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Volkswagen’s Transporter – a van with the home comforts of a car

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The sixth generation Volkswagen Transporter: impressive on all counts.

By Gerry Murphy

Living with a van is seismically different to owning a car and since the very first one, the T1, Volkswagen’s Transporter has been a firm favourite with fleet buyers and thousands of one-man van owners.

Drivers often spend more time in their vans than the average car driver spends in their cars. They double up as a mobile office as much as being a mode of transporting goods and tools.

Van makers have been working hard in recent years to make vans more like cars to drive and all have a firm goal in making them easier to live with, a quest that has been more successful for some over others. Volkswagen is one such manufacturer and the new, sixth generation of the popular Transporter is testament to that.

Indeed, the interior is a mirror image of what they do in their passenger cars with a few more cubby holes thrown in for easy in-cabin storage and document filing. Bigger door pockets, well-placed cup holders, storage under the passenger seats and A4 size document clips give it the workplace and live-in details that the busy van driver needs on a daily basis.

Recently, the new Volkswagen Transporter won the 2016 International Van of the Year Award, the most coveted accolade in the Light Commercial Vehicle industry in Europe. That accolade is well deserved and while the competition is fierce in the segment, the Transporter came out on top of the voting which is carried out be leading commercial vehicle journalists all over Europe.

“The award acknowledges the Light Commercial Vehicle that makes a major contribution to raising the standards of efficiency and the sustainability of transport with respect to the environment and safety of people, and the Volkswagen T6 is deemed to have made this impact this year,” says the IVOTY Chairman, Ireland’s Jarlath Sweeney.

I have been driving the 190 hp version of the 2.0-litre driven van and it is clear what the judges of the competition saw when choosing it as the winner. Power is on tap whether full or empty and on the road you get a real confidence from how it handles in both scenarios.

The spacious, well-designed load area is well lit, comes with plenty of load anchor points and easily accessed through a selection of door formations. My test model came with a large tailgate and one sliding side door. However, buyers can choose split rear doors and a second skidding door if required. Gross vehicle weight is 3,000kg with a payload of 926kg.

In the cabin, the driving position gives the user a commanding seat with all controls within easy access and good visibility. The large door mirrors which are electrically adjustable – and heated in this case – are a must in vans as it helps the user negotiate tight spaces and makes parking simpler. I applaud this because not all manufacturers supply electric mirrors as standard which means that the drivers must leave his seat to make manual adjustment to the off-side mirror.

In this version standard features include: air conditioning, anti-theft alarm system, cruise control, bluetooth connectivity (phone & audio streaming), multi-function leather steering wheel, discover media navigation system, cloth upholstery multifunctional display “Plus” with driver alert system and auxiliary input with USB.

Noise and comfort levels in the cabin were enhanced by a solid bulkhead and driver armrests while the image of the van was improved with the fitting of front fog lamps and painted bumpers and mirror. 18” alloy wheels and some other extras in the test van gave it an overall price of €43,981 with VAT making up €7,407 0f that price and VRT of €200. However, the Transporter is available with a starting price of €19,817 excluding taxes.

Vans are a special mode of transport and are required to do a wide range of activities. We normally find that individual owners are normally very loyal to a specific brand and model. This is true for the Transporter, too, and for Volkswagen, this van has been a vital cog in their sales success for many years. This one is a clever extension of their pedigree for producing sturdy, driveable load carriers.

Connacht Tribune

High demand expected for newly-arrived Yaris Cross

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The Toyota Yaris Cross.

Toyota’s newest Hybrid SUV, the Yaris Cross has just arrived in Ireland and can be seen at Tony Burke Motors in Ballybrit in Galway City and Parsons Garage in Tuam.

This is an entirely new passenger car segment and both dealers are expecting high demand, with supply expected to be limited for the fourth quarter of the year.

The Yaris Cross SUV self-charging hybrid is available in four grades and priced from €27,260, or €200 per month on Toyota Finance PCP.

There is a ruggedness about the design and this can be seen in the front under-run and a lower bumper protection plate at the rear. The specification also includes a set of silver roof rails as standard and 18-inch alloy wheels with a dark grey finish.

In recently announced Euro NCAP safety test results, the Yaris Cross scored the maximum five-sat rating. Toyota bosses say that the range is designed to be the world’s safest compact car with a segment first centre airbag which protects passengers from bumping into each other in the event of a side impact. Yaris Cross owners will also enjoy the peace of mind that the new collision mitigation features which provides increasing safety at intersections and emergency steering assist.

In the cabin, the Yaris Cross Adventure’s features piano black trim details and a black headlining. The supportive leather-like seats are upholstered in an Adventure grade design and there is a deco line across the black, soft-touch instrument panel and inner door mouldings, finished in Yaris Cross’ signature Brass Gold colour. Leather is used for the steering wheel and shift lever gaiter.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

The new Kia EV6 set to be a massive success both in terms of looks and value

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The Kia EV6.

By Gerry Murphy

A trip to Dublin this week to get our first taste of Kia’s eagerly awaited EV6 proved to be one of the more enlightening new-car drives this year or, indeed for a few years.

Kia has been touting the positives of their first dedicated electric vehicle for a while and, at last it is available to see at Kia dealers throughout Ireland. There has been a healthy interest in the new car and already over 200 units have been sold, sight unseen, to Irish buyers.

The over-riding impression is that this new car is outstanding value for money when compared to other EVs on the market. Visually, it is spectacular and when you add the features, its capability, and the exquisite interior to the mix, it is no surprise that Kia chiefs are extremely upbeat about their new invention.

Kia Ireland are initially offering two trim levels: EV6 Earth and EV6 GT Line both RWD. The Earth model on 19” wheels is has a full charge range of 528kms with the GT-line on 20” wheels can achieve up to 506kms.

Both models are fitted with the long-range (77.4 kWh) battery pack that is paired with a 168 kW (229ps) electric motor. Both models are also fitted with a heat pump to optimise the efficiency of the battery in colder conditions.

The EV6 Earth (€50,000 including SEAI grant) comes with a host of comfort, convenience and safety features as standard including: 19” alloys, dual 12.3” curved driver display screens, UVO Connect, charcoal grey vegan leather upholstery with premium relaxation seats, LED headlamps, and smart power tailgate.

Key additions to the EV6 GT Line (€54,345 inc SEAI grant) include GT Line styling, 20” alloys, suede/vegan leather seats (front ventilated), blind spot view monitors, AR heads-up display, and panoramic sunroof.

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.

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

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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

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.

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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