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New Kia Sorento gets the balance right between power and quality

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The new Kia Sorento.

Few will argue with the notion that the Kia Sportage is flying high for Kia and pretty much everything that they do these days strikes the right note. Their latest big seven-seat SUV, the Sorento is another case in point.

With cars in this bracket it can be difficult to get the correct balance between a decent workhorse and the qualities now expected from family buyers. The trade-off between the two is a delicate challenge and here Kia seems to have got that balance spot on.

In its previous mould it may have been a bit frumpy and difficult to drive at times but, with the new one they have managed to reduce the body roll that can be a issue with these big vehicles and give us a car that easier to operate and more suitable for the daily duties of a busy family. You also get the huge space that people in this market are after and there are seven full-sized on offer.

I have been driving the latest model and it is smoother than the old model, looks more substantial and still, it performs more like a big sedan rather than a big brute.  It is also a more refined design giving it a premium look and feel. That is the hard part when it comes to design but they have got that part nailed too.

Overall the new Sorento has increased in size but is lower in height with increased length (+95 mm to 4,780 mm), reduced height (down 15 mm to 1,685 mm) and extra width (+5 mm to 1,890 mm). There are two AWD variants of the new car – the EX at €38,995 and the expected volume model, the Platinum at €43,995.

The entry level model is a five seater with a generous level of spec that includes 17” alloys, rear privacy glass ,super vision instrument cluster and 7” Sat Nav with reversing camera .

My test car was the Platinum version and as the name is a seven-seater with a luxury spec that included a panoramic sunroof, Xenon lights, leather and heated front and second row rear seats, heated steering wheel, eight-way power adjustable driver’s seat .

Power continues to come from the Kia 2.2 197 hp, Euro 6 diesel unit which sees a drop in C02 from 155 to 149 for the MT still remaining in Band C costing €390 per year for road tax purposes. It has the clout that you need to carry its bulk and I achieved 7.8L/100km over an extended test.

Inside the new Sorento is where some of the most significant improvements are to be found. It has a clear instrument panel and the wrap-around shape of the dashboard makes it a functional and pleasant place for the driver and the passengers.

Kia are now using more soft-touch materials, top-class seats and leather touches which give the car a plush feel and a car-like ambience. Coupled with this the longer wheelbase give the occupants additional space in the cabin, something that buyers will welcome.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Mercedes-Benz EQA one of a number of new electric cars that is driving up sales

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Mercedes-Benz EQA

By Gerry Murphy

We can no longer hide from the fact that electric cars are here to stay, and Mercedes-Benz are up and running by adding new models of all-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles to their burgeoning range. It is all part of a two-pronged attack in the electrified market with a combination of plug-in hybrid and all electric vehicles coming on stream.

I have been spending some quality time with the new EQA, which is a car that they say is targeted at a younger generation of eco-conscious motorists. This car is the all-electric version of their popular compact A-Class range and is expected to establish a strong market presence in Ireland for their growing electric-powered EQ model range. It is Mercedes-Benz’s goal to have a fully carbon-neutral fleet within the next two decades.

Although not the most outlandish design style compared to some offerings in the EV genre, the GLA-styled SUV body of the EQA is sensible and functional with distinctive brand staples and does not pretend to be anything else. Its overall structure is echoed on the inside too with the brand’s typically up-market furnishings and technology.

At the front, its black panel grille and star, EQ blue headlamp strips, and a distinctive fibre-optic strip running along front and rear reveal its Mercedes-EQ family membership. Other pointers to its electric character are evident inside including backlit trim and rosé gold decorative elements on ventilation outlets, seats and key.

Badged as an EQA 250, its technical makeup include 140 kW power, combined consumption of 15.7 kWh/100 km, and a WLTP calculated range of 426 km. However, like all electric cars, that range is compromised by driving style and use of onboard features.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Demand is set to outstrip supply for the ŠKODA ENYAQ 60 and ENYAQ 80

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The ŠKODA ENYAQ.

Last week ŠKODA introduces the Irish public to the new ENYAQ iV, their new all-electric SUV that looks set to be one of the most coveted cars of 2021 and has been getting a brilliant reaction by those who have driven it. Prices have also been announced and a limited numbers of the cars will be here in Ireland for the remainder of the year.

Just before the opening of order books for the ENYAQ iV – which will initially come to Ireland in two versions – ŠKODA has announced pre-grant prices starting from €46,570 for the ENYAQ 60 and €54,630 for the ENYAQ 80.

The ENYAQ 60 has a range of 390km thanks to a 58kWh battery. It comes with a generous standard equipment list, which includes 19” Proteus alloy wheels, Front Parking Sensors, LED headlights, Climate Control and a 13” infotainment system.

The ENYAQ 80 (which is expected to make up the bulk of Irish sales) has a 77kWh battery, capable of up to 510km (as measured under WLTP) and gains additional equipment such as a heated steering wheel, drive mode select, adaptive cruise control and 3-zone climate control.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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Mazda3 a highlight of special editions to mark company’s 100th anniversary

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Mazda3

Salthill native David Bannon is the man employed to look after the marketing for Mazda in Ireland, and he will have few problems promoting their collection of special editions that celebrate Mazda being in existence for 100 years.

Recently I’ve been spending some time with the Mazda3 version, a car that is piled high with technical features that anyone would want in a car today. It has all the driver assistance to make for a brilliant driving experience, and the safety elements to make it really reassuring.

Against all that, these extras come at a rather hefty price and at an eye-watering €37,220. While you can get a Mazda3 with a starting price of €28,595, you do get a huge amount more in this anniversary model.

Like all Mazda cars, it drives so well, putting the driver front and centre. That is a given that all Mazda owners will know about, and something that puts the brand high on my list of firm favourites. They consider it to be like the relationship between a horse and a jockey in full flight and when it comes to its handling, cornering and ride quality, there are only a few that come close and hardly any that surpass this car in its class.

“As much as the limited-edition spec adds to the vehicle, the big change worth talking about is under the bonnet. The Skyactiv-X engine has received some updates in power and efficiency which I feel have noticeably improved the drive of the vehicle,” says Bannon.

That power comes from a 2.0 Skyactiv-X with mild hybrid assistance giving 186ps and 240Nm of torque. Both these are increased while the 0-100km time is reduced to 8.1 seconds.

Mazda claims that the car can deliver fuel economy (WLTP) of 5.3 L/km. Over almost 900 kilometres my fuel figure came to 5.9 L/100km which is very respectable compared to the catalogue figure and more than acceptable on a day-to-day basis. To put that figure in context, it is the same as the 1.8-litre diesel that has recently been discontinued in the Mazda3 range. CO2 emissions are recorded at 120g/km which equates to an annual €200.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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