There’s little not to like about the SKODA KAROQ. Germinating from the Volkswagen family-designed medium SUV under the SKODA badge – others being the VW Tiguan and the SEAT ATECA – it is slap bang in the middle of the fastest-growing segment of the Irish motor market right now.
As mid-sized SUVs go, it gets high marks in almost every department. The 1.5-litre petrol version tested this week has all the credentials you would want from a car like this, but might not be the car of choice from the KAROQ range.
Diesel still commands price status in this bracket and while there are a lot of options, this car only suffers from a thirst for fuel that won’t appeal to those outside urban surroundings. Although SKODA tell us that the fuel consumption is 5.4L/1200km, I could only manage to achieve 7.5L/100km with a mix of motorway, country roads and city driving covering 1,100km. That, in my book is a smidgen too high.
Otherwise, the car itself is a good specimen of what a modern medium SUV should be. Add in the excellent build quality that we have come to expect from SKODA, the incisive design lines, Sunset-tinted glass and the overall look on 18” wheels, this is a very handsome car and in my opinion, will age very well as time goes by.
On the road, the KAROQ has few rivals in terms of handling, surefootedness and cornering ability. You don’t get too much roll in the corners compared to others and the high seating position give great all-round visibility.
It comes with a light steering action that, although I would prefer more feedback, it is accurate and makes town driving very easy. You also get a rear-view camera for easy parking along with all the driving aids you would want.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
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Galway to complete vaccine roll-out by end of the summer
On the first anniversary of Covid-19’s deadly arrival into Ireland, the head of the Saolta hospital group has predicted that all who want the vaccine will have received it by the end of the summer.
Tony Canavan, CEO of the seven public hospitals, told the Connacht Tribune that the HSE was planning to set up satellite centres from the main vaccination hub at the Galway Racecourse to vaccinate people on the islands and in the most rural parts of the county.
While locations have not yet been signed up, the HSE was looking at larger buildings with good access that could be used temporarily to carry out the vaccination programme over a short period.
“We do want to reach out to rural parts of the region instead of drawing in people from the likes of Clifden and over from the islands. The plan is to set up satellites from the main centre, sending out small teams out to the likes of Connemara,” he explained.
“Ideally we’d run it as close as possible to the same time that the main centres are operating once that is set up. Communication is key – if people know we’re coming, it will put people’s minds at rest.”
Get all the latest Covid-19 coverage in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie
Galway meteorologist enjoying new-found fame in the sun!
Growing up in Galway where four seasons in a day is considered a soft one, Linda Hughes always had a keen interest in the weather.
But unlike most Irish people, instead of just obsessing about it, she actually went and pursued it as a career.
The latest meteorologist to appear on RTE’s weather forecasts hails from Porridgtown, Oughterard, and brings with her an impressive background in marine forecasting.
She spent six years in Aerospace and Marine International in Aberdeen, Scotland, which provides forecasts for the oil and gas industry.
The 33-year-old was a route analyst responsible for planning routes for global shipping companies. She joined the company after studying experimental physics in NUIG and doing a masters in applied meteorology in Redding in the UK.
“My job was to keep crews safe and not lose cargo by picking the best route to get them to their destination as quickly as possibly but avoiding hurricanes, severe storms,” she explains.
“It was a very interesting job, I really enjoyed it but it was very stressful as you were dealing with bad weather all the time because there’s always bad weather in some part of the world.”
Read the full interview with Linda Hughes in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie
Great-great-grandmother home after Covid, a stroke, heart failure and brain surgery
Her family are understandably calling her their miracle mum – because an 81 year old great-great-grandmother from Galway has bounced back from Covid-19, a stroke, heart failure and brain surgery since Christmas…to return hale and hearty, to her own home.
But Mary Quinn’s family will never forget the trauma of the last three months, as the Woodford woman fought back against all of the odds from a series of catastrophic set-backs.
The drama began when Mary was found with a bleed on her brain on December 16. She was admitted to Portiuncula Hospital, and transferred to Beaumont a day later where she underwent an emergency procedure – only to then suffer a stroke.
To compound the crisis, while in Beaumont, she contracted pneumonia, suffered heart failure and developed COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – the inflammatory lung disease that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs.
“Christmas without mom; things did not look good,” said her daughter Catherine Shiel.
But the worst was still to come – because before Mary was discharged, she contracted Covid-19.
Read Mary’s full, heart-warming story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie