Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us


Volkswagen’s Transporter – a van with the home comforts of a car



The sixth generation Volkswagen Transporter: impressive on all counts.

By Gerry Murphy

Living with a van is seismically different to owning a car and since the very first one, the T1, Volkswagen’s Transporter has been a firm favourite with fleet buyers and thousands of one-man van owners.

Drivers often spend more time in their vans than the average car driver spends in their cars. They double up as a mobile office as much as being a mode of transporting goods and tools.

Van makers have been working hard in recent years to make vans more like cars to drive and all have a firm goal in making them easier to live with, a quest that has been more successful for some over others. Volkswagen is one such manufacturer and the new, sixth generation of the popular Transporter is testament to that.

Indeed, the interior is a mirror image of what they do in their passenger cars with a few more cubby holes thrown in for easy in-cabin storage and document filing. Bigger door pockets, well-placed cup holders, storage under the passenger seats and A4 size document clips give it the workplace and live-in details that the busy van driver needs on a daily basis.

Recently, the new Volkswagen Transporter won the 2016 International Van of the Year Award, the most coveted accolade in the Light Commercial Vehicle industry in Europe. That accolade is well deserved and while the competition is fierce in the segment, the Transporter came out on top of the voting which is carried out be leading commercial vehicle journalists all over Europe.

“The award acknowledges the Light Commercial Vehicle that makes a major contribution to raising the standards of efficiency and the sustainability of transport with respect to the environment and safety of people, and the Volkswagen T6 is deemed to have made this impact this year,” says the IVOTY Chairman, Ireland’s Jarlath Sweeney.

I have been driving the 190 hp version of the 2.0-litre driven van and it is clear what the judges of the competition saw when choosing it as the winner. Power is on tap whether full or empty and on the road you get a real confidence from how it handles in both scenarios.

The spacious, well-designed load area is well lit, comes with plenty of load anchor points and easily accessed through a selection of door formations. My test model came with a large tailgate and one sliding side door. However, buyers can choose split rear doors and a second skidding door if required. Gross vehicle weight is 3,000kg with a payload of 926kg.

In the cabin, the driving position gives the user a commanding seat with all controls within easy access and good visibility. The large door mirrors which are electrically adjustable – and heated in this case – are a must in vans as it helps the user negotiate tight spaces and makes parking simpler. I applaud this because not all manufacturers supply electric mirrors as standard which means that the drivers must leave his seat to make manual adjustment to the off-side mirror.

In this version standard features include: air conditioning, anti-theft alarm system, cruise control, bluetooth connectivity (phone & audio streaming), multi-function leather steering wheel, discover media navigation system, cloth upholstery multifunctional display “Plus” with driver alert system and auxiliary input with USB.

Noise and comfort levels in the cabin were enhanced by a solid bulkhead and driver armrests while the image of the van was improved with the fitting of front fog lamps and painted bumpers and mirror. 18” alloy wheels and some other extras in the test van gave it an overall price of €43,981 with VAT making up €7,407 0f that price and VRT of €200. However, the Transporter is available with a starting price of €19,817 excluding taxes.

Vans are a special mode of transport and are required to do a wide range of activities. We normally find that individual owners are normally very loyal to a specific brand and model. This is true for the Transporter, too, and for Volkswagen, this van has been a vital cog in their sales success for many years. This one is a clever extension of their pedigree for producing sturdy, driveable load carriers.

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.


Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.


Continue Reading