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SsanYong makes big impression with the outstanding Tivoli



SsanYong Tivoli: real value for money.

By Gerry Murphy

I got a tip off from a friend that the SsanYong Tivoli might just present a couple of surprises for me when I took it on a week’s test drive. Brand snobbery has always been prevalent in the Irish market and it takes time for a brand to shake it off. A few have been successful while others still fight the good fight. Thankfully, there are always some brave buyers out there who take a punt and often come out the right side of a real bargain.

SsangYong may have disappeared for a while from the Irish scene, but now they are back with a complete range of tough, new vehicles. Their latest compact SUV, the Tivoli, is a dandy piece that hurtles into the compact SUV battleground demanding serious attention like a mad two-year-old after too much candy.

Brands like SsangYong are not normally foremost in everyone’s mind, but somewhere in the clatter of these small chunky run-arounds there is a place for the Tivoli; a car that offers a whole lot of good vibes and brings a fair dollop of additives and some class leading features.

Visually it has its deficiencies and while it may not look the real deal, there’s enough car at a decent price that shuffles it into the world of functional motoring. It is not as off-the-wall as other models created by SsangYong in the past, yet it has a buckets of charm that make it stand out from the norm without losing what people want right now.

I have been driving it for the week and although its quirky advertising campaign that says, when spelt backwards, ILOVIT, it may need some time for it to gravitate to that level of admiration. Prices start at €21,495 for the basic ES version. But, the model that I have been driving is the higher specified EL version. At €24,995 it comes with a host of add-ons like, heated leather seats, 18” alloy wheels, parking sensors and rear camera, automatic headlights and rain sensor wipers, dual climate control and a whole lot more.

What I do love is the driving position and the interior that makes a real statement and offers the best seats that I have come across in a car in the class. They are bang on for support and comfort especially in a car that tends to roll a little around the corners and roundabouts.  I also like the steering wheel and the array of controls that it offers. While it is slightly over complicated, once you get the hang of it you will never look back.

Under the hood is their own 1.6-litre diesel engine coupled with a six-speed gearbox gives plenty of power and on-demand torque. You also get stop/start and a sense of height that makes it feel like a bigger SUV than its footprint suggests. Build quality seems to be spot on and while there is a certain robustness about the car, this is what some prefer and you get it in spades here.

Now for the most important part – the running costs. Here’s the biggest surprise of all. When flicking through the paperwork, I read that SsangYong were claiming a combined fuel return of 5.5L/100km. Combined defines the average fuel consumption over a combination of urban and rural driving, normally measured in clinical conditions at the factory.

Generally these parameters are far less rigorous than the testing conditions we get on the open road where weather and bumpy, undulating surfaces provide a sterner test. By the nature of my regular testing over a full week, I have always pushed my test cars beyond normal, day-to-day driving and have generally found that fuel consumptions are higher than the claims of the manufacturers.

Well, for me this is a first. The SsangYong Tivoli registered a lower fuel consumption return than the official, tested figure suggests. It came in at a full half a litre less than the brochure figure, 5.0L/100k. That’s enough to make any buyer sit up and take the hint. At the price, the higher spec model is real value for money. It may lack the prestige of the more traditional brands but, it is a good one!

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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