Caroline Kidd, editor of Changing Lanes, launches new children's book 'While You Were Sleeping'

While You Were Sleeping By Caroline Kidd

Caroline Kidd, editor of Changing Lanes, launches new children's book 'While You Were Sleeping'
Caroline Kidd, editor of Changing Lanes, launches new children's book 'While You Were Sleeping'

Children’s Book Launched To Raise Money For North Wexford SPCA

A new children’s book has been launched to raise money for the North Wexford Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NWSPCA) and goes on sale today (20th October).

Called While You Were Sleeping, the book is set in the NWSPCA animal welfare centre in Gorey, Co. Wexford, and aims to engage children with the work of the charity and spread a message of the value of being kind to animals.

The book has been written by Caroline Kidd and illustrated by Petra Curtis. While You Were Sleeping is a charming tale of fun and friendship, featuring a familiar cast of cats and dogs, led by long-standing resident cat Tom ‘The Boss’, as they embark upon an unexpected adventure.

The story was inspired by author Caroline’s experience as an animal care volunteer with the charity. Caroline, who comes from Bunclody, is also a journalist, copywriter and the editor of the online motoring magazine Changing Lanes. While You Were Sleeping is her first book for children and combines her love of animals with a passion for storytelling.

Caroline teamed up with Petra Curtis, a graphic designer, illustrator and fellow animal lover, who runs The Design Nut graphic design studio in Glenmore, Co. Kilkenny, to get the book ready for publishing. Petra designed and illustrated the entire book, bringing the magical story alive through original, full colour, hand drawn illustrations.

Speaking about the launch of the new book, Caroline said: “I’m thrilled to be using my writing skills to tell the story of the animals at the NWSPCA animal welfare centre and raise money for a wonderful charity close to my heart that helps save hundreds of animals at risk every year through a team of hard working volunteers. I’m hopeful that this book will inspire the next generation of animal carers and spread a message to young people that it is cool to be kind to animals in our community and in our care.”

The book as been written to raise funds for the North Wexford SPCA
The book as been written to raise funds for the North Wexford SPCA

For illustrator Petra, the project was a dream come true: “When Caroline first mentioned her plan for creating a children’s book for the NWSPCA, I immediately wanted to help in some way. Animals have played a big part in my life and it has always been a dream of mine to illustrate a children’s book. All this combined with the fact that it was for such a wonderful cause - I couldn’t resist the project!”

She continued: “On first reading Caroline’s draft of the book, I was taken in by the wonderful personalities of the characters, the energy of the story and the morals hidden in many places throughout the story itself. Caroline has done a wonderful job of capturing the spirited nature of animals, and I think children will be fascinated by the story from the very beginning.”

Eimear McGrath, Chairperson, NWSPCA, said: “We are absolutely thrilled with Caroline’s new book. The idea of our animal shelter being featured in a children’s book is something we didn’t imagine happening. To see the end result and read about our beloved Tom (The Boss), is a joy to behold. We are delighted that our story is being told in such a beautifully worded and illustrated book as this. Caroline has been a wonderful volunteer with us for quite a while and we can’t thank her enough for creating this book and allowing it to be a fundraiser for the NWSPCA.”

The NWSPCA animal welfare charity was established in Gorey in 1947 and is managed by a team of volunteers who work all year round to rescue, rehabilitate and home as many animals as possible. All proceeds from the sale of the new children’s book will go to the NWSPCA to help save more animals at risk and the book has been created with no cost to the charity.

“I’m very grateful for the support I received from Petra who kindly illustrated this book and I wish to thank all of our stockists for helping us to sell our book. The response so far has been amazing,” said Caroline.

While You Were Sleeping will be on sale from the NWSPCA Charity Shop, Rafter Street, Gorey; Kavanagh’s Newsagents, Wexford Road, Arklow; Deegan’s, South Street, New Ross; The Village at Wheelocks, Finchogue, Enniscorthy; and Art Bank, Bunclody. Please check opening hours in light of Government guidance relating to the management of Covid-19. It’s also available to buy online through the NWSPCA Facebook page.

The new book is available online and from selected stockists
The new book is available online and from selected stockists

According to Cartell we are spending more on new cars in Ireland than ever before

Budget 2021 And The Motor Industry

Budget 2021 contains a number of measures specific to motoring:

  • With the full implementation of the new emissions testing system, WLTP, from January next a new structure of rates and bands for VRT and motor tax. This new structure sees an increase in the number of VRT Bands to 20, with a wider gap between the highest and lowest VRT rate (7% to 37%).
  • To create a level playing field between new cars and used imports, which have been subject to different emissions tests, used imports subject to the old emissions test will have their CO2 values uplifted to a level equivalent with the WLTP test to which all new cars are subject.
  • VRT reliefs for Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles and hybrids will be allowed to expire as there will now be much lower VRT rates for low emission cars.
  • Taper relief for Battery Electric Vehicles though it's said that the changes to the VRT rates and bands compensate for the changes to these reliefs.
  • Following on from its introduction in last year’s Budget, adjustment of the Nitrogen Oxide (also known as NOx) surcharge bands so that higher NOx emitting vehicles will pay more.
  • Motor Tax rates will remain unchanged for all cars in the engine sized regime and all but the most polluting cars in the post-2008 regime.
  • A third Motor Tax table for cars registered from the 1st of January next year to take account of the introduction of the WLTP emissions test.

Commenting on Budget 2021, SIMI Director General Brian Cooke
“In the context of the current economic climate, COVID, BREXIT and an already depressed new car market, the Industry is disappointed with the increase in VRT announced in Budget 2021. Overall, the changes to the VRT system result in an average €1,000 increase on the price of a new family car. This will make the new car market even more challenging for next year, reducing demand and slowing down the replacement of the oldest cars in the national fleet with newer lower emitting cars, which in turn will make it more difficult to drive down emissions”

The new Volkswagen Golf GTE is on sale in Ireland now

Volkswagen Golf Hybrids Go On Sale

The new Volkswagen Golf GTE is on sale in Ireland now
The new Volkswagen Golf GTE is on sale in Ireland now

Volkswagen Ireland has confirmed that the new generation Volkswagen Golf GTE and new Golf eHybrid are now on sale here. Both use a plug-in hydrid powertrain.

The Golf eHybrid kicks off the Golf hybrid range and is priced in Ireland from €36,570 with a power output of 204 hp. With CO2 emissions of 21g/km, it sits in Tax Band A1 with annual motor tax of €170.

The new Golf GTE has a bias towards performance and goes on sale from €42,330 with 245 hp available.

The new plug-in hybrids can now cover more range on electric power alone. The Golf eHybrid covers up to 71 kilometres (WLTP), while the Golf GTE is said to travel up to 64 km in pure electric mode.

Both models feature a TSI petrol engine and a 6-speed dual-clutch DSG gearbox.

The new Volkswagen Golf eHybrid is available in the Style trim level and equipment includes 3-zone climate control, keyless cccess advanced, rear-view camera, ArtVelours microfleece seat coverings, Travel Assist with lane keeping system, Emergency Assist and Traffic Jam Assist.

The eHybrid gains some additional standard equipment such as a a head-up display, IQ light matrix lights and taillights, 16” eHybrid alloy wheels, advanced high-beam control, dynamic light assist, dynamic cornering lights, dynamic turn signals in front and rear, and a poor weather light.

Like the predecessor, the Golf GTE will again be offered as an independent model and comes with a very high level of standard equipment including 17” ‘Richmond’ alloy wheels, GTE-specific body-coloured bumpers, 10” ‘Discover Pro’ radio system with a clear glass touchscreen and 8 speakers, and a head-up display. Volkswagen says acceleration is similar to the new Golf GTI (6.7 seconds to 100km/h), though CO2 emissions are just 36g/km.

The new Volkswagen Golf PHEV models join the Passat GTE in Volkswagen's hybrid range, with plug-in hybrid versions of the Arteon, Tiguan and Touareg soon to arrive in Ireland.

The Volkswagen Golf GTE now has 245 hp and acceleration like a GTI
The Volkswagen Golf GTE now has 245 hp and acceleration like a GTI

The 2021 Opel Crossland has been confirmed for Ireland

2021 Opel Crossland Gets A New Look

The 2021 Opel Crossland has been confirmed for Ireland
The 2021 Opel Crossland has been confirmed for Ireland

Opel has revealed the first photos of the revamped Opel Crossland, which will go on sale in Ireland at the beginning of 2021.

The compact crossover will adopt Opel's new 'Vizor' front face signature, first seen on the new Opel Mokka, which is also expected to arrive in Ireland for 2021.

Changes will include an improved chassis, extra comfort and technology features and a new sporty SRi Line trim. Opel Ireland has confirmed powertrains and equipment will be announced closer to launch.

New exterior style features, trim dependent, include front and rear skid plates, LED front fog lamps, chrome door mouldings, plus an all-new range of 16 and 17-inch light-alloy wheels. A new SRi Line version will add black 16-inch light-alloy wheels, a black roof and red signature daylight opening. The SRi Line + will add black 17-inch light-alloy wheels, AGR-certified ergonomic seats for driver and front passenger, adaptive full LED headlamps, LED taillights and roof rails.

Other technology features will include Forward collision alert with Automatic Emergency Braking and Pedestrian Detection, Driver Drowsiness Alert, Side Blind Spot Alert, Panoramic Rear View Camera and Automatic Park Assist.

IntelliGrip will be available as an option on the 2021 Opel Crossland. This adaptive traction control system enables optimum traction and stability on all kinds of surface, thanks to its five mode settings of Normal, Snow, Mud, Sand and ESP. The driver can choose between the settings to best suit road conditions.

The interior of the new Crossland
The interior of the new Crossland

There will be a range of infotainment systems available including the top of the range Multimedia Navi Pro with 8.0-inch colour touch screen. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will also be available, as will wireless smartphone charging.

Flexibility will also be a feature of the new Crossland range with individually sliding and reclining rear seats. They come with a 60/40 split and slide by up to 150 mm, increasing boot space from 410 to 520 litres.

Opel engineers in Rüsselsheim, Germany, have also developed new springs and dampers for the McPherson strut front suspension and the torsion-beam rear axle. In combination with the new steering column intermediate shaft, which improves steering precision and centre-feel, the chassis of the new Crossland is said to deliver an optimum balance of comfort and agility.

James Brooks, Managing Director at Leeson Motors, Irish Importer of Opel, said:

"The unveiling of the all-new Crossland heralds the start of a complete rejuvenation of the Opel model line-up. We look forward to 2021 with confidence in anticipation of all new Crossland, the all-new Mokka, an electrified Zafira-e Life and our first all-electric light commercial vehicle, the new Vivaro-e, with many more new models to follow within 12 months."

The new Honda e on sale in Ireland from November!

Honda e Arrives In Ireland!

The new Honda e on sale in Ireland from November!
The new Honda e on sale in Ireland from November!

The all-electric Honda e will go on sale in Ireland from November 2020, priced from €29,995 including SEAI grants and VRT relief.

The quirky electric city car was first revealed as a concept back in 2017 to great reception at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

Now the production model of Honda's first battery electric vehicle is ready to hit Irish roads. It is a car made for urban driving and built on a dedicated EV platform. The advanced electric drivetrain employs proven Honda electrification technologies, with fast-charge capability to meet the demands of everyday commuting. The new Honda e uses a high capacity 35.5 kWh battery putting out 136 hp, providing a range of 222 km. Fast charging is available through a CCS charging adpater with the opportunity to add 80% of charge in just 30 minutes.

A unique thermal management system optimises battery range in high and low temperatures, allowing the car to maintain optimal range capability and enabling more frequent rapid DC charges.

Honda says that the all-new EV-specific platform has been engineered to deliver "fun and effortless electric performance with exceptional driving characteristics in urban environments". A powerful electric motor, compact proportions, 4.3 m turning radius, 50:50 weight distribution and low centre of gravity are said to all combine to give the car a sporty and dynamic character. The result is a quiet, smooth and rewarding drive with instant acceleration to help navigate busy streets with ease. As well as Single Pedal Control, the Honda e also has two drive modes; Normal, and Sport, which increases responsiveness and heightens the dynamic appeal of the car.

The new Honda e brings unique features to the compact electric vehicle class including pop-out door handles and a Side Camera Mirror System. Inside contemporary materials are used to create a relaxing and modern lounge-like space enhanced by sofa style fabric and other tactile materials.

Five high-resolution colour screens span the entire width of the car’s interior, with the Side Camera Mirror Systems screens ergonomically placed at either end of the dashboard to ensure a natural feel and vision for the driver.

The Honda Parking Pilot debuts in Ireland on the Honda e to assist the driver in locating an appropriate space and then manoeuvring the car into it. In addition to this feature, the Honda SENSING suite has also been enhanced with three new functions - Lead Car Departure Notification System, Collision Mitigation Throttle Control and Low Speed Brake Function.

The interior of the 2020 Honda e
The interior of the 2020 Honda e

Honda e spearheads the Honda brand’s ‘Electric Vision’ strategy for the European region, representing a commitment to a more sustainable model range. It will see all of Honda’s mainstream models in Europe electrified by 2022, three years ahead of the previously announced 2025 goal, demonstrating the confidence Honda has in its electric and hybrid powertrain technology.

This accelerated plan will see six electrified models launched over the next 36 months, including the Honda e, all-new hybrid-only Jazz, a stylish SUV and an additional battery electric vehicle. Honda's new ‘e: Technology’ branding will unify all its electrified products under the same global name. Ahead of its European 2022 electrification goal, Honda will expand the application of its e:HEV dual-motor hybrid system to the entire line-up of Honda vehicles in Europe, starting with the next-generation Jazz, available in Ireland later this year.

In Ireland, buyers can already sample hybrid technology in the new Honda CR-V Hybrid, tested by Changing Lanes back in 2019.

Honda in Ireland has chosen to sell the new Honda e from a number of urban Honda dealers nationwide, including Des Darcy Honda  and Clonskeagh Motors Honda in Dublin, Kevin O’Leary Honda in Cork, and Sheils Honda in Limerick and Galway.

John Saunders, Sales and Marketing Director of Universal Honda Ltd., said:

“We are very excited at Honda to be welcoming the urban city-car, the all new Honda e, into our model line-up. The all-electric Honda e is part of a wider transition to newer technologies and is the next step on our vision to electrify all our mainstream models sold in Europe by 2022. Later in the year we will be also be welcoming the Honda Jazz Hybrid to sit alongside the already launched CR-V Hybrid. We firmly believe this is the perfect car for urban living, offering fun and effortless electric performance, whilst also producing zero emissions."

Read our first drive review of the new all electric Honda e here.

The Honda e is the brand's first battery electric vehicle
The Honda e is the brand's first battery electric vehicle

The Jaguar XF has been updated

Jaguar XF Updated For 2021

The Jaguar XF has been updated
The Jaguar XF has been updated

Jaguar Ireland has confirmed that an updated Jaguar XF will go on sale here, with pricing to be announced closer to launch.

The latest version of Jaguar's luxury sports saloon will have enhanced exterior design, new interior design, advanced connectivity and the addition of mild hybrid technology.

A new front bumper, LED headlights, new grille and new rear bumper will deliver a more assertive presence while inside there is an all new interior with new technologies including Jaguar’s latest Pivi Pro dual-sim infotainment accessed through an all-new 11.4-inch HD curved glass touchscreen. 'Over the air' software updates will ensure latest vehicle systems and infotainment are installed seamlessly and remotely.

The engine line-up will be revised with the addition of mild hybrid technology to the diesel. The 2.0-litre diesel MHEV will put out 204PS, with 24PS more than the engine it replaces. Emissions have been reduced to 130g/km and fuel economy improved to a quoted 4.9l/100km. 250PS and 300PS Ingenium petrol engines will also be available. Every XF features an eight-speed automatic transmission and is available with all-wheel drive; rear wheel drive as standard.

Inside the new Jaguar XF
Inside the new Jaguar XF

The brand says occupant well being has also been enhanced with innovative Active Road Noise Cancellation, and cabin air ionisation to capture ultrafine particles and allergens.

The brand has also confirmed that the Jaguar XE will now feature mild hybrid technology in the diesel range. Read our latest review of the Jaguar XE compact sports saloon.

The Sorento diesel provides a reliable source of power and economy for long distance or rural users

Kia Sorento (2020) Arrives In Ireland

The new Kia Sorento has arrived in Ireland!
The new Kia Sorento has arrived in Ireland!

The new Kia Sorento has arrived in Ireland and will go on sale priced from €49,800.

The new large 7-seater SUV is being launched in two phases with the diesel model being the first to arrive here. A new Sorento plug-in hybrid (PHEV) will arrive in early 2021.

This is the 4th  generation of the Kia Sorento, which was first launched in 2002. Along with the Sportage, it brought the Kia brand to prominence both here in Ireland and throughout Europe.

The Sorento now has sharper lines, high-tech details, and elongated proportions for 2020 for a more confident and mature presence on the road. Inside, we are told the cabin introduces premium-quality materials, cutting-edge infotainment technologies, and new design.

The 2020 Kia Sorento is the first vehicle to be based on Kia’s new-generation midsize SUV platform. Paired with a larger body to maximise cargo and luggage space, the platform ensure the Sorento is one of the most versatile and spacious three-row SUVs on the market.

This will be Kia’s most high-tech car ever, thanks to its progressive connectivity, driver assistance and infotainment technologies. Twin digital displays deliver advanced graphics, new telematics features and full wireless smartphone connectivity. In Ireland many of these features will be standard.

The first models to arrive here are powered by a 2.2-litre diesel engine with 202 hp and front wheel drive.

Inside the new Kia Sorento
Inside the new Kia Sorento

The K3 model model comes with 18” alloys, 10.25” navigation screen with telematics, rear view camera,12.3” TFT monitor, leather upholstery with heated front seats, and charge ports on all three rows of seats. Other standard features include Bind Spot Detection, Front Collision Avoidance, Lane Keep Assist, Lane Follow Assist, Smart Crusie Control, Highway Drive Assist, Smart Cruise Control and front and rear parking sensors.

The K4 model is priced from €54,500 and adds more comfort and safety features including panoramic sunroof, driver and passenger power seats, 12 speaker Bose sound system, rear heated seats, power opening/adjustable tailgate, Blind View Monitor, Around View Monitor and Parking Collision Avoidance.

The PHEV which arrives in early 2021 will be available in the same trim levels but with all wheel drive as standard .Pricing for the hybrid will follow closer to launch.

Ronan Flood, Managing Director of Kia Motors Ireland, said:

“The Sorento story echoes that of the Kia brand as a whole. In 2002 Sorento was a very utilitarian all-terrain vehicle but this fourth-generation Sorento has been transformed into something altogether more desirable. It is an important model for Kia, particularly now that it also represents, with the impending arrival of Sorento PHEV, the first use of electrified power in our flagship SUV.”

2020 Kia Sorento diesel on sale now, with hybrid to follow in 2021
2020 Kia Sorento diesel on sale now, with hybrid to follow in 2021

Volkswagen ID.3 arriving at Dublin Port

New Car Registrations Ireland September 2020

Volkswagen ID.3 arriving at Dublin Port
Volkswagen ID.3 was the bestselling car in September

The Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) has released their official new vehicle registrations statistics for the month of September and reiterated their call to Government to reduce Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) in the upcoming Budget.

The Society claims a reduction in VRT would protect the 40,000 people employed in the Industry, sustain business, stimulate new car sales while helping to decrease emissions from transport and protect Exchequer Revenues. With a new taxation system for new cars tested under WLTP from January 2021, any increase in VRT would have dire consequences for the sector, already struggling in the context of both COVID and BREXIT. SIMI say it would make new cars considerably more expensive, reducing demand and would see thousands of job losses and business closures.

New car registrations for the month of September saw an increase of 66.3% (5,685) when compared to September 2019 (3,418). While total registrations year to date are down 25.8% (84,535) on the same period last year (113,945).

The bestselling car brands so far in 2020 are 1. Volkswagen, 2. Toyota, 3. Hyundai, 4. Skoda and 5. Ford.

The top five bestselling cars so far in 2020 are 1. Toyota Corolla, 2. Hyundai Tucson, 3. Volkswagen Tiguan, 4. Ford Focus and 5. Hyundai Kona.

The bestselling car in September 2020 was the new Volkswagen ID.3.

So far in 2020 diesel accounts for 43.02% of the new car market, petrol for 37.29%, hybrid for 12.08%, electric for 4.28%, and plug-in hybrid for 2.74%

Light Commercials vehicles (LCV) are up 67.4% (2,240) compared to September last year (1,338) and year to date are down 18.6% (18,930). HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle) registrations are up 12.5% (162) in comparison to September 2019 (144). However, year to date HGVs are down 23.6% (1,795).

Used car imports for September (9,522) have seen a decrease of 6.8% on September 2019 (10,221). While year to date imports are down 40.3% (49,190) on 2019 (82,435).

Brian Cooke, SIMI Director General, said: “September represents the first month this year to see an increase for new vehicle registrations, which can be attributed to catch up from the previous eight months of declining sales. Year to date, a far more accurate barometer, sees a reduction for the fourth consecutive year leaving new car sales at recessionary levels, merely 50% of what we should be achieving in a normal functioning new car market.

January 2021 will see a taxation change for our Industry, the biggest change to VRT and Road Tax since 2008. The 2008 change coincided with the recession, causing a collapse in the new and used car market with close to 15,000 jobs lost. With the duel threat arising from COVID and BREXIT, we simply cannot have the same destabilisation of the car market again. A more burdensome VRT regime will undermine both the new and used car markets, making new cars more expensive, impacting on used car values and slowing our fleet renewal. This will inevitably lead to a fall in employment and undermine viable family businesses. What we need to see in the Budget is a taxation reduction that will support the new car market and which will be environmentally positive. This will protect jobs, businesses, renew our fleet and reduce emissions.”

The new Audi A3 Sportback 40 TFSI e

New Audi A3 Sportback Hybrid 40 TFSI e

The new Audi A3 Sportback 40 TFSI e
The new Audi A3 Sportback 40 TFSI e

Audi Ireland has confirmed that a new Audi A3 Sportback with plug-in hybrod technology will debut in Ireland in January 2021.

The new Audi A3 range went on sale here over the summer and is available as a five door hatchback or four door saloon with a range of petrol and diesel engines.

The new Audi A3 hybrid will be badged 40 TFSI e and will have 204 hp and can be driven on electric power alone for a limited range up to 67 kilometres (WLTP). A more powerful variant will follow shortly after.

The new A3 Sportback 40 TFSI e is the latest new plug-in hybrid model from Audi , which already includes the A6, A7, A8, Q5, and Q7.  The A3 hybrid uses a 1.4 TFSI with an electric motor and six-speed S tronic automatic gearbox. When the engine and motor are working together with maximum boost, the system torque reaches 350 Nm. The compact plug-in hybrid model sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in 7.6 seconds on its way to a top speed of 227 km/h.

When the A3 PHEV is in hybrid mode, the two drives divide the work intelligently. Two special modes can be selected via the MMI operating system: “Battery hold” and “Battery charge.” In “hold” mode, the available battery charge is held at the current level. In “charge” mode, as much electricity as possible is supplied to the battery.

Audi drive select also features in the hybrid and offers comfort, auto, dynamic, and individual driving profiles.

Audi says that it will take slightly more than four hours to fully recharge a completely empty battery. Customers can control the charging times with the free myAudi app.

Hybrid-specific functions and displays have been added to the operating concept of the A3 Sportback 40 TFSI e. The powermeter in the digital instrument cluster – or in the optional Audi virtual cockpit – displays the system’s output, the status of the drive, the recuperation, the battery’s state of charge, and the range. The central 10.1-inch MMI display shows the energy flows.

Equipment includes LED headlights, a leather multifunction steering wheel, two-zone automatic air conditioning system, Audi pre sense front, lane departure warning, turn assist, and swerve assist.

Inside the new Audi A3 hybrid
Inside the new Audi A3 hybrid

The new Dacia Sandero will arrive in Ireland in 2021

2021 Dacia Sandero Range Revealed

The new Dacia Sandero will arrive in Ireland in 2021
The new Dacia Sandero will arrive in Ireland in 2021

Dacia has refreshed its offer in the compact car segment with the new Dacia Sandero and Stepway. The new Sandero range is expected in Ireland in spring 2021, with pricing to be announced closer to launch.

The third generation of the Dacia Sandero and Stepway are built on a new platform, and will offer more active and passive safety features, new engines and a new automatic transmission and six-speed manual gearbox.

In Ireland over 9,500 Sanderos have been sold since the model launched here in 2013, with the Stepway crossover style model accounting for over 60% of Sandero sales here.

There have been subtle tweaks to the exterior with a more sloped windscreen, a slightly lower roof and flowing roofline. The front and rear lights display Dacia’s new Y-shaped LED light signature. LED headlights will be offered as a standard feature across the entire model range.

According to Dacia, the new shape of the doors and wing mirrors improves the car’s aerodynamics while reducing air noise for all occupants.

The 2021 Dacia Sandero Stepway has a unique ribbed and domed bonnet, the chrome Stepway logo under the front grille and curved fenders above the fog lights. The front and rear bumpers include a metal skid plate. There is 174 mm ground clearance (an increase of 41 mm compared with the Sandero), while roof bars and wheel arch cladding complete the crossover-like design.

The new Renault Group CMF modular platform underpins the new Sandero range and combines greater resistance and rigidity with less weight. Both cars are fitted with a new front axle with rectangular suspension arms that are said to provide effective shock absorption and enhanced steering. Anti-roll capacity has been improved and the wheelbase extended for greater cornering stability. The new engine mount has been upgraded to minimise vibrations in the cabin.

There's also a new interior with redesigned dashboard features. Newly designed front seats provide greater comfort and support with height adjustable headrests and new, more premium upholstery. In the rear there is an additional 42 mm of space compared to the outgoing models. The boot of the Sandero has a generous 328-litre capacity and features a flat floor with adjustable height floor with two positions.

Engines will include the SCe 65, a naturally aspirated 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine paired with a five-speed manual transmission and the TCe 90, a turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol unit paired with a six-speed manual transmission or CVT automatic transmission.

Sandero and Stepway budget compacts
Sandero and Stepway budget compacts