The Mazda3 is available as a hatchback or saloon

Hatchback vs Saloon: Which Should I Choose?

The Mazda3 is available as a hatchback or saloon
The Mazda3 is available as a hatchback or saloon

It's time to get back to basics.  When it comes to buying a new car in 2021, there are a few decisions to make about the type of car you want. Will it be a hatchback or saloon car? In this article, we will help you decide which model is best for you by explaining a few key differences.

How popular are saloons and hatchbacks?

While sales of SUVs are on the rise, there is still a lot of interest in hatchbacks in Ireland. In fact in Ireland in 2021, hatchbacks account for about 31% of the new car market. Sales of saloons account for about 12.5% of the market. Many manufacturers are still bringing new saloon cars to the market, like the Mercedes-Benz CLA and the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupé, along with old favourites like the Toyota Corolla Saloon.

When you are researching buying a new car, you will find that some manufacturers offer both in the same model range. For example the Mazda3, Honda Civic, Audi A3 and Renault Mégane are offered as a five door hatchback or a four door saloon! In 2019, Toyota relaunched the Corolla as a hatchback and saloon. The Renault Mégane Grand Coupé (Saloon) is not sold in every European market but it sells well in this country, along side the hatchback. Irish people do love a good saloon!

There is still a market for large premium saloons like the Audi A4, Audi A6, BMW 3 Series, BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

Now let's clarify what is a hatchback and what is a saloon car, and then look at why you might choose one over the other.

The Toyota Corolla Saloon is very popular in Ireland
The Toyota Corolla Saloon is very popular in Ireland

Hatchback or saloon?

There are a few simple differences between a hatchback and saloon.

1. Design

The ‘five door’ hatchback has an integrated boot and when you open the boot you are really opening that fifth door. The boot lid incorporates the rear window and opens directly into the cabin of the car. By contrast the boot lid does not include the rear window in a saloon and the boot is opened in isolation from the rest of the car.

2. Style

This fundamental structural difference between a hatchback and saloon naturally has style implications. The saloon’s boot extends more out the back making the car appear bigger. A hatchback tends to have a more integrated, compact style at the rear. Some people prefer the more sporty, compact look of a hatchback. Others like the somewhat larger and more grand appearance of the saloon. In recent years, manufacturers have begun to give saloon cars more gracious and flattering 'coupé-like' design. Some hatchbacks are even cleverly designed to have the appearance of a saloon. The Skoda Octavia is a perfect example. The Octavia is actually a hatchback.

3. Space & Practicality

The final point to make is about space and practicality. The hatchback’s boot tends to be more practical for carrying things compared to a similarly-sized saloon car. Saloon boots tend to have narrower, more restrictive openings. This means it can be hard to reach items at the very back. By contrast, a hatchback boot is a more flexible space. Folding down the rear seats will increase the practicality of the space even further for carrying larger items. Interestingly, some saloon cars actually have more boot volume than their hatchback counterparts. So if you are looking for outright volume do take a look at the figures in the catalogue. For example, the boot in the new Mazda3 saloon is almost 100 litres larger in capacity than the Mazda3 hatchback.

Saloon cars can have smaller boot openings but more space like the Mazda3 Saloon
Saloon cars can have smaller boot openings but more space like the Mazda3 Saloon

Anything else?

So there you have it. A quick rundown on what is a hatchback or saloon car and the differences between them.

Now read some reviews of our favourite hatchbacks:

Mazda3 Hatchback Review

Toyota Corolla Hatchback

And our favourite saloon cars:

Honda Civic Saloon Review

Audi A3 Saloon Review

Thanks for reading!

Caroline Kidd

Caroline Kidd at the Contidrom, Germany

Continental SportContact 7 Launch At The Contidrom

Caroline Kidd at the Contidrom, Germany
Dry handling tyre testing at the Contidrom, Germany, in the Hyundai i30N

Caroline travelled to Hanover, Germany, for the launch of SportContact 7, Continental's new high-performance tyre.

I'm idling a Toyota Supra on new Continental SportContact 7. In front there are two more Supras sitting patiently behind an Audi RS3 pace car driven by one of Continental's test drivers. He's going to be fast, isn't he? Behind me a fleet of Hyundai i30Ns, also on new SportContact 7. I can hear angry pops behind me, random crackles. The anticipation builds. I put my Supra into drive as the Supra in front starts to pull away. This is it. I'm going to find out exactly why good tyres matter.

Where am I? Dry handling testing on the Contidrom, the premium German tyre manufacturer's famous test track just outside Hanover, the home of Continental. Nervous? Me, no...


What's so special about Continental SportContact 7?

“With the new SportContact generation, we are offering drivers who want to experience performance driving, a very safe, handling-oriented and high-mileage tyre,” says Enno Straten, Head of Strategy, Analytics and Marketing for Tire Replacement Business EMEA at Continental.  

The SportContact 7 replaces SportContact 6 and has been developed for passenger cars with performance attributes and supercars. SportContact 7 will be available in sizes between 19 and 23 inches, with the product line being further expanded over the coming year. The tyre has significantly higher mileage, but also offers one of the lowest values in the UUHP (ultra-high performance) tyre segment with its fuel efficiency classified as class 'C’ on the EU tyre label, making it appropriate for all sporty vehicles, whether electric or powered by a combustion engine.

Nico Rosberg at the launch of SportContact 7 in Hanover
Nico Rosberg at the launch of SportContact 7 in Hanover

The night before my Contidrom track debut saw the official launch of SportContact 7 at a glitzy production in the H'UP on the outskirts of Hanover city. Before dinner, Continental's tyre development team share their insight on the journey to bring the new tyre to market, delivered with the sort of enthusiasm that even leaves me a bit starry eyed for these round rubber things. Nico Rosberg adds star power with a silent arrival from the wings in an Audi e-tron GT - the car wearing the obligatory SportContact 7s, wheels provocatively positioned to show off Continental's new darling. Like everyone else, I take too many photos of the same thing. Later I'll wonder why I need ten photos of the same tyre.


With the new SportContact generation, Continental promises drivers a high performance, very safe, handling-oriented, high-mileage tyre. In Continental’s own internal tests comparing SportContact 7 to its predecessor, service life was shown to be extended by 17%, mileage on the racetrack increases by 10%, wet braking distances are reduced by 8%, and the new SportContact 7 is 6% better in dry braking too. Handling and grip in both wet and dry conditions also benefit, as I was soon to find out.

SportContact 7 is aimed at high performance cars
SportContact 7 improves high performance driving with better handling in the wet and dry, plus longer service life

Dry Handling Test at the Contidrom

Looking at tyres is nice. But then you have to play with them. The Supra hits the track perfectly. The car and the tyres are faster than me. I know my limits of course. Maybe I gain some confidence after a lap or two. The tyres certainly know what they are doing. The Supras in front disappear. Alone on the track I have something of a transcendent experience. I become distinctly aware for the first time in my life of the tyres as a piece of equipment.

The car is good but the tyres seem better, flexing themselves all over the hot tarmac. Athletic and malleable, the car dips and dives for the corners. Today I love corners. I'm looking for the apex. Slice it. Cut it in half. Grip and go out of the corner. Back on the throttle, earlier than what I might do. Maybe I can push it a bit more this lap.

I find some rhythm on parts of the track, again that little magic feeling imparted by good tyres designed for exactly this. The Supra can be a tricky one to handle but today on these tyres it feels far more stable than when I drove it a few weeks ago on back roads in Ireland at half the speed I'm driving today on tyres that had probably seen better days. I never knew a tyre could have so much impact on the performance of a car.

Dry handling test with the Toyota Supra
Dry handling test with the Toyota Supra

After a few laps it's back to the 'pits' to swap into the same car on Continental SportContact 6 to compare. This time the Supra feels a little looser, the limits closer. After a few laps I'm exhausted. I haven't concentrated this much for a while. My senses feel a little bit sharper. I think it's called being in the moment. You could practice mindfulness for years and still never get this close to being in the moment. I feel like I'm flying. I feel like I'm a much better driver than what I actually am. Then it's rinse and repeat in the Hyundai i30N.

I know this car a little better. Well I actually have a huge crush on it. It's front wheel drive, predictable, fool proof you might say but then maybe it never met a fool like me. When I get back to the 'pits' the man from Continental tells me I can go faster. Can you imagine being told to go faster in someone else's car on someone else's tyres on someone else's track with someone else's fuel? It must be 28 degrees already and it's not even midday. Changing Lanes is having a good day. I'm grinning. Focus, focus!

Joining the track in the Toyota Supras
Joining the track in the Toyota Supra behind Continental's test driver

How did Continental improve the high performance tyre?

Continental’s SportContact 7 features three new technical tyre details. Adaptive tread design adjusts to dry and wet roads. The BlackChili rubber compound has been precisely adapted to the tread design for maximum grip.

“The focus of our development is on wanting to have the best sporty summer tyre on the market for every vehicle class,” says Professor Burkhard Wies, Head of Research and Development for the Passenger and Light Truck Tire replacement business worldwide at Continental. “This includes significantly improved handling on dry and wet roads or racetracks and an exceptionally long service life that surpasses that of the previous model by 17 percent."

With an asymmetrical, adaptive tread design, the new SportContact 7 can adapt to dry and wet roads, ensuring precision handling and strong control characteristics, even at high speeds.

“You can put a tyre under stress if you put increased demands on it,” says Wies. “In this kind of situation, the new adaptive tread provides safety and driving confidence together with very precise cornering stability in wet and dry road conditions.”

While driving, the tyre’s footprint ends at the point of the highest water removal in the tread, to offer the best grip when braking, accelerating, and cornering on wet roads.

When cornering on dry roads, the footprint shifts to the outer shoulder, which is designed to transmit the highest forces for stable handling. New “locking elements” in the outer shoulder ensure further stability, only enabling limited movement of the tread for high ride stability.

The Hyundai i30N on Continental SportContact 7
The Hyundai i30N on Continental SportContact 7

Wet Handling Test in the Mercedes-Benz AMG A45 S

Next up is the wet handling track and a fleet of Mercedes-Benz AMG A45 S. The track is reminiscent of a wet M50 - just with better drivers. I hop into the driver's seat, get comfortable. We will test the same car on the same track with SportContact 7 and SportContact 6.

I start on SportContact 7. Over the radio, Continental's test driver guides us through the track. I'm from Ireland, of course I know how to drive in the wet. Famous last words. When he says 'aquaplaning spot in the braking zone', I have a brief vision of me flying off the track. Yet the all wheel drive Mercedes on Continental SportContact 7 on the wet track feels good, confident and sure-footed.

Then it's back to the 'pits' and time to rejoin the track in the Mercedes on SportContact 6. IT FEELS LIKE A DIFFERENT CAR. I'm quite stunned by that. My contact with the surface of the track feels looser, the car doesn't feel as fun or sporty.

When I'm back at base the word in the camp is that the Mercedes Benz A45 S is a whole 5 seconds faster around the track in the wet on SportContact 7 vs SportContact 6. That my friends is progress.

Caroline Kidd on the wet handling track at the Contidrom
Caroline driving the Mercedes-Benz AMG A45 S on the wet handling track at the Contidrom

Matching tyres to vehicles

Conventional sports tyres react differently to different vehicle models, depending on the weight, size and engine of the car in question. But the new Continental SportContact 7 is the first product in the high-performance tyre segment that is tailor-made for every type of vehicle. Heavy vehicles require different tyre solutions to light cars. So, the specifications of the SportContact 7 are adapted to each vehicle class.

“As a result, we have developed new technologies, suitable for roads and racing, that are used depending on the tyre size, so the typical driving feel of the SportContact family is retained irrespective of vehicle.," says Wies. "This includes a design tailored to different vehicle classes. We can also adapt the stability of the sidewall, the grip under different loads, as well as the high-speed capability, handling and design of the carcass to every vehicle class.”

The third technological building block of the new SportContact 7 is the BlackChili rubber compound, which has been precisely adapted to the tread design.

This soft compound perfectly matches the very rigid, low-profiled tyre design for better handling and but significantly increased mileage. Tyre engineers and chemists at Continental had to balance out various conflicting objectives to achieve this. The result is an unusual mixing compound technology, which together with the tread design, enables significant progress in handling characteristics, as we felt on the track at the Contidrom in the vehicles provided.

Fleet of Mercedes-Benz A45 S at the Contidrom wet handling track
Fleet of Mercedes-Benz A45 S at the Contidrom wet handling track

Wet Braking Test in the Volkswagen Golf GTI

Continental has assembled a fleet of new Volkswagen Golf GTIs for a wet braking test. We will test the same cars on SportContact 6 and SportContact 7.

The Golf GTI feels really nice. Each car is equipped with its own measuring device, which I activate before hitting the test tarmac. The instructions are to bring the car to a speed of between 85 and 90 km/h before hitting the brakes hard as I pass through the cones. I can do this!

The Golf behaves impeccably, with no drama as the brakes are applied hard. But the braking distances tell the full story. In some instances the Golf GTI on SportContact 7 stops a whole 4 metres short of the same car on SportContact 6! It could be the difference between bruising your Golf GTI or destroying it.

Wet braking test at the Contidrom
Wet braking test at the Contidrom

You can read a lot of reviews of tyres, watch a lot of videos. A day at the Contidrom discovering the relationship between car, tarmac and tyre gave me a new appreciation for the tyre as a piece of equipment that can transform the experience of driving and how fun and safe a car can feel on the road.

There are many facets to tyre design but the SportContact 7 strikes an appealing balance between wet and dry handling, and tyre mileage.

While all drivers require a tyre that is safe, legal and durable, the SportContact 7 is designed for high performance cars and drivers looking to exploit the best handling characteristics and longevity, whether on road or on track.

“We are really looking forward to the arrival of the latest SportContact 7 tyre in Ireland," says Tom Dennigan, Head of Continental Tyres Ireland. "The level of engineering that has gone into producing this latest high performance tyre from Continental is phenomenal."

"We will see the SportContact 7 very soon in Ireland as original equipment fitment on a range of new performance cars. For any drivers of such performance cars in Ireland who are looking at replacing their tyres, they could honestly not choose a better product than the SportContact 7, given its capabilities in improved wet and dry braking performance, and a significantly longer service life."

Thanks Continental!
Thanks Continental!

By Caroline Kidd

Mazda CX30 or Mazda3?

Hatchback vs SUV: Which Should I Choose?

Mazda CX30 or Mazda3?
The Mazda CX30 SUV and the Mazda3 hatchback

Hatchback vs SUV? When choosing a new car in 2021, there is now so much choice when it comes to the body type. In this blog, we’re going to get down to the basics of what is a hatchback and what is an SUV, and look at why you might choose one over the other.

How popular are hatchbacks and SUVs?

For many years hatchbacks were a top choice for family cars. But in recent years SUVs have become more popular among new car buyers. Many traditional hatchback drivers have switched to SUVs.

While the drop in demand for saloons and hatchbacks has been reported worldwide, hatchbacks are still very relevant to the market. In Ireland, hatchbacks are still the most popular type of new car sold, accounting for 31% of the market so far in 2021. Manufacturers are still investing in developing and manufacturing them with exciting new hatchbacks coming to market every year that bring the game on even more in terms of design, technology and safety. 2022 will see the arrival of more exciting models like the next generation Peugeot 308, Opel Astra and DS 4, debuting very on-trend plug-in hybrid powertrains for the first time.

SUVs are a major growth trend year on year in Ireland and Europe. In 2021, they account for about 21% of the new car market in Ireland. Manufacturers are responding by expanding their SUV ranges rapidly, filling all gaps with everything from compact to large SUVs, electric and hybrid SUVs, and more design-led niches like SUV coupés. Already this year new models like the Mazda MX-30, Audi Q4 e-tron, DS3 Crossback, Renault Arkana and Toyota Yaris Cross have hit the market, with more on the way.

When you start researching your new car and exploring what's available, you will find many SUVs spun off from popular hatchbacks. For example, the Renault Captur is based on the Clio and has become a very popular model for the French brand. The Volkswagen Tiguan is an SUV-derivative of the Golf and it has been reported that the Tiguan has become more popular than the iconic German hatchback.

The Volkswagen Tiguan is now more popular in Ireland than the iconic Golf hatchback!
The Volkswagen Tiguan is now more popular in Ireland than the iconic Golf hatchback!

What's the difference between a hatchback and an SUV?

The key differences in hatchback vs SUV are height, styling, design and driving character.

Hatchbacks are designed to sit lower on the road than an SUV. They have a hatch style boot that opens into the car and the bootlid counts as a door (i.e 'five doors', 'five door hatchback'). The rear window is in the bootlid. Unlike a saloon car, the passenger space and boot compartment are not separate. The rear seats can be folded down to increase the loading area.

SUV stands for 'sports utility vehicle' and these vehicles are characterised by chunky, rugged styling inspired by traditional off-roaders and 4x4s. An SUV is taller than a hatchback and the driver sits higher in the SUV as a result. This has proved to be very popular, especially among older customers and families.

Hatchbacks and SUVs are more related than you think. For a start, they both have a boot compartment that is not separate, instead opening into the car directly. In fact, technically the SUV is a type of hatchback in this regard. However SUV boots are typically more open and square. They open almost at arm level meaning you can slide things in an out more easily. Hatchbacks often have deeper boots. The hatch style boot is popular among customers for practicality. Design differs between models so do compare and contrast the cars on your shortlist. Check the height of the loading sill, how easy is it to load and unload the boot, and how much space is available.

SUVs have large square boots ideal for loading lots of gear
SUVs have large square boots ideal for loading lots of gear

Hatchback vs SUV: Pros and Cons

Every customer's needs and preferences are different when it comes to hatchbacks and SUVs.

Some people prefer the simple styling of a hatchback while others like the more utilitarian look of an SUV. Many people fall in love with an SUV because they love the way they look. But a well-designed five door hatchback will have a sportier, squat presence. Hatchbacks also tend to feel sportier on the road. This is because the lower centre of gravity makes them more stable in corners. However hatchbacks can't compete with SUVs for the much lauded higher driving position and more commanding view over the road.

SUVs typically carry a higher list price when compared to the hatchbacks they are based on. However, in many cases they offer more versatility and boot capacity and of course the image and desirability of an SUV. The higher roofline of an SUV often gives occupants more headroom, especially in the back, and gives the impression of a roomier and more spacious cabin.

Do check the running costs and fuel consumption of the models on your shortlist. A larger or heavier SUV may have higher running costs than the hatchback.

Anything else to think about?

Many of the SUVs on Irish roads are based on hatchbacks and are often referred to as 'crossovers'. Popular crossovers like the Hyundai Kona and the Kia XCeed have a lot of the same qualities as hatchbacks. But they have the bonus of a higher driving position and SUV-inspired styling.

Hatchback vs SUV? The Renault Captur small SUV and the Renault Clio hatchback
Hatchback vs SUV? The Renault Captur small SUV and the Renault Clio hatchback

Hatchbacks and SUVs both come in a variety of sizes. Manufacturers are filling all niches. Typically we think of hatchbacks as small cars like the Renault Clio and Ford Fiesta. Go up a dress size and you will find the perennial family hatchbacks like the Volkswagen Golf, Ford Focus and Opel Astra. However, there are many large cars that also masquerade as hatchbacks. For example, the Skoda Superb and Peugeot 508 are actually hatchbacks though they look like very elegant saloons from afar! These large hatchbacks are stylish but also very practical.

SUVs are also available in a variety of sizes to meet customer demand: small SUVs, compact SUVs, large SUVs and even 7 seater SUVs.

In terms of powertrain, you will find both SUVs and hatchbacks offer lots of choice including petrol, diesel and emerging trends like electric and hybrid SUVs.

Our Favourites

When it comes to hatchback vs SUV, at Changing Lanes we've driven the best of both! We recently drove the new Mazda CX-30 based on the Mazda 3 and we really liked it. We think small hatchbacks like the Renault Clio, Ford Fiesta and Opel Corsa make a lot of sense because they are fun to drive and efficient. However a small SUV that really surprised us was the Volkswagen T-Cross. It is arguably a more interesting and fun car to drive than the Polo hatchback it's based on.

In the larger segment, we still have a lot of time for cars like the Peugeot 508. The 508 breathed new life into the D-segment when it arrived in Ireland in 2019. It has an elegant, sporty design that an SUV just can't compete with and looks good everywhere.

We understand the appeal of SUVs. You quickly adapt to the higher driving position. A crossover we really enjoyed recently was the Kia XCeed. You do pay a premium for it over a Ceed hatchback but it has just the right presence and design for the current market. Family SUVs like the Renault Kadjar and Citroen C5 Aircross offer good value with an affable driving character that makes them fun to drive every day.

On the more premium side of things, Mercedes-Benz has just brought a new GLA to Ireland that looks very promising. The brand's SUVs like the soon to arrive GLB and the recently facelifted GLC offer character and practicality. The Audi Q3 surprised us last year for the quality and design that makes it highly desirable in the premium SUV segment.

The new Peugeot 508 is actually a hatchback designed to look like an elegant saloon!
The new Peugeot 508 is actually a hatchback designed to look like an elegant saloon!

Caroline Kidd

The new Porsche Taycan - yes you would!

Electric Cars On Sale In Ireland 2021

The new Porsche Taycan - yes you would!
The new Porsche Taycan - yes you would!

In this guide we are going to take a closer look at electric cars on sale in Ireland in 2021! Manufacturers are bringing more and more new electric vehicles (EVs) to market every year, which is good news for buyers ready to go electric. You can now choose from small compact electric city cars, trendy electric SUVs and crossovers, and large luxury EVs.

In the last few years, advances in battery technology have brought more long range EVs to market at more affordable pricing. There are also numerous Government incentives to switch to electric including electric vehicle grants, VRT relief, reduced tolls, taxes and parking fees.

While most owners will charge their car at home, the public infrastructure offers charging in towns and at major motorway service stations around Ireland. There are over 1,350 charging points in Ireland, however more investment is promised with the roll out of more rapid charging stations on motorway routes, including IONITY rapid chargers.

There are plenty of reasons to go electric now for your next car. Our list below contains many exciting new models across different segments, from smalls EVs to electric SUVs. The range quoted is measured to WLTP industry standards. In real life driving, factors such as temperature and driving style will affect the range you can get from your EV, so bear this in mind as guidance.

There are over 1,100 charge points in Ireland with more rapid charging hubs planned
There are over 1,300 charge points in Ireland with more rapid charging hubs planned

Renault ZOE

Range up to 395 km (WLTP)

Renault first launched the ZOE back in 2012 as the brand's first compact electric vehicle. A new model arrived in 2020 in Ireland in 2020. Range has been improved once again with a new 52 kWh battery standard across the range. The innovative Chameleon 22 kW charger remains, with the option of a rapid 50 kW CCS charger for the first time for ZOE. Elsewhere, quality and digital technology has been improved to keep this a compelling choice in the growing compact EV segment.

Opel Corsa-e

Range up to 337 km (WLTP)

Opel joins the fray with the first ever electric Corsa! The new Corsa-e has a clever design that means that no space inside the vehicle or the boot has been compromised by the electric powertrain. Powered by a 50 kWh battery, the new Corsa-e can be charged at home or using the public charging network. Rapid 100 kW charging is available using the standard CCS adaptor.

Peugeot e-208

Range up to 340 km (WLTP)

The new Peugeot e-208 supermini is the brand's first electric vehicle to market in Ireland. 2020 saw a new generation of the 208 reach Ireland, with the all electric version offering buyers now even more choice. The 208 has long been a trendsetter in the compact segment and the e-208 retains all the Gallic charm with an attention grabbing interior and exterior design. Like the Opel, 100 kW rapid charging is also available using the standard CCS adaptor.

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

MINI Electric

Range up to 232 km (WLTP)

The new MINI Electric is a new chapter for the iconic 3-door hatchback. There's a 32.6 kWh battery giving a range of 233 km, while 50 kW fast charging gives MINI Electric 80% charge in 36 minutes. New suspension technology designed for this model helps retain and enhance the MINI’s famed go-kart driving dynamics.

Honda e

Range up to 222 km (WLTP)

Cute as a button with some amazingly cool technology on board. The new Honda e uses a 35.5 kWh battery putting out 136 hp, providing a range of 222 km. Fast charging is available through a CCS charging adapter with the opportunity to add 80% of charge in just 30 minutes.

Nissan LEAF 

Range up to 270 km (40kWh)/ up to 385 km (62 kWh)

The LEAF is arguably the world's most recognised electric car. It used to have a nice monopoly as a mid-size electric hatchback but now faces competition from a raft of new electric crossovers. Nissan has responded with an exciting new generation of the car arriving in Ireland back in 2018. As well as sporting a more modern design, the new LEAF is available with 40 kWh and 62 kWh batteries to keep it competitive.

Hyundai IONIQ

Range up to 312 km (WLTP)

The IONIQ debuted in Ireland back in 2016 but has been revamped for 2020. The hatchback style EV has a new 38.3 kWh battery that has extended the range over 300 km. There's also a more powerful motor. Inside the interior has been revamped with the latest Hyundai infotainment system.

Kia EV6

Coming soon - details to follow

The new Hyundai IONIQ 5 on test for Changing Lanes!
The new Hyundai IONIQ 5 on test for Changing Lanes!

Hyundai IONIQ 5

Range up to 384 km (58 kWh)/ up to 481 km (73 kWh) (WLTP)

Hyundai's new flagship EV is built on a dedicated EV platform. The car looks stunning in the metal and is available with a 58 kWh battery with up to 384 km of range and a 73 kWh battery with up to 481 km of range. With striking good looks, revolutionary Hyundai interior, long range and fast charging, the IONIQ 5 makes a dramatic debut in Ireland in 2021.

BMW i3

Range up to 260 km (WLTP)

BMW was one of the first of the premium brands to delve into EV technology. The result was the quirky little BMW i3 in 2013. Since then it hasn't changed much looks wise but battery power has been improved. Small, expensive but high quality and beautifully designed interior.

Opel Mokka-e

Range up to 324 km (WLTP)

A fantastic all-electric debut for the new generation Opel Mokka. Fresh for 2021, the Opel Mokka-e uses a 50 kWh battery with a system output of 136 hp. The car looks great and has a new interior.

Peugeot e-2008

Range up to 310 km (WLTP)

Peugeot brings upmarket design and quality finish to the compact electric SUV market. Peugeot has chosen a 50 kWh battery to power the e-2008. That gives 136 hp and a WLTP range of 310 km.

Mercedes-Benz EQB

Coming soon - details to follow

The new Kia e-Soul
The new Kia e-Soul whizzed home as Irish Car of the Year 2020!

DS3 Crossback E-TENSE

Range up to 320km (WLTP)

The electric DS 3 Crossback E-TENSE uses a 50 kWh battery to give a range of up to 320 km (WLTP). The car is stylish and quirky, something different for the compact crossover market.


Range up to 263 km (WLTP)

MG makes an electrified debut to Ireland in 2021. The ZS is an all-electric SUV that's practical, well-priced, and powered by a 44.5 kWh battery, giving a range of 263 km (WLTP).


Range up to 344 km (WLTP)

The MG5 is an all-electric estate car new to the Irish market in 2021. It has an impressive range and the practicality of an estate car. It's comfortable and well-priced.

Kia e-Soul

Range up to 452 km (WLTP)

The e-Soul blasted onto the EV scene in 2019 and quickly established itself as one of the best new electric vehicles on sale right now. Funky, colourful looks and a fantastic digital cabin helped it to whizz home as the Continental Tyres Irish Car of the Year 2020!

Citroen e-C4

Range up to 350 km (WLTP)

Citroen bounces back in the Irish market with an all-new electric crossover style hatchback - the e-C4. It's bright and colourful, with a smooth and responsive EV platform. Competitively priced.

Lexus UX 300e

Range up to 315 km (WLTP)

The Lexus brand's first foray into the all-electric market debuts in this - the electric UX 300e crossover.

The new Mercedes-Benz EQA on sale in Ireland now!
The new Mercedes-Benz EQA on sale in Ireland now!

Hyundai Kona Electric

Range up to 449 km (WLTP)

When the Hyundai Kona Electric first arrived on the market at the end of 2018, it was one of the first of the new long range EVs from mainstream manufacturers. It impressed us for its long range 64 kWh battery that sees over 400 km on electric power alone. With trendy crossover looks, the Kona Electric quickly established itself on the Irish market to become one of the most visible EVs on Irish roads today.

Kia e-Niro

Range up to 455 km (WLTP)

The Kia Niro family was joined by the all electric e-Niro in 2019. Crossover styling and a long range 64 kWh battery make this one of the game changers on the EV scene in Ireland today.

Mercedes-Benz EQA

Range up to 426 km (WLTP)

The baby Merc SUV gets electrified with up to 426 km in electric range and a high quality new generation interior from the German premium car brand.

Volkswagen ID 3

Range up to 424 km (WLTP)

Volkswagen's new family of ID models starts with ID 3, which arrived in Ireland in late 2020.

Tesla Model 3

Range up to 415 - 560 km (WLTP) depending on model

The much anticipated Model 3 finally arrived in Ireland in 2019 and is the smallest and most affordable model in the Tesla range. Three models are available. The Standard Range Plus model has an estimated range of 415 km range, while the range for the Model 3 Performance is rated at 530 km and 560 km for the Long Range AWD. Inside there is a minimalist cabin with nearly all the car's functions controlled by the large tablet style touchscreen in the centre of the dash.

The Tesla Model 3 on test for Changing Lanes!
The Tesla Model 3 on test for Changing Lanes!

Audi e-tron

Range up to 336 km e-tron 50/ 436 km e-tron 55 (WLTP)

Audi's all-electric, four wheel drive SUV arrived in Ireland in 2019 as the flagship e-tron 55 with a headline grabbing range up to 436 km. The e-tron has an exquisite cabin with lots of digital technology at your fingertips. A more affordable e-tron 50 has joined the range with a smaller capacity battery and WLTP range of 336 km.

Audi e-tron Sportback

Range up to 446 km (WLTP)

The saucier coupé-style SUV version of the e-tron!

Volkswagen ID 4

Range up to 500 km (WLTP)

Volkswagen's first all electric SUV is now on sale in Ireland with two different battery sizes.

Skoda Enyaq

Range 412 - 535 km (WLTP)

Skoda's debut all-electric SUV. New for 2021, it's on sale from launch in two flavours - Enyaq iV 60 and Enyaq iV 80 – with two different battery capacities and WLTP range.


Range 450 km (WLTP)

The all-electric version of BMW's popular midsize SUV is now on sale in Ireland.

The new BMW iX3
The new BMW iX3

Volvo XC40 Recharge

Range 400 km (WLTP)

The XC40 debuts an all-electric powertrain for the first time in Ireland in 2021. Already one of the best SUVs on the market sporting great design. Now with a 78 kWh battery and plenty of power.

Ford Mustang Mach-e

Coming soon - details to follow

Audi Q4 e-tron

Range up to 335 km Q4 e-tron 30/ 511 km Q4 e-tron 40 (WLTP)

The new Audi Q4 e-tron comes to market in Ireland with two battery capacities offering varying levels of power and range – the Audi Q4 e-tron 35 (55 kWh) and the Audi Q4 e-tron 40 (82 kWh).

Mercedes-Benz EQC

Range up to 417 km (WLTP)

The EQC is Mercedes-Benz first all-electric model and arrived in Ireland in 2019. Based on the GLC mid-size SUV platform, the EQC has an 80 kWh battery with two electric motors mounted at each axle, front and rear. Together they generate 408 hp and 765 Nm of torque! The EQC is luxurious inside with futuristic styling on the outside. Expect more EQ models to follow in the Mercedes range.

Tesla Model S

Range up to 593 - 610 km (WLTP) depending on model

The car that put Tesla on the map. The Model S was the original all-electric saloon. It was the first long range EV, albeit at an exclusive price. Two models are available in Ireland - the Long Range and Performance. All cars have all wheel drive and adaptive air suspension. The Performance model can hit 100km/h in just 2.5 seconds.

The very stylish all electric Opel Mokka-e
The very stylish all electric Opel Mokka-e

Jaguar i-PACE

Range up to 470 km (WLTP)

Another first, this time for Jaguar. The i-PACE is the brand's first electric car and crossover. It's powered by a 90 kWh battery and admired for its engaging drive and performance. It was chosen as the World Car of the Year by a jury of motoring journalists in 2019. Top cat.

BMW i4

Range 459 - 567 km (WLTP)

BMW continues a new generation of electric models with the i4 all-electric four door coupé.


Range 396 - 612 km (WLTP)

BMW's new flagship all-electric SUV has divisive styling but a mighty range!

Tesla Model X

Range up to 487 - 507 km (WLTP) depending on model

One of the few electric 7 seater SUVs on the market, the Tesla Model X stole the show with its falcon-wing doors. Available as Long Range or Performance, with the latter reaching 100km/h in just 2.8 seconds.

Porsche Taycan 4S

Range up to 407 km (79 kWh)/ up to 463 km (93 kWh)

Clearly when Porsche start making EVs, they are going to be some of the most desirable models on the market. The Taycan is the brand's first electric car and comes in 3 flavours - 4S, Turbo and Turbo S. The Taycan is available with a 79 or 93 kWh battery and can avail of up to 270 kW rapid charging! In both variants, the Taycan 4S accelerates from a standing start to 100 km/h in just 4.0 seconds.

Audi e-tron GT

Range up to 479 km (WLTP)

Audi's flagship electric sports car is packed full of technology, fun to drive, with phenomenal power and quattro all wheel drive.

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

Caroline Kidd

Looking to save money on fuel costs in your business?

How To Get The Best Fuel Card

Looking to save money on fuel costs in your business?
Looking to save money on fuel costs in your business?

For business owners, fuel cards can really help you run your fleet more efficiently and save money. They act like simple payment cards that you and your drivers can use to pay for petrol and diesel, and other products like tolls and car wash, where approved by the card owner.

Fuel cards make it easier for you to manage your fuel spend. Every fuel transaction is recorded so reports can be run to pinpoint any inefficiencies in your fleet’s fuel usage. Using a fuel card scheme reduces your time spent on administrative tasks like recording usage of fuel, gathering fuel receipts or expense forms from staff and comparing them with time sheets.

You can monitor your fuel card transactions, reducing the risk of fuel fraud. Cards are pin protected for more transaction security. They can also be matched to a driver or vehicle registration number. For further security, you can set a cap on daily spend permitted.

There are a number of fuel cards available on the Irish market. Depending on the card and provider, your fuel card can be used at a network of fuel stations in Ireland, the UK and around Europe. When selecting the best fuel card provider for your business, there are a number of factors you should consider. To get the most out of a fuel card, you need to find the card that is best suited to your business. Follow these steps to find the right card for your business!


Consider your fleet size, the region you travel and your average fuel spend.


You can use an online fuel card comparison tool like iCompario to research what’s available in Ireland. The site has a handy search facility where you can add details of your business to find the best available card for your usage and fleet.


Check the coverage of your fuel card is enough to satisfy your business needs. Find a fuel card with the best coverage and network of sites. For example, do you need a fuel card for the Republic of Ireland only, or do you need coverage in the UK and perhaps pan-European?


There are two main payment options for fuel cards - weekly fixed rate and pump related price - with each bringing their own benefits so choose wisely depending on your business!

The pump price related fuel card means you are simply charged the price displayed on the pump. Depending on your fuel card provider or volume drawn you may be able to get discounts on the pump price. Other providers may include a surcharge on the forecourt price. This price may change from day to day and can also vary depending on where your drivers refuel. The main benefit of a pump price related fuel card for smaller fleets is the extensive network coverage, with more service stations accepting pump price related fuel cards, drivers have greater flexibility for refuelling quickly without any unnecessary detours.

With a fixed price card your fuel rate is determined by the diesel wholesale price and fixed for the week. No matter how much the retail rates shift throughout the next seven days, your rate won’t change. Prices are emailed to you in advance, usually on a Friday for the week ahead. The fixed price fuel cards are particularly suited to hauliers, large fleets and high-volume users. Despite having a slightly smaller network than the pump price cards, the fixed price sites are strategically located along all major transport routes.


Many fuel cards now offer online management software so you can log in from anywhere. Choose a fuel card provider which offers the most comprehensive and robust online management tools and service station locators. The best options are those that can be downloaded as an application to smartphones or any internet enabled device. You can manage your fleet and workforce from wherever you are and your drivers can use it to easily find the closest, suitable service station along their route for convenient refuelling. You can monitor transactions by card, vehicle or driver, order additional cards or cancel lost cards quickly and easily, and run reports to monitor the efficiency of your fleet. All done conveniently from desktop, tablet or a smartphone!

Check out our article for everything you need to know about fuel cards in Ireland!
Choose your fuel card wisely using an online comparison tool!

Caroline Kidd

The Audi Q3 TFSI e, now on sale in Ireland

Best Hybrid SUVs 2021 - Ones To Watch

The Audi Q3 TFSI e, now on sale in Ireland
The Audi Q3 TFSI e, now on sale in Ireland

What are the best hybrid SUVs in 2021? In this article we are going to take a closer look at what's available in Ireland right now. Hybrid SUVs combine two major trends for 2021. SUVs continue to grow their market share in Ireland, accounting for about 21% of new cars. Hybrids are another growth trend, increasing sales year on year.

Manufacturers are bringing more hybrid SUVs to market every year. Many hybrid SUVs benefit from lower CO2 emissions, better fuel economy and lower motor tax rates than conventional combustion engine powered cars. They can still be expensive to buy depending on the model, though up to €2,500 in VRT relief is available for plug-in hybrids.

What is a hybrid?

Before we take a closer look at the best hybrid SUVs available in Ireland, we need to understand what is a hybrid? Hybrid SUVs combine the benefits of a combustion engine and an electric motor. There are two types of hybrid car currently on sale in Ireland:

A standard hybrid is powered by a petrol/diesel engine but there is also a small capacity battery and an electric motor on board. Supporting a combustion engine with an electric motor helps reduce carbon emissions and fuel consumption. At very low speeds, the car can run on electric power. But most of the time the car is intelligently using power from a mixture of engine and electric motion with a bias towards efficiency.

Also known as a PHEV, the plug-in hybrid has an engine and a larger capacity battery than the standard hybrid. The plug-in hybrid is most efficient when it is plugged in and charged after every journey, just like an electric car. It can be driven on electric power alone for typically a range between 30 and 60 km depending on model and driving conditions. There is no fear of range anxiety because when the electric power runs out, the car can draw power from the engine and get the benefits of a hybrid car.

Plug-in hybrids can be charged at home and driven on electric power for a limited range
Plug-in hybrids can be charged at home and driven on electric power for a limited range

What are the best hybrid SUVs available?

At Changing Lanes, we are lucky to test drive all the latest models and we have a good overview of the entire market. SUVs come in various shapes and sizes. Most manufacturers now offer small SUVs, compact SUVs, large family SUVs and 7 seater SUVs. In this article we take a look at the major models on display with a few of our own personal recommendations for ones to watch!

To be fair, we have divided the list into plug-in hybrids and standard hybrids. Our best efforts have been made to ensure that all the information is accurate, however noting the fast pace of the motor industry, some information may change over time so do always check the manufacturer's website.

Standard Hybrid

Hyundai Kona Hybrid

One of the smallest hybrid SUVs on the market, the Kona Hybrid uses a 1.6-litre petrol electric hybrid powertrain. CO2 emissions are just 101 g while fuel consumption is quoted as 5.0 litres per 100 km. The Kona is a popular compact with trendy crossover looks and the fun and agility of a small car. It comes in a variety of funky colours with an exclusive interior colour pack included as standard. It's also recently had a facelift to keep it fresh and relevant in the market.

Toyota C-HR - Changing Lanes' one to watch!

The Toyota C-HR has been a big success in Ireland and is a top 10 bestseller. It launched back in 2017 and was available as a hybrid or petrol only. A revamped C-HR arrived in Ireland in 2020 and is now sold exclusively as a petrol-electric hybrid. CO2 emissions are as low as 86 g/km, while WLTP quotes fuel consumption from 4.8 litres/100 km. The C-HR has good looks and a top quality interior making it a great statement mid-size SUV, as well as being hybrid. The 1.8-litre hybrid (122hp) is joined by a higher powered 2.0-litre hybrid with 184hp. Every time we drive the C-HR we are impressed with this car and it is a genuinely efficient hybrid - Toyota hybrid at its best!

Hyundai Tuscon Hybrid - also available as a plug-in hybrid for 2021

Ireland's bestselling car returns in 2021 with an all-new look, improved quality and technology, as well as the launch of new hybrid powertrains, including a plug-in hybrid. The standard hybrid Tuscon uses a 1.6-litre petrol engine, electric motor, and 1.49 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery to reduce fuel consumption and lower CO2 emissions.

The new Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
The new Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

Renault Arkana E-TECH Hybrid

Renault has launched a new exciting SUV with the sporty design of a coupé. It's available with the brand's new E-TECH hybrid powertrain, which uses a 1.6-litre petrol engine, 1.2 kWh lithium-ion battery and two electric motors, with a power output of 145 hp. It’s touted as the most efficient model of the new Arkana range, returning consumption as low as 4.9l/100 km (WLTP).

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid - also available as a plug-in hybrid for 2021

Another new model from Toyota, the all-new RAV4 debuted in 2019 and is a dramatic new generation model. This is a proper large family SUV that's comfortable for five with a big boot. All wheel drive models are available for extra capability. CO2 emissions from 100 g/km with fuel consumption from 5.6 litres/100 km. The RAV4 is also now available in Ireland as a plug-in hybrid.

Toyota Highlander Hybrid

All wheel drive, 7-seat hybrid SUV as standard. A flagship for Toyota. The 2.5-litre petrol electric hybrid powertrain has CO2 emissions quoted from 149 g/km and fuel consumption of 6.6 l/100 km.

The new Ford Kuga PHEV on test for Changing Lanes!
The new Ford Kuga PHEV on test for Changing Lanes!

Lexus UX

At the more luxury end of the market, Lexus has been building hybrids for years. Now the UX packages it in the brand's first serious hybrid compact crossover. The UX has distinct looks, high quality cabin with the refinement and efficiency of a new 2.0-litre petrol electric powertrain.

Honda CR-V Hybrid

The Honda CR-V Hybrid was a fresh new model in 2019. The CR-V Hybrid boasts top interior quality and comfort, along with all the traditional SUV values of a high seating position and rugged looks. It is huge inside with a big boot, ideal for families looking for a trendy large hybrid SUV. It's powered by a 2.0-litre petrol electric hybrid powertrain with impressive refinement. All wheel drive is available. Fuel consumption is as low as 5.3 litres/100 km.

Lexus NX

When launched, the Lexus NX was all angles in a segment marked by curves. Strikingly designed, this mid size premium SUV is placed in a very competitive segment but is an early hybrid pioneer of the segment.

Lexus RX/ RX L

This is the brand's large family SUV, also available with 7 seats. Competing at the premium end of the market, the RX is well-built and luxurious, known for comfort and quality. It's one of the few 7-seater SUVs available with a hybrid powertrain.

Hybrids combine a combustion engine with an electric motor and battery to reduce emissions and fuel consumption
Hybrids combine a combustion engine with an electric motor and battery to reduce emissions and fuel consumption

Plug-in Hybrid

Kia XCeed PHEV

Technically, it's more of a crossover but it is one of the few compact hybrids on the market right now so deserves inclusion on our list. Chunky SUV inspired looks are the order of the day, while plug-in hybrid technology means you can drive this car on pure electric power for a range of up to 58 km. Otherwise it works as a standard hybrid. CO2 emissions are just 29g per km.

Renault Captur - Changing Lanes' one to watch!

Renault's ever popular compact SUV gets hybrid power for the first time with the launch of the latest E-TECH model. The Captur is already a fantastic car with stylish looks, improved cabin quality and a practical and spacious interior for this class of vehicle. The hybrid adds even more power (160 hp) with the ability to plug in, charge and drive on electric power alone for up to 50 km.

CUPRA Formentor - Changing Lanes' one to watch!

CUPRA debuts its first standalone model in the shape of the Formentor performance hybrid crossover! This is a super stylish model with great looks and image, a well-finished cabin and excellent on the road driving behaviour and refinement. It uses a 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine, electric motor and a 13 kWh capacity lithium-ion battery, with up to 54 km available in electric mode.

Kia Niro PHEV

The Kia Niro PHEV is a slightly bigger crossover than the XCeed that can also be plugged in like an electric car and ran like a fuel sipping hybrid. When using electric power only, there is a range of up to 65 km. The Niro is also available as a battery electric vehicle (BEV) and has proven to be very popular in Ireland.

The 2021 Cupra Formentor has arrived in Ireland
The 2021 Cupra Formentor is now on sale in Ireland

DS 7 Crossback E-TENSE

DS is back in Ireland with a new distributor to give it a boost in the Irish market along with some new product. The new DS 7 Crossback E-TENSE plug-in hybrid combines a petrol engine, battery and electric motor. It has a combined 225 hp and can be driven on electric power alone for a range of up to 55 km (WLTP). The car is stylish and oh so French!

MINI Countryman PHEV

The Countryman is the closest thing to an SUV in the infamous MINI range. It retains much of the fun driving character beset upon the MINI brand. Yet there is more space inside and some funky, 4x4 looks. You pay a premium for the MINI brand, but the Countryman can behave like a decent family car, now also available as a plug-in hybrid with all wheel drive.

Mercedes-Benz GLA 250e

The baby Benz SUV gets a new plug-in hybrid powertrain that allows it to be plugged in and charged before driving on electric power for up to 61 km.

BMW X1 xDrive25e Hybrid

A high quality and fun to drive small plug-in hybrid SUV from BMW.

BMW X2 xDrive25e Hybrid

The X1's more stylish cousin. Now with the same plug-in hybrid powertrain and ability to drive on electric power for a limited range.


MG arrived in Ireland at the end of 2020 with a new range of electrified vehicles. The HS is MG's new plug-in hybrid family SUV with a range of up to 52 km on electric power.

The new Jaguar F-PACE plug in hybrid
The new Jaguar F-PACE plug in hybrid

Jaguar E-PACE

The baby Jaguar SUV gets plug-in hybrid for the first time with a drive range of up to 68 km in electric mode.

Jaguar F-PACE

The beautiful F-PACE adds a fuel efficient plug-in hybrid powertrain to the mix with an EV range of up to 59 km. The latest F-PACE debuted in 2021 with an updated look.

Ford Kuga PHEV - also available as a standard hybrid

Not only is Ford welcoming an all-new Kuga to Ireland, but there's also an exciting new plug-in hybrid that will go on sale alongside petrol, diesel and hybrid versions. A battery-powered electric motor with a 2.5-litre Duratec petrol engine is combined in the new version of the popular Ford family SUV. Fully charged, the Kuga PHEV can drive up to 56 km on electric power alone.

Audi Q3 TFSI e

Audi's popular mid-size SUV gets plug-in hybrid power for the first time. Also available as a stylish Sportback. This model is based on the new generation model that arrived in Ireland in 2020.

Opel Grandland X Hybrid

Opel's first plug-in hybrid debuted in Ireland in 2020 and joins the petrol and diesel Grandland X range. Opel's mid-size SUV can now be plugged in at home and run on battery power for up to 59 km. Otherwise it runs as a hybrid using a 1.6-litre petrol electric powertrain. Also available in four wheel drive.

The BMW X1 xDrive25e on test for Changing Lanes!
The BMW X1 xDrive25e on test for Changing Lanes!

Peugeot 3008 Hybrid - Changing Lanes' one to watch!

Building on the success of the 3008 range in Ireland, Peugeot has just brought a new 3008 plug-in hybrid to Ireland. Featuring a stunning, high tech cabin, the 3008 can be plugged in and driven as a pure electric vehicle or as a hybrid drawing power from an electric motor, battery and 1.6-litre petrol engine. Four wheel drive available. The 3008 received a revamp in 2021 so it's still looking its best. It is the most expensive model of the 3008 range but it is a very refined and comfortable drive.

Citroen C5 Aircross Hybrid

Citroen's debut hybrid in the family-friendly C5 Aircross SUV. There's up to 60 km of range in electric mode thanks to the battery on board.

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

The Outlander PHEV was one of the first plug-in hybrid SUVs to reach Ireland. It combines extraordinary 4x4 ability with family SUV motoring. The hybrid powertrain is swift and smooth, with the Outlander at its best when driven on pure electric power. In fact it can do this for over 40 km. CO2 emissions for this five seat SUV are just 46g per km.

Audi Q5 TFSI e

Audi's large family SUV recently got a revamp and the addition of plug-in hybrid to the Q5 range. Also available as a stylish Sportback model.

The Kia Sorento is available as a plug-in hybrid for the first time in 2021
The Kia Sorento is available as a plug-in hybrid for the first time in 2021

Volkswagen Tiguan PHEV

Volkswagen's mighty Tiguan gets plug-in hybrid for the first time in 2021 with an electric range of up to 47 km from it's 1.4-litre petrol electric powertrain, and 245 hp.

Volkswagen Touareg

The flagship Volkswagen SUV adds hybrid, also for the first time. The 3.0-litre petrol electric plug-in hybrid can be plugged in, charged and driven on electric power for up to a claimed 47 km.

Audi Q7 TFSI e

Audi continues its move to electrification with the addition of a plug-in hybrid to the flagship Q7 range, Audi's leading luxury SUV.

Audi Q8 TFSI e

Hybrid for the Q8 SUV coupe, now on sale in Ireland.

Hyundai Santa Fe

The popular Hyundai Santa Fe 7-seat SUV debuts a plug-in hybrid powertrain for the first time in 2021, with a pure electric range of up to 58 km.

Kia Sorento - Changing Lanes' one to watch!

An all-new flagship Sorento arrived in Ireland for the Kia brand in late 2020. This 7 seat hybrid SUV proved to be a force to be reckoned with. An exceptionally stylish and spacious family SUV with a new hybrid powertrain for the very first time. Proving that big can be beautiful!

Volvo XC40 T5 Twin Engine

The Volvo XC40 is one of the best compact SUVs around and now the petrol and diesel range is joined by a plug-in hybrid (PHEV). The XC40 stands out for a comfortable drive and simple, quality interior. Now the T5 Twin Engine combines a 1.5-litre petrol engine with an electric motor and battery to give 262 hp. It can be driven in silent electric mode around cities for about 46 km, otherwise it behaves like a hybrid drawing power from the petrol engine.

The XC40 plug in hybrid can be driven on pure electric power up to about 46 km.
The XC40 plug in hybrid can be driven on pure electric power up to about 46 km.

Audi Q5 55 TFSI e

Audi's popular five seat family luxury SUV gets the hybrid treatment in 2020. Joining the petrol and diesel range, this plug-in hybrid model has 367 hp, four wheel drive and a pure electric range of at least 40 km. The powerful 2.0-litre petrol engine is paired to a battery and electric motors. The Q5 plug-in hybrid gets the same top quality Audi interior providing a spacious, yet fuel efficient option for urban drivers.

BMW X3 xDrive30e

The new generation of the X3 mid size SUV is now available as a plug-in hybrid with an electric range up to 55 km. Pitched at the luxury end of the market, the xDrive30e has all wheel drive as standard. Emissions for this five seat family SUV are as low as 48 g CO2 per km, giving a greener image to the SUV.

Volvo XC60 T8 Twin Engine

Step up a dress size from the XC40, and you will find the larger XC60 SUV. The stylish Swede is comfortable and refined. There's also a plug-in hybrid in the range, this time using a 2.0-litre petrol engine, electric motor and battery to reduce CO2 emissions and offer more savings on fuel. To that end it can be plugged in, charged up and driven on electric power alone for a manufacturer quoted 35 km.

Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine

With up to 7 seats available, the Volvo XC90 is one of the most stunning and desirable large luxury SUVs on the market in Ireland right now. The T8 Twin Engine is the plug in hybrid option that puts out an amazing 390 hp but has emissions as low as 66 g. These high end SUVs are not cheap but the XC90 offers green credentials for environmentally conscious city dwellers that need to bring the kids to school. The EV range on a full charge is 35 km.

Plug in hybrid power for the Mercedes-Benz GLE
Plug in hybrid power for the Mercedes-Benz GLE

Mercedes-Benz GLC 

The popular GLC class gets the addition of two plug-in hybrids, a petrol electric (300 e) and diesel electric (300 de).

Mercedes-Benz GLE 

Mercedes' large GLE SUV family of vehicles gets the addition of a new diesel plug-in hybrid in 2021 (350 de).

BMW X5 xDrive45e

BMW's original flagship X model. Now the new generation X5 gets plug-in hybrid power. This popular large five seat luxury SUV from the German brand can slip silently in electric mode for up to 97 km. It combines a 3.0-litre turbocharged straight-six petrol engine an electric motor and a 20.9 kWh battery to do this, with an awesome 394 hp. With all this power and capability, amazingly the X5 plug-in hybrid has CO2 emissions as low as 39 g.

Land Rover Discovery Sport PHEV

Land Rover adds a new hybrid powertrain to the Discovery Sport in 2021.

Land Rover Defender

The Defender made a stylish comeback in 2020 with an all-new generation model. Now you can spec it as a plug-in hybrid too.

Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid

Even Porsche is getting in on the act. The brand's Cayenne SUV is available with hybrid tech that pushes out 462 hp while keeping emissions to as little as 89 g. Pure electric range is quoted by the manufacturer as between 23 and 44 km.

The 2021 Renault Captur now available as a plug-in hybrid
The 2021 Renault Captur now available as a plug-in hybrid

Range Rover Velar

This stylish model debuted in 2018 and now gets its first plug-in hybrid model in the range.

Range Rover Evoque

The classic and desirable Evoque SUV arrived in Ireland for a new generation model in 2019. Now plug-in hybrid joins the line-up in 2021.

Range Rover Sport P400e PHEV

The Range Rover Sport packs a performance punch with 404 hp, yet CO2 emissions are just 69 g! This is the beauty of a hybrid powertrain. It's great PR for large SUVs. This luxury status symbol can now drive silently in electric mode for about 48 km, otherwise working as a hybrid using a 2.0-litre petrol engine.

Range Rover P400e PHEV

The king of Land Rover SUVs adopts hybrid tech for the first time! The Range Rover PHEV has emissions of 72 g proving that big can be efficient. When charged up, the Range Rover plug-in hybrid can drive like an electric vehicle in silent mode for 48 km.

The new Kia XCeed Plug-in Hybrid!
The new Kia XCeed Plug-in Hybrid!

Caroline Kidd

Andrea on location with the new BMW M4

Interview With Andrea Michelle Indy, Australian Car Blogger!

Andrea on location with the new BMW M4
Andrea on location in Australia with the new BMW M4

I'm very excited to share my interview with Andrea Michelle Indy, the top Australian car blogger and photographer! I've been following Andrea's work for some years now on Instagram and I adore her style. She produces amazing content with beautiful cars in beautiful places. Her work is very inspiring and a unique perspective on the new car market in Australia.

1. Can you introduce yourself in a couple of sentences to our readers?

Hi, I’m Andrea Michelle Indy and I’m an Australian car blogger, photographer and writer from Melbourne, Australia. Every week I get the opportunity to drive a variety of cars and go on adventures with them. I blog in my spare time, as I have a full-time job in Digital Marketing, working in motorsport events for the Australian Grand Prix and I love it! I love fashion and I am a massive car and technology nerd. I have a huge appreciation for cars, no matter the size, shape, or performance.

2. What is the inspiration behind your blog and Instagram page?

I started blogging back in 2015, originally focusing on technology and fashion. The reason I started my blog and IG page was because I really wanted a career in Digital Marketing, but I was studying a Bachelor of Science at Monash University, and had zero marketing experience. I figured if I started my own projects, I could show potential employers what I am capable of. I managed to get a few internships off the back of this and I have never looked back. At the same time, I was posting about cars but only because of my obsession with them. I never thought in a thousand years that I would get the opportunity to work with them too! Naturally my fashion events started to cross over with cars, and I saw a real opportunity to do something different and create unique content. I put myself out there, and I have never looked back. The first car I ever reviewed and borrowed was the Tesla Model S P90D back in 2016!

Andrea is a top Australian car blogger and photographer
Andrea is a top Australian car blogger and photographer

3. How did you build your online community?

It has taken a while and involved a lot of unpaid work for brands and heaps of collaborations. I’ve been so fortunate to be supported by the Australian-based manufacturer teams with my photography and work shared on their channels, and even more fortunate to have the support from the global brands. For example, this year ALPINA and BMW global shared my photography on their social media accounts, and just last week I was featured on Porsche’s AG official TikTok account. I think the most important thing is to create content that is unique to you and run with it.

4. Can you give us your perspective on the Australian new car market?

To be honest it is a real weird time to be buying cars in the Australian new car market. The prices are so inflated due to the flow on effect of the pandemic. Demand is high for not only new cars, but also used. Aussie consumers are being forced to wait long lengths of time for new car purchases. It’s a combination of manufacturers being affected by the pandemic, the parts shortages globally, and also just the travel time it takes to get the cars over here.

Here in Australia people love their SUVs and pick-up trucks. Manual car drivers are a dying breed here. In fact, most people I know, including every member of my direct family do not even know how to drive manual. I had to pay for my own manual driving lessons when I was 16 because I really wanted to learn.

Our electric car purchase rates are nowhere near where they should be and we do not have a government that supports it, in fact, the government penalises it with crazy taxes.

Overall, I would say our market is unique, especially in comparison to Europe.

The Toyota GR Yaris in chill by the sea mode
The Toyota GR Yaris in chill by the sea mode

5. Favourite place in Australia for a road trip and what car would you recommend for it?

Haha that is such a difficult question. I love road trips so much I don’t really mind what car I am in! It’s all about the good tunes, the company, scenery and overall journey for me. I think one of my most favourite road trips was one where I took a Land Rover Evoque to Tasmania for a week away. The roads were incredible! I’d love to do that again but perhaps in a Porsche 911 Turbo S.

6. What's your favourite tech feature to have in the car?

As someone who does a lot of road trips and long commutes, one of my favourite features is adaptive cruise control with stop and go function! Absolute game changer and makes those long trips an absolute breeze. In bumper-to-bumper traffic the stop and go function is incredible and I can’t live without it.

7. How do you see the motor industry evolving in the next five years?

Not to be pessimistic, but I think especially here in Australia, we are going to see less hatchbacks and wagons, which is a real shame. Australians are compromising on driving pleasure, instead opting for SUVs and it will be a great loss. Even now as a result we are seeing car prices massively inflated on things such as compact SUVs, which offer no more practicality than most small hatches but differ because they are slightly higher from the ground and people prefer that.

Andrea's shot of the Porsche Taycan!
Andrea's shot of the Porsche Taycan!

8. What would be in your dream three car garage?

Another tough question. I think in my dream world I’d have a lot more than three cars, but right now, if I had to choose only three, these would be my choices:

Porsche 911 GT3 in Shark Blue

Aston Martin DBX in Q Paint pastel Elwood Blue

BMW M2 CS (manual) in Hockenheim Silver metallic

If it was five though, I’d also chuck in a Bentley Continental GT and Audi R8 for good measure hehe.

9. What's your best tip for capturing a great shot for Instagram?

Location! Location! Location! This is so important when you are capturing a shot and doesn’t matter what kind of photo you are taking. For me I absolutely love road trips and nature, so my photography is often focused about this. I think also it is about balance as well. I’m not just capturing the cars – I’m capturing memories.

10. What advice do you have for anyone who would like a career like yours?

Do not let anyone tell you that you cannot do it! Start writing, take photos, and keep learning. I love what I do because I am constantly learning new things on this wild and wacky journey. Do not be afraid to ask for help and don’t be afraid to ask for things. The worst thing that could happen is you might get rejected but the best thing that could happen is that someone says yes.

Finally, it’s not going to be easy but if it’s something you’re passionate about it’ll be worth it.

You’ve got this!!

Andrea and the Jaguar F-TYPE
Andrea and the Jaguar F-TYPE

Follow Andrea on Instagram and check out her blog here.

Thanks to Andrea for taking part in this interview.

Caroline Kidd

Thinking of buying a new car this summer? Check out the 212 offers

212 Offers And Car Deals For Ireland

Thinking of buying a new car this summer? Check out the 212 offers
Thinking of buying a new car this summer? Check out the 212 offers

Thinking of buying a new car this summer 2021? The car manufacturers and dealers are releasing their 212 offers, car deals and finance offers ahead of the new 212 registration period, which starts on July 1st 2021!

At Changing Lanes, we’ve put together a list of 212 offers and any scrappage deals available in Ireland at this time to help you find the best deal for you. This list will be updated as more car brands release their offers. For more information visit the manufacturer’s website or your local dealer.


Finance offers include from 1.9% APR on new BMW 1 Series, 2.9% APR on 2 Series, 3.9% on 3 Series and 5 Series, and 4.9% APR on 3 Series PHEV and 5 Series PHEV. For the SUV range the X1 and X3 are available from 2.9% APR, while the X5 is available from 3.9%.


2.9% PCP Finance available across the full 212 CUPRA range. Online discount voucher worth €1,000 can be downloaded from CUPRA Ireland website and used against any model in the 212 range. Those purchasing a 212 CUPRA model will also receive a complimentary CUPRA Care Pack that gives customers their first three manufacturer's services free, a CUPRA Courtesy Car when required, free of charge collection and delivery services and a complimentary vehicle clean.


The new Sandero is now available from €39 per week on the road and Sandero Stepway from €49 per week, based on 4.9% APR. For 212, customers can have a new Duster for €169 per month based on 4.9% APR and 3 Months Deferred Payments. Offers available until 31st July 2021.


Savings of up to €3,150 or zero percent APR finance on selected car models. The 212 Sales Event offers also include zero percent APR finance deals on sporty ST-Line X and Vignale series of Puma and Kuga models purchased and registered during the promotional period. For other vehicle models, customers can opt for a 4.9 percent APR finance offer. Savings on highly specced versions including: Ford Fiesta with a saving of up to €750; Puma with a saving of up to €1,500; EcoSport with a saving of up to €2,350; Focus with a saving of up to €2,950; Kuga with a saving of up to €3,150; Mondeo with a saving of up to €2,000; S-MAX with a saving of up to €1,200; Galaxy with a saving of up to €2,250.


On all HR-Vs ordered and registered before the 31st July 2021 there is a choice of 3.9% APR finance, Staycation Package worth €1250 or Honda’s Peace of Mind Package: upgrade the Honda 3 Year Warranty and Roadside Assistance with 1 Years Free Road Tax and Platinum Service Plan. The Staycation Package includes Thule 400l roof box, base carrier, trunk tray dividers, front and rear rubber mats, headrest tablet holder, utility bag and first aid kit.


3.9% APR finance available on i10, i20, i30 Hatchback, Tucson, Tucson Hybrid, Tucson Plug-in Hybrid, KONA, KONA Hybrid, KONA Electric, Santa Fe, Santa Fe Plug-in Hybrid, IONIQ Electric and IONIQ Plug-in Hybrid, OR 5 years free servicing OR Eco Upgrade bonus up to €5000. 3 months deferred payments available.


PCP offers available with 3.9% APR on Jaguar XE, XF, E-PACE and F-PACE.


PCP at 3.9% APR or HP at 0% APR available on Sportage, e-Niro, e-Soul, XCeed/XCeed PHEV, Stonic, and PCP at 3.9% APR and HP at 3.9% APR on other models like the Sorento and Sorento PHEV, Niro and Ceed plug-in hybrid. €500 Loyalty Bonus also available and free home charger on electrified models.


PCP offers available with 3.9% APR on Discovery Sport and Range Rover Evoque.


Mazda are offering customers savings of up to €2000. Contributions are available on all petrol hybrid or diesel models and for those looking for low monthly repayments, finance rates start from 3.9%. There's also a free Wallbox home charger installed with a new 212 electric Mazda MX-30. Mazda CX-30 and Mazda3 will be on offer with both a €2000 contribution and 3.9% APR for a limited amount of time with the CX-30 SUV starting at €256 per month. The Mazda CX-5 family SUV is available from €352 per month or with a contribution of €1500. Mazda6 customers can avail of a €2000 contribution or a monthly rate on finance from €361. Mazda2 customers get a €1000 contribution with a low 3.9% APR for €189 monthly price on finance. The all new, all electric Mazda MX-30 is available from €305 per month or with a free Wallbox installation up to the value of €1200. Mazda MX-5 comes with a €1500 contribution and a monthly repayment of €365 for finance customers. Mazda is also offering 20% discount on over 100 products including roof boxes, detachable tow bars, bicycle racks, cool boxes, first aid kits and more.


Star Finance PCP packages available from 3.9% APR.


1.9% APR available on new MG ZS and 3.9% APR on MG HS and MG 5. Free home charger available also.


MINI Hatch and MINI Electric available from 3.9% APR. MINI Countryman available with 2.9% APR and Countryman PHEV from 3.9% APR. MINI Clubman available with 2.9% APR.


Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV available with 0% APR HP finance offer and a free home charge point worth €800. 3.9% APR on Space Star.


0% finance, free home charger and one year’s free servicing available on all-electric LEAF. 0% finance is also available on the new Nissan Micra. 3.9% APR finance across the rest of the range. Nissan’s Subscribe and Drive monthly subscription service enables motorists to own a new car from €386 per month without having to pay a deposit.


2.9% APR finance offers across the Opel passenger car range.


212 offers include 5 year warranty (3 year manufacturer warranty + 2 year extension), 3.9% and 4.9% APR on PCP and HP finance, scrappage up to €4000 and Service Plan Offers.


Two offers on Renault Zoe E-Tech from now until the 31st of July. 'Go for Green' includes Green Bonus of €1,000, 0% APR HP and Free Home Charger OR 0% APR PCP, Free Home Charger and 3 Years’ Servicing. 24 hour test drives also available. Renault’s €1000 Green Bonus and 3.9% APR continues across new Clio E-Tech Hybrid, Captur E-Tech Plugin Hybrid and Mégane Sport Tourer E-Tech Plug-in Hybrid. Customers can choose to defer the first three months’ payments. On the Captur customers can also receive €1,000 Cashback, 3.9% APR HP/PCP and 3 Months Deferred Payments. On the Renault Clio, Renault’s 212 Drive Less, Pay Less Offer includes €1,000 Cashback, 3.9% APR (from €130 per month) and 3 Months Deferred Payments. For 212 on the new Mégane range, customers will receive €1,250 cashback, 3.9% APR HP or PCP and 3 months’ deferred payments, while Kadjar customers can take €1,500 cashback on top of the APR offer and deferred payments.


0% finance available on a range of SEAT models including the popular SEAT Arona and SEAT Ateca. Customers can also avail of online discount vouchers, which can be used towards the purchase of their new SEAT vehicle. Available to download from, the vouchers allow for a discount of €1,000 on the SEAT Leon, Leon e-HYBRID, Ibiza and Arona. SEAT is offering customers who wish to purchase the SEAT Ateca, Tarraco or Alhambra a €2,000 discount off the purchase of their new 212 upgrade. Also available to customers is a discounted 3-year service plan for €9.99 per month.


0% APR available on Fabia, Scala, Kamiq and Karoq. 2.9% APR on the Octavia and Superb, 3.9% APR on Kodiaq and 4.9% APR on new Enyaq.


0% APR on Vitara, Swift, Ignis and S-Cross.


Toyota’s 212 offers include low APRs with Toyota Easy PCP Finance starting from 2.9% on the Yaris Hybrid Style, along with finance contributions of up to €3,000, which lower monthly repayments. Non-finance customers can benefit from a trade-in booster of up to €2,500, while all customers will enjoy three years free servicing across the entire Toyota range. Corolla Saloon Hybrid and Corolla Hatchback Hybrid at 3.9% APR. Includes a finance contribution of €1,000 or a trade-in booster of €1,000. C-HR Hybrid at 3.9% APR.  €1,750 finance contribution or trade-in booster of €1,500. RAV4 Hybrid at 4.9% APR. Finance contribution of €1,500. Camry Hybrid at 4.9% APR. €3,000 finance contribution or trade-in booster of €1,500. Highlander Hybrid at 4.9% APR. Finance contribution of €2,500 or €2,500 trade-in booster.


0% APR PCP finance offer available on Polo, T-Cross, T-Roc, Golf, ID.3, Tiguan, Tiguan Allspace, Passat, Passat Estate, Arteon and Arteon Shooting Brake. The all-electric ID.4 SUV is available with APR PCP Finance from 3.9% and Touareg available with 4.9% APR PCP
finance. Volkswagen is also offering reduced rate 3-year service plans at €12.99 per month.


0% PCP finance on Volvo XC40. 2.9% APR on the the XC60 with Lounge Pack for €1,299. 2.9% APR on Volvo XC90 with Lounge Pack for €1,299.

We’ll be updating this article as new offers are added.

Cycling is a fun, free and healthy family activity

How To Buy The Best Bike Rack For Your Car



Cycling is a fun, free and healthy family activity
Get the bikes on the car this summer and discover Ireland cycling with family and friends!



Are you looking for a new activity this summer that is fun, healthy, and free? Cycling is a great way of getting family and friends together and adding more fun, freedom, and adventure back into life once again.

With a simple bike rack, you can safely bring your bikes around Ireland on your staycation this summer. Or stay local and explore your favourite places and greenways on two wheels!

But what’s the best bike rack for my car? Cheap or premium? Towbar or roof-mounted? There are lots of different types of bike carriers available for your car, so we have teamed up with the experts at to guide you through your options, provide some top recommendations, along with essential information you need to know when choosing the best bike rack. is an Irish company with an excellent website stocking an extensive range of bike racks and other adventure, travel, and road trip accessories for summer 2021.

Read our article to discover the best bike racks in Ireland and start planning your next adventure now!

Cycling is a fun, free and healthy family activity
Find the best bike rack for your car with top tips from the experts at

What do I need to think about when choosing a bike rack for my car?

  1. The number of bikes you want to carry at the same time. Just one bike or two, three or four?
  2. Position you want to carry the bikes:  a) On the rear door (boot door), b) On the roof of the car, c) On the towbar of the car.
  3. What type of bikes you want to carry? The only suitable carriers for electric bikes will be platform towbar carriers due to the weight of the bike. If it’s a bike with a very wide tyre width, you’ll need to check that the bike carrier (platform towbar bike racks) will provide enough space to get the tyre in.

Types of bike rack

There are three types of bike carriers for cars you can choose: rear door mounted rack, roof mounted rack or tow bar mounted rack.

1. Rear Door Mounted Rack


  • Convenient and affordable
  • They fit most cars on the road
  • Small, quick to set up and remove - only a little lifting of bikes is required.
  • Easy to store

Things to consider

  • Check your vehicle is compatible with a rear door bike rack. If your car has a plastic spoiler, generally it’s not advisable to carry a bike rack on the rear of the car as the weight of the rack and bikes can cause pressure on the spoiler and because it’s only plastic, could damage it.
  • Ladies’ bikes will need a cross bar adapter so that they can easily and safely fit on a rack where the frame of the bike needs to sit on the rack (also available on


Universal 3 Bike Carrier

The Universal 3 rear door mounted bike carrier comes highly recommended from the MicksGarage team. It can securely hold three bikes and supports a maximum weight of 45kg. The carrier has a universal design and can be adjusted to fit most types of cars including hatchbacks, saloons, and estates. It can also fit 4x4s as well. It’s easy to assemble and folds away for easy storage!

Buy the Universal 3 here.

Browse more rear door mounted bike racks.

2. Roof Mounted Bike Rack


  • Safe and convenient to use.
  • Very secure with locking function available.
  • Keeps the boot completely free for access.
  • No bikes in your field of vision while driving.

Things to consider

  • You need roof bars (also available on and a roof mounted bike rack to carry a bike on your car in this way.
  • Lifting of bikes is required to get them on the roof.
  • Consider if you’re going to be carrying a roof box or a canoe on the roof at the same time as well.

Best Buy: AGURI ACUDA (Black or silver)

Aguri Acuda bike carrier

The Aguri Acuda II Bike Rack Carrier is a beautifully designed product. The Micksgarage team say that this carrier is as high quality as a Thule Bike Rack but for a lot less and comes highly recommended. It’s available in black or silver. The carrier mounts to roof bars by a T-Track system (which is included). The carrier can hold wheels sizes ranging from 16" to 29" in diameter and tyre walls with a maximum of 80mm. Wheelbases ranging from 75cm to 130cms fit perfectly. If you love your bike, you'll love the Aguri Acuda!

Buy the Aguri Acuda here.

Browse more roof mounted bike racks.

3. Tow Bar Rack


  • Extremely safe, arguably the safest way of carrying bikes.
  • Very fast to install and remove.
  • They look great.
  • Very secure with locking function available.
  • Can carry the heaviest weights so ideal when carrying a number of bikes or an electric bike.

Things to consider

  • You will need to have a towbar installed on your car for this (also available from MicksGarage).
  • If you have an electric bike, you really should be only carrying it on a towbar mounted carrier due to the weight of them.


Peruzzo Pure Instinct Range of bike carriers


For more than 25 years, Peruzzo has been producing bike carriers for cars made with high quality materials. The Peruzzo Pure Instinct range of carriers is a best buy if you are looking for a secure towbar mounted bike rack. Models available from the MicksGarage website can carry up to four bikes. Quick and easy to fit and remove, with a very compact and functional quick release system. Tilts for easy boot loading using a simple foot pedal. Supplied with grab arms for all bikes. Doubly safe with extra safety strap fixed to frame and complete with homologated rear light bar.

Buy the Peruzzo Pure Instinct Range here.

Browse more tow bar mounted bike racks.

Top Tip!

On the website, there is a handy tool to help find the best fit for your car for roof bars, tow bars or any other technical part of your vehicle. Simply enter your car registration number and you will be given the best matches for the exact model of your car! For browsing bike racks, you can browse by type of rack to help choose the right one for your car.

If you have any questions or need technical assistance you can call the team at 01-5311337 to speak to a Bike Rack Expert.

Using roof rails and a roof mounted rack is handy because it keeps the boot completely free for access!
Using roof rails and a roof mounted rack is handy because it keeps the boot completely free for access!

How much do I need to pay for a good bike rack?

Bike racks vary in price from €50 to €600. It all depends on the type of rack you want (rear door, roof, or towbar), how many bikes you want to carry at the same time, and your personal preference for what style will suit your car the best.

What essential features should any bike rack have?

This will vary depending on the type of rack:

1. Carrying Weight

Check the maximum load before you buy. Platform towbar mounted bike carriers can carry the heaviest weights, important for electric bikes as they are much heavier than standard bikes.

2. Security

Roof mounted and tow bar mounted bike racks are more secure because they come with locks and keys to secure your bikes to the rack.

3. Bike Tyre Width

This is only important if you have a very wide tyre on your bike. If so check that the platform towbar bike rack provides enough width for your tyre to slot into.

Are bike racks easy to fit?

Yes. There’s a little bit of assembly involved with some models, but it is not complicated, and full instructions are provided. In terms of fitting them to your car, it is very straightforward, and full guided instructions are included with each rack.

Do I need any other safety accessories?

Buying additional foam padding can protect your car and your bike from scratches when you mount/dismount your bike and rack. You can also buy bungee chords or ratchet tie down straps. These are useful if you want to hold things in a little tighter for extra security. There are even wall mounted bike racks available so you can store your bike neatly in your shed or garage when it’s not being used! Browse bike racks accessories here.

By Caroline Kidd have the widest range of bike racks on their website. Check out the full range of bike racks from MicksGarage here.

They are known for fast delivery and excellent customer care, with almost a million happy customers to date and are rated ‘Excellent’ on Trustpilot! Check out the website for a huge range of staycation and road trip accessories to make your next adventure awesome – paddle boards, roof boxes, roof bars, gadgets, tents, BBQ’s… and loads more


Start planning your next adventure now!
Start planning your next adventure now with a range of holiday, travel and lifestyle equipment from!

Laura Sutherland behind the wheel of her Audi A3 Sportback

Laura Sutherland's Audi A3 Sportback


Laura Sutherland behind the wheel of her Audi A3 Sportback
Laura Sutherland behind the wheel of her Audi A3 Sportback

Changing Lanes reader Laura Sutherland introduces her new Audi A3 Sportback!

1. Can you introduce yourself in a few sentences?

I’m Laura Sutherland. A wife, daughter, sister, niece, aunt and dog mum to Eddie and Dudley. I’m a Chartered PR consultant and I run my own PR consultancy, Aura PR, a global PR community, PRFest and I recently launched a food brand, Wonky Pickles!

I’ve loved cars since I was a child. My Dad had some amazing cars and his passion obviously rubbed off!

2. What car do you drive?

I ended up buying the new Audi A3 35 TFSI S line S tronic. It was a difficult decision to make, what car to buy in a pandemic when lockdown has been so up and down.

3. Why did you buy this car?

It was a brand new model which looked pretty great and the spec I chose gave me everything I would want or need in a car. At that point I only had one dog though…!

Obviously when you look at the price of a car you need to make comparisons and it came up top against some other cars I was looking at. I took it out on lease, so if I don’t like it, I’m not stuck with it.

The initial reviews looked good, so why not?!

Laura drives the latest generation of the popular A3 Sportback
Laura drives the latest generation of the popular A3 Sportback

4. What do you like about it?

I love the new front and rear. Super sharp and the S line model has a great finish. The leather and sports seats and the attention to detail in the cockpit is to a really high standard and the added bonus of the sunroof is perfect! The automatic is super responsive and it’s nippy in sport mode. I like the boot. It’s a Sportback so it’s deceptively roomy.

5. Is there anything you would change about it?

I went for the light grey seats for a change, but maybe the darker grey would have been nice and I’ve only just found out about the ambient lighting kit that looks super cool, which I didn’t spec. I’d also rather have had dark grey alloys – I think the bright silver fits with the chrome, but I’d just rather the darker colour. I think it’s more sporty looking. I’d maybe have chosen white, rather than black, too, if I had seen it in the flesh before…

6. What's in the glovebox?

Ha! Face masks and hand sanitizer!

7. Favourite moment with the car so far?

Taking it to the beach for a short holiday just before second lockdown happened.

8. Three words to describe your car?

Practical. Efficient. Nippy.

Laura loves the efficiency and practicality of her A3!
Laura loves the efficiency and practicality of her A3!

Thank you to Laura for taking part in our Me and My Car feature! If you would like your car featured, please email