Sunday 20 August 2017

Geraldine Herbert

Renault Captur

Renault set to Captur the imagination all over again 

The Renault Captur created quite a stir in the booming crossover market when it hit the roads in 2014. Injecting a little more fun into the market, this compact and affordable Renault was aimed squarely at customers wanting a small crossover but requiring a little more style and panache. It resonated with both male and female drivers to become Renault's best-selling vehicle in Ireland, and Europe's best-selling urban crossover in 2016. But this title has been under threat lately with stiff competition, so Renault has launched the 2017 Captur with revised styling, new features and...

Alfa Romeo Giulia

Change is in the air for diesel vehicles 

The British government is to follow the lead of other European countries and introduce a scrappage scheme for diesel cars. British Prime Minister Theresa May has asked officials to develop plans for a scheme as part of proposals to improve air quality. The scheme will encourage motorists to a switch to more environmentally friendly vehicles by offering a financial incentive for drivers of older diesel cars trading them in. Cars or vans that are more than 10 years old are likely to be eligible and owners may be offered up to £2,000 to switch to a cleaner car.

Seriously impressive: The new E-Class is just one of six new models and six facelift models that are due from Mercedes in 2016E-

The new Mercedes E-Class brings reality of self-driving a step closer 

There is no denying the importance of the E-Class to Mercedes-Benz, it has not only attracted a loyal band of fans but it makes the German car maker more money than anything else in its range. Sales of more than 13 million units testify to the appeal of this car but past E-Classes have never been what you might consider exciting or entertaining to drive. Eclipsed by the elegance of the CLS and surpassed by the blend of technology and luxury in the S-Class, the new generation aims to iron out these foibles.

Slippery: The kick plate spins the car as you drive over it, sending it into a slide

Unleash your inner racing driver at the Porsche Experience Centre 

As the needle on the speedometer zips toward the red line and we nudge closer to the bend, I am reminded by my instructor to "brake, brake hard". A few laps around this very twisty racetrack and the nuances of braking, accelerating and steering are finally being digested and I learn the crucial lessons of track driving; there is no coasting, no cruising and certainly no time to admire the view. There is only braking and accelerating and nothing in between.

Volvo S90

16 cars worth waiting for in 2016 to suit all budgets and lifestyles 

Alfa Romeo Giulia: The big news for Alfa Romeo in 2016 is the new Giulia, its rival to the BMW 3 series, Mercedes C-Class and Audi A4. Due here towards the end of the year, it is one of the most anticipated Alfas in years. Top of the range will be the Giulia Quadrifoglio, powered by a 375kW turbocharged V6 that allegedly gets the super saloon from 0-100kph in 3.9 seconds. The New Giulia is one of eight new cars that are planned from the Italian car maker over the next three years.

The Ford Grand C-Max may not be the most stylish, but the accessible rear seats are a boon

Choosing your model for those babies on board 

For many people, buying an MPV is a rite of passage, that time in life when the last vestiges of youth's frivolity dissipate in favour of night feeds and school runs. But as a parent of two young boys and a few dogs in tow, I have to admit the charms of a seven-seater are hard to ignore. The good news is that MPVs are no longer just about space; driving dynamics and kerb appeal are just as important. We look at three new options recently launched to suit a range of budgets.

Advances technology: The all-new S-Max brings Ford’s Intelligent Speed Limiter technology to Ireland for the first time, a system that can automatically help prevent drivers from exceeding speed limits

Ford moves upmarket with premium Mondeo 

With almost its entire range refreshed or revised, including key models like the Focus and Mondeo, it's been a busy few months for Ford. Last week a premium version of the Mondeo - the Vignale - and two new versions of their mid- size and large MPVs, the S-Max and Galaxy arrived in showrooms around the country. Ford's S-Max has long been regarded as the driver's seven-seater, and despite some tough competition, the new version only confirms this reputation.

PREMIUM DRIVE: The stylish Octavia Laurin & Klement (L&K) is priced from €32,860

High-spec Octavia offers value 

Comfortable, economical and with excellent build quality, the Skoda Octavia has some pretty compelling attractions, and it is the car of choice for families outgrowing their hatchbacks, as well as for taxi-drivers looking for reliability and space. The third-generation Skoda Octavia now has a very stylish and sophisticated top-of-the- range Laurin & Klement (L&K) version, a new line that pays homage to the founding fathers of Skoda, Vaclav Laurin and Vaclav Klement.