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Nimble new Volkswagen Touran is one of the best MPVs on the market



The Volkswagen Touran.

By Gerry Murphy

You can always rely on Volkswagen to produce a quality car in almost every case. Although they have been under the spotlight of late, all their new cars are not part of the disturbing diesel emissions reporting problem.

My time this week in the Touran also proves that the competence of the drive that you get from their cars is still the target that other must strive to match.

A much smarter looking car that the previous model, this seven-seat people carrier is both sturdy and functional. MPVs don’t always encourage spirited driving, and buyers don’t expect to throw them about the place either, but here is a car that is quite nimble and handles the twisty roads with surety and confidence.

For Ireland, the Touran comes with a choice of one petrol engine – a 1.2-litre TSI with 110bhp – or two diesel engines: a 1.6-litre TDI with 110bhp, which is expected to make up the majority of sales, and at the top of the range a 2.0-litre TDI with 150bhp.

The latter in Highline specification with a six-speed manual gearbox is the version that I have been driving this week and after a combination of journeys covering 1,200 kilometres, the fuel consumption came in at 7.6L/100, a figure that is more than acceptable under testing conditions.

Thanks to weight reductions of up to 62kg and new fuel saving technologies, the CO2 emissions are significantly lower in the new model compared to the previous generation, with the 2.0-litre emitting 117g/km giving an annual road tax bill of €200.

All Touran models on sale in Ireland come with seven seats as standard and feature a new fold-flat system. The seats in the second and third rows can be folded flat in a matter of seconds creating a continuous floor for easy loading, plus the front passenger seat backrest. With the second and third row seats folded, you get a massive 1,857 litres of luggage capacity plus a total of 47 handy storage compartments in the cabin.

Starting from €29,725, Trendline models feature 16” steel wheels, 5” Composition Colour radio system, manual air conditioning, a Connectivity Package including bluetooth and media-in jack with USB charging. Comfortline adds 16” alloy wheels, front fog lights, Park Distance Control, 6.5” Composition Media radio system with CD player and 8 speakers, cruise control, a folding front passenger seat which can serve both as a table and load-through provision.

The tested top of the range Highline model gets Adaptive Cruise Control, 17” alloy wheels, sports suspension, Pure air 3 zone climatronic air conditioning, and a multifunction display in colour. With some addition features like a panoramic sunroof, LED headlights that follow the corners and an electric tailgate, the price rises to €45,232 which puts it right up there with premium cars in the sector. To be fair it does feel and drives like a premium car too.

It is the overall competence of the car that makes the Touran one of the best MPVs you can get. Volkswagen designers have put together a car that fits the needs of the family with a strong emphasis on ease of use for passengers and driver. The recommendation is that, if you can afford to go for the 2-0-litre engine; that is the way to go.


Make: Volkswagen

Model: Touran

Engine: 2.0 TDi

Achieved Fuel Consumption:  7.6L/100kms

CO2 Emissions: 117g/km

Annual Road Tax: €200

Price: €45,232

Gerry’s Rating: 8/10



Connacht Tribune

Western Motors to host EV information day



The Volkswagen ID.7.

Recent registration figures released at the end of last month show that the Volkswagen’s ID.4 is the best-selling electric car in Ireland. Since it arrived in 2021 there has been nearly 6,000 registered and it now leads the charge to electrification here making it officially Ireland’s number one electric EV.

Even more exciting for the brand is the arrival of their new ID.7, the brand’s first global electric model for the upper mid-size class. It was launched globally last month, and Volkswagen chiefs are promising a battery range of 700km. This is massive step up for Volkswagen and will be a game changer for the brand.

Volkswagen Ireland are saying that it will arrive here later this year, and prices will be announced closer to that Irish launch date.

“With the ID.7 we are taking the next step in our electric offensive,” said Thomas Schäfer, CEO of Volkswagen Passenger Cars.

“The saloon offers a high level of comfort and long ranges. Already by 2026, we will offer the widest electric range of all manufacturers in Europe. Our goal is to achieve an electric car share of 80% in Europe by 2030. As from 2033, Volkswagen will produce only electric vehicles in Europe.”

Galway Volkswagen dealers, Western Motors are holding an electric vehicles information event on Thursday May 25 where they will have information on hand for potential buyers of any of the Volkswagen EV range.

The Western Motors sales team and service team will be able to provide information on along with additional information on the grants available and application for same and electrician to talk about the EV Charging Boxes and so forth.

For more information, call Western Motors on (091) 709970.


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Connacht Tribune

Award-winning IONIQ 6 is set to rock the Irish market



The Hyundai IONIQ 6.

Following the success of the Hyundai IONIQ 5, we now have the IONIQ 6, a completely different kettle of fish with the same running gear but a completely different design.

Both have been lauded at world level as the IONIQ 6 follows the 5 by winning the 2023 World Car of the Year title.

Not only did it pick up this gong, but it also won the 2023 World Electric Vehicle as well as the 2023 World Car Design of the Year awards.

This is the second consecutive triple win for the Hyundai Motor Group – the Hyundai IONIQ 5 was last year’s winner in the same three categories. A jury of 100 international automotive journalists from 32 countries selected the winners by secret ballot based on their evaluation of each eligible vehicle as part of their on-going professional work.

Up to now, the majority of electric vehicles have been SUVs. It’s the most popular shape of our times as buyers go for taller features and practical family characteristics. It might be strange that Hyundai would bring out the IONIQ 6 which is more like a coupe styled sedan with a lower, striking silhouette that they describe as a ‘streamliner’.

It certainly looks pretty special and while it uses the same battery, motors and platform. There are indications however that it is somewhat offers better range than the IONIQ 5. It is lower to the ground and has a lower drag co efficiency meaning reduced resistance and hence, better distance from a charge.

Under WLPT measurement the car has been tested to return 614km on a full charge. And, it can be charged at a much faster speed than other cars on the market; 315km in just 15 minutes.

There’s also a host of clever technology on board. Of course, a lot of what’s on offer these day are just toys and are not needed for everyday driving but, it is what the customer wants and he/she is always right! You can even opt to have the door mirrors on screens inside the car with cameras outside taking the pictures.

Prices for the Signature version with a 53kW battery starts at €48,295 rising toe €71,250 for the top-of-the-range Finesse all-wheel drive model with a 77kW battery.

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Connacht Tribune

Alfa Romeo making a comeback with the stunning new Tonale Plug-In Hybrid Q4



The Alfa Romeo Tonale PHEV Q4.

By Gerry Murphy

There is always a flutter of expectancy when a car company like Alfa Romeo brings out a completely new car. Since the heady days of the Alfa 156, the fortunes of the manufacturer have been slowly eroding and they now need their new Tonale to be loved more than ever.

Launched a couple of weeks ago, the Tonale Plug-In Hybrid Q4 is truly a landmark for the Italian brand. In what they call the Alfa Romeo’s “zero to zero” process, which will take it from being a 0% electrified brand at the start of 2022 to being a zero-emissions, 100% electric brand by 2027 it will start off a complete conversion in just five years.

Indeed Alfa Romeo has positioned itself to be one of the fastest automotive brands to reach carbon neutrality.

Alfa bosses tell us that the Tonale Plug-In Hybrid Q4 combines maximum efficiency and Italian sportiness; the all-electric range (AER) is 56km, up to 80km all-electric range city, 600km in the total cycle and emissions reduced from 29g/km.

I have had the pleasure of taking the new Tonale for an extended test drive on the day of its official launch recently. The best compliment that I can give the car is that it is a ‘proper’ Alfa. Those who have history with the brand will fully understand what that means and why it is important that it lives up to its heritage.

The interior especially wraps itself around the driver just as in the days of old. It is a wonderful place to be, and you are completely at one with the vehicle. The quality is right up the in the premier league; dark and moody with clever details and the right amount of new technology.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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