Thanks to Sandyford Motor Centre for guiding us through car finance options

SPONSORED: How To Finance Your New Car

Thanks to Sandyford Motor Centre for guiding us through car finance options
Thanks to Sandyford Motor Centre for guiding us through car finance options

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Whether you are buying your first car, or just looking for a change, coming up with the finances for a new car can be a challenge. There are many different voices and options available to you, but how do you know who to listen to, or which option is going to provide the best value? In this article, Sandyford Motor Centre guides us through the car finance options available.

Make sure to research and inform yourself before making a decision and tying yourself into a contract.

1. Hire Purchase

Hire Purchase is a form of car finance where you pay for the vehicle over a number of years - between 1 and 5 years specifically. It begins with a deposit, then incremental payments are made monthly over the remaining period of the deal. Once all payments are made, you are the official owner of the car. The fixed monthly repayments over a flexible time period is what appeals to most drivers, along with the prospect of eventual ownership.

2. Personal Contract Plan

Personal Contract Plan or PCP, is a form of Hire Purchase that has proved popular in Ireland in recent years. The main advantage is the flexibility a PCP offers. It allows you to change your car regularly, rather than a long term contract like Hire Purchase. It can be broken down to 3 areas:

1. Deposit: Firstly, you pay your deposit on the car, which is usually 10-30% of the vehicle's worth. Often people will generate these funds through the trade in value of their current car.
2. Guaranteed Minimum Future Value (GMFV): Guaranteeing what the car will be worth at the end of the repayments, no matter what the depreciation is, is a key benefit of PCPs.
3. Monthly Repayments: The monthly repayments on the vehicle are calculated on the difference between the deposit and the GMFV.

3. Personal Loan

Some people opt to take out a personal loan to fund the purchase of a new car. Many people like the thought of keeping the loan and the car purchase separate, so if anything goes wrong they can sell the car and get the cash back. This is the go-to option for those who do not have any savings or a car to trade in. Loans can be taken out from your bank, or from the Credit Union in Ireland if you are a member.

It is important to consider the factor of interest when using a personal loan to buy a new car. General interest rates vary between providers, but over the course of a few years, you will be paying significantly higher than if you choose Hire Purchase or PCP. Personal Loans also bring your credit rating into the equation, which the other options do not.

4. Leasing

Leasing is very similar to Hire Purchase, but with one key difference - you do not own the car at the end of the payments. It is essentially just a long term car rental. People may go for this in more short term situations, when they have no interest in eventually owning the car. The deposit is significantly smaller than with other finance options, and the pre-agreed fixed time and fee make for appealing factors, as well as not having to worry about depreciation.

Using your savings is another way of purchasing a car. You could also look into the pros and cons of Contract Hire and Business Hire Purchase.

So which car finance option should you choose?

The options laid out above are the most simple ways to car finance, particularly if you are a first time buyer. If you wish to speak to an expert, call Sandyford Motor Centre Car Dealership in South Dublin, who would be happy to talk you through your finance options.

Sandyford Motor Centre in South Dublin stocks a range of new and used vehicles including the Mazda and Peugeot brands
Sandyford Motor Centre in South Dublin stocks a range of new and used vehicles including the Mazda and Peugeot brands

Tom Dennigan presents the Continental Tyres Irish Car of the Year 2020 Award to Ronan Flood, MD of Kia Motors Ireland

Continental Tyres Irish Car Of The Year 2020 Winners!

Tom Dennigan presents the Continental Tyres Irish Car of the Year 2020 Award to Ronan Flood, MD of Kia Motors Ireland
Tom Dennigan presents the Continental Tyres Irish Car of the Year 2020 Award to Ronan Flood, MD of Kia Motors Ireland

At an awards ceremony at the Westin Hotel in Dublin, the Kia e-Soul was named Continental Tyres Irish Car of the Year 2020.

The Kia e-Soul over came competition from the Toyota Corolla, Peugeot 508, Volkswagen T-Cross, Audi Q3, SEAT Tarraco, Peugeot Rifter, Ford Focus ST and the Alfa Romeo Stelvio QV, to take the coveted award.

A popular winner, the e-Soul makes history as the first electric vehicle to win in the award's 42-year history.

Ireland's leading motoring journalists from across print, online and broadcasting hosted the gala black tie event, which was attended by Ireland’s leading car brands, importers, distributors and other motoring dignitaries.

The Kia e-Soul was one of several electric and hybrid models in the running for this year’s award and also took home two category awards on the night: Continental Tyres Irish Compact Car of the Year and Continental Tyres Irish Green / Efficient Car of the Year.

The newly appointed MD of Kia Motors Ireland, Ronan Flood, said:

“Right from the start we have received really positive feedback from journalists after they had driven e-Soul, particularly in regard to build quality, driving dynamics, comfort and the 400 km plus range on a full charge. Credit for this goes to our designers and engineers in Korea."

Tom Dennigan of Continental Tyres, who sponsored the awards, said:

“The advice of the Irish Car of the Year jurors is instrumental in helping consumers here to make sense of the ever-growing complexity of the cars we drive – both from the point of view of the increased fuel options and the myriad of new safety features and technologies that are found on even the entry level models of all brands”.

Continental Tyres Irish Compact Car of the Year

Nominees: Audi A1, Renault Clio, Hyundai Kona Electric, Kia e-Soul

Winner: Kia e-Soul

The new Kia e-Soul
The new Kia e-Soul

Continental Tyres Irish Medium Car of the Year

Nominees: Mazda3, Toyota Corolla, Skoda Scala, Mercedes-Benz B-Class, Mercedes-Benz CLA, Kia e-Niro, Kia Proceed.

Winner: Toyota Corolla

The new Toyota Corolla Saloon
The new Toyota Corolla Saloon

Continental Tyres Irish Large Car of the Year

Nominees: Toyota Camry, BMW 3 Series, Peugeot 508, Lexus ES, Tesla Model 3 and Volvo S60.

Winner: Peugeot 508

The new Peugeot 508
The new Peugeot 508

Continental Tyres Irish Compact SUV of the Year

Nominees: Lexus UX, Kia XCeed, Volkswagen T-Cross

Winner: Volkswagen T-Cross

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

Continental Tyres Irish Medium SUV of the Year

Nominees: Range Rover Evoque, Audi Q3, DS7, Citroen C5 Aircross, Mercedes-Benz EQC, Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, Toyota RAV4.

Winner: Audi Q3

The new Audi Q3
The new Audi Q3

Continental Tyres Irish Large SUV of the Year

Nominees: BMW X5, BMW X7, SEAT Tarraco, Ford Ranger Raptor, Mercedes-Benz GLE, Audi Q8, Audi e-tron

Winner: SEAT Tarraco

The new SEAT Tarraco!
The new SEAT Tarraco

Continental Tyres Irish Hot Hatchback of the Year

Nominees: Renault Megane R.S. Trophy, Mercedes-Benz A35 AMG, Ford Focus ST, Cupra Ateca, Skoda Kodiaq RS.

Winner: Ford Focus ST

The new Ford Focus ST
The new Ford Focus ST

Continental Tyres Irish Performance / Luxury Car of the Year

Nominees: BMW Z4, BMW 8 Series, Alfa Romeo Stelvio QV, Toyota Supra, Audi RS5.

Winner: Alfa Romeo Stelvio QV

Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio
The Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio

Continental Tyres Irish Green / Efficient Car of the Year

Nominees: Kia e-Niro, Kia e-Soul, Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, Mercedes-Benz EQC, Hyundai Kona Electric, Tesla Model 3, Audi e-tron

Winner: Kia e-Soul

The new Kia e-Soul
The new Kia e-Soul

Continental Tyres Irish MPV of the Year

Nominees: Opel Combo Life, Peugeot Rifter, Citroen Berlingo Multspace

Winner: Peugeot Rifter

The new Peugeot Rifter
The new Peugeot Rifter

Having won in each of their categories, the ten category winners were all in the running for the top honour. The judging panel of 32 journalists voted for the Kia e-Soul as the overall Irish Car of the Year.

Last year’s 2019 Irish Car of the Year award was won by the Volvo XC40.

The joint entry of Citroen Berlingo / Opel Combo Cargo / Peugeot Partner was voted as the Continental Tyres Irish Van of the Year 2020.


The new Peugeot e-208!

Irish Pricing For New Peugeot 208 And e-208

The new Peugeot e-208!
The new Peugeot e-208!

Peugeot Ireland has released pricing and specifications for the much anticipated new Peugeot 208 and e-208 range.

The Peugeot e-208 is 100% electric and is the brand's first production electric vehicle to market in Ireland. It will go on sale alongside petrol and diesel variants of the new 208 supermini, with first deliveries planned in early 2020.

The entry e-208 Active model will retail from €27,334, plus delivery, inclusive of the SEAI grant and VRT relief.

The 100 KW (136 bhp) electric unit with 50 kWh battery, develops 260 Nm of torque from 0 km/h, for instant response. With three drive modes on offer, (Eco, Normal and Sport), the e-208 delivers 0 to 100 kmh in 8.1 seconds in Sport Mode. Drive range is up to 340 km, in accordance with the latest WLTP (Worldwide harmonised Light vehicles Test Procedures) certification. The battery is guaranteed for 8 years or 160,000 km, for up to 70% retention.

Interior and boot-space are identical to the Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) versions as the batteries are distributed under the floor pan.

The petrol and diesel new Peugeot 208 range starts from €18,300 plus delivery related charges, for the Active 1.2 PureTech 75bhp model. Other engine options include a 1.2 PureTech 100bhp 6-spd manual and a 1.2 PureTech 130bhp 8-spd automatic.

Diesel is offered in a 1.5 BlueHDi 100bhp 6-spd manual.

The new e-208 will be available from €27,334
The new e-208 will be available from €27,334

Standard equipment from the Active 1.2 PureTech 75bhp 5-spd version includes 16” alloy wheels, tyre pressure monitor, spare wheel (ICE versions), ESP with Hill Assist, multifunctional leather steering wheel, hands free start, alarm, 6 airbags, air conditioning, comfort seats, cruise control and speed limiter, extended traffic sign recognition, auto headlamps, DAB radio, rear parking sensors, PEUGEOT i-Cockpit interior (7” touchscreen, Mirrorscreen, USB socket, compact steering wheel and customisable digital heads up display) and smartphone holder.

The Active e-208 trim further features automatic climate control, front central armrest, 2 USB sockets in the rear, electric parking brake, auto wipers and advanced automatic emergency braking system.

Retailing from €21,450 plus delivery, the Allure 1.2 PureTech 100bhp 6-spd version benefits from electric folding mirrors, an electro-chrome rear view mirror, automatic climate control, front central armrest, 2 USB sockets in the front and 2 USB sockets in the rear, electric parking brake, auto wipers and front and rear parking sensors. All Allure models also have as standard half-TEP upholstery, rear electric windows, rear door privacy glass and quartz 3D instrument cluster.

The GT Line 1.2 PureTech 100bhp 6-spd model, from €23,595 plus delivery, adds 17” alloys, frameless electro-chrome rear view mirror, full LED headlamps, LED side indicators, high beam assist, reverse camera with Visiopark 180, ambient lighting, full grain leather multifunction steering wheel and GT Line badge and styling.

The top-of-the-range GT e-208 retails from €32,660, inclusive of SEAI grant and VRT relief, and has as standard, hands-free access, Active Blindspot Detection, Alcantara fabric with half leather-effect, front passenger seat height adjustment, heated seats and GT badging and styling.

Colin Sheridan, Sales and Marketing Director at Gowan Distributors, PEUGEOT Importer in Ireland, said: “The all-new 208 is the first vehicle in PEUGEOT’s line-up to fulfil the company’s new philosophy of ‘choose your PEUGEOT model, choose your petrol, diesel or electric powertrain.’ With a very strong 2-series heritage and existing customer base already in Ireland, I have no doubt the excellent press reviews stemming from the international press launch in October, will attract many conquest sales. We very much look forward with confidence to the arrival of the new 208 and e-208 and the new-201 registration plate."

The new Hyundai Kona Hybrid

New Hyundai Kona Hybrid Arrives In Ireland

The new Hyundai Kona Hybrid
The new Hyundai Kona Hybrid

The new Hyundai Kona Hybrid has just arrived in Irish Hyundai dealers, priced from €28,495.

The new Kona Hybrid will join the popular Kona Electric and Kona petrol and diesel models.

The Kona Hybrid share its powertrain with the Ioniq Hybrid. It uses a 1.6-litre petrol engine, 1.56 kWh battery and 32 kW motor to deliver a maximum hybrid system power of 141 hp and 265 Nm to the front wheels, via a 6 speed dual clutch transmission.

CO2 emissions are just 101 g and motor tax is €190 per year. Fuel consumption is given as 5.0 l/100km under WLTP.

It's available in two tone colour combinations and standard equipment includes 18" alloy wheels, heated front seats, climate control, electronic parking brake, cruise control, rear view camera, Apple CarPlay and a wireless phone charger.

Standard models feature black woven cloth seats with white stitching. The Kona Hybrid has its own dedicated interior colour pack with white accents around the air vent surrounds and gear shift bezel, as well as glossy black accents on the door handles, steering wheel spoke and air vent bezel, and a grey headliner.

'Blue Lagoon' (pictured) is a special launch colour for the car.

The interior of the new Kona Hybrid
The interior of the new Kona Hybrid

Andreas-Christoph Hofmann, Vice President Marketing and Product at Hyundai Motor Europe HQ, says:

“Hyundai already offers the widest range of powertrains, and with the launch of the all-new Kona Hybrid we are offering our European customers even more choice when it comes to eco-friendly SUV models.”

The Kona has been very successful for Hyundai. Since the original Kona arrived on the market in October 2017, nearly 120,000 in total have been sold in Europe.

The new Volkswagen ID.3 on the production line at Zwickau

Volkswagen Starts ID.3 Production At Zwickau, Germany

The new Volkswagen ID.3 on the production line at Zwickau
The new Volkswagen ID.3 on the production line at Zwickau

Production of the new Volkswagen ID.3 has started at a new plant at Zwickau, Germany. The large car manufacturing plant has been entirely converted to e-mobility, with investments running at €1.2 billion to support the Volkswagen Group's plans to sell 22 million EVs worldwide by 2028.

Zwickau is already scheduled to produce 100,000 electric models next year. From 2021, up to 330,000 EVs will leave the assembly line each year, making the site the largest and most efficient EV factory in Europe and a trailblazer in the transformation of Volkswagen’s global production network.

From 2021, six MEB models from three Group brands will be built in Zwickau.

The first car in Volkswagen's new generation of electric vehicles (EVs) – a white ID.3 – this week rolled off the assembly line watched by Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel and Volkswagen Group CEO Dr. Herbert Diess.

Group CEO Herbert Diess said at the ceremony in Zwickau:

“The ID.3 will make an important contribution to the breakthrough of e-mobility. It makes clean individual mobility accessible to millions of people and is a milestone for our company on the road to becoming climate-neutral by 2050.”

Thomas Ulbrich, Volkswagen Brand Board Member for E-Mobility, commented:

“The ID.3 is a high-tech car from a high-tech factory. With some 1,700 robots, driverless transport systems and fully-automated manufacturing processes, Zwickau gives a contemporary insight into the shape of forward-looking high-volume production of EVs.”

The new ID.3 will arrive in Ireland next summer
The new ID.3 will arrive in Ireland next summer

Apart from manufacturing at the Zwickau factory, the Components plants in Brunswick, Kassel, Salzgitter and Wolfsburg are also involved in ID.3 production. They manufacture key components such as the electric motors or the battery systems. The car manufacturing plants in Emden and Hanover are scheduled to begin building EVs from 2022. The Volkswagen Group is also cooperating with Northvolt to set up a major battery cell factory in Salzgitter.

The ID.3 will be launched to markets throughout Europe in summer 2020, including Ireland.

Over 35,000 international customers have already reserved an ID.3 and paid a pre-booking deposit.

The ŠKODA Kamiq is now on sale in Ireland

New ŠKODA Kamiq Arrives In Ireland

The ŠKODA Kamiq is now on sale in Ireland
The ŠKODA Kamiq is now on sale in Ireland

The new ŠKODA Kamiq compact crossover has arrived in Ireland and will go on sale priced from €21,300.

The Kamiq is the third model to join the brand's SUV range alongside the popular Kodiaq and Karoq and will allow ŠKODA to compete for the first time in the small SUV segment.

The Kamiq is an attractive prospect with increased ground clearance and a raised seat position combined with the agility of a compact car. The Kamiq features distinctive split headlights and is the first ŠKODA to have dynamic front and rear indicators .

The latest assistance and infotainment systems feature as well as a generous amount of space and numerous famed ŠKODA 'Simply Clever' features. The boot has a capacity of 363 litres, which can be increased to 1,360 litres by folding down the asymmetrically split back seat (60:40).

Engine options for the new Kamiq will include 1.0-litre and 1.5-litre TSI petrol engines with a range of power outputs and a 1.6-litre TDI diesel (95 to 150 bhp). These engines can be coupled with a 5- or 6-speed manual gearbox or a 7-speed DSG automatic.

The interior of the new Kamiq
The interior of the new Kamiq

ŠKODA Ireland are launching the new Kamiq in three trim levels: Active, Ambition and Style.

Active and Ambition models feature the 6.5-inch 'Swing' touch screen infotainment system, LED headlights and tail lights.

Lane Assist, Front Assist with City Emergency Brake and Predictive Pedestrian Protection, and Multi-Collision Braking are also standard.

Style models are equipped with the 8.0-inch 'Bolero' infotainment unit and full LED headlights with AFS and dynamic front and rear indicators.

Ray Leddy, Head of Marketing & Product at ŠKODA Ireland, said:

“The Kamiq is another excellent product from ŠKODA. We are very ambitious for this new model and expect the KAMIQ to follow in the footsteps of the Karoq and Kodiaq. The KAMIQ has already seen unprecedented sales success on the continent; as a result, demand is expected to outstrip supply in many markets including Ireland. We would advise customers to order early to avoid disappointment.”

Connolly Motor Group have joined the SEAT dealer network in Sligo

Connolly Motor Group Joins SEAT Network

Connolly Motor Group have joined the SEAT dealer network in Sligo
Connolly Motor Group have joined the SEAT dealer network in Sligo

SEAT Ireland has announced Connolly Motor Group in Sligo as the latest dealer to join the brand's network of 24 dealers, marking another significant step in the expansion of the brand's presence in Ireland.

The dealership will be the first SEAT dealership to open in Sligo and will host the full SEAT range including the SEAT Ateca, the SEAT Arona crossover and the 7-seater SEAT Tarraco. The Connolly dealership will also host the well-established SEAT models, Ibiza and Leon, as part of its fleet.

Ten new full-time jobs will be created as a result of the opening, bringing the total number of employees of the Connolly Motor Group to 280.

Since opening its first dealership in Ballina in 1939, Connolly Motor Group, has had continuous growth with dealerships in Mayo, Galway and Sligo. The family-owned group offer sales and aftersales in both passenger and commercial vehicles and specialise in used vehicle sales. The new dealership will be led by Dealer Principal Neil Connolly and his team: Brand Manager Padraic Gallagher, Sales Executives Morgan O’Reilly and Niall Taylor, After Sales Manager Shane Rochford and Service Advisor Martina Blee.

Niall Phillips, Brand Director of SEAT Ireland said, “SEAT Ireland is delighted to welcome Connolly Motor Group to its nationwide network of dealerships. The team at Connolly’s has a brilliant reputation for excellent customer service and their level of experience and expertise will hugely benefit SEAT. There has never been a better time to join the SEAT network as the brand continues to expand, we now have the largest and newest product range in our history”.

On partnering with SEAT, Neil Connolly, Connolly Motor Group Director said, “We are delighted to be investing in the SEAT brand and bringing this great brand to people in the Sligo region. Being part of a group provides us with the additional benefit and financial stability that comes with having multiple dealerships.

We are proud to be a family-owned group and the foundations of our success is the people who work with us, the manufacturers we represent and of course, our valued customers. Our customers are at the heart of everything we do. My brother Kevin and I are extremely proud to be bringing more jobs to Sligo and delighted that we can breathe new life into a building that has been lying vacant in Collooney.”

This new addition to the SEAT dealer network comes after the brand recently reported its highest sales figures in 19 years. Year to date SEAT has sold more than 4,000 units, up 10.5% compared to the market which is down 7%. This gives the brand a record high market share of 3.5%.

The Toyota Corolla continues to sell very well in Ireland

October 2019 New Car Sales In Ireland

The Toyota Corolla continues to sell very well in Ireland
The Toyota Corolla continues to sell very well in Ireland

The Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) has released official new vehicle registration statistics for October 2019. They show that the total new car registrations for October are up 29.3% (2,184) when compared with October 2018 (1,689). New car registrations year to date are down 7.0% (116,129) on the same period last year (124,884).

The five top selling car brands year to date are 1. Volkswagen, 2. Toyota, 3. Hyundai, 4. Ford and 5. Skoda.

The top five bestselling cars year to date are 1. Toyota Corolla, 2. Hyundai Tucson, 3. Nissan Qashqai, 4. Volkswagen Tiguan and 5. Skoda Octavia.

The bestselling car in October was the Toyota Corolla.

New electric vehicle registrations continue to grow month on month with a total of 3,222 EV cars registered so far this year compared to 1,211 last year.

Imported Used Cars for October saw an increase of 25.4% (11,460) on the same month last year (9,139) and year to date imports are up 8.65% (93,893) ahead of 2018 (86,417).

New Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) registrations are up 8.09% (1,069) on October 2018 (989), however registrations year to date are down 1.3% (24,324). New Heavy Commercial Vehicles (HGV) registrations increased 4.65% (135) in comparison to October 2018 (129) and year to date are slightly up 1.06% (2,484)

Commenting on the new vehicle registrations figures Brian Cooke, SIMI Director General said:

“New car registrations for the month of October show an improvement on the same month last year, with much of this growth accounted for by an increase in the sale of Electric Vehicles. However, new car registrations year to date continue to disappoint, down 7% on 2018 and over 20% since 2016. The impact of Brexit and sterling weakness continues to drive used car imports which is impacting negatively on the new car market. Despite the uncertain trading environment facing our Industry, focus is quickly turning to next year and the 2020 registration plate, with some recovery in the new car market vital in reducing Ireland’s emissions from transport.”

The new Mercedes-Benz GLE pictured in the Blackstairs Mountains!

Mercedes-Benz GLE 300d Diesel Review

The new Mercedes-Benz GLE pictured in the Blackstairs Mountains!
The new Mercedes-Benz GLE pictured in the Blackstairs Mountains!

Caroline drives the new Mercedes-Benz GLE!

Did you ever wonder what it might be like to drive a luxury five star hotel on wheels? The new Mercedes-Benz GLE comes close. From my lofty position behind the steering wheel, I take a glimpse into a five star world. The new GLE is a physically impressive car. It knocks around in the car park of large premium SUVs – think BMW X5, Volvo XC90, Land Rover Discovery, Jaguar F-PACE and Audi Q7. It drips with premium features all wrapped up in sumptuous leather. There’s every comfort feature you could wish for along with a smooth and breezy ride comfort that marks out the very best.

Pricing starts from €78,965 and though it might be a bit tasteless to talk too much about value at this side of the market, Mercedes-Benz Ireland has positioned the GLE with considerable clout, loading on the spec to make a serious case for the GLE over rivals. Of course, Mercedes Benz owners will already be converted to the comfort, refinement and aura of the three pointed star brand. Riding high in the GLE, now with the option of seven seats for the first time, the GLE is surprisingly charismatic.

Styling has been spruced up to make the car more attractive. The wheelbase is 80 mm longer and the new SUV has a more rounded and elegant presence, with distinctive LED headlights and rear lights. 18” alloys come as standard, while AMG Line models add AMG bodystyling and 20” alloys. However, it’s probably the interior of this car that really steals the show.

The interior of the new Mercedes-Benz GLE

Inside the new Mercedes-Benz GLE

First of all it’s huge inside, a proper large family SUV. The rear accommodation is excellent, generous in width and legroom. There is now the option of two seats in row 3 turning this into a seven seater. There is lots of electrical assistance to move the seats in row 2 forward and back with adjustable recline. The luggage capacity is up to 825 litres behind the rear seats, and up to 2,055 litres when the second seat row is folded down. A 72 mm increase in through-loading width allows bulky items to be stowed more easily.

Right, so up into the driver’s seat. Wow. The view is amazing with the new widescreen dashboard as standard with two 12.3 inch screens – one for the driver information display and the second for the infotainment. All the digital tech works seamlessly and is intuitive to use. It’s also super comfortable. The lofty high driving position is hard to beat.

The material quality is excellent throughout. Rectangular shaped air vents are a neat touch and there is a raised centre console between the driver and passenger with cupholders, storage and the controls for the MBUX infotainment system. Hey Mercedes!

The new GLE is available from €78,965
The new GLE is available from €78,965

What do I get for my money?

The range starts with the GLE 300d 4MATIC at €78,965. With an AMG Line exterior package, this model is available from €84,772. The AMG Line diesel is available from €85,332. The GLE 450 4MATIC petrol is available from €96,625.

Standard equipment on the GLE includes cruise control, 18” alloys, widescreen cockpit with two displays, dual zone climate control, MBUX multimedia system, Mercedes me connect, parking package with rear camera, Dynamic Select, leather upholstery, blind spot assist, attention assist, lane keeping assist and traffic sign assist.

The AMG Line exterior pack adds sport braking system, 20” alloys, diamond grille with chrome pins and AMG bodystyling.

AMG Line cars include interior equipment such as AMG floor mats in black velour, AMG sports pedals in brushed stainless steel with black rubber studs, ARTICO man-made leather/DINAMICA microfibre upholstery, Nappa leather dashboard, door panelling plus armrests in black ARTICO man-made leather, multifunction sports steering wheel in Nappa leather and sports seats for driver and front passenger.

The 7-seat package for €2,944 adds the two extra seats, 20” 5-spoke light-alloy wheels and electrically-adjustable rear seats.

Rear legroom in the new GLE
Rear legroom in the new GLE

Driving the new Mercedes-Benz GLE

4MATIC four wheel drive is standard on all models. In terms of engine, the big seller in Ireland will be the 300d with a 2.0-litre diesel putting out 245 hp. There is also a GLE 450 petrol powered by a six-cylinder engine with 48-volt mild hybrid technology. Motor tax ranges from €570 to €1200 for the GLE.

My test car was the GLE 300d and it performs well here with a 9-speed automatic gearbox. The engine is responsive and smooth, delivering its power with just enough urgency to feel brisk. The GLE is a big car but this engine does a fine job without making too much of a racket while it's at it. Over a week of driving my average fuel consumption was 8.0l/100km.

The Mercedes-Benz GLE has a newly developed steel suspension, while there is also the option of a new AIRMATIC air suspension and E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL for engine variants with six and more cylinders. Even on standard suspension, the Mercedes-Benz GLE is a good companion, and reasonably easy to manoeuvre for its size also with a myriad of parking aids to get you in and out of the car park safely! On the road the new GLE prioritises comfort and refinement. It does feel large on the road and it's certainly not the sportiest of SUVs, but it's a pleasure to drive and will move passengers around in comfort and luxury.

And the verdict?

The new generation of the Mercedes-Benz GLE ups its game in terms of styling, interior finish, technology and connectivity, bringing modern Mercedes-Benz features to the large family SUV class. The seven seat option is new for the GLE and makes the whole package even more competitive than before. Mercedes-Benz Ireland is offering a generously equipped GLE 300d and this engine is a great match for the car.

The interior is a true high point for the GLE - modern and contemporary yet easy to use and navigate. This is a fantastic large family SUV with plenty of space and comfort features. The GLE has no aspirations to be sporty, but for pure luxury comfort and refinement, it’s a top player in this market.

Highly desirable and utterly capable.

Caroline and the Mercedes-Benz GLE
Caroline and the Mercedes-Benz GLE

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Mercedes-Benz GLE 300d 4MATIC AMG Line
€85,332 (Range from €78,965)
Engine: 2.0-litre turbo diesel
Torque: 500Nm
7.2 seconds
Top speed: 225 km/h
Fuel economy (WLTP):
6.1 – 6.4 l/100km
CO2 emissions (WLTP): 
162 g/km
Motor tax: 
€570 per year


Peugeot has confirmed the new Peugeot 508 Plug-In Hybrid range from January 2020

New Peugeot 508 Plug-in Hybrid For 2020 Arrival

Peugeot has confirmed the new Peugeot 508 Plug-In Hybrid range from January 2020
Peugeot has confirmed the new Peugeot 508 Plug-In Hybrid range from January 2020

Peugeot Ireland has confirmed that the new Peugeot 508 Plug-in Hybrid will go on sale in Ireland from December, with first units arriving in early 2020.

Irish pricing and specifications will be announced in December.

Under the new WLTP protocol, the Peugeot 508 fastback/saloon hybrid achieved 29g CO₂/km (1,3L /100km) and 54 km in 100% electric mode. The 508 SW estate hybrid achieved 30g CO₂/km (1,3L /100km) and 52 km in 100% electric mode.

Therefore the new 508 Hybrid range will qualify in Ireland for the newly calculated grant thresholds now applicable; under new rules (plug-in hybrids must now emit less than 50g/km CO2 and travel more than 50km in all-electric mode to qualify for the €5,000 SEAI grant and €2,500 VRT relief).

The 508 Hybrids combine a 180 bhp PureTech petrol engine with a 110 bhp electric motor for a maximum combined power of 225 bhp. Drivers will be able to select between a 100% electric mode, an Sport mode, a Hybrid mode and a Comfort mode. The battery offers a capacity of 11.8kWh and recharging takes less than 1h 45m with a Wallbox (optional 6.6 kW charger, 32A). The cars are built on EMP2 (Efficient Modular Platform) and there is no compromises in terms of space with boot volumes identical to the combustion versions.

Trim levels are expected to include Allure, Allure Business, GT Line and a top of the range GT trim.

Des Cannon, Managing Director at Gowan Distributors, Peugeot Importer in Ireland, said:

“Peugeot is rapidly embracing an electric future. The all-new 508 HYBRID and 508 SW HYBRID will join our growing line-up of plug-in electric hybrid and fully electric models, including the soon-to-arrive and all-new 3008 SUV GT HYBRID4, the e-208 and e-2008 SUV. This is an exciting time for Peugeot as the brand works to fulfil its philosophy of ‘choose your Peugeot, choose your powertrain’ where customers can choose between conventional petrol and diesel models as well as electrified variants. By 2023, 100% of the Peugeot range will be electrified.”

The new Peugeot plug-in hybrid range, available in Ireland from 2020
The new Peugeot plug-in hybrid range, available in Ireland from 2020