192 offers and car deals for Ireland

192 Offers And Car Deals For Ireland

 

192 offers and car deals for Ireland
Thinking about buying a new car this summer? You will want to get the best 192 offer

On July 1st 2019 we enter the new 192 registration period, and there are a number of 192 offers and car deals buyers can avail of from manufacturers. We’ve put together a list of 192 offers available and this list will be updated as more manufacturers release their offers. For more information visit the manufacturer’s website or your local dealer.

Audi

192 offers include special Audi service plans from €15.99 per month as well as a complementary €250 Audi genuine accessories offer. APR rates from 2.9% on Audi Q5 and 3.9% on Audi A6. Offers available on vehicles registered before 31stAugust.

Citroen

0% APR across C3, C4 Cactus and C4 Spacetourer. 3.9% APR across C1, C3 Aircross, Berlingo, C5 Aircross and Spacetourer. 

Dacia

Dacia is offering customers 0 deposit and 4.9% APR across the range including the Duster SUV, Sandero, Sandero Stepway SUV and Logan MCV.

Ford

Deals on offer include reductions on some of Ford’s most popular models including the Ka+, Fiesta, EcoSport, Focus and Kuga. There's also 7 years warranty on offer, 7 years roadside assistance, 1 year free road tax, 3.9 percent APR and upgrade packs for selected models that include a range of extras at reduced prices.

Honda

Honda has launched their ‘High Five’ campaign. For a limited time the Honda Civic Diesel will be available with a choice of 5 offers: 3.9% APR PCP Finance Available OR €3,000 Guaranteed Minimum Trade – In Value OR Upgrade to 9 speed automatic OR Complimentary Platinum Service Plan and 1 years Free Road Tax OR €1,000 Deposit Contribution.

Hyundai

5 Years Unlimited Manufacturer’s Warranty, 5 Years Free Health Check and 5 Years AA Roadside Assistance across the range. 3.9% APR finance on i10, i20, i30 Hatchback, i30 Fastback, i30 Tourer, ix20, Tucson, Kona, Santa Fe, and i40 if you book and register by 29th June 2019. Or five years of free servicing. Or avail of scrappage bonus of up to €5,000.

Jaguar

To celebrate Jaguar's wins at the 2019 World Car Awards with the new I-PACE, customers can enjoy a €3,000 discount across the Jaguar range. Each model also comes with 3-year warranty, 3-year roadside assistance and a free 3-year service plan. Discount available until 31st August 2019.

Kia

0% APR on HP for 192 Niro Plug-In Hybrid, Sportage and Stonic models ordered before 30th August.

Nissan

Get up to €5,500 scrappage on your old car when you buy a 192 Nissan. Scrappage available on all models (excluding LEAF). 0% APR on new Nissan Micra. 3.9% APR on other models on PCP Finance.

Peugeot

Customers who register their new 192 car before 31st July can avail of finance from 3.9%, plus either scrappage up to €4,000, or a deposit contribution of up to €750 on younger trade ins. All cars come with a five-year extended warranty.

Renault

0% APR and 0 deposit across the model range including the Clio, Captur, Kadjar, Megane, Koleos, Scenic and Grand Scenic. All cars come with 5 years’ warranty and 5 years’ roadside assistance as standard. On the Renault ZOE Z.E. 40, customers can avail of 0% APR HP. These offers are available on all new car registrations from now until 31st July.

SEAT

Until July 31st, there's 0% PCP finance on selected SEAT models. Monthly repayments on SEAT’s SUV range start from €219 for the Arona, from €289 on the Ateca and from €349 on the new Tarraco, which includes a 3-year service plan. Monthly repayments on the SEAT Ibiza and SEAT Leon start from €189 and €239. There are also trade-in bonuses of €1,000 on the Arona, €2,000 on the Ibiza, Ateca and Tarraco and €3,000 on the Leon.

Toyota

Trade-in boosters of up to €3,000, and APRs from 2.9% on passenger cars as part of Toyota's 192 offers. 3 years servicing as standard. Toyota's New Generation promotion runs from 5th – 8th June in dealerships with the full range of new generation self-charging hybrid and petrol models available for test drive.

Volkswagen

PCP finance from 0% APR. Purchase contributions of up to €2500. Service plan packs, R-Line model upgrades and technology upgrades also available. Finance offer only available on new retail sales ordered before June 30th.

 


The Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé is a prestigious and desirable coupé

Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé Review

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé

Caroline drives the 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé.

There are few things more desirable in life than a slinky Mercedes-Benz coupé. Mercedes-Benz just has an aptitude for creating luxury sports coupés that will stop you in your tracks. A Mercedes-Benz coupé sells a dream of sunshine, asphalt, and slow, luxury living.

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé might be the most compact two door coupé that the brand offers, but none of that prestigious style has been compromised. With pricing starting from €38,365, the C-Class Coupé has been updated for 2019 with new engines, equipment and trim elements to keep it at the races.

Thankfully, the C-Class Coupé’s elegant and sporty silhouette remains every bit intact. There are new bumpers and a standard-fit diamond radiator grille with chrome pins on the AMG Line model. LED High Performance headlights now come as standard, as do more accentuated all-LED rear lights. The AMG Line model also has an AMG-specific front apron with sporty air intakes and chrome trim.

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé has had an update for 2019
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé has had an update for 2019

The interior of the 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé

Inside, the cabin of the 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé is very plush and luxurious with beautiful design elements like the sculpted leather seats, circular air vents and open pore black ash wood trim. The C-Class range gets a technology upgrade in that you can now opt for a 12.3-inch digital cockpit display and a 10.25-inch infotainment screen. The 10.25 inch screen as part of the Advantage pack is definitely worth considering (€3,417) as it looks a lot more premium and at home here than the standard 7” screen.

There is also a new multifunction steering wheel with touch-control buttons that respond to swiping motions like the screen of a smartphone.

The C-Class Coupé will seat four but being a coupé the rear space is tight on legroom and headroom. A narrow boot aperture hardly makes it the most practical member of the family either – you will be needing the C-Class Estate for that (!) – but there’s still plenty of room with 360 litres.

The interior of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé
The interior of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé

Standard equipment includes leather upholstery, cruise control, dual zone climate control, heated front seats, keyless start and 17” alloys. The AMG Line (from €41,342) models add sports pedals, reversing camera, 18” alloys and AMG bodystyling.

The C200 Features Mild Hybrid Technology

One of the most exciting additions for the 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé is the new 1.5-litre turbo petrol engine with EQ Boost mild hybrid technology. This model, badged C200, has a 48 volt on-board electrical system with a belt-driven starter/alternator and it gives the car a boost in performance and efficiency. When accelerating, EQ Boost can assist the 184 hp engine with an additional 14 hp, bridging the brief moment until the turbocharger has built up its full charge pressure.

There's a new steering wheel and option of a digital instrument panel
There's a new steering wheel and option of a digital instrument panel

During deceleration, the starter/alternator recuperates kinetic energy and charges the battery. There is also gliding mode with the engine switched off when the speed falls below a certain minimum level, and the recuperative brake with intelligent engine stop when the vehicle is coasting. Alongside the diesel engines, the petrol engines are also equipped with a particulate filter.

Other engines include a 1.6-litre petrol (C180), 2.0-litre petrol (C300), 1.6-litre diesel (C200d) and 2.0-litre diesel (C220d), as well as some sportier variants.

Driving the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé

The C-Class Coupé also gets the dynamic body control suspension that alters suspension damping characteristics in three stages. The damping characteristics are tuned more tautly in the two stages “Sport” and “Sport+”. The “Comfort” mode is tuned for a more comfortable ride and less tyre and road noise. There’s also a Sports Direct-Steer system for more agile and smooth handling.

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé is available from €38,365 in Ireland
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé is available from €38,365 in Ireland

On the road, the C-Class Coupé glides along the tarmac effortlessly. It is a comfortable, serene drive. It's agile and flexible through corners, without being overtly sporty. The C200 delivers smooth power through a nine speed automatic gearbox, though the engine was more noisy than what I was expecting. Over a week of driving the C200 averaged fuel consumption at 7.7l/100km, while motor tax is €390 per year.

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé is easily one of the best looking compact coupés out there. It’s a hugely desirable car with a fine interior also. On the road, it’s not the sportiest choice and in C200 guise I did miss the thick, syrupy pulling power of a diesel engine. But this remains a fine car that looks as good as the day it was launched.

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé is a prestigious and desirable coupé
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé is a prestigious and desirable coupé

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Mercedes-Benz C200 Coupé Automatic
Price:
€47,431 (Coupe range from €38,365)
Engine: 1.5-litre turbo petrol
Power: 
184 hp
Torque: 280 Nm
0-100km/h:  
7.9 seconds
Top speed: 239 km/h
Fuel economy:
6.1-6.5l/100km
CO2 emissions: 
148g/km
Motor tax: 
€390 per year


Regina Doherty TD Minister for Employment Affairs & Social Protection with Karl McAllister Apprentice with Spirit Motor Group and Sarah Sweetman, Apprentice with Joe Duffy Ford

Motor Industry To Recruit 150 Apprentices

Regina Doherty TD Minister for Employment Affairs & Social Protection with Karl McAllister Apprentice with Spirit Motor Group and Sarah Sweetman, Apprentice with Joe Duffy Ford
Regina Doherty TD Minister for Employment Affairs & Social Protection with Karl McAllister Apprentice with Spirit Motor Group and Sarah Sweetman, Apprentice with Joe Duffy Ford

The Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) announced at the Intreo Careers Fair, Dublin Castle, that the Irish Motor Industry is looking to recruit 150 Apprentices throughout Ireland. Apprenticeships include Motor Mechanics, Heavy Vehicle Mechanics, Vehicle Body Repairs, Agricultural Mechanics and Construction Plant Fitting.

In order to undertake an apprenticeship a candidate must find a suitable employer
to take them on for the duration of their four-year apprenticeship. They then
register with SOLAS,
who oversee the Training programme and award of the National Craft Certificate
Standard.

SIMI’s member companies have committed to recruiting 150 apprentices. Details
of the companies and apprentice positions, are available on the SIMI’s website www.simi.ie
 

The Motor Industry employs over 42,000* people throughout Ireland in a variety of positions. While there is currently a shortage of apprentices within our Industry, this has also been seen in other trade sectors. Events such as National Jobs week are helping to highlight the opportunities and careers options that are currently available.        

Regina Doherty, TD Minister for Employment Affairs & Social Protection, said “I am delighted that SIMI and the Irish Motor industry is taking part in Jobs Week and it’s great to see so many opportunities available within the sector. These apprenticeships are a great example of the scope and scale of opportunity available within our growing economy and reflect the variety of careers we have been highlighting all week.”

Brian Cooke ,SIMI
Director General Designate said
“This is a wonderful opportunity for those who wish to
pursue a technical career while experiencing both a college and a working
environment. With the transition underway to cutting edge automotive
technologies, such as electric cars, hybrid vehicles, and autonomous vehicles, gather
pace there has never been a more exciting time to be a part of the
Industry.” 


The new Citroën C5 Aircross has just arrived in Ireland!

Citroën C5 Aircross First Drive Review

The new Citroën C5 Aircross has just arrived in Ireland!
The new Citroën C5 Aircross has just arrived in Ireland!

The new Citroën C5 Aircross has just arrived in Ireland with pricing starting from €26,495. This is an exciting new car for Citroën, competing in the ‘sweet spot of the market’ where family SUVs reside. Caroline went along to the Irish press launch in Kildare to test drive the new C5 Aircross.

Styling

Citroën has rolled out some very individual and stylish cars in recent years like the C3 and C4 Cactus. The C5 Aircross brings the same sort of distinct look to the larger five seat SUV segment. It is very much a Citroën to look at and it's unlikely to get lost in a crowd, especially if you go for a funky two tone look. Details include a two-tier light signature, wheel arch extensions and Airbump® panels available with personalised coloured inserts.

Interior

The cabin of the C5 Aircross combines the latest technology features with soft furnishings for an airy, lounge feel. The dashboard has a nice mix of materials with some soft touch parts, though there are plenty of harder plastics too. Aesthetically it all looks fine. There is a standard 8” touchscreen for the infotainment and it also houses the ventilation controls. A 12.3-inch driver information panel is also included as standard. There are plenty of storage spaces with the central armrest housing more practical storage compartments.The C5 Aircross adopts the sofa-inspired seating of the C4 Cactus with thick, wide seats.

Practicality

The Citroën C5 Aircross is one of the longest and tallest vehicles in its segment and feels very spacious inside. It has the largest boot of its competitors at 580 litres. Modularity is a key feature with three individual seats in the rear that can slide, fold and recline. There is also a flat floor in the rear making it more comfortable for carrying three people.

The interior of the new Citroën C5 Aircross
The interior of the new Citroën C5 Aircross

Engines

The C5 Aircross comes with two petrol and two diesel engines, with a plug-in hybrid on the way in 2020. Petrol engines include the 1.2-litre 130hp Puretech engine paired with a 6-speed manual transmission and a 1.6-litre 180hp unit, which comes with the choice of a 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic transmission. On the diesel side there is a 1.5-litre Blue HDI 130hp engine with the choice of a 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic transmission, and a 2.0-litre 180hp unit, which comes as standard with an 8-speed automatic transmission. Motor tax ranges from €190 to €280 depending on model.

On the road

The Citroën C5 Aircross has laminated double glazed windows and an insulation layer to reduce road and wind noise. There has also been an emphasis on sound insulation in the engine compartment. This contributes to a refined cabin ambience. The new C5 Aircross also has Progressive Hydraulic Cushion suspension for a smoother and more comfortable ride. Whereas a conventional suspension system is made up of dampers, springs and mechanical bump-stops, the new Citroën system adds two hydraulic stops to each suspension unit – one for rebound and one for compression. It translates well to the road, with the C5 Aircross being very soft and smooth over the road. It's not the sharpest handling SUV, so if you hustle it on through corners there is more feeling of roll. At the launch I tested the 1.5 diesel and 1.2 petrol. Both are good engines with some of the best in class running costs and CO2 values.

The Citroën C5 Aircross goes on sale priced from €26,495
The Citroën C5 Aircross goes on sale priced from €26,495

Equipment

In Ireland there are four trim levels: Start, Touch, Feel and Flair.

The entry ‘Start’ trim level includes 8” touchscreen display, cruise control, active safety brake and air conditioning.

The ‘Touch’ trim adds items such as 17” alloys, rear parking sensors, folding mirrors, and Android Auto/Apple CarPlay.

The ‘Feel’ model has 18” alloys, front parking sensor, privacy glass, wireless phone charging and active blind spot detection.

‘Flair’ is the top specification level and includes 19” alloys, Citroën connect navigation, keyless entry and keyless start, a Panoramic Sunroof with interior LED ambient lighting and various driver assistance systems such as park assist, active lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control.

ConnectedCAM, a factory fitted dashboard camera from Citroën, is also standard across the range.

Pricing

Pricing for the C5 Aircross range starts from a competitive €26,495. Touch starts from €27,995, Feel from €29,995, Flair from €33,695.

The C5 Aircross has three individual seats in the rear
The C5 Aircross has three individual seats in the rear

Rivals

The Citroën C5 Aircross goes up against the Ford Kuga, Volkswagen Tiguan, Kia Sportage, Hyundai Tuscon, Peugeot 3008, among others.

Verdict

The Citroën C5 Aircross is a quirky new entrant into the highly competitive and lucrative compact SUV segment. The C5 Aircross makes a promising case for itself on price and spec. It's also a generously sized vehicle with engines that score well on emissions and running costs. I look forward to bringing you a full road test of the new C5 Aircross later in the year!

Caroline Kidd

The C5 Aircross is Citroen's take on the compact family SUV
The C5 Aircross is Citroën's take on the compact family SUV

The new Hyundai Kona Electric

2019 Hyundai Kona Electric 64kWh Review

The new Hyundai Kona Electric
The new Hyundai Kona Electric

Caroline drives the Hyundai Kona Electric.

The range of electric vehicles (EVs) in Ireland is really starting to spread out with the Hyundai Kona Electric being an exciting new model, in more ways than one. The Kona Electric feels like something of an EV game changer for the mass market, with a real world range in excess of 400 km. And that’s thanks to a powerful 64 kWh battery.

The Hyundai Kona Electric also happens to be in the body of a very on-trend compact crossover and is the first fully-electric subcompact SUV on sale in Ireland and indeed Europe.

Since it debuted at the end of 2017, the Hyundai Kona quickly became Ireland’s bestselling compact crossover. Now the electric version opens up the playing field a little more.

Priced in Ireland from €37,630, including Government incentives, on the surface the Hyundai Kona Electric doesn’t come cheap. But the high-powered battery gives the Kona Electric right now a serious edge over competitors like the Nissan Leaf, Renault Zoe, Volkswagen e-Golf and even Hyundai’s own Ioniq. But more on that later.

The Hyundai Kona Electric has a powerful 64 kWh battery giving a real world range in excess of 400km!
The Hyundai Kona Electric has a powerful 64 kWh battery giving a real world range in excess of 400km!

What does it look like?

The Hyundai Kona Electric is a striking and fashionable compact vehicle, just like its fossil-fuel powered brothers. The crossover styling adds character to the Kona Electric, while the raised ride height gives it a confident presence on the road. There’s also some fun colour options and a two tone roof available (from €38,230). Front styling changes for the Kona Electric include a signature silver garnish, a closed grille incorporating the charge point and a redesigned front bumper with active air flaps. At the rear, the bumper has been redesigned for improved airflow. There are also special 17” alloy wheels, lower side skirts and wheel arch side claddings.

The dashboard and centre console of the Hyundai Kona have also been significantly redesigned for the Kona Electric, giving a more mature and premium feel to the cabin. The centre console is more pronounced between the driver and passenger. It features all the buttons required to operate the car with the ‘shift-by-wire’ gear control that has freed up space to house an extra storage space underneath.

There’s a new high-resolution seven-inch supervision cluster to display the different gauges to the driver, including the speedometer, battery charge level and energy flow. A head-up display projects driving information on the windscreen directly in the driver’s line of sight.

Standard equipment includes roof rails, rear privacy glass, leather upholstery, heated front seats, wireless phone charging pad, automatic lights and wipers, automatic air con, cruise control, heated steering wheel, parking camera, keyless start, 7" touchscreen with smartphone compatibility, Forward Collision Warning and Lane Keep Assist

The Kona Electric has a sophisticated electric vehicle powertrain but it is still a relatively compact vehicle. However the completely new platform of the Kona allows a space-saving integration of the battery packs without compromising interior roominess. The Kona Electric will seat five though realistically two will be most comfortable in the rear.  There is 332 litres of luggage space including storage of the charging cable and 373 litres without.

The interior of the new Hyundai Kona Electric
The interior of the new Hyundai Kona Electric

On the road in the Hyundai Kona Electric

The Hyundai Kona Electric is very nice to drive with a fun character and very sprightly acceleration. The 64kWh battery with 150kW motor provides a power output of 204 hp, with 0 to 100 km/h achieved in just 7.6 seconds.

The compact dimensions make the Kona Electric great around town and out on larger roads, it offers good stability and comfort. In the silence of the cabin of the Kona Electric, there is more pronounced road noise at speed, but the Hyundai's battery doesn't get absolutely jaded at motorway speeds offering more peace of mind when you set out to explore Ireland. On a full charge, the power meter read about 430 km and I was delighted with the Kona’s ability to get me around without the dreaded range anxiety. With a real world driving range in excess of 400 km (449km WLTP), there’s a lot of freedom that comes with the Kona Electric.

There's also an adjustable regenerative braking system to recuperate energy when possible. The driver can adjust the intensity of the regenerative braking by using the paddle shifts behind the steering wheel.

The Kona Electric can be charged at home or using the public charging point infrastructure with an AC or DC charger. According to Hyundai, charging the lithium-ion polymer battery up to 80% takes about 54 minutes using a 100 kW direct current (DC) fast charger.

Hyundai has successfully combined the two fastest growing automotive trends in the creation of the Kona Electric – electrification and SUV style. It is obviously expensive to buy for what is a compact vehicle, however the extra freedom the range from the powerful 64kWh battery brings cannot be underestimated. The trendy, crossover style of the Kona Electric gives the car more emotional appeal also.

The Hyundai Kona Electric combines two trends - electrification and SUV style
The Hyundai Kona Electric combines two trends - electrification and SUV style

The Hyundai Kona Electric is a remarkable new electric vehicle that really moves the game on.

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Hyundai Kona Electric
Price: 
From €37,630 with government incentives
Battery: 64 kW
Power: 
204 hp
Torque: 395 Nm
0-100km/h:  
7.6 seconds
Top speed: 167 km/h
Range: 
449km (WLTP)
CO2 emissions: 
0g/km
Motor tax: 
€120 per year


Volvo XC40 Irish Car of the Year

Irish Car Of The Year Website Highlights Best New Cars

Volvo XC40 Irish Car of the Year
The Volvo XC40 won the title of Irish Car of the Year 2019

The Irish Car of the Year website is being developed as a comprehensive resource for consumers in Ireland looking to buy a new car.

The official website of the Irish Car of the Year, caroftheyear.ie, provides full background on the awards, with details on all of the winning vehicles across 10 different categories.

The Irish Car of the Year awards in association with Continental Tyres is an annual competition that highlights the best new cars for consumers.  Voted on by an expert panel of 32 of Ireland’s most experienced motoring journalists - including this writer - the awards take place in Dublin in November each year.

Now for 2019, the Irish Car of the Year website has launched a video series that will examine more closely the reasons why our winning models are so highly acclaimed by the judging panel.

Speaking about the Irish Car of the Year website, Bob Flavin, Irish Car of the Year Committee member, said: “We are convinced that the Car of the Year website will become a valuable resource for Irish car buyers as it seeks to highlight all of the key new models as they arrive on the Irish market”.

Mark Gallivan, Irish Car of the Year Committee member added: “Each year we have upwards of 50 new models that are eligible for an award – that is a dazzling array of motoring models for Irish car buyers to make sense of. The Irish Car of the Year awards help those buyers to navigate their way through this bewildering range of options and technologies, so that they can choose the right model for their own particular circumstances”.

As the holder of the current 2019 Irish Car of the Year title, the Volvo XC40 is featured in the first video on the Car of the Year website.  The short video features Irish Car of the Year Committee members Bob Flavin and Martin McCarthy as they discuss the reasons and attributes that helped the XC40 to take the top prize – the video can be seen here: https://caroftheyear.ie/video-review-the-volvo-xc40/.

David Thomas, Managing Director of Volvo Cars Ireland who is featured in the video commented: “At Volvo we were delighted to see our XC40 taking the 2019 Irish Car of the Year award, the first time that a Volvo has won the title.  The award has given a huge boost to the XC40 in the Irish market and we will continue to leverage the title right through 2019”.

As well as featuring additional videos on other models in the coming weeks, the Irish Car of the Year website will also list new car models as they are launched on the Irish market through 2019.

The awards event for the 2020 Irish Car of the Year in association with Continental Tyres will take place in the Westin Hotel in Dublin on Thursday November 7th.


The new Range Rover Evoque goes on sale in Ireland in May priced from €42,845

Range Rover Evoque Preview In Ireland

The new Range Rover Evoque goes on sale in Ireland in May priced from €42,845
The new Range Rover Evoque goes on sale in Ireland in May priced from €42,845

The new Range Rover Evoque officially goes on sale in Ireland in May priced from €42,845. But Land Rover Ireland are holding exclusive previews of the new Evoque at their dealerships around Ireland from the 19th March as follows:

19th – 25th March: Spirit Land Rover, Dublin South

26th – 31st March: Joe Duffy Land Rover, Dublin North

1st – 7th April: Johnson & Perrott Land Rover, Cork

8th – 14th April: Autoboland Land Rover, Waterford

23rd – 28th April: Conlans Land Rover, Kildare

7th – 12th May: Lyons Land Rover, Limerick

The new Range Rover Evoque has seen an evolution in styling with more pronounced shoulders and powerful wheel arches housing 21-inch wheels. There are new super-slim Matrix LED headlamps and flush door handles for a smooth, sculpted aesthetic.

Inside, the minimalist and digital cabin uses some innovative new textiles using recycled plastics as premium alternatives to leather such as a Kvadrat wool blend and Dinamica® suedecloth, as well as Eucalyptus and Ultrafabrics™ options. Technologies include the twin touchscreen Touch Pro Duo system with new, faster software.

The new Evoque is built on Land Rover’s new Premium Transverse Architecture with more interior space than before. The luggage space is 10 per cent larger (591 litres) as well as much wider and easily fits a folded pram or set of golf clubs, with space increasing to 1,383 litres when the flexible 40:20:40 second-row seats are folded.

The new architecture has been developed for electrification, with a 48-volt mild-hybrid available at launch. The mild hybrid powertrain is a first for Land Rover and works by harvesting energy normally lost during deceleration thanks to the engine-mounted belt-integrated starter generator, storing it in the under-floor battery. At speeds below 17km/h, the engine will shut off while the driver applies the brakes. When pulling away, the stored energy is redeployed to assist the engine under acceleration and reduce fuel consumption. The result is a refined, quiet and efficient drive in built-up traffic heavy areas, in addition to efficiency savings.

Land Rover are holding exclusive previews of the new Evoque at their dealerships around Ireland from the 19th March
Land Rover are holding exclusive previews of the new Evoque at their dealerships around Ireland from the 19th March

The lowest emitting CO2 derivative is the 143g/km front wheel drive, manual transmission with 150PS Ingenium diesel engine.  The most popular all-wheel drive, automatic transmission vehicles, come with a choice of four-cylinder Ingenium petrol and diesel engines.  An even more efficient plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) and three-cylinder petrol Ingenium engine will also join the range next year.

New Evoque also features All-Wheel Drive, as well as a second-generation Active Driveline with Driveline Disconnect to enhance efficiency and Adaptive Dynamics to deliver the optimum balance of comfort and agility. Terrain Response 2 – technology first found on full-size Range Rover – automatically detects the surface being driven on a adjusts the set-up accordingly, while Evoque can now wade through water up to 600mm (previously 500mm).

Other innovations include a segment-first ‘ClearSight rear-view mirror’ that transforms into a HD video screen. If rear visibility is compromised by passengers or bulky items, the driver simply flicks a switch on the underside of the mirror and a camera feed from the top of the car displays what is behind the vehicle in crisp high definition.

The new Range Rover Evoque is also the first in the world to feature Ground View technology, which effectively makes the bonnet invisible by projecting camera imagery onto the upper touchscreen to show the driver a 180-degree view under the front of the vehicle. This is useful when negotiating difficult parking spaces, navigating high city centre kerbs or tackling rough terrain and is the realisation of the Transparent Bonnet technology previewed by Land Rover in 2014.

There is a reversing camera as standard on all models, alongside a suite of advanced driver assistance systems. This includes Adaptive Cruise Control with Steering Assist, which centres the vehicle in the lane based on road markings as well as maintaining a safe distance from the vehicle in front.

Active safety features such as Lane Keep Assist, Autonomous Emergency Braking and Driver Condition Monitor are all available.


The Opel Combo Life goes on sale in Ireland priced from €21,800

Opel Combo Life 1.5 Diesel Review

The new Opel Combo Life
The new Opel Combo Life

Caroline drives the new Opel Combo Life.

The new Opel Combo Life solves that problem of needing to carry a lot of people, and needing to do it in the cheapest way possible. Available as a five or seven seat vehicle, in two different lengths, with pricing starting from just €21,800, the Opel Combo Life could be the bargain of the century.

In fact the Opel Combo Life has just won 'Best Buy Car of Europe 2019' at the authoritative Autobest awards. So the secret might be out already. But here’s what I thought of the Combo Life from an Irish perspective.

What is the Opel Combo Life?

While the Opel Combo Van has been sold for many years (this is actually its fifth generation), the Combo Life passenger vehicle is a new model for the Opel brand. Space, practicality, versatility and value are its key attributes in the market. To that end, the Combo Life is available in a standard length with five or seven seats or as a longer ‘XL’ model with seven seats.

The van DNA runs strong in the styling of the Opel Combo Life in that it’s boxy to maximise space, with plenty of squared off edges. But at the front it has the typical look of an Opel about it with a large front grille with two chrome wings around the Opel Blitz insignia. Style icon it is not, but at this price do you care?

The Opel Combo Life goes on sale in Ireland priced from €21,800
The Opel Combo Life goes on sale in Ireland priced from €21,800

How practical is the Opel Combo Life?

The van-like proportions and design of the Opel Combo Life make it an excellent people carrier. There is plenty of glazing and the large doors and high roof also give an airy, spacious feel to the cabin. There are also proper opening windows in the rear.

Access to the rear seats is through two sliding doors that open and close easily. I was driving a seven seat version of the standard length vehicle (from €23,800). There is excellent headroom all round and loads of legroom for passengers in row 2, with Isofix child seat brackets available. The seats split fold and are really easy to fold flat. Access to row 3 is simple enough, though there is not much legroom back there in the standard length vehicle so these two extra seats are more suitable for children or occasional use.

When the seats in row 3 are folded into the boot floor, you have a massive 597 litres of space in the standard length vehicle or 850 litres in the XL version. The boot opens wide, with a large square opening making it easy to load and stack to the roof should you need it!

Considering the Combo Life’s roots, the cabin is surprisingly well-appointed. It’s a straightforward Opel cabin that actually works really well here. The plastics are all hard but the quality looks fine. There are satin chrome accents on the steering wheel, on the door handles and in the air vents. The ergonomics are good with a steering wheel and instrument cluster that could have been lifted from an Astra or Grandland X. A smart 8” touchscreen comes as standard in the centre of the dash with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There are numerous storage areas of different sizes that should also prove useful for a family on the move.

The interior of the new Opel Combo Life
The interior of the new Opel Combo Life

Is it well-equipped?

In Ireland the Opel Combo Life is sold in just one trim level called Energy. There’s a good spec including the 8” colour touchscreen, 16” alloys, rain sensitive windscreen wipers, front fog lights, automatic high beam assist, heated and electric door mirrors, air conditioning, cruise control, electric front windows, 60/40 split folding rear seats, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, speed sign recognition, forward collision alert, emergency brake assist, lane keep assist with lane departure warning, automatic lighting control, driver drowsiness system, blind spot alert, and front and rear parking sensors.

There are also a number of options available for more comfort and convenience including reversing camera as part of the Parking Pack (€500), Winter Pack including heated seats and steering wheel (€250), head-up display (€455), and a Child Pack (€300) including rear-view child-minder mirror, rear side window sunblind, fold-flat passenger seat and a luggage restraint net.

Driving the Opel Combo Life

The fifth-generation Combo is based on a new architecture shared with the Peugeot Rifter and Citroen Berlingo, stablemates at the PSA Group that took over Opel in 2017. The Combo Life is naturally not the last word in sophistication and refinement on the road, but it's pleasant to drive for what it is. It’s comfortable and stable and not too noisy on the move. In fact, there is more of an MPV feeling behind the wheel than a van one.

The Opel Combo Life is available in two lengths, with five or seven seats
The Opel Combo Life is available in two lengths, with five or seven seats

Engine options include a 1.2-litre petrol engine with 110hp and a 6 speed manual (from €21,800), a 1.5 litre diesel with 100hp and 5 speed manual (from €23,050) and the same engine with 130hp and an 8 speed automatic gearbox (from €25,350). The seven seat standard length Combo Life is available with the 1.5 diesel, priced from €23,800. The Energy XL 1.5 diesel seven seat vehicle is available from €24,675.

My test car has the 1.5 litre 100hp diesel and it's adequate for the Combo Life. It only gets noisy when you really put your foot down hard - other than that it settles into the background. It’s not the speediest mover with a 0-100 kmh figure of 13.1 seconds, but it does the job. My fuel consumption over a few days of driving averaged at 5.8 l/100km and it is only €200 to tax per year.

What's the verdict?

It’s easy to approach the Opel Combo Life with a sprinkle of cynicism. But if you look beyond the boxy looks and are willing to sacrifice style, the Opel Combo Life is a spacious and straightforward people carrier. Opel Ireland is offering a simple range here with just one well-specced trim level available from just €21,800 as a five seat, or €23,800 as a seven seat.

The Opel Combo Life is neither exciting nor sexy, but it’s a good value seven seat MPV with impressive comfort, practicality and driver assistance and safety features.

The Opel Combo Life is a good value, practical people carrier
The Opel Combo Life is a good value, practical people carrier

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Opel Combo Life Energy 1.5 Turbo D 7-seat
Price: 
€23,800 (Range from €21,800)
Engine: 1.5-litre turbo diesel
Power: 
100hp
Torque: 250Nm
0-100km/h:  
13.1 seconds
Top speed: 172km/h
Economy: 
4.2/100km
CO2 emissions:  
111g/km
Motor tax: 
€200 per year


The 2019 Mazda3 hatchback will arrive in Ireland in April priced from €26,295

2019 Mazda3 Pricing For Ireland

The 2019 Mazda3 hatchback will arrive in Ireland in April priced from €26,295
The 2019 Mazda3 hatchback will arrive in Ireland in April priced from €26,295

Mazda Ireland has announced pricing and specifications for the new Mazda3 hatchback and saloon. The 2019 Mazda3 is the first of Mazda's next-generation vehicles and reflects the very latest in Mazda’s engineering, design and manufacturing. It's available to order now, with the first cars arriving in showrooms in late April.

The new Mazda3 will go on sale in Ireland priced from €26,295. At launch the Mazda3 hatchback will be available with a choice of 2.0 litre SkyActiv-G (122hp) petrol engine or 1.8 litre SkyActiv-D (116hp) diesel engine. A Mazda3 saloon will join the range in June and will be sold solely as a diesel (from €28,715).

Mazda’s innovative SkyActiv-X, Spark Controlled Compression Ignition engine will arrive later in the year.

For Ireland there will be a choice of four trim levels: GS, GS-L, GT and GT Sport for the hatchback, while the saloon will be available as GS, GS-L, Platinum and Platinum Sport.

Standard equipment will include air con, an 8.8-inch colour entertainment screen, 7-inch digital dashboard, window projected colour Active Driving Display, LED headlights with High Beam Control, Mazda Radar Cruise Control, Blind Spot Monitoring with rear traffic alert, E-Call and Lane Keep Assist. Every model in the line-up also features navigation, Apple CarPlay™/Android Auto™ and an eight speaker audio system.

The interior of the new Mazda3
The interior of the new Mazda3

GS-L includes a reversing camera, smart keyless entry and heated front seats, while the GT model is equipped with 18” alloy wheels and a black leather interior. At the top of the range the GT Sport/Platinum Sport sees an enhanced cabin with additional chrome detailing, a frameless rear view mirror, rear privacy glass and Bose® twelve speaker audio system.

GS and GS-L cars feature 16-inch silver alloy wheels, while from GT/Platinum upwards, 18-inch Grey/Silver Metallic wheels feature. Rear privacy glass and piano black window garnish distinguish the top of the range GT Sport/Platinum Sport model.

Mazda’s newest paint colour Polymetal Grey makes its debut on the new Mazda3 (hatchback only).

All trims are offered with both diesel and petrol engines, with a choice between manual and automatic gearboxes.

The 2019 Mazda3 has been built upon Mazda’s next generation of Skyactiv-Vehicle Architecture. The Skyactiv-G petrol engine now features cylinder deactivation and Mazda’s M Hybrid 24V mild hybrid system to improve fuel economy.

The new Mazda3 will be available with a petrol and diesel engine from launch
The new Mazda3 will be available with a petrol and diesel engine from launch

Volkswagen Tiguan Ireland review

New Car Registrations In Ireland In February 2019

Volkswagen Tiguan Ireland review
The Volkswagen Tiguan was one of the bestselling cars in Ireland in February

Official statistics released by the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) show that the total new electric car registrations for the month of February have shown a significant increase, with 330 registered in comparison to just 72 in the same month last year.

1,129 electric cars have been registered so far in 2019, which has almost surpassed the number for the whole of 2018 (1,233).

Elsewhere, new car registrations continue to drop. For the month of February they were down 11.1% (15,128) when compared to February 2018 (17,011). Registrations year to date are also down 12.2% (47,425) on the same period last year (54,034).

The five top selling brands in February 2019 were 1. Volkswagen 2. Hyundai 3. Toyota 4. Ford and 5. Skoda.

The five top car models in February 2019 were 1. Hyundai Tucson 2. Nissan Qashqai 3. Skoda Octavia 4. Volkswagen Tiguan and 5. Ford Focus.

The bestselling car in February 2019 was the Hyundai Tucson.

Light Commercials vehicles are also down 5.6% (2,486) compared to February last year (2,634), and year to date are down 13.4% (8,132). While HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle) registrations are up 9.5% (266) in comparison to February 2019 (243), however year to date they are down 3.7% (621).

Imported Used Cars for February (8,861) have seen a very slight decrease of 0.4% on February 2018 (8,900) and year to date are down 0.5% (17,865) on 2018 (17,961)

Mr Richard Bruton, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, said, “The record growth in electric vehicles sales in 2019 demonstrates the willingness of Irish consumers to embrace the change to a low carbon future. The Government is playing its part with a wide range of incentives supporting the purchase of electric vehicles and an investment of €10m in a significant expansion of the public charging network. The environmental benefits, longer range and low running costs of modern electric vehicles make them a viable option for all consumers. I would encourage all those purchasing a new car to play their part in making Ireland a climate leader and choose to drive electric.”

Commenting on the overall figures Brian Cooke, SIMI Director General Designate said, “With Brexit looming, new vehicle registrations continue to be negatively impacted across nearly all of our Industry. However, the one exception is the sales of Electric Vehicles, which increased by 542% this year compared to last year, and by the end of this quarter we will have sold more, new EVs than in the whole of last year. This increase is a result of a concerted effort by all stakeholders; by the Industry in supplying more, new EVs with greater travel range; by the Government through the generous taxation and other incentives; and by SEAI with their grant scheme. Ireland’s transition to a zero emitting fleet will take a number of years to happen, but the co-operative approach by the Industry and the State thus far bodes well for the future."