New Car Registrations In Ireland In August 2019

The Hyundai Tucson was the bestselling car in Ireland in August

Official statistics from the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) show that total new car registrations for the month of August are down 13.3% (5,131) when compared with August 2018 (5,921).

New car registrations year to date are down 7.9% (110,572) on the same period last year (120,003).

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

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

The bestselling car in August was the Hyundai Tucson.

There was an increase of 10.2% (9,708) in imported used cars compared to August 2018 (8,812). Imports are up 5% (72,211) year to date ahead of 2018 (68,784).

New electric vehicle registrations continue to grow month on month with 172 registered for the month of August, an increase of 4.2% on August 2018 (165). A total of 2,860 electric vehicles have been registered so far this year.

Brian Cooke, SIMI Director General, said, Despite the strong economic growth, the new car market continues to contract this year, with registrations for the month of August following this trend. In this business context and with the increasing likelihood of a hard Brexit, SIMI is calling on the Minister for Finance not to increase taxes on new cars in Budget 2020. It is important that our new car market is as strong as possible from both an environmental and employment view point. Instead the current Brexit and taxation mix only encourages people to hold on to their older higher emitting cars for longer. New car sales need to increase if Ireland is to see the real benefit of improvements in emissions from new technologies, and taxation systems should support not hinder this.

The 2020 SEAT Tarraco PHEV

New SEAT Tarraco FR PHEV For 2020

The 2020 SEAT Tarraco PHEV
The 2020 SEAT Tarraco PHEV

SEAT’s Tarraco SUV will soon be available as a plug-in hybrid FR model, as well as in a sporty FR trim for other engine variants. The new SEAT Tarraco PHEV (plug-in hybrid vehicle) will form’s part of SEAT’s strategy towards electrification, which will include five electric and plug-in hybrid SEAT and CUPRA models by the beginning of 2021.

The Tarraco's plug-in hybrid powertrain system consists of a 1.4 litre TSI 150hp petrol engine, 85 kW electric motor and a 13 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. The car can be driven in pure-electric mode for around 50km or combine the petrol engine and electric motor to provide increased performance.

Total output for the system is 245hp (180kW)/400Nm giving the plug-in hybrid Tarraco a top speed of about 217km/h and the ability to reach 100km/h in just 7.4 seconds. CO2 emissions are expected to be below 50g/km on the official WLTP test cycle.

A new sporty FR trim will also become available on other Tarraco variants in 2020. This features wider wheel arches, a rear spoiler and FR-specific 19” alloy wheels, with an option of machined 20” wheels available.

There is also a new colour for the Tarraco FR – Fura Grey and there are new safety and practicality features including trailer assist.

SEAT’s latest generation infotainment system features including a new navigation system with 9.2’’ screen. There are also electrically adjustable sports bucket seats with memory function (for the driver side), aluminium pedals and a new sports steering wheel with FR logo.

Niall Phillips, Brand Director at SEAT Ireland said: “We are excited to introduce the FR trim and PHEV derivative to the Tarraco range. The SEAT brand is performing exceptionally well in this market, and the all-new Tarraco continues to contribute to this success. Ever-changing consumer demands for e-mobility mean we must constantly develop our product range. The plug-in hybrid, or PHEV, engine offers the consumer the choice of electric power with a traditional combustion engine and with the SUV segment thriving in the Irish market we can now combine the consumers’ desire to own an SUV and move one step closer to electrification.”

The SEAT Tarraco FR PHEV will make its world debut at this year’s IAA Frankfurt International Motor Show in September.

The SEAT Tarraco arrived in Ireland in 2019 and is available as a five and seven seat SUV. Click here to read Caroline's review of the new SEAT Tarraco 2.0TDI.

The new Nissan LEAF 62 kWh

Carzone Shows Growing Interest In Electric/Hybrid

The new Nissan LEAF 62 kWh
The new Nissan LEAF is the most searched for electric vehicle on Carzone

New data from Carzone highlights the growing interest for electric and hybrid vehicles among Irish motorists, along with confirming the most sought-after electric and hybrid cars on the market.

The data shows that hybrid and electric car views on Carzone have increased by 53% and 106% respectively year on year.

These statistics coincide with the Government’s recent commitment to increase the number of electric vehicles (EVs) on Irish roads with the ‘Climate Action Plan’, which details Ireland’s plan to work towards a target of 950,000 EVs on Irish roads by 2030.

The Nissan LEAF is Ireland’s best-selling EV and has had the highest number of views on Carzone, above any other EV models, so far this year. Views for the Nissan LEAF on Carzone have increased by 19% since 2018 (from 104,311 views to 123,818). Nissan also claims the title of most viewed EV brand on Carzone for 2019 year to date.

Tesla is the second most viewed EV brand on Carzone with views of the Tesla Model S up 4% on last year.

The BMW i3 is the third most viewed EV on Carzone, with the Renault ZOE in fourth place and the Volkswagen e-Golf in fifth.

With high consumer interest in EVs, along with ambitious government sustainability plans, the demand for EVs will continue to increase in to next year, with a number of new EV launches forthcoming, including the Opel Corsa-e, Mercedes-Benz EQC, Peugeot’s e-208 and the Volkswagen ID.3.

The 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is a popular hybrid on Carzone

Toyota retains its position as the most viewed hybrid car brand on Carzone with the Prius Hybrid, Yaris Hybrid and C-HR increasing in popularity each year. Luxury brand Lexus is the second most viewed hybrid car brand, followed by BMW in third.

Views of the Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid have increased by 75% since last year. It is the number one viewed hybrid car on Carzone for 2019 so far. Views of the Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid have increased from 63,402 in 2018 to 111,250 for the same period in 2019. With a growing number of these vehicles being advertised for sale, this large SUV is proving popular with family buyers transitioning from diesel and petrol models.

The Lexus IS300h is the second most viewed hybrid car for sale on Carzone in 2019, while the Toyota Prius rounds out the top three.

Karl Connolly, Audience Manager at Carzone said, “The new insights from Carzone confirm the shift in attitude towards electric and hybrid cars over the last few years as motorists get to grips with alternative fuels and the benefits they bring. According to the 2018 Carzone Motoring Report almost two thirds of Irish motorists were planning to make the switch to an alternative fuelled car soon, and this is reflected in the views on Carzone over the past 12 months. It will be interesting to see if the interest continues to rise in the coming months and years”.

We celebrated our 5th birthday with an Audi A1 and a cupcake!

Changing Lanes Turns 5!

We celebrated our 5th birthday with an Audi A1 and a cupcake!
We celebrated our 5th birthday with an Audi A1 and a cupcake!

This summer, Changing Lanes turned 5! That's five years of driving cars, attending car launches, posting about it on social media and writing car reviews!

Changing Lanes has grown up and so have I. In summer 2019, Changing Lanes also underwent a redesign. We have a new logo and this marks a new era for Changing Lanes!

I would not be here today, still driving cars without my wonderful readers. I'm so grateful for your support.

At Changing Lanes, life goes on in that I still have a test schedule full of cars and some launches and events on the horizon. Changing Lanes continues to prosper on social media.

It's been a long journey but I'm proud of what Changing Lanes has achieved.

I look forward to what the next year will bring.

Safe motoring,



Caroline Kidd Changing Lanes
Happy birthday to us!

The new Toyota Corolla is selling well in Ireland

New Car Registrations In Ireland In July

The new Toyota Corolla is selling well in Ireland
The new Toyota Corolla is selling well in Ireland

The Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) has released their official new vehicle registration statistics for the month of July 2019, which show that the total new 192 car registrations for the month of July are down 8.4% (24,685) when compared with July 2018 (26,958).

New car registrations year to date are down 8% (105,441) on the same period last year (114,082).

The bestselling car in July was the Toyota Corolla.

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

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

New Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) registrations are up 8.4% (4,730) on July 2018 (4,363), however registrations year to date are down -4.5% (20,056). While New Heavy Commercial Vehicles (HGV) decreased 33.3% (250) in comparison to July 2018 (375) and year to date are up 5.5% (2,050)

Imported Used Cars for July saw an increase of 16.0% (9,384) on the same month last year (8,093) and year to date imports are up 4.2% (62,505) ahead of 2018 (59,972).

New electric vehicle registrations continue to grow month on month with a total of 2,689 EV cars registered so far this year.

Commenting on the registrations figures Brian Cooke, SIMI Director General said:
“The 192-registration period is generally a period of upturn for new vehicle sales however July has replicated the first 6 months of the year and proved a disappointing month for new cars, down over 8% on last year. There continues to be a surge in used car imports, the majority of which are coming from the UK. While Brexit is clearly a factor in this increase, Ireland’s taxation system overburdens new cars, causing motorists either to hang on to their older smokier cars or look to the UK for an older import. Over the last 3 years we have imported 150,000 cars that do not meet the latest EU emission standards, which in effect means Ireland has become the dumping ground for older cars the UK doesn’t want. This is not only bad news for Irish retailers and their employees, but also bad news for Ireland’s environment.

Budget 2020 represents a real opportunity for Government to redress the balance, by implementing taxation changes that encourage the sale of new cars and to focus any taxation increases on older used imports. The Irish Motor Industry is committed to playing its part in reducing emissions and the renewal of our national fleet with new and newer cars is key to achieving this. We cannot allow Ireland to continue as the UK’s dumping ground for older more environmentally damaging cars, which only improves their environmental performance at the expense of Ireland’s”.

The new Volkswagen Grand California

New Volkswagen Grand California

The new Volkswagen Grand California
The new Volkswagen Grand California

The new Volkswagen Grand California has arrived in Ireland, priced from €76,900.

The Grand California has an 8-speed automatic transmission and 177hp, while 4MOTION all wheel drive will be available. The 4 passenger seat/ 4 berth sleeping configuration will be available from €77,600, while the 2 passenger, 2 berth format will be available from €76,900.

With the Grand California, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is extending its range of campervans by adding a model in the six-metre class, complete with a bathroom. In addition to the large sleeping area in the rear, the Grand California will be available with a high bunk bed for children.

All camper windows are fitted with cassette blinds and flyscreens. For the driver's cab, there is a new blackout concept.

In addition to the kitchen and bathroom, further standard features include external lighting above the sliding door, connection at the back for an external shower (with adjustable water temperature), an electrically powered step and a two-part mosquito net. One innovative feature is the option to control the loudspeakers in the living area via Bluetooth making it possible to listen to music independently of the infotainment system using a smartphone, tablet or laptop.

The Grand California is fitted with swivel seats at the front and a double bench seat in the living area. There are ISOFIX anchor points with top tether in the rear bench seat. The kitchen fittings include a pull-out 70-litre fridge with freezer compartment (accessible from outside as well as via the sliding door), a twin-hob gas cooker, a sink and diverse drawers, pull-out storage compartments and tip-up shelves.

A key feature of the Grand California that differentiates it from the California 'T6' is the bathroom. In addition to a toilet and shower, its fittings include a fold-out wash basin, shelves with holders for toiletries, a cupboard with integrated toilet paper holder (protects it from getting damp), towel holders and a skylight for ventilation. The Grand California can carry 110 litres of water. There are no light switches to be found in the bathroom – the lights come on automatically via motion detectors – as standard.

Optionally available is a high bunk bed for kids complete with integrated panoramic skylight above it. Also available are details such as an additional roof-mounted air-conditioning unit at the back, an awning, a rear bicycle rack and a camping table and chairs (which can be stowed in the wing doors). The standard gas heating can optionally be expanded as a heating system run on gas- or diesel-generated electric power. There will also be a solar panel system mounted on the roof, a satellite dish (for TV reception) and an LTE/WiFi hotspot (router).

The Grand California will be available with the Crafter's driver assistance and infotainment systems. The driver assistance systems include the Front Assist surroundings monitoring system with City Emergency Braking function, Lane Assist to help the driver stay in lane, Blind Spot Monitor for changing lane, Rear Traffic Alert for reversing out of parking spaces and Park Assist for steering, the sensor-controlled side protection system, Adaptive Cruise Control and the Rear View reversing camera.

The two-colour paintwork concept is adapted from the California 'T6'. The single colour paintwork options are Candy White, Reflex Silver or Indium Grey. Available as two-colour paintwork are combinations of Reflex Silver and Indium Gray, Candy White and Cherry Red, Candy White and Deep Ocean Blue or Candy White and Mojave Beige Metallic.

There will be 4 Volkswagen Commercial Vehicle centres authorised to sell the new Grand California; Frank Keane Volkswagen, Dublin, Blackwater Volkswagen, Cork and Connollys Volkswagen, Sligo. One further new Commercial and Life vehicle centre will be appointed in the North Dublin region shortly and they will complete the list of authorised Grand California centres in Ireland.

The new range of Audi S6 and S7 Sportback performance models!

Audi S6 TDI And Audi S7 Sportback TDI Pricing

The new range of Audi S6 and S7 Sportback performance models!
The new range of Audi S6 and S7 Sportback performance models!

Audi Ireland has revealed pricing for its new generation of performance oriented Audi S6 and S7 models.

The new Audi S6 Saloon is available from €90,860 on the road, while the S6 Avant is available from €93,940.

The new Audi S7 Sportback is available from €97,530 on the road.

For the first time, the Audi S Series models are welcoming TDI power into their ranks – the new Audi S6 and S7 join the recently reinstated SQ5 in offering a V6 TDI engine producing 349hp, with torque peaking at 700Nm!

Thanks to an electrically powered compressor working with a 48-volt primary electrical system, according to Audi, the new MHEV models "combine characteristic TDI economy with exceptional throttle response", which can be fully exploited with the help of S sport suspension with damping control and dynamic all-wheel steering.

The Audi S6 TDI and Audi S7 Sportback are now available to order from local Audi dealerships.

The new Nissan LEAF 62 kWh

Nissan LEAF 62 kWh Goes On Sale!

The new Nissan LEAF 62 kWh

The new longer-range Nissan LEAF 62kWh is now available in Ireland from €37,840.

The model’s compact 62 kWh battery is both efficient and powerful, with a 25% increase in energy density and 55% boost in energy storage capacity, giving the 62kWh LEAF a power output of 217 PS and up to 385 km (WLTP) on a single charge compared to the 40 kWh Nissan LEAF.

The new battery retains a similar shape and size to the 40 kWh LEAF battery pack, allowing the 62kWh battery to retain the LEAF’s interior space and its defined exterior styling.

All new LEAF versions come as standard with Nissan’s new NissanConnect infotainment system, with features including Apple CarPlay® and AndroidAuto® allowing for seamless smartphone connectivity.

Customers also benefit from an upgraded navigation system, which features TomTom LIVE premium traffic and route optimisation, as well as the inbuilt Online Map Update facility and Chargers Location functionality.

There's also a new NissanConnect Services app that allows users to send navigation routes from their smartphone to their car and from their car to their smartphones through the Door-to-Door Navigation facility.

Remote Climate Control gives the option to preset air conditioning or heating while the LEAF is still plugged in, whilst information and analysis of trips and driving style can also be accessed from a smartphone.

The new LEAF also offers a number of new design options, with a total of 10 body colours and seven two-tone body and roof colour combinations.

The new 62 kWh Nissan LEAF starts from €37,840 in SV grade, with equipment including Intelligent Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Recognition, Intelligent Trace Control, Moving Object Detection, Intelligent Lane Intervention, e-Pedal with regenerative function, Front & Rear Parking Sensors and Around View Monitor. On the exterior, SV LEAF also features 17" alloy wheels, privacy glass, LED daytime running lights and LED rear signature lights.

The range-topping SVE 62 kWh LEAF is available from €40,500.  Additional technologies include ProPilot, Bose Audio System and Intelligent Auto LED Headlights. Inside there is a heated leather steering wheel and leather heated seats front and rear.

Ciarán McMahon, Chairman and Managing Director of Ford in Ireland, with a Bord Gáis Energy Ford Transit Custom.

Ford And Centrica Plan Electric Vehicle Services

Ciarán McMahon, Chairman and Managing Director of Ford in Ireland, with a Bord Gáis Energy Ford Transit Custom.
Ciarán McMahon, Chairman and Managing Director of Ford in Ireland, with a Bord Gáis Energy Ford Transit Custom.

Ford and Centrica are set to offer new electric vehicle services in Ireland and the UK, as Ford accelerates its electrified vehicle plans in Europe.

Under the planned partnership, Centrica will deliver a dedicated home charging installation service and electrified vehicle tariffs from British Gas and Bord Gáis Energy that will allow Ford customers to benefit from lower energy prices for overnight charging as the new range of Ford electrified vehicles are launched. Centrica will also make its installation service available to support Ford’s dealership networks across Ireland and the UK.

“Ford is committed to delivering one of the most comprehensive line-ups of electrified vehicles for our customers, powered through the Ford home charger Wall Boxes”, said Ciarán McMahon, Chairman and Managing Director of Ford in Ireland.

“With their scale, experience and access to the electric grid, our partnership with Centrica will enable us to offer a one-stop shop for our customers as they transition to an electrified vehicle, including exciting new vehicle options, wall box, installation service and electricity tariff.”

Every new Ford passenger vehicle nameplate in Europe will include an electrified option – mild hybrid, full hybrid, plug-in hybrid or full battery electric. Upcoming all-electric models include an all-new, Mustang-inspired performance SUV with a range of 600km (WLTP targeted) coming in late 2020; an all-electric Transit in 2021; and a new high-volume Ford model on Volkswagen’s MEB battery electric vehicle platform planned to be built in Europe for 2023.

Sarwjit Sambhi, CEO of Centrica Consumer, said: “We’re committed to helping our customers to make the transition to a lower carbon future and are proud to be supporting Ford with the launch of their new electric vehicle range.

“I believe we are uniquely positioned to help customers at home and in business to make the shift to electric vehicles, harnessing the power of our global network of over 13,000 technicians and engineers to deliver solutions that are simpler, faster and more affordable for consumers.”

Further details of the Centrica and Ford partnership will be announced closer to launch.

The new Ford Focus ST

New Ford Focus ST Due In Ireland In August

The new Ford Focus ST
The new Ford Focus ST

The new Ford Focus ST will arrive in Ireland in August, priced from €39,595.

It will be available in two series - ST-2 and ST-3 - with a choice of petrol or diesel powertrains and hatchback or wagon bodystyles. Buyers can choose from a six-speed manual gearbox or a new seven-speed automatic transmission.

Engine options include the 280 PS 2.3-litre EcoBoost petrol and the 190 PS 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel engine. The new generation of the 2.3-litre EcoBoost gives a 0 - 100 kmh time of 5.7 seconds for the hatchback.

Ford’s first application of an electronic limited-slip differential (eLSD) for a front-wheel drive vehicle enhances the cornering and stability of the EcoBoost variant by sharpening responses to changing grip levels and driver inputs using computer-controlled pre-emptive actuation.

Selectable Drive Modes technology is introduced to the Focus ST for the first time, enabling drivers to adjust the vehicle’s character to suit the driving scenario.

Continuously Controlled Damping (CCD) – standard for five-door EcoBoost variants – enhances the short long arm (SLA) independent rear suspension configuration for greater refinement.

Ford’s new rev-matching technology that debuted on the new Ford Mustang is also introduced as part of an optional Performance Pack for 2.3-litre EcoBoost manual models.

Priced from €39,595, the ST-2 features ST design 18” alloy wheels, front lower grille in high gloss black, front and rear parking sensors, FordPass Connect and partial leather Recaro Performance seats.

Priced from €43,253, the ST-3 adds 19” alloy wheels, painted calipers, fixed full LED headlamps, rear view camera, full leather Recaro seats and power 4-way driver and passenger seats.