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."

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 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 blends affordability with practical features

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

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