11 April 2024

Opel reveals images of new Frontera SUV

Opel Ireland has revealed the first full images of its new Frontera SUV, writes Trish Whelan

The spacious new SUV will be available both in fully electric and hybrid powertrains and will debut in Irish showrooms later this year. 

Opel Ireland say it is ideally suited to the urban and sub-urban environment and will feature a fully digital Pure Panel cockpit with two 10-inch displays and multimedia infotainment system and an Intel-Seat feature in the front seats designed to relieve pressure on the tailbone ensuring comfort even on long journeys. A wireless charger and two USB ports are available in the front with two USB ports in the second row. Second row passengers have integrated smartphone pockets in the back rests of the front seats. 

Luggage space of 460 litres can increase to 1,600 litres with seats folded down. 

Price and equipment levels will be announced closer to launch.


5 April 2024

Hybrid powertrains for DS models

New hybrid powertrains are being added to the DS 3 and DS 4 models options in the DS Automobiles division of the Stellantis Group, writes Brian Byrne. The units are claimed to be up to 20pc more fuel efficient than the standard petrol engine offerings.

The self-charging hybrid technology incorporates a 1.2 136hp petrol engine with a 6-speed automatic that has the electric motor integrated. The battery is under the floor, so boot capacity isn't affected.

The hybrids offer improved acceleration in both models, and in use in urban driving can operate in EV mode for more than 50pc of the time.

Irish market availability and pricing will follow. 

4 April 2024

Big revisions to Renault Captur

Renault has revealed details of a substantially updated Captur, writes Brian Byrne. The B-segment SUV comes with front and rear end styling, and an upgraded interior.

A higher bonnet and much more technical look to the front end sharpens the visuals, as does a new daytime running lights signature shape. LED lights are standard across the range of grades.

The interior changes include a new vertical infotainment and redesigned driver information screens and new upholstery trim that now excludes leather. Renault aims to phase out animal-derived materials by 2025.

Engines options will include petrol, mild-hybrid and full-hybrid with outputs from 90hp-160hp depending on markets. The full hybrid is claimed to off 80pc driving in electric mode in urban conditions.

More information on Irish market availability and pricing will come later. 

3 April 2024

Kia Ireland offering 48-hour EV test drives

Motorists interested in changing to electric cars can now avail of a 48-hour test drive of a Kia EV6 to get a proper feel of EV driving, writes Brian Byrne.

The initiative will run until the end of June and those interested can register their interest at Kia.com. Participation will be subject to availability and driver eligibility criteria, and applicants will be contacted directly with confirmation from their local Kia dealer.

The scheme is designed to answer all questions which potential EV buyers have, as well as dispelling myths and misinformation about electric vehicles.

"There are EV sceptics out there, many of which have never actually driven an electric vehicle," says Cathal Kealey, Head of Marketing & PR at Kia Ireland. "We believe this campaign can benefit anyone looking to change their car this year."

The Kia EV9 large SUV was recently awarded the title of World Car of the Year 2024.


2 April 2024

First quarter car registrations up on 2023

Huyndai Kona Electric top EV seller.

Car registrations in Ireland are up 8pc for the first quarter of the year compared to the same period in 2023, writes Brian Byrne. Light commercial vehicle sales are up 34.1pc, according to figures from the Society of the Irish Motor Industry.

Registrations of electric cars are down by 14.3pc on the quarter. In powertrains, petrol cars lead the new car market at 33.37pc share, followed by diesel at 23.05pc, then hybrid (petrol electric) at 21.33pc, electric at 12.69pc and plug-in electric hybrid at 7.92pc.

The top-selling brands so far in 2024 are Toyota, Skoda and Volkswagen, with top models being Hyundai Tucson, Skoda Octavia and Kia Sportage. The top selling electric models were Hyundai Kona, Tesla Model 3 and Volkswagen ID.4.