The new Dacia Duster TechRoad

New Dacia TechRoad Special Edition

The new Dacia Duster TechRoad
The new Dacia Duster TechRoad

Dacia has added a new Special Edition across their range for 192, the TechRoad.

Available to order now from €16,440, the TechRoad specification adds more equipment to the Sandero Stepway, Logan MCV Stepway and Duster ranges, including navigation with Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto® and reversing camera.

The TechRoad Special Editions also feature new interior trims and a choice of two new metallic paint colours – Fusion Red and Highland Grey.

The Dacia TechRoad editions feature new interior trims and more equipment
The Dacia TechRoad editions feature new interior trims and more equipment

This summer also sees the debut of a new TCe 130 petrol engine in the Dacia Duster, making it the most powerful Duster ever!

The Dacia Duster TechRoad is the first showcase of this new engine, and is available from €23,040. Already familiar in the Renault range, this engine is now appearing for the first time in a Dacia.

24-hour test drives are available across the Dacia car range at all dealerships nationwide.


The Nissan LEAF is a strong seller in the growing electric vehicle segment

Nissan Ireland Pioneers Move To Online New Car Sales

The Nissan LEAF is a strong seller in the growing electric vehicle segment
The Nissan Leaf

Nissan has become the first car distributor in Ireland to make it possible for consumers to buy their passenger car range online.

Nissan relaunched the www.nissan.ie website this week and it now
features a “Buy Now” button which enables motorists to buy any new Nissan car
whenever and from wherever they choose, including from the comfort of their
home.

The new feature is designed for Irish car buyers who have already made up their mind on which new car to buy and who want to complete the sales process online.

The move comes after Nissan successfully trialled the online sales model with the 2018 launch of the 40kWh zero emissions Nissan LEAF. Over 200 customers put down online deposits for the car without visiting a showroom to see or test drive the car, while 2,500 online users registered their interest in the car.

“We were selling the car before it hit the showroom floor.
It proved how the market has changed and we have built upon that. We are
expecting a similar experience ahead of the launch of the new 62kWh Nissan LEAF
in June and we are certain that customers will fully embrace the option to buy
from the full range of Nissan cars online,” said James McCarthy, CEO of Nissan
Ireland.

“Buying a new Nissan is now only a click away. Car
buyers are already researching which car to buy online and can now take the
next step and buy any new Nissan passenger car from any location at www.nissan.ie,” he
explained.

Online payment is processed through Stripe and car buyers
are only required to pay a fully refundable deposit of €200 once they have
selected the specification and the model of the new Nissan passenger car that
they want to buy.

"That is enough to secure their new car online and to automatically place an order with their nearest Nissan dealer. Online buyers can also use the new website to book a test drive and to complete a finance application before engaging with their local Nissan dealer to complete the process of securing finance approval for their new Nissan," said Mr. McCarthy. 

The new online initiative is also designed to ensure
that Nissan dealers remain at the heart of the sales process, utilising their
experience and expertise in providing customers with excellent sales, delivery
and after sales service.

“We are providing Nissan customers with the best of
both worlds. Digital is re-shaping the future of car sales and the car showroom
and we are moving with the times,” said Mr. McCarthy.

“Most buyers conduct their online research during
their free time in the evenings. The ‘Book a Test-Drive’, ‘Buy Now’ and finance
application harness the convenience of online to provide a welcome solution for
customers and dealers alike,” he added.


New Mazda3 available now from €26,295

2019 Mazda3 Now On Sale In Ireland

New Mazda3 available now from €26,295
New Mazda3 available now from €26,295

The Mazda3 has arrived in Ireland and is available now from €26,295. It's available in two body-types, Hatchback and Saloon, with the latter arriving in June.

At launch there are two engines available for the Mazda3: the 2.0 Petrol Skyactiv-G and the 1.8 Diesel Skyactiv-D.

An innovative new 2.0 Petrol Skyactiv-X will be added to the range later this year.

Mild hybrid technology and cylinder-deactivation are standard on the 2.0 petrol engine to boost fuel economy.

Commenting on the new launch, John Perry, Managing Director of Mazda Ireland said, “These truly are exciting times for the brand. Reactions to All-New Mazda3 from first customer test drives and press reviews have been phenomenal. Mazda3 has always been a successful model for the brand but this next-generation Mazda3 has further raised the bar within an already competitive segment. By focusing on driving pleasure and creating a bond between car and driver, Mazda don’t just engineer cars to deliver high levels of quality and safety but to the enjoyment and emotional feeling experienced behind the wheel.”


The new Kia ProCeed!

2019 Kia Proceed 1.4 GT Line

The new Kia ProCeed!
The new Kia ProCeed!

Caroline drives the 2019 Kia ProCeed!

Over the last few years, Kia has really put itself on the map as one of the most modern and progressive car manufacturers. Not content with raising standards across their range of hatchbacks, SUVs and saloons in recent years, the ambitious Korean brand has also pushed itself into new segments. Last year it was the stunning Kia Stinger GT stealing all the headlines for its evocative design and high-performance engine. This year it’s the return of the Kia ProCeed. But not as we know it!

The Kia ProCeed entered the market a number of years ago as a sporty, three door hatchback. But there is no longer much of a market for cars like that. So Kia has reimagined the ProCeed as a “shooting brake” to coincide with the new generation of the Kia Ceed family that arrived in Ireland in 2018.

The Kia ProCeed is a prestigious "shooting brake" for the compact class
The Kia ProCeed is a prestigious "shooting brake" for the compact class

The 2019 Kia ProCeed

The new Kia ProCeed is a cross somewhere between an elegant hatchback and a practical estate. It now sits at the top of the Ceed range, with a list price of €28,946. For reference the Ceed hatchback range kicks off at €22,695 and the SW range at €25,295.

However, the Proceed range is very simple in Ireland in that Kia Ireland is offering just one model with a high specification – GT Line. The 2019 Kia ProCeed GT Line has a 1.4-litre turbo petrol engine under the bonnet putting out 140hp. A six speed manual gearbox comes as standard while there is a 7 speed automatic version available for €30,445.

The interior of the Kia ProCeed
The interior of the 2019 Kia ProCeed

Stylish and practical

The 2019 Kia ProCeed is a design-led concept merging style and practicality. The ProCeed is lower and longer than both the Ceed five-door hatchback and Sportswagon and so carries its own unique identity within the Ceed family. In fact it’s quite unique in the family car segment with a striking raked back silhouette, sharing only its bonnet and front wings with the Ceed five-door.

The ProCeed name is spelled out in capitals across the centre of the tailgate, beneath LED tail-lights which span the width of the tailgate, giving the car a unique light signature. The ‘tiger nose’ front grille is finished in high gloss black with satin chrome, with matching high gloss black door mirrors and side sill mouldings. The air intake has a lower lip with black accent, and the rear spoiler is body coloured with high gloss black trim.

The ProCeed is every bit the head turner especially finished in Infra Red, but it’s also versatile with a 594 litre boot. The boot is bigger than in the Ceed hatchback and just a few litres shy of the SW in that regard. It’s also easy to load and access the space too. The sloping roofline means that in the rear, there is some impact on headroom, but otherwise this is a competively sized car for the compact class.  

Rear seating in the Kia ProCeed
Rear seating in the Kia ProCeed

The interior of the Kia Proceed

The interior is almost a carbon copy of the Ceed on which it is based, though the ProCeed does have a black headliner, special upholstery and a D-shaped sports steering wheel. It’s a comfortable cabin with some stylish brushed chrome and gloss black to add interest. Considering the premium buyers pay for this model, it would be nice to see some more higher quality materials or a more individual design. A small frustration really.

Standard equipment on the ProcCeed GT Line includes 17” alloys, automatic headlights, front projector headlights, LED daytime running lights, LED rear lights with a full-width LED brake light, front fog lights, rain sensing wipers, cruise control, rear privacy glass, wireless phone charger, reversing camera with rear parking sensors, High Beam Assist, Driver Attention Warning and Lane Keeping Assist with Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist.

The Kia ProCeed is available from €28,946 in Ireland
The Kia ProCeed is available from €28,946 in Ireland

Driving the Kia ProCeed

Kia has made a few changes to the ProCeed under the skin for a sportier and more engaging drive. This has been achieved by using stiffer front and rear springs to increase body control and improve steering inputs, and softer front and rear anti-roll bars to keep its inside wheels in contact with the road, even under hard cornering. 

On the road the ProCeed immediately feels tauter and more engaging with loads of front end grip and minimal body roll making it a very accomplished car to drive. There is a firmer edge to the suspension but it’s by no means uncomfortable. There was quite a lot of audible road noise however on our test drive.

The 1.4-litre engine does perform well in the ProCeed with good power and performance, reaching 100kmh in just 8.8 seconds from a standstill, and smooth power delivery through the six speed manual gearbox. There is no diesel engine available in the ProCeed in Ireland so running costs will be a little higher. Over a week of driving my fuel consumption was 6.9l/100km and motor tax is €280 per year.

The new ProCeed is design triumph for Kia!
The new ProCeed is a design triumph for Kia!

Verdict

The new Kia ProCeed makes a style statement, while also being practical, so it's a compelling alternative to the family hatchback or SUV. The ProCeed does command more investment over the Ceed hatchback and SW, but it’s a prestigious vehicle and fun to drive also. Another stunning and ambitious car from Kia!

Model tested: Kia ProCeed 1.4 T-GDi GPF Petrol 140 hp 6MT
Price:
€28,946
Engine: 1.4-litre turbo petrol
Power: 
140 hp
Torque: 242 Nm
0-100km/h:  
8.8 seconds
Top speed: 209 km/h
Fuel economy:
45.6 mpg
CO2 emissions: 
132g/km
Motor tax: 
€280 per year


The new ID.3, Volkswagen's all-electric compact car!

Volkswagen's ID.3 Available To Pre-Book Online!

The new ID.3, Volkswagen's all-electric compact car!
The new ID.3, Volkswagen's all-electric compact car!

Volkswagen's ID.3 is the first of a new family of electric vehicles from the German brand and can now be pre-booked online. The first examples of the ID.3 are expected in Ireland in 2020.

Pricing is yet to be confirmed however it has been revealed that in Germany it will have a starting price of less than €30,000.

The ID.3 1st special edition, which has been especially configured for pre-booking, includes high-quality, high-performance equipment and is limited to 30,000 vehicles. We are told that the ID.3 1st with range of 420 km (WLTP), will have a starting price of less than €40,000 in Germany.

Potential buyers now have the opportunity to order the first ID.3 models to come to the market. On the Volkswagen Ireland website, there is a new ID. hub (https://www.volkswagen.ie/e-mobility/en.html). You can sign up for all the latest news and developments about the ID.3, and there is also the option to place a €1,000 reservation fee in order to gain early access to the ID.3 1st.

This reservation fee will allow the customer the opportunity to order the new model from their chosen retailer, for delivery in the summer of 2020.

The new ID.3 gets its world premiere at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.


The new Mercedes-Benz CLA

New Mercedes-Benz CLA Arrives

The new Mercedes-Benz CLA
The new Mercedes-Benz CLA

The new Mercedes-Benz CLA 4-door coupé has arrived in Ireland, priced from €34,110.

The arrival of the new CLA sees the model move to a higher position within the Mercedes-Benz line-up, to accommodate the addition of the new A-Class saloon.

Ciaran Allen, Sales Manager at Mercedes-Benz Ireland, said, “The arrival of the CLA adds to the cross-generational appeal of Mercedes-Benz, creating what many have come to think of as ‘Generation Benz’  – style-conscious young male and female drivers for whom design, technology and motoring enjoyment are amongst life’s great pleasures.

“With the new CLA, we expect to be even more successful in attracting this generation and, in this way, build a strong presence for Mercedes-Benz beyond its traditional base in an ever-growing segment of the market that was previously the preserve of others,” Allen added.

The interior of the Mercedes-Benz CLA
The interior of the Mercedes-Benz CLA

The 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA comes to market with a broad range of petrol and diesel engines. Initially there will be four petrol engines and one diesel engine available, with further diesels models to follow.

There will be three trim lines: Style, Progressive and AMG. There are different technology packs available – Advantage Pack, Premium Pack and a Premium Plus Pack.

The bestselling model in Ireland is expected to be a CLA180 petrol version priced from €34,110 (with annual road tax of €270) and a CLA180d automatic version priced from €37,300 (with an annual road tax €180) - both of which are available from launch date.

The Mercedes-Benz CLA goes on sale from €34,110
The Mercedes-Benz CLA goes on sale from €34,110


The new SEAT Tarraco!

2019 SEAT Tarraco 2.0 TDI Review

The new SEAT Tarraco!
The new SEAT Tarraco!

Caroline drives the new SEAT Tarraco!

In the last few years, SEAT has grown its portfolio of cars with the addition of a new family of SUVs, including the Ateca and last year’s compact Arona. But now it’s the arrival of the Tarraco that looks set to enhance SEAT’s prospects even more. The new SEAT Tarraco is not only the brand’s largest family SUV, available with five or seven seats, but it’s also a new flagship model for the brand.

With pricing starting from €34,700, the SEAT Tarraco enters a significantly crowded market of family SUVs. Yet the Tarraco is certainly one of the most spacious of its ilk so in that way it’s a properly accommodating family car. Five seat models are standard but you can get two extra seats in the rear for an additional €1000, turning your Tarraco into the seven seat family mover of your dreams.

The SEAT Tarraco is available from €34,700 in Ireland
The SEAT Tarraco is available from €34,700 in Ireland

Stylish and practical family SUV

The SEAT Tarraco hides its bulk well in the metal, being creased in all the right places for a classy, discrete presence. However to distinguish the Tarraco, there’s some more elaborate design touches synonymous with the ambitious Spanish brand. There’s drama in the big, upright grille and sharp LED headlights with SEAT’s triangular signature design, as well as a defining light strip along the rear of the car.

SEAT Ireland has launched the Tarraco in two trims, SE and Xcellence, with even SE models getting LED lights and 18” inch alloys. The Xcellence model I had on test (from €39,885) had 20” alloys added as an option but standard kit includes 19” alloys and a special Xcellence styling kit.

Standard equipment is very good across the range with SE models getting 8” touchscreen, cruise control, digital instrument panel, SEAT drive profile, tri zone climate control, keyless start, front assist, city emergency braking, lane keep assist and rear view camera. Xcellence models add electric tailgate, adaptive cruise control, automatic lights and wipers, and park assist.

The interior of the SEAT Tarraco
The interior of the SEAT Tarraco

Inside the SEAT Tarraco

The interior of the SEAT Tarraco has a simple and elegant design with a digital instrument panel as standard and 8” touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Quality is some of the best we’ve seen from SEAT to date. There are also some more distinct elements to this cabin like the stylish brushed chrome trim inserts and the digital instrument panel with unique graphics and three different views to choose from.

The cabin feels large and spacious and there is loads of space for second row occupants. There are two optional seats in row three. There is not a lot of legroom back there, but the split fold rear bench in row 2 can be slid forward and back to create more space. The boot is a huge 760 litres with a wide aperture and a powered tailgate is standard on Xcellence trim.

Rear seating in the SEAT Tarraco
Rear seating in the SEAT Tarraco

What are my engine options?

The new SEAT Tarraco is available in Ireland with a 1.5-litre TSI turbo petrol (150hp), a 2.0-litre TSI turbo petrol (190hp) and a 2.0-litre TDI diesel. The 2.0-litre TDI is available with a manual gearbox with a power output of 150hp or in automatic DSG 4×4 guise with 190hp.

My test car was a 2.0-litre diesel with 190hp paired with a DSG automatic transmission and four wheel drive. It was a wonderful combination with smooth gearshifts and lots of power, making it an effortless drive whether in town or country. Over a week of driving my fuel consumption averaged at 7.2l/100km, while motor tax is €390 per year for this model.

The SEAT Tarraco is built on the Volkswagen Group’s MQB-A long wheelbase architecture but SEAT say that they have tweaked it to make it more like a SEAT, with a bit of sportiness and flair to the driving experience.

Boot space in the SEAT Tarraco when the seven seats are in place
Boot space in the SEAT Tarraco when the seven seats are in place

On the road in the SEAT Tarraco

The light controls make it easy work in the urban environment, while the diesel was smooth and refined around town. There is only so much that the Tarraco can do to disguise its size and weight in corners, but it handles with enough agility for this class of vehicle. The refinement and comfort of the car is truly special also and the Tarraco moves through the air with incredible ease.

The SEAT Tarraco is a real triumph for SEAT, showcasing some of the best quality, comfort and refinement the brand has to offer. It’s a spacious and practical vehicle with a versatile interior that should serve family well.

The Tarraco is stylish and well equipped with well proven engines on offer so it can truly command its position in the market as a stylish, quality and desirable SUV. This is such a pleasant car to drive every day, with ride quality and refinement that gives a surprisingly premium feel to the Tarraco. In that way SEAT has really delivered on the premise of a flagship model for their brand and the Tarraco is an aspirational vehicle that will turn heads.

The Tarraco is a real triumph for SEAT!
The Tarraco is a real triumph for SEAT!


Caroline Kidd

Model
tested: 
Tarraco
2.0TDI 190hp DSG 4Drive Xcellence (7 Seat)
Price:
€51,460 (Range from €34,700)
Engine: 2.0-litre turbo diesel
Power: 
190 hp
Torque: 400 Nm
0-100km/h:  
8 seconds
Top speed: 209 km/h
Fuel economy:
37.2-38.2mpg
CO2 emissions: 
147g/km
Motor tax: 
€390 per year


The Toyota Corolla was the bestselling car in Ireland in April!

April New Car Registrations For Ireland

The Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) has issued the new vehicle registrations statistics for April along with their Quarterly Motor Industry Review Q1 of 2019.

New car registrations for the month of April were up 10.8% (8,923) when compared to April 2018 (8,053). While new cars registrations year to date remain 8.5% (73,044) down on the same period last year (79,813).  

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

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

The bestselling car in April was the Toyota Corolla.

New Light Commercial Vehicle registrations (LCV) were slightly up 1.12% (1,812) on April 2018 (1,792) and year to date are down 9.95% (12,892). Registrations of new Heavy Commercial Vehicles (HGV) have increased 27.27% for the month of April (308) compared to the same month last year (242) and are up 3.11% (1,194) year to date.

Imported Used Cars increased by 2.8% for April 2019 (8,886) when compared to
April 2018 (8,644) and year to date are 2.75% (35,717) ahead of 2018 (34,761)

The SIMI
Report
shows that while the Irish economy is still positive, both new cars
and commercial registrations, declined in the first quarter of 2019 with the
exception of both electric cars and used car imports. External threats such as
Brexit uncertainty, greater consumer caution and the ongoing growth of used
imports continue to undermining new car sales. Another contributing factor is
the increase in the VRT on new cars, arising from the fact that no allowance
was made by the Irish authorities for the first step in the move to the new
WLTP testing regime.

Brian Cooke Director
General, SIMI commented:
“This
rise in new car registrations for the month of April is in reality a timing
issue. Easter is a key period for car-hire business and with it falling later
than usual in 2019, this pushed some car-hire that normally occurs in March
into April. The real indication of the new car market environment is the year
to date figures, which show a nearly 11% decrease on last year. The outlook for
the remainder of the year is still very uncertain for the Industry. Looking
forward to 2020, with the next phase of the WLTP Testing due for
implementation, it is vital for the Industry that any changes to taxation
systems are flagged well in advance of their implementation date to allow the
Industry plan their businesses in a normal and effective manner”.

Jim Power, Economist
and author of the SIMI Report
said: “It
is still a challenging environment for consumer-facing businesses as the
personal sector is pressurised due to a combination of high and rising housing
costs, an onerous personal tax burden, subdued wage growth over the past
decade, and Brexit is an overhanging dark cloud that is creating major
uncertainty and caution in the psychology of consumers and businesses across
the economy.”

2019 new car registrations are forecasted to reach around 112,000 which
would represent a decline of 10.8% on 2018 while used car imports by contrast
are projected to increase marginally to around 101,000. Similar to last year
Brexit related uncertainty looks set to continue, largely due to the uncertain
performance of sterling and the impact of used imports from the UK.

The SIMI
Report
also highlights the cost of motoring. The average price of a new car
in Q1 2019 was 0.7% higher than a year earlier; interestingly consumers are
spending more on higher specification cars with the average OMSP (Open Market
Sales Price) up 3.9% on Q1 last year. The cost of Motor Insurance in March 2019
was 5.9% lower than it was a year earlier; while Motor Insurance costs since
July 2016 have declined 23.8%. The cost of fuel increased in March 2019 with
Petrol prices 0.2% higher and Diesel prices 5.5% higher than a year earlier.

The new cars sales fuel type in Q1 of 2019 is also changing with new diesel registrations accounted for 48.27% of the market a decline from 56.27% on quarter one last year while petrol accounted for 40.83% of the total up from 37.51% on Q1 of 2018. Average CO2 emissions for new cars sold were 1.5% higher in the first quarter of 2019 when compared to a year earlier. The recent move away from diesel to petrol has resulted in average CO2 emissions now trending upwards again after a prolonged period of desirable decline.


The new Mercedes-Benz A-Class Saloon

Mercedes-Benz A-Class Saloon Arrives In Ireland

The new Mercedes-Benz A-Class Saloon
The new Mercedes-Benz A-Class Saloon

The all-new Mercedes-Benz A-Class Saloon has arrived in Ireland, priced from €33,390. It's also joined by a high performance AMG A35 variant.

This is the first time that an A-Class saloon has been available, and it joins the all new A-Class hatchback that arrived in Ireland in 2018.

It has a noticeably larger presence, with a more sloping bonnet and lower, more angular headlights. Better all-round visibility, easier rear seat access, and a 29-litres larger luggage compartment are among the other design enhancements.

We are also told that it has a more spacious interior, increased front and rear headroom, shoulder room and elbowroom.

It has a new 'floating' dashboard screen and control-and-display system. Using touch screen, touch pad and touch button technology, MBUX brings intelligent voice control, natural speech recognition and augmented reality features that assist the driver. These include the capacity to ‘learn’ the driver’s wishes and operate intuitively.

Other safety and driver-support items include a see-ahead camera and radar with a range of up to 500m, lane-keeping, adaptive braking, and various distance control and driver assist systems.

Engine options for the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class Saloon include two four-cylinder petrol options of 1.4-litre and 2.0-litre capacity, and a new 1.5-litre diesel with power outputs in the 116 to 224 hp range. A 6-speed manual and 7-speed automatic gearbox are available, depending on model choice.

The new Mercedes-Benz A-Class Saloon goes on sale in Ireland priced from €33,390
The new Mercedes-Benz A-Class Saloon goes on sale in Ireland priced from €33,390

First models to arrive here are the A200 petrol at €33,390 and the A180d Automatic at €34,220. Following them will be an entry model A160 petrol and A160d whose prices – to be announced on arrival – will be ‘pitched competitively’ around the €30,000 mark, according to Ciaran Allen, sales manager for Mercedes-Benz passenger cars in Ireland.

Launching alongside the Mercedes-Benz A-Class Saloon is a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo powered Mercedes-AMG A35 saloon with 302 bhp. It can hit 100km/h in just 4.8 seconds and the top speed is an electronically-limited 250km/h. Priced from €59,900, it comes with a 7G dual-clutch transmission, AMG suspension and 4-MATIC all-wheel drive.


Ford's new high performance Ranger Raptor

Ford Ranger Raptor On The Way In August

Ford's new high performance Ranger Raptor
Ford's new high performance Ranger Raptor

The new Ford Ranger Raptor will arrive in Ireland in August, priced from €63,950.

Developed by Ford Performance, the new Ranger Raptor is powered by a Bi-turbo version of Ford’s 2.0‑litre EcoBlue diesel engine that delivers 213 PS and 500 Nm of torque. It comes equipped with Ford’s new 10-speed automatic gearbox and can reach 100 km/h in 10 seconds.

It will be available in double cab format with a 2,500 kg max towing capacity and 620 kg max gross payload.

Equipment will include front and rear ventilated disc brakes, terrain management system, 17” x 8.5” alloy wheels, unique Raptor leather and suede trim, 8-way powered driver and passenger seats, dual zone automatic air con and SYNC 3 with navigation centre.