Wednesday 17 January 2018

Top 10 new cars if you've got one to scrap

New car buyers are spoiled for choice -- but Shane O'Donoghue makes things easier by choosing the top 10 new cars available on the scrappage scheme

ALL the mainstream car makers have models in Band A or B, so there's a huge amount of choice for buyers. We've selected 10 cars, some for their outrageously good value, and others because they're simply great cars. Admittedly, a lot of scrappage buyers are opting for entry-level models, but these are well worth checking out too.

Fiat 500

Scrappage offer Along with the Government's contribution, Fiat offers buyers an 'eco-plus BONUS+' of between €1,400 and €1,550 on the Fiat 500 and 500C range. Saving you getting the calculator out, that's up to €2,800 off the price.

Pre-scrappage price

€12,695-€19,795

Pricing with scrappage

€9,995-€16,995

What makes it so good?

This re-invention of an Italian icon has been around for four years now -- but it hasn't dated at all, which is a little surprising, given that it takes more than a few retro cues from its predecessor. And that cute and cuddly styling is one of the 500's biggest attractions (the mean-looking Matt Black edition aside) and it's one of the rare cars on sale with a big personality. There are 10 versions of the Fiat available on the scheme and that's before you think about the rather cool open-topped 500C variant. We particularly like the innovative new TwinAir engine -- it's efficient and powerful.

Any downsides?

Let's not beat about the bush: the Fiat 500 is a little girly. Some versions change that, but it's the general perception of the car.

Find out more: www.fiat.ie

Ford Focus

Scrappage offer At the time of writing there are no extra incentives offered by Ford on the new Focus. That may change as it gets closer to the end of the scheme in June. It's still worth considering with the Government's €1,250 offer.

Pre-scrappage pricing

€20,825-€29,825

Pricing with scrappage

€19,575-€28,575

What makes it so good?

The Focus is one of the newest cars on the market and it shows. Inside and out it exudes quality and style, significantly surpassing its predecessor on those fronts. It's more efficient and more comfortable too. In short, it's a big contender for class honours. What's more, every one of the 13 models offered to Irish buyers is eligible for the scrappage scheme. There's a range of petrol and diesel options.

Any downsides?

For people that really enjoy driving, the new Focus, in its regular guises at least, may be a little disappointing. In return it's far more comfortable than before though. Being really picky, the higher-specced versions feature a steering wheel that has too many fiddly buttons.

Find out more: www.ford.ie

Hyundai i10

Scrappage offer Like many of the carmakers, Hyundai's discount to scrappage customers varies depending on the model bought. It ranges from just €750 to as much as €2,250. The i10 is the cheapest car offered by Hyundai and the discount is €1,495 for the i10 1.1 Deluxe, or €1,750 for the i10 1.2 Deluxe Auto. Obviously that's on top of the Government's €1,250.

Pre-scrappage pricing

€11,995-€13,995

Pricing with scrappage

€9,250-€10,995

What makes it so good?

The Hyundai i10 is one of the first of a new generation of small new cars that doesn't feel quite like the bargain-basement machine it is. We love the honesty of the car. It doesn't aim to be anything other than simple, easy-to-drive transport for the driver and three other people. It's surprisingly roomy too.

Any downsides?

We really don't like the optional automatic gearbox, but there are few good automatics at this end of the market. They're more a necessity than something buyers desire.

More info at www.hyundai.ie

Kia Sportage

Scrappage offer Kia is offering a 'scrappage bonus' of between €1,000 and €1,500 (on top of the Government's €1,250 VRT allowance) across its range. The spanking new Sportage attracts the highest bonus, so in effect it can be bought for a total of €2,750 less.

Pre-scrappage pricing

€25,600-€29,995

Pricing with scrappage

€22,850-€27,245

What makes it so good?

The Sportage is one of the very newest crossovers on the market, designed from the ground up to compete with the likes of the Nissan Qashqai. It's a fabulous looking car and the highest quality model from Kia yet. Irish buyers have a choice of three trim levels, all powered by an efficient new 1.7-litre turbodiesel engine.

Any downsides?

Despite the SUV looks, the Sportage sold in Ireland puts its power down to the front wheels only, so don't expect it to be any better in the snow than a regular car.

More at www.kiamotors.ie

Nissan Juke

Scrappage offer It's a simple one. Nissan will add €1,250 to the Government's rebate for a total discount of €2,500. It applies to either the 1.6-litre petrol model or the 1.5-litre diesel, though the latter is in short supply.

Pre-scrappage pricing

€18,195-€21,995 (for eligible variants)

Pricing with scrappage

€15,695-€19,495

What makes it so good?

For God's sake man, just look at it! All right, it does divide opinions -- but you have to admit that it's unique. Nissan hopes it will take buyers from the likes of the Ford Fiesta and VW Polo, and it certainly has the potential. It was voted 2011 Irish Car of the Year and with good reason. The Juke is actually quite good to drive too.

Any downsides?

It's such a shame that the diesel-engined model is two grand more expensive than the 1.6-litre petrol alternative, as we prefer it.

More info at www.nissan.ie

Peugeot 5008

Scrappage offer Peugeot has a very generous offer on the 5008 people carrier, discounting each of the eligible five versions by €2,910 on top of the Government's VRT rebate. In total you save €4,160 which, even at this higher price point, is well worth having.

Pre-scrappage pricing

€27,155-€32,765

Pricing with scrappage

€22,995-€28,605

What makes it so good?

The Puegot 5008 is the 2011 Irish Family Car of the Year -- which suggests that it might be handy for carting a few people and their lifetime's possessions around the place. This it does with ease, but on top of that, it's built of solid stuff and is surprisingly enjoyable to drive. The 1.6-litre HDi diesel engine feels stronger than its 110bhp figure suggests it will be, and it's economical to boot.

Any downsides?

The Ecomatique gearbox is a disaster. It theoretically is more efficient, but it requires a change in your driving style to avoid all your passengers lurching back and forth on every gear shift.

More at www.peugeot.ie

Renault Fluence

Scrappage offer You're unlikely to have missed Renault's prominent marketing campaign. On the Fluence, Renault offers scrappage buyers €2,000 as trade-in allowance on the Royale model (€1,750 on all others) and another €1,250 on top of the Government's contribution. The total maximum discount comes to €4,500.

Pre-scrappage pricing

€20,300-€26,400 (for eligible variants)

Pricing with scrappage

€15,800-€22,150

What makes it so good?

The Renault Fluence is all about bang for your buck. It's essentially a saloon version of the Megane with four doors and a huge boot, but its styling is distinctive and it feels like a bigger car. It's very well equipped and the 1.5-litre turbodiesel engine balances adequate performance with good economy. Opt for the 'Irish Edition' for a sportier look.

Any downsides?

The Fluence is not quite as good to drive as some of its direct rivals. It's also worth bearing in mind that there will be plenty of Fluences on the second-hand market in a few years and price calculations will be based on an original scrappage-related price, so don't expect it to be worth a fortune.

Find out more: www.renault.ie

Skoda Superb

Greenline

Scrappage offer Skoda doesn't have any extra incentives to scrappage buyers of the Superb, so the only discount will be that offered by the Government.

Pre-scrappage pricing:

€25,115-€29,945

Pricing with scrappage

€23,865-€28,695

What makes it so good?

First and foremost there's the value. The Superb is well equipped for the price and it's much larger inside than most cars in the Ford Mondeo/Toyota Avensis class. That's true for the boot too, which you are likely to lose things in. Then there's the economy. The 1.6-litre TDI engine doesn't feel slow, yet the Greenline version seems to have an aversion to filling up.

Any downsides?

We're not fans of the rather bizarre double-opening boot door/hatch, but it's hardly a reason to avoid this car. Our biggest gripe is actually with Irish buyers, as for some reason we don't like estate cars. The Superb Greenline Estate is a cracking choice, and it too is available through the scrappage scheme. Skoda has offered Enda Kenny and his gang a free loan of five Superbs, so if he takes it up on that you may wish to consider whether you want to be mistaken for a member of the Government.

Find out more: www.skoda.ie

Toyota Yaris

Scrappage offer It's little wonder that the Yaris is the top-selling scrappage scheme car of 2011 to date. Toyota is offering a discount of €2,650 on top of the Government's €1,250 for a total price cut of €3,900. That's very significant when the car's priced so well anyway.

Pre-scrappage pricing

€14,665-€18,920

Pricing with scrappage

€10,765-€15,020

What makes it so good?

We've included the Yaris first and foremost because of the great value offer, but that's not the only thing it has going for it. The three- and five-door hatchback has an enviable reputation for reliability and it's one of the easiest cars on the road to drive. Scrappage buyers have a choice of 16 different versions, including one diesel and two petrol engines, and even a few automatic options.

Any downsides?

Not many, in truth. The Yaris is due a facelift, so you do risk buying a car that is about to be replaced soon, but we reckon that many scrappage scheme buyers will hold onto their new cars for a quite a few years anyway.

Find out more: www.toyota.ie

Volkswagen Polo

Scrappage offer All of the Polos on Volkswagen Ireland's official price list are eligible for the scrappage scheme. The deal is simply 'double scrappage', which means Volkswagen will match the Government's €1,250 offer, resulting in a useful €2,500 discount for buyers.

Pre-scrappage pricing

€14,550-€22,445

Pricing with scrappage

€12,050-€19,945

What makes it so good?

Basically, there is no other small hatchback that is as well built as the Volkswagen Polo. It has always been thought of as a bit of a "mini Golf" -- but this latest version lives up to that billing more than ever.

It's hard to describe this, but take five minutes to sit into a Polo in a Volkswagen showroom and you'll understand what we mean. There's a vast array of models (and prices) available too -- petrol and diesel.

Any downsides?

We love the ethos and extra efficiency of the BlueMotion model, but it's too expensive -- even when compared to similarly powered alternatives in the Polo line-up.

More at www.volkswagen.ie

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