Citroën has totally reinvented the brand’s line up of cars in recent years with bold new family-focused vehicles that carry distinct styling. And now they’ve launched one of their most potentially lucrative models to date – the new Citroën C5 Aircross. With pricing starting from €26,495, the new C5 Aircross competes in the sweet spot of the market where family SUVs reside. Yet the C5 Aircross is the compact family SUV done in the Citroën way, with comfort, style and practicality being this car’s key attributes in the market.
In styling terms, Citroën designers may have applied an air pump to the smaller C3 Aircross because the C5 Aircross mirrors the styling of that vehicle. However, Citroen’s new design language really does sit well upon the larger dimensions of the C5 Aircross. It looks fresh and friendly with a design that moulds rugged style flourishes like wheel arch extensions and Airbump® panels, with soft, curvy surfaces. My test car was quite demure in silver, but a funky two-tone look is also available.
The Citroen C5 Aircross is available from €26,495The interior of the new Citroën C5 Aircross
The C5 Aircross is one of the longest and tallest cars in its segment and has a spacious and airy cabin. Citroën has focused on practicality so you will find three individual seats in the second row that can slide, fold and recline. There is plenty of leg and headroom for this class of vehicle with a flat floor in the rear. The boot is also one of the best in class at 580 litres.
There’s quite a rugged, durable look to the dashboard design, with some soft touch materials, but also some more sombre hard plastics throughout the cabin also. A touchscreen is included as standard and also houses the ventilation controls, which depending on what school of motoring you are from, may be a source of frustration. Storage is a high point for the C5 Aircross making it a great vehicle for a family on the move, including a large cubby in the centre console and a convenient tray for keys and phone. A 12.3-inch digital driver information panel is also included as standard and looks cool and modern.
The interior of the new Citroen C5 Aircross
In Ireland there are four trim levels for the C5 Aircross: Start (from €26,495), Touch (from €27,995), Feel (from €29,995) and Flair (from €33,695). The entry ‘Start’ trim level includes 8” touchscreen display, cruise control, active safety brake and air conditioning. The ‘Touch’ trim adds items such as 17” alloys, rear parking sensors, folding mirrors, and Android Auto/Apple CarPlay.
The ‘Feel’ model has 18” alloys, front parking sensor, privacy glass, wireless phone charging and active blind spot detection. ‘Flair’ is the top specification level and includes 19” alloys, Citroën connect navigation, keyless entry and keyless start, a Panoramic Sunroof with interior LED ambient lighting and various driver assistance systems such as park assist, active lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control. ConnectedCAM, a factory fitted dashboard camera from Citroën, is also standard across the range.
On the road in the new Citroën C5 Aircross
The C5 Aircross adopts the sofa-inspired seating of the C4 Cactus with thick, wide seats, and plenty of sound insulation measures to improve refinement. So this is a very comfortable car that provides a nice ambience for families on the move. It features Citroën’s Progressive Hydraulic Cushion suspension for a smoother and more comfortable ride. It translates well to the road, with the C5 Aircross being very soft and smooth over the road. The trade-off is that the C5 Aircross rolls in the corners a bit more than rivals and the steering set-up is not the sharpest either.
Rear seating in the C5 Aircross
The Citroën has some excellent engines on offer. At launch there is the 1.2-litre 130hp Puretech petrol engine paired with a 6-speed manual transmission, or a 1.6-litre 180hp petrol, which comes with the choice of a 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic transmission. There is also a 1.5-litre Blue HDI 130hp diesel engine with the choice of a 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic transmission, and a 2.0-litre 180hp unit, which comes as standard with an 8-speed automatic transmission. Motor tax ranges from €190 to €280 depending on model. A plug-in hybrid is on the way in 2020.
My test car was a 1.2 petrol with 130hp and I can’t recommend this engine enough. It makes the C5 Aircross more interesting to drive than the diesel, and always feels lively. Refinement is excellent also and running costs are competitive.
The Citroën C5 Aircross offers good value in the market being a spacious family vehicle with a good specification. It’s bold and friendly, comfortable and refined. The Citroën C5 Aircross is a quirky new entrant into the compact SUV segment and embodies the best of 21st century Citroën!
The Citroën C5 Aircross scores for style, comfort, space and practicality!
Model tested: Citroën C5 Aircross 1.2 Puretech 130 Flair
Price: €33,695 (range from €26,495) Engine: 1.2-litre turbo petrol
Power: 130 hp Torque: 230 Nm
0-100km/h: 10.5 seconds Top speed: 188 km/h
Fuel economy: 6.8 l/100km
CO2 emissions: 121 g/km
Motor tax: €270 per year
The new Ford Focus ST will arrive in Ireland in August, priced from €39,595.
It will be available in two series – ST-2 and ST-3 – with a choice of petrol or diesel powertrains and hatchback or wagon bodystyles. Buyers can choose from a six-speed manual gearbox or a new seven-speed automatic transmission.
Engine options include the 280 PS 2.3-litre EcoBoost petrol and the 190 PS 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel engine. The new generation of the 2.3-litre EcoBoost gives a 0 – 100 kmh time of 5.7 seconds for the hatchback.
Ford’s first application of an electronic limited-slip differential (eLSD) for a front-wheel drive vehicle enhances the cornering and stability of the EcoBoost variant by sharpening responses to changing grip levels and driver inputs using computer-controlled pre-emptive actuation.
Selectable Drive Modes technology is introduced to the Focus ST for the first time, enabling drivers to adjust the vehicle’s character to suit the driving scenario.
Continuously Controlled Damping (CCD) – standard for five-door EcoBoost variants – enhances the short long arm (SLA) independent rear suspension configuration for greater refinement.
Ford’s new rev-matching technology that debuted on the new Ford Mustang is also introduced as part of an optional Performance Pack for 2.3-litre EcoBoost manual models.
Priced from €39,595, the ST-2 features ST design 18” alloy wheels, front lower grille in high gloss black, front and rear parking sensors, FordPass Connect and partial leather Recaro Performance seats.
Priced from €43,253, the ST-3 adds 19” alloy wheels, painted calipers, fixed full LED headlamps, rear view camera, full leather Recaro seats and power 4-way driver and passenger seats.
Gary Killeen, Business Rental Sales Director, Enterprise Rent-A-Car Ireland; Owen Keegan, Chief Executive, Dublin City Council; and George O’Connor, MD of Enterprise Rent-A-Car Ireland, at the launch of the Dublin City Council Mobility Hub,
Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Dublin City Council (DCC) have launched a Mobility Hub pilot as part of the Smart Dublin initiative, in partnership with Enterprise Ireland’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Programme.
Under the project, Enterprise Rent-A-Car will provide a shared electric car and e-bike service at Dublin City Council’s Wood Quay offices, helping to reduce congestion, free up parking spaces and encourage Council employees to adopt healthier ways to commute.
Three Nissan Leaf electric cars and five e-bikes will be available to employees during the workday. IT support for booking and managing the Mobility Hub fleet will be provided by Enterprise Rent-A-Car.
DCC team members can reserve vehicles through a smartphone app, their laptop or PC, and can view real time information on vehicle availability. Keys to the cars are kept in the glove compartment, and access is provided through a PIN that is generated each time a user books a car. The e-bikes are also accessible through a PIN that is delivered each time a booking is made.
Owen Keegan, Chief Executive of Dublin City Council, said: “The Mobility Hub partnership with Enterprise Rent-A-Car will help the City Council to reduce its environmental impact. This pilot project is being delivered under Enterprise Ireland’s Small Business Innovation Research Programme. Our employees will be able to use shared electric mobility services to travel to meetings and events across the city during their working day.”
George O’Connor, Managing Director of Enterprise Rent-A-Car Ireland, said: “The Mobility Hub offers a flexible, scalable solution which allows users to access the right transport for a specific journey. It removes the inconvenience of processing mileage expense claims and arranging safety checks for employees’ personal vehicles. This concept will benefit any organisation that wants to manage their employees’ mobility needs while meeting environmental commitments. We look forward to extending this offering to public and private organisations both large and small.
“We are certain that Dublin City Council will quickly see the benefits that the Mobility Hub can bring. The initiative will also have positive effects on congestion in the city as employees realise that they do not need to drive their own car to work. And of course, whatever mode of transport they choose to use from the Mobility Hub, it will always be a zero emissions option.”
Enterprise’s IT management system provides full transparency to DCC administrators regarding usage and tracking of vehicles and can generate predictions of future use to improve the management of the team’s transport needs.
The new MINI Electric will arrive in Ireland in 2020
A new MINI Electric based on the brand’s iconic three door hatchback, will arrive in Ireland in March 2020.
It is the brand’s first all-electric model and will go on sale from €27,765 OTR, including SEAI grant and VRT Rebate.
A model-specific lithium-ion battery gives the electric MINI a range of 235 to 270 kilometres. The electric motor provides 184 hp and 270 Nm of torque. Acceleration will be a brisk 7.3 seconds from 0 to 100km/h. The car can be charged at a household socket, wall-box or at public charging stations. Fast direct-current charging will be possible at up to 50 kW.
At a weight of 1,365 kilograms, the Electric is just 145 kgs heavier than the current MINI Cooper S 3-Door with automatic transmission. There’s also new suspension technology designed for this model to retain and enhance the MINI’s famed go-kart driving dynamics.
In accordance with new EU law, the car is fitted with acoustic pedestrian protection for low speed driving, with a distinctive sound created especially for the car generated via a speaker system.
An embossed MINI Electric logo will appear on the car’s side scuttles, as well as on the tailgate and front radiator grille. The front grille features the hallmark hexagonal shape of the MINI but is closed for the electric model as the car requires less cooling.
According to MINI, there have been no restrictions in terms of the size of the luggage compartment, which remains at 211 litres.
Standard equipment will include a new digital dashboard, Connected Navigation including Real Time Traffic Information (RTTI), and LED headlights/taillights.
A mid-level style MINI Electric is available at €30,405 OTR (including SEAI grant and VRT rebate). Equipment includes a cloth/leather-look upholstery, additional exterior body colour and wheel options, as well as rear Park Distance Control (PDC), Rear Camera, Seat Heating, Driving Assistance Pack and Logo Projection.
The top style is available at €35,695 OTR (including SEAI grant and VRT rebate). Equipment includes front PDC, Park Assist, Harmon Kardon sound system, Head-up Display, Panoramic Sun Roof, Matrix LED’s and upgrade to a 8.8” infotainment touch screen. Wireless phone charging is also included, in addition to MINI Yours Leather Lounge upholstery, a choice of five alloy wheels and six exterior body colours.
MINI retailers in Ireland are already accepting deposits now for a March 2020 delivery of the new electric MINI.
The new Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake will arrive in Ireland in October
The new Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake will arrive in Ireland in October. Based on the recently launched CLA Coupé, the CLA Shooting Brake is pitched by Mercedes-Benz as a “sports car with load space” and offers more practicality in the stylish and sporty body of an estate car. I travelled with Mercedes-Benz Ireland to Stuttgart, Germany, to drive the all-new CLA Shooting Brake!
The Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake is derived from the new four-door CLA Coupé and is a stylish and sporty compact estate car. It bears the new signature Mercedes-Benz ‘shark-nose’ grille at the front, flat headlamps, low-slung bonnet and diamond-finish radiator grille with central star motif, while frameless windows add to the air of exclusivity. Dimensions have been altered compared to the outgoing model – the new CLA Shooting Brake is 48 millimetres longer, 53 mm wider and 2 mm lower than before.
Inside, the new CLA Shooting Brake has the same all-new interior as the recently launched CLA Coupé. The interior is a fabulous mix of good quality material finishes, the latest technology features and glossy driver information and infotainment screens that respond to ‘Hey Mercedes’ voice control commands. It’s cool and classy with characteristic turbine effect air vents and plenty of luxurious trim options including Alcantara and leather.
The new Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake has a little more shoulder, head and elbow room than its predecessor. The CLA Shooting Brake will seat five but the rear will be a more comfortable place for two and legroom is okay, rather than generous. However, the Shooting Brake does offer a larger and more practical boot. The boot volume stands at 505 litres, which is larger than that of the CLA Coupé. The boot opening is also significantly wider than in the previous model, making it easier to load and unload.
The interior of the new Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake
Mercedes-Benz Ireland has not confirmed engine options coming to Ireland but in Europe, CLA 180, 180d, 200, 200d, 220 and 220d are available so expect to see a mix of petrol and diesel engines here.
At the launch in Stuttgart, we had the opportunity to drive the CLA 220d that is powered by a new 2.0-litre diesel with 190 hp and an automatic gearbox. On our test drive, the CLA 220d was smooth and powerful with good refinement.
On the road
The CLA Coupé and CLA Shooting Brake are positioned within the new generation of compact models from Mercedes-Benz as the models with the sportiest driving characteristics. Based on the new A-Class, the CLA models have a wider track as well as a lower centre of gravity. On the road this translates to an even sportier and more fluid drive. The steering feel is sharp and alert, while minimal body roll of that sleek body makes it a pleasure to drive also!
Mercedes-Benz are yet to confirm trim levels, pricing and equipment however expect a host of standard and optional features including ‘wellness’ comfort control that can be tailored to the mood of the customer; adaptive damping which allows the driver to switch between comfort and sports tuning; intelligent drive functions derived from the S-Class; and driver assistance systems such as active distance, steering, parking and lane change assist features.
Pricing has yet to be confirmed for Ireland but expect a €1500 to €2000 premium over the CLA Coupé, which currently is on sale from €34,110.
The CLA Shooting Brake is quite unique in the market as a premium, compact estate car with no direct rival. However, buyers looking for a stylish estate car might also find themselves looking at the larger Audi A4 Avant, BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz’ own C-Class estate.
The new Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake sees a rake of improvements across the board, bearing all the latest hallmarks of Mercedes’ stylish range of compact models. The interior is much improved in terms of design and technology, while the Shooting Brake provides buyers with an enviable sporty silhouette and more practical boot. On the road the CLA Shooting Brake is fun to drive. Designed to appeal to a younger generation, the CLA Shooting Brake carries a premium but is a highly desirable car!
The Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake is a stylish and practical compact estate model
The new Mitsubishi L200 will arrive in Ireland this August, priced from €35,000.
Under the bonnet there’s a 2.2-litre diesel with 150 hp. All models come with four wheel drive and a six speed manual or automatic gearbox is available.
It will be available in three grades: Business, Intense and Instyle.
Standard features include air-conditioning, cruise control with speed limiter, Bluetooth with voice control, electric windows and door mirrors, Easy Select 4WD, rear differential lock, Trailer Stability Assist [TSA] and 16’’ alloy wheels.
The best selling version is expected to be the Intense, starting from €37,850 while the top of the range Instyle Auto is available from €41,935.
The new L200 is equipped with a range of new safety features including Forward Collision Mitigation, Automatic High-Beam, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Multi Around View Monitor.
The new Mitsubishi L200 is fitted with either Super-Select 4WD, which delivers optimum traction and handling characteristics for any given surface, or Easy-Select 4WD, which simplifies switching between drive modes for different road surfaces. With the addition of new drive modes, both 4WD systems deliver improved off-road performance.
According to Mitsubishi, the new L200 features significant improvements and enhancements to the durability and reliability required by the commercial user and to the comfort and ride sought by the private user.
Mazda Ireland has introduced the Mazda MX-5 30th Anniversary Edition MX-5, priced at €40,995 and available from selected Mazda dealerships.
Unveiled for the first time at the 2019 Chicago Motor Show, three decades after its debut at the very same motor show in 1989, this special anniversary edition has been produced to celebrate 30 years of the world’s bestselling two-seat roadster.
Global production of the MX-5 30th Anniversary Edition are limited to 3000 models, with only 10 cars coming to Ireland.
The 30th Anniversary Edition is exclusively offered in the newly developed Racing Orange body paint and also features forged aluminium Rays wheels and a 30th anniversary badge displaying the model’s serial number. Other unique features include orange brake calipers with Nissin brakes on the rear and Brembo brakes on the front wheels.
Inside there are orange accents on the seats, door trim, dashboard, steering wheel, air vents and gear lever, as well as Recaro seats with Alcantara trim. The 30th Anniversary Edition also features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard.
The Mazda MX-5 range is available from €28,195 in Ireland.
Commenting on the launch of 30th Anniversary MX-5, Mazda Motors Ireland Managing Director, John Perry, said: “The MX-5 is the very essence of the Jinba Ittai driver-and-car-as-one philosophy that goes into every Mazda. With its unique detailing, generous equipment levels, exclusivity and bold Racing Orange paint, the 30th Anniversary Edition is the perfect way to celebrate three decades of this iconic sports car”.
The Mazda MX-5 30th Anniversary Edition features the new 184 ps version of the 2.0 Skyactiv-G petrol engine, and is available only as a roadster. There’s also a six-speed manual gearbox, Bilstein dampers, strut-brace and limited slip differential.
Five seat MPVs used to be very popular but in recent years the SUV has taken over. But when an MPV does come along in my test schedule, it’s a reminder that these vehicles still make quite a lot of sense for buyers who prioritise space and practicality. Mercedes-Benz is obviously a brand that still believes in the genre because they’ve just introduced the all-new B-Class.
As I was driving the new Mercedes-Benz B-Class, I looked around and began to see numerous examples of the previous generation of the car. Clearly the B-Class has quite a following! So why would you disappoint your core market and render it to the scrap heap?
What’s new for the 2019 Mercedes-Benz B-Class?
Priced from €32,745, the 2019 Mercedes-Benz B-Class has a new look in line with the rest of the Mercedes-Benz range and is spawned from the very stylish new A-Class that arrived in Ireland in 2018. The wheelbase is now longer with short overhangs and a slightly lowered roof line. The new B-Class is styled to maximise interior space, but it’s classy and discrete in that Mercedes-Benz way!
The new B-Class goes on sale from €32,745 in Ireland
However it’s inside the new B-Class where the real Mercedes star shines. The B-Class has an all-new dashboard design that’s really impressive. The material quality is excellent and this car gives the occupants a feeling of wellbeing with a light and spacious feel. There’s a digital instrument panel and touchscreen with touchpad control that complete the modern look of the new B-Class.
It’s a far more practical car than the A-Class hatchback it’s based on with more headroom and legroom. The new B-Class is a bit wider than the car it replaces so there is more elbow room for everyone also. There are two deep footwells in the back making it a comfortable place to stretch out the legs for a long journey. The boot is also very practical for carrying things being large (455 litre capacity) with a wide opening and low sill.
In Ireland, the new B-Class is sold in Style, Progressive (from €34,969) and AMG Line (from €37,337) trims. Standard equipment includes 16” alloys, MBUX infotainment system, reversing parking camera, leather/fabric upholstery, active lane keeping assist and heated front seats. The AMG Line car I had on test has 18” AMG alloys, sports steering wheel, AMG bodystyling, AMG sports pedals, diamond radiator grille with single louvre, LED headlamps and dual zone climate control.
The interior of the new Mercedes-Benz B-Class
Driving the new Mercedes-Benz B-Class
The 2019 Mercedes-Benz B-Class is powered by new, efficient engines, all compliant with new Euro 6d-TEMP regulations mandatory from next year. Petrols include the B180 and B200. Diesels are available from €35,300 and are badged B180d, B200d and B220d with a new 2.0-litre diesel making its debut in the B-Class range.
My test car was a B180 powered by a 1.3-litre turbo petrol with 136hp and mated to an automatic gearbox. The petrol engine is smooth and quiet, only getting noisy when you really accelerate hard. When taking off the automatic gearbox can be a bit slow, but out on the open road the power delivery is smooth and effortless. Manual gearboxes are also available. Over a week of driving my fuel consumption averaged at 6.4l/100km with motor tax of €270 per year for the B180.
On the road the Mercedes-Benz B-Class offers excellent comfort and refinement. It handles and steers competently with some body roll owing to its height, but for MPV buyers comfort is far more important, and the B-Class delivers on that.
Five seat MPVs may no longer be fashionable, but there is no disputing their value to buyers who prioritise space, practicality and comfort. The new Mercedes-Benz B-Class is now more stylish than before with a fantastic cabin ambience and the latest range of petrol and diesel engines. The B-Class has compact dimensions on the road, but the interior is surprisingly roomy. The best quality is the comfort the B-Class offers on the move.
Owners of the previous generation of this car will love the new B-Class!
The new B-Class is a stylish and practical five seat MPV
Model tested: Mercedes-Benz B180 Automatic AMG Line
Price: €38,987 (range from €32,745) Engine: 1.3-litre turbo petrol
Power: 136 hp Torque: 200 Nm
0-100km/h: 9 seconds Top speed: 212 km/h
Fuel economy: 5.4-5.6 l/100km
CO2 emissions: 125 g/km
Motor tax: €270 per year
Gowan Group will be Opel’s new import partner in Ireland for models like the 2020 Corsa-e
Gowan Group has acquired Opel Ireland and will be Opel’s wholesale import partner in Ireland upon approval of the transaction by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission in Ireland.
This move is in line with Opel’s business strategy in selected European markets to enhance agility, efficiency and competitiveness.
Gowan Group will assume responsibility for all of Opel Ireland’s operations and current Opel employees will transfer on completion of the transaction.
“This is another decision in line with the goals of our PACE! strategic plan which will make our sales set-up in certain European countries more agile, efficient and therefore competitive,” said Xavier Duchemin, Opel/Vauxhall Managing Director Sales, Aftersales and Marketing. “We are confident that our brand will perform even better in Ireland with this new set-up.”
“We are delighted to become Opel’s import partner in Ireland”, says Michael Dwan, CEO, Gowan Group. “We have an in-depth understanding of the Irish motor market and a strong appreciation of the Opel brand. The close engagement with our colleagues in Russelsheim through this process, together with the expertise and capability within the Group and within Opel Ireland, the strong dealer network and customer base and the exciting new product pipeline all underpin our belief that Opel will fully realise its potential in the Irish market in the years ahead. We look forward to welcoming the Opel Ireland team into the Gowan Group.”
Gowan Group has been involved in motor distribution in Ireland for fifty years, importing Peugeot vehicles since 1969 and Honda vehicles since 1984.
Opel sold over 5,800 vehicles in Ireland in 2018 achieving a market share of 3.8%. Opel is now aiming, through this new business model, to grow profitably in Ireland in the coming years.
An updated Mercedes-Benz GLC has just arrived in Irish Mercedes dealerships, priced from €48,040.
Changes from the GLC model launched in 2015 include updates to styling, specifications, new engines, larger touch-screen displays and enhanced connectivity.
Inside there is now the MBUX multimedia system with ‘Hey Mercedes’ commands. Driver assistance systems have also been considerably expanded. Included are distance, brake and steer assist features with automatic speed monitoring, an exit warning that alerts driver and passengers from opening a door when an overtaking vehicle is approaching, an emergency corridor function that helps drivers maintain course and avoid unintentional lane changing.
Other features include LED headlights, keyless-go start function, 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission and a wide choice of on/off-road drive modes, dynamic body control suspension and drive settings, and a host of standard and optional comfort, safety and driver assistance features such as parking, blind spot, trailer manoeuvring and hook-up assists.
The new Mercedes-Benz GLC family comes equipped with next generation four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines with more power and greater efficiency. Models available include the GLC 200 4MATIC, GLC 300 4MATIC, GLC 200 d 4MATIC, GLC 220 d 4MATIC and GLC 300 d 4MATIC. The most popular models here will be the GLC 200d and the GLC 220d versions.
Commenting, Ciaran Allen, sales manager for Mercedes-Benz in Ireland said: “Within the Mercedes-Benz range, GLC is a model that has always performed. Well equipped with features that owners like, GLC will appeal to singles and families for whom the allure of eye-catching design, advanced technology and driver comforts sits comfortably with the practical applications that the SUV is designed to deliver”.
Following the GLC, will be the GLC Coupé (from €51,540). Bearing all of the driver-focused features and specifications found in the GLC, the Coupé is expected to have a strong following amongst motorists who prefer to combine the safety, efficiency and functionality of an SUV in a sporty coupé body.
There is also a Mercedes-AMG 63 4MATIC version on the way with a 4.0-litre eight-cylinder biturbo engine (476HP) and the Mercedes-AMG 63S 4MATIC (510HP).