Thursday 20 July 2017

Safest used car; kudos for parking; Drogheda premises; Audi recall; Tesla 3 beats schedule

Tesla Model 3
Tesla Model 3

You'd expect a big heavy saloon to be one of the safest on the road. But for young drivers that accolade goes to a city car, according to a group of experts. It is the Skoda Citigo. Next were its sisters, the Volkswagen up! and SEAT Mii. Toyota's Yaris and Kia's Rio took fourth and fifth spots respectively.

The award, devised by Co-op Insurance and Thatcham Research, is designed to change parents' and young buyers' attitudes to used cars. Co-op Insurance say price, insurance, running costs, age and colour of car are all deemed more important than safety.

* I complain enough about car parks and the cost of using them that it is only fair to mark the occasion of one operator winning a series of European awards. Euro Car Parks has taken six European Standard Parking Awards (ESPA) - the first in Ireland to be so rewarded they say.

The car parks involved are: the Point Square, Convention Centre and Mater Hospital in Dublin; Charlotte Quay, Limerick; Athlone Towncentre, Westmeath; and Whitewater Shopping Centre, Newbridge, Kildare.

Point Square in Dublin and Charlotte Quay in Limerick got gold awards. The others received silver.

They were judged on entry/exits, lighting, comfort, security, signage, parking areas, ramps etc.

* Mercedes is this year celebrating the 50th anniversary of its heavy commercial vehicles enterprise in Ireland.

* Best wishes to John and Stella Malone, who have opened their new 10-car, state-of-art showroom in Drogheda at the M1 Retail Park. They will create 10 additional new jobs within sales, aftersales and administrative roles.

* Lexus is reported to be readying a seven-seat Range Rover rival for the Tokyo motor show.

* Audi have recalled 740 Q5s here. The models involved were made between May 2010 and August 2016. The company says the pressure cylinders in the curtain airbags in some models could corrode over time.

* BMW will push the "sporting qualities" of the next 3-Series to keep it in front of growing competition. And it will add two new M Performance models driven by 6cyl engines to emphasise the point.

* Tesla's "most affordable" model to date - the 3 - is starting production ahead of schedule. CEO Elon Musk expects the first cars to reach customers by the end of the month.

Irish customers will have to wait a good deal longer - it could easily be 2019 - as right-hand drive models only start next summer. The car is due to cost around $35,000 before incentives. In Irish money that would be about €31,000 but the figures are not directly compatible due to our taxation system and subsidies.

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