The 2019 Audi Q3

2019 Audi Q3 1.5 TFSI Review

The 2019 Audi Q3
The 2019 Audi Q3

Caroline drives the 2019 Audi Q3!

Audi’s Q
range of SUVs have never been so relevant as they are now. Naturally, Audi has
invested considerably in their Q range of SUVs in recent years, with new models
like the Q2 and Q8, as well as this all new generation of the Audi Q3 that recently
landed in Ireland.

The arrival of the more compact Q2 in 2017, means that the 2019 Audi Q3 is no longer the smallest SUV in the Audi range. In fact, for this generation, Audi has considerably reinvented the Q3 so that it can function better as a family SUV.

In Ireland, the 2019 Audi Q3 range kicks off at €38,600. There are a range of petrol and diesel engines on offer, as well as two trim lines, SE and S line. Manual and automatic gearboxes are available as is quattro four wheel drive, though standard models are front wheel drive.

The Audi Q3 range kicks off at €38,600 in Ireland
The Audi Q3 range kicks off at €38,600 in Ireland

What's new for the 2019 Audi Q3?

The Audi Q3 is a very smart looking SUV in the metal. Audi has given the new Q3 more definition and stance. Yet it’s still a relatively compact vehicle in the metal, but achingly stylish and desirable in that cool, understated Audi way. The new Singleframe grille has an octagonal design and eight ‘don’t mess with me’ vertical bars. The new wedge shape lights use LED technology in all versions and are paired with LED daytime running lights.

Slip inside the cabin of the 2019 Audi Q3, and it’s hard not to be instantly beguiled by the quality and technology at your fingertips. The cabin experience in the Q3 is one of the best in class. That’s down to how the digital instrument panel (Audi Virtual Cockpit, a 10.25 inch screen within the binnacle), and the new 10.1 inch MMI touch display, fit so comfortably into the cabin with seamless controls.

The interior of the new Audi Q3
The interior of the new Audi Q3

Interior and Equipment

The Q3's dashboard design is modern and cool with lashings of stylish high gloss black, while the material quality is good in just about all the places that matter. There’s also an optional ambient lighting package with 30 colour options for more wow.

The new Q3 comes with a number of active safety systems including pre-sense basic, pre-sense front, side assist, active lane assist and automatic emergency braking. Standard equipment on SE models includes 18” alloys, Audi drive select, Audi Virtual Cockpit and 10.1” MMI touch display, light/rain sensor, LED headlights, cruise control and manual air con.

S line models (from €42,550) add 19” alloys, S line body kit, S line interior including front sport seats and stainless steel pedals, LED interior pack and full LED headlamps with dynamic rear indicators.

Rear legroom in the new Audi Q3
Rear legroom in the new Audi Q3

Does the new Audi Q3 make a good family SUV?

The new
Audi Q3 is built upon the Volkswagen Group’s modular transverse matrix, which
means that the new Q3 has grown in size. It’s longer and wider than its
predecessor with a longer wheelbase also meaning that it is now more spacious
inside for five people and their gear. In the rear it feels noticeably bigger
with a welcome boost in knee room, headroom and elbow room that makes it more
competitive in its segment than ever before.

For extra practicality an electrically powered tailgate comes as standard. The new Q3 also has a bigger boot at 530 litres or 675 litres depending on the position of the rear seats and backrests.

The Audi Q3 35 TFSI features a 1.5 litre turbo petrol engine with efficiency boosting cylinder deactivation technology!
The Audi Q3 35 TFSI features a 1.5 litre turbo petrol engine with efficiency boosting cylinder deactivation technology!

Driving the 2019 Audi Q3

According to Audi, the suspension in the new Q3 has been tuned to be more comfortable, assured and responsive, helped by the latest car’s longer wheelbase. S line models have a sport suspension for an even more tightly controlled feel. Progressive steering comes as standard across the range, which gradually becomes more direct as the steering angle increases.

On the road, the new Audi Q3 is remarkably good. The most striking and pleasant feature is the silence and seclusion of the cabin while driving. The refinement of this car is just beautiful. The handling and steering are more than adequate, making progress pleasant and brisk in the new Q3.

The Audi drive select dynamic handling system comes as standard and includes six modes - auto, comfort, dynamic, offroad, efficiency and individual. These settings influence the throttle response, the steering, the shift characteristics of the S tronic and the damper control where this is fitted.

The new Audi Q3 is a stylish and fun family SUV
The new Audi Q3 is a stylish and fun family SUV

Diesel and petrol engines for the Audi Q3

In Ireland
the new Audi Q3 is available with three petrol options (150hp, 190hp and 230hp)
and two diesel options (150hp and 190hp). The entry-level engine is the
1.5-litre TFSI turbo petrol engine with 150hp and 250 Nm of torque, badged 35
TFSI. It uses the cylinder on demand technology to improve efficiency, which
temporarily switches off two cylinders at low load. This engine is really smooth
and powerful on the road. Over a week of driving my fuel consumption averaged
at 7.5l/100km.

The new Audi Q3 sashays into a very competitive market but this modern interpretation of ‘Audiness’ that now pervades the brand’s newer models like the Audi A6, makes the Q3 instantly desirable. The Q3 has grown up and is now more practical than ever with more space and more presence. The real jewel in the crown however, is the latest generation Audi interior that sits so comfortably in the Q3, striking a perfect balance between comfort, quality and wow-worthy tech.  

The new Audi Q3 is astoundingly good!


Caroline Kidd

Model
tested: 
Audi Q3 1.5TSI S line S-Tronic
Price:
€44,950 (Range from €38,600)
Engine: 1.5-litre turbo petrol
Power: 
150 hp
Torque: 250 Nm
0-100km/h:  
9.6 seconds
Top speed: 211 km/h
Fuel economy:
7.4-7.7l/100km
CO2 emissions: 
169-176g/km
Motor tax: 
€280 per year


The 2019 Renault Mégane Coupé

2019 Renault Mégane Grand Coupé Review

The 2019 Renault Mégane Coupé
The 2019 Renault Mégane Coupé

Caroline drives the new Renault Mégane Grand Coupé.

A Renault Mégane saloon has always done well in Ireland, with us being a nation of ‘big boot out the back’ lovers. Saloon sales are on a squeeze from SUVs, but Renault Ireland still believes in the value of the compact saloon in the Irish market. In 2017, the new Renault Mégane Grand Coupé (fancy name too!) arrived in Ireland to join the Mégane hatchback and Sport Tourer (estate).

Renault was right to defy market trends. The Renault Mégane Grand Coupé is now the bestselling model in the Mégane range in Ireland, outselling the hatchback and Sport Tourer.

The Renault Mégane Grand Coupé brings considerable style and space to the range
The Renault Mégane Grand Coupé brings considerable style and space to the range

What’s new for the Renault Mégane Grand Coupé in 2019?

Now in 2019, Renault Ireland has refreshed the Grand Coupé line-up. There are now three trim levels as opposed to four - Play, Iconic and Signature. And a petrol engine has joined the range for the first time. The new 1.3 TCe 140 engine is available in the Grand Coupé with a 6-speed manual or new 7-speed EDC automatic gearbox.

Renault’s 1.5 dCi engine has also been enhanced in 2019 with increased power at 115hp and is also available with 6-speed manual and 7-speed EDC gearboxes.

The Mégane Grand Coupé is available from €23,940 in Ireland
The Mégane Grand Coupé is available from €23,940 in Ireland

Style and space in the Mégane Grand Coupé

Renault has strapped the Grand Coupé moniker onto the Mégane saloon, which implies that this car has ‘notions’. But it’s not difficult to understand the popularity of the Mégane Grand Coupé. It’s a good looking car with design flair and elegant proportions giving it the presence of a larger and more expensive car.

The Renault Mégane Grand Coupé range starts from €23,940 in Ireland, which is an €1800 premium over the Mégane hatchback. But Grand Coupé buyers actually get a more spacious car because the wheelbase is longer than that of the hatchback. The rear legroom is more accommodating. The boot has a capacity of 503 litres, bigger than the hatchback, with reasonably good access for a saloon. Also since I last tested the car there is now a release button on the boot lid, which is great.

Rear legroom in the Renault Mégane Grand Coupé
Rear legroom in the Renault Mégane Grand Coupé

Equipment

The Play trim level (from €23,940)
replaces both the Expression and Dynamique Nav trims. Equipment includes Apple
CarPlay® and Android Auto®, 7” touch screen, climate control and parking
sensors.

The Iconic (from €26,140) replaces
the Dynamique S Nav and has built-in navigation (7” screen), Multi-sense
driving modes and the Visio Active safety system.

The sporty GT Line is preserved for the hatch, while the Grand Coupé gets the ‘grander’ Signature trim (from €28,440). This model has leather interior, 18” diamond cut wheels, 8.7” navigation screen and full LED lights.

The interior of the Renault Mégane Grand Coupé
The interior of the Renault Mégane Grand Coupé

The interior of the Renault Mégane Grand Coupé

The Renault Mégane Grand Coupé has a
lot of rasmatazz on the outside but it’s a bit plainer on the inside. The most
striking feature is probably the portrait style touchscreen which is quite
unique in the segment. The interior is hardly the last word in sophistication with
quite a few hard, scratchy plastics, but it’s perfectly acceptable.

The new petrol engine is a great addition to the Mégane Grand Coupé range. It’s a 1.3-litre turbo petrol unit that’s popping up in other Renault models too like the Kadjar. It’s got lots of power at 140hp and over a week of driving my fuel consumption averaged at 6.3 l/100km, with motor tax of €270 per year. There is also a 1.5-litre diesel engine with 110hp, which is the best for economy.

Boot space in the Renault Mégane Grand Coupé
Boot space in the Renault Mégane Grand Coupé

Driving the Renault Mégane Grand Coupé

On the road the Renault Mégane Grand Coupé 1.3 TCe is nippy and refined. The car moves well through corners with precision and good cruising ability on the motorway too. The gear change feels a bit slack but other than that I really enjoyed my time with this car. The ride comfort seemed more cosseting this time round too.

The Renault Mégane Grand Coupé is very impressive with this new petrol engine. This is a stylish saloon and while competition is fierce in the compact segment, the Grand Coupé has really hit its stride in terms of spec, comfort and refinement. The figures don’t lie. It’s Ireland’s favourite iteration of the Mégane and the addition of this smart little petrol engine should enhance its prospects even more.

The Renault Mégane Grand Coupé is available for the first time in Ireland with a petrol engine in 2019
The Renault Mégane Grand Coupé is available for the first time in Ireland with a petrol engine in 2019

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Renault Megane Grand Coupé Signature
TCe 140 GPF
Price:
€28,440 (Range from €23,940)
Engine: 1.3-litre turbo petrol
Power: 
140 hp
Torque: 240 Nm
0-100km/h:  
9.7 seconds
Top speed: 203 km/h
Fuel Economy: 
5.7l/100km
CO2 emissions: 
130g/km
Motor tax: 
€270 per year


The new Mercedes-Benz GLE

2019 Mercedes-Benz GLE First Drive

The new Mercedes-Benz GLE
The new Mercedes-Benz GLE

The new Mercedes-Benz GLE has just arrived in Ireland,
priced from €78,395. This is a new generation of Mercedes-Benz large family
SUV, and there is a seven seat option for the first time. Caroline went to the
Irish press launch in Dublin to check out the new Mercedes-Benz GLE.

Styling

The GLE has been spruced up in
line with the brand’s current line-up of cars. The wheelbase is 80mm longer and
the new SUV has a more rounded and elegant presence, with distinctive LED
headlights and rear lights. 18” alloys come as standard, while AMG Line models
add AMG bodystyling and 20” alloys. The new styling has helped the GLE to
achieve the best aerodynamics in its segment, with a Cd figure
from 0.29.

Interior

The new Mercedes-Benz GLE features a widescreen cockpit as standard with two 12.3 inch screens – one for the driver information display and the second for the infotainment. The material quality is excellent throughout with the addition of some slightly more rugged looking features than a traditional Mercedes-Benz saloon - check out those rectangular shaped air vents. There is a prominent raised centre console between the driver and passenger housing cupholders, storage and the controls for the MBUX infotainment system. Hey Mercedes!

The interior of the new Mercedes-Benz GLE
The interior of the new Mercedes-Benz GLE

Practicality

The GLE is now available as a five or seven seat SUV. The cabin is very spacious with lots of legroom in row 2. There is electrical assistance to move the seats in row 2 forward and back with adjustable recline. Space is tight in row 3 but is adequate for the extra versatility that these seats offer. When not in use they can be stowed into the floor. The luggage capacity is up to 825 litres behind the rear seats, and up to 2,055 litres when the second row is folded down. There has also been a 72 mm increase in loading width.

Engines

In Ireland the new GLE will be available with petrol and diesel engines in the 1950cc to 2999cc capacity range. A diesel plug-in hybrid will arrive before the end of the year with a pure electric range of up to 100 km. The big seller in Ireland will be the 300d with a 2.0-litre diesel putting out 245hp. Other diesels include the GLE 350d, GLE 400d and GLE 450d. There is a GLE 450 petrol available powered by a six-cylinder engine with 48-volt mild hybrid technology. Motor tax ranges from €570 to €1200. 4MATIC four wheel drive is standard on all models.

The new Mercedes-Benz GLE range starts from €78,395
The new Mercedes-Benz GLE range starts from €78,395

On the road

The Mercedes-Benz GLE has a newly developed steel suspension, while there is also the option of a new AIRMATIC air suspension and E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL for engine variants with six and more cylinders. This is the only system in the market where the spring and damping forces can be individually controlled at each wheel to counteract body roll, pitching and squat, and take the GLE out of difficult off-road situations.

On a short drive on standard suspension, the Mercedes-Benz GLE 300d 4MATIC was a comfortable and refined companion, and easy to manoeuvre for its size. I look forward to bringing you more detailed driving impressions after a longer test drive later in the year.

Equipment

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

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

The GLE now comes with the option of seven seats
The GLE now comes with the option of seven seats

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

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

Pricing

The range starts with the GLE 300d 4MATIC at €78,395. With an AMG Line exterior package, this model is available from €84,202. The AMG Line is available from €84,762.

The GLE 450 4MATIC petrol is available from €95,995.

Rivals

Rivals for the new GLE include the Audi Q7 and the BMW X5.

The Mercedes-Benz GLE brings the latest Mercedes style and technology to the large family SUV class
The Mercedes-Benz GLE brings the latest Mercedes style and technology to the large family SUV class

Summary

The new generation of the Mercedes-Benz GLE ups its game in terms of styling, interior finish, technology and connectivity, bringing modern Mercedes-Benz features to the large family SUV class. The seven seat option is new for the GLE and makes the whole package even more competitive than before.

Mercedes-Benz Ireland is offering generously equipped GLEs undercutting their BMW and Audi rivals on pricing with the popular GLE 300d 4MATIC, though rivals do offer a bit more power like for like. I look forward to putting the GLE to the test at a later date to see how it stacks up against rivals!

Caroline Kidd


The Mercedes-Benz C-Class Saloon

2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Saloon Review

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class Saloon
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class Saloon

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

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class Saloon is one of the stalwarts of the Mercedes-Benz range that has been endearing buyers of compact executive saloons for over two decades now.

The current generation of the car debuted in 2014 and quickly gained notoriety for its interior elegance and comfort. Now in 2019, there is an updated C-Class range with pricing starting from €37,710.

What's new for the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Saloon in 2019?

Updates include new engines, equipment and trim elements to keep it at the races against key rivals like the Audi A4 and BMW 3 Series.

The 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Saloon gets a slim makeover in that all the elegant, compact saloon proportions are retained but with some new trim elements, alloy wheels and headlight/rear light design.

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class Saloon has been updated for 2019
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class Saloon has been updated for 2019

Available in the classic Avantgarde trim or the sportier AMG Line, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class oozes class and prestige. AMG Line models get standard fit 18” alloys, more aggressive bumpers and a stunning diamond radiator grille with chrome pins. LED headlights come as standard.

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

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

There is also a new multifunction steering wheel with touch-control buttons that respond to swiping motions like the screen of a smartphone. It gives a bit more modernity to the cabin of the C-Class.

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

The C-Class Saloon will seat five though the rear will be more comfortable for two rather than three because of the large ‘hump’ housing the transmission tunnel. The boot is a competitive 480 litres and the boot lid lifts electronically from a button on the key or a switch in the cabin.

Equipment and engines

Standard equipment includes leather upholstery, cruise control, dual zone climate control, heated front seats, keyless start and 17” alloys. The AMG Line (from €39,250) models add sports pedals, 18” alloys and AMG bodystyling.

Engine options for the C-Class include a 1.6-litre petrol (C180), 2.0-litre petrol (C300), 1.6-litre diesel (C200d) and 2.0-litre diesel (C220d), as well as some sportier variants.

The C200 is now powered by a 1.5-litre turbo petrol with 'EQ Boost'
The C200 is now powered by a 1.5-litre turbo petrol with 'EQ Boost'

The new Mercedes-Benz C200 with EQ Boost

One of the most exciting additions to the 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Saloon range is the C200 now with EQ Boost. The new 1.5-litre turbo petrol engine has mild hybrid technology. A 48 volt on-board electrical system with a belt-driven starter/alternator gives the car a boost in performance and efficiency. The power output is 184hp and 0 to 100 kmh is achieved in just 7.7 seconds.

The C200 delivers smooth power through a nine speed automatic gearbox, and is refined at a cruise though gets noisier when you give it a heavy right foot. Over a week of driving the C200 averaged fuel consumption at 8.4l/100km, while motor tax is €390 per year for this model, so a diesel would offer superior economy for high mileage drivers.

Rear legroom in the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Saloon
Rear legroom in the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Saloon

On the road in the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Saloon

My test car featured Dynamic Body Control that alters suspension damping characteristics in three stages. The damping characteristics are tuned more tautly in the two stages “Sport” and “Sport+”. The “Comfort” mode is more comfortably tuned, unevenness is levelled out better and road roar and tyre vibration characteristics are improved.

There’s also a Sports Direct-Steer system for more agile and smooth handling.

On the road, the C-Class Saloon glides along the tarmac effortlessly offering a top class comfortable and serene drive. It offers rear wheel drive agility and is flexible through corners, though the sensations reaching the rim are not overtly sporty. I recently drove the Mercedes-Benz C200 Coupé, but I really like the C200 set-up in the Saloon.

There may be a squeeze on saloons from SUVs but there is likely to always be a market for prestigious, premium saloons like the Mercedes-Benz C-Class. This facelift has improved and modernised the interior even more, so that the car still feels current. This is a fine luxury motor for cruising and Mercedes-Benz has successfully packaged the essence of the brand in the C-Class, making it a great entry point into the premium saloon market.

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class Saloon is a very desirable compact premium saloon
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class Saloon is a very desirable compact premium saloon

Caroline
Kidd

Model
tested: 
Mercedes-Benz
C200 Saloon AMG Line Automatic
Price:
€43,600 (Range from €37,710)
Engine: 1.5-litre turbo petrol
Power: 
184 hp
Torque: 280 Nm
0-100km/h:  
7.7 seconds
Top speed: 239 km/h
Fuel economy:
6.0-6.3l/100km
CO2 emissions: 
144g/km
Motor tax: 
€390 per year


The new Range Rover Evoque in the Peloponnese region of Greece

2019 Range Rover Evoque First Drive Review

The new Range Rover Evoque in the Peloponnese region of Greece
The new Range Rover Evoque in the Peloponnese region of Greece

When the Range Rover Evoque debuted in 2011, it was a significant departure for the Land Rover brand. The Evoque was designed to appeal to a new and more urbane customer looking for a stylish, premium SUV. It also carried the prestige of belonging to the high-end ‘Range Rover’ family of vehicles. Now the Evoque is back for a second generation, with all the modernity and technology needed to carry itself successfully into a new era. Caroline travelled with Land Rover Ireland to Athens, Greece, to test drive the new 2019 Range Rover Evoque. The Evoque will officially arrive in Ireland in May, but a preview model is currently touring Land Rover dealerships nationwide.

Styling

The new Range Rover Evoque still carries the classic high beltline/sloping roofline silhouette that made the original Evoque a trendsetter. There are new super-slim Matrix LED headlamps, flush door handles and other new trim elements around the front and rear. The surfacing of the car has been refined for a clean and contemporary look. The wheel arches can house up to 21-inch wheels. The Evoque undoubtedly has kerb appeal.

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

Interior

The interior of the 2019 Range Rover Evoque has taken a step up in terms of quality and design, along with the integration of the latest driver assistance technologies and digital displays. There are soft touch materials aplenty. Land Rover has also come up with some alternatives to classic leather, including Kvadrat premium wool blend, Dinamica® suedecloth, and Eucalyptus fibre textiles, which are very tactile indeed.

The twin touchscreen Touch Pro Duo system comes as standard on some trim levels. Ventilation and other vehicle settings are controlled via the lower screen. It looks very impressive, though can be fiddly to use on the move. There is also an optional 12.3" Interactive Driver Display and Head-up Display for the full digital experience.

The interior of the new Range Rover Evoque
The interior of the new Range Rover Evoque

Practicality

The new Evoque is built on Land Rover’s new Premium Transverse Architecture. While the overall dimensions are near on identical, there is more interior space than before. A longer wheelbase yields 20mm extra rear kneeroom. The Evoque will seat five with reasonable rear leg and headroom for a compact SUV.  The luggage space is wider and 10 per cent larger than the outgoing car at 591 litres. The second row seats can be folded 40:20:40.

The new generation of the Evoque has a bigger boot
The new generation of the Evoque has a bigger boot

Engines

In Ireland the 2019 Range Rover Evoque will be available with 2.0-litre diesel and petrol engines with MHEV, a mild hybrid system that harvests and stores energy normally lost during vehicle deceleration to assist the engine to maximise efficiency. Power outputs for the diesel include 150hp, 180hp and 240hp, while the petrol will have outputs of 200hp, 250hp and 300hp. Front wheel drive and all wheel drive models are available. A manual gearbox comes as standard, with a 9 speed automatic also available.

A plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) will join the range next year.

The new Range Rover Evoque will be available with a range of petrol and diesel engines, with a plug-in hybrid on the way in 2020
The new Range Rover Evoque will be available with a range of petrol and diesel engines, with a plug-in hybrid on the way in 2020

On the road

The new Range Rover Evoque sits on a new, more rigid platform. On our test drive, the Evoque handled very well through corners with excellent ride quality that means it can transition from off road to on road remarkably well. Optional Adaptive Dynamics alter the suspension damping rates depending on the road surface and deliver the optimum balance of comfort and agility.

The new Evoque now features Terrain Response 2 and a number of driving aids for off-road. You can hit the Auto button among the off-road settings and the SUV automatically detects the surface being driven on and adjusts the set-up accordingly. The Evoque can now wade through water up to 600mm (previously 500mm).

We had the opportunity to test the Evoque extensively on and off road in the rugged Peloponnese region of Greece. We drove through river beds, up steep inclines and down them, across rough terrain littered with ruts, stones and gullies, and even on a stage from the Acropolis Rally! We crossed the Corinth Canal on an old railway bridge, using the new ClearSight Ground View to guide us. This new feature effectively makes the bonnet invisible so you can see the ground between the wheels from a camera view transmitted to the screen in the centre console.

Crossing the Corinth Canal in the Range Rover Evoque
Crossing the Corinth Canal in the Range Rover Evoque!

The Evoque might be a stylish looking SUV for the city but its off-road capability is truly outstanding. Then the Evoque just effortlessly shrugged off the dust from its shoulders and glided out onto smooth tarmac roads once again.

We tested the 2.0 litre diesel 240hp and the 2.0 petrol 250hp all wheel drive models. Both were quiet on the move with plenty of power and flexibility through the rev range. I look forward to bringing my full driving impressions once we test the new Range Rover Evoque on Irish roads later in the year.

Equipment

In Ireland the 2019 Range Rover Evoque will be sold across a range of trim lines including entry, S, SE, and HSE and the sportier looking R-Dynamic, R-Dynamic S, R-Dynamic SE and R-Dynamic HSE. Standard equipment includes dual zone climate control with rear vents, 17" alloys, LED headlights, cruise control, 10" touchscreen, push button start, ClearSight interior rear view mirror, rear camera, parking sensors and lane keep assist. Please visit landrover.ie for a list of equipment for each model.

The Range Rover Evoque can effortlessly transition from off-road driving to smooth, tarmac roads
The Range Rover Evoque can effortlessly transition from off-road driving to smooth, tarmac roads

Pricing

Pricing for the 2019 Range Rover Evoque starts from €42,845 for the front wheel drive 2.0-litre diesel model with 150hp and a 6 speed manual gearbox. All wheel drive diesel models with automatic gearbox as standard start from €49,595.

Rivals

The Evoque’s rivals include the Audi Q3, Volvo XC40 and Jaguar E-PACE.

Summary

The Evoque brings a certain level of distinction to the premium, compact SUV segment with cool good looks, Land Rover’s legendary off-road ability and the prestige of the Range Rover badge. The Evoque offers a smooth, quiet and sporty drive with on trend mild hybrid tech, while there is no mistaking the premium cabin ambience, enhanced with the latest digital screens and alternative fabric options. The Range Rover Evoque made its name as a trendsetter back in 2011; now it has successfully crossed into a new era of technology and modernity.

Caroline Kidd

Photos courtesy of Land Rover


The 2019 Renault Kadjar in Iron Blue

Renault Kadjar 1.5 Diesel Review

The 2019 Renault Kadjar in Iron Blue
The 2019 Renault Kadjar in Iron Blue

Caroline drives the new Renault Kadjar 1.5 diesel.

Since the Renault Kadjar was launched as Renault’s new compact family
SUV in 2015, it has become a firm favourite and familiar sight on Irish roads.
The Renault Kadjar was a well-judged entrant to a burgeoning market with its
curvy good looks and competitive pricing.

Now in 2019, Renault has looked at their Kadjar range once again and made a few updates to styling, equipment and engines.

What's new for the 2019 Renault Kadjar?

The Renault Kadjar now has a new front-end design and C-shape light signature in line with Renault’s other SUVs, the Captur and the Koleos. Some new trim elements and LED lights have also been added to the rear of the car. There are new alloy wheel designs and new colours for the Kadjar range including Oural Green, Highland Grey and Iron Blue.

The Renault Kadjar is available from €26,995 in Ireland
The Renault Kadjar is available from €26,995 in Ireland

Inside, the Kadjar always had a
straightforward cabin that was easy to feel at home in and a comfortable place
on the move. New satin chrome trim has been added to the interior and the
touchscreen for the infotainment system is now flush with the centre console.
Some of the dials and switches have been changed also. Redesigned seats feature
length adjustment on some models, double density foam to enhance comfort, and
firmer side reinforcements for more support.

Standard equipment now includes climate
control, 7” touchscreen with Android Auto® and Apple CarPlay®, alloy wheels,
parking sensors, and automatic lights and wipers. Other additions include
bigger cup holders, bigger bins in the front doors and two rear USB sockets.

Interior space is good for this class of vehicle and the Kadjar will seat five. There is a 472 litre boot with a large square opening.

The interior of the 2019 Renault Kadjar
The interior of the 2019 Renault Kadjar

Engines and Equipment

In Ireland the Kadjar is available now in four trim levels: Play, Iconic, S-Edition and GT Line. The range kicks off at €26,995. Iconic models start from €29,695 and add cruise control and speed limiter, parking camera, and keyless entry/start and privacy glass.

The new sporty S-Edition (from €31,395) adds a half leather interior, panoramic roof, and LED/Xenon lights. The top of the range GT-Line (from €33,995) adds 19” alloys, leather seats, full LED lights, auto park, lane departure warning, traffic sign recognition and automatic high/low beam. 

Rear legroom in the Renault Kadjar
Rear legroom in the Renault Kadjar

The Renault Kadjar range has also been refreshed with some new or updated engines. There’s a new 1.3 TCe turbo petrol engine with 140 or 160hp. The Kadjar also features an updated 1.5 Blue dCi 115 diesel engine. It’s the most efficient engine in the range. For customers requiring more performance, the new 1.7 Blue dCi engine is now available with 150hp and comes in 4×2 and 4×4. Manual and automatic gearboxes are available. My test car was a Renault Kadjar GT Line 1.5dCi 115 with a list price of €35,995.

Driving the 2019 Renault Kadjar 1.5 diesel

On the road the Renault Kadjar 1.5 diesel is smooth and comfortable to drive. The updated Blue dCi 1.5 litre diesel engine is remarkably refined and economical, with my fuel consumption averaging at 5.1 litres per 100 km over a week of driving. It makes for a good combination, with the sort of pleasant driving character that is a must for a family car.

The Renault Kadjar is available with a range of efficient petrol and diesel engines
The Renault Kadjar is available with a range of efficient petrol and diesel engines

Renault has refined the Kadjar a little more to keep up with rivals. The Renault Kadjar with its redesigned nose is now arguably even more stylish than before, while the interior of the car has been given a better fit and finish also.

Underneath the Kadjar is still a practical and comfortable vehicle, with new engines meeting the latest emissions standards. Competition is of course fierce in the compact SUV segment but the Renault Kadjar brings some flair and passion with an utterly capable and enjoyable family vehicle.

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Renault Kadjar GT Line Blue dCi 115
Price:
€35,995 (Range from €26,995)
Engine: 1.5-litre turbo diesel
Power: 
115 hp
Torque: 260 Nm
0-100km/h:  
11.7 seconds
Top speed: 188 km/h
Fuel Economy: 
4.9l/100km
CO2 emissions: 
117g/km
Motor tax: 
€200 per year


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

Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The C200 Features Mild Hybrid Technology

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

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

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

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

Driving the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé

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

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

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

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

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

Caroline Kidd

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


The new Citroën C5 Aircross has just arrived in Ireland!

Citroën C5 Aircross First Drive Review

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

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

Styling

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

Interior

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

Practicality

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

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

Engines

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

On the road

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

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

Equipment

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pricing

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

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

Rivals

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

Verdict

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

Caroline Kidd

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

The new Hyundai Kona Electric

2019 Hyundai Kona Electric 64kWh Review

The new Hyundai Kona Electric
The new Hyundai Kona Electric

Caroline drives the Hyundai Kona Electric.

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

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

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

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

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

What does it look like?

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

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

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

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

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

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

On the road in the Hyundai Kona Electric

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Caroline Kidd

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


The new Volkswagen e-Golf

2019 Volkswagen e-Golf Review

The new Volkswagen e-Golf
The new Volkswagen e-Golf

Caroline drives the 2019 Volkswagen e-Golf.

The Volkswagen e-Golf has been at the forefront of Volkswagen’s electric vehicle offering since it was launched in 2014. While next year Volkswagen will launch the first model in their new fully electric I.D. range of cars, the e-Golf has been a most palatable bridge to a future of electric motoring.

And that’s because the Volkswagen Golf is one of the most iconic hatchbacks on the planet. Based on the award-winning Mark 7 Volkswagen Golf, the current generation of the Volkswagen e-Golf compromises virtually none of the comfort, refinement, class and quality of one of Ireland’s favourite hatchbacks. In my opinion, that’s probably the e-Golf’s massive USP as an electric vehicle.

While electric vehicles still account for low numbers on Irish roads, there’s more interest and registrations were up a massive 540 percent in the first two months of 2019 (1127 electric cars registered versus 176 in Jan/Feb 2018). New EV models have arrived in the last 12 months and there are more on the way. So how does the Volkswagen e-Golf stack up?

The Volkswagen e-Golf received an upgrade in 2017
The Volkswagen e-Golf received an upgrade in 2017 with a new battery, more power and more range

How far will the Volkswagen e-Golf get me on a full charge?

The Volkswagen e-Golf received the same cosmetic and equipment tweaks as the rest of the Golf range in 2017. But there was also an increase in the energy capacity of the e-Golf’s lithium-ion battery from 24.2 kWh to 35.8 kWh. The e-Golf now has more power at 136 hp. But crucially the range was boosted to 230 km when measured on the new WLTP. And in real world driving, range is not far off that with between 200 and 220 km, depending on driving style, weather conditions and the use of the fans and air conditioning.

On the outside the only clues to the electric powertrain underneath are some subtle e-Golf badges, unique front C-shaped LED daytime running lights, and a set of aerodynamic 16” ‘Astana’ alloy wheels. A blue signature trim line also runs across the grille and into the headlights. Other than that the e-Golf is the sharp dresser that looks good just about anywhere.

Inside, the e-Golf has a perfectly appointed cabin with dials, switches and screens in all the right places, just like the rest of the Golf range. It’s very easy to slot yourself from a Volkswagen Golf 1.0 TSI to the e-Golf for example, because the controls are mostly the same. The driver’s instrument panel displays a few different gauges for the EV system, but even these are displayed in a rather conventional way. For example where you might see the level of your fuel tank is now a display of how much ‘juice’ you have left in your battery.

In practical terms, the interior space of the e-Golf remains unchanged as a standard five door family hatchback. However boot volume is down from 380 to 341 litres.

The interior of the Volkswagen e-Golf
The interior of the Volkswagen e-Golf

Pricing and Equipment

Equipment levels are good. Volkswagen Ireland offers the e-Golf in Ireland in two trims: an entry e-Golf priced from €35,995 including government incentives and a more salubrious Executive Edition priced from €39,495.

The glossy 9.2” Discover Pro navigation system with clear glass touchscreen comes as standard. Other highlights include adaptive cruise control, front assist with pedestrian monitoring, rear parking sensors, and dual zone climate control.

The Executive edition adds 17-inch ‘Madrid’ alloy wheels, LED tail lights with running indicators, a full leather interior with sports comfort seats in front, Active Info Display, rear view camera, heated front seats, tinted rear windows and keyless access.

The Volkswagen e-Golf can be charged at home or on the public charging system
The Volkswagen e-Golf can be charged at home or on the public charging system

Driving the Volkswagen e-Golf

On the road, the e-Golf is a slick mover. The cabin ambience is quiet and serene around town but even on the motorway, the e-Golf is a very polished electric vehicle with excellent refinement. The steering and handling is also fluid and precise, so it feels as if the e-Golf owner sacrifices very little in terms of the natural dynamic character of the Golf.

Really your main concern when buying the e-Golf is the range of 200km to 220km and does that make it suitable for your lifestyle? The e-Golf is at its best on those round trips that fall comfortably within the car’s range, or where you can reliably charge at both ends of your journey. At motorway speeds, battery power will dwindle more quickly.

There are three driving modes to the Volkswagen Golf – Normal, Eco and Eco+ - which do effect how much you can get out of a single charge. There is also a ‘B’ mode that can be engaged from the gearbox , which quite aggressively brakes the car when you lift off the accelerator, to recuperate energy.

The Volkswagen e-Golf is available from €35,995 in Ireland
The Volkswagen e-Golf is available from €35,995 in Ireland

Through the touchscreen you can find the nearest charge points easily. When the e-Golf needs charging the battery can go from empty to 80 per cent full in just 45 minutes when a 40 kW DC rapid charger connection is used.

During a week with the e-Golf, local trips were not a problem but I did encounter some issues on longer journeys when I needed to use the public charge points to top up my range to get home comfortably. I encountered frustrations such as faulty chargers, queues at chargers and non-EVs blocking access.

There are numerous incentives and advantages to owning an electric vehicle in Ireland right now. The current generation of the Volkswagen e-Golf with its real world range of roughly 200-220 km is now being outrun by a number of competitors like the Nissan Leaf and the Hyundai Kona Electric. They are different vehicles but range has to be a number one concern for most drivers.

But if you can work with the e-Golf's range in your daily life, then the quality, refinement and class of the e-Golf offering just feels unrivalled right now in the EV space.

The Volkswagen e-Golf is a lovely car to drive and spend time in
The Volkswagen e-Golf is a lovely car to drive and spend time in!

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Volkswagen e-Golf
Price: 
From €35,995 with government incentives
Battery: 35.8 kW
Power: 
136 hp
Torque: 290 Nm
0-100km/h:  
9.6 seconds
Top speed: 150 km/h
Range: 
230km (WLTP)
CO2 emissions: 
0g/km
Motor tax: 
€120 per year