Alison Canavan pictured with the new Honda Civic

Alison Canavan Joins Clonskeagh Motors As Honda Ambassador

Alison Canavan pictured with the new Honda Civic
Alison Canavan pictured with the new Honda Civic

Clonskeagh Motors has announced Alison Canavan as their new Honda Brand Ambassador. The model, author and health and wellness coach will be driving a new Honda Civic provided by the dealership.

Speaking as she received the keys to her new Civic, Alison said: “Honda has a special place in my heart as my late father Tom was a proud Honda Dealer, so it means a lot to me to be partnering with such a honoured family dealership like Clonskeagh Motors. Honda's brand reputation for safety and reliability are values I am highly aware of and are so important to me as a mother with a young son”.

Fiona Murphy, Company Director of Clonskeagh Motors said: "For many reasons we are delighted to partner with Alison at this exciting time for Honda. Firstly, the Honda association goes back a long way with the Canavan family and we are pleased that our partnership with Alison rekindles this tradition. Secondly, the Civic has been a very popular family car with Irish buyers for generations and its core strengths of style, reliability and safety are a great fit with the work that Alison does. We look forward to a mutually beneficial collaboration with Alison and some exciting events in our Honda showroom over the coming year."

The new Honda Civic Sedan

2018 Honda Civic Sedan Review

The new Honda Civic Sedan
The new Honda Civic Sedan is now on sale in Ireland

Caroline drives the Honda Civic Sedan.

Many Honda enthusiasts will be delighted to hear that a saloon version of Honda’s well-known compact car has now arrived in Ireland. Based on the tenth generation of the Civic that launched in Ireland in 2017, the Civic Sedan, as it is officially known, goes on sale here priced from €24,750.

That’s just a €1000 premium over the equivalent hatchback and the four door Civic Sedan is arguably a ‘grander’ alternative to the Civic Hatchback, with more physical presence from that carefully designed elongated rear end. In fact, the size and shape of this vehicle surely makes it a worthy successor to the Accord, which is no longer sold here.

Mature elegance in the Honda Civic Sedan

Thankfully, the Civic’s fantastic recipe of quality, refinement and driving fun has not been diluted in the saloon version. When you sit into the Civic Sedan you are met with the same mature looking dashboard design. From the driver’s seat, the Civic gives the impression of being behind the wheel of a larger machine. It’s very spacious in the rear with two large footwells and the boot in the saloon comes in at 519 litres, which is 41 litres more than the Civic Hatchback.

The interior of the Honda Civic Sedan
The interior of the Honda Civic Sedan

In Ireland, the Civic Sedan comes in three trims: Smart, Smart Plus and Premium. The Honda Sensing suite of safety equipment comes as standard including adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, lane keep assist and traffic sign recognition. The popular Smart Plus model (from €27,250) gets features such as 17” alloys, Honda Connect with 7” touchscreen, rear parking camera, parking sensors, dual zone air conditioning, and leather steering wheel.

The Premium model on test (from €31,150) had a blind spot monitor, keyless entry and start, full leather interior, heated front seats, sunroof and premium audio system with 10 speakers.

What engine options are available?

The Honda Civic Sedan is available in Ireland with a 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine with 126hp or the 1.6-litre diesel with 120hp. A six speed manual gearbox comes as standard, while there is also the option of an automatic gearbox.

My test car was the 1.6-litre diesel and it is a very efficient unit with motor tax of just €180 per year and my fuel consumption over a week of driving was 5.2 litres.

The Honda Civic Sedan range starts at €24,750
The Honda Civic Sedan range starts at €24,750 in Ireland

On the road in the Honda Civic Sedan

The diesel engine also happens to suit the Civic Sedan very well. There’s loads of flexibility and power and the engine is refined and never gets too raucous. As we've noted in previous variants of the new Civic, the ride and handling of this generation is superb, with the car being both comfortable and fun to drive. The steering is direct and nicely weighted and the Civic goes around corners with aplomb.

The Honda Civic Sedan, especially in diesel form as it is tested here, is very easy to recommend. In Sedan form, the Civic gains an air of grandeur with the presence and style of a larger car. Once inside, it's the quality, space and refinement of the Civic Sedan that seals the deal. I have no problem saying that the Honda Civic is still one of the best cars launched in Ireland in the last 18 months!

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Honda Civic Sedan 1.6 i-DTEC Premium
€32,950 (Sedan range from €24,750)
Engine: 1.6-litre turbo diesel
120 hp
Torque: 300 Nm
10 seconds
Top speed: 201 km/h
CO2 emissions: 
91 g/km
Motor tax: 
€180 per year

The Honda Civic Sedan offers plenty of style and space in the compact class
The Honda Civic Sedan offers plenty of style and space in the compact class

Katie Taylor with her new Honda Civic

Katie Taylor Announced As New Honda Brand Ambassador

Katie Taylor with her new Honda Civic
Katie Taylor with her new Honda Civic

Katie Taylor has joined the Honda brand as a brand ambassador for Universal Honda Ltd. and Castle Garage Honda in Bray Co. Wicklow.

The Olympic Gold boxing medallist - who is currently the IBF & WBA World Boxing Champion - collected her new Honda Civic hatchback at Marlfield House, Gorey, Co. Wexford at the launch of the new Honda Civic Four Door Sedan.

Speaking of the new partnership, Katie said: “I'm delighted to be partnering with Honda and really looking forward to getting out on the road in the new Civic!"

John Saunders, Director of Sales and Marketing for Universal Honda Ltd., said: “We are absolutely delighted to bring Katie on board as a Honda Ambassador. Katie is one of Ireland's most successful athletes ever. With a record breaking amateur career behind her, including multiple world titles and of course Olympic GOLD, she continues her dominance in the professional world. We are really delighted and honoured to welcome Katie, and we wish her all the very best in her next title defence in October".

Derek Bradshaw, Dealer Principal of Castle Garage Bray Co. Wicklow said: “We at Castle Garage are truly honoured to have this association with Katie, one of Ireland’s all-time great sporting heroes. Not only a phenomenal sportswoman but a fantastic role model too.  The fact that she is also a local Bray girl makes this association very special for us. We really do hope she enjoys driving her new Honda Civic and wish her continued success in the future."

The new Honda Civic Saloon

2018 Honda Civic Saloon Arrives In Ireland

The new Honda Civic Saloon
The 2018 Honda Civic Saloon has arrived in Ireland!

The 2018 Honda Civic Saloon has arrived in Ireland priced from €24,750 for petrol models and from €26,550 for a diesel.

The new four door saloon is based on the tenth generation of the Civic that first arrived in Ireland as a hatchback in 2017. Honda Ireland lobbied hard to receive right hand drive versions of the new Civic Saloon, as saloons traditionally still sell well here.

The new Honda Civic Saloon goes on sale with a 1.0-litre VTEC turbo petrol engine with 129hp and a 1.6-litre DTEC turbo diesel engine with 120hp and emissions as low as 91g CO2. Manual and automatic gearboxes are available.

The new Civic Saloon has more elongated styling to accommodate generous rear seating space and a large 519 litre boot, which is 41 litres more than the Civic hatchback.

There are three trim levels in Ireland for the new Civic Saloon: Smart, Smart Plus and Premium. The Honda Sensing suite of advanced safety and driver-assistance features is standard across the Civic range, ensure the car is among the very safest in its class.

The new Honda Civic Saloon
The new Honda Civic Saloon goes on sale priced from €24,750

Honda Civic Diesel

2018 Honda Civic Diesel Review

Honda Civic Diesel
The new 2018 Honda Civic Diesel

Did someone tell you diesel was dead? Well Honda Ireland certainly doesn’t think so. The brand cheekily launched their new Honda Civic Diesel to the media earlier in 2018 with the tagline ‘Never Say (Die)sel'. And after recently driving the new Honda Civic Diesel myself, I can say that it’s no surprise that Honda are confident that this car has plenty more mileage left in it!

In 2017 Honda launched the new tenth generation Civic to widespread acclaim, with the car collecting the 2018 Irish Compact Car of the Year Award. The new Civic was launched with two new petrol engines: Civic 1.0-litre and Civic 1.5-litre, which are good engines, but we were promised a diesel in 2018. Now it’s here.

Does the Honda Civic Diesel make a good family hatchback?

The Honda Civic does a lot of things right. Honda has toned down the styling to make it more palatable but it’s still very sporty and avant-garde for the compact segment. The Civic is genuinely spacious inside and buyers get a lot of ‘bang for their buck’: the boot is 478 litres, one of the biggest in the class, and the rear foot wells are large also. Up front it feels like a larger car too when compared to many rivals.

Inside new Civic, Honda has toned down the confusing dash layout and screens of the previous model, instead opting for a more ordinary and conventional appearance. It's all the better for it. The material quality and build is very good, though a Volkswagen Golf is more premium feeling.

The interior of the Honda Civic Diesel
The interior of the Honda Civic Diesel

In Ireland the Civic range kicks off at €23,750 for a 1.0-litre petrol, while the Civic Diesel range kicks off at €25,550. Standard equipment includes 16” alloys, Bluetooth, parking sensors, and automatic air conditioning. Impressively, the Honda Sensing suite of safety equipment comes as standard including traffic sign recognition, adaptive cruise control, road departure mitigation, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, forward collision warning and collision mitigation braking system.

My test car was a 1.6 i-DTEC Smart Plus retailing at €27,950. It's not the cheap option for sure but there's more equipment including 17" alloys, Honda Connect infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, dual zone climate control, rear parking camera, privacy glass, fog lights, driver lumbar support, auto wipers and leather steering wheel.

What's the new Honda Civic Diesel like to drive?

The Honda Civic Diesel is also one of the best diesel hatchbacks to drive and very efficient. Over a few days of driving my fuel consumption was 5.3 litres per 100km and motor tax is just €180 per year. The diesel engine suits the Civic perfectly: there is great flexibility in the engine allowing for very smooth driving, while it has plenty of power to make the most of the Civic's agile handling and sporty steering. The Civic Diesel is refined on the move and not at all laboursome to drive, even with a 6-speed manual gearbox. A new 9-speed automatic is coming for the Civic Diesel this summer.

Honda Civic Diesel
The new Honda Civic Diesel range starts at €25,550

The new Honda Civic Diesel is not the cheapest diesel family hatchback you can buy, but on the whole in terms of space, equipment and safety features, it is good value. This is a fuel sipping hatchback that’s also great fun to drive. The Honda Civic Diesel has miles more life in it. It’s a fantastic diesel hatchback.

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Honda Civic 1.6 i-DTEC Smart Plus
€27,950 (Range from €23,750)
Engine: 1.6-litre turbo diesel
Torque: 300Nm
10.1 seconds
Top speed: 201km/h
Claimed Economy: 
CO2 emissions:  
Motor tax: 
€180 per year

The 2018 Honda Civic Saloon

Honda Civic Saloon On The Way To Ireland

Honda Ireland has announced that the new Honda Civic Saloon will be available in Ireland from late July 2018.

This means that the Honda Civic range is now complete with both hatchback and saloons available, petrol and diesel engines, and manual and automatic transmissions.

The Honda Civic Saloon will be available with Honda's new 1.0-litre VTEC Turbo petrol engine and comprehensively revised 1.6 i-DTEC diesel engine. There is the option of automatic or manual transmission with both engines.

The new Honda Civic Saloon completes the Civic family joining the high performance Civic Type R and hatchback, which is currently available with a 1.0-litre or 1.5-litre VTEC Turbo petrol engine and the 1.6 i-DTEC diesel.

A new 9-speed automatic gearbox for the diesel will arrive in the second part of the year.

The Skoda Octavia petrol hatchback

Best Petrol Family Hatchbacks To Buy

I'm often asked by readers which petrol family hatchback should I buy? In 2018 I'm finding that many readers are facing a similar dilemma: they are all looking for an efficient petrol hatchback car. I haven't included every petrol hatchback on the Irish market but these are the ones that I would definitely be checking out if I was in the market for a new car.

1. Skoda Octavia 1.0TSI 

From €21,310

The Skoda Octavia is one of Ireland's favourite cars and it's no surprise: the car is priced so well considering how spacious it is. This car is really great value and it's available now with the Volkswagen Group's new 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine with 115hp.

The Skoda Octavia petrol hatchback
The Skoda Octavia

2. Honda Civic 1.0 VTEC Turbo

From €23,750

The new Honda Civic features an excellent 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine with 127hp. The Civic is spacious inside with a large boot and it's great fun to drive too.

Honda Civic petrol hatchback
The Honda Civic

3. Peugeot 308 1.2 PureTech

From €20,995

The Peugeot 308 range has just been facelifted and features Peugeot's award winning 1.2-litre PureTech turbo petrol engine with 110hp or 130hp. The 308 is also available as an 'SW' (estate) offering more boot space and rear legroom than the hatchback.

The Peugeot 308 petrol hatchback
The Peugeot 308

4. Volkswagen Golf 1.0TSI 110hp

From €23,095

The Volkswagen Golf is Ireland's bestselling hatchback for good reason. The new 1.0-litre Golf with 110hp is an absolute joy to drive.

The Volkswagen Golf petrol hatchback
The Volkswagen Golf

5. Toyota Auris 1.2 Petrol

From €24,250

Toyota is well-known for its hybrid range, but it still makes some very good petrol cars. The Toyota Auris is available with a 1.2-litre petrol engine with 116hp.

The Toyota Auris petrol hatchback
The Toyota Auris

6. Ford Focus 1.0 EcoBoost

From €25,175

The Ford Focus is due for replacement this year but it's still selling very well in Ireland. The Focus 1.0-litre turbo petrol EcoBoost with 125hp is fun to drive while also being a reasonable all rounder in other areas too.

Ford Focus petrol hatchback
The Ford Focus

7. Kia Cee'd 1.0 T-GDi

From €22,999

Kia's family hatchback goes a little under the radar but the Cee'd offers a 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine with 120hp in the sporty GT Line trim, which is well equipped with sporty features.

Kia Cee'd petrol hatchback
The Kia Cee'd

8. Opel Astra 1.0 Turbo

From €21,750

The former European Car of the Year winner has a quality and connected interior with sweet handling, and the Astra 1.0-litre turbo petrol is smooth and peppy with 105hp.

Opel Astra petrol hatchback
The Opel Astra

Caroline Kidd

Honda Civic 1.6 diesel i-DTEC

2018 Honda Civic Diesel Arrives In Ireland

Honda Ireland has expanded the Honda Civic range in Ireland with the arrival of a new 1.6-litre diesel engine with 120hp.

The tenth generation Honda Civic launched in Ireland in 2017 with two petrol engines: a 1.0 and 1.5 litre turbo petrol.

The Honda Civic range starts from €23,750 for a 1.0-litre turbo petrol, while the new Civic 1.6-litre diesel goes on sale from €25,550.

Honda has comprehensively revised its 120hp, 300Nm 1.6 litre i-DTEC diesel engine for the all-new Honda Civic range. CO2 emissions (under the updated NEDC test conditions) are from 93g/km when equipped with the six-speed manual transmission. Combined fuel economy figures under the updated test conditions are 3.5l/100 km.

The Civic Diesel is available in four trims: Smart (from €25,550), Smart Plus (from €27,950), Premium (from €31,950) and Premium Plus (from €33,450).

Standard equipment includes the Honda Sensing suite of safety equipment, Bluetooth, parking sensors, auto air con and 16" alloys.

Read a review of the Honda Civic 1.0 Turbo or Civic 1.5 Turbo.

Caroline Kidd

Nissan Micra

6 Ordinary Heroes From 2016 Paris Motor Show

Forget the supercars and concepts! Here are my picks of the best ordinary cars from the 2016 Paris Motor Show. These six will be arriving in Ireland over the coming months and into 2017.

1.Suzuki Ignis 

Suzuki Ignis
The Suzuki Ignis, a funky new compact crossover

One of my stars of this year's show, Suzuki has given new life to the Ignis name in the form of a new compact crossover. The Ignis will be arriving in Ireland in early 2017 and has a cute and quirky presence. Customisation will be a key feature with the option of two tone colour schemes (with a black roof) and accent colours in the cabin. Four wheel drive will be available and power will come from a 1.2-litre petrol engine.

2.Nissan Micra

Nissan Micra
The Nissan Micra has gone all cool and edgy for the first time in its history

There was a big surprise on the Nissan stand with the unveiling of Generation 5 of the long standing Micra. For the first time the Nissan Micra is a cool and edgy affair, and some of the cars on display sported daring colours and youthful colour accents. The interior design and quality looks a huge step forward for the supermini. At launch, the car will offer the choice of a 0.9-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine and a 1.5-litre diesel, both developing 90hp. The range will be joined soon after by a naturally aspirated 73hp 1.0-litre petrol engine.

3.Citroen C3

Citroen C3
The Citroen C3 has crossover inspired styling

Citroen released photos of the new C3 a few months ago but this was the first time to see it in the metal and this will really be one to watch. This car looks far better in reality and is something refreshingly different in this segment with crossover inspired styling. A look inside reveals a smart interior with stylish colour accents and neat design details.

4.Peugeot 3008

Peugeot 3008
The Peugeot 3008 will be arriving in Ireland in December

This was the first time for us to explore the new 3008 SUV in the metal and it looks really promising. Peugeot have been talking a lot about a move upmarket, and the 3008 looks like a really well polished vehicle with crisp styling and a stunning cabin based around Peugeot's next generation of the i-Cockpit. This will be an interesting entrant to the C-segment SUV market when it arrives in Ireland in December.

5.Skoda Kodiaq

Skoda Kodiaq
The new Skoda Kodiaq is another one to watch - more subdued colours will be available!

Skoda has been leading an epic build up campaign to the Kodiaq. Photos of the new seven seater were released a few weeks ago but this was my first time to look around the car. Interior space is exceptionally good, even in the third row, while there is decent cargo space  with the third row of seats in place. The interior quality seems really good too and on the outside the Kodiaq has the same premium look as the new Skoda Superb.  Bound to be a hit if the pricing is good.

6.Honda Civic

Honda Civic
This is the Type R version of the new Honda Civic - the standard car will be a bit tamer!

The Honda Civic has matured and is looking more 'normal' now than it has since the mid-Noughties, which should mean that there will be less of a Marmite reaction to the car. The Civic has always been a fine car but did it always get the attention it deserved? Less polemic styling should certainly help. New turbo petrol engines are promised too so the engine line up should be competitive to what else is knocking about in this segment. Cabin space seems generous too.

Caroline Kidd

Honda Civic Si

7 Sporty Hatchbacks Under €30,000

kia ceed gt line
The Kia Cee'd GT Line

There are a number of sporty variants of popular five door hatchbacks available now on the Irish market. These more exclusive models will ensure that you stand out from the crowd with updated styling for a sportier look, but still with average running costs and the same sort of practicality and versatility as their more conventional counterparts. I've picked seven of the best sporty hatchbacks for under €30,000.

1. Kia Cee’d GT Line

Available from just €22,500, the Cee’d GT Line is one of the cheapest sporty hatchbacks you can buy. The GT Line sports distinct ‘ice-cube’ LED daytime running lights, LED rear lights, 17” five spoke alloys, more muscular bumpers, side skirts, dual exhaust, special GT Line interior, a sport mode and long list of standard equipment. Kia’s new 1.0-litre three cylinder turbocharged petrol engine producing 120PS provides the power.

Kia Cee’d 1.0 GDi Petrol GT Line: €22,500

2. Opel Astra SRi


The SRi is the sporty one in the new Astra range. It sits on 17” five spoke alloy wheels and inside there is loads of new tech, sports seats and a Sport button to enhance the driving experience. The SRi trim is available with a host of engines including 1.0-litre (105PS) and 1.4-litre (150PS) turbo petrols, and the 1.6-litre diesel (110PS or 136PS).

Opel Astra SRi 1.0i Turbo 105PS: €24,495

3. SEAT Leon FR

The SEAT Leon FR

The Leon FR gets some styling inspiration from the Cupra hot hatch including 18” 5 spoke alloys, double exhaust, full LED headlights and some other body modifications. Inside there is ambient lighting, sports seats and some other trim updates. A sports suspension and ‘Sport’ mode complete the experience. Power comes from a 1.4-litre TSI petrol (125hp) or a 2.0-litre TDI diesel with 150 or 184hp.

SEAT Leon FR 1.4-litre TSI: €25,675

4. Renault Mégane GT Line

Renault Megane GT Line
Renault Megane GT Line

The new Renault Mégane GT Line has 17” alloys and special bumpers with grey rear diffuser for a sporty look. Inside there is blue detailing, cosy sports seats, ambient lighting and a driving mode selector where you can select ‘Sport’ mode. The GT Line is available with Renault’s 1.5-litre diesel with wither 110bhp or 130bhp.

Renault Mégane dCi 110 GT Line: €25,990

5. Ford Focus ST-Line

Ford Focus ST-Line
The Ford Focus ST-Line

Inspired by the high performance Focus ST, the Focus ST-Line comes with 17” alloys, gloss black honeycomb grille, restyled bumpers and side skirts. Inside there are sports style front seats and the dash has a more premium finish. A sports suspension enhances the handling and just one engine is available – the 2.0-litre TDCi diesel with 150PS.

Ford Focus 2.0-litre TDCi ST-Line: €27,170

6. Honda Civic Si

Honda Civic Si
Honda Civic Si

A glimpse of the Honda Civic Si and you might think you’ve spotted the Type R for its 17” gloss black alloys, mesh grille and rear spoiler. Power comes from Honda’s super frugal 1.6-litre i-DTEC diesel.

Honda Civic 1.6 i-DTEC Si: €27,395

7. Alfa Romeo Giulietta Super Sport

Alfa Romeo Giulietta Super Sport
The Alfa Romeo Giulietta Super Sport

This is one of the most gorgeous sporty hatchbacks and it's quite posh too. The Giulietta sits at the more premium end of the market and its naturally beautiful shape is enhanced in Super Sport trim by 17” alloys, rear spoiler, red bumper insert, bigger exhaust pipe and side skirts. The Giulietta is available with a range of engines including a 1.4-litre turbo petrol with 150hp and a 1.6-litre diesel with 120hp.

Alfa Romeo Giulietta 1.4 TB MutliAir 150 bhp: €28,100

Caroline Kidd