20 January 2019

Dublin's Lord Mayor switches to hybrid

The Lord Mayor of Dublin has chosen to switch to hybrid for his 191 car, writes Trish Whelan.

Each year Volvo provides the Lord Mayor with the first registered car in the capital. Conscious of the environmental impact of driving, the Lord Mayor choose hybrid powered Volvo S90 T8.

Speaking at the handover, David Thomas, MD of Volvo Car Ireland (pictured above with The Lord Mayor) said: “We have made a commitment to electrification in preparation for an era beyond the internal combustion engine. It’s great to see the Lord Mayor move into a hybrid Volvo and an overall increase in customer demand for our hybrid powertrains.”

Starting this year, every new car that Volvo launches will have an electric motor option. The company aims for fully electric cars to make up 50 per cent of its sales by 2025. 

Later this year, Volvo will add a new hybrid powertrain to their compact SUV, the XC40, which won European Car of the Year 2018 and was recently crowned Irish Car of the Year 2019. Volvo will also be launching a T6 hybrid engine on the new S60, V60 and V90 models this year.

Clonskeagh Motors partners with Alison Canavan

Sharon Murphy, Director of Clonskeagh Motors; Brand Ambassador Alison Canavan; and Fiona Murphy, Director of Clonskeagh Motors.

Clonskeagh Motors has announced Alison Canavan as their new Honda Brand Ambassador, writes Trish Whelan. The international model, bestselling author and health and wellness coach collected her new Honda Civic last week at the Clonskeagh Motors Dealership.

Alison says “Honda has a special place in my heart as my late father Tom was a Honda Dealer so it means a lot to me to be partnering with such an honoured family dealership like Clonskeagh Motors.”

She added: “Honda’s reputation for safety and reliability are values I am highly aware of and are so important to me as a mother with a young son.”

Speaking at the handover, Fiona Murphy, Company Director of Clonskeagh Motors said they are delighted to partner with Alison. “Firstly, the Honda association goes back a long way with the Canavan family and we are pleased that our partnership with Alison rekindles this tradition. Secondly, the Civic has been a very popular family car with Irish buyers for generations and its core strengths of style, reliability and safety are a great fit for with the work that Alison does.”

Dermot Murphy, Managing Director of Clonskeagh Motors with Alison.

Alison Canavan and Dave Collier, General Manager, Clonskeagh Motors.

18 January 2019

Revised Mondeo revealed in Brussels

Ford in Europe has revised its Mondeo with exterior and interior design changes aimed at offering a more premium experience across all grades, writes Brian Byrne.

Changes also include the addition of Ford's 2.0 EcoBlue diesel with selective catalytic reduction, and the company's 8-speed automatic transmission.

The updated car was revealed at the Brussels Motor Show in Belgium.

A wagon version of the Mondeo Hybrid is also now available, with 403 litres load capacity beneath the cargo cover with the rear seats in place, and up to 1,508 litres with the rear seats folded.

17 January 2019

Suzuki Vitara upgrade due in February

An upgraded Suzuki Vitara range is on the way with prices from €20,995 - €26,495, writes Trish Whelan.

The 2019 mid life Vitara will arrive here in mid February and is the most technically advanced Suzuki model to date.

Styling upgrades, advanced levels of safety technology and equipment will be offered along with a new 1.0 and a 1.4 turbocharged petrol engine with Suzuki’s Boosterjet technology.

There are no diesel engines in the line-up, only petrols, as Suzuki is less reliant on diesel than some competitors. At launch today, we learned that the 1.4 turbo petrol engine compares favourably with diesel and should attract diesel buyers.

The 140hp direct injection turbocharged petrol engine offers 17pc more power and a wider spread of torque available from 1,500rpm which is 41pc more than the outgoing 1.6 litre engine. 

Three grades are offered: SZ4, SZ-T and SZ5 models.

ALLGRIP is the car maker's 4WD technology and offers four modes: Auto, Sports, Snow and Lock. It is optional on SZ-T and SZ5 models.

Seven airbags, including a driver’s knee airbag, are fitted as standard on all Vitara models along with Cruise Control, USB and Bluetooth, Climate control all electric windows, and alloy wheels. 

SZ-T adds new design 17-inch silver painted alloy wheels, rear privacy glass, smartphone link audio and navigation system.

SZ5 adds LED Projector headlights, 17-inch polished alloy wheels, suede seat fabric, keyless entry with start button, Traffic Sign Recognition (also on ALLGRIP models) Adaptive Cruise Control, Dual Sensor Brake Support,  Blind Spot Monitor, and a Panoramic sunroof.

The 2019 model is available in two new dual-tone colours of Solar Yellow Pearl and Ice Greyish Blue (the latter pictured above). Customers can choose from a total of 11 different colours.

I got to drive two versions at launch at Finnstown House Hotel in Lucan today - the SZT 1.0 Boosterjet 2WD automatic and the top of the range 1.4 Boosterjet 4WD (ALLGRIP) with 6-speed manual transmission and was very pleasantly surprised by both drives. They should appeal to current Vitara owners as well as to a whole crop of new converts to the brand.

The 1.0 that I drove today is priced at €24,995 OTR, returns 6.1 L/100kms (NEDC) or 5.7 L/100kms which is 37.7mpg (WLTP) for the combined cycle, and has an annual road tax of €270.  

The 1.4 four-cylinder 4WD, priced at €28,495 OTR, returns 6.1 L100kms (46.3mpg) NEDC, and 7.5 L/100kms (37.7mpg) WLTP. 

All engines are Euro 6 compliant.

Luggage space in both vehicles is expandable from 375 to 710 litres. 

The Vitara is produced at the Magyar Suzuki plant in Hungary which also produces all the brand’s S-Cross models for European markets as well as exports around the world.