0% (1,285) on September 2017 (1,460), but are up 5.65% (23,788) year to date.

New Heavy Commercial Vehicles (HGV) have increase 40.44% for the month of September (191) when compared to the same month last year (136) and are up 4.61% (2,337) year to date.

Imported Used Cars have shown a slight decrease of 1.9% for the month of September 2018 (8,494) when compared to September 2017 (8,662) while year to date are 9.13% (77,277) ahead of 2017 (70,813).

Motor Industry calls on Government to avoid further destabilisation of the Irish Car Market in the Budget

Commenting on the figures, Alan Nolan, SIMI Director General, said, "The negative impact of Brexit is continuing to drive new car registrations ever lower while increasing the volume of used imports on foot of a low sterling exchange rate and the falling value of older diesel cars in the UK.”

He continued, “We are also facing a further serious challenge with the rollout of the new WLTP emissions testing regime that is being phased in since 1st of September on all new cars. Under the new test regime, new cars will face an additional tax burden compared to used-imports as the stricter test will produce higher CO2 values, but this only applies to new cars. Unless the issue is addressed in the Budget this could mean a VRT increase for motorists buying new cars, but not for those buying a used import, although the EU had stated that it was never intended that consumers should have to pay increased taxes as a result of an improved emissions test."

"If this is not addressed over the next two Budgets in line with the phasing-in of this new WLTP regime this is exactly what will happen at a time when the new car market is already at a disadvantage relative to the already large volume of imports. SIMI has called on the Government to implement a small interim adjustment to the VRT Bands for 2019, while a more accurate adjustment can be made for 2020 when the full WLTP is due to be implanted and more much accurate data on the new test results will be available. We strongly believe that this is the only strategy that can protect State Revenues and the environment as well as supporting the viability of businesses and employment in the Irish Motor Industry."

"The other key issue for the Industry as well as for the business sector and those who live in rural Ireland, is the need to avoid unnecessarily increasing diesel taxation, whether VRT, Road Tax or fuel excise duties. The move toward diesel since 2008 was encouraged by the State and the necessary migration away from the high level of diesel market share (70% in 2016) is already happening naturally (54% in 2018). Any discriminatory measures in relation to diesel are unnecessary, will make it more difficult for current diesel owners to trade up to a zero-emitting or lower emitting car and has the potential to further destabilise the car market. Given the importance of diesel cars for those living in remoter areas, any such negative moves would impact unnecessarily harshly on rural Ireland. Diesel is also the fuel of business, and increasing diesel tax will increase the cost of doing business in Ireland which will also be challenged by the fall-out from Brexit. Such policies should not be implemented without detailed examination of the potential for damaging, unplanned consequences.”