Citroen C3 Aircross

Citroen C3 Aircross 1.2 Petrol Review

Citroen C3 Aircross
The Citroen C3 Aircross

Caroline reviews the Citroen C3 Aircross.

The Citroen brand is undergoing a styling renaissance that began with the C4 Cactus in 2014 but really hit its stride with last year’s colourful Citroen C3 hatchback. At the end of 2017, Citroen entered the competitive B-SUV segment with the equally quirky Citroen C3 Aircross. This summer will see the launch of a new Citroen C4 Cactus.

The new Citroen C3 Aircross is based on the C3 hatchback and is a blend of curves, colour and plastic cladding making it a very distinct competitor in its segment. Other features include a raised ground clearance, elevated driving position, and front and rear skid plates.

There’s also a lot of choice to personalise the car. The bi-tone roof is available in three colours and can be complimented by one of four exterior colour packs that accentuate the light surrounds, door mirrors, wheel centre caps, rear quarter window and roof bars.

Citroen C3 Aircross
The interior of the Citroen C3 Aircross

Get comfortable in the Citroen C3 Aircross

The Citroen C3 Aircross is effectively the replacement for the C3 Picasso, which was pitched more as a compact MPV. For its compact size, the Citroen C3 Aircross is a very spacious and practical car. The interior has a unique ‘living room’ feel with soft but supportive seats in beautiful fabric and a fabric dash panel that would not look out of place on a designer sofa. It’s very chic and rear passenger space is generous too, while the boot has a low flat loading sill and 410 litres of space.

Infotainment is provided via a touchscreen and the ventilation controls are accessed from the screen too.

In Ireland the C3 Aircross is available in three trim levels: Touch (from €20,695), Feel (from €21,995) and Flair (from €25,095).

Standard equipment includes manual air con, rear parking sensors, four electric windows and lane departure warning. Equipment on Feel includes 16″ alloys, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, and rear privacy glass, while Flair includes wireless phone charging, 17″ alloys, satellite navigation, keyless entry and start, and more safety equipment.

My test car was a 1.2-litre turbo petrol Flair model with 110hp. This model retails at €25,095. Other engine options include a 1.2-litre petrol engine with 82hp and a 1.6-litre diesel with 100hp.

Citroen C3 Aircross
The Citroen C3 Aircross range starts from €20,695 in Ireland

What's the Citroen C3 Aircross like to drive?

On the road, the C3 Aircross really shines with the 1.2-litre engine. It has a lovely spread of power and is good for town and motorway driving. The C3 Aircross is softly sprung and is comfortable for this class of vehicle. There is not much in the way of feel from the steering but the Citroen C3 Aircross can still hold its own through a series of corners. This model is cheap to run with motor tax of €200 per year. My fuel consumption was 6.3l/100km over a week of driving.

The Citroen C3 Aircross stands out in the compact crossover class for its quirky design and colourful presence. It’s not the sharpest handling small car, but it has some excellent petrol engines at its disposal giving an injection of fun behind the wheel. Comfort, practicality and a chic cabin ambience make the Citroen C3 Aircross a great accompaniment to modern life.

Citroen C3 Aircross
Citroen C3 Aircross: A colourful accompaniment to modern life!

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Citroen C3 Aircross FLAIR PureTech 110
Price: 
€25,095 (Range from €20,695)
Engine: 1.2-litre turbo petrol
Power: 
110hp
Torque: 200Nm
0-100km/h:  
11.3 seconds
Top speed: 185km/h
Economy: 
5.0/100km
CO2 emissions:  
115g/km
Motor tax: 
€200 per year


The 2018 SEAT Arona

SEAT Arona 1.0TSI Xcellence Review

The 2018 SEAT Arona
The 2018 SEAT Arona

Caroline reviews the SEAT Arona.

The SEAT Arona is SEAT’s new compact crossover based on the excellent SEAT Ibiza supermini. Sporting a raised ride height and gruffer off-road looks, the SEAT Arona range starts from €17,995 in Ireland and is sure to attract a lot of fans.

For buyers looking for a larger SUV, SEAT already offers the Ateca. But the new SEAT Arona slots neatly into the burgeoning B-SUV segment. The Arona uses the Volkswagen Group’s new small car platform and has been honed and tweaked to make it a formidable competitor in its segment where the Renault Captur currently reigns supreme.

Though compact in size, SEAT has really made great use of the space available. The Arona is one of the roomiest of its ilk and the footwells in the rear are generously sized so it feels anything but cramped back there. The Arona can house a good 400 litres in its boot and the flat loading sill makes it practical for every day use. The rear doors also open wide.

Inside the dashboard design is similar to the SEAT Ibiza supermini so there is a clear, logical layout and a nice mix of materials to add interest to the harder plastics. Infotainment is provided via a 5” or 8” touchscreen depending on model, with Apple Car Play and Android Auto available on all but the base model.

The interior of the SEAT Arona
The interior of the SEAT Arona

In Ireland the Arona is offered in four trims: S, SE, Xcellence and FR. Standard equipment includes electric windows, air con, Bluetooth and Front Assist. SE (from €20,715) adds more including 16” alloys, LED taillights, front fog lights, leather steering wheel and cruise control.

Buyers looking for more equipment and individuality can select an Xcellence or FR model. Both are similarly priced from €22,815, with the Xcellence being pitched as the more upmarket one and the FR pitched as the sporty one with the SEAT Drive Profile Selection to spice things up behind the wheel and sportier styling.

What's the SEAT Arona like on the road?

My Xcellence test car was very well equipped with keyless entry, some updates to styling including special alloys, chrome trim and chrome roof rails, parking sensors and camera, park assist and a special interior finish. Equipped with SEAT’s excellent 1.0TSI petrol 115hp, this model has a competitive list price of €22,815. This model is cheap to run with motor tax costing €200 per year. My fuel economy was 6.5l/100km over a week of driving.

Other engine options include the 1.0TSI petrol with 95hp, 1.5TSI petrol with 150hp and a 1.6TDI diesel with 95hp. But the 1.0TSI really is a star performer in the Arona: it’s nippy and refined with a perfect spread of power whether driving on motorway, town or country roads. Add on top of this the Arona’s agility, quick steering and supple suspension and you have one of the best compact crossovers to drive.

The 2018 SEAT Arona
The SEAT Arona is a delight to drive, roomy and well-priced

It’s fair to say the compact crossover market in Ireland is loaded with competitors but if you go to check out the SEAT Arona you will find a fantastic all-rounder. The Arona offers great space and practicality on board for this class of vehicle. It’s compact, agile and fun to drive making it a great small family car. The Arona is competitively priced with lots of equipment and technology available so deserves to do very well in its segment.

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: SEAT Arona Xcellence 1.0TSI 115hp
Price: 
€22,815 (Range from €17,995)
Engine: 1.0-litre turbo petrol
Power: 
115hp
Torque: 200Nm
0-100km/h:  
10 seconds
Top speed: 182km/h
Economy: 
4.9l/100km
CO2 emissions:  
113g/km
Motor tax: 
€200 per year


Renault Captur

Renault Captur Is Ireland’s Number One Compact Crossover

The Renault Captur dominated the compact crossover segment in 2017, finishing the year in the number one position with 29.8% share.

The Captur’s performance drove the segment’s growth to almost 5% of the market in 2017.

The Renault Captur has gotten off to a strong start in 2018 also, retaining its number one position in January.

The Renault Captur has been something of an Irish success story with over 7,000 sold here since launch in 2013.

The Captur range starts at just €20,290, with alloys and air conditioning included as standard. A refreshed model arrived at the end of 2017 with new C-shaped LED lighting signature front and rear, new alloy wheel designs and new colours.

The interior has also been re-designed with new materials and new upholstery.

There's a new Signature S Nav trim now at the top of the range.

According to Renault, the most popular Captur is the Signature X Nav, priced from €24,890. Equipment includes leather seats, navigation, full LED headlights and parking assistance with an integrated rear-view camera.

Customers who choose metallic paint can add a contrasting colour on the roof at no additional cost.

Patrick Magee, Country Operations Director, Renault Ireland said, “Captur continues to be one of our best-selling models as we move further into 2018, finishing number one in its class in January once again. We are confident the refreshed model will continue to impress Irish motorists.”


Kia Stonic review Ireland

2018 Kia Stonic 1.4 Review

Kia Stonic review Ireland
The new Kia Stonic

The Kia Stonic is a brand new addition to Kia’s range in Ireland and is Kia’s answer to the burgeoning compact crossover segment. Kia already does well with the Kia Sportage SUV in Ireland, while the Niro is an option for buyers looking for a crossover but with an alternative powertrain (the Niro Plug-in Hybrid has just gone on sale).

But the Kia Stonic plugs a gap just above the Rio supermini for a compact SUV, and comes with a choice of petrol or diesel. The new Stonic is based on the Rio and is not much bigger in size but these two are so distinct from eachother, there won’t be any confusion in the dealer showroom. The Stonic bears all the hallmarks of a mini SUV: raised ride height, more aggressive styling, roof rails and extra cladding, but all packaged in a compact frame with a list price kicking off at €18,599.

Granted the Kia Stonic does carry a price premium over the Rio supermini and while it will seat five, don’t be expecting oceans of space inside. Shoulder room up front is adequate and headroom is very generous all round. In the rear there is not much more legroom than in a Rio so a tall passenger seated behind a tall driver will suffer a bit. The boot is 352 litres versus about 325 in the Rio and has a flat loading area.

Kia Stonic review Ireland
The interior of the new Kia Stonic

Inside hard plastics prevail like in most of the rivals but Kia has made the interior a little more interesting with some other materials and a two tone black and grey look. In terms of equipment, the car looks modern with my 1.4-litre K3 spec car (from €22,599) featuring a number of safety features like lane departure warning, and there’s also Apple Car Play and Android Auto compatibility with the 7” touchscreen infotainment system.

In Ireland the Kia Stonic is offered with a 1.2-litre petrol (84hp), a 1.4-litre petrol (100hp), a new 1.0-litre turbo petrol (120hp) and a 1.6-litre diesel (110hp).

My test car had the 1.4-litre petrol engine. It’s a naturally aspirated petrol engine so lacks the in gear punch of a turbo unit but it keeps the Stonic more affordable and offers adequate power for town, city, motorway and rural road driving. It’s quiet on the move and the Stonic holds the road well with good grip and steering that weights up in corners for greater reassurance behind the wheel. The ride comfort is patchy with a firm note to the suspension being noted over anything other than smooth roads. The little Kia is light and agile to drive, with good refinement at speed.

Kia Stonic review Ireland
The Kia Stonic is a good value compact crossover with a lot of presence

The Kia Stonic fills a gap in Kia’s range for a compact crossover and arrives with smart styling and a good equipment/pricing position. There’s a of competition in this segment at this time, but with Kia’s track record for selling SUVs, the Stonic should find a very accepting new fanbase.

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Kia Stonic 1.4 K3
Price: 
€22,599 (Range from €18,599)
Engine: 1.4-litre petrol
Power: 
100hp
Torque: 133Nm
0-100km/h:  
12.6 seconds
Top speed: 172km/h
Economy: 
5.5l/100km
CO2 emissions:  
125g/km
Motor tax: 
€270 per year


Hyundai Kona review ireland

Hyundai Kona Review

Hyundai Kona review ireland
The new Hyundai Kona

Hyundai has completed their SUV line-up with the arrival of the new Hyundai Kona compact SUV.

Hyundai Ireland has really ridden the wave of popularity for SUVs in Ireland over the last few years with the Hyundai Tucson holding the crown of Ireland’s bestselling car in 2016 and 2017. The C-segment SUV counted 4,908 registrations in 2017, with a considerable margin over its closest competitor the Nissan Qashqai.

Now Hyundai Ireland could replicate that success in the segment below. The new Hyundai Kona is a more compact B-segment SUV and is Hyundai’s first offering in this burgeoning class of vehicle, where the Renault Captur currently reigns supreme.

With pricing starting from €20,995 for a 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol model with attractive spec and distinctive looks, the Hyundai Kona looks like the Tucson’s trendy younger brother.

Altogether more compact but still with seating for five, the Hyundai Kona has the aggressive presence of a small off roader. There are a range of eye popping colours including Tangerine Comet, Acid Yellow and Blue Lagoon (as well as some more sedate ones), and the option of a black roof on all but the base model for a fashionable bi-colour look.

Hyundai Kona review ireland
The interior of the new Hyundai Kona

Inside, the Hyundai Kona offers a respectable and logically laid out cabin, elevated driving position and good shoulder room between driver and passenger. A 7” inch touchscreen with Apple Car Play and Android Auto comes as standard on all but the base model. At night, the dials and switches are illuminated in attractive indigo, while the seats on my Premium model were of good quality and supportive for long journeys. Dark plastics prevail in the cabin but there is the option to add colour packs. Colour accents are featured on the air vent surrounds, around the gearshift, the engine start button ring, the stitching on the seats and steering wheel.

While space up front is generous, the compact nature of the Kona becomes more apparent when you sit into the back of the car, but two adults should be reasonably comfortable. Headroom is fine and the boot houses 361 litres with a flat loading sill for easier loading. 60:40 split folding rear seats reveal 1,143 litres of cargo space when flat.

For now, the Hyundai Kona is available with two turbocharged petrol engines, but there is a diesel on the way later in the year and an electric version is also in the pipeline. The efficient 1.0-litre three cylinder turbo petrol with 120hp and a 6-speed manual is likely to make up the majority of sales. There is a more powerful four cylinder 1.6-litre turbo petrol with 177hp mated to a 7-speed dual clutch automatic gearbox with 4WD but it is more expensive with steeper running costs.

Hyundai Kona review ireland
The Hyundai Kona is launched in Ireland with two petrol engines

On the road, the Hyundai Kona drives well with good composure over a variety of road surfaces and the refinement of a larger car on the motorway. The compact dimensions make it smooth and easy to drive and park, while the steering is not overly light so there is enough resistance for it to hold its own on Ireland’s twisty rural roads.

My test car was a top of the range 4WD 1.6-litre DCT automatic. The combination of the 177hp and automatic gearbox make for a powerful combination, but the 1.0-litre turbo petrol is going to suit the majority of buyers and is more competitive on price and running costs for the segment. The 4WD Kona has a more sophisticated multilink rear suspension than front wheel drive 1.0-litre models, but all indications are that the Kona is a pleasant little crossover with above average road manners.

Hyundai Ireland kicks off the Kona range in Ireland with a 1.0-litre Comfort model (from €20,995) with 16” alloys, air con, roof rails, cruise control, 5” chrome screen, LED daytime running lights, lane keep assist and a driver fatigue warning system.

Hyundai Kona review ireland
The Hyundai Kona is a stylish and capable compact crossover

The mid-range 1.0-litre Executive model (from €22,995) adds 17” alloys, privacy glass, touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple Car Play, front fog lamps, and rear view camera.

Premium models (from €25,995) add leather seats, 18” alloys, blind spot detection, front park assist, rear cross traffic alert, black coated grille, door sill inserts and skid plates.

The Hyundai Kona makes a style statement and is an excellent addition to the Hyundai range, arguably now the ‘coolest’ car in the Hyundai range with a lot of personality and design flair. The Kona has good perceived quality for its class and is an agile and comfortable compact SUV. A valiant assault by Hyundai on a new segment that should make real impact.

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Hyundai Kona Premium 1.6 T-GDI DCT auto 
Price: 
€29,995 (€30,595 with two tone roof)
Engine: 1.6-litre turbo petrol
Power: 
177hp
Torque: 265Nm
0-100km/h:  
7.9 seconds
Top speed: 205km/h
Economy: 
6.7/100km
CO2 emissions:  
153g/km
Motor tax: 
€390 per year


Opel Crossland X review ireland

Opel Crossland X 1.6CDTi Review

Opel is getting serious about SUVs. Compact crossovers are big news these days and Opel has treated their Meriva MPV replacement to an SUV-like makeover. The new Opel Crossland X doesn’t just sound like a more adventurous soul: it looks the part too.

The debut Opel Crossland X will sit alongside the Opel Mokka X, while the soon to arrive Grandland X will top off Opel’s SUV range.

Opel Crossland X sports SUV-inspired styling, elevated seating position, spacious interior, and customisation options.

The Opel Mokka X is quite a popular compact SUV in its own right and on paper it’s closely matched in price to the Crossland X.

But park these two side by side and it’s obvious they are distinct enough from eachother to likely attract a different customer.

Opel Crossland X review ireland
The interior of the Opel Crossland X

Naturally any self-respecting crossover these days has all the paraphernalia of ‘urban toughness’ and Crossland X is no different. The front, rear and sides bear all the cues of Opel’s new design language punctuated with grey plastic cladding and a skid plate front and back. The bi-colour option adds a different coloured roof and some attitude from the Opel Adam, making the car stand out in the car park.

But the individuality ends there. Once you slide into the Crossland X, you can see practicality and affordability are at its core. While the dash design resembles the Corsa and Astra, it looks quite bland and dull here and the plastics look and feel cheap in places. It’s a shame that there is not more character inside here like the outside of the car. A 7” touchscreen comes as standard as part of the Intellilink infotainment system, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are included.

Yet the cabin is well designed for use as a family car. The new Crossland X is 16cms shorter than an Astra but 10cms higher. The large windscreen and windows mean that the cabin is bright, the doors open wide and the passenger space is very good for a compact car. The raised ride height gives an elevated position for all. The boot is a good 410 litres with a low, flat load area.

Opel Crossland X review ireland
The Opel Crossland X has practicality at its core

There is a small engine range for the Opel Crossland X with a choice of 1.6-litre turbo diesel (99 or 120hp) and 1.2-litre turbo petrol (81 or 110hp). My test car was powered by the 1.6-litre diesel with 120hp. The diesel is quite noisy around town but smooths out on longer runs. On the flip side there is no shortage of power and it is economical. Low mileage or urban drivers should consider one of the 1.2-litre turbo petrols as petrol power would appear to be a better fit for a compact car like this unless you really need the economy and power for frequent longer runs on the motorway.

Elsewhere, the Opel Crossland X does well as an everyday runabout with light steering making it very manoeuvrable around town. The light steering translates into a not so exciting drive outside of town with little dynamic appeal but it’s comfortable and spacious so not at all unpleasant.

In Ireland the Crossland X range starts at €21,995 for an SC model with standard equipment including Opel OnStar, dual zone climate control, cruise control, 16″ alloys, front fog lights, lane departure warning and traffic sign recognition. SE models (from €23,495) add a contrast colour roof as standard, 17″ alloys, ambient lighting, rear parking sensors and some updated styling features. Diesels start from €23,995.

The Opel Crossland X is a great new option in the Opel showroom for buyers looking for a compact but practical family car with a fun look. It’s a shame the interior is not a bit more exciting to look at. Practicality really is this car’s strong point and while diesel does not seem the most flattering engine choice for it, the Crossland X offers a lot of space and spec within the ease of a compact frame.

Opel Crossland X review ireland
The Opel Crossland X range starts from €21,995 in Ireland

Model tested: Opel Crossland X SE 1.6 CDTi (120PS)
Price: €26,495 (Range starts €21,995)
Engine: 1.6-litre turbo diesel
Power: 
120hp
Torque: 300Nm
0-100km/h:  
9.9 seconds
Top speed: 187km/h
Claimed Economy: 
4/100km
CO2 emissions: 
105g/km
Motor tax:
€190 per year

Caroline Kidd


SEAT Arona

SEAT Arona Arrives In Ireland

The all-new SEAT Arona has arrived in Ireland, priced from €17,995.

The new Arona is SEAT's third new model release in 2017, after the upgraded Leon and the all-new Ibiza. The compact crossover is another addition to the SEAT range in its biggest product offensive ever, which also includes the Ateca SUV and the upcoming large 7 seater size SUV that will be released in late 2018.

The SEAT Arona sits within the SUV range below the SEAT Ateca and features a number of driver assistance and comfort features such as Front Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, Hill Hold control, Fatigue Detection, Rain and Headlight Sensors and Multi-Collision Brake, Keyless Entry and Start System, rear camera, premium 8" black panel touchscreen, wireless charger with GSM signal amplifier, Rear Traffic Alert, Blind Spot Detection and Park Assistance System, which works for both parallel and angle parking.

In terms of connectivity, the new SEAT Arona features Apple Car Play, Android Auto and Mirror Link. There's an optional BeatsAudio with 6 premium speakers, a 300W 8-channel amplifier and a subwoofer in the boot.

The new SEAT Arona offers S, SE, FR and XCELLENCE trims.

The FR trim includes optional dual-mode suspension, and the SEAT Drive Profile with four modes: Normal, Sport, Eco and Individual.

To simplify the process of ordering the new SEAT Arona, the optional equipment is grouped into packages.

All of the engines available have direct injection, a turbocharger, and automatic stop & start. There are three different petrol engines to choose from: the 3-cylinder, 1.0 TSI 95PS, which is linked to a five-speed manual gearbox; the 1.0 TSI 115PS, which comes with a six-speed manual gearbox or the dual-clutch seven-speed DSG transmission; and a new four-cylinder 1.5 TSI 150PS with active cylinder disconnection technology, which is exclusive to the FR trim and is connected to a six-speed manual gearbox.

As for diesel options, the 1.6 TDI will be available with 95 and 115PS. The 95 PS version can be paired with a five-speed manual transmission or the seven-speed DSG, and the 115PS with a six-speed gearbox.

Neil Dalton, Head of Marketing and Product at SEAT Ireland commented, “We are delighted to finally welcome the all-new SEAT Arona to Ireland and are extremely confident it will be very well received. Our SUV range is proving to be extremely popular, and the Arona is the perfect complement to its larger brother the Ateca, which is continuing to generate a phenomenal reaction from Irish drivers”.


Citroën C3 Aircross Arriving In November

The new Citroën C3 Aircross is available to order in Ireland now, with pricing starting from €20,695. The car officially goes on sale from 6th November 2017 when the car will arrive in Irish showrooms.

Available in three trim levels Touch (from €20,695), Feel (from €21,995) and Flair (from €25,095), the new Citroën C3 Aircross is available with a choice of 1.2-litre PureTech petrol and 1.6-litre BlueHDi diesel engines, as well as the latest generation EAT6 fully automatic gearbox.

Standard equipment includes manual air con, rear parking sensors, four electric windows and lane departure warning. Equipment on Feel includes 16" alloys, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, and rear privacy glass, while Flair includes wireless phone charging, 17" alloys, satellite navigation, keyless entry and start, and more safety equipment.

Customisation will be a key feature of the new Citroen C3 Aircross and the exterior bi-tone roof, standard on the Flair trim level and available in three colours, can be complimented by one of the four exterior colour pack options, giving a total of 85 combinations.

The new compact crossover introduces a number of new technologies to the Citroën range including Wireless Smartphone Charging and Grip Control® with Hill Descent Assist.

Citroën’s Family Pack is standard on Feel and Flair models and includes folding front passenger seat, 60/40 sliding rear bench, 60/40 reclining rear seats, rear sun blinds, ski hatch and a rear middle armrest with cup holders.

Caroline Kidd


2017 Kia Stonic ireland review

Kia Stonic First Drive Review

Read a full Irish road test of the Kia Stonic 1.4

The Kia Stonic is Kia’s new B-segment compact crossover and will arrive in Irish showrooms from October 27th, priced from €18,599. I’ve been driving the new Kia Stonic at the Irish launch in Barberstown Castle.

Styling

The Kia Stonic is based on the Kia Rio supermini but is sporting a whole new ‘outdoorsy’ look. It’s got a raised ride height and cladding and is a compact but smart presence, likely to look equally at home in the city or in the country.

Interior

The interior has more character than the interior of the Kia Rio supermini: there is a greater mix of materials and colours that lift the cabin a bit more. Hard plastics prevail but that’s common in this segment and it doesn’t look too cheap. A 7” touchscreen with Bluetooth comes as standard and is easy to use.

Practicality

In terms of space, it’s not much bigger than the Rio but the increased headroom makes it feel more spacious. In the back, it will be tight for a tall driver and a tall passenger, but the flat transmission tunnel is a welcome addition for middle passengers. The boot is a respectable 352 litres with a false floor giving a flat loading area.

2017 Kia Stonic ireland review
The interior of the new Kia Stonic

Engines

The new Kia Stonic is available in Ireland with a choice of three petrol engines and one diesel engine: a 1.2-litre petrol (84hp), a 1.4-litre petrol (100hp), a new 1.0-litre turbo petrol (120hp) and a 1.6-litre diesel (110hp).

At the launch I drove the Kia Stonic 1.4-litre petrol with 100hp. It needs to be revved hard to pick up speed but feels nippy enough and should be plenty for urban driving. CO2 emissions for this model are 125g so motor tax will be €270 and fuel economy is a claimed 5.5l/km.

On the road

On the road the new Kia Stonic is light and easy to drive. It feels agile and holds the road well through bends. There is some road noise and a little bit of firmness in the suspension catches it out over rough surfaces. A full review will follow in 2018 when I have the car for a longer road test.

Equipment

The new Kia Stonic is available in four grades: K1, K2, K3 and K4. The K1 entry level spec includes a skid plate front and rear, Bluetooth, 7 inch touchscreen, 15 inch alloys, front armrest, spare wheel, privacy glass, speed limiter and cruise control. K2 includes 17 inch alloys, roof rails, auto lights, DRL LEDs, electrically heated and folding wing mirrors, and manual air con. K3 includes ADAS safety equipment, LED rear lights, chrome belt line, two tone leather, heated front seats, Sat Nav, DAB radio and rear view camera. The top of the range K4 model includes Smart Key, metal pedals, blind spot detector, and dual auto air con.

All K3 and K4 models come with the option of two tone roof and interior trim personalisation.

Pricing

Petrol

Stonic K1 model 1.2 €18,599

Stonic K2 model available in 1.4 €21,099

Stonic K3 model available in 1.4 €22,599

Stonic K4 model with 1.0TDGi €24,599

Diesel

Stonic K2 1.6 D €23,099

Stonic K3 1.6 D €24,599

2017 Kia Stonic ireland review
The Kia Stonic is on sale in Ireland at the end of the month priced from €18,599

Rivals

The Kia Stonic will face competition from established names like the Peugeot 2008, Nissan Juke and Renault Captur and newcomers like the Hyundai Kona and SEAT Arona.

Verdict

The new Kia Stonic commands about a €3000 price premium over the similarly sized Kia Rio supermini but B-segment crossovers are hugely popular and in this segment image counts. The Kia Stonic has the SUV ‘image du jour’ and is well specced. Engines vary from the more breathless naturally aspirated units to a punchy turbo unit so it depends on budget. In a busy segment, the Kia Stonic will be up against it but Kia has a good track record of selling SUVs.

Caroline Kidd


SEAT Arona 2017

SEAT Ireland Reveals Pricing For New Arona

The SEAT Arona range will start from €17,995 when it arrives in Ireland in November.

The all-new SEAT Arona is SEAT’s first compact crossover, which is the fastest growing segment in Ireland.

Neil Dalton, Head of Marketing and Product at SEAT Ireland commented: “With every new model we introduce, one of our priorities is to ensure the pricing and specification is competitive for the market here in Ireland, and that we continue to provide value for our customers. We’re confident that we have achieved the best value vehicle in this rapidly growing segment.”

The all-new SEAT Arona is the brand's third new model release in 2017, after the upgraded Leon and the all-new Ibiza. This is yet another addition to the SEAT range in its biggest product offensive ever, which also includes the Ateca and the upcoming large 7 seater size SUV that will be released in late 2018.

The SEAT Arona is available with a range of driver assistance features including Front Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, Hill Hold, Fatigue Detection, Rain and Headlight Sensors, Rear Traffic Alert, Multi-Collision Brake, Blind Spot Detection and the Park Assistance System, which works for both parallel and angle parking. Other features include Keyless Entry and Start System, rear camera, premium 8" black panel touchscreen, and a wireless charger with GSM signal amplifier.

In terms of connectivity, Arona features Apple Car Play, Android Auto and Mirror Link. And in the sound department, the new SEAT Arona features optional BeatsAudio with 6 premium speakers, a 300W 8-channel amplifier and a subwoofer in the boot.

The all-new SEAT Arona offers S, SE, FR and Xcellence trims.

The FR trim includes optional dual-mode suspension, and the SEAT Drive Profile with four modes: Normal, Sport, Eco and Individual. Optional equipment is grouped into packages.

There are three different petrol engines to choose from for new Arona in Ireland. The first is the 3-cylinder, 95 PS 1.0 TSI, which is linked to a five-speed manual gearbox. Also available is this same engine but in a 115 PS version (from €20,715), which comes with a six-speed manual gearbox or the dual-clutch seven-speed DSG transmission. The third is the new four-cylinder, 150 PS 1.5 TSI with active cylinder deactivation technology, which is exclusive to the FR trim and is connected to a six-speed manual gearbox.

As for diesel options, the 1.6 TDI will be available with 95 and 115 PS. The 95 PS version can be paired with a five-speed manual transmission or the seven-speed DSG, and the 115 PS with a six-speed gearbox.

The all new SEAT Arona will arrive in Ireland in November. To find out more visit www.seat.ie.

Caroline Kidd