The new Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

Toyota Ireland Plotting A Hybrid 'Invasion' In 2019

The new Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
The new Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

Toyota Ireland will launch four new self-charging hybrid models in 2019, including new generations of the Toyota RAV4 and Auris, as well as the return of the Toyota Camry after a 14-year absence, this time as a hybrid.

Toyota is remaining tight-lipped about the fourth model, but we expect more information in September.

Pricing and specifications for these new models will be available from Toyota dealers from the middle of October, and we are told that deposits can also be taken at this time to guarantee delivery for the new 191 registration period in January.

This news from Toyota comes on the back of the decision of the car manufacturer to stop producing diesel cars this year. New hybrid and petrol models will be built on Toyota’s New Global Architecture (TNGA). According to Toyota, the new models will carry "a more modern and highly stylised aesthetic", currently reflected in the design of the popular Toyota C-HR.

The new Toyota Auris Hybrid
The new Toyota Auris Hybrid

New Toyota RAV4 will be sold exclusively as a hybrid in Ireland

The new Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is expected to arrive in dealers in early January 2019 promising a more spacious and comfortable cabin. There will be the option of a bi-tone colour scheme and a new interior with updated Toyota Touch 2 infotainment system with 3D sat-nav mapping, voice recognition and phone connectivity.

Toyota Auris will come in two hybrid flavours

The new generation of the Toyota Auris will be arriving in Ireland from the middle of January 2019. The new Auris sports sleeker styling and a longer wheelbase for more interior space. There will also be a new Auris Touring Sport. The new Auris will be come in the form of a 1.8-litre petrol-electric hybrid or 2.0-litre hybrid. The 2.0-litre hybrid is a sportier variant with more power (180hp) and steering wheel mounted paddles.

New Camry Hybrid on the way in April

The new Toyota Camry Hybrid will arrive in Ireland in April 2019 with a newly developed 2.5-litre hybrid powertrain with a power output of 218hp. According to Toyota Ireland, over 550 people have already expressed interest in the Camry Hybrid and the challenge will be to match demand with the 300/400 allocated supply in 2019.

Toyota Camry Returning To Ireland In 2019
The Toyota Camry will be on sale again in Ireland in 2019 as a hybrid

Steve Tormey, CEO of Toyota Ireland, said, "With a significantly more attractive, dynamic and modern design aesthetic, we believe the new models will quickly catch the eye of drivers who previously might not have considered a Toyota, while our legion of devoted Toyota customers will be eager to get on board with our all-new range.

In March 2018, Toyota announced plans to cease production of diesel passenger cars in line with our ‘Built for a Better World’ brand promise and in doing so solidified our leadership and commitment to making cars that are better for the environment and consumer health through improved air quality. With hybrid now representing 52% of our total car sales, we expect that the new models will drive a strong upward shift to these numbers next year, as more and more drivers naturally migrate away from diesel.”

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