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Plenty of interest from Irish customers in new Suzuki Vitara



The Suzuki Vitara.

Suzuki has been thrown a lifeline with the arrival of their Vitara earlier this year. Orders are ahead of supply and with the 152 plate now in full swing, they are relishing the rest of the year. While that may be surprising to some, the new Vitara is a massively important car for the Japanese brand and with an attractive entry price tag and four-wheel drive as an option, there is a lot of interest from Irish customers.

It is also a very handsome SUV in the right bracket just now. Sales of this type of vehicle are an all-time high and with some buyers always chasing something different, the Vitara makes a lot of sense. Starting at €19,995 for the 2WD 1.6 petrol model, it sits below many of its competitors making it an alluring proposition. That price is a special introductory price that will last until October, so now is a good time to have a closer look.

There is also a range of 1.6 DDiS diesel models and these are expected to be the most popular with Irish customers. All are available in GL, GL+ and GLX grades. Both the petrol and diesel models have 120 bhp with CO2 emissions for the diesels at 106g/km and 123g/km for the petrol.

Suzuki has been in the SUV business longer than most and since its market launch in 1988, the Vitara name has been noted for reliability, style and ease of use. This new car takes these qualities to a new place with its city-oriented design; compact, easy to manage dimensions; good on-road performance; and genuine off-road capability.

I have been driving the top-of-the-range GLX grade with ALLGRIP 4-wheel drive and all the bells and whistles that come as extras in this model. Large diameter wheels and the higher ground clearance make it ideal for going off road while it still manages to behave with good manners on the public roads. With the ALLGRIP four-wheel drive system you get four modes that allows the driver to choose a mode to suit the road surface and driving conditions.

All Vitara models come with seven airbags, 16-inch alloy wheels, DAB Radio with USB and Bluetooth connectivity, Cruise control with speed limiter, auto air conditioning, front and rear electric windows and projector headlamps. GL+ adds 17-inch silver painted alloy wheels, rear privacy glass, Smartphone link audio and navigation system.

Moving up to GLX, the car that I got to test, you get the addition of LED Projector headlights, 17-inch polished alloy wheels, suede seat fabric, keyless entry with start button, Adaptive Cruise Control, Radar Brake Support and Panoramic sunroof. This model has a price tag of €27,995, a price that will again rise in October.

My test model came in a turquoise blue colour that certainly stood out from the crowd. There are a wide range of colours available and this would not be my favourite. The colour scheme was carried inside the car too and while it may be attractive to some, I think it cheapened the interior. There are more traditional schemes than this and I would prefer an all-black dashboard.

Otherwise, the cabin is a bright, well appointed, easy to use offering with a colourful touchscreen that is easily navigated. I also like the seating and the panoramic sunroof adds the bright ambience.

On the road the Vitara drives like many other SUVs. You have a high seating position and while there is some roll in the corners, it is nothing that will make you feel out of control or uncomfortable. The engine is a lovely power unit that attached to a silky six-speed gearbox give you all the driving prowess that you need in a car like this.

It comes with a detachable tow hitch and when tested, the car proved to be a very competent car with a trailer attached. It is a lot lighter than you would expect and this has a positive effect on fuel consumption – my return was 6.9L/100 – and on CO2 emissions.

All-in-all there is little to complain about with the new Vitara. It is a stylish, likeable SUV that stands out from the norm with some clever touches both internally and externally. Suzuki has been making SUVs for a long time and this new Vitara is their best so far and, at the discounted price, it is worth consideration.


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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