The Peugeot e-208 on test for Changing Lanes!

Peugeot e-208 Review

Read Caroline's Peugeot e-208 review for everything you need to know about Peugeot's electric supermini on sale in Ireland.

Peugeot is fast pursuing the electric dream with a slew of new hybrid and pure electric models. Many of the French brand's key models now offer some sort of electrified option - from the smallest 208 to the popular 3008 SUV and new Peugeot 308 hatchback and estate.

The Peugeot e-208 offers a pure electric drive in Peugeot's compact and stylish small hatchback. It goes up against other small EVs such as the Opel Corsa-e, Renault Zoe and Mini Electric.

But is it any good? In this review we're going to take a closer look to find out.

The Peugeot e-208 on test for Changing Lanes!
The Peugeot e-208 on test for Changing Lanes!

What's so special about the Peugeot e-208?

The e-208 looks good from all the angles. Peugeot's latest models are some of the most stylish out there. The e-208 has a gorgeous design, making it one of the most desirable small electric cars.

There's sporty elegance to the e-208 with a compact stance and distinctive light signature front and rear. If you want a car with 'fangs' this is the one for you - check out those striking daytime running lights at the front. While Peugeot's trademark 'tri-claw' taillights complete the feline theme at the rear.

There are three trim levels available in Ireland - Active, Allure Pack and GT. The GT model on test is surely the sportiest of them all with 17" diamond cut alloy wheels, gloss black around the wheel arches, black roof and a chequered flag effect grille.

Electric badging is subtle - just a small 'e' on the C-pillar and tailgate, and a blue finish to the Peugeot lion on the front grille.

With pricing starting from €28,730 including all relevant grants and VRT relief, the Peugeot e-208 is also keenly priced among small electric cars. Granted it will cost more to buy than petrol and diesel versions of the 208.  And the glorious e-208 GT on test looks great and is packed full of equipment but will set you back €33,285.

The Peugeot e-208 is also one of the most fun to drive small electric cars, with a range of up to 362km measured by industry standards. Though in real world driving, 280km seems more realistic once factors such as the time of year and your driving style are taken into account. For example, certainly at low speeds around town you'll get farther on your battery charge.

The interior of the e-208
The interior of the e-208

Inside the e-208

The cabin of the Peugeot e-208 stands out for its quality, with an upmarket feel that can be hard to find in the very smallest electric cars. There's lots of gloss black accentuating the cabin's stylish design and the beautiful Peugeot i-Cockpit.

In the centre of the dash there is a 7" touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, though Allure Pack and GT models get a more impressive 10" touchscreen. The ventilation controls are in the screen, but the elegant piano key underneath offer a shortcut to switch between menus quickly. Standard equipment includes automatic air conditioning, push button start and cruise control.

The e-208 is a small car so rear legroom is limited, though it's not impossible to carry adults. With the position of the battery in the e-208, Peugeot has managed to keep interior space and boot space the same as petrol and diesel 208s. The boot is compact too at 311 litres, but you can let the rear seats down for carrying larger items.

Driving the e-208

The e-208 is good fun to drive with agile handling and light steering. The 136hp motor in the e-208 provides enough power and the car moves effortlessly from town to rural roads to motorways.

On short journeys and in town driving the e-208 really shines, with the range of the car offering plenty of comfort between charging. The range diminishes more rapidly in high-speed motorway driving, but with a stop planned for charging, it's still a decent enough performance for the e-208.

And when it comes to charging, the e-208's 50kWh battery is pretty swift at adding the kilometres. With a 7kW wallbox installed at home it will take about 7.5 hours to charge the e-208 to full. Rapid DC charging is also possible using the standard CCS adaptor. Charging at the maximum 100kW, the e-208 can be 80% charged in 30 minutes.

The Peugeot e-208 is one of the best small electric cars
The Peugeot e-208 is one of the best small electric cars

Did you like it?

Electric suits the 208 very well. The Peugeot e-208 is super stylish, with a beautiful interior that feels more upmarket than much of the competition.

The e-208's 50kWh battery offers decent performance, particularly in the town and city environs where these small cars really feel at home. You couldn't find a better companion for city life.

I still think the Peugeot e-208 makes a great introduction to electric motoring. Like competitors, it is more expensive than an equivalent petrol or diesel car but there are many benefits to switching to electric at this time.  The e-208 is a very likeable small car that just happens to be electric too.

Model tested: Peugeot e-208 GT
Price: 
€33,285
Battery:
50 kWh
Range: 362km (WLTP)
Power: 136 hp
Torque:  260 Nm
Top speed:  150 km/h
Acceleration (0-100 km/h): 8.1 seconds
Motor Tax: 
€120 per year

The Peugeot e-208 is on sale now from €28,730
The Peugeot e-208 is on sale now from €28,730

____________________________

Written by Caroline Kidd

Founder and Editor of Changing Lanes


The Tesla Model Y on test for Changing Lanes!

Tesla Model Y Review

Read Caroline's Tesla Model Y review for everything you need to know about Tesla's new mid-size electric SUV in Ireland!

Tesla has expanded their range in Ireland this year with the arrival of the new Tesla Model Y. Following the successful launch of the Model 3, the Model Y will join the range as the brand's new electric mid-size SUV.

The Tesla Model 3 is already the brand's bestselling model in Ireland. The Model Y shares a lot of similarities with the Model 3, but is even more spacious with that oh-so fashionable look of an SUV, Tesla-style.

The new Model Y goes on sale in Ireland priced from €66,990. It's available in two 'flavours': Long Range All Wheel Drive (AWD) or Performance (from €72,990).

The Tesla Model Y on test for Changing Lanes!
The Tesla Model Y on test for Changing Lanes!

What's so special about the Tesla Model Y?

Built from the ground up as an electric vehicle, the Model Y’s aerodynamic design and battery technology make it one of the most efficient EVs on the market. The Long Range version offers 533 km (WLTP) driving between charges, and the battery performance is incredibly strong.

And it does look stunning. It shares lots of styling cues with the Model 3 but gains distinction as an SUV with more height, width and length, and even more utility styled alloy wheels. I love it!

And when you do hit the road cross country (or even cross continent), Tesla's Supercharger network is a reliable companion for quick and efficient charging. In Ireland it's also still exclusively provided for Tesla cars. A 10-80% charge takes a little over half an hour and the car starts to prepare the battery for optimum charging before you arrive there. The CCS charging connection means you can also use other public charge points.

Inside the Model Y follows Tesla's now trademark minimalist cabin. The dashboard has a simple horizontal layout with the 15" landscape style touchscreen taking centre stage. It is both the most innovative part of the cabin and potentially the most challenging in its brilliance too.

Inside the Tesla Model Y
The interior of the Tesla Model Y

Inside the Model Y

That's because you control pretty much everything from the screen. For example, even to activate the windscreen wipers requires a trip into the screen with a few scans and swipes. It's simply not the conventional way, leaving the driver with a steering wheel and not much else in their direct line of vision - one has to take a little glance to the left to see the speed of the vehicle on the screen.

But the screen's response, resolution, shortcuts and music/maps integration is simply brilliant. There's also a plethora of entertainment options, toybox, games and even a crackling fire effect, among many other wild and brilliant functions to discover in that screen. A folly or another digital wonder of the world - I'll let you decide.

The Tesla Model Y comes with synthetic leather upholstery and a simple palette of body colours. Quality follows that of the Model 3. These duo are now the most upmarket of the Tesla set with lots of soft touch materials, though the steering wheel does seem a bit basic looking for a premium priced car like this. On closer inspection, some of the fittings could be finished with a bit more elegance too.

All Model Y's have a high specification including 13 speaker premium sound system, power adjustable front seats, heated front and rear seats, and tinted panoramic glass roof. Generally the good stuff about this car outweighs any niggles about the finish.

The Model Y is the brand's new mid-size SUV
The Model Y is the brand's new mid-size SUV

Is it practical?

The Tesla Model Y offers more space than a Model 3 inside. The enlarged dimensions translate to an incredibly spacious living room in the Y. In the rear, three can sit comfortably with lots of headroom and legroom.

The boot opens in a practical hatchback style, with a powered tailgate as standard. It offers up to 854 litres with a large square opening, with good height and depth. You can also fold down the rear seats individually from switches in the boot and they fold flat neatly. There's also a frunk under the front bonnet for storing charging cables for example.

The loading sill is also low and flat making it easy to move things in and out of the boot.

The centre console has a large storage unit, while there are four USB ports and docking for two smartphones below the touchscreen. Modern minimalist with a sense of purpose.

Rear seating in the Model Y
Rear seating in the Model Y

Driving the Tesla Model Y

The Tesla Model Y Long Range (from €66,990) offers sprightly performance with 0-100 km/h in just 5 seconds, and one pump of the accelerator is enough to throw you back in your seat.

The Model Y Performance (from €72,990) ups the ante somewhat with 0-100 km/h in 3.7 seconds and a minimal drop in range to 514 km (WLTP) and top speed extended from 217 km/h to 250 km/h. It also gets 21’’ 'Überturbine' wheels, performance brakes, lowered suspension and aluminium alloy pedals.

Model Y's rapid straight line performance is enhanced by all wheel drive offering superb grip in corners. Tesla All-Wheel Drive has two ultra-responsive, independent electric motors that digitally control torque to the front and rear wheels—for far better handling, traction and stability control.

There's more lean in corners than a Model 3 for example but the Y is happy to hustle and is still fun to drive.

Cruising performance is excellent but the ride is very firm for a family SUV. At this price range, the Tesla Model Y should coast over bumps in the road with a bit more sophistication.

Did you like it?

Last year the Model 3 was the smartest car I've ever met. This year the Model Y follows suit, but as a trendy SUV.

It's only after spending time with these cars that you realise how revolutionary they are, how clever they are and how they do everything that little bit differently than every other car on the market.

But in the rapid electrification of the motor industry, it's the battery technology and reliable charging where the Tesla Model Y really shines. Everything seems to be have been taken care of in a way that makes the Tesla more compatible with modern life than any other EV I've driven.

The Model Y looks great but the ride comfort is disappointing in what is a sublime offering in many other areas. Still there's quite like a Tesla and the aforementioned fast charging, long range, badge kudos and behind the wheel experience mean the Y shall win many hearts regardless.

The Model Y is on sale priced from €66,990
The Model Y is on sale priced from €66,990

Model tested: Tesla Model Y
Price: 
€66,990
Battery: 75 kWh
Power:
434 hp
Torque: 493 Nm
0-100km/h: 
5 seconds
Top speed:  217 km/h
Motor tax: 
€120 per year

____________________________

Written by Caroline Kidd

Founder and Editor of Changing Lanes


The Jaguar I-PACE on test for Changing Lanes

Jaguar I-PACE Review (2022)

Read Caroline's Jaguar I-PACE review for everything you need to know about buying Jaguar's electric car in Ireland.

Jaguar has long been the purveyor of exotic sports cars and luxurious saloons. Staying relevant in today's market brought Jaguar into the realm of SUVs with the launch of the F-PACE and E-PACE.

So when talk in the motor industry went electric, it was only right that Jaguar should follow suit. The brand's racing division joined the Formula E motorsport championship for electric cars. And gave the world the first Jaguar electric car - the I-PACE.

The Jaguar I-PACE first went on sale in Ireland in 2018, which is ages ago in EV terms. A lot has happened in the interim. There are many new premium electric cars and SUVs vying for a growing market.

So what does the Jaguar I-PACE have to offer and is it still relevant in an industry that is moving so fast?

The Jaguar I-PACE on test for Changing Lanes
The Jaguar I-PACE on test for Changing Lanes

What's so special about the Jaguar I-PACE?

2019 World Car of the Year. European Car of the Year in the same year. The I-PACE was a much-anticipated car, the first electric vehicle from a brand that has committed to producing just electric cars from 2025. But things move so fast in the automotive world that prestigious accolades will only get you so far...

Yet there's just something about a Jaguar. A brand that is still so clearly inspired by their sports car roots. Meeting the I-PACE for the first time is quite an experience. Jaguar would probably like you to think of the I-PACE as an SUV, since the market loves SUVs.

But it's much more car-like than that. And all the more stunning for it. The I-PACE is a beautiful piece of design, and looks sporty, elegant and dynamic from every angle - exactly how a Jaguar should be.

Powering the I-PACE is a 90 kWh battery, which is key to the car's ability to stay relevant in the market today - it has a WLTP range of 470 km, yet in real world driving the I-PACE easily passes the 300 km benchmark that makes life with an EV more comfortable between charges.

Gorgeous from every angle - the Jaguar I-PACE
Gorgeous from every angle - the Jaguar I-PACE

Jaguar I-PACE Black - what's new?

On test for Changing Lanes was the new Jaguar I-PACE Black finished in eye-catching Caesium Blue. While the I-PACE range starts in Ireland from €76,890, we think the I-PACE Black is considerable 'good value' at €78,400 with more equipment and smart black detailing.

The Black enhances the exclusivity of the I-PACE with gloss black door mirror caps as well as gloss black finish to the grille, side window surrounds and rear badges. It also enhances the I-PACE's already generous standard specification with a full panoramic roof, rear privacy glass and 20-inch black alloy wheels.

Inside the I-PACE welcomes passengers with a full leather interior. The cabin is slick and high quality - reassuringly premium in a classic Jaguar way. It's great to see that there has been no compromise to quality in the quest to bring this car to market and it's stayed modern, even after four years.

Much of that is down to the integration of Jaguar's 'Pivi Pro' infotainment system with 10" screen, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity. It works seamlessly, while there is also a digital display for the driver. A Meridian™ Sound System adds premium sound to the cabin of the I-PACE.

The interior of the Jaguar I-PACE
The interior of the Jaguar I-PACE

Is it practical?

The I-PACE is spacious up front and the platform yields generous interior space for passengers too. There are two large footwells in the rear and enough headroom for adults too despite those sports car looks.

The boot opens via a powered tailgate in a practical hatchback style. The I-PACE can stow away an impressive 656 litres.

There's also a small 'frunk' under the front bonnet for charging cables for example.

The I-PACE was future proofed with a 11kW onboard charger, which allows for faster AC charging. A full charge of the 90 kWh battery can be got in 8 hours or in just under 13 hours with a 7kW wallbox at home.

The Jaguar can also avail of up to 104 kW DC rapid charging. Some rivals do offer faster DC charging these days, though of course that's only possible with the right infrastructure. So the Jaguar can still make the most of more plentiful 50 kW and 100 kW chargers on the public charge network.

Rear space in the I-PACE
Rear space in the I-PACE

Driving the I-PACE

The I-PACE uses a 90 kWh battery with a healthy 400 hp from two electric motors and whopping 696 Nm of torque. Bespoke EV aluminium architecture delivers Jaguar’s most torsionally rigid body structure, with 50:50 weight distribution and all wheel drive performance.

This is an elegant electric car that gives a sports car feel behind the wheel. The I-PACE is a delight to drive, swift and agile with lots of grip and emotion that really helps it to stand out. Optional electronic air suspension (€1,765) gives this car an exquisite ride quality no matter the road surface. The car is easy to control and guide over the tarmac.

All wheel drive allows for a tidy put down of power with little drama or fuss. The I-PACE feels comparably light and agile on the road to some electric premium SUV rivals. Like it will dance a bit for you and play like a classic Jaguar. The accelerator pedal also appears well modulated with a feeling of acceleration and going through gears making the car more interesting than many.

Then pop it into dynamic mode and all those thrills are accompanied by a more aggressive 'engine note'. More a growl then than a purr from this cat!

The Jaguar I-PACE offers stunning on the road performance
The Jaguar I-PACE offers stunning on the road performance

Did you like it?

The Jaguar I-PACE is a gorgeous thing. It feels wrong to call it an SUV or even a crossover, though everything seems to sell faster these days with that tag.

If you spent years looking at a Jaguar saloon, the I-PACE is a refreshing and modern design.

Inside the Jaguar still feels modern and current, with a suitably luxurious feel and impressive digital technology.

Where the I-PACE really shines is from behind the wheel where Jaguar has made a really engaging and emotive drive worthy of the legendary badge.

Some EVs are more efficient and have more range for less money. But this one still outpaces many rivals with its design, class and sports car feel. For that reason the I-PACE is one of my favourite premium electric cars.

Model tested: Jaguar I-PACE Black
Price: 
€78,400
Battery: 90 kWh
Power:
400 hp
Torque:  696 Nm
0-100km/h:  
4.8 seconds
Top speed:  200 km/h
Motor tax: 
€120 per year

The Jaguar I-PACE Black is on sale now
The Jaguar I-PACE Black is on sale now

____________________________

Written by Caroline Kidd

Founder and Editor of Changing Lanes


The new MG 5 on test for Changing Lanes!

MG5 EV Review (2022)

Read Caroline's MG5 review for everything you need to know about buying MG's electric estate car in Ireland in 2022.

MG returned to Ireland at the end of 2020 with a new suite of electrified vehicles. Under a new distributor, the brand has launched three new models here - the MG ZS electric SUV previously reviewed for Changing Lanes, the MG HS plug-in hybrid SUV, and this, the MG5, an all-electric estate car for the Irish market.

Now in 2022, MG has updated the ZS and the MG5 with a new long range battery to give buyers more comfort and convenience behind the wheel.

The MG5 launched in Ireland for the first time in 2021 with a 52.5 kWh battery giving a range of up to 345 km (WLTP).

It's replaced now by the MG5 EV Long Range with a 61 kWh battery that bumps the range up to 403 km (WLTP) - and the price. It's now available from €30,645.

Let's take a closer look.

The new MG 5 on test for Changing Lanes!
The MG5 is an electric estate car for the Irish market

What's so special about the MG5?

Well first of all it's an estate car, and an electric one at that. For the moment it's the only electric estate car you can buy on the Irish market.

We don't hear much about estate cars these days as the market is obsessed with SUVs and crossovers. Yet estate cars were always the default choice for buyers seeking a lifestyle vehicle that can fit the dog and some gear. While also giving a more active image than a saloon or hatchback.

But SUVs these days seem to capture most of that market. Though it's debatable how well they fit the brief for space and practicality.

The new MG5 has the classic silhouette of an estate car and is discreet in its styling. It's clearly not as trendy as the MG ZS, which has more fashionable SUV styling. But it's cheaper to buy and gets almost as much range on a full charge.

The MG5 sits quite low for an electric car, with the water-cooled battery pack integrated into the car’s chassis. There are dynamic benefits here too, with the low centre of gravity influencing how the car feels on the road.

With pricing starting from €30,645 for the Excite model and from €33,895 for the Exclusive model with more equipment on board, the MG5 remains affordable in today's EV market.

The MG5 Long Range on test for Changing Lanes
The MG5 Long Range on test for Changing Lanes

What's it like to drive?

The MG5 EV Long Range on test uses a 61.1 kWh battery with up to 403 km (WLTP) of range available. There's a 115 kW motor on board, equivalent to 156 hp.

The performance figures are good and the MG5 feels swift and responsive on the road. It is agile and simple to drive with a very conventional layout to the controls used to operate the vehicle and monitor its progress. The low centre of gravity means it feels planted at all times, behaving in a natural way in response to driver inputs.

The car is comfortable in driving on its 16" wheels and will cruise happily on the motorway. In that way it can't be faulted. The MG5 is predictable in charging and there are no massive drops in range when you get it out on the motorway.

Ownership of the electric MG5 of course will mean acquainting yourself very quickly with charging. With a 7 kW wallbox installed at home for example, a full charge can be got in about 9.5 hours or overnight.

The MG5 is also equipped with a CCS charging port so can avail of fast charging, gaining 80% in about an hour from a public 50 kW fast charge point. The charging port is easily accessed from the front of the car behind the MG badge.

From a 100 kW rapid charger, it will take about 40 minutes to charge the MG5 to 80%

The interior of the MG5
The interior of the MG5

What's it like inside?

Inside the MG5 there is a traditional dashboard layout with all the controls logically laid out. The cabin is nicely appointed for the price point of the vehicle. The layout and design is more traditional than avant garde. But the rotary gear selector on the centre console is a neat feature.

Standard equipment includes the 8" colour touchscreen and Android Auto/Apple Car Play, auto air con, parking sensors and rear view camera. There's also a full suite of safety equipment 'MG Pilot' including lane keep assist, lane departure warning, traffic jam assist and high beam assist.

The MG5 Exclusive has plenty of nice features like heated front seats, keyless entry and electrically adjustable driver's seat with lumbar support.

However, it doesn't get MG's latest infotainment system as seen in the new MG ZS, which is more modern and responsive. Or a digital instrument cluster for that matter.

There's a natural sense of practicality to the MG5 because it's an estate car. Rear legroom is good for the C-segment also. There's plenty of headroom from that tall roof line.

Buyers will be pleased to note that there's 464 litres of space available up to the luggage cover, or 578 litres up to the roof. Other advantages include a wide loading area. There is a bit of a lip between the boot opening and the boot floor. A flat loading area would have been an even greater advantage and more practical for an estate car. The rear seats also split fold 60:40 for even more space.

Practicality is a key feature of the MG5 estate
Practicality is a key feature of the MG5 estate

Did you like it?

Estate cars often get overlooked in favour of SUVs. But the MG5 is a practical family car that just happens to be electric too.

Still, the MG5 lacks contemporary style and does feel a generation behind in terms of its styling and interior. It does without MG's latest interior digital technology and app. But thankfully it's not behind in battery technology and charging.

The new battery in the MG5 gives buyers that little bit more comfort between charges. The MG5 behaves in a predictable way on the road, with high equipment levels and a comfortable ride.

Though the entry price into the range has gone up, the MG5 still offers a lot of car for the money in today's market. It undercuts the more fashionable MG ZS on price.

At a time when it's getting even more expensive to run and own a fuel car, the MG5 is a good value entry into electric motoring.

The MG5 is a new electric estate car from the MG brand
The MG5 is a new electric estate car from the MG brand

Model tested: MG5 EV Exclusive
Price: 
€30,645
Battery:
61.1 kWh
Power: 156 hp
Torque: 260 Nm
Top speed: 185 km/h
Acceleration (0-100 km/h): 7.7 seconds
Motor Tax: 
€120 per year

____________________________

Written by Caroline Kidd

Founder and Editor of Changing Lanes


The new MG ZS on test for Changing Lanes!

MG ZS EV Review (2022)

Read Caroline's MG ZS EV review for everything you need to know about buying MG's compact electric SUV in Ireland in 2022.

MG made a return to Ireland in 2020 with the launch of a new line-up of electric and hybrid cars. The MG ZS electric was the first to launch here and has been joined by the MG HS plug-in hybrid SUV and the MG5 electric estate car.

But the MG ZS seems a particularly well-placed car in the Irish market, combining the trend for SUVs with an electric powertrain.

Now MG has given the ZS EV a facelift and a new battery with a significant increase to range, which bodes well for this SUV. The ZS EV will continue to be offered in two trim levels, Excite and Exclusive.

The new MG ZS on test for Changing Lanes!
The new MG ZS on test for Changing Lanes!

What's new for the 2022 MG ZS EV?

On sale in Ireland priced from €32,995, including the SEAI grant and VRT relief, the MG ZS EV for 2022 has a new 72.6 kWh battery with a range up to 440 km (WLTP).

This replaces the first edition of the ZS EV, which launched with a 44.5 kWh battery and a range of 263 km (WLTP). The starting price has gone up, but the MG ZS offers that bit more comfort now on a full charge.

The MG ZS EV has a quite conventional look for an electric compact SUV. But the facelift has certainly given it a more modern and confident stance. That's mostly down to the new front end design. There's a closed, stamped-effect grille for the very first time, which helps the car stand out more. Especially in a bright colour like the Brilliant Blue of the test car!

This design feature is said to improve aerodynamics but it also now houses a more on-trend, side-opening charging port. It feels a bit sturdier than the access point on the previous version of the car that was positioned behind the MG badge.

LED headlights and distinctive daytime running lights also feature, as does a redesigned rear bumper and new wheel designs.

The MG ZS EV goes on sale priced from €32,995 in Ireland
The MG ZS EV goes on sale priced from €32,995 in Ireland

Inside the MG ZS EV

The revamp continues inside the 2022 MG ZS EV. The cabin of the MG ZS has a nice snug and sporty feeling from behind the wheel. It's quite a mature design for a B-segment SUV.

This new version gets a significant upgrade when it comes to the infotainment and digital technology on board. There's a new digital instrument cluster for the driver. The 10.1-inch tablet-style touchscreen has new graphics and improved functionality. It looks better than the previous version and is more responsive.

There's also a new iSMART connectivity system, which offers connection via a dedicated smartphone app for the first time. Features in the app include remote locking and unlocking, setting the air conditioning and heating, and activating the windscreen demister. Charging status and statistics can be viewed through the app, and you can also instantly stop or start a charge, and schedule charging.

There's also wireless phone charging, as well as the first over the air (OTA) software updates from MG, including new features and improvements.

Inside the new MG ZS EV
Inside the new MG ZS EV

The MG ZS EV is a generously sized small SUV for the B segment. There is lots of headroom and large windows make the cabin bright and welcoming. The rear will seat three, though it will be most comfortable for two. The rear footwells are a decent size for this class of vehicle too.

There are plenty of handy storage spaces in the cabin. Buyers will find a good boot of 470 litres. The split folding rear seats enable you to expand this to 1,116 litres. Charging cables can be stored neatly under the boot floor leaving the boot clear of any apparel.

What are my options?

The ZS EV Excite model, priced from €32,995 (after grant and VRT relief) comes with automatic air conditioning, bi-function LED headlights, adaptive cruise control, keyless entry and push-button start, 360 parking camera, a 10.1-inch touchscreen, sat nav, iSMART infotainment system and multiple USB charging points.

The Exclusive model, priced at €35,995 (after grant and VRT relief), adds a full panoramic roof and leather-style seats, along with more comfort and convenience options such as roof rails, heated front seats, electric driver’s seat adjustment, rain-sensing wipers and wireless phone charging.

MG’s suite of driver assistance technology also features. MG Pilot includes Active Emergency Braking with Pedestrian and Bicycle Detection, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning System, Traffic Jam Assist, Intelligent Speed Limit Assist and Intelligent High Beam Assist. The Exclusive model also gets Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Blind Spot Detection with Lane Change Assist.

Boot space in the ZS EV
Boot space in the ZS EV

The 2022 MG ZS is the first fully electric vehicle in the MG range to offer towing capability. A 500kg towing capacity means owners can now attach small trailers or fit a bicycle carrier.

The new MG ZS EV is also equipped with a V2L (Vehicle-to-Load) system as standard. This allows the battery to supply energy to an external electrical system via a charging cable with a type 2-plug on one side that fits into the car’s charging socket, and a power strip with household sockets on the other side. Ideal for powering a kettle, cooling box, e-bike, laptop, electric scooter or even another electric car!

Driving the MG ZS Electric

On the road, the MG ZS EV makes good progress, moving effortlessly from town to motorway. Steering is light and the MG ZS feels agile through bends. It's generally comfortable on the smooth stuff for a compact SUV, though you will feel the bumps over rough surfaces in town or rural roads.

The new 72.6 kWh battery gives this latest MG ZS a clear advantage over the previous version. The WLTP range is now 440 km, with 156 hp available. From my experience, the MG ZS will comfortably return over 350 km in mixed driving, which makes all the difference between charges.

Regenerative braking also features and the automatic transmission can be set to Eco, Normal or Sport mode.

The combination Type 2 and CCS charger provides up to 7kW fast charging using the on-board AC charger, or up to 76kW DC rapid charging. The new MG ZS EV can reach an 80% charge in about 40 minutes from a 100kW rapid charger, about 1 hour from a 50kW charger, and a 100% charge in about 10.5 hours using a 7kW charger at home.

The MG ZS EV can now drive for longer between charges
The MG ZS EV can now drive for longer between charges

Did you like it?

The latest MG ZS EV is more than just a facelift, with the new battery giving this car more flexibility and appeal.

Yes the price has gone up since the MG ZS first entered the Irish market. But with more range, the new MG ZS 72.6 kWh gives buyers more comfort between charges. It is also still competitively priced among a still rather limited market of small electric SUVs.

The new front end design also lifts the ZS considerably for more style and presence on the road. The interior update makes this car more user-friendly, along with the addition of the new app and new interesting technology features like vehicle to load charging for the first time.

The MG ZS EV has become a more familiar sight on Irish roads in just over one year since launch. This new version will help the brand to establish itself even more among buyers in the market for a new electric car.

Model tested: MG ZS EV Exclusive
Price: 
€35,995
Battery: 72.6 kWh
Power: 
156 hp
Torque: 206 Nm
0-100km/h:  
8.4 seconds
Top speed: 175 km/h
CO2 emissions: 0 g/km
Motor Tax:  €120 per year

____________________________

Written by Caroline Kidd

Founder and Editor of Changing Lanes

 


The new Ford Mustang Mach-e on test for Changing Lanes

Ford Mustang Mach-E Review (2022)

Read Caroline's Ford Mustang Mach-E review for everything you need to know about Ford's new electric SUV in Ireland in 2022.

Late in 2021, the Ford Mustang Mach-E finally arrived in Ireland. It felt like we were waiting for this car for so long!

The Mach-E is Ford's first serious attempt at a mass production battery electric vehicle. Styled as a sort of SUV using the iconic Mustang badge, the new Ford Mustang Mach-E goes on sale in Ireland priced from €53,100 including the SEAI grant.

The new Ford electric SUV offers buyers lots of options. There are single motor rear wheel drive and dual motor all wheel drive variants, two battery sizes offering driving range up to a potential 610 km, and a range topping Mach-E GT with 487 hp. Was it worth the wait?

The new Ford Mustang Mach-e on test for Changing Lanes
The new Ford Mustang Mach-E on test for Changing Lanes

What's so special about the Ford Mustang Mach-E?

Just look at it! This is a very successful design for an electric vehicle. More of a crossover really than an SUV. The Mustang Mach-E is sleek and sporty with a nod to the iconic Mustang fastback in those trademark tri-bar lights at the rear. The front end of the car is just gorgeous with a curved closed grille and thin, aggressive headlamps.

There are no Ford badges anywhere on the car - except the key. Aligning with the cool Mustang brand goes a long way to make the Mach-E's now more premium billing more palatable. And it's pretty hot under the skin too.

Standard (70 kWh) and extended-range (91 kWh) battery options are available. There is a choice of single-motor rear-wheel drive and dual-motor all-wheel drive performance. The 70 kWh rear wheel drive entry model has a range of 440 km (WLTP) and 269 hp. The Mustang Mach-E First Edition on test for Changing Lanes features all-wheel drive and extended-range battery as standard (540 km WLTP) and 351 hp, retailing from a more serious €76,100.

Mustang Mach-E’s all-new platform has been developed by the specially formed Ford Team Edison to take full advantage of the performance-enhancing weight distribution and torque delivery of an electric powertrain. The lithium-ion battery is located centrally between the axles and beneath the floor for a low centre of gravity to support sporty driving dynamics.

In short, this is an electric vehicle you will want to drive.

The new Mach-E goes on sale from €53,100
The new Mach-E goes on sale from €53,100 in Ireland

Inside the Mustang Mach-E

The interior of the Mustang Mach-E marks a new generation interior for a Ford car. There has been a significant digital upgrade to anything we've seen previously from the brand. This includes a new digital instrument cluster behind the steering wheel and a show-stopping 15.5" portrait-style touchscreen in the centre of the dashboard.

It's a blend of old and new, with enough traditional switchgear inside to not frighten any Ford customers! A wireless charging pad for smartphones also comes as standard, with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.

Quality is a good step forward for Ford but it won't worry the best in class for outright cabin finish. Leather seats and other cabin materials have a red stitching finish in all wheel drive models. With that iconic pony logo on the steering wheel, you won't forget the Mustang Mach-E's sporty roots.

It's a fashionable and practical car with seating for five inside. The space inside the new Mach-E is about comparable to a mid-size SUV. There is a 402 litre boot and a 'frunk' (front trunk storage unit) with an additional 81 litres of storage space. The front trunk is also drainable for added convenience!

Interior of the new Mach-E
The interior of the new Mach-E

Driving the Ford Mustang Mach-E

From the start, a lot of work has gone into making the Mach-E an exciting electric car to drive. Unique settings for shock absorbers, springs, anti-roll bars, steering and powertrain have been tailored for models sold in the European market.

The Mustang Mach-E First Edition on test for Changing Lanes features all-wheel drive and extended-range battery as standard. This model has a healthy 351 hp, 580 Nm of torque and 0-100 km/h acceleration is just 5.1 seconds.

So on the road the Mach-E feels sporty and natural. That goes for the steering too. This car is fun to drive with lightening quick responses. The all-wheel drive system applies torque independently to the front and rear wheels for improved acceleration and handling. The Mach-E responds willingly to the throttle with no fuss or wheel spin. Just pure, linear power time after time.

Despite all that sportiness behind the wheel, it rides pretty well too on the smooth stuff though you will feel more over bumps.

Features include one pedal driving to help return more kinetic energy to the battery, and selectable drive modes - Whisper, Active and Untamed. For example Untamed mode unleashes the full potential of the Mustang Mach-E by sharpening the steering, enhancing the throttle response and even giving the driver the feel of downshifting on deceleration.

The new Mach-E offers seating for five
The new Mach-E offers seating for five

Anything else?

The Ford Mustang Mach-E GT will feature all-wheel drive and extended-range battery as standard. When it arrives in Ireland, it will be the range topper with 487 hp, 860 Nm of torque and 0-100 km/h acceleration in just 3.7 seconds 

The Mustang Mach-E can be charged at home using a 7.4 kW wallbox in just over 8 hours to get to 80%. DC fast-charging up to 150 kW is also possible with 91 kWh battery variants, using an IONITY charger for example. This will add about 80% battery charge in 40 minutes. 115 kW fast charging is available with standard battery variants.

In Ireland, Mustang Mach-E is offered in three series: RWD, AWD and GT, as well as a limited number of First Edition vehicles available at launch.

Standard equipment on rear wheel drive models includes 18” silver alloy wheels; puddle light Mustang logo projection; heated front seats; FordPass Connect; e-latch keyless entry system with B-pillar keypad access; and Pre-Collision Assist. Standard battery versions are priced from €53,100, while the extended range RWD version is available from €64,400.

All wheel drive versions come with 19” black machined alloy wheels; red brake calipers; side cladding and wheel arches in piano black; rear view camera; hands free tailgate; 360-degree camera; B&O Premium Sound System 10-Speaker; advanced active park assist; and a full panoramic roof. With the standard battery, this model is priced from €68,550. While with the extended range battery, this model is priced from €76,100.

The Mach-E has two battery sizes available - 71 kWh and 90 kWh
The Mach-E has two battery sizes available - 70 kWh and 91 kWh

Did you like it?

The Mustang returns! But as Ford's first proper attempt at a full battery electric vehicle.

With pricing starting from €53,100 and rising to €82,000 for the range-topping Mustang Mach-E GT, this is new territory for Ford. It is an expensive car and there is plenty of competition now in this price range.

The Mustang Mach-E bites back with cool crossover styling, the iconic Mustang badge and a car that is truly enjoyable to drive.

The interior of the Mustang Mach-E blends old and new, with an exciting new look, though cabin finish won't worry the best in class. Still it's stylish and cool with an infotainment system that is good to use.

The Mach-E offers many options with the best offering up to 610 km in range. Matching that in real world driving will be nigh on impossible, but any EV that can do over 300 km on a full charge these days will get you around just fine.

While it's odd to have a car with a Mustang badge and no rumble from under the bonnet, the world has changed. And the Ford Mustang Mach-E is certainly memorable now among EVs. Crucially it hits the desirability box too.

The high performance Mustang Mach-E GT is expected before the end of the year
The high performance Mustang Mach-E GT is expected before the end of the year

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Ford Mustang Mach-e AWD First Edition Extended Range
Price:
€76,100
Battery: 91 kWh
Power:
351 hp
Torque: 580 Nm
0-100km/h:
5.1 seconds
Top speed: 179 km/h
Motor tax: 
€120 per year


The new DS3 Electric on test for Changing Lanes!

DS3 Electric Review

Read Caroline's DS3 Electric review for everything you need to know about buying the new electric compact crossover from DS in Ireland in 2022.

Well, to give this car its official title, it's the DS3 Crossback E-TENSE. The E-TENSE badge is applied to electrified cars across the new DS range, including full battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids.

DS has a new distributor in Ireland and will bolster their range here with the arrival of the new DS4 and DS9 in the coming months.

However the DS story starts with the DS7 Crossback, previously reviewed for Changing Lanes. And now the more compact DS3 Crossback, which has been on sale in Europe since 2019.

The new DS3 Electric on test for Changing Lanes!
The new DS3 Electric on test for Changing Lanes!

What's so special about the DS3 Crossback?

Available now for the first time in Ireland with the option of petrol, diesel or an electric powertrain, the DS3 Crossback offers exclusive DS style in the popular B-SUV segment.

DS is positioned in the market as a French premium brand. Pricing for the new DS3 Crossback range starts from €29,170. It rises to €42,058 for a top of the line version of the charismatic crossover. The electric DS3 Crossback E-TENSE goes on sale from €37,816.

DS is not the most recognisable brand yet on Irish roads. But the DS3 Crossback impresses on approach with an elegant and classy compact presence. At the front, the DS3 is characterised by a big grille, flanked by thin strips of almost pearl-like LED daytime running lights.

Premium features like flush fitting door handles glide out of the bodywork. The DS diamond motif appears in all the details. The rear LED light signature is complemented by a surround that in the centre spells out C R O S S B A C K.

There are many options to customise the DS3: the roof and body in contrasting colours, different alloy wheel designs and eight body colours, including Pearl Crystal, exclusive to the DS3 E-TENSE.

There are three grades on offer to Irish customers – Elegance, Performance Line and top of the range Prestige.

The DS3 Crossback goes on sale from €37,816
The electric DS3 Crossback E-TENSE goes on sale from €37,816

Inside the DS3

Build on the PSA Group's (now part of Stellantis) CMP multi-energy platform, the DS3 was designed from the very start to integrate a combustion engine or battery and electric motor, just like the Peugeot e-2008 and Opel Mokka-e.

The DS3 is undoubtedly a compact car for the B-segment. Nevertheless it feels roomy up front. The crossover style gives the driver and passengers a slightly elevated feeling with good headroom. Rear legroom is tight, though children should be fine back there.

The quirky little 'kick' in the window line is cool from the outside, but it makes it feel a little more dark and enclosed in the rear. There's a 350 litre boot. It's comparable with a typical hatchback of this size.

The cabin of the DS3 Crossback is where DS stands out. It is quirky and well-appointed with lashings of soft touch materials. There is an unusual layout. The door handles for example are not where you expect them to be. The switches for the electric windows are on the centre console. Quilted leather effect seats come as standard on this E-TENSE Elegance model. You'll struggle to find a B-segment crossover quite as chic as this one!

The touch controls and the central air vents are diamond-shaped beneath a 7" touchscreen. The driver gets a small but modern 7" digital display. Equipment levels are high with heat pump, Lane Keeping Assist, Rear Park Assist, automatic air conditioning, 17" alloys, parking sensors, reversing camera, and leather steering wheel included as standard.

Inside the DS3 Crossback
Inside the DS3 Crossback

What are my options?

The DS 3 Crossback is the first car to feature the latest upgrade of the PureTech petrol engine with a 155 hp petrol engine matched to the EAT8 (Efficient Automatic Transmission with 8-speeds). That engine is reserved for the top of the range Prestige model.

Of more interest to Irish buyers will be the two other 1.2-litre PureTech turbo petrol engines (130 hp and 100 hp). There's also the 1.5-litre BlueHDi, diesel engine with 110 hp available from launch.

But with Irish buyers increasingly exploring their options in new electric vehicles, the electric DS3 Crossback E-TENSE is definitely worth some attention. Starting from €37,816, it does carry a premium in an increasingly competitive market for electric vehicles.

The DS3 Electric uses a 50 kWh battery to give a range of up to 320 km (WLTP), though in real world driving 250 km is a more realistic target.

Driving the DS3 E-TENSE

On the road, the electric DS3 E-TENSE is a delight to drive. The electric DS3 has increased door panel thickness, thicker glass and an acoustic windscreen. The transmission is smooth, noise is well-suppressed, giving a serene cabin experience. This model offers a more refined and slick experience behind the wheel than the DS3 Crossback 1.2 petrol, so electric suits it very well.  It's compact and fun to drive, an ideal city car or second car - but it has long distance comfort too.

It's delightfully conventional too, a plus from developing a car from the start with the same interior and exterior as petrol and diesel versions.

100 kW rapid charging is available, with 80% charge in just 30 minutes or roughly one hour with a 50 kW fast charger. There's also an 11 kW on board charger for faster AC charging. This car can be charged to full in about 7.5 hours from a 7 kW home charging unit.

The DS3 Crossback petrol on test for Changing Lanes
The DS3 Crossback petrol on test for Changing Lanes

Did you like it?

The DS3 Crossback arrives in Ireland with premium ambitions, offering a chic and quirky alternative in the small SUV segment.

Driving the DS3 is certainly a unique experience. This car dares to do things a little differently in the cabin. Visually DS has lashed on the soft furnishings in the cabin to make this car feel special for its class.

It won't be to everyone's taste, but if you like it, you'll probably love it after spending more time with it.

Sure it is an expensive small car with some very closely related rivals on the Irish market like the excellent Peugeot 2008 and Opel Mokka. But the DS3 is more exclusive than either car with a very distinct style. Not 'better' per se; but different.

The electric DS3 Crossback E-TENSE is my favourite of the range, with a slick transmission and silent, refined cabin ambience that measures up better against the car's premium billing.

This is a fun, compact car, with plenty of style. Expensive but extremely likeable all the same.

The new DS 3 Crossback E-TENSE is available now from the new DS Store Dublin at Gowan Motors on Navan Road in Dublin 15.

The DS3 Crossback is a chic alternative in the small SUV segment
The DS3 Crossback is a chic alternative in the small SUV segment

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: DS3 Crossback E-TENSE Elegance
Price:
€37,816 including SEAI grant
Battery: 50 kWh
Power: 
136 hp
Torque: 260 Nm
0-100km/h: 
8.7 seconds
Top speed: 150 km/h
Motor tax: 
€120 per year


The new Kia EV6 on test for Changing Lanes

Kia EV6 Review (2022)

Read Caroline's Kia EV6 review for everything you need to know about Kia's new electric car in Ireland in 2022. The EV6 is also the recently crowned Continental Tyres Irish Car of the Year 2022.

The Kia EV6 arrived in Ireland in the second half of 2021. Kia in Ireland is no stranger to electric vehicles and very successful ones. But the EV6 feels like a real flagship for Kia. It showcases the absolute best of the brand.

On sale in Ireland from €50,000 including the SEAI grant, the new Kia EV6 has a sensual and sporty design, futuristic interior, 800 volt battery system and long range of well over 300 km.

Kia Ireland has some form in the electric vehicle space. The Kia e-Niro and e-Soul have been very popular since they were launched, with the Kia e-Soul crowned Irish Car of the Year 2020 soon after it arrived here.

The new Kia EV6 on test for Changing Lanes
The new Kia EV6 on test for Changing Lanes

What's so special about the Kia EV6?

The Kia EV6 moves the game on again, in terms of design, quality and technology. The EV6 is Kia’s first dedicated electric vehicle. It's underpinned by the new E-GMP platform from the Hyundai Motor Group.

Kia has gone for an avant-garde look for their new electric car. Classed as a crossover, this is an unusual looking car but undeniably a showstopper. It is the result of a collaborative effort between all three studios in Kia’s global design network in Korea, Germany, and California.

At the front there are characteristic daytime running lights with a sleek, modern appearance, forming what Kia calls a ‘digital tiger face’. This is a design progression evoking Kia’s ‘tiger nose grille’ for the electrified era. This is a superbly aerodynamic design with a swept-back windscreen providing dynamism and purpose. The bold rear haunches add volume and a charismatic rear light signature.

In Ireland there are two trim levels - Earth and GT Line. Both trim lines use a 77.4 kWh battery pack paired with a 168 kW (229 hp) electric motor and are fitted with a heat pump. Power goes to the rear wheels.

The Kia EV6 goes on sale in Ireland priced from €50,000
The Kia EV6 goes on sale in Ireland priced from €50,000

What are my options?

On 19” wheels as standard, the Earth model has a quoted range of 528 km (WLTP). Features include dual 12.3” display screens inside, UVO Connect, charcoal grey vegan leather upholstery with premium relaxation seats, LED headlamps and a powered tailgate.

The GT Line is the sportier of the duo. On 20” wheels it has a quoted range up to 506 km (WLTP). The EV6 GT Line goes on sale from €54,345 including SEAI grant. It features sportier GT Line styling, suede/vegan leather seats, front ventilated, blind spot view monitors, augmented reality heads-up display and a panoramic sunroof.

The EV6 has been optimised from the ground-up to be a full electric vehicle. It takes advantage of the E-GMP’s sophisticated tech and engineering foundations.

Interior design has also been liberated by Kia’s dedicated E-GMP platform. The EV6 offers increased space compared to previous Kia EVs based on existing internal combustion architecture.

It is certainly a large car, deceptively so.

The interior of the new Kia EV6
The interior of the new Kia EV6 GT Line

Inside the EV6

The interior of the EV6 has good width, with a 'floating' centre console and dashboard design that is innovative and gives a great feeling of space up front in the cabin. A flat floor in the rear makes it a comfortable place for rear passengers. Two adults will be very well catered for back there with large footwells and decent headroom too.

The boot has a hatchback-style opening and a flat floor boosting practicality. There is 520 litres available so a decent show for a family car too, with a 52 litre 'frunk' under the bonnet!

The Kia EV6 GT Line on test for Changing Lanes is the sportiest of the range and adds a lot of glamour and prestige to the EV6. There is youthful exuberance to this car, with plenty of gloss back in the dashboard design, full digital displays for the driver and cool ambient lighting.

The curved display sweeps across the dashboard, providing an instrument cluster in front of the driver and infotainment and navigation above the centre console. It's all easy to operate on the move. The EV6 GT Line also has suede sports seats as standard, which really add to the exclusive feel.

The Kia EV6 shares much of its underpinnings, technology, and battery with the Hyundai IONIQ 5. But the EV6 and the IONIQ 5 do look distinctly different from each other, with a very different cabin ambience.

Boot space in the Kia EV6
Boot space in the Kia EV6

Driving the Kia EV6

And there's more under the surface. The EV6 has been developed with Kia’s sporty driving appeal in mind, promising direct steering responses, agility, and road grip that boosts the ‘fun-to-drive’ ethos of the brand. The suspension has been engineered to deliver a sportier and more dynamic driving experience compared to its nearest rivals. Marginally stiffer front and rear spring rates result in slightly better controlled body roll when cornering and over undulating roads. The front and rear anti-roll bars are also 1mm thicker, resulting in a flatter, more controlled ride from behind the wheel, and slightly more linear steering. Increased damper force has also resulted in useful enhancements to body control and steering response.

The flat battery pack is placed across the floor of the vehicle, spreading the mass, optimising ride quality, and giving a low centre of gravity for a full electric vehicle. Innovative hydraulic bushings connect the rear subframe to the main body of the car, helping to further enhance the EV6’s driving performance and offset the overall weight typically associated with fully electric vehicles. The driving position is also more low slung than a traditional SUV for example, aiding that sporty feel behind the wheel.

The Kia EV6 surprises in just how settled and comfortable it feels over the tarmac. It hunkers down well, and true there is a sporty feel to the way this car handles. In fact it's very natural feeling on the road. It's testament to how this car has been developed with such pedantic pursuit of perfection and a desire to lead in the electric vehicle space.

Charging the EV6 at IONITY
Charging the EV6 at IONITY

Charging the EV6

At the moment all models in Ireland are rear wheel drive. Kia quotes a WLTP range of over 500 km for the Kia EV6 77 kWh. However on a full charge for this reviewer with plenty of high speed motorway driving, 350 - 400 km seems more realistic. But these days that is more than enough to get around happily.

When it comes to charging, the EV6 is one of the best on the market with an 800 volt battery system. If you can find an IONITY station, you can charge at up to 220 kW and add 80% battery power in about 20 minutes.

EV6 buyers in Ireland receive a free 12 month Kia Power Package subscription that offers this IONITY fast charging service at just €0.29 per kWh (normally €0.79).

At a 50 kW charger, it will take a little over an hour to get to charge the battery to 100% (but beware the overstay fee after 45 minutes!).

There's also an 11 kW AC on board charger, which is handy when you stop at one of those 22 kW chargers in many Irish towns as it charges almost twice as fast as a lot of other EVs on the market. AC charging to 100% at home should take just over 12 hours from a 7.4 kW wallbox.

Did you like it?

With a starting price of €50,000, the Kia EV6 offers everything -  a large practical cabin, a stunning interior design, a leading 800 volt battery system, 11 kW on board AC charger, and long range battery.

What's most striking is how Kia has taken the rival IONIQ 5 platform and tuned it for a sportier drive to add distinction. It looks completely different too with a more sensual and sporty design, and a wraparound cabin experience.

Granted with just the long range battery available, the EV6 has arguably a more premium billing in the Irish market than the IONIQ 5. The latter feels a bit more accessible thanks to a more affordable entry price for a standard range battery.

But design, cabin quality and equipment do a great job to justify the EV6 package. The GT Line is a truly appealing prospect in the electric vehicle market.

The Kia EV6 is an easy car to recommend. It is one of the best electric vehicles you can buy on the market right now.

The EV6 uses a 77.4 kWh battery pack
The EV6 is one of the best electric vehicles on the market today

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Kia EV6 GT Line
Price:
€54,345 including SEAI grant
Battery: 77.4 kWh
Power:
229 hp
Torque: 350 Nm
0-100km/h:
7.3 seconds
Top speed: 185 km/h
Motor tax: 
€120 per year


The MINI Electric on test for Changing Lanes

MINI Electric Review (2022)

Read Caroline's MINI Electric review for everything you need to know about buying the electric MINI in Ireland in 2022.

Even icons like the MINI must face an electric future. The challenge for MINI? To create a fun to drive, all-electric version of the famous hatchback that dilutes nothing of the famed MINI driving character.

We recently reviewed the MINI Hatch for Changing Lanes with a petrol engine providing the power.

Now it's the turn of the MINI Electric. It's the brand’s first battery electric vehicle based on the iconic three door hatchback and goes on sale from €35,715. But with VRT rebate reducing the purchase price, and a further SEAI government supported grant of €5,000 available, the MINI Electric range is competitive.

The MINI Electric on test for Changing Lanes
The MINI Electric on test for Changing Lanes

What's so special about the MINI Electric?

For this new era of electrification, the electric MINI gets a 32.6 kWh battery with an electric range of 235-270 km measured by WLTP industry standards. It's not the best on the market in range for a small electric car, but MINI has a plan.

At a weight of 1,365 kg, this one is just 145 kg heavier than the current MINI Cooper S Hatch with automatic transmission. New suspension technology designed for the electric MINI helps retain and enhance the brand's famed fun driving dynamics.

With a centre of gravity that is at least 30 millimetres lower than in the MINI Cooper S and the reduced weight over the front wheels thanks to the electric motor, the MINI Electric's weight distribution promises a fun to drive small electric car. There's also an innovative Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system on board, which improves traction as you set-off and stability in brake energy recovery mode, as well as when accelerating out of tight bends.

MINI has retained the classic shape and character of the iconic hatchback for this all-electric version. So MINI Electric is everything we love about MINI, with a sporty, fun look and eye-popping colour splashes of Energetic Yellow on the front grille and wing mirrors.

There's also an embossed electric logo on the car’s side scuttles, as well as on the tailgate and front radiator grille. The front grille features the hallmark hexagonal shape but is closed, as the car requires less cooling. There are also some quirky wheel covers available that resemble a three point plug.

The electric MINI goes on sale in Ireland from €35,715
The electric MINI goes on sale in Ireland from €35,715

What's it like inside?

Inside the cabin is once again reassuringly classic MINI. Quality is excellent. There's a boutique feel to the cabin. The large central binnacle houses the infotainment, and is compatible with smartphones via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

There's a new digital dashboard with a 5.5-inch colour screen behind the steering wheel, with information on available range and charge level of the battery relayed to the driver. Standard equipment on Level 1 models (from €28,215 on the road) includes sports seats, automatic air conditioning, cruise control, Connected Navigation including Real Time Traffic Information (RTTI), and LED lights front and rear.

Level 2 includes a cloth/leather-look upholstery, additional exterior body colour and wheel options, as well as rear Park Distance Control (PDC), rear parking camera, heated front seats, and Driving Assistance Pack.

Level 3 includes front PDC, Park Assist, Harmon Kardon sound system, head-up display, panoramic sunroof, matrix LEDs and an 8.8” infotainment touch screen. Wireless phone charging is also included, as is leather upholstery, a choice of five alloy wheels and six exterior body colours.

The MINI is super stylish but this is a small car and not the most practical on the market. It's fine up front but rear seating is limited, with not much legroom available. The boot is also small at just 211 litres, but there is no compromise between petrol versions and electric versions. They all get the same interior and boot space. At least it expands to 731 litres when the rear backrests are folded down. Which split fold 60:40 by the way!

The interior of the new MINI Electric
The interior of the new MINI Electric

Driving the MINI Electric

The MINI Electric sacrifices little of the car's bewitching fun to drive character in the pursuit of zero tailpipe emissions. For MINI fans, this electrified model is a dream come true. It may be carrying a battery on board but it still feels light and agile on the road. It's naturally engaging to drive with a swift delivery of power to the road. The electric motor provides 184 hp and 270 Nm of torque. Acceleration is a brisk 7.3 seconds from 0 to 100km/h. The motor is the latest, powerful version of the synchronous electric motor developed by the BMW Group.

The car offers as standard four MINI Driving Modes. SPORT mode has more direct steering and a more rapid power delivery. The MID setting has less aggressive steering, while GREEN mode features more gentle accelerator response. In GREEN+ mode, some comfort functions such as air conditioning are limited or deactivated to save further power and increase range.

You can also select the intensity of power regeneration, which recharges the battery when the driver lifts off the accelerator, preserving energy, and acts as a braking force.

The car comes with both home and public charging cables as standard, designed for AC and DC charging using Type 2 and CCS Combo 2 plugs. 50 kW DC fast charging is available, giving 80% charge in about 36 minutes. The new MINI can get a full charge at home in 4 hours and 20 minutes using 7.4 kW AC charging.

50 kWh DC fast charging is available
50 kWh DC fast charging is available

Did you like it?

Like all MINIs, the MINI Electric is a hoot to drive, sacrificing none of its fun to drive character for battery power.

The downside for the electric MINI is range. Less than 200 km in real world driving just doesn't give enough wiggle room on longer journeys.

In fairness the MINI is a real city car anyway, and a very trendy one at that. So as a second car confined to driving around town it could work very well. It's a more exclusive small car, and it is priced pretty well for a small electric car of this standard that is far nicer to drive than the competition.

This is a premium small car, undeniably stylish and desirable. A status symbol now electrified. MINI Electric makes a successful debut, though battery range will limit its appeal.

MINI Electric is super stylish and fun to drive electric small car
MINI Electric is super stylish and fun to drive electric small car

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: MINI Electric Level 2
Price:
€30,503 (including SEAI grant and VRT relief)
Battery: 32.6 kWh
Power: 
184 hp
Torque: 270 Nm
0-100km/h: 
7.3 seconds
Top speed: 150 km/h
Motor tax: 
€120 per year


The new Mercedes-Benz EQA

Mercedes-Benz EQA Review (2022)

Read Caroline's Mercedes-Benz EQA review for everything you need to know about the German brand's new electric small SUV on sale in Ireland in 2022.

The EQA is the first all-electric model in the Mercedes' compact car range. It's a close relation of the GLA, the popular compact crossover available here for some years now.

Mercedes-Benz has been on a mission to bring a whole range of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles to market. We have seen a slew of plug-in hybrid models reach these shores including the GLC 300 de, the E-Class 300 e and the GLC Coupe 350 de.

Then there has been the brand's first full battery electric vehicle, the EQC, followed by the EQV and now this, the EQA!

The new Mercedes-Benz EQA
The new Mercedes-Benz EQA

What's so special about the Mercedes-Benz EQA?

The EQA was conceived as an all-electric small SUV from the brand's EQ family of electric vehicles. Based on the GLA class, the Mercedes-Benz EQA goes on sale in Ireland priced from €56,120.

It's a full battery electric vehicle powered by a 66.5 kWh battery with a claimed range of 426 km (WLTP) and 190 hp at its disposal.

In design, it does bear a resemblance to the GLA but with a more futuristic look around the front end in particular. Plus a striking light signature that's become a standard of Mercedes EQ vehicles.

The EQA may be described as compact. But it does have a considerable presence when you meet it for the first time. The front end stands out for a closed black panel radiator grille with large central Mercedes star. There are also EQ blue headlamp strips and a distinctive fibre-optic strip running along the front and at the rear.

In Ireland the new EQA goes on sale in three trim lines: Progressive, Electric Art and AMG Line. The Progressive line is expected to be the most sought-after model here. All-wheel-drive models will join the range at a later date with more power, including one version with a WLTP range of over 500 km.

The EQA is on sale in Ireland from €56,120
The EQA is on sale in Ireland from €56,120

Inside the EQA

Inside the EQA, convention is at work. We get a classic Mercedes-Benz compact car interior. The brand's new generation compacts lead the way in contemporary luxury. It's no different here. Everything is familiar Mercedes-Benz territory.

There is no compromise to quality. Everything feels good to use. Digital technology is on-point. There's a 10" digital instrument panel for the driver and a 10" touchscreen housing the MBUX infotainment system that responds to 'Hey Mercedes' commands.

It also feels spacious inside the EQA for a compact, with generous footwells in the rear and plenty of headroom. Boot space has taken a hit however to accommodate the EV powertrain. It's down to 340 litres. Though a low loading sill and wide opening boost practicality. There's also space to store charging cables under the boot floor.

Standard specification is good on the Progressive model. Features include high-performance headlamps with Adaptive Highbeam Assist, electrically operated tailgate, light 18-inch alloys, 64-colour ambient lighting, adjustable lumbar support, reversing camera and leather sports steering wheel.

The interior of the new EQA
The interior of the new EQA

Driving the Mercedes-Benz EQA

The new EQA is built on the GLA platform. But the combustion engine has been replaced by a 66.5 kWh battery and an electric motor that sends power to the front wheels (190 hp). Performance is fine, in line with the EQA's relaxed and premium feel behind the wheel. It will hardly throw you back in your seat every time you touch the accelerator. But handling is quite neutral as opposed to sporty, so efficiency is key here.

Mercedes has worked to improve the efficiency of the car with aerodynamic features like front and rear aprons, smooth underbody, closed cooling air system, and wind-optimised wheels with spoilers. There is a quoted range of over 400 km with average energy consumption of 17.6 kWh. During my time with the car, my average consumption was 20.8 kWh. The heat pump uses waste heat from the electric motor to warm passengers, increase range and reduce the draw on battery power.

The new electric Mercedes moves off effortlessly in silence. Refinement is a strong point for the EQA, no matter the road or road surface. The electric motor is isolated from the chassis and body to improve comfort and reduce noise and vibration. Numerous damping measures have been designed to prevent the transmission of airborne sound so the EQA can offer a premium driving experience in the compact electric SUV space.

The new EQA is the brand's first electric compact
The new EQA is the brand's first electric compact

Did you like it?

The Mercedes-Benz EQA moves the German brand into the competition for a compact premium electric vehicle. It's now the most affordable electric EQ model in the line-up based on the stylish and popular GLA. The EQA offers a competitive range of over 400 km, though that will depend on your driving style and other factors like the ambient temperature and the speed you are driving at.

The EQA has the advantage of an 11 kW on board charger allowing more flexibility in AC charging. While up to 100 kW DC fast charging is available, so you can get 80% battery charge in around 30 minutes at a motorway charger for example.

Mercedes trump card is the interior of the EQA. All the factors that make their compact car interiors so desirable are here with an 'EQ' branded twist to reflect the electric powertrain. Quality is excellent, equipment levels high.

For Mercedes fans seeking an electrified driving solution, the brand has also recently brought a GLA 250 e plug-in hybrid to market in Ireland. Priced from €48,690, the car's 15.6 kWh battery allows owners to sample driving electric for a range of up to 61 km, with the back up of a 1.3-litre petrol engine.

The EQA is a considerable investment but it fills a gap in Mercedes' portfolio and will be joined soon by the all-electric EQB.

The Mercedes-Benz electric charge continues in 2022 with the launch of the new EQS and EQE!

Mercedes-Benz is on a mission with a new range of EQ vehicles
Mercedes-Benz is on a mission with a new range of EQ vehicles

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Mercedes-Benz EQA 250 Progressive
Price:
€56,120
Battery: 66.5 kWh
Power:
 190 hp
Torque: 375 Nm
0-100km/h: 
8.9 seconds
Top speed: 160 km/h
Motor tax: 
€120 per year