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.

At the launch of the Dublin City Council Mobility Hub, Gary Killeen, Business Rental Sales Director, Enterprise Rent-A-Car Ireland; Owen Keegan, Chief Executive, Dublin City Council; and George O’Connor, MD of Enterprise Rent-A-Car Ireland.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car And Dublin City Council Launch Mobility Hub

At the launch of the Dublin City Council Mobility Hub, Gary Killeen, Business Rental Sales Director, Enterprise Rent-A-Car Ireland; Owen Keegan, Chief Executive, Dublin City Council; and George O’Connor, MD of Enterprise Rent-A-Car Ireland.
Gary Killeen, Business Rental Sales Director, Enterprise Rent-A-Car Ireland; Owen Keegan, Chief Executive, Dublin City Council; and George O’Connor, MD of Enterprise Rent-A-Car Ireland, at the launch of the Dublin City Council Mobility Hub,

Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Dublin City Council (DCC) have launched a Mobility Hub pilot as part of the Smart Dublin initiative, in partnership with Enterprise Ireland’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Programme.

Under the project, Enterprise Rent-A-Car will provide a shared electric car and e-bike service at Dublin City Council’s Wood Quay offices, helping to reduce congestion, free up parking spaces and encourage Council employees to adopt healthier ways to commute.

Three Nissan Leaf electric cars and five e-bikes will be available to employees during the workday. IT support for booking and managing the Mobility Hub fleet will be provided by Enterprise Rent-A-Car.

DCC team members can reserve vehicles through a smartphone app, their laptop or PC, and can view real time information on vehicle availability. Keys to the cars are kept in the glove compartment, and access is provided through a PIN that is generated each time a user books a car. The e-bikes are also accessible through a PIN that is delivered each time a booking is made.

Owen Keegan, Chief Executive of Dublin City Council, said: “The Mobility Hub partnership with Enterprise Rent-A-Car will help the City Council to reduce its environmental impact. This pilot project is being delivered under Enterprise Ireland’s Small Business Innovation Research Programme. Our employees will be able to use shared electric mobility services to travel to meetings and events across the city during their working day.”

George O’Connor, Managing Director of Enterprise Rent-A-Car Ireland, said: “The Mobility Hub offers a flexible, scalable solution which allows users to access the right transport for a specific journey. It removes the inconvenience of processing mileage expense claims and arranging safety checks for employees’ personal vehicles. This concept will benefit any organisation that wants to manage their employees’ mobility needs while meeting environmental commitments. We look forward to extending this offering to public and private organisations both large and small.

“We are certain that Dublin City Council will quickly see the benefits that the Mobility Hub can bring. The initiative will also have positive effects on congestion in the city as employees realise that they do not need to drive their own car to work. And of course, whatever mode of transport they choose to use from the Mobility Hub, it will always be a zero emissions option.”

Enterprise’s IT management system provides full transparency to DCC administrators regarding usage and tracking of vehicles and can generate predictions of future use to improve the management of the team’s transport needs.

The new MINI Electric will arrive in Ireland in 2020

MINI Electric Expected In 2020!

The new MINI Electric will arrive in Ireland in 2020
The new MINI Electric will arrive in Ireland in 2020

A new MINI Electric based on the brand's iconic three door hatchback, will arrive in Ireland in March 2020.

It is the brand's first all-electric model and will go on sale from €27,765 OTR, including SEAI grant and VRT Rebate.

A model-specific lithium-ion battery gives the electric MINI a range of 235 to 270 kilometres. The electric motor provides 184 hp and 270 Nm of torque. Acceleration will be a brisk 7.3 seconds from 0 to 100km/h. The car can be charged at a household socket, wall-box or at public charging stations. Fast direct-current charging will be possible at up to 50 kW.

At a weight of 1,365 kilograms, the Electric is just 145 kgs heavier than the current MINI Cooper S 3-Door with automatic transmission. There's also new suspension technology designed for this model to retain and enhance the MINI's famed go-kart driving dynamics.

In accordance with new EU law, the car is fitted with acoustic pedestrian protection for low speed driving, with a distinctive sound created especially for the car generated via a speaker system.

An embossed MINI Electric logo will appear on the car’s side scuttles, as well as on the tailgate and front radiator grille. The front grille features the hallmark hexagonal shape of the MINI but is closed for the electric model as the car requires less cooling.

According to MINI, there have been no restrictions in terms of the size of the luggage compartment, which remains at 211 litres.

Standard equipment will include a new digital dashboard, Connected Navigation including Real Time Traffic Information (RTTI), and LED headlights/taillights.

A mid-level style MINI Electric is available at €30,405 OTR (including SEAI grant and VRT rebate). Equipment includes a cloth/leather-look upholstery, additional exterior body colour and wheel options, as well as rear Park Distance Control (PDC), Rear Camera, Seat Heating, Driving Assistance Pack and Logo Projection.

The top style is available at €35,695 OTR (including SEAI grant and VRT rebate). Equipment includes front PDC, Park Assist, Harmon Kardon sound system, Head-up Display, Panoramic Sun Roof, Matrix LED’s and upgrade to a 8.8” infotainment touch screen. Wireless phone charging is also included, in addition to MINI Yours Leather Lounge upholstery, a choice of five alloy wheels and six exterior body colours.

MINI retailers in Ireland are already accepting deposits now for a March 2020 delivery of the new electric MINI.

The new Mitsubishi L200

New Mitsubishi L200 Launching This August

The new Mitsubishi L200
The new Mitsubishi L200

The new Mitsubishi L200 will arrive in Ireland this August, priced from €35,000.

Under the bonnet there's a 2.2-litre diesel with 150 hp. All models come with four wheel drive and a six speed manual or automatic gearbox is available.

It will be available in three grades: Business, Intense and Instyle.

Standard features include air-conditioning, cruise control with speed limiter, Bluetooth with voice control, electric windows and door mirrors, Easy Select 4WD, rear differential lock, Trailer Stability Assist [TSA] and 16’’ alloy wheels.

The best selling version is expected to be the Intense, starting from €37,850 while the top of the range Instyle Auto is available from €41,935.

The new L200 is equipped with a range of new safety features including Forward Collision Mitigation, Automatic High-Beam, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Multi Around View Monitor.

The new Mitsubishi L200 is fitted with either Super-Select 4WD, which delivers optimum traction and handling characteristics for any given surface, or Easy-Select 4WD, which simplifies switching between drive modes for different road surfaces. With the addition of new drive modes, both 4WD systems deliver improved off-road performance.

According to Mitsubishi, the new L200 features significant improvements and enhancements to the durability and reliability required by the commercial user and to the comfort and ride sought by the private user.