The new Opel Crossland on test for Changing Lanes!

Opel Crossland (2021) Review

The new Opel Crossland on test for Changing Lanes!
The new Opel Crossland on test for Changing Lanes!

Caroline drives the 2021 Opel Crossland!

Someone got a new face! The Opel Crossland returns to Ireland to start a new life in the blossoming Opel range of crossovers and SUVs. A snazzy facelift for the Crossland in the shape of Opel’s new ‘Vizor’ face gives Crossland a more contemporary look, with no compromise to its spacious and practical cabin.

On sale from €22,795, the Crossland range speaks simplicity with a choice of petrol and diesel engines. It sits alongside the new Opel Mokka in Opel’s range, but offers a different vibe with more focus on practicality and some good value pricing in a simple range with three trim levels – SC, SRI and Elite.

What's new for the 2021 Opel Crossland?

You may recall the Opel Crossland X debuted in Ireland back in 2017. Now it’s dropped the ‘X’ from its name and the latest version arrives in Ireland at a time of rejuvenation in the Opel house. The new Opel Mokka, which we reviewed earlier this year for Changing Lanes, is the true style-setter and renaissance car for the brand. But the Crossland will carry the baton for a more traditional customer who values simplicity, practicality and ‘bang for your buck’.

The new Crossland goes on sale priced from €22,795 in Ireland
The new Crossland goes on sale priced from €22,795 in Ireland

The Crossland range kicks off with a 1.2-litre petrol engine with 83 bhp and a five speed manual gearbox. There is also a 1.5-litre diesel with 110 bhp and a petrol automatic with 130 bhp.

The Vizor face is striking and will only grow in recognition as this new generation of Opels hit the road over the coming months. There are some rugged crossover-style features like a silver skid plate and cladding around the wheel arches. The new Crossland also promises extra comfort, technology equipment and features an improved chassis.

What's it like inside?

The cabin is straightforward but features a touchscreen as standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. There is an elevated driving position behind the wheel, with large windows and windscreen making it bright and welcoming. A high roof line gives a real feeling of space and buyers will find a generous passenger compartment considering the price point of this car. The rear footwells are a good size for a compact. The boot also offers depth and a handy hatchback-style opening with capacity of 410 litres.

Standard equipment includes hill start assist, cruise control with speed limiter, lane departure warning, enhanced traffic sign recognition, 6 airbags, leather steering wheel, manual air conditioning, rain sensing windscreen, automatic lights, 7” touchscreen with Apple Car Play and Android Auto, DAB radio, USB connectivity and 12-volt socket.

Inside the new Opel Crossland
Inside the new Opel Crossland

The SRi model has park assist front and rear, rear view camera, AGR driver’s seat, 8-way driver seat adjustment with driver seat cushion extension and lumbar support, ambient white LED cabin lighting, driver’s armrest, half-leather effect upholstery trim, a painted two-tone roof, tinted rear privacy windows, silver skid plates, 16” alloy wheels and LED front fog lamps.

The range-topping Elite trim includes leather upholstery, AGR driver’s seat and passenger seat, 8-way passenger seat adjustment with seat cushion extension and lumbar support, heated front seats, heated leather steering wheel, electronic dual zone climate control, an upgraded central console with lidded storage, sliding split folding rear seats with armrest, a 3.52 colour driver instrument display, a rear 12-volt socket and 16” alloy wheel upgrade.

Driving the Opel Crossland

My test car was powered by the 1.2-litre petrol engine with 83 bhp. It’s a basic engine but it does return competitive economy for a small petrol crossover. Over a week of driving my average fuel consumption was 6.1 litres per 100 km, while motor tax for this model is €210 per year.

It gets by on performance, with 0 to 100 km/h a leisurely 14 seconds in this entry level petrol model.

This car can amble along fine but if you do more motorway driving, the diesel will keep the revs down at cruising speeds. Certainly, keener drivers will favour the sharper and more fun to drive Opel Mokka.

The new Crossland offers buyers a simple and practical compact crossover
The new Crossland offers buyers a simple and practical compact crossover

Did you like it?

The Opel Crossland gets a little more than we usually expect when it comes to a revamp. The new Vizor face gives the car a more contemporary presence, but with no compromise to that practical interior.

The Crossland offers a simple range powered by petrol or diesel, but there is certainly value to be found here. With a good level of standard equipment, even entry models offer the essentials.

With a focus on space and practicality, the Crossland’s roots are more mini-MPV than SUV. This means the car’s design offers buyers a more spacious and practical vehicle.

It may not have the outright star appeal and uber-modern design of the Mokka, but Opel is confident that there is still a place for the Crossland in the showroom.

The new Opel Crossland on sale in Ireland now
The new Opel Crossland on sale in Ireland now

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Opel Crossland 1.2 Elite 
1.2-litre petrol
83 hp
118 Nm
14 seconds
Top speed: 
170 km/h
Fuel economy: 4.6-4.7 l/100 km
CO2 emissions (WLTP): 
135 g/km
Motor Tax: 
€210 per year


The new Ford Ranger Stormtrak

Ford Ranger Stormtrak and Wolftrak Limited Editions

The new Ford Ranger Stormtrak
The new Ford Ranger Stormtrak

Ford has revealed the new Ranger Stormtrak and Ranger Wolftrak limited edition models, which build on the style and capability of the company’s award-winning pick-up.

The new Ford Ranger Stormtrak offers distinctive styling and premium features for customers, while the Ranger Wolftrak is for customers who work outdoors and desire commanding off-road performance without compromising comfort and desirability.

“Customers love the bold style and tough capability of our Ranger pick-up, so we’ve developed the new Stormtrak and Wolftrak limited edition models to offer even more of both,” said John Manning of Ford Ireland.

“The Ford Ranger has grown in popularity in Ireland year-on-year to the point where it is now the top-selling vehicle in its segment.  Already for 2021, we have sold 304 Ranger units here, more than double the number of our nearest competitor and 55 percent of the total number sold from this segment.  The arrival of the exciting new Ranger Stormtrak and Wolftrak models will help to cement that leadership position for the nameplate in Ireland.”

The new Ranger Stormtrak and Wolftrak limited editions will arrive in dealerships across Europe from October this year, adding further breadth to Ford’s award-winning line‑up of Ranger variants for a wide range of customers, including the high perfromance Ranger Raptor, rally-inspired Ranger MS-RT and recently-announced Ranger chassis cab.

The new Ford Ranger Wildtrak
The new Ford Ranger Wildtrak

Ford is also introducing a new Power Roller Shutter option for Ranger Wildtrak double cab, which is specified as standard on Ranger Stormtrak .

All Ranger Stormtrak models are equipped with Ford’s range-topping bi-turbo 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel engine with 213 PS and 500 Nm of torque. A standard selectable four-wheel drive system offers confident off-road performance, while the advanced 10‑speed automatic gearbox is said to deliver a smooth, effortless driving experience.

Ranger Wolftrak is powered by Ford’s 170 PS 2.0‑litre EcoBlue diesel engine with the choice of six-speed manual or 10‑speed automatic transmission. A selectable four-wheel drive system with shift-on-the-fly function, electronically-locking rear differential and all-terrain tyres are standard to enable progress in challenging off-road conditions, supported by a low range four-wheel drive setting to improve performance on steep hills and soft surfaces.

Ford anticipates Ranger Wolftrak will appeal strongly to customers in farming, forestry and outdoor pursuit industries as well as private buyers.

The new Citroën C5 X will arrive in Ireland in early 2022

Citroën C5 X For Ireland In 2022

The new Citroën C5 X will arrive in Ireland in early 2022
The new Citroën C5 X will arrive in Ireland in early 2022

Citroën Ireland has confirmed that the new flagship Citroën C5 X model will go on sale in Ireland in early 2022.

This all-new model features an original design that is said to combine "the elegance of a saloon, dynamism of an estate and the elevated stance of an SUV." It has an elevated stance thanks to increased ground clearance and large-diameter 19" wheels allowing for a higher driving position with greater safety and visibility.

Inside will feature 'Advanced Comfort' seating, simple dashboard design and spacious rear cabin invites rest and relaxation. C5 X also introduces an all-new infotainment interface for Citroën that combines a new 12" HD infotainment interface, natural voice recognition system, customisable widget-based display, 4 USB Type C sockets and wireless smartphone charging.

Other technologies include extended Head Up Display and Highway Driver Assist, which combines Adaptive Cruise Control with a Stop & Go feature and Lane Keeping Assist to provide level 2 semi-autonomous driving.

Practicality will be a key focus with an easy opening tailgate, wide loading area and 545 litres of boot space available.

Ride comfort is optimised through enhanced acoustic insulation and Citroën Advanced Comfort® suspension, which is designed to recreate the iconic magic carpet effect the brand became famous for.

Inside the new C5 X
Inside the new C5 X

Roominess is said to be further enhanced by 360-degree glass areas around the cabin, including quarter windows, and a large opening glass sunroof that allows more light into the cabin.

The new Citroën C5 X will go on sale with a petrol engine or a plug-in hybrid with 225 hp and electric range of around 50 km.

Colin Sheridan, Managing Director of Citroën Ireland, said:

“For generations, Citroën have been synonymous with comfort. The C5 X, as the new flagship model for the brand, now offers an industry benchmark for driver and passenger comfort. We look forward in anticipation to re-entering the D-segment with the C5 X. We expect to announce pricing and the specification line-up for this exciting new vehicle before the end of this year and look forward to first models arriving here from January 2022 in time for the 221 registration period.”

As reported by Changing Lanes, Gowan Group has now taken over the importing and selling of Citroën vehicles in Ireland. Citroën vehicle sales, spare parts and after sales services will continue to operate through the existing dealership network of 23 franchise dealerships and 6 additional aftersales service providers.

Citroën Ireland will launch many new models in the coming months including the all-new C4 and ë-C4, the C5 Aircross PHEV, as well as the facelifted C3 and C3 Aircross models.

The new C5 X will be available with petrol and plug in hybrid engines
The new C5 X will be available with petrol and plug in hybrid engines

The new Opel Mokka-e on test for Changing Lanes

Opel Mokka (2021) Arrives In Ireland!

The new Opel Mokka-e on test for Changing Lanes
The new Opel Mokka-e on test for Changing Lanes back in February

Opel Ireland has confirmed that the new Opel Mokka has arrived now at Opel dealers nationwide.

Following on from the launch of the updated Opel Crossland earlier in the year, the new Opel Mokka goes on sale from €23,295 plus delivery related charges.

For the first time it will be available as an all-electric model - the Opel Mokka-e - along with petrol and diesel versions.

Available in SC, SRI and Elite trims, standard equipment on the entry level SC trim includes enhanced traffic sign recognition, lane keep assist, collision avoidance sensor with brake assist, pedestrian detection alert, electronic cruise control with speed limiter, rear parking sensors with rear view camera, air conditioning, 7” colour touchscreen, 7” colour driver instrument cluster, DAB radio and 16” alloy wheels.

The sporty SRI trim, retailing from €24,795 plus delivery, gains heated driver and front passenger seats, electronic climate control, rain sensing front windscreen wipers, electro-chrome rear view mirror, auto lights, front centre armrest, sports alloy pedals, SRI red interior trim, leather-effect seat trim, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, 2 additional USB ports in the rear, a black painted roof, tinted rear window privacy glass, 17” alloy wheels and LED front fog lamps.

The luxurious Elite trim, retailing from €27,795 plus delivery, adds driver seat massage function, leather upholstery, 10” colour touchscreen with navigation, an enhanced 12” multi-colour driver instrument cluster and  17” bi-colour black alloy wheels.

Available across all three trims, petrol and diesel engines offer power outputs ranging from 100 hp to 130 hp.

Available in SRI and Elite trims, the all-electric Opel Mokka-e produces 100kW (136 hp) and 260 Nm maximum torque. In the WLTP cycle, the 50 kWh battery enables a range of up to 324 kilometres before recharging is required. A 100 kW DC fast-charger replenishes 80% of the battery in just 30 minutes. Opel offers an eight-year/160,000km warranty for the battery.

James Brooks, Managing Director at Leeson Motors, Opel Importer in Ireland, said:

“The arrival of the new Opel Mokka, together with the Crossland, heralds the beginning of an exciting new era for the Opel brand. Sporting a daring, stand-out exterior, a breath-taking interior and boasting a high level of standard comfort and safety features, the new Opel Mokka is fun, efficient, robust and innovative. With Dealers reporting strong customer enquiries already, our new Mokka is destined to change the perception of our brand and to be a true success with many existing Mokka customers and conquest buyers alike.”

The new Opel Mokka on sale now in Ireland
The new Opel Mokka on sale now in Ireland

The new Audi e-tron GT on test for Changing Lanes!

Audi e-tron GT (2021) First Drive Review

The new Audi e-tron GT on test for Changing Lanes!
The new Audi e-tron GT on test for Changing Lanes!

The new Audi e-tron GT has arrived in Ireland and goes on sale priced from €102,397. A halo model for the Audi brand, the e-tron GT is a high-performance sports coupé that embodies all Audi’s values – electrified. That’s right, the Audi e-tron GT is battery powered but with mind-warping performance statistics. And as Changing Lanes was about to find out, there are even more surprises when the Audi e-tron GT hits the roads for the first time. Read on for Caroline’s first drive Audi e-tron GT review from the Irish launch of this revolutionary new model!


The Audi e-tron GT is gorgeous. Marc Lichte, Head of Audi Design, says the e-tron GT is “the most beautiful car that I have ever designed." We can believe it. The e-tron GT wears its proportions beautifully with sporty elegance and a futuristic closed grille at the front. There are hints of the R8 and TT to it but in fact the e-tron GT combines all the best hallmarks of Audi design but with an ultra-modern, futuristic twist. Electric cars just got very sexy. The body is extremely aerodynamic, and the drag coefficient is just 0.24. Wide and visually imposing, the Audi e-tron GT will make you rethink everything you ever thought you wanted in life!


Inside the cabin of the new 2021 Audi e-tron GT is unmistakably Audi with excellent material quality, glossy finishes and cool but straightforward digital technology. It all feels so normal inside, but so very classy. We like that the interior will be familiar to anyone who already drives one of the latest Audi cars, in terms of the style and how you interact with the controls. You sit in a low and sporty position behind the steering wheel. Frameless windows make you feel a million euros every time you open the door of your new e-tron GT.

The seats are upholstered either with a combination of artificial leather and Kaskade material or with a mixture of artificial leather and the microfibre material Dinamica. Recycled materials are used in both cases, for example polyester fibres that were made from old plastic bottles and textiles.

The new Audi e-tron GT is gorgeous from every angle!
The new Audi e-tron GT is gorgeous from every angle!


The Audi e-tron GT is a high-performance sports coupé but with four doors and seating for five. The two rear footwells are a good size but it’s far from limo-like. The boot opens to reveal a respectable 405 litres while there is an additional 85 litres of storage space under the bonnet!


The new Audi e-tron GT's high-voltage battery has a capacity of 86 kWh (net), which gives a range of 479 km (WLTP). It’s a truly powerful car with 469 bhp and 630 Nm of torque. It can hit 100 km/h in just 4.1 seconds going on to a top speed of 245 km/h.


800-volt technology enables fast DC charging with an output of up to 270 kW – including just five minutes for a distance of approximately 100 km and roughly 22.5 minutes to bring the battery from 5% back up to 80%. At the moment, you can enjoy this rapid charging at IONITY charging stations. There is also an 11 kW onboard charger.

The interior of the 2021 Audi e-tron GT
The interior of the 2021 Audi e-tron GT

Driving it

The Audi e-tron is a magnificent machine. This car weighs over 2 tonnes but handles the road like a true professional. Quattro with e-torque vectoring comes as standard ensuring power is distributed intelligently to the individual wheels. When sufficient traction is available, it sends power primarily to the front axle. The suspension has been designed for a balance of dynamism and comfort, thanks to technologies such as Audi drive select, controlled damping and the rear-axle differential lock.

We had to push on in the e-tron GT to really see what this car was capable of. In fact it’s a very exciting car to drive, and you can really feel this car’s high performance DNA. Audi set out to create a sports coupé and that’s what they have done. Yet electrified. A characteristic that adds even more drama and performance to the e-tron GT.

Hop on that accelerator and the Audi e-tron GT is capable of mind-warping acceleration - just 4.1 seconds to take you to 100km/h. All accompanied by a cleverly designed sound that is fed through the speakers to enhance your driving experience. In fact, the sound is intuitive and coalesces nicely with what your right foot is doing on the accelerator. The Audi e-tron GT 'e-sound' won’t make the ground shake when it takes off at the traffic lights, but this is entertaining.

There is a deftness and lightness to the steering allowing ultra precise movements of the car. It's also super responsive to the pedal. Designed as a ‘Gran Turismo’, cruising comfort is good with adaptive air suspension available as an option.

A wonderful car that will make you recalculate everything you thought about what a performance car should be.

The new Audi e-tron GT goes on sale in Ireland from €102,397
The new Audi e-tron GT goes on sale in Ireland from €102,397


Standard equipment on the new Audi e-tron GT includes 19” alloy wheels, panoramic glass sunroof, smartphone interface, navigation, front and rear parking sensors, synthetic leather upholstery, electric, heated front sports seats, lane departure warning and tri zone climate control.

Customers can manage pre-entry climate control of the interior and charging via their smartphones using the myAudi app.


The new Audi e-tron GT retails from €102,397 in Ireland.


The new Audi e-tron GT’s rivals include the Porsche Taycan and the Tesla Model S.

WATCH A VIDEO! Caroline driving the new e-tron GT on Irish roads for the first time:

Anything else?

The super high performance Audi RS e-tron GT is also hitting the Irish market now. Designed in the spirit of Audi’s classic RS models, it uses the same 88 kWh battery as the e-tron GT but with more power and torque. There is also more aggressive body styling, accessories and adaptive air suspension. Power output is a colossal 590 bhp while torque is rated at 830 Nm! The Audi RS e-tron GT can accelerate to 100 km/h in just 3.3 seconds. It retails from €140,367.

The Audi e-tron GT is the brand’s first fully electric car to be built in Germany. The new e-tron GT is built at Audi Böllinger Höfe at the Neckarsulm site in Germany on the same production line as the R8! The small-series production facility has been expanded, upgraded, and converted for its new role. The company is using customised digital processes and smart technologies but the finishing touches to each car are applied by highly skilled hands.

The e-tron GT has a range in excess of 400 km and incredible performance on the road
The e-tron GT has a range in excess of 400 km and incredible performance on the road


The new Audi e-tron GT epitomises the values of the Audi brand – electrified. The e-tron GT is a halo car for the brand and you will pay well for it. But considering the design and engineering that has gone into creating such a powerful car with real grace and elegance on the road, it’s not as outlandish as what you might expect.

Behind the wheel I was not thinking about range at all. The e-tron GT moves the conversation along. Let’s just talk cars. I was just enjoying the performance as the high voltage battery handles the rest.

With 270 kW charging, the e-tron GT is future proofed for the forseeable. The real challenge is that you can only avail of this rapid charging technology at a few stations around the county at the moment. But living with an electric vehicle is a lot easier than what it once was. We’d like to live with the e-tron GT a little more to fully test its range and capabilities!

The Audi e-tron GT is a car to aspire to. Created by visionary minds and talented technical hands. Vorsprung durch Technik at its finest.

The Audi e-tron GT is a super desirable halo car for the Audi brand
The Audi e-tron GT is a super desirable halo car for the Audi brand

Caroline Kidd

The Dacia Duster on test for Changing Lanes!

Dacia Duster (2021) Review

The Dacia Duster on test for Changing Lanes!
The Dacia Duster on test for Changing Lanes!

Say hello to the 2021 Dacia Duster!

The Dacia Duster is maturing. Launched in Ireland back in 2012, it quickly gained notoriety as a ‘no nonsense’ budget SUV. Some canny pricing and a tough off-road look did the Duster a lot of favours. Just as the market was becoming saturated with B-segment crossovers, the Duster’s angles and honest charm wriggled its way into the hearts of more than a few Irish buyers.

That’s right, over 10,000 Dusters have found a home in Ireland. Now in its second generation, the latest Dacia Duster has the exterior sheen of the trendy suburban compact SUV to it, magnified by a glossy metallic finish! It’s come a long way. With the last significant update to the car in 2018, the Duster looks like it's ready for the Dakar Rally. Larger than life roof rails, plastic cladding and squared off wheel arches make the Duster just so…tough!

In fact, I’d missed the honest charm of the Duster. Slipping in behind the wheel, and it’s fair to say that the Duster is not trying to seduce you with sophistication. The cabin is a hard-plastic affair with some more dated switchgear than the most style conscious of the small SUVs. Superficially, you might dismiss the Duster for its lack of glossy surfaces, glittering technology, and digital interfaces. But there is a lot of substance to this car. This is why you will find a small army of Dusters already holding their own on Irish roads.

Pricing for the Duster starts from €18,795 in Ireland
Pricing for the Duster starts from €19,365 in Ireland

What are my options?

With pricing starting from €19,365, the Duster offers a compact SUV stance for supermini money. Standard equipment is basic but the Essential model includes LED daytime running lights, Emergency Brake Assist, 16-inch steel wheels and DAB radio with steering-column mounted controls and Bluetooth connectivity.

You will find a more comfortable home in Comfort trim (from €21,365) - still 'shockingly affordable' - including cruise control, 16" alloy wheels, soft feel steering wheel, trip computer, satin chrome roof bars and skid plate, manual air con, electric rear windows, rear parking camera and sensors, and the MediaNav 7″ touchscreen multimedia system.

Top of the range Prestige models like the one on test for Changing Lanes start from €23,665. Word has it that Dacia buyers do tend to go for the higher trim levels in this car for maximum goodies. The Duster Prestige looks the business, adding 17-inch alloy wheels, multi-view camera, blind spot warning, climate control and keyless entry.

Front wheel drive and four wheel drive models are available. Power comes from the trusty 1.5-litre dCi diesel or a new 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine.

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

Inside the latest Duster

The Dacia Duster has a plain cabin with little of the glitter or glamour we have come to expect from a small SUV. That wouldn’t sit well with the Duster’s image now would it? It appears solidly built and practical. There’s a multimedia touchscreen display in the centre of the dash but the graphics do look quite dated. Yet with Apple Car Play and Android Auto compatibility, it’s not likely to matter too much.

Where the Duster really shines is when you consider the space available inside the vehicle at this sticker price. Duster will seat five, with the rear footwells offering more space than many rivals. The high roofline gives loads of headroom, adding to that feeling of space. The boot is also a good size at 445 litres. The Duster's boxy goodness reaps dividends. Isofix child-seat mounting points are fitted to the outer rear seats.

The Duster holds a 3-star Euro NCAP safety rating with some safety equipment like lane departure warning and autonomous emergency braking still absent.

The Duster is available with petrol or diesel engines
The Duster is available with petrol or diesel engines

Driving the Dacia Duster

The driver enjoys a high seating position behind the wheel giving the feel of an authentic off-roader. Steering is light making the car easy to park and drive around town. The Duster handles the road safely though it’s not the sharpest driver of them all in its class, with more body roll than some more low slung competitors. Yet it's comfortable where it matters over long distances and copes with rougher surfaces on rural roads and in town reasonably well.

The diesel engine in our test car is a 1.5-litre affair with 115 hp. It gives a nice bit of pulling power without getting too raucous under acceleration. It returns good economy with my average fuel consumption coming in at 5.4 litres per 100 km over a week of driving. Motor tax is €200 per year for this model. There’s also a 1.0-litre petrol available with 100 or 130 hp.

The Duster is missing some polish but at this side of the market and at this price, it's clearly not a deal breaker.

The Duster offers great space for the money in the small SUV market
The Duster offers great space for the money in the small SUV market

Did you like it?

The Dacia Duster is the darling of the Dacia range. The Duster offers excellent value but also happens to be quite the charismatic car. The modern, squared off look gives Duster a leg up in the crowded SUV market.

Inside the Duster provides the convenience features one would expect of a compact SUV - if you avoid the very entry model - but without the gloss or sophistication of the best of the rivals. But everything works and it’s comfortable and fun to drive in a basic and authentic way.

On the road the Duster makes good progress backed up by strong engines.

No disparaging remarks are needed. The Dacia Duster is a rough diamond, but a good one.

The Dacia Duster makes a great, affordable small family car
The Dacia Duster makes a great, affordable small family car

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Dacia Duster dCi 115 Prestige
1.5-litre turbo diesel
115 hp
260 Nm
10.5 seconds
Top speed: 
179 km/h
Fuel economy: 4.9-5.5 l/100 km
CO2 emissions (WLTP): 
111 g/km
Motor Tax: 
€200 per year

Volkswagen ID.4 electric SUV goes on sale in Ireland in 2021

New Car Registrations Ireland March 2021

Volkswagen ID.4 electric SUV goes on sale in Ireland in 2021
The Volkswagen ID.4 has arrived in Ireland

The Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) has released official new vehicle statistics for Ireland in the month of March.

New car registrations for March were up 54.3% (9,270) when compared to March 2020 (6,006), but down 44.45% (16,687) on March 2019.

Registrations year to date are down 3.23% (48,188) on 2020 (49,794), and down 24.85% on the same period in 2019 (64,126).

SIMI says to present a more accurate picture of the new vehicle registrations, it is important to compare registrations totals with the same period in 2019 (pre-COVID) when businesses were fully operational.

The bestselling car brands in Ireland in 2021 were 1. Toyota, 2. Volkswagen, 3. Hyundai, 4. Skoda, and 5. Ford.

The bestselling models were 1. Hyundai Tucson, 2. Toyota Corolla, 3. Toyota RAV 4, 4. Ford Focus and 5. Toyota Yaris.

The bestselling car in March was the new Volkswagen ID.4.

Diesel now accounts for 36.58% of the Irish new car market, petrol for 32.68%, hybrid for 17.04%, electric for 5.87% and plug-in electric hybrid for 5.51%.

1,046 new electric vehicles were registered in Ireland in March 2021 compared to 369 in March 2020. So far this year 2,831 new electric cars have been registered in comparison to 1,650 in the same period in 2020.

Electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids and hybrids continue to increase their market share, with their combined market share now over 11%.

Used car imports for March (5,842) have seen an increase of 25.61% on 2020 (4,651) and a decrease of 34.87% (8,970) on March 2019. Year to date imports are up 5.46% (18,420) on 2020 (17,466) and down 31.35% (26,832) on 2019.

Light Commercials vehicles (LCV) are up 110.2% (3,008) compared to March last year (1,431) and down 1.1% (3,042) for the same month in 2019. Year to date new LCVs are up 22.41% (11,346) on last year (9,269) and up just 2.63% (11,055) on 2019.

HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle) registrations are up 11.54% (319) in comparison to March 2020 (286) and 19.03% (268) March 2019. Year to date HGV's are down 2.9% (882) on 2020 (908) and down 0.23% on 2019 (884).

Brian Cooke, SIMI Director General commenting:
“With dealers still able to operate on a click and deliver basis, new car sales are only marginally back on last year. However, this does not tell the real story. The first quarter of each year is the key selling period for the Irish Motor Industry, and new car sales in Q1 when compared to the same period in pre-COVID 2019 are down 25%, or nearly 16,000 cars. This represents lost revenue to the sector in excess of €500 million and lost taxation to the Exchequer of €170 million. With the lockdown now extended into April, the Industry will struggle to make up this lost business. In this context and in light of dealers’ ability to transact in a low risk outdoor environment, it is vital that we do re-open at the start of May to allow dealers sell both new and used cars, and to protect local employment. On a more positive note, it is encouraging to see the increases in the sale of Electric Cars and PHEVs despite the restricted trading environment.”

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

Gowan Group Appointed Citroën Importer For Ireland

The C5 Aircross is Citroen's take on the compact family SUV
Fresh start for Citroen in Ireland with new importer

Gowan Group has taken over the importing and selling of Citroën vehicles in Ireland with effect from today.

The company already has history with the brand having acted as Importer for Citroën vehicles from 1982 to 2009 through its subsidiary, Gallic Distributors Limited.

Citroën vehicle sales, spare parts and after sales services will continue to operate through the existing Citroën Dealership Network in Ireland. At present, there is a network of 23 franchise dealerships in Ireland and 6 aftersales service providers.

Colin Sheridan has been appointed as Managing Director of the Citroen business.  Colin was formerly Sales & Marketing Director of the Peugeot brand in Gowan and played a key role in the growth of Peugeot over the past eight years.

Thirteen staff members from the former Citroën Importer have joined the new Importer operation.  Gowan Group looks forward to working with the existing Dealer Network and building sales volumes and market share for cars and commercial vehicles for the benefit of all stakeholders in the future.

Citroën is part of the iconic brand portfolio of Stellantis, one of the world’s leading automakers, which has industrial operations in 30 countries and a commercial presence in over 130 markets worldwide.

Michael Dwan, Gowan Group Managing Director said:

“We are delighted to be appointed as the Citroën National Importer for Ireland.  Gowan Group has a rich history with Citroën, having imported and sold the brand for 27 years up to 2009.  We are committed to selling and servicing through the existing Citroën network of dealers and service providers and are very excited about the prospects for the brand.”

Colin Sheridan, Citroën Managing Director said:

“This is a very exciting time for the Citroën brand.  The range of passenger and commercial vehicles on offer has proven extremely popular with the Irish consumer over the years.  In 2021, we will see some fantastic new model launches including the imminent arrival of the all new C4 (available in petrol, diesel and a fully electric version – a first for Citroën). The arrival of the new all-electric C4 complements the recent addition of the C5 Aircross PHEV and strengthens the brands LEV offering further.  A revised Aircross model will also be added to the range in July.  On the commercial side, the fully electric ë-Berlingo will be on sale in Q3, further adding to the existing LCV range which features Dispatch, fully electric ë-Dispatch (2021 International Van of the Year winner) and Relay models. I am certain the product line up coupled with the enthusiasm of our new staff members and dealer network will see the Citroën brand in Ireland go from strength to strength.”

The new Hyundai Tuscon on test for Changing Lanes!

Hyundai Tucson Hybrid (2021) Review

The new Hyundai Tuscon on test for Changing Lanes!
The new Hyundai Tucson on test for Changing Lanes!

The Hyundai Tucson has undoubtedly been a huge success for the Korean brand. Since it launched back in 2004, more than 7 million units have been sold worldwide, with the Tucson becoming something of an Irish sweetheart too. This car really hit its stride in 2015 with the launch of the third generation model. Almost immediately it took a stranglehold of the Irish new car market, closing in on established bestsellers and retaining the title of Ireland's bestselling car for much of the last few years.

Late in 2020, an all-new generation of the Hyundai Tucson arrived. Similar patterns are emerging with this car already securing the position of Ireland’s bestselling car so far in 2021.

What's new for the 2021 Hyundai Tucson?

It’s out with the old and in with the new. The previous generation of the Tucson has great notoriety on Irish roads, but the 2021 model will lift things up a gear with Hyundai taking it to the next level with bold design and electrified powertrains for the first time.

Convention has gone out the back window with more angles, curves and dramatic light signatures that give the fourth generation Hyundai Tucson the taste of the avant-garde for the first time. Yes competition is fierce in the family SUV segment and the new Tuscon does not want to be vanilla.

With pricing starting from €33,595, the Hyundai Tuscon is moving up a gear yet presence, design, technology and quality speak volumes about this car.

Sportier and more dynamic proportions have been made possible by the new platform. On approach the car is characterised by a striking light architecture dubbed 'Parametric Hidden Lights’ that means the lights blend into the grille to give a jewel-like effect.

The new Tucson is available from €33,595 in Ireland
The new Tucson is available from €33,595 in Ireland

Inside the new Hyundai Tucson

New Tucson marks a significant change in design direction for Hyundai and the theme continues inside. The brand has done a wonderful job transforming the cabin and the Tuscon now reflects a more premium experience inside. It’s a combination of lots of soft touch materials, glossy digital screens for the infotainment and digital instrument panel, ambient lighting, and neat design touches like a rather avant-garde steering wheel!

Smartphones connect seamlessly to the infotainment system via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The new 10.25-inch screen fills the centre of the vehicle. This is the first Hyundai model to feature a full touchscreen console with everything controlled from it but it is intuitive to use.

There are three trim levels, Comfort Plus, Executive and Executive Plus. Standard equipment includes 17″ alloys, heated front seats with electric lumbar support for the driver, automatic lights, high beam assist, reverse parking camera, 8″ touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and safety equipment including lane keep assist, driver attention alert and forward collision alert.

The interior of the new Hyundai Tucson
The interior of the new Hyundai Tucson

Is it practical?

The 2021 Hyundai Tucson is longer and wider than the car it replaces, and the wheelbase has also been increased by 10 mm so passengers can enjoy more space inside the vehicle. Boot space has been increased, offering up to 620 litres overall.

The new interior feels open and roomy. There is 26 mm of additional legroom in the rear. The rear seats of the all-new Tucson can now be folded in a 4:2:4 ratio with folding levers located on the side walls of the boot for extra convenience. This is a versatile family SUV, comfortable to travel in with competitive space on board for this class of vehicle.

The clever packaging of the battery for the hybrid means that there is no difference in interior space between diesel and hybrid models.

Boot space in the new Tucson
Boot space in the new Tucson

What's on offer?

On that note, the new Tucson completes the electrification of Hyundai’s SUV fleet in Europe, with mild hybrid, hybrid and plug-in hybrid available as well as a trusty diesel/diesel mild hybrid.

The diesel Tucson range uses a 1.6-litre engine and is available from €33,595 rising to €46,745 for a fully loaded four wheel drive model. Diesels cost between €210 and €280 to tax in Ireland.

The new Tucson petrol hybrid is available from €37,195 rising to €48,745. It uses a 1.6-litre petrol engine, electric motor, and 1.49 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery to reduce fuel consumption and lower CO2 emissions. It is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission and motor tax ranges from €200 to €210 per year in Ireland for this model.

A plug-in hybrid will join the new Tucson range in 2021, with 265 hp and the ability to drive for short ranges on electric power only.

Driving the new Hyundai Tucson

The 2021 Hyundai Tucson has been developed and tested in Europe. The conventional dampers on the suspension use a new valve technology that offers more tuning flexibility. A MacPherson strut on the front and multi-link suspension on the rear are designed to ensure good levels of comfort and handling. The Tucson’s steering features a new generation Belt Drive steering gear for more smooth and connected steering.

The hybrid version I was testing uses a new 1.6-litre T-GDI turbo petrol engine, 44.2 kW electric motor and a 1.49 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery. It is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission (6AT). The system is the most powerful in the 2021 Hyundai Tucson powertrain line-up, with a combined output of 230 hp.

The new Tucson offers buyers more powertrain options than ever before
The new Tucson offers buyers more powertrain options than ever before

On the road, we can say that the new Tucson feels more premium than ever before. The cabin ambience is hugely rewarding, with a more comfortable and stable drive across motorway, town and rural roads. It’s comfortable for long distance motoring, while the Tucson's hybrid transmission is seamless at work in the background.

Over a week of driving my average fuel consumption was 6.7 litres per 100 km. There is plenty of power and smoothness from the accelerator, with an amazing 230 hp available. The Tucson Hybrid is quiet around town and we think the fuel economy is respectable. But for high mileage motorway users, the diesel will still return the best economy.

Did you like it?

The Hyundai Tuscon has enjoyed an impressive drive to notoriety in Ireland and Europe. This new generation looks set to make this car an even more compelling choice than ever before. This SUV icon has been suitably modernised to help it lead in its segment and command its price.

The outside of the car is smart and stylish, making a statement like never before. The interior of the car is a revelation, bringing a new premium style to the Tucson and a much anticipated digital upgrade.

This now feels like a design-led car. The ambition of Hyundai is palpable but it’s backed up by real choice in the powertrain department – with mild hybrid, hybrid, plug-in hybrid and diesel offering buyers amazing choice in the segment. This hybrid gives the Tucson some great credentials as an alternative to diesel.

The Tucson sells itself with a reputation that precedes. But now it really delivers. Tucson can enjoy the time at the top; it won’t be going anywhere else anytime soon.

Tucson is now more premium than ever before!
Tucson is now more premium than ever before!

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Hyundai Tucson Executive Plus HEV
Price: €42,195
Engine: 1.6-litre petrol electric hybrid
Power: 230 hp
Torque: 265 Nm
0-100km/h:  8 seconds
Top speed: 193 k/h
Economy (WLTP): 5.7 l/100 km
CO2 emissions (WLTP): 130 g/km
Motor Tax:  €200 per year


The 2021 Cupra Formentor has arrived in Ireland

CUPRA Formentor Arrives In Ireland!

The 2021 Cupra Formentor has arrived in Ireland
The 2021 Cupra Formentor has arrived in Ireland

CUPRA Ireland has launched the new CUPRA Formentor to the Irish market, priced from €37,135.

It goes on sale with a range of engines, including plug-in hybrids and high performance versions.

The launch of the Formentor is the first, original, stand alone model for the new CUPRA brand, and joins the CUPRA Ateca, CUPRA Leon, and CUPRA Leon Sportstourer.

The Formentor is named after Mallorca’s Cap de Formentor and is pitched as a unique proposition with no direct competitors. It will be available from CUPRA’s four retailers in Dublin, Limerick and Cork.

The CUPRA Formentor range starts from €37,135 for the 1.5-litre 150hp TSI model with a 6-speed manual transmission, rising to €40,885 with a DSG transmission.

At the top of the petrol range is the flagship 310hp 4Drive VZ model for €64,425.

There are two, 2.0-litre TDI diesel models with 150hp. The version with a 6-speed manual gearbox costs €39,135, while the DSG 4Drive version costs €45,975.

Pricing for the 204hp e-Hybrid starts from €39,895, with the more potent 245hp version starting from €50,130 including SEAI grant. The Formentor e-Hybrid integrates a system that combines a 150hp 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine, a 115hp electric motor and a 13 kWh capacity lithium-ion battery to offer the best of both worlds in terms of performance and emissions. In the case of the 245hp version, 0-100km/h is possible in just 7 seconds, yet CO2 emissions are rated at just 32g/km. This model can also drive up to 54 kilometres on electric power alone.

Inside the new Formentor
Inside the new Formentor

CUPRA Brand Director Niall Phillips, said:

“CUPRA has a bright future ahead. With the addition of the new CUPRA brand, we are now a company with two distinct brands, both brands have completely different target groups, and both take on very separate roles in the Volkswagen Group. The Formentor will be a door opener to new customers that look for exclusivity, contemporary design and innovation.”

Phillips outlined the positioning of the CUPRA brand as sitting between the mass and premium brands, with a range that will expand beyond the current line-up, especially in terms of electrification.

“CUPRA will gain significant volume growth and market share relevance in the Irish market over the coming years as the Product, Electrification, Awareness and Retailer Network become more established," he said.

There are plans to double the retailer network by the end of the year.

The brand has also outlined pricing for the new Leon CUPRA PHEV models, with the 1.4-litre TSI 245hp version starting from €41,210 and the Sportstourer models starting from €42,060 including SEAI grant. This model is expected to be the top-selling Leon CUPRA and will offer a full-electric range of 52km, with CO2 emissions of 28.9-32.4 g/km.

There have been a range of new additions to the CUPRA Ateca model, too, with the new 2.0-litre TSI 300 4Drive DSG costing from €66,065.

There will be a total of seven new Electric and Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV) models across the SEAT and CUPRA range, with the fully electric CUPRA Born model coming to Ireland in early 2022.

The CUPRA Tavascan fully electric SUV is also set to join the CUPRA range in 2024.

The new Cupra Formentor is available with plug-in hybrid technology
The new Cupra Formentor is available with plug-in hybrid technology