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Opel Karl will prove a nifty character around the town

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Opel Karl: coming our way.

By Gerry Murphy

Looking around the streets of Amsterdam this week, it is not surprising that Opel chose the Dutch capital and the surrounding countryside to host the European launch of their latest new car, the Opel Karl.

Sitting alongside the Opel Adam, the Karl, called after the eldest son of Adam Opel founder of the company, this car is aimed at the smallest car segment without the flamboyance of the Adam.

Described by Peter Vos, Opel’s Communcations Manager as a “good-looking chap without the bling-bling and the ostentation of the Adam” this new Karl will take on the likes of the Volkswagen Up, the Skoda Citigo, the Toyota Aygo and the Hyundai i10 in a market that is slowly growing in Ireland and huge in cities like Amsterdam, Rome or even London.

Available to order now and arriving in Ireland in August, the 3.68-metre long, 1.48-metre high KARL comes with its own new all-aluminium, 1.0 ECOTEC petrol engine with 75hp and a host of safety features that are not always available in its segment.

According to Opel’s techies, this three-cylinder engine can reduce consumption to 4.3litres per 100Km in the combined cycle and CO2 emissions to 104g/km. Later Stop/Start will be added and that is expected to reduce the CO2 levels to 99g/km.

With just enough room for five people at a squeeze, the Karl is a car that will suit the young and the elderly in different ways. For the first-time driver, it is simple to drive and has enough punch to satisfy the youngsters.

At the other end of the scale, more senior drivers will welcome the wide-opening doors and the slightly higher seating position. Both will welcome the silent nature of the new engine that is specially designed for this car and the overall stability of a vehicle of its size.

Designed from the ground up, it has a more mature look than the Adam and yet, it has a real character to its styling. They say that its dashboard displays a playful friendly but witty attitude. It is certainly pretty smart and makes you feel at home instantly.

Externally, the Opel signature styling is there for all to see. Sometimes it is difficult to carry similar cues from bigger models but, with the Karl, Opel have managed the task well with the side blade design, common on Opel models and the stylish front end come from the same manual. At the back, the design is particularly impressive and it makes the car look wider and more substantial than many of the others in this bracket.

Space in the boot is rather limited but no worse than any of the competition. You can generate up to 1,310 litres of space by knocking the 60:40 split rear seat. It is a light car overall weighing in at 639kg.

This adds to the reduced costs of ownership and gives it that nifty character around town. It is no slouch out in the country either but, the Dutch countryside is much flatter than we have at home and while there is nothing to suggest that the Karl won’t cope with the hills and the changing terrain, a week in the car later this year will test it fully.

Three versions are coming to Ireland; S, SC and SE. All are high on features and well priced, starting at €11,995 for the basic S, €13,695 for the SC that has Cruise Control, City Mode steering, 15” Alloys, Lane Departure warning, Fog Lamps and Electric, Heated door mirrors among other items. For the top-of-the-range SE you can add leather features, Bluetooth, USB connection, Electronic Climate Control with air-conditioning, two-toned facia and tinted glass for €14,695.

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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Connacht Tribune

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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Connacht Tribune

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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