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
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’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.
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’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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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’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 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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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’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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.