Renault Koleos Updated For 2020!

The 2020 Renault KoleosThe 2020 Renault Koleos
The 2020 Renault Koleos

Renault Ireland has announced pricing and specifications for the updated Renault Koleos range. The latest version of Renault’s large family SUV is now available to view at Renault dealerships around Ireland and goes on sale from €40,990.

The Renault Koleos was launched in Ireland in 2017 and you can read our Koleos diesel review here.

Renault has now enhanced the Koleos with some subtle styling updates, new engines, more equipment and a reduced purchase price in Ireland.

There’s a new front bumper with satin chrome elements to emphasise the width of the car. New chrome trim adorns the sides of the Renault SUV and there’s also a new rear bumper.

The big news is that there are two new engines for the 2020 Renault Koleos range in Ireland that reduce emissions. Front wheel drive versions will be powered by a new 1.7-litre dCi diesel engine with 150 hp. Four wheel drive versions are powered by the 2.0-litre dCi diesel now with 190 hp.

Renault say that both engines have improved CO2 emissions and fuel consumption compared to the outgoing dCi 175 version. Motor tax for the Koleos has been reduced from €570 to €390 per year.

All versions of the Koleos come with a CVT automatic gearbox as standard.

There are two trim levels for Ireland – Iconic and GT Line – with more equipment than before.

Iconic models gain hands-free parking, two-stage reclining rear seats and full LED headlights. Iconic versions also offer 7” touch screen with navigation, rear parking cameras, and blind spot and lane departure warning.

GT Line models now have an 8.7” touch screen and 19” two-tone alloys.

The interior of the updated 2020 Renault KoleosThe interior of the updated 2020 Renault Koleos
The interior of the updated 2020 Renault Koleos
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Volkswagen e-Golf Gets A Price Cut

The Volkswagen e-GolfThe Volkswagen e-Golf
The Volkswagen e-Golf

Volkswagen Ireland has reduced the pricing of the Volkswagen e-Golf ahead of the arrival of the new ID.3 this summer.

The e-Golf is now available from €27,895 including Government grants and the Executive Edition model from €31,550. The e-Golf Executive Edition has a high specification including ‘Vienna’ leather upholstery, 17” Madrid alloy wheels, LED rear lights, keyless entry, rear view camera and Active Info Display.

“The e-Golf has all of the quality, ease of use and attractive design of the Golf, a car that has been synonymous with the family car segment, but with a fully electric drivetrain, with zero emissions and with a range of 231km, which is 14 times the average private car journey and more than 16 times the average Irish person’s commute to work,” said Volkswagen Ireland’s Head of Marketing Mark McGrath.

2019 saw an almost 180 percent increase in sales of electric vehicles in Ireland, making up almost 3 per cent of all sales, with this figure expected to rise in the coming months. Buyers can avail of a Government funded support scheme to the value of €600 towards the purchase and installation of a home charger unit, in addition to the VRT rebate of €5,000 and SEAI grant of €5,000 for electric vehicles.

Drivers of an electric car can also save up to 75 per cent of the costs of tolls on some toll roads which can amount to a saving of as much as €500 cite Volkswagen. There are additional benefits for businesses, such as 0 per cent Benefit in Kind (BIK) for electric vehicles.

For customers who wish to move to one of Volkswagen future ID. electric vehicles, Volkswagen are offering the option of a special 2-year PCP.

“By getting your new e-Golf with a PCP product, there is a Guaranteed Minimum Future Residual Value of the car, so there is the assurance that you can be in the latest state of the art electric vehicle, and upgrade to the newer model without incurring as much risk in terms of residual (resale) values as the minimum value of the car is guaranteed by us,” adds McGrath. “With the e-Golf offering such great quality at a price point equivalent to a petrol or diesel model and with the assurance and value that the PCP product brings, this is a great way for customers to start their electric car journey, in a very familiar product. Plus, we can see from the CSO figures that many drivers are likely to vastly overestimate how far they drive in their daily commute so the e-Golf’s WLTP range of 231km will be sufficient for most commuters’ needs.”

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New Car Registrations For 2017 Down 10%

Official statistics released by the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) show that total new car registrations for 2017 finished at 131,356, a 10% decrease on 2016 (146,649).

The top five selling car brands in Ireland in 2017 were Volkswagen, Toyota, Ford, Hyundai and Nissan.

The top five selling models in Ireland in 2017 were the Hyundai Tucson, Volkswagen Golf, Nissan Qashqai, Skoda Octavia and Ford Focus.

Grey was the most popular colour for new cars in 2017.

New Light Commercial Vehicle registrations (LCV) finished at 24,195 for 2017,  down 14.2%. New Heavy Commercial Vehicle registrations (HGV) finished the year at 2,602, down 9.4% on 2016.

Used car imports reached 93,454, which was an increase of 29.5% on 2016 (72,153).

Used Commercial Vehicle imports also increased during 2017 with LCV imports up 21.3% and HGV imports up 14.8%.

Commenting on the figures, SIMI Director General, Alan Nolan, said “2017 was a very challenging year for the Motor Industry, mainly due to the impact of Brexit on Euro/Sterling exchange rates. Without Brexit we would have anticipated a reasonable level of growth in the market but in the aftermath of the UK Brexit vote we had modified our projection to 132,000 and that prediction turned out to be very accurate with the car market finishing at 131,356. This number is still better than most recent years and produced reasonable volumes across all vehicle sales sectors.

We are, of course, now at the commencement of the new 181 sales period which is hugely important for our members who remain optimistic for the coming year. For new car buyers competition in the choice of models, the various incentives and special offers, as well as the range of finance options, mean that competition is driving value for consumers. The obvious value available in the Irish new car market has been apparent over the past 12 months with only 79 new cars imported in 2017, despite the low value of sterling. While used imports have been increasing strongly, new car imports have fallen by 25% in the last year and by almost 60% over the last three years. With such a range of models, offers and finance options available to consumers to choose from, the best advice, as always, is to research in advance, shop around and, if you can, shop local and support businesses in your home place.”

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Ford Focus RS Bows Out With A Final Heritage Edition

Production of the Ford Focus RS will end this April with the Ford Focus RS Heritage Edition.

Just 50 RS Heritage Edition models will be produced and for the UK only. The Focus RS Heritage Edition is finished in unique “Tief Orange” (“Deep Orange”) body colour.

In addition to the Deep Orange exterior colour, the Heritage Edition features grey brake callipers behind black forged alloy wheels and the RS Edition’s trademark contrasting black door mirrors and rear spoiler.

It also comes equipped with partial leather Recaro seats, privacy glass, a sunroof, rear parking sensors, power-fold door mirrors, cruise control with speed limiter and heated steering wheel.

All Focus RS Edition models features a front mechanical Quaife limited-slip differential (LSD). The Heritage Edition also gains the dealer-fitted FPM375 Mountune upgrade, increasing overboost power from 350PS to 375PS, and torque from 470Nm to 510Nm, thanks to a high-flow induction kit, uprated turbo re-circulating valve and calibration.

In the UK, the Ford Focus RS Heritage Edition will be priced at £39,895.

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2018 Model Updates For MINI Hatch And MINI Convertible

The MINI 3-Door Hatch, MINI 5-Door Hatch and MINI Convertible will be updated for 2018 with new models arriving at MINI retailers across Ireland this March.

New features include standard-fit front and rear LED lights across the range and an advanced dual-clutch automatic gearbox.

MINI Connected Concierge services and wireless smartphone charging have also been added for the first time as well as first-in-class options such as new anti-dazzle adaptive LED headlights with Matrix high beam.

The 2018 MINI Hatch and Convertible range will also see the debut of an all-new MINI logo on the vehicle with a flat two-dimensional design. The new logo appears on the bonnet, tailgate, steering wheel, instrument display and central locking remote control on all models.

There are three new colours: Emerald Grey metallic, Starlight Blue metallic and Solaris Orange metallic.

Exterior options now include an additional means of customising the exterior design. With the Piano Black Exterior pack, the surrounds of the headlights, rear lights and radiator grille are finished in high-gloss black instead of chrome.

The choice of alloy wheels has been expanded too. 17-inch ‘Roulette’ and ‘Propeller’ designs are now available for all body variants of the new MINI Hatch and Convertible, along with a new ‘Rail’ two-tone wheel.

There are also new interior trims. The newly designed three-spoke steering wheel in the MINI range now features multifunction buttons. As standard, all vehicles will have a 6.5-inch full colour display and standard rotary controller. Customers can choose to upgrade this screen to include optional MINI Navigation with a touchscreen display and Apple CarPlay functionality.

Revisions to engines and powertrain have been made to further enhance driving fun. The 3-cylinder petrol engine in the MINI One has seen an increase in capacity to 1.5 litres, increasing maximum torque by 10 Nm, taking it to 190 Nm.

All new MINIs come with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, but now 3-Door Hatch, 5-Door Hatch and Convertible models are now also available with a 7-speed Steptronic transmission with double clutch as an option.

The transmission is offered on MINI One, MINI Cooper, MINI Cooper S and MINI Cooper D engine variants.

For 2018, MINI has enhanced the equipment offered in the popular Pepper and Chili packs.

Pepper Pack adds extra features including 15-inch light alloy wheels, MINI Excitement Pack, leather steering wheel, rain sensor with automatic headlight activation, automatic air conditioning, and now rear park distance control (PDC).

Chili Pack builds on the contents of the Pepper Pack, adding extras features including 17-inch light alloy wheels, cloth and leather upholstery, a sport steering wheel and a sport button to further enhance the driving experience.

The MINI Excitement Package, which is included in the Pepper and Chili packs for customers, now includes MINI logo projection on the driver’s side.

Caroline Kidd

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New BMW X4 Will Arrive In Ireland This Summer

BMW has revealed the first photos and details regarding the second generation of the BMW X4 mid-size sports SUV.

The new BMW X4 will receive its world premiere at the International Motor Show in Geneva in March 2018. The new X4 will arrive in Ireland this summer with prices starting from €67,190.

The new BMW X4 is 81mm longer than its predecessor, with 54mm added to the wheelbase and 37mm extra width. It is also lower by 3mm.

BMW xDrive all wheel drive technology features and driving dynamics have been enhanced with an extensively upgraded and lighter chassis.

There will be three trim levels: Sport, M Sport and M Sport X. All models will feature Adaptive LED headlights as standard.

The new BMW X4 will be launched with a choice of two diesel engines – xDrive20d and M40d. There will also be another straight-six diesel unit – the xDrive30d. An eight-speed Steptronic transmission and BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive come as standard.

Two BMW M Performance models will be available: the BMW X4 M40i and BMW X4 M40d.

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How Do You Design A City Car For 2014?

At the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year, it was all about the city car. Among the hybrids, supercars and out-of-this-world concepts were the latest breed of city cars. 2014 is shaping up to be the year of the city car.The Peugeot 108, Toyota Aygo and Citroën C1 are coming here later this summer. All three cars share the same underpinnings, but each will be wearing a different set of clothes to distinguish them from eachother.

The Renault Twingo is also arriving this year. The big surprise with the Twingo is that it’s going to have the engine in the back rather than the front. This seems radical for a city car, but Renault is promising more fun and agility with this configuration.

I am VERY excited to drive some of these new city cars. In the meantime, it’s always interesting to get an insight into the design process of a modern city car.

Ahead of the arrival of the Peugeot 108, the Design Director for the new 108 has been speaking about how the 108 begins a fresh chapter in Peugeot’s small car design story. The 108 is the next car in the “1-oh” series , carrying on from the 106 of the 1990s and the 107 of the Noughties.

The new 108 is longer, lower and more aerodynamic than the 107 it replaces. “The 107 had a very cab-forward ‘mono-volume’ silhouette, which at launch in 2005 was very modern,”  says Ivo Groën, Peugeot 108 Design Director. “We wanted to reduce the glass and increase the sculpting of the body, and at the same time give it a timeless elegance.”

The new 108 has a more premium and sophisticated feel to help differentiate it from its siblings from Citroën and Toyota, and to complement Peugeot’s intent to move the brand upmarket. It has its own interpretation of Peugeot’s ‘floating grille’ and lion claw effect rear lamps that can be seen on other Peugeots in the range like the 208 and 308.

Peugeot is also responding to the needs of the smartphone generation with a 7” touchscreen on all but entry level 108s that millenials are sure to love. “Connectivity was a key point for 108, which wasn’t the case with the 107 because no one had a smartphone. For 108 it’s about your smartphone but in the middle of the dashboard,” says Groën.

With options for personalisation, the 108 is following the trend for fun city cars like the Opel Adam, MINI and Fiat 500, that can say a little bit about your taste and personality. This is great but approach the options list with caution. The two tone paint finish on our pictured 108 might be a step too far!

Peugeot 108Peugeot 108
Peugeot 108

Caroline Kidd

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New Car Sales July 2016 In Ireland

hyundai tucson irelandhyundai tucson ireland
The Hyundai Tucson is Ireland’s bestselling car and sales remained high in July

Data from the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) for July 2016 shows that 29,931 new cars were registered in the first month of the new 162 registration, which is up 8% on July 2015 where 27,594 cars were registered in the same time period.

Total new car registrations for the year are already up 19% on the same period last year (131,264 vs. 109,931). The total to the end of July this year has already surpassed the total number of new cars registered for the whole of 2015, a figure of 124,947.

Commercial vehicle sales maintained growth in July 2016. Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) registrations are up 23% for the year to date compared to the same period last year, and are up 15% on July last year (4,341 vs. 3,760). Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) registrations are up 41% this year to date, are were up 37% for the month of July compared to the same month last year (397 vs. 290).

The data shows that Hyundai is Ireland’s bestselling car brand, followed by Toyota and Ford. The Hyundai Tucson was the top selling car in July but is also the bestselling car in Ireland to date in 2016, followed by the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf.

Commenting on the figures, Alan Nolan, SIMI Director General, said, “The motor industry performed strongly in the first half of 2016, with increased activity in both car and commercial vehicle sales. This growth has continued into July, although at a noticeably slower rate than the first two quarters, perhaps due to a combination of external factors such as Brexit and the fact that the extremely high growth rates of recent years must naturally slow as we get closer to a more normal market following a period of catch up.

It is important however for both the Industry and the Economy that, new vehicle sales continue to be at sustainable levels, which for new cars is in the region of 150,000 to 160,000, based on the current population and the age of the national car fleet. A new car market in the region of 150,000 delivers over €1 billion in tax revenues, supports the employment of more than 40,000 in the Motor Industry, and assists in reducing our CO2 emissions from transport by tens of thousands of tonnes.

In this context, we would encourage a Budget strategy focused on building consumer confidence and improving the business environment, particularly with all recent economic forecasts for Ireland anticipating lower growth rates than had been previously expected for the remainder of this year and for 2017”.

Caroline Kidd

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1 in 4 young drivers have taken a “selfie” while driving

“Selfie” was the number 1 buzzword of 2013 and the craze for taking self-portraits with a smartphone and sharing them on social media shows no sign of abating in 2014.

But a driving selfie craze that comes with its own hashtag for sharing on social media is an alarming development and this year there has been a number of car accidents resulting in injury and even death where drivers are reported to have taken “selfies” shortly before tragedy struck.

A recently published survey by Ford gives some insight into the extent to which young people are interacting with their smartphones while driving with the survey of just over 7000 Europeans aged between 18 and 24 finding that 1 in 4 young people have taken a “selfie” at the wheel.

Nearly half of young drivers admit to having used their smartphone to snap a photograph behind the wheel and 1 in 4 have posted an update on social media or checked social media sites while driving.

The irony of it all is that nearly all drivers surveyed agreed that the activities were dangerous.

Driver distraction from in-car technology or mobile phones has begun to come under greater scrutiny as our cars offer us ever more options to stay connected on the move.

Ford has found that snapping a “selfie” at the wheel can distract a driver for 14 seconds, and checking social media channels can distract for 20 seconds – long enough for a car travelling at 100 km/h to cover the length of five football pitches.

In a series of videos released by Ford to highlight the risks of using smartphones behind the wheel (below), the message is clear – don’t let a selfie be the last photo you take.

Caroline Kidd

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‘Ultimate’ Trim Added To Opel Grandland X Line-Up

The new Opel Grandland X range will include a 2.0-litre 177hp diesel engine. The top of the range diesel will deliver maximum torque of 400Nm combined with a new 8-speed automatic transmission. In this configuration the Grandland X has a trailer load of 2 tonnes.

In addition, the Opel Grandland X will also be available with “Ultimate” trim, which includes a number of more luxurious features as standard. Equipment includes 19-inch BiColor alloys, silver coloured roof rails, premium ergonomic seats, leather trim, adaptive AFL LED headlights, heated seats, OnStar, Android Auto/Apple CarPlay, 360° camera, Advanced Park Assist and the Denon premium sound system. The roof and door mirrors are finished in black.

The new Opel Grandland X will arrive in Ireland in mid-December, priced from €27,995. This new engine and trim will be available to order from Opel dealerships nationwide in January 2018, with pricing announced closer to launch.

Caroline Kidd

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