Great value on of­fer as peo­ple change car more of­ten

Plan­ning on buy­ing a new car, then you’re spoilt for choice, with great value to be had and some ex­cit­ing of­fer­ings on the way. Shane O’Donoghue gives his low­down of what we can ex­pect in the year ahead

Irish Examiner - Supplement - - NEW CARS -

We’re chang­ing our cars more of­ten, but less likely to change brands.

New fig­ures show 1 in 2 driv­ers change their car ev­ery five years, with just un­der half ( 47%) of those who make a new pur­chase stick­ing to the same brand.

The anal­y­sis by Car­zone also shows that the cost of in­sur­ance is still a ma­jor stum­bling block when it comes to mak­ing a pur­chase — with 88% of those sur­veyed con­firm­ing their pre­mi­ums had risen in the past year.

Road tax, fuel costs and the NCT were also con­cerns raised by mo­torists, ac­cord­ing to the study of 2,600 peo­ple.

The key find­ings show:

■ 69% say car tech­nol­ogy plays an im­por­tant role in their pur­chas­ing de­ci­sion

■ Two thirds (65%) be­lieve that in- car tech­nol­ogy has made them a bet­ter driver

■ 70% of peo­ple say that tech­nol­ogy makes driv­ing more en­joy­able

■ 85% of Ir­ish car re­tail­ers are in­vest­ing in tech­nol­ogy in their deal­er­ships

■ VW Golf re­mains the most searched for car on Car­zone

While de­mand is on the rise, so too is ex­pec­ta­tion, with 85% said they would ex­pect a Blue­tooth handsfree kit to be in­cluded as stan­dard, with 34% de­mand­ing free cruise con­trol.

Over two thirds (69%) said a car’s tech­nol­ogy plays an im­por­tant role in their pur- chas­ing de­ci­sion. How­ever, it seems it has a bigger in­flu­ence over men than women. Over 3 in 4 men polled say that car tech is very im­por­tant when buy­ing a car com­pared to just un­der half of women (43%). Its im­por­tance also car­ries more weight with the 25-34 age group with 91% cit­ing it as a very im­por­tant fac­tor.

Two thirds (65%) be­lieve that in- car tech­nol­ogy has made them a bet­ter driver and 70% say i t makes driv­ing more en­joy­able. When it comes to must-have tech, 47% say they can’t live with­out their trusty GPS and a quar­ter can’t do with­out a Blue­tooth handsfree kit.

Al­though we can’t live with­out GPS, park­ing sen­sors are the most used tech item among mo­torists with 65% re­ly­ing on sen­sors for per­fect park­ing. Cruise con- trol is sec­ond (61%) fol­lowed by a handsfree kit (37%).

Over half (56%) said they would have no prob­lem sit­ting in the pas­sen­ger seat of a self-driv­ing car, with 3 in 4 ( 73%) be­lieve au­ton­o­mous driv­ing will hap­pen in their life­time.

How­ever, the big­gest con­cerns about self- driv­ing were the fear of be­ing hacked ( 41%), not be­ing in con­trol of the car ( 27%) and a tech mal­func­tion (20%).

The Volk­swa­gen Golf was the most searched for model on Car­zone. How­ever, jump­ing a mas­sive six places to sec­ond place in this year’s re­port is the new- shape Mercedes-Benz E Class.

Premium car mar­ques re­main a firm favourite with Ir­ish mo­torists with the BMW 5 Se­ries, the Audi A6 and the Audi A4 all fea­tur­ing in the top 6.

Al­though elec­tric and hy- brid cars make up a smaller por­tion of searches on the site, in­ter­est in th­ese cars has sig­nif­i­cantly in­creased in the first five months of 2017. The Nis­san Leaf is the most searched for elec­tric car on Car­zone while the Toy­ota Auris takes the top spot in the hy­brid stakes.

Mean­while, the lat­est fig­ures from the Cen­tral Sta­tis­tics Of­fice show 9,581 new pri­vate cars were li­censed in May.

In the first five months of the year, 83,761 new cars were li­censed, down 10.3% on the same time last year.

The top five new car mod­els li­censed in May were the new Nis­san Qashqui, the Hyundai Tucson, the Skoda Oc­tavia, the Re­nault Clio and the Ford Fi­esta.

Here’s a sum­mary of some of what you can ex­pect in the year ahead:

Alfa Romeo

Alfa Romeo’s first ever SUV, the stylish and sporty look­ing Stelvio, ar­rives on Ir­ish shores later this year. It shares its me­chan­i­cals with the com­pe­tent Alfa Gi­u­lia so we know to ex­pect a will­ing yet pretty ef­fi­cient 2.2-litre tur­bod­iesel en­gine un­der the bon­net and gen­er­ous equip­ment for the money.

But much of the fo­cus will be on the stun­ning Gi­u­lia, with Alfa hop­ing for big noise for the brand.

Audi

A se­ri­ously high- tech and brand spank­ing new Audi A8 lux­ury sa­loon leads the Ger­man com­pany’s charge for the sec­ond half of 2017, with a cameo by the high­per­for­mance SQ5 SUV.

On the top end of the scale, we can look for­ward to the ar­rival of the RS5 Coupe pow­ered by 2.9 litre V6 petrol en­gine and the RS3 later in the Au­tumn. A new Q3 is ex­pected by the end of the year.

Audi is of­fer­ing Ir­ish buy­ers as low as 2.9% APR fi­nance on the ex­ist­ing Q2 cross­over and out­go­ing A6 Sa­loon, as well.

BMW

BMW’s sales for the re­main­der of the year will fo­cus on the im­pres­sive new 5 Se­ries in sa­loon and Tour­ing es­tate guises, but there’s plenty of new metal com­ing too in the shapes of the 6 Se­ries Gran Turismo, a brand new X3 SUV and its sporty lit­tle brother, the X2, which we ex­pect to see this au­tumn for the first time.

Citroen

The big­gest news for the French brand this year will be the launch of a new ju­nior cross­over. It’s called the C3 Air­cross and it’s an at­trac­tively ruggedi­zed ver­sion of the C3 su­per­mini. Now, that C3 is avail­able with a 3% fi­nance deal, too.

Da­cia

Da­cia is grab­bing at­ten­tion in the mar­ket with its zero de­posit of­fer and then a 4.9% APR on fi­nance. As it launched a range of up­dated mod­els ear­lier in 2017 we’re not ex­pect­ing any­thing brand new from the brand for a while yet.

Fiat

A price drop across the range will bring Fiat to the at­ten­tion of more buy­ers in the 172 reg­is­tra­tion pe­riod, where they’ll find spe­cial edi­tions to fete the 500’s 60th an­niver­sary and a mildly up­dated 500L range too.

Ford

One of the most im­por­tant new cars of the year, and not just for Ford, will be the next- gen­er­a­tion Fi­esta hatch­back. We’ve seen it and it takes a dis­tinctly premium flavoured step away from its cheap and cheer­ful pre­de­ces­sor. If Ford can keep the price sen­sibl e then it ’ll un­doubt­edly be on to an­other win­ner in the seg­ment.

Honda

The 172 plate is the first new reg­is­tra­tion pe­riod for Honda’s like­able new Civic hatch­back, but car nuts will be sali­vat­ing at the thought of the fast Type R ver­sion, due later in the year with 320hp and looks to match.

Hyundai

The mod­est, but highly pol­ished, Hyundai i30 lineup will soon be bol­stered from mere five-door hatch­back to in­clude a Tourer es­tate, a stylish ‘Fast­back’ and a high-per­for­mance de­riv­a­tive called the i30 N. As if that’s not enough, there’s a brand new small cross­over on the way too, the di­vi­sively styled Hyundai Kona.

Jaguar

Fam­ily car buy­ers with deep pock­ets and a pen­chant for premium mo­tor­ing will love the look of the el­e­gant new Jaguar XF Sport­brake es­tate, but it’ll prob­a­bly play sec­ond fid­dle in the sales stakes to the new kid on the block, the Jaguar E-Pace, a dy­namic new com­pact SUV ar­riv­ing late this year.

Jeep

Jeep is fi­nally tak­ing the fam­ily cross­over sec­tor se­ri­ously with its cool new Com­pass model. It’s tar­get­ing the likes of the Nis­san Qashqai and Hyundai Tucson, with a dol­lop of Jeep off-road rugged­ness.

Kia

Kia Ire­land will have some in­ter­est­ing new mod­els to sell by the end of the year, to go along with the newly launched Rio and Pi­canto hatchbacks. First up is the at­trac­tive Stonic, a small cross­over that looks any­thing but. Grab­bing the head­lines, how­ever, will be the Kia Stinger, a four-door ‘ coupe’ with rear- wheel drive that is de­signed to take on BMW. In­ter­est­ing times.

Land Rover

It’s pos­si­ble that we may see hints of a brand new Land Rover De­fender late in 2017, which will be huge news, but un­til then, fans of the brand will have to make do with the su­per stylish Range Rover Ve­lar. It sits be­low the Range Rover Sport in the line- up, but above the Evoque, and it ar­guably looks cooler than ei­ther. As does the high-tech in­te­rior.

Lexus

Ru­mours per­sist that Lexus will re­veal its first com­pact cross­over later this year, but we do know for sure that a mildly up­dated ver­sion of the CT 200h hatch­back will be launched first, as will the ex­pen­sive ( but ar­guably worth it) Lexus LC coupe and LS lux­ury sa­loon.

Mazda

Mildly tweaked ver­sions of the Mazda2 su­per­mini and CX-3 cross­over will land in Ire­land this year, though their big sib­ling, the CX- 5 SUV, has come in for a much more sub­stan­tial makeover. Fi­nance rates are as low as 3.9% APR.

The rate of new model in­tro­duc­tion from Mercedes has been re­lent­less.

Next to ar­rive in Ire­land are the facelifted GLA cross­over, an el­e­gant new E-Class Cabri­o­let and — if your bank bal­ance i s very healthy in­deed — the range­top­ping S- Class lux­ury sa­loon and the AMG GT line-up. There’s some­thing for ev­ery­one, re­ally.

MINI

Fol­low­ing on from a busy launch pe­riod, we’re not ex- pect­ing any­thing brand new from MINI this year, though the com­pany’s first ever hy­brid, the ( deep breath) Coun­try­man Cooper S E ALL4, ar­rives on Ir­ish shores for the first time.

Nis­san Fol­low­ing on from the launch of a very good­look­ing new Mi­cra su­per­mini, Nis­san will soon launch re­vised ver­sions of its best­selling Qashqai cross­over and the larger X-Trail SUV.

Opel

Opel’s prod­uct on­slaught has two dis­tinct strings to its bow this year, one fo­cus­ing on the lovely look­ing new In­signia (hatch and es­tate) and the other on the com­pany’s ‘X’ mod­els; i.e. SUVs and crossovers. Fol­low­ing on from the Mokka X is the Cross­land X and then, later this year, the Qashqai-ri­valling Grand­land X.

Peu­geot

Peu­geot is on some­thing of a crest of a wave af­ter a truly rap­tur­ous re­cep­tion to its new 3008 cross­over.

That model’s sis­ter car is the seven-seat 5008, now tak­ing the shape of a stylish SUV and due here ‘any time now’. Fol­low­ing on from that will be a re­fresh for the 308 hatch­back, with a fo­cus on real world fuel econ­omy and lots of tech­nol­ogy.

Porsche

Once upon a time we’d not have both­ered in­clud­ing Porsche in a list like this, but as its range has widened, so too has its cus­tomer base.

That’s the idea of the new Panam­era Sport Turismo — ba­si­cally it is a new es­tate ver­sion of the com­pany’s sports sa­loon. Looks fan­tas­tic and it’s prac­ti­cal too — what’s not to like?

Re­nault

SUVs and crossovers are big news for Re­nault this year, like ev­ery­one else, and along with a use­ful facelift for the top- sell­ing Cap­tur model, the French com­pany will launch its Koleos. It does with­out seven seats and in­stead fo­cuses on space, lux­ury, equip­ment and value. Could do well.

SEAT

Hot on the heels of SEAT’s en­larged Ibiza su­per­mini ( just ar­riv­ing in the coun­try) will be a cross­over called the Arona, us­ing the same me­chan­i­cals.

Skoda

A facelift has al­ready been ap­plied to the peren­nial favourite from Skoda, the Oc­tavia, and af­ter months of wait­ing the first keen Ir­ish buy­ers have fi­nally got their hands on the im­pres­sive new Ko­diaq SUV, too. Next up for the Czech brand is the Yeti- re­placed cross­over called the Karoq. We ex­pect an­other ef­fi­cient and well thought out prod­uct that’ll do very well in­deed.

SsangYong

Though still a rel­a­tively small player in the mar­ket, its no-non­sense ap­proach to both com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles and off- road­ers has won SsangYong a loyal fol­low­ing of sorts.

They’ll be pleased to see a brand new Rex­ton model hit­ting the mar­ket, and the Korean com­pany will be hop­ing it can widen its ap­peal, too.

Suzuki

Suzuki’s new­est con­tender, just ar­riv­ing, is the Swift su­per­mini. It’s a highly like­able car with petrol en­gines that mix good econ­omy with sur­pris­ingly perky han­dling and per­for­mance.

Don’t dis­count them.

Tesla

Tesla only re­cently launched its first show­room in Ire­land, so that’ll get a taste of 172 foot­fall no doubt, to check out its Model S and Model X cars. The more af­ford­able Model 3 is not ex­pected for an­other year.

Toy­ota

Toy­ota deal­ers will be busy show­ing off the very cool new C-HR cross­over, while tak­ing or­ders for the sig­nif­i­cantly up­dated Yaris model. Fo­cus on hy­brid power is be­ing ramped up, too, which is good tim­ing for the ar­rival of the new plug- in hy­brid ver­sion of the Toy­ota Prius.

Volk­swa­gen

Loads of new mod­els from Volk­swa­gen due this year, led by the su­per-stylish and el­e­gant new Ar­teon. It takes over where the pre­vi­ous Pas­sat CC left off, but aims fur­ther up mar­ket. Af­ter that will be a new Polo hatch, larger than ever and burst­ing with tech­nol­ogy. It’ll sire the com­pany’s first baby cross­over, too, ex­pected to be called the T-roc.

Volvo

While Volvo Ire­land will have its hands full launch­ing the very pol­ished new XC60 model this sum­mer, it will un­doubt­edly have one eye on the end of the year, when the first of its new ‘40’ cars is un­veiled.

Pic­ture: De­nis Mini­hane

The Audi Cork In­spi­ra­tion 172 sales event is now on. The model shown is an Audi A6 2.0TDI 190BHP, priced at € 61,754, now avail­able at Audi Cork, Ban­don Road Round­about.

The im­pres­sive new Alfa Romeo Stelvio which ar­rives onto the Ir­ish mar­ket this year.

Pic­ture: De­nis Mini­hane

Pic­tured at CAB Mo­tor Com­pany at Mon­a­han Road, Cork, with the all new Ford Fi­esta which will be avail­able in amid July at CAB Mo­tor Com­pany in Cork are (from left) Barrie Kenny, sales ex­ec­u­tive; Pat Harte, sales man­ager; Christy Whit­nell, sales ex­ec­u­tive, Tim O’Dono­van, sales ex­ec­u­tive.

Fiat 500L, cel­e­brat­ing its 60th an­niver­sary.

The new BMW X3, just one of the im­pres­sive 5 Se­ries.

Kia Stinger, a four- door gem that is al­ready caus­ing a stir.

Opel-Grand­land-X, part of a range of stylish new crossovers.

Re­nault Koleos, which is fo­cused on space and lux­ury.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe, of the highly de­sir­able new range.

The newly de­vel­oped Skoda show­room at Noel Deasy Cars, New Mal­low Road, Black­pool, Cork. Pic­ture: De­nis Mini­hane

Pic­ture: De­nis Mini­hane

The sales team in the new show­room at Black­wa­ter Mo­tors, Forge Hill, Bal­ly­cur­reen, Cork, (from left) Wil­liam Daly, Pat O’Sul­li­van, Ken Jones, Shane O’Neill, David Quin­lan, Adrian Bar­rett, Ritchie Daly, Eu­gene O’Sul­li­van, David Leonard and Roy Leahy.

Volk­swa­gen Ar­teon, a stylish new model which takes off where the pop­u­lar Pas­sat CC left off.

The new Volvo XC60, which is sure to cap­ture a lot of at­ten­tion.

Suzuki Swift, which of­fers great han­dling and per­for­mance.

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