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The Mazda CX-3 combines stunning styling with comfort and practicality

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The Mazda CX-3.

By Gerry Murphy

When Mazda came to Galway a couple of weeks ago to continue their support of Connacht Rugby, they lined up their full range of cars at the Sportsground. With the whole collection together in one place, it was clear that they now have one of the best-looking ranges of any car maker.

From the smallest MX-5, which has just arrived in Ireland, to the handsome Madza6, the range is a true indication of all that is good about the brand.

Included in this line up was the CX-3, a car that fills the space of a small, compact SUV/Crossover was another stand-out model. It went on sale in Ireland in June and I have been driving it last week and over a more extended number of kilometres than normal. I was suitably impressed, for the most part, with the standard of vehicle on offer and especially with the sheer thrill of whizzing around in it.

My test model was the CX-3 GT 1.5 diesel with automatic transmission and all-wheel drive version and it combines Mazda’s stunning styling that has been awarded with the Red Dot Design Award, a prize for high design quality and the comfort and practicality to suit an energetic lifestyle. While this may not be the car of choice for most buyers, it proves that Mazda have got a lot of things right for buyers of this type of car.

There are four specification and two engines to suit the needs of most customers. There is a 2.0-litre petrol version and a 1.5 diesel with two-wheel drive and those should prove to be the most popular for Irish buyers. Prices start at €20,695 with my top-of-the-range version costing €30,195. With 105 bhp and half leather interior, 18” alloy wheels the car cuts a dash on the street and works a treat on the open road.

CO2 emissions for the base model are 105g/km (€190); my test model measures 136/km given an annual road tax bill of €280. I achieved 6.0L/100 over 1,500 kilometres in what was an exceptionally high amount of driving.

It comes with their renowned SKYACTIV Technology; it is athletic and alert and has the kerb appeal that will be a magnet for the young driver and the fashion conscious. Indeed, it is a car that is on target for both urban driving and long journeys into the countryside.

Around town it is the perfect size for easy manoeuvring and parking. Visibility is first class and the Mazda steering is delightful for dashing and darting through the tightest spaces.

Out on the open road, again the steering set-up is one of the highlights of the CX-3. Mazda cars are renowned for their handling prowess and the little CX-3 is right up there when it comes to accuracy and cornering. This is also where the SYKACTIV technology takes centre stage.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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.

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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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Electric vans get into top gear

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Opel Combo-e Cargo

With numbers of electric cars on the increase by the day it is inevitable that electric vans would follow. Already there are a number on our streets and it makes sense that van owners and fleet managers would seriously consider them.

Opel is the latest brand to highlight their newest 100% electric van, the Opel Combo-e light commercial vehicle. Joining its Combo petrol and diesel engine siblings the zero-emission compact van does everything that the others do and has the same space for cargo.

Boasting a range of up to 275km from a single charge, the new Combo-e offers up to 4.4m3 cargo space and 800kg payload and is available in two lengths.

The 4.40m long Combo-e, which has the shorter wheelbase of 2,785mm and can carry objects up to 3,090mm long, offers payloads of up to 800kg and cargo volumes of 3.3 to 3.8m3. It has a towing capacity of 750kg.

The 4.75m extra-long XL-variant has a wheelbase of 2,975mm and a cargo volume of up to 4.4m3 that can accommodate objects up to 3,440mm in length. Six tie rings on the floor (with the option of four more at mid-height) help keep everything in its place.

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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