The new Volkswagen Amarok

Volkswagen Amarok Review (2024) | Rugged and refined

Read Caroline's Volkswagen Amarok review for everything you need to know about buying Volkswagen's pick-up truck in Ireland.

The new Volkswagen Amarok went on sale in Ireland in 2023 and marks a significant step forward in design, equipment and off-road capability.

Volkswagen teamed up with Ford to create the new Amarok so it shares a lot with the new Ranger - but there is enough distinction to make the Amarok a worthy contender for your shortlist of new pick-up trucks.

It's a segment dominated by the Ford Ranger and Toyota Hilux - but the new Amarok is up for the fight.

Let's take a closer look.

The new Volkswagen Amarok
The new Volkswagen Amarok

Styling

The new Amarok shares its engine, gearboxes and underpinnings with the Ranger but they certainly don't look like a carbon copy of each other. At the front, Volkswagen has given the Amarok a more refined face with a new X motif slashing across the front bumper. It's not quite as beefy looking as the Ranger with a more classic Volkswagen look. It's more of an evolution of the previous version of the Amarok, which launched all the way back in 2010.

There are a few different trim levels, which add a little more bling as you go up through them. The Aventura model we tested is no longer listed but is a high spec vehicle with matrix LED headlights, chrome trim and 21-inch wheels.

Interior

The new cabin is a big step up from the previous version with upgraded digital technology, equipment and plenty of plush materials. There's a lovely leather wrapped Volkswagen steering wheel and soft leather on top of the dashboard and doors to make it feel a little more posh. There's a full digital driver display just like the Ford but with bespoke graphics, and the same large portrait-style touchscreen. It comes with all the latest functionality like wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Unlike the Ranger however, there's more reliance on the touchscreen for things like adjusting the climate control.

The cabin of the new Amarok
The cabin of the new Amarok

The Aventura model has luxury features like heated front seats with power adjustment, heated steering wheel and a Harman Kardon sound system. All versions come with air conditioning and adaptive cruise control.

Practicality

The Amarok comes as double cab only so it offers space for a few rear seat passengers. It's bigger than before and fairly accommodating on legroom and headroom.

Towing capacity is up to 3.5 tonnes. A new feature is roof capacity of up to 350kg when stationary. The bed can take a payload of around 1 tonne, though the Aventura model tested here can only carry about 573kg. Volkswagen says a Euro pallet can fit sideways between the wheel arches.

It's also better off-road these days because of increased overall length but reduced overhangs front and rear to improve approach and departure angles. Wading depth has increased from 50 to 80 centimetres. You can get accessories like a hard top or powered roll cover to keep tools and equipment safe and dry.

The new Amarok has improved off-road capability
The new Amarok has improved off-road capability

Engine

At launch the Amarok was available with a choice of 2.0-litre or 3.0-litre V6 diesel, though Volkswagen has since withdrawn the V6 from sale in Ireland. Luckily I was able to experience it in the Aventura model I tested and it doesn't disappoint. It offers 240hp and 600Nm of torque and feels strong and robust on the road. It's refined to drive, matched well to the 10-speed automatic, and delivers a nice V6 burble at low speeds. Overall consumption averaged around 10.3 litres per 100 kilometres during my time with the truck.

The 2.0-litre diesel is offered with 168hp or 202hp. Gearbox options are a 6-speed manual or 10-speed automatic.

Driving

The Amarok is very capable in its on road driving manners, settling down well to a cruise on the motorway. It's big but still easy to steer down twisty rural roads. It's also remarkably comfortable for a pick-up truck though the ride can be a bit bumpy at times.

All versions come with 4Motion selectable four wheel drive as standard. The Amarok also features a number of different pre-configured driving modes to help you out off-road. Other tools include a hill descent control and rear locking differential.

Rear seating in the Amarok
Rear seating in the Amarok

Pricing

The Amarok starts from €48,890 in its most basic guise rising to €66,790 for the top of the range Style model.

Verdict

The new Volkswagen Amarok is a brilliant companion with improved on and off-road driving capabilities. It has impeccable road manners for a pick-up, offering a good degree of control and comfort from behind the wheel. It's come on a lot in terms of technology and equipment with more high-tech features than ever. The classy finish to the styling and interior give it a bit of distinction to the Ranger, though it may not be enough to truly tempt buyers away from the bestseller. Still, if you're looking for an alternative to a Ranger or Hilux, it's definitely worth a look.

____________________________

Written by Caroline Kidd

Founder and Editor of Changing Lanes, Juror for Irish Car of the Year

The Amarok is on sale now
The Amarok is on sale now

The Volkswagen ID.3 on test for Changing Lanes

Volkswagen ID.3 Review (2024)

Watch a video review

Read Caroline's Volkswagen ID.3 review for everything you need to know about buying Volkswagen's popular electric hatchback in Ireland.

The Volkswagen ID.3 has been a big success in Ireland since it first went on sale back in 2020. Along with the bestselling ID.4, it's really helped put Volkswagen on the map as one of the leading producers of electric vehicles.

The compact, five-door hatchback is available in 2024 with the choice of two battery sizes and it's also had a price cut making it a more attractive prospect than ever before.

Let's take a closer look.

The Volkswagen ID.3 on test for Changing Lanes
The Volkswagen ID.3 on test for Changing Lanes

Styling

In 2023, the ID.3 received a facelift that lightly tweaks the styling and adds some new colours like Dark Olivine Green - all for a more sophisticated presence. There's a new bonnet and the black strip under the windscreen has been removed. Volkswagen has also added a new front bumper with larger air intakes that have an aerodynamic benefit too. There are also new rear light clusters. Alloy wheel sizes vary from 18- to 20-inch depending on trim level. It's a handsome but not drastically different ID.3.

Interior

The cabin of the ID.3 is very minimalist compared to traditional fuel-powered Volkswagens like the Polo and the Golf. It's very modern but a little austere at the same time. For the facelifted model, Volkswagen has included some more soft touch materials in the dashboard and doors, but a Renault Megane E-Tech still has a nicer cabin overall.

There is a small digital instrument cluster as before for the driver behind the steering wheel. There's also a 10-inch touchscreen that's running the latest Volkswagen software for improved system performance and can receive over-the-air updates. It's responsive to use now, though the smartphone generation will likely find the wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto interface far more interesting.

The cabin of the 2024 Volkswagen ID.3
The cabin of the 2024 Volkswagen ID.3

The navigation system includes a route planner to help plan charging stops. The ventilation controls are placed in the screen as before, which can be a little awkward to adjust while driving. There are a few shortcut buttons underneath and touch sliders to adjust the volume of the stereo and the level of heating of the interior.

Practicality

The ID.3 was the first Volkswagen to be built on the brand's modular electric drive (MEB) platform. This allowed for an efficient design and spacious interior for a compact hatchback. The ID.3 feels roomy in the back seat with large footwells. The boot can accommodate 385 litres, which is competitive for a compact electric hatchback. The rear seats split fold 60:40 and there's Isofix child seat fixtures on the two outer seats and the front passenger seat.

Battery

The ID.3 is available with two different battery sizes: 58 kWh or 77 kWh. The 58 kWh offers up to 428 km (WLTP) of electric driving, while the 77 kWh offers up to 557 km (WLTP).

During my test drive of the ID.3 77kWh in a cold January, my average consumption was 18-19 kWh per 100 kilometres, which indicates a range of 405-428 kilometres in real world driving.

The ID.3 is a smart, practical electric hatchback
The ID.3 is a smart, practical electric hatchback

Driving

The ID.3 is rear-wheel drive - just like the original Beetle - with a single electric motor producing an ample 204hp and 310Nm of torque. That's good for a 0-100km/h time of 7.4-7.9 seconds, depending on which model you go for. The ID.3 77kWh feels sprightly from behind the wheel, with plenty of nippy acceleration on offer. It's smooth and agile to drive, with a solid feel and cohesiveness to the controls - all the things that made the Golf famous! It's devoid of much character but it can't be accused of being anything other than capable, which will please most buyers. Comfort and refinement levels are generally good though it can feel a little bumpy over imperfections in the road surface.

Charging 

11 kW charging comes as standard. DC fast charging is possible up to 120kW for an 80% charge in 30-35 minutes.

Pricing

The ID.3 58kWh is available on the road from €37,112 in Pro trim or from €37,928 in Pro Plus. The ID.3 77kWh is available from €42,440 for the Pro S and from €44,865 for the Pro S Plus.

Boot space in the Volkswagen ID.3
Boot space in the Volkswagen ID.3

Verdict

The Volkswagen ID.3 is a hugely significant car for Volkswagen and has been a big seller for the brand. However it's come under ever more scrutiny in a new car market that's become increasingly competitive with the arrival of some other brilliant electric hatchbacks like the Cupra Born, MG 4 and the Renault Megane E-Tech.

The facelift certainly goes some way to make the ID.3 more appealing but in truth, updates are minor and it's the price cut that really makes it worth a look. Buyers will find a competent electric hatchback that ticks the practicality box while offering a solid and predictable drive, with competitive range - particularly if you can stretch to the 77kWh.

The ID.3 is still lacking some character but it does have a classic Volkswagen quality feel so naturally it will continue to be a sound buy from one of Ireland's bestselling car brands.

____________________________

Written by Caroline Kidd

Founder and Editor of Changing Lanes, Juror for Irish Car of the Year

The new Volkswagen ID.3 - sensible beyond measure!
The new Volkswagen ID.3 - sensible beyond measure!

The new Volkswagen e-Up on test for Changing Lanes!

Volkswagen e-Up Review

Read Caroline's Volkswagen e-Up review for everything you need to know about buying Volkswagen's electric city car in Ireland.

Volkswagen's ID range of electric cars has been grabbing all the headlines with the success of the Volkswagen ID.4 in Ireland and the high profile launch of the ID.Buzz, Irish Car of the Year 2023.

With strong momentum in the market and increased consumer appetite for EVs, the brand has finally brought the e-Up to Ireland, which is definitely cause for celebration!

The Volkswagen Up was on sale in Ireland for many years as a small petrol city car. Now Volkswagen has made the decision to replace it with the electric version - the cutely named 'e-Up' - which has been on sale in Europe for a few years now.

Priced at €29,313 on the road including delivery charges, the e-Up is now one of the cheapest electric cars on sale.

The new Volkswagen e-Up on test for Changing Lanes!
The new Volkswagen e-Up on test for Changing Lanes!

What's so special about the Volkswagen e-Up?

Launched back in 2013, the e-Up was Volkswagen’s first mass-produced electric vehicle. Since then, over 80,000 e-Ups have been sold around the world. At the end of 2020, such was demand for the e-Up that Volkswagen had to halt taking orders for a while to catch up with production and deliver cars to customers.

Hidden beneath those compact dimensions is a 32 kWh battery, which gives the e-Up a range of up to 253 kilometres (WLTP). That's plenty for a small car that is designed primarily for town and city driving. Being light (1,160 kg) means it's an efficient way to travel too.

In Ireland the e-Up is available in just one trim level called Style. It's a smart looking car, despite the Up being an ageing design now. It also comes with the practicality of five doors, which gives it an advantage over its closest rival, the Fiat 500e.

There's some elegant blue trim as well to highlight its EV status and Volkswagen's C-shaped LED daytime running lights, used to highlight the brands electrified models like the Golf GTE.

15-inch alloy wheels come as standard, with the option to upgrade to a sportier 16-inch design for €375. There are six colours to choose from and a black roof comes as standard on the Style trim.

There's also a quality and solid feel to the e-Up that can be hard to find in small cars.

The cabin of the Volkswagen e-Up
The cabin of the Volkswagen e-Up

Inside the e-Up

The e-Up has an older generation Volkswagen cabin with a clear and logical layout. You use a key to start the car and there's also a mechanical handbrake.

Compared to the cabin of the Fiat 500e, it is quite old-fashioned, lacking glossy touchscreens and digital tech. But the e-Up makes up for it in quality. This car feels solidly built with no squeaks or rattles.

There's a leather wrapped steering wheel as standard and a lovely gearshift lever in leather too. The grey cloth seats with integrated headrests look and feel good too. Both front seats get height adjustment. The steering wheel only adjusts for rake (up and down).

There's no touchscreen but there is a Bluetooth connection as standard and a smartphone cradle. You can download a 'Maps + More' app to use your phone as a sort of entertainment and navigation screen. Other standard equipment features include automatic lights and wipers, heated front seats, laminated heated windscreen, automatic climate control, small parking camera and cruise control.

There's more room in the back than in a 500e and the five doors make access easier too. Still, it's a city car so a Polo is far roomier in the back.

The boot is also small at 251 litres, though it has some depth so there's enough room for a few bags and a hidden place to store the charging cables. Quite clever really.

Rear passenger space in the e-Up
Rear passenger space in the e-Up

Driving the e-Up

On the road, the e-Up's solid feel pervades.

Moving to electric certainly benefits the driving experience. The e-Up feels more mature and powerful on the road than how I remember the Up petrol. Joining motorways is less frantic, with smooth delivery of power to the front wheels from an 82hp motor and 210Nm of torque. 0 to 100km/h is still a leisurely - 11.9 seconds - but the e-Up feels faster than what numbers might suggest on paper.

A single gear automatic transmission is great for town use. There is a B mode to enhance regenerative braking and a few different driving modes like Eco and Eco+. Eco mode limits the motor’s power and torque, reduces the top speed and switches off the air conditioning. The stricter Eco+ mode reduces these figures even more to maximise the battery range.

The electric Up is nimble and agile to drive, though not quite as fun to drive as the old petrol Up. It feels heavier for a start and the acceleration a little less fizzy. But the extra weight does make it feel more stable in cornering so there are benefits after all. There are no modifications to the suspension but it does feel comfortable for a small electric car.

The range may seem quite mediocre at 253 kilometres but with consumption as low as 14.7kWh per 100 kilometres, you might be surprised how far this Up can go per battery charge. Particularly when you stick to its natural habitat of town and city.

When it comes to charging, it takes 5.5 hours to charge the battery to full from a 7kW wallbox at home. There is a CCS port for fast charging, but DC charging is only possible up to 40 kW. So it will take roughly one hour to charge an empty battery to 80%.

The new e-Up has a range of up to 253 km from a 32 kWh battery
The new e-Up has a range of up to 253 km from a 32 kWh battery

Did you like it?

The Up was always a great city car. The electric version is no different. It feels more mature than ever, with a nice solid feel from behind the wheel.

Like its rivals, it's expensive for a small car, especially compared to the petrol Up that used to be on sale. The cabin is not the most modern in terms of the in-car tech, but it really does make up for it in quality and comfort.

The e-Up is also very practical for its size, with the boon of five doors and decent enough space for two rear passengers from time to time.

It's a car that is at home in town and city driving. So if you're willing to pay for something small, stylish and electric for mostly that sort of driving, the e-Up is a great buy!

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Volkswagen e-Up
Price:
€29,313 OTR
Battery: 32kWh
Power:
82hp
0-100km/h:
11.9 seconds
Top speed: 130 km/h
Motor tax: 
€120 per year

The Volkswagen e-Up is a great buy for a small electric car
The Volkswagen e-Up is a great buy for a small electric car

____________________________

Written by Caroline Kidd

Founder and Editor of Changing Lanes, Juror for Irish Car of the Year


The Volkswagen ID Buzz on test for Changing Lanes!

Volkswagen ID Buzz Review

Read Caroline's Volkswagen ID Buzz review for everything you need to know about buying Volkswagen's new electric people carrier in Ireland.

The long-awaited Volkswagen ID Buzz arrived in Ireland last year, a modern take on the classic Volkswagen Microbus and winner of Irish Car of the Year 2023.

With a 77kWh battery and up to 425 kilometres (WLTP) of electric driving, the new ID Buzz marks the start of a new electric era for Volkswagen people carriers and MPVs.

It is now Volkswagen's largest electric model within the ID range of electric vehicles. Priced from €68,470, it is a high-end vehicle with van-loads of charm.

The Volkswagen ID Buzz on test for Changing Lanes!
The Volkswagen ID Buzz on test for Changing Lanes!

What's so special about the Volkswagen ID Buzz?

Just look at it! The new ID Buzz takes the iconic style of the original Microbus and brings it right up to date. All the classic design cues are there, like the square silhouette and wheels pushed out to the corners. There are four trim levels for Ireland and wheel sizes vary from 19- to 20-inch. They really add to the smart, futuristic and 'electrified' look of the 21st century Buzz.

Let's not forget this is a big 'bus', measuring about 4.7 metres in length. Though despite this, it's remarkably easy to handle and manoeuvre on the road. The ID Buzz is five seat only for now,, but seven seat versions will arrive later.

With a range of bright colour options and the choice of a two-tone paint finish inspired by the original, this is a car that makes people smile wherever it goes.

There are loads of practical features including sliding doors and a huge boot of over 1000 litres.

For space and practicality, it doesn't get much better than the ID Buzz.

The cabin of the ID Buzz
The cabin of the ID Buzz

Inside the ID Buzz

The cabin of the ID Buzz is as cheerful as the outside of this car. It's a bright and colourful space with an open, lounge-like feel. You sit high in the driver's seat, 'van-like'. But the ID Buzz is far better furnished than most vans I know!

There are coloured interiors to match the exterior paint of the car. The two-tone look adds fun to the cabin of the Buzz. It feels solid and well-made, with lots of modern features like a full digital driver display and large touchscreen (10- or 12-inch) with Apple Car Play/Android Auto. There are touchscreen controls for the ventilation but a short cut button at least brings up the menu quicker.

A wireless smartphone charger comes as standard, as well as lots of USB-C ports dotted around the cabin. There's also dual zone climate control, heated front seats, parking sensors, and cruise control.

There's loads of storage space, ideal for families on the go, including the 'Buzzbox' removal storage compartment between the two front seats.

Some versions get a powered tailgate, which is useful as there is quite a large, heavy bootlid. The boxy shape of the Buzz makes for a very practical, square-shaped boot that's easy to load and unload.

There's loads of headroom and legroom in row two with a bright, airy feel. Though it's worth noting the rear windows don't open and there's no ventilation vents in the centre console for rear passengers either.

The ID Buzz on sale now from €68,470
The ID Buzz on sale now from €68,470

Driving it

The new ID Buzz is built on the same platform as other electric vehicles from VW like the ID.4. So it may look like a van from the outside, but it's surprisingly car-like in the way it feels and behaves on the road.

The controls are all nicely-weighted and the electric powertrain adds a level of smoothness to the drive that many van drivers may be unfamiliar with. It's quiet enough on the motorway at high speeds and comfortable too - though it can be a bit bumpier on country roads.

The 77kWh battery realistically will deliver over 300 kilometres of electric range, which is good but longer trips will still require a few stops for a fast charge at up to 135kW. AC charging possible up to 11kW.

The Buzz is easy to drive and can hustle along nicely. Though it is best enjoyed at a more leisurely pace. There's a 204hp motor powering the back wheels, with 0 to 100km/h completed in 10.2 seconds.

Over 1000 litres of boot space in the new ID Buzz
Over 1000 litres of boot space in the new ID Buzz

Did you like it?

It's hard not to like the ID Buzz. It's such a cheerful car to behold and a bit of a marvel technology wise - a battery-powered version of an icon with decent range that's good to drive too.

The Buzz scores very high for practicality and is an ideal vehicle for families. It is expensive however for a family car, priced in the region of upmarket electric SUVs like the BMW iX3 and Mercedes-Benz EQB. But this is a charming alternative that really is in a class of its own.

Model tested: Volkswagen ID Buzz Max
Price: 
€78,515
Battery:
  77kWh
Range: 425 km (WLTP)
Power: 204hp
Torque: 310Nm
Acceleration (0-100 km/h): 10.2 seconds
Motor Tax: 
€120 per year

____________________________

Written by Caroline Kidd

Founder and Editor of Changing Lanes, Juror for Irish Car of the Year

The Volkswagen ID Buzz makes a great family car with iconic style
The Volkswagen ID Buzz makes a great family car with iconic style

The Volkswagen Polo on test for Changing Lanes

Volkswagen Polo Review

Read Caroline's Volkswagen Polo review for everything you need to know about buying the small hatchback from Volkswagen in Ireland.

The Volkswagen Polo is one of Ireland’s favourite small cars and has been for many years. Sales of small hatchbacks like the Polo have been in decline as customers switched to more fashionable SUVs and crossovers. But the humble hatch still has a lot to offer buyers.

Now Volkswagen has streamlined the Polo line-up in Ireland, which coincides with an update for the classic small hatchback that sees even more sophisticated style and high-tech equipment as standard than ever before.

The latest Volkswagen Polo goes on sale priced from €23,840 and is powered by a simple 1.0-litre petrol engine.

So is the Polo still up to the job? Let's take a closer look to find out.

The Volkswagen Polo on test for Changing Lanes
The Volkswagen Polo on test for Changing Lanes

What's so special about the Volkswagen Polo?

The Volkswagen Polo is one of the classiest small cars you can buy with handsome but understated style, and the theme continues inside.

Over the years it has grown in size, to a point where it's roomy enough inside now to function as a small family car.

In Ireland, the Polo range is very simple. There's the Polo Life priced from €23,840, the Polo Style from €26,995 and the Polo R-Line from €25,840. All cars come with a 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine with 95hp. Automatic versions are available for about €2,000 more.

The styling updates have been very successful, with now a more mature-looking front end. LED headlights are standard across the range and some versions get more advanced matrix LED units.

At the back, there's a new set of lights with a horizontal design that adds width and elegance to the Polo's road presence. Wheel sizes vary from 15- to 16-inch, with the option of a 17-inch set.

The R-Line model on test is the sportiest of the bunch with standard kit including 16-inch ‘Valencia’ alloy wheels, sportier bumpers, and exterior trim and roof spoiler finish in gloss black.

The cabin of the latest Volkswagen Polo
The cabin of the latest Volkswagen Polo

Inside the Volkswagen Polo

The Polo has one of the best cabins you will find in a small car. It's solidly built and reassuringly simple in its design. Yet all the modern features are here - a full digital instrument panel and touchscreen with Apple Car Play and Android Auto as standard. Entry level Life models make do with a 6.5-inch touchscreen, but Style and R-line versions get a more impressive 8-inch unit.

Some small car interiors like the Renault Clio and Peugeot 208 feel a little more glamourous, but the Polo interior is a sound and comfortable place to spend time in.

Other standard features include air conditioning, leather wrapped steering wheel, forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking. The Style trim adds a reversing camera and adaptive cruise control. R-line versions have a slightly sportier ambience with sports seats, black roof liner, and stainless steel pedals.

It feels really roomy inside too, with one of the largest cabins in the segment. It's comfortable in the back for passengers with plenty of headroom and large footwells. It definitely feels more spacious than a Peugeot 208 or a Toyota Yaris. The rear doors open wide and there are Isofix child seat fixtures on the two outer seats and the front passenger seat.

The Polo also has one of the largest boots in the class at 351 litres, with practical features like a two-position floor and a spare wheel.

The Polo range in Ireland has been streamlined with just one petrol engine on offer
The Polo range in Ireland has been streamlined with just one petrol engine on offer

Driving the Polo

On the road, the Polo drives pretty much the same as it looks. It's a solid and steady drive, offering plenty of comfort for those on board and impressive refinement on the move - even on the motorway.

It's not the most fun to drive small car with the steering being a little on the light side for that. But it's perfectly agreeable with a robust quality that sees it move effortlessly from town to motorway and rural roads.

When it comes to power, there's no choice other than the 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine with 95hp. But it's actually an ideal engine for the Polo and feels lively enough whether in town or on the motorway. A five-speed manual gearbox comes as standard but there is the option of a 7-speed automatic.

The five-speed manual gearbox has to be worked at times to keep the engine in its sweet spot, but it settles down well to a cruise on the motorway, so you won't actually miss a sixth gear. It’s also efficient by class standards.

Rear passenger space in the Volkswagen Polo
Rear passenger space in the Volkswagen Polo

Did you like it?

In recent years, many buyers have switched to small crossovers and SUVs like the Volkswagen Taigo and T-Cross for example, but there is still a lot to be said for a hatchback like the Polo.

The Volkswagen Polo is an easy car to recommend. These days it's never looked better, with smart styling that looks good just about everywhere.

The Polo is easily one of the most upmarket small cars on the market in Ireland, with a classy cabin that's comfortable and well-equipped.

What's most impressive is the space and practicality the Polo offers inside, making it very good value indeed. On the road, it's comfortable and refined.

Overall, the Polo is a great all-rounder and a smart choice of small car.

The Volkswagen Polo is one of the best small cars you can buy
The Volkswagen Polo is one of the best small cars you can buy

Model tested: Volkswagen Polo R-Line
Price: 
€25,840
Engine:
1.0-litre petrol
Power: 95hp
Torque: 175Nm
Top speed:  187 km/h
Acceleration (0-100 km/h):  10.8 seconds
Motor Tax: 
€190 per year

____________________________

Written by Caroline Kidd

Founder and Editor of Changing Lanes, Juror for Irish Car of the Year


The Volkswagen Taigo R-Line is on sale now

Volkswagen Taigo Review

Read Caroline's Volkswagen Taigo review for everything you need to know about buying Volkswagen's new compact crossover in Ireland.

Volkswagen has expanded their compact car line-up with the arrival of the new Taigo. It joins the likes of the Polo and the T-Cross, but offers something a little different to each.

While the Polo can be praised as one of the best small hatchbacks on the market today, the T-Cross and Taigo are Volkswagen's response to market demand for compact crossovers and small SUVs.

But while the T-Cross carries some more traditional 'square' SUV styling (and I mean 'square' in the best possible way!), the Taigo sits a bit higher in the Volkswagen range and offers a stylish SUV-coupé design.

The new Volkswagen Taigo goes on sale priced from €28,995 and is available in three trim levels: Life, Style and R-Line.

The Volkswagen Taigo R-Line is on sale now
The Volkswagen Taigo R-Line is on sale now

What's so special about the Volkswagen Taigo?

The Taigo looks good. All the charismatic design cues of a modern crossover are here, like the cladding around the wheel arches. It also sits higher off the ground than a hatchback.

The elegant sloping coupé-inspired roof line towards the rear of the car is also unique among small crossovers. Inside, there's a higher driving position behind the wheel that's popular with buyers at the moment.

Taigo Style (from €32,035) and R-Line (from €33,345) models look the best with silver roof rails and more stylish 17-inch alloy wheel designs, as well as the option of 18-inch. The Taigo R-Line on test is the sportiest looking of them all with 17-inch 'Valencia' alloy wheels as standard, as well as sportier bumpers and rear privacy glass.

LED headlights come as standard for a modern appearance on the road, with Style and R-Line models getting more advanced Matrix LED units.

Power comes from Volkswagen's well-proven 1.0-litre TSI turbo petrol engine, which is available with 95hp (Life only) or 110hp. There's the option of a 6-speed manual gearbox or a 7-speed DSG automatic.

The interior of the Taigo
The interior of the Taigo

Inside the Taigo

The Taigo has a straightforward interior for a small crossover. All the controls are logically laid out and the cabin is solidly built, if a little dull in design. Some compact crossovers like the Renault Captur and the Peugeot 2008 have more stylish cabins.

Still it features a touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard, as well as a full digital driver display, which keeps the cabin feeling modern.

Standard features include a leather wrapped steering wheel, air conditioning, multifunction steering wheel, lane assist and front assist. Though the Taigo Style adds more salubrious features like front sports comfort seats with lumbar support, front and rear parking sensors, parking camera, ambient lighting, adaptive cruise control and a glossy 8-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The top of the range R-Line model has a sportier ambience with special R-Line seat covers, stainless steel pedals and a black headliner.

The Taigo will seat five and despite being a compact vehicle does offer a reasonable amount of legroom and headroom for rear seat passengers. The 440-litre boot is also an excellent size, while the rear seats split fold 60:40 and there's also a two-position boot floor as standard.

The Taigo is available with a petrol engine
The Taigo is available with a petrol engine

Driving the Volkswagen Taigo

The Taigo is built on Volkswagen's MQB platform and is powered by a simple petrol engine, no matter which version you go for. With 110hp it feels lively enough, with plenty of power for driving on larger roads like motorways.

On test was the 1.0 TSI with Volkswagen's 7-speed automatic gearbox, however it's not the smoothest combination in the Taigo. Still the Taigo is competitive when it comes to fuel consumption for a small petrol crossover.

It's easy to handle on the road with light steering and a well-judged suspension making it comfortable on longer journeys too. It's not the most fun to drive small crossover but its mature road manners give it broad appeal.

Did you like it?

In recent years, Volkswagen has transformed their line-up with a plethora of new SUV models like the T-Cross and the T-Roc. Now the Taigo falls somewhere in between. It is very stylish to look at, though inside it does feel a little more old-fashioned than more modern competitors.

More expensive to buy than the T-Cross, and not far off the slightly larger T-Roc, the Taigo does occupy a bit of a middle ground without adding much to the Volkswagen range other than a slightly sleeker 'SUV coupé' appearance.

Still it's a well-built compact crossover with a simple line-up and practical cabin, and that is enough to keep it in the running.

Stylish good looks for the new Taigo
Stylish good looks for the new Taigo

Model tested: Volkswagen Taigo 1.0 TSI R-Line
Price: 
€37,140
Engine:
1.0-litre turbo petrol
Power: 110hp
Torque: 200Nm
Top speed: 191 km/h
Acceleration (0-100 km/h): 10.9 seconds
Motor Tax: 
€210 per year

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Written by Caroline Kidd

Founder and Editor of Changing Lanes, Juror for Irish Car of the Year


The new Volkswagen ID.4 is on sale in Ireland now

Volkswagen ID.4 Price In Ireland

The new Volkswagen ID.4 is on sale in Ireland now
The new Volkswagen ID.4 is on sale in Ireland now

Just as the first Volkswagen ID.4 reviews for Ireland begin to roll in, we can confirm the Volkswagen ID.4 is on sale in Ireland priced from €41,248, including grants and VRT relief.

The ID.4 is the German brand's all new electric SUV and the follow-up to last year's ID.3 hatchback.

The customer deliveries will arrive here later in the spring and will be high specification ID.4 1st Edition and 1st Edition Max models. These models are powered by a 77 kWh battery with a system power output of 204 hp and an electric range up to 500 km (WLTP).

There is 310 Nm of torque, the top speed is 160 km/h and 0 to 100 km/h is reached in 8.5 seconds.

VW ID.4 Price in Ireland

The Volkswagen ID.4 1st is available from €41,248 with equipment highlights including heated front seats and steering wheel, "Discover Pro" navigation system, 20" “Drammen” alloy wheels, reversing camera, LED headlights/taillights and Lane Assist.

The Volkswagen ID.4 1st Max is available from €54,580 and adds massage feature to the front seats, 21" “Narvik” alloy wheels, Area View, LED matrix headlights, 3D LED tail light clusters, Travel Assist, augmented reality head-up display and panoramic sunroof.

From May, the Volkswagen ID.4 52 kWh will launch here with an expected lower entry price of €35,000 after grants. It has a range of around 340 km.

The ID.4 is classed as a compact SUV and uses Volkswagen’s modular electric drive matrix (MEB) architecture. Volkswagen says the space available in the vehicle interior is at the level of conventional SUVs in the next category up. Depending on the rear seat backrest’s position, the luggage compartment will have a capacity from 543 to 1,575 litres.

Inside the new Volkswagen ID.4
Inside the new Volkswagen ID.4

Inside the ID.4

The new electric Volkswagen SUV's operating concept will be based on two displays. One diagonally measures up to 12 inches and features touch functionality – as well as “Hello ID.” natural voice control. The new ID.Light – a narrow light strip under the windscreen – also features.

The ID.4 can avail of DC quick-charging at 125 kW adding 325 km in as little as 30 minutes.

It is available in four colours at launch: Manganese Grey Metallic, Glacier White Metallic, Blue Dusk Metallic, and Honey Yellow Metallic.

“The ID.4 is an emotional all-rounder which will impress many customers with its efficient electric drive, generous amount of space, modern assist systems and powerful design,” says Ralf Brandstätter, Chief Executive Officer of Volkswagen brand.

“As the first global electric car, this model will roll out our modular electric drive matrix platform that has been developed specifically for electric mobility the world over. Volkswagen is thus once again demonstrating its leading role in innovation, technology and quality on the high-volume market.”

A source in Volkswagen Ireland has said that the brand expects to sell 1700 ID.4s here in a year. The ID.3 has already posted strong sales in the Irish market since its launch in the latter half of 2020.

The new Volkswagen ID.4 expected in Ireland in January 2021
The new Volkswagen ID.4 expected in Ireland from April

The 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan is available to order now in Ireland

Volkswagen Tiguan (2021) Pricing For Ireland

The 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan is available to order now in Ireland
The 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan is available to order now in Ireland

Volkswagen Ireland has confirmed that the 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan is available to order now.

The new facelifted version of the popular Tiguan mid size SUV will build on the success of this model in Ireland. Since the current generation launched in 2016, it has become the German brand's bestselling model in Ireland and was the third bestselling car in the country in 2020.

The new Volkswagen Tiguan range will go on sale priced from €31,510 RRP with a €1,000 delivery charge on each model.

What's new for the 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan?

At launch the 2021 Tiguan range will go on sale with petrol and diesel engines, with a new Tiguan plug-in hybrid to follow later in the year. The Tiguan eHybrid will feature a 1.4-litre TSI engine twinned with an electric motor that produces a combined 245 hp and makes the eHybrid capable of covering up to 50 km in electric mode. We don't have pricing for this model yet.

The first high performance Tiguan R also debuts in 2021
The first high performance Tiguan R also debuts in 2021

A high performance Volkswagen Tiguan R will also go on sale for the first time priced from €66,990, powered by a 2.0-litre TSI petrol engine with 320 hp. Four wheel drive and DSG gearbox are also standard on this model.

A comprehensive facelift means a more modern appearance for the Tiguan akin to larger Volkswagen SUVs like the Touareg. The bonnet is more concise in its appearance and the new radiator grille with LED headlights is wider, with the new Volkswagen badge positioned centrally at the front. There are redesigned bumpers, and at the rear the Tiguan lettering is now in a prominent central position below the Volkswagen badge.

Inside there is a new steering wheel featuring touch controls (standard on R-Line and R), and Volkswagen has also digitalised the climate control functions by means of touch sliders and touch buttons in some trim levels.

The updated interior of the latest Tiguan
The updated interior of the latest Tiguan

What are my engine options?

The petrol range kicks off from €31,510 RRP with the option of 130 hp and 150 hp versions of the brand's proven 1.5-litre turbo petrol engine, and choice of manual or DSG automatic gearbox.

The diesel range is available from €33,345 RRP and uses the brand's 2.0-litre TDI engine with 122 hp (manual only), 150 hp (manual and DSG automatic) or 200 hp for the top of the range diesel model with four wheel drive and a DSG gearbox.

Pricing and equipment

The new Volkswagen Tiguan will be sold in four trim lines here: Tiguan, Life, Elegance and R-Line. Standard equipment includes 17” Montana alloy wheels, 8” Ready 2 Discover radio system, 2 USB-C ports in the front, air conditioning and LED daytime running lights. There is also Wireless App Connect for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Volkswagen Tiguan eHybrid expected before the end of the year
Volkswagen Tiguan eHybrid expected before the end of the year

The Tiguan Life is available from €34,285 RRP for the 1.5-litre, 130hp petrol engine with a manual gearbox or €39,330 RRP with a 7-speed DSG. The Tiguan Life 2.0-litre TDI diesel starts at €35,515 RRP with a 6-speed manual transmission or €40,425 RRP with a 7-speed DSG automatic. Extra features include 18” Frankfurt alloy wheels, 8” Discover Media Navigation System, adaptive cruise control, Park Distance Control, 3-zone climate control, natural voice control, black roof rails and tinted rear windows as well as Comfort seats in the front and additional storage compartments.

The Tiguan Elegance is aimed at those buyers wanting the best of technology and is available from €44,020 RRP for the 1.5-litre TSI with 150 hp and 7-speed DSG. There are three diesel versions, priced from €42,350. Equipment highlights include 19” Victoria Falls alloy wheels, ArtVelours upholstery, an ambient lighting pack with 30 colours, a multifunction steering wheel, heated front seats, chrome elements, panoramic sunroof, adaptive cruise control ACC Stop & Go incl. speed limiter, Park Assist with Park Distance Control, keyless entry and lane change system ‘Side Assist’ and Rear Traffic Alert.

The Tiguan R-Line is the sportiest of all with standard 20” Suzuka alloy wheels, body-coloured bumpers in ‘R-Line’ design and a rear spoiler in ‘R’ style. Inside there is an ‘R-Line’ interior including decorative ‘Carbon Grey’ inserts and a black headliner.There is one petrol R-Line, a 1.5-litre TSI putting out 150 hp, mated to a 7-speed DSG, for €44,920 RRP and three diesel options from €43,195 RRP.

The latest version of the Volkswagen Tiguan goes on sale priced from €31,510 RRP
The latest version of the Volkswagen Tiguan goes on sale priced from €31,510 RRP

The new Volkswagen Golf GTE is on sale in Ireland now

Volkswagen Golf GTE (2020) On Sale

The new Volkswagen Golf GTE is on sale in Ireland now
The new Volkswagen Golf GTE is on sale in Ireland now

Volkswagen Ireland has confirmed that the new generation Volkswagen Golf GTE and new Golf eHybrid are now on sale here. Both use a plug-in hydrid powertrain.

The Golf eHybrid kicks off the Golf hybrid range and is priced in Ireland from €36,570 with a power output of 204 hp. With CO2 emissions of 21g/km, it sits in Tax Band A1 with annual motor tax of €170.

Pricing for the new Volkswagen Golf GTE

The new Golf GTE has a bias towards performance and goes on sale from €42,330 with 245 hp available.

The new plug-in hybrids can now cover more range on electric power alone. The Golf eHybrid covers up to 71 kilometres (WLTP), while the Golf GTE is said to travel up to 64 km in pure electric mode.

Both models feature a TSI petrol engine and a 6-speed dual-clutch DSG gearbox.

The new Volkswagen Golf eHybrid is available in the Style trim level and equipment includes 3-zone climate control, keyless cccess advanced, rear-view camera, ArtVelours microfleece seat coverings, Travel Assist with lane keeping system, Emergency Assist and Traffic Jam Assist.

The eHybrid gains some additional standard equipment such as a a head-up display, IQ light matrix lights and taillights, 16” eHybrid alloy wheels, advanced high-beam control, dynamic light assist, dynamic cornering lights, dynamic turn signals in front and rear, and a poor weather light.

Equipment highlights for the GTE

Like the predecessor, the Golf GTE will again be offered as an independent model and comes with a very high level of standard equipment including 17” ‘Richmond’ alloy wheels, GTE-specific body-coloured bumpers, 10” ‘Discover Pro’ radio system with a clear glass touchscreen and 8 speakers, and a head-up display. Volkswagen says acceleration is similar to the new Golf GTI (6.7 seconds to 100km/h), though CO2 emissions are just 36g/km.

The new Volkswagen Golf PHEV models join the Passat GTE in Volkswagen's hybrid range, with plug-in hybrid versions of the Arteon, Tiguan and Touareg soon to arrive in Ireland.

The Volkswagen Golf GTE now has 245 hp and acceleration like a GTI
The Volkswagen Golf GTE now has 245 hp and acceleration like a GTI

Volkswagen ID.3 arriving at Dublin Port

Volkswagen ID.3 Arrives In Ireland

Volkswagen ID.3 arriving at Dublin Port
Volkswagen ID.3 arriving at Dublin Port

The all-electric Volkswagen ID.3 is now on sale in Ireland, priced from €32,915 including VRT relief and Government grants.

Pre-bookers are now beginning to take delivery of the new models, however Volkswagen Ireland says there is still an opportunity for buyers to get into a limited-edition version of the ID.3 with 58 kW  battery and WLTP range of 410-424 km.

The ID.3 1st is available in three trim levels – the 1st, 1st Plus and 1st Max. For private buyers all are eligible for a VRT rebate of €5,000, plus an SEAI grant of €5,000.

Commercial buyers will get the VRT rebate alone so the starting price for business buyers after grants is €37,915.

The ‘entry-level’ ID.3 1st (from €32,915*) comes with 18” alloy wheels, Discover Pro Navigation system, 2-zone air conditioning and Adaptive Cruise Control.

The ID.3 1st Plus (from €39,970*) adds ‘ArtVelours’ upholstery, 19” alloy wheels, Matrix LED lights and a rear view camera.

The ID.3 1st Max (from €46,610*) adds Ergo-Active Seats, 20” alloy wheels, fixed panoramic roof, augmented reality head-up display** and wireless smartphone charging.

All ID.3 1st models have the distinctive ID.Light – an LED strip in the cockpit that visually communicates with passengers.

All buyers of the 1st Edition models receive free access at public charging points for one year or a maximum of 2,000 kWh, whichever occurs soonest. This is accessible through the IONITY high-performance charging network, and all public charging points connected with the WeCharge service including the ESB ecars charging network.

At the IONITY charging points, six of which are in Ireland, ID.3 1st with a charging capacity of 100 kW can be charged from 5% to 80% in only 35 minutes.

Volkswagen says renewable energy for vehicle and battery production means that the ID.3 will be delivered to the customer with a carbon-neutral balance.

Under its electric offensive, the Volkswagen brand is planning to offer electric vehicles in all main vehicle segments by 2022.

*includes VRT of €5,000 and SEAI grant of €5,000 for private customers.

**At market launch, the distance feature in the head-up display will not yet have been activated. For applicable vehicles, a software update will be provided later.