The Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé is a prestigious and desirable coupé

Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé Review

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé

Caroline drives the 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé.

There are few things more desirable in life than a slinky Mercedes-Benz coupé. Mercedes-Benz just has an aptitude for creating luxury sports coupés that will stop you in your tracks. A Mercedes-Benz coupé sells a dream of sunshine, asphalt, and slow, luxury living.

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé might be the most compact two door coupé that the brand offers, but none of that prestigious style has been compromised. With pricing starting from €38,365, the C-Class Coupé has been updated for 2019 with new engines, equipment and trim elements to keep it at the races.

Thankfully, the C-Class Coupé’s elegant and sporty silhouette remains every bit intact. There are new bumpers and a standard-fit diamond radiator grille with chrome pins on the AMG Line model. LED High Performance headlights now come as standard, as do more accentuated all-LED rear lights. The AMG Line model also has an AMG-specific front apron with sporty air intakes and chrome trim.

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé has had an update for 2019
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé has had an update for 2019

The interior of the 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé

Inside, the cabin of the 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé is very plush and luxurious with beautiful design elements like the sculpted leather seats, circular air vents and open pore black ash wood trim. The C-Class range gets a technology upgrade in that you can now opt for a 12.3-inch digital cockpit display and a 10.25-inch infotainment screen. The 10.25 inch screen as part of the Advantage pack is definitely worth considering (€3,417) as it looks a lot more premium and at home here than the standard 7” screen.

There is also a new multifunction steering wheel with touch-control buttons that respond to swiping motions like the screen of a smartphone.

The C-Class Coupé will seat four but being a coupé the rear space is tight on legroom and headroom. A narrow boot aperture hardly makes it the most practical member of the family either – you will be needing the C-Class Estate for that (!) – but there’s still plenty of room with 360 litres.

The interior of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé
The interior of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé

Standard equipment includes leather upholstery, cruise control, dual zone climate control, heated front seats, keyless start and 17” alloys. The AMG Line (from €41,342) models add sports pedals, reversing camera, 18” alloys and AMG bodystyling.

The C200 Features Mild Hybrid Technology

One of the most exciting additions for the 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé is the new 1.5-litre turbo petrol engine with EQ Boost mild hybrid technology. This model, badged C200, has a 48 volt on-board electrical system with a belt-driven starter/alternator and it gives the car a boost in performance and efficiency. When accelerating, EQ Boost can assist the 184 hp engine with an additional 14 hp, bridging the brief moment until the turbocharger has built up its full charge pressure.

There's a new steering wheel and option of a digital instrument panel
There's a new steering wheel and option of a digital instrument panel

During deceleration, the starter/alternator recuperates kinetic energy and charges the battery. There is also gliding mode with the engine switched off when the speed falls below a certain minimum level, and the recuperative brake with intelligent engine stop when the vehicle is coasting. Alongside the diesel engines, the petrol engines are also equipped with a particulate filter.

Other engines include a 1.6-litre petrol (C180), 2.0-litre petrol (C300), 1.6-litre diesel (C200d) and 2.0-litre diesel (C220d), as well as some sportier variants.

Driving the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé

The C-Class Coupé also gets the dynamic body control suspension that alters suspension damping characteristics in three stages. The damping characteristics are tuned more tautly in the two stages “Sport” and “Sport+”. The “Comfort” mode is tuned for a more comfortable ride and less tyre and road noise. There’s also a Sports Direct-Steer system for more agile and smooth handling.

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé is available from €38,365 in Ireland
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé is available from €38,365 in Ireland

On the road, the C-Class Coupé glides along the tarmac effortlessly. It is a comfortable, serene drive. It's agile and flexible through corners, without being overtly sporty. The C200 delivers smooth power through a nine speed automatic gearbox, though the engine was more noisy than what I was expecting. Over a week of driving the C200 averaged fuel consumption at 7.7l/100km, while motor tax is €390 per year.

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé is easily one of the best looking compact coupés out there. It’s a hugely desirable car with a fine interior also. On the road, it’s not the sportiest choice and in C200 guise I did miss the thick, syrupy pulling power of a diesel engine. But this remains a fine car that looks as good as the day it was launched.

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé is a prestigious and desirable coupé
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé is a prestigious and desirable coupé

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Mercedes-Benz C200 Coupé Automatic
Price:
€47,431 (Coupe range from €38,365)
Engine: 1.5-litre turbo petrol
Power: 
184 hp
Torque: 280 Nm
0-100km/h:  
7.9 seconds
Top speed: 239 km/h
Fuel economy:
6.1-6.5l/100km
CO2 emissions: 
148g/km
Motor tax: 
€390 per year


The Volkswagen T-Cross is a new compact SUV from Volkswagen

Volkswagen T-Cross On Sale In Ireland In April

The Volkswagen T-Cross is a new compact SUV from Volkswagen
The Volkswagen T-Cross is a new compact SUV from Volkswagen

Volkswagen Ireland has announced that the new Volkswagen T-Cross, the smallest SUV in the Volkswagen family, will go on sale in Ireland in April priced from €22,495.

There will be three engines available for the new Volkswagen T-Cross in Ireland. The entry into the range is the 1.0-litre 95hp (112g/km) petrol engine starting at €22,495, followed by the 1.0-litre 115hp petrol engine (111g/km) starting at €24,495. A 1.6-litre 95hp diesel will round up the model range for Ireland, starting at €25,295.

The T-Cross sits on the MQB platform, and at 4110mm long is 54mm longer than the Polo, 138mm higher and it comes with a luggage compartment, which holds between 385- and 455-litres thanks to a sliding rear bench that can be moved by 14cm.

The interior of the new Volkswagen T-Cross
The interior of the new Volkswagen T-Cross

Trim lines include the entry level ‘T-Cross’, followed by the ‘Life’ starting at €24,550, ‘Style’ starting at €26,795 and ‘R-Line’ starting at €27,995.

Specification highlights include on the ‘Life’ model – 16” alloy wheels, 8” infotainment system, App Connect, Climatronic Air Conditioning, 2 USB interfaces and Adaptive Cruise Control.

‘Style’ models add items such as 17” alloy wheels, LED headlights, and a Chrome package, while the ‘R-Line’ model gains 17” Sebring wheels R-Line exterior package and within this trim, customers can opt for optional 18” wheels and an R-Line Interior package.

There will also be Technology Upgrade Packs (€499 ‘Life’ / €799 ‘Style’ & ‘R-Line’) which bundle various favoured options at a reduced price. There are also Design Packs available for ‘Life’, ‘Style’ and ‘R-Line’ models.


Regina Doherty TD Minister for Employment Affairs & Social Protection with Karl McAllister Apprentice with Spirit Motor Group and Sarah Sweetman, Apprentice with Joe Duffy Ford

Motor Industry To Recruit 150 Apprentices

Regina Doherty TD Minister for Employment Affairs & Social Protection with Karl McAllister Apprentice with Spirit Motor Group and Sarah Sweetman, Apprentice with Joe Duffy Ford
Regina Doherty TD Minister for Employment Affairs & Social Protection with Karl McAllister Apprentice with Spirit Motor Group and Sarah Sweetman, Apprentice with Joe Duffy Ford

The Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) announced at the Intreo Careers Fair, Dublin Castle, that the Irish Motor Industry is looking to recruit 150 Apprentices throughout Ireland. Apprenticeships include Motor Mechanics, Heavy Vehicle Mechanics, Vehicle Body Repairs, Agricultural Mechanics and Construction Plant Fitting.

In order to undertake an apprenticeship a candidate must find a suitable employer
to take them on for the duration of their four-year apprenticeship. They then
register with SOLAS,
who oversee the Training programme and award of the National Craft Certificate
Standard.

SIMI’s member companies have committed to recruiting 150 apprentices. Details
of the companies and apprentice positions, are available on the SIMI’s website www.simi.ie
 

The Motor Industry employs over 42,000* people throughout Ireland in a variety of positions. While there is currently a shortage of apprentices within our Industry, this has also been seen in other trade sectors. Events such as National Jobs week are helping to highlight the opportunities and careers options that are currently available.        

Regina Doherty, TD Minister for Employment Affairs & Social Protection, said “I am delighted that SIMI and the Irish Motor industry is taking part in Jobs Week and it’s great to see so many opportunities available within the sector. These apprenticeships are a great example of the scope and scale of opportunity available within our growing economy and reflect the variety of careers we have been highlighting all week.”

Brian Cooke ,SIMI
Director General Designate said
“This is a wonderful opportunity for those who wish to
pursue a technical career while experiencing both a college and a working
environment. With the transition underway to cutting edge automotive
technologies, such as electric cars, hybrid vehicles, and autonomous vehicles, gather
pace there has never been a more exciting time to be a part of the
Industry.” 


Adams of Glin celebrates 50 years with Peugeot

Adams Of Glin Celebrate 50 Years With Peugeot

Adams of Glin in County Limerick

Adams of Glin, main Peugeot dealer in Glin, Co Limerick, is celebrating 50 years with the Peugeot brand in 2019. It's the oldest continuous Peugeot dealership in the country.

Sean Adams started the Adams of Glin business in the 1940s, as a motor service operation. It soon developed into a second hand car sales outlet and following a period of rapid success, Sean was appointed to the Peugeot dealer network in 1969. The dealership has carried the blue flag for the lion-brand in County Limerick ever since. Retired now for 10 years, Sean still spends time every day at the Glin showrooms.

Speaking of his success of half a century with Peugeot, Sean said: "Over the 50 years, Peugeot has served my family well, and we have served Peugeot well. From the time I started, my customers depended on me and my judgement. Businesses in small towns are very dependent on locals' business. But a local business will only be supported, if it earns customers' trust. You worked when it was needed. You worked Monday to Saturday, and on a Sunday if it was needed. I've been very lucky - I don't think I ever had a poor day, a day that I'd regret having. Looking back, I couldn't be happier."

Sean and Shane Adams of Adams of Glin

Des Cannon, Managing Director at Gowan Distributors, Peugeot Importer in Ireland said: "The Peugeot brand is steeped in a rich history, made richer still, thanks to our strong bonds with our Dealer partners, who weave their own stories into ours. We congratulate Sean, Shane, Des and the entire Adams of Glin family on reaching this phenomenal milestone and we wish them continued success for generations ahead."

Significantly, in 2003, a state-of-the-art Peugeot showroom was unveiled, sporting an 8-bay workshop, fully stocked Parts Department and displaying the full range of PEUGEOT passenger cars and light commercial vehicles.

Today Adams of Glin is a brand in its own right, representing the essential trust that underpins all successful businesses in rural Ireland. It is run by Sean's son Shane, with the help of a very professional cohort of management and staff, many of whom have been with the enterprise for decades: Henry Moran, Service Manager, joined the Adams team over 40 years ago; Eamon Leahy, Parts Manager started his career with the family over 38 years ago; Eddie Kirby, head mechanic, joined more than 40 years ago; John Murphy has been in sales in Adams of Glin for 40 years. Indeed, the average service years across the 27-strong staff at Adams of Glin is over 20 years, such is the loyalty of the team at the dealership.

Shane Adams, Dealer Principal said: "Adams of Glin is a brand name recognised across the mid-west of Ireland. Absolutely customer focused, everybody coming through our doors is treated equally as a potential customer and testament to that, we have a strong customer retention rate, despite operating from a small village location. That's what the Adams name stands for. I'm as hungry for business as my father ever was, and we work every day to get it and to add value for the customer. Do we get it right all the time? No, no one can. But we get it right most of the time, and have a good solid name and reputation. That's what people are buying."


BFGoodrich Dealer Network Expands Into Ireland

13 Irish BFGoodrich tyre dealerships attended a launch event at Kilkea Castle in Co. Kildare

Tyre manufacturer BFGoodrich has expanded its pan-European Off-Road Centre network into Ireland for the first time, as part of plans to work more closely with local tyre dealers recognised for their off-road tyre expertise.

The move saw 13 Irish dealerships attend the two-day launch event at Kilkea Castle in Co. Kildare, which included a detailed training induction, product briefing and a glimpse at some of the brand’s plans for the coming 12 months.

The second day saw dealers get to improve their off-road driving techniques at nearby Terrafirma Training, a dedicated 4x4 school, with a fleet of vehicles sporting BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 tyres and the newly launched Mud-Terrain T/A KM3.

Commenting on the decision to join the network, Thom Fox, owner of Ballinasloe Tyre Centre in Co. Galway, explains: “We’ve had BFGoodrich in our brand portfolio for a long time. It’s always been popular for both multi-purpose vehicles and dedicated off-roaders, particularly in the farming sector. Joining the network makes total business sense for us.”

BFGoodrich is looking to expand their network in Ireland

Mike McGrath, owner of Safeway Tyres in Ennis, Co. Clare, comments: “BFGoodrich is a premium professional 4x4 brand and as a dealer, it’s the one you want to be associated with. The launch of the network is great news for Ireland and aligns perfectly with how we run our business; offering the best advice, products and backup to our customers.”

BFGoodrich has plans to expand the network further, with dealers looking to join being required to have existing off-road expertise. They must also participate in local 4x4 events, record strong 4x4 tyre sales and take part in official BFGoodrich training, to ensure they can continue to provide expert advice to customers.


The new Citroën C5 Aircross has just arrived in Ireland!

Citroën C5 Aircross First Drive Review

The new Citroën C5 Aircross has just arrived in Ireland!
The new Citroën C5 Aircross has just arrived in Ireland!

The new Citroën C5 Aircross has just arrived in Ireland with pricing starting from €26,495. This is an exciting new car for Citroën, competing in the ‘sweet spot of the market’ where family SUVs reside. Caroline went along to the Irish press launch in Kildare to test drive the new C5 Aircross.

Styling

Citroën has rolled out some very individual and stylish cars in recent years like the C3 and C4 Cactus. The C5 Aircross brings the same sort of distinct look to the larger five seat SUV segment. It is very much a Citroën to look at and it's unlikely to get lost in a crowd, especially if you go for a funky two tone look. Details include a two-tier light signature, wheel arch extensions and Airbump® panels available with personalised coloured inserts.

Interior

The cabin of the C5 Aircross combines the latest technology features with soft furnishings for an airy, lounge feel. The dashboard has a nice mix of materials with some soft touch parts, though there are plenty of harder plastics too. Aesthetically it all looks fine. There is a standard 8” touchscreen for the infotainment and it also houses the ventilation controls. A 12.3-inch driver information panel is also included as standard. There are plenty of storage spaces with the central armrest housing more practical storage compartments.The C5 Aircross adopts the sofa-inspired seating of the C4 Cactus with thick, wide seats.

Practicality

The Citroën C5 Aircross is one of the longest and tallest vehicles in its segment and feels very spacious inside. It has the largest boot of its competitors at 580 litres. Modularity is a key feature with three individual seats in the rear that can slide, fold and recline. There is also a flat floor in the rear making it more comfortable for carrying three people.

The interior of the new Citroën C5 Aircross
The interior of the new Citroën C5 Aircross

Engines

The C5 Aircross comes with two petrol and two diesel engines, with a plug-in hybrid on the way in 2020. Petrol engines include the 1.2-litre 130hp Puretech engine paired with a 6-speed manual transmission and a 1.6-litre 180hp unit, which comes with the choice of a 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic transmission. On the diesel side there is a 1.5-litre Blue HDI 130hp engine with the choice of a 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic transmission, and a 2.0-litre 180hp unit, which comes as standard with an 8-speed automatic transmission. Motor tax ranges from €190 to €280 depending on model.

On the road

The Citroën C5 Aircross has laminated double glazed windows and an insulation layer to reduce road and wind noise. There has also been an emphasis on sound insulation in the engine compartment. This contributes to a refined cabin ambience. The new C5 Aircross also has Progressive Hydraulic Cushion suspension for a smoother and more comfortable ride. Whereas a conventional suspension system is made up of dampers, springs and mechanical bump-stops, the new Citroën system adds two hydraulic stops to each suspension unit – one for rebound and one for compression. It translates well to the road, with the C5 Aircross being very soft and smooth over the road. It's not the sharpest handling SUV, so if you hustle it on through corners there is more feeling of roll. At the launch I tested the 1.5 diesel and 1.2 petrol. Both are good engines with some of the best in class running costs and CO2 values.

The Citroën C5 Aircross goes on sale priced from €26,495
The Citroën C5 Aircross goes on sale priced from €26,495

Equipment

In Ireland there are four trim levels: Start, Touch, Feel and Flair.

The entry ‘Start’ trim level includes 8” touchscreen display, cruise control, active safety brake and air conditioning.

The ‘Touch’ trim adds items such as 17” alloys, rear parking sensors, folding mirrors, and Android Auto/Apple CarPlay.

The ‘Feel’ model has 18” alloys, front parking sensor, privacy glass, wireless phone charging and active blind spot detection.

‘Flair’ is the top specification level and includes 19” alloys, Citroën connect navigation, keyless entry and keyless start, a Panoramic Sunroof with interior LED ambient lighting and various driver assistance systems such as park assist, active lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control.

ConnectedCAM, a factory fitted dashboard camera from Citroën, is also standard across the range.

Pricing

Pricing for the C5 Aircross range starts from a competitive €26,495. Touch starts from €27,995, Feel from €29,995, Flair from €33,695.

The C5 Aircross has three individual seats in the rear
The C5 Aircross has three individual seats in the rear

Rivals

The Citroën C5 Aircross goes up against the Ford Kuga, Volkswagen Tiguan, Kia Sportage, Hyundai Tuscon, Peugeot 3008, among others.

Verdict

The Citroën C5 Aircross is a quirky new entrant into the highly competitive and lucrative compact SUV segment. The C5 Aircross makes a promising case for itself on price and spec. It's also a generously sized vehicle with engines that score well on emissions and running costs. I look forward to bringing you a full road test of the new C5 Aircross later in the year!

Caroline Kidd

The C5 Aircross is Citroen's take on the compact family SUV
The C5 Aircross is Citroën's take on the compact family SUV

The new Hyundai Kona Electric

2019 Hyundai Kona Electric 64kWh Review

The new Hyundai Kona Electric
The new Hyundai Kona Electric

Caroline drives the Hyundai Kona Electric.

The range of electric vehicles (EVs) in Ireland is really starting to spread out with the Hyundai Kona Electric being an exciting new model, in more ways than one. The Kona Electric feels like something of an EV game changer for the mass market, with a real world range in excess of 400 km. And that’s thanks to a powerful 64 kWh battery.

The Hyundai Kona Electric also happens to be in the body of a very on-trend compact crossover and is the first fully-electric subcompact SUV on sale in Ireland and indeed Europe.

Since it debuted at the end of 2017, the Hyundai Kona quickly became Ireland’s bestselling compact crossover. Now the electric version opens up the playing field a little more.

Priced in Ireland from €37,630, including Government incentives, on the surface the Hyundai Kona Electric doesn’t come cheap. But the high-powered battery gives the Kona Electric right now a serious edge over competitors like the Nissan Leaf, Renault Zoe, Volkswagen e-Golf and even Hyundai’s own Ioniq. But more on that later.

The Hyundai Kona Electric has a powerful 64 kWh battery giving a real world range in excess of 400km!
The Hyundai Kona Electric has a powerful 64 kWh battery giving a real world range in excess of 400km!

What does it look like?

The Hyundai Kona Electric is a striking and fashionable compact vehicle, just like its fossil-fuel powered brothers. The crossover styling adds character to the Kona Electric, while the raised ride height gives it a confident presence on the road. There’s also some fun colour options and a two tone roof available (from €38,230). Front styling changes for the Kona Electric include a signature silver garnish, a closed grille incorporating the charge point and a redesigned front bumper with active air flaps. At the rear, the bumper has been redesigned for improved airflow. There are also special 17” alloy wheels, lower side skirts and wheel arch side claddings.

The dashboard and centre console of the Hyundai Kona have also been significantly redesigned for the Kona Electric, giving a more mature and premium feel to the cabin. The centre console is more pronounced between the driver and passenger. It features all the buttons required to operate the car with the ‘shift-by-wire’ gear control that has freed up space to house an extra storage space underneath.

There’s a new high-resolution seven-inch supervision cluster to display the different gauges to the driver, including the speedometer, battery charge level and energy flow. A head-up display projects driving information on the windscreen directly in the driver’s line of sight.

Standard equipment includes roof rails, rear privacy glass, leather upholstery, heated front seats, wireless phone charging pad, automatic lights and wipers, automatic air con, cruise control, heated steering wheel, parking camera, keyless start, 7" touchscreen with smartphone compatibility, Forward Collision Warning and Lane Keep Assist

The Kona Electric has a sophisticated electric vehicle powertrain but it is still a relatively compact vehicle. However the completely new platform of the Kona allows a space-saving integration of the battery packs without compromising interior roominess. The Kona Electric will seat five though realistically two will be most comfortable in the rear.  There is 332 litres of luggage space including storage of the charging cable and 373 litres without.

The interior of the new Hyundai Kona Electric
The interior of the new Hyundai Kona Electric

On the road in the Hyundai Kona Electric

The Hyundai Kona Electric is very nice to drive with a fun character and very sprightly acceleration. The 64kWh battery with 150kW motor provides a power output of 204 hp, with 0 to 100 km/h achieved in just 7.6 seconds.

The compact dimensions make the Kona Electric great around town and out on larger roads, it offers good stability and comfort. In the silence of the cabin of the Kona Electric, there is more pronounced road noise at speed, but the Hyundai's battery doesn't get absolutely jaded at motorway speeds offering more peace of mind when you set out to explore Ireland. On a full charge, the power meter read about 430 km and I was delighted with the Kona’s ability to get me around without the dreaded range anxiety. With a real world driving range in excess of 400 km (449km WLTP), there’s a lot of freedom that comes with the Kona Electric.

There's also an adjustable regenerative braking system to recuperate energy when possible. The driver can adjust the intensity of the regenerative braking by using the paddle shifts behind the steering wheel.

The Kona Electric can be charged at home or using the public charging point infrastructure with an AC or DC charger. According to Hyundai, charging the lithium-ion polymer battery up to 80% takes about 54 minutes using a 100 kW direct current (DC) fast charger.

Hyundai has successfully combined the two fastest growing automotive trends in the creation of the Kona Electric – electrification and SUV style. It is obviously expensive to buy for what is a compact vehicle, however the extra freedom the range from the powerful 64kWh battery brings cannot be underestimated. The trendy, crossover style of the Kona Electric gives the car more emotional appeal also.

The Hyundai Kona Electric combines two trends - electrification and SUV style
The Hyundai Kona Electric combines two trends - electrification and SUV style

The Hyundai Kona Electric is a remarkable new electric vehicle that really moves the game on.

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Hyundai Kona Electric
Price: 
From €37,630 with government incentives
Battery: 64 kW
Power: 
204 hp
Torque: 395 Nm
0-100km/h:  
7.6 seconds
Top speed: 167 km/h
Range: 
449km (WLTP)
CO2 emissions: 
0g/km
Motor tax: 
€120 per year


Volvo XC40 Irish Car of the Year

Irish Car Of The Year Website Highlights Best New Cars

Volvo XC40 Irish Car of the Year
The Volvo XC40 won the title of Irish Car of the Year 2019

The Irish Car of the Year website is being developed as a comprehensive resource for consumers in Ireland looking to buy a new car.

The official website of the Irish Car of the Year, caroftheyear.ie, provides full background on the awards, with details on all of the winning vehicles across 10 different categories.

The Irish Car of the Year awards in association with Continental Tyres is an annual competition that highlights the best new cars for consumers.  Voted on by an expert panel of 32 of Ireland’s most experienced motoring journalists - including this writer - the awards take place in Dublin in November each year.

Now for 2019, the Irish Car of the Year website has launched a video series that will examine more closely the reasons why our winning models are so highly acclaimed by the judging panel.

Speaking about the Irish Car of the Year website, Bob Flavin, Irish Car of the Year Committee member, said: “We are convinced that the Car of the Year website will become a valuable resource for Irish car buyers as it seeks to highlight all of the key new models as they arrive on the Irish market”.

Mark Gallivan, Irish Car of the Year Committee member added: “Each year we have upwards of 50 new models that are eligible for an award – that is a dazzling array of motoring models for Irish car buyers to make sense of. The Irish Car of the Year awards help those buyers to navigate their way through this bewildering range of options and technologies, so that they can choose the right model for their own particular circumstances”.

As the holder of the current 2019 Irish Car of the Year title, the Volvo XC40 is featured in the first video on the Car of the Year website.  The short video features Irish Car of the Year Committee members Bob Flavin and Martin McCarthy as they discuss the reasons and attributes that helped the XC40 to take the top prize – the video can be seen here: https://caroftheyear.ie/video-review-the-volvo-xc40/.

David Thomas, Managing Director of Volvo Cars Ireland who is featured in the video commented: “At Volvo we were delighted to see our XC40 taking the 2019 Irish Car of the Year award, the first time that a Volvo has won the title.  The award has given a huge boost to the XC40 in the Irish market and we will continue to leverage the title right through 2019”.

As well as featuring additional videos on other models in the coming weeks, the Irish Car of the Year website will also list new car models as they are launched on the Irish market through 2019.

The awards event for the 2020 Irish Car of the Year in association with Continental Tyres will take place in the Westin Hotel in Dublin on Thursday November 7th.


Sneem Digital Hub has been presented with a new Mercedes-Benz Vito van

Mercedes-Benz Support Sneem Digital Hub

Sneem Digital Hub has been presented with a new Mercedes-Benz Vito van
Sneem Digital Hub has been presented with a new Mercedes-Benz Vito van

The commercial vehicles division of Mercedes-Benz in Ireland is providing support to Sneem Digital Hub in its mission to reverse rural depopulation in the area.

Created with the help of a dedicated group of community volunteers, the aim of Sneem Digital Hub is to bring reliable digital infrastructure and quality jobs to the area.

Under the initiative announced by Mercedes-Benz, Sneem Digital Hub will be supplied with a new Mercedes-Benz Vito van for their exclusive use for a one-year period.

The new Vito will provide essential support to managers at the Hub in transporting equipment and distributing materials as required, and as a promotional unit for events and exhibitions.

Soon to be a familiar site around the Ring of Kerry and surrounding area, the Vito 111L model will display the Sneem Digital Hub logo on its livery. Features include colour coded bumpers, multifunction steering wheel, reverse camera and air-conditioning.

Commenting, Aidan Murray, manager at Sneem Digital Hub said: “We are delighted to secure the support of Mercedes-Benz. The use of the Vito van will provide a visual presence and shop window for the Hub as it travels throughout the Kerry and south-west region, and further afield.”

The Hub provides high-speed broadband, hot-desking for remote workers, a low-cost base for business start-ups and options for companies seeking to expand remotely. Video conferencing technology and meeting rooms are also available.

Addressing guests present at a recent key presentation event held in the Mercedes-Benz headquarters on Dublin’s Naas Road, the company’s chairman, Stephen O'Flaherty praised the work being done by Sneem Digital Hub, seeing it as “a wonderful example of local enterprise at work in a way that brings immediate and downstream benefits to the community”.


The new Range Rover Evoque goes on sale in Ireland in May priced from €42,845

Range Rover Evoque Preview In Ireland

The new Range Rover Evoque goes on sale in Ireland in May priced from €42,845
The new Range Rover Evoque goes on sale in Ireland in May priced from €42,845

The new Range Rover Evoque officially goes on sale in Ireland in May priced from €42,845. But Land Rover Ireland are holding exclusive previews of the new Evoque at their dealerships around Ireland from the 19th March as follows:

19th – 25th March: Spirit Land Rover, Dublin South

26th – 31st March: Joe Duffy Land Rover, Dublin North

1st – 7th April: Johnson & Perrott Land Rover, Cork

8th – 14th April: Autoboland Land Rover, Waterford

23rd – 28th April: Conlans Land Rover, Kildare

7th – 12th May: Lyons Land Rover, Limerick

The new Range Rover Evoque has seen an evolution in styling with more pronounced shoulders and powerful wheel arches housing 21-inch wheels. There are new super-slim Matrix LED headlamps and flush door handles for a smooth, sculpted aesthetic.

Inside, the minimalist and digital cabin uses some innovative new textiles using recycled plastics as premium alternatives to leather such as a Kvadrat wool blend and Dinamica® suedecloth, as well as Eucalyptus and Ultrafabrics™ options. Technologies include the twin touchscreen Touch Pro Duo system with new, faster software.

The new Evoque is built on Land Rover’s new Premium Transverse Architecture with more interior space than before. The luggage space is 10 per cent larger (591 litres) as well as much wider and easily fits a folded pram or set of golf clubs, with space increasing to 1,383 litres when the flexible 40:20:40 second-row seats are folded.

The new architecture has been developed for electrification, with a 48-volt mild-hybrid available at launch. The mild hybrid powertrain is a first for Land Rover and works by harvesting energy normally lost during deceleration thanks to the engine-mounted belt-integrated starter generator, storing it in the under-floor battery. At speeds below 17km/h, the engine will shut off while the driver applies the brakes. When pulling away, the stored energy is redeployed to assist the engine under acceleration and reduce fuel consumption. The result is a refined, quiet and efficient drive in built-up traffic heavy areas, in addition to efficiency savings.

Land Rover are holding exclusive previews of the new Evoque at their dealerships around Ireland from the 19th March
Land Rover are holding exclusive previews of the new Evoque at their dealerships around Ireland from the 19th March

The lowest emitting CO2 derivative is the 143g/km front wheel drive, manual transmission with 150PS Ingenium diesel engine.  The most popular all-wheel drive, automatic transmission vehicles, come with a choice of four-cylinder Ingenium petrol and diesel engines.  An even more efficient plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) and three-cylinder petrol Ingenium engine will also join the range next year.

New Evoque also features All-Wheel Drive, as well as a second-generation Active Driveline with Driveline Disconnect to enhance efficiency and Adaptive Dynamics to deliver the optimum balance of comfort and agility. Terrain Response 2 – technology first found on full-size Range Rover – automatically detects the surface being driven on a adjusts the set-up accordingly, while Evoque can now wade through water up to 600mm (previously 500mm).

Other innovations include a segment-first ‘ClearSight rear-view mirror’ that transforms into a HD video screen. If rear visibility is compromised by passengers or bulky items, the driver simply flicks a switch on the underside of the mirror and a camera feed from the top of the car displays what is behind the vehicle in crisp high definition.

The new Range Rover Evoque is also the first in the world to feature Ground View technology, which effectively makes the bonnet invisible by projecting camera imagery onto the upper touchscreen to show the driver a 180-degree view under the front of the vehicle. This is useful when negotiating difficult parking spaces, navigating high city centre kerbs or tackling rough terrain and is the realisation of the Transparent Bonnet technology previewed by Land Rover in 2014.

There is a reversing camera as standard on all models, alongside a suite of advanced driver assistance systems. This includes Adaptive Cruise Control with Steering Assist, which centres the vehicle in the lane based on road markings as well as maintaining a safe distance from the vehicle in front.

Active safety features such as Lane Keep Assist, Autonomous Emergency Braking and Driver Condition Monitor are all available.