Home Blog

Tyres for High-Performance SUVs – Finding the Best Fit


·       Powerful SUVs need tyres with special properties

·       On-road or off-road – where will you be driving your SUV?

·       M+S symbol does not mean a tyre is suitable for wintry conditions

Tyres for powerful SUVs and 4WD models have to master more challenges than their counterparts for ‘normal’ cars. “When we compare the vehicle data, we see that the big, fast models ask more of their tyres,” explains Continental Tyres development engineer Andreas Schlenke. “In terms of weight alone, an SUV tips the scales at a third heavier than a normal car, so the tyres need a higher load capacity. These are XL tyres (XL = Extra Load), a load range developed to offer higher load capacity than standard, not least with SUVs in mind. We then have to allow for the vehicle’s higher center of gravity, longer suspension travel and a greater track width than in smaller cars. When we’re developing these tyres, we need to invest more time and effort to ensure safe braking and precision handling. After all, in the more powerful SUVs we’re talking about top speeds not far below those of high-end sports cars.”

Figures from the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) show that SUVs first took top ranking here in 2016 when the Jeep / SUV (H1) segment jumped to 26.92 percent of market share, up from second place and 20.76 percent of sales the year before.  Since then, SUVs have reigned supreme, rising to 41.65 percent of the 2020 year to date market, up from 39.45 percent in 2019. All indications are that the mania for SUVs here shows no signs of abating, the segment will continue to grow for the foreseeable future.

According to Schlenke, “it’s a bit of luck for developers that only a small proportion of these SUVs and 4WD models are actually driven off-road. Just delivering the safety-relevant properties, low rolling resistance and good ride quality is challenging enough. On top of that, off-road driving calls for a chunkier tread pattern, with good self-cleaning properties, plus cut-and-chip protection and strongly reinforced sidewalls. This type of construction is less than ideal for fast highway driving because, out on the road, the chunky lugs that interlock with scree and stones on rough terrain cannot put down enough grip to handle fast cornering and braking from speed.  That’s why real off-road tyres bear the M+S symbol. That’s the hallmark of a specialist – after all, M+S stands for mud and slush. So before buying tyres, owners of SUVs and 4WD models should think carefully about where they are going to be driving their vehicles and choose their tyres accordingly”.

Schlenke also warns against winter driving on chunky M+S tyres that do not bear the three-peak mountain snowflake symbol: “Four-wheel drive tends to suggest strong grip when moving off on wintry roads, but with off-road tyres that deliver inadequate braking distances and poor lateral guidance on snow and ice, you will only put yourself and other road users at risk.”

Nissan LEAF prices drop by up to €1,843

The new Nissan LEAF: the world's best-selling zero-emissions electric vehicle now most advanced and accessible on the planet

– 0% finance, free servicing and home charger offer –

– Nissan introduces entry grade LEAF for €27,595 –

The cost of buying a 100% electric Nissan LEAF has fallen by up to €1,843 as a result of the recent Budget with Nissan also making it possible for Irish motorists to get behind the wheel of a new electric vehicle (EV) for just €27,595.

“The Budget VRT changes and recent VAT changes have had a very positive impact on the cost of buying a new Nissan LEAF and this in turn has led to a significant upsurge in interest from EV buyers online and across our dealer network,” said James McCarthy, CEO of Nissan Ireland.

“This upsurge is also being driven by our ‘Power of Zero’ initiative with AIB and Electric Ireland which offers 0% finance, the free provision and installation of a home charger and one year’s free servicing to anyone buying a new Nissan LEAF,” he added.

The recent changes to the VRT and VAT rates have led to attractive tax savings across the Nissan LEAF range. These tax savings start at €506 for the Nissan LEAF SV 40 kWh which now costs €29,384 or €440.76 per month, while the top of the range Nissan LEAF SVE 62 kWh has fallen by €1,843 to €38,657 or €579.85 per month.

In addition, the introduction of the new entry grade Nissan LEAF XE 40 kWh means that motorists can now make the switch into an electric vehicle for an affordable €27,595

The new tax savings which have cut the cost of buying a new Nissan LEAF have also led to a sizeable reduction between the cost of buying the 40 kWh LEAF which has a range of up to 270 kilometres and the 62 kWh LEAF which has a range of up to 385 kilometres zero emissions driving.

Buyers have expressed a strong interest in stepping up from the Nissan LEAF SVE 40 kWh, which has fallen by €999 to €32,801, to the longer range Nissan LEAF SV Premium 62 kWh which now costs €36,332 having benefited from a tax saving of €1,508. This trend is expected to continue.

Customers switching into the 100% electric Nissan LEAF  who avail of the ‘Power of Zero’ offer which includes 0% finance, the free provision and installation of their home charger and one year’s free servicing can save more than €13,000 in finance and running costs as well as 11 tonnes of C02 emissions over five years, which is equivalent to planting 181,887 trees.

The Nissan LEAF has long been Ireland’s best-selling EV and almost 6,000 Irish EV drivers have already chosen the zero emissions vehicle as the most effective way to reduce their motoring costs and carbon footprint. It is also firmly established as Ireland’s and the world’s favourite EV with more than 100 global awards and over 500,000 sales since its launch ten years ago.

“There has never been a better time to buy a new Nissan LEAF. The tax savings that the changes to the VRT and VAT rates deliver and our ‘Power of Zero’ offer presents a golden opportunity for motorists to join the thousands of Nissan LEAF drivers who are already saving money and the environment,” said Mr. McCarthy.

“Nissan is committed to creating a sustainable Ireland. We are making EV driving affordable and are helping families to switch to 100% electric driving today, to become more sustainable and to make a very real impact in reducing Ireland’s CO2 emissions,” he added.

Motorists can visit www.nissan.ie or their local Nissan dealer to learn more about the Nissan LEAF, Nissan’s ‘Power of Zero’ offer or about making the switch to electric driving. 

Ireland embraces the ID.3 – new model is the best- selling car in September


The Volkswagen ID.3 was the top-selling model in Ireland, with 4.19 per cent of the market in September, with 238 ID.3 models registered during the month. Volkswagen was also the top-selling brand in Ireland in September with 12.88 per cent market share, according to figures from SIMI.

“There has been a huge amount of work put into launching the ID.3 to the Irish market, both by our own teams and our Dealer Network and we are delighted it has proven to be such an instant hit,” said Rodolfo Calixto, Brand Director of Volkswagen Ireland. “With this model and the forthcoming ID.4 SUV we will be well on the way to offering a full suite of all-electric models.”

Volkswagen is also the top-selling brand in Ireland in 2020, commanding 12.11 per cent market share according to figures from SIMI. “Despite tough market conditions this year, we are pleased with the positive reaction to our new models, especially the all-electric ID.3,” said Volkswagen Ireland Head of Sales Graham Lawless. “This marks the start of an exciting new chapter for the brand and we will shortly announce details of our great new offers for 2021.”

The ID.3 1st is available now in three trim levels – the 1st, 1st Plus and 1st Max. As a private buyer, all are eligible for a VRT Rebate of €5,000, plus an SEAI grant of €5,000 meaning a starting price of €32,915 for a private buyer. Commercial buyers get the VRT rebate alone so for these Business buyers the starting price after grants is €37,915.

The ‘entry-level’ ID.3 1st (from €32,915*) is itself anything but entry-level, with 18” alloy wheels, Discover Pro Navigation system, 2-Zone Air Conditioning and Adaptive Cruise Control amongst the standard equipment. The ID.3 1st Plus (from €39,970*) adds even more, with ‘ArtVelours’ upholstery, 19” Alloy wheels, Matrix LED lights and a Rear View camera just some of the additions. And for the ultimate ID.3 1st, buyers can choose the ID.3 1st Max (from

€46,610*) which adds Ergo-Active Seats, 20” Alloy Wheels, Fixed Panoramic Roof, Augmented Reality Head-Up Display** and Wireless smartphone charging amongst the additions.

All buyers of the 1st Edition models receive free access at public charging points for one year or a maximum of 2,000 kWh, whichever occurs soonest. This is accessible through the IONITY high-performance charging network, and all public charging points connected with the WeCharge service including the ESB ecars charging network. At the IONITY charging points, six of which are in Ireland, ID.3 1st with a charging capacity of 100kW can be charged from 5% to 80% in only 35 minutes, with all IONITY stations powered by 100% renewable energy.

There are further models in the ID.3 range now available to order for 2021, with a choice of battery sizes and trim combinations to suit a variety of customers and the recent reveal of the ID.4 SUV 1st Edition means that customers now have the option of ordering an all-electric SUV with 500km range from €42,995*.

Under its electric offensive, the Volkswagen brand is planning to offer electric vehicles in all the main segments by 2022. Volkswagen is seeking to become the world market leader in e- mobility over the coming years and is therefore investing €33 billion throughout the Group up to 2024, €11 billion of which is earmarked for the Volkswagen brand alone. For 2025, Volkswagen brand expects to produce 1.5 million electric cars.

For more information on the Volkswagen ID.3, log on to www.volkswagen.ie/id3 *includes VRT of €5,000 and SEAI grant of €5,000 for private customers.

**At market launch, the distance feature in the head-up display will not yet have been activated. For applicable vehicles, a software update will be provided later.

The new BMW 4 Series Convertible


The sporting prowess and exhilarating driving experience of the new BMW 4 Series are taken to even greater heights with the addition of the new Convertible version.

With its standalone design, brand new soft-top construction, diverse line-up of engines, advanced chassis technology, and impressive levels of standard equipment, the new BMW 4 Series Convertible delivers the brand’s hallmark driving pleasure in a highlyexclusive form. 

Sharper than its predecessor and echoing the bold style of the BMW 4 Series Coupé, the new BMW 4 Series Convertible blends sporting driving pleasure and open-airthrills to continue the 35-year legacy in this model class that began with the first BMW 3 Series Convertible.

All models feature the M Sport specification as standard, with the new, even more performance-focused M Sport Pro Edition also available. In addition, both specifications can be upgraded with the Technology Pack – one of several option Packs that enable a high level of personalisation.

The new arrival to the sixth model generation’s model range – the BMW M440i xDrive Convertible – offers standout performance courtesy of a 374hp six-cylinder in-line petrol engine, with power transferred to the road via a Steptronic eight-speed gearbox and the intelligent xDrive all-wheel-drive system.

There will also be a choice of two four-cylinder petrol units and a four-cylinder diesel from launch in March 2021. Two straight-six diesel engines will join the engine line-up later in 2021.

The new BMW 4 Series Convertible will be built at BMW Plant Dingolfing.

Exterior design: distinctive, sporty and elegant

The striking proportions and stylish elegance of this open-top four-seater follow the lead of the BMW 4 Series Coupé and ensure the car’s sporty profile. 

At the same time, the brand’s new design language has produced a distinctiveinterpretation of the low-slung silhouette long-established as a signature feature of midsize BMW convertibles. 

The newcomer’s powerful presence also stems from its larger exterior dimensions. At 4,768 millimetres, it is 128mm longer than its predecessor, while width has increased by 27mm to 1,852mm and the wheelbase by 41mm to 2,851mm. With the roof closed it stands at 1,384mm. It also benefits from increased track widths (+ 28mm at the front, + 18mm at the rear).

Front end with expressive, tradition-rich styling highlights 

Alongside the car’s proportions, it is the front end of the new BMW 4 Series Convertible that highlights its standalone character and distinguishes it most clearly from the new BMW 3 Series Saloon. The defining element is its large, vertically emphasised BMW kidney grille, which – as on the new BMW 4 Series Coupé – has a pronounced forward slant and, for optimised cooling, employs large air intakes with a mesh structure as standard.

Full-LED headlights are fitted as standard. There is also the option to specify the Visibility Pack, which adds BMW Laserlight and high beam assist. BMW Laserlightincludes the adaptive cornering function with variable road illumination optimised for urban and motorway driving and, at speeds above 37mph, increases high-beam range to a maximum 550 metres and follows the course of the road.

New darkened headlights are also available for the M440i xDrive as part of the exclusive Shadowline Pack. Other variants can also be fitted with these stylish headlights if the optional performance-focused M Sport Pro Pack is chosen.  

Dynamic side profilepowerful stance, elegant roofline

Its dynamic side profile helps to give the new BMW 4 Series Convertible a low-to-the-road look, while contoured surfaces intensify the car’s high-performance character. 

The precise lines and three-dimensionally sculpted surfaces of the rear wheel arches combine to give the new BMW 4 Series Convertible a striking look, particularly with the roof down. This impression is reinforced by the slim rear light units extending into the flanks. The lights are darkened, with their rear bars illuminating to reproduce the L shape familiar from other BMW models. When closed, the roof flows into the car’s shape to reinforce its sporty appearance.

New panel bow softtop: comfort, timeless style and minimised weight blended into one

The innovative panel bow soft-top on the new BMW 4 Series Convertible blends the strengths of a retractable hard-top and the traditional appeal of a fabric roof. It comprises large panel bow elements with a flush-fitting glass rear window, several layers of insulation and a fabric cover available in Black as standard and Anthracite as an option. The acoustic and thermal comfort of the panel bow soft top roof are far superior to that on a conventional soft top. It also 40 per cent lighter than the outgoing model’s retractable hardtop.

The roof is powered by an electric motor that enables it to open or close within 18 seconds at the push of a button, including while on the move at speeds up to 31mph. The variable soft top compartment allows luggage capacity to be increased from 300 to 385 litres when the roof is closed.

Interior: premium seating for four with an emphasis on refinement and driving enjoyment

The BMW 4 Series Convertible’s driver-centric cockpit design features a large screen-grouping formed by the instrument cluster and Control Display. The ergonomically-optimised arrangement of the controls emphasises that this is a car built for drivingenjoyment – as do standard features including electric sports seats in the front with automatically extending and retracting belt feeders, Vernasca leather trim, seat heating and a leather sports steering wheel, plus the clear individual seat design of the two rear seats.

M Sport as standard. M Sport Pro Edition for even more excitement

Every BMW 4 Series Convertible comes with the M Sport specification as standard.This includes large front air intakes, a sculpted rear apron, M Sport suspension, 18-inch M light-alloy wheels, sport seats upholstered in Vernasca leather trim, knee pads on the centre console and a Sensatec dashboard. 

The Live Cockpit Professional, Ambient Lighting, electric seats, reverse camera, reversing assist, Welcome Light Carpet, three-zone automatic climate control and 10.25-inch CID are also included in the generous standard specification. 

Customers can opt for the M Sport Pro Edition specification, which adds such highlights as Jet Black 19-inch M light-alloy wheels, a choice of three Individual paint shades – Tanzanite Blue, Dravit Grey and Aventurin Red (from 07/21) – and the M Sport Pro Package. This package encompasses a selection of features including darkened headlights, M seatbelts, the new Sprint Mode, Adaptive M Suspension and Enhanced Active Sound Design that delivers a sporty engine soundtrack in the interior.

M440i xDrive: the ultimate BMW 4 Series Convertible

New to the BMW 4 Series Convertible line-up is the M440i xDrive.

Powered by a 374hp sixcylinder in-line petrol engine, the flagship model has a standard specification designed to complement the enjoyment of open-air driving with performance that would be respectable on a racetrack.

The M Sport differential, with electronically-controlled, fully-variable locking function in the rear differential, is fitted as standard along with red M Sport brakes, M seat belts, 19-inch light M alloy wheels and the M Adaptive Suspension.

Four- and six-cylinder engines with BMW TwinPower Turbo and mildhybrid technology for greater performance and efficiency.

Mild-hybrid technology features in the new BMW M440i xDrive Convertible and all diesel model variants to boost both performance and efficiency. Fitting a powerful 48V starter-generator and a second battery allows far more braking energy to be regenerated and stored. This energy is used to supply the electrical system, lighten the combustion engine’s workload and increase its power. The starter-generator produces an electric boost effect that instantly delivers an additional 11hp for overtaking or even quicker getaways off the line.

The 374hp straight-six engine under the bonnet of the flagship model is joined in the range by two four-cylinder petrol units, generating an output of 184hp in the new BMW 420i sDrive Convertible and 258hp in the new BMW 430i sDrive Convertible. The entry-level unit delivers combined fuel consumption of up to 49.6mpg and CO2 emissions from 140-131g/km, while the more powerful version’s figures are 47.1mpg and 147-138g/km.

A 190hp four-cylinder diesel engine, featuring BMW TwinPower Turbo technology with twostage turbocharging, powers the new BMW 420d sDrive Convertible. It returns combined fuel consumption of up to 67.3mpg, with CO2 emissions of 119-111g/km, while the similarly-turbocharged BMW 430d sDrive Convertible, which is due to arrive later in 2021, delivers figures of up to 50.4mpg and 147g/km.

Two turbochargers of different sizes ensure exceptionally rapid power delivery in the forthcoming BMW M440d xDrive Convertible. Its strong performance is complemented with combined fuel economy of up to 44.8mpg and it emits 165g/km CO2.



Dacia has refreshed its offer in the compact car segment with the All-New Sandero and Stepway. The latest third generation models offer simple, spacious, reliable and robust vehicles with no unnecessary frills, at the most competitive price.

An iconic and popular model, the Sandero has been the best-selling car in Europe in the retail customer segment since 2017 and the best-selling Dacia model with almost 2.1 million cars sold, representing 32% of the carmaker’s sales since 2004.

Sandero has been a high achiever in Ireland with over 9,500 sold since the model launched here in 2013.  The more adventurous Stepway has sold more than 1.3 million cars globally, and has been the Sandero model of choice for the majority of Irish customers, accounting for over 60% of Sandero sales here. 

With the same external dimensions as the outgoing models, both versions deliver greater modernity, roominess and versatility with the simplicity and reliability drivers have come to expect from Dacia.

Thanks to a new platform, they offer increased active and passive safety features, new engines – including petrol and LPG Bi-Fuel – a new automatic transmission and an all-new six-speed manual.

The All-New Sandero and Stepway continue to give customers greater access than ever before to the best value-for-money cars on the market.


All-New Sandero

Subtle tweaks to the exterior ensure the All-New Sandero delivers an strong and robust presence. The overall lines are smoother, with a more sloped windscreen, a slightly lower roof and flowing roofline. Ground clearance is unchanged yet the New Sandero gives the impression of sitting lower and more grounded.

The front and rear lights display Dacia’s new Y-shaped LED light signature, providing the All-New Sandero with a strong identity. A horizontal line joins the two lights both at the front and rear and extends into the LED lights, giving the car greater visual presence.

The LED headlights, offered as a standard feature across the entire model range, increase night-time visibility, with a 37% increase in beam length and 9% in beam width.

The pronounced wheel arches reveal 15-inch wheels, while Comfort version feature Flexwheels with meticulously designed trims which replicate the look and feel of real alloy wheels.

The design of the door handles reveals a focus on quality and more ergonomic shape. Most versions now have electric boot release on the lower tailgate section, improving the looks and practicality. The new shape of the doors and wing mirrors improves the car’s aerodynamics while reducing air noise all occupants.

All-New Stepway

The All-New Stepway is immediately recognisable at the front with its unique ribbed and domed bonnet, the chrome Stepway logo under the front grille and the curved fenders above the fog lights. The front and rear bumpers include a metal skid plate designed to give protection from everyday scratches.

The All-New Stepway offers 174 mm ground clearance (an increase of 41 mm compared with the Sandero) roof bars featuring the logo, wheelarch cladding and specifically textured reinforced door bottoms for a more crossover-like design.

Standard versions are fitted with 16-inch Flexwheels, while exclusive 16-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels are available on the newly introduced Prestige version. .

The All-New Stepway’s modular roof bars look like regular roof bars but are adjustable. Using a key located in the glove compartment, they can be easily dismantled in just a few seconds and turned into a roof rack with a load capacity of up to 80kg.


The new CMF modular platform underpinning the All-New Sandero and Stepway combines greater resistance and rigidity with less weight. It reduces emissions while complying with more stringent crash-test and pollution control requirements.

The All-New Sandero and Stepway are fitted with a new front axle with rectangular suspension arms that provide effective shock absorption and enhanced steering. Anti-roll capacity has been improved and the wheelbase extended for greater cornering stability. The new engine mount has been upgraded to minimise vibrations in the cabin.

Petrol and LPG Bi-Fuel powertrains are available in Sandero and Stepway models, all of which comply with stringent Euro6D-Full emissions standards that come into effect on 1 January 2021.

The full engine line-up includes:

  • SCe 65: naturally aspirated 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine paired with a five-speed manual transmission. Available on Sandero only.
  • TCe 90: turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder unit paired with a six-speed manual transmission or CVT automatic transmission.
  • TCe 100 Bi-Fuel: new LPG bi-fuelled turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder unit paired with a six-speed manual transmission.

The integration of this technology into Dacia factories, that has been tried and tested on the TCe 100 Bi-Fuel engine, guarantees its safety and reliability. The manufacturer warranty period, servicing and boot capacity are the same as those of the petrol version (the LPG tank is located where the spare wheel would be).

Running on LPG, the All-New Sandero Bi-Fuel emits on average 11% less CO2 emissions than an equivalent petrol engine. It is also capable of travelling more than 1280km with the two tanks combined: 50 litres for the petrol tank and 40 litres for the LPG tank.

A new CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) automatic debuts on the All-New Sandero and Stepway, delivering smoother gear changes and a more responsive driving experience.

Available in combination with the TCe 90 engine, fuel consumption has decreased thanks to a lighter gearbox and better engine management, while CO2 emissions are reduced compared with the previous automatic model (11% reduction for the All-New Sandero, and 4% for All-New Stepway).

Stop&Start is standard on all engines, which automatically turns the engine off when the car comes to a standstill, such as in traffic, restarts almost instantly.


Inside, the redesigned dashboard features a fabric-wrapped insert alongside new air vent designs for a more premium design.

For the All-New Stepway, interior upholstery is customised with the Stepway logo, while the door panels and dashboard get exclusive orange fabric inserts and edging.

The All-New Sandero and Stepway both feature three rear seats which can accommodate three adults, while a 1/3-2/3 split-fold rear bench seat (depending on the version) brings further practicality. The boot of the Sandero has a generous 328-litre capacity and features a flat floor with adjustable height floor with two positions.

Rear seat accommodation is especially spacious, with an additional 42mm of space compared to the outgoing models. Elsewhere, the cabin offers up to 21 litres of storage with cubby holes and pockets featured beneath the central armrest, in the front and rear doors and in the back of the front seats.

Newly designed front seats provide greater comfort and support with height adjustable headrests and new, more premium upholstery. A wider range of adjustment in the front seat and steering wheel boosts comfort for the driver, while a central armrest available on Prestige versions enhances this further. The gearlever is now shorter, while the power steering offers greater driving comfort – especially in tighter manoeuvres or in car parks – with 36% less effort required than the previous Sandero.

The features available on the All-New Sandero and Stepway are in line with what customers want and need in their cars. We listen to our customers and give them the useful features and technology that they’re asking for, without adding unnecessary costs.

Standard features across the range include a smartphone holder (removable depending on the version), an on-board computer screen and a steering wheel featuring speed limiter. Automatic headlight activation is available from Essential models and up.

New automatic air-conditioning with digital display is standard on All-New Stepway Prestige, with a hands-free card featuring remote boot release available, as well as an electric parking brake, reverse camera, front and rear parking sensors and automatic windscreen wipers.

The All-New Sandero and Stepway offer two different multimedia systems: Media Control and Media Nav.

With Media Control, smartphones can be placed on a clever removable smartphone support in front of the driver to become a remote multimedia system via the new free Dacia Media Control app and a Bluetooth or USB connection.

The system provides easy access to the radio, music, calls, messages, sat nav apps and many other features such as Siri and Android voice recognition. Controls are within easy reach either on the steering wheel (for the radio) or behind it (sat-nav) to ensure safer driving.

Without a smartphone connected to the Media Control, radio and file playback via the USB port is also available, giving customers a wide range of options. Further equipment includes two speakers, Bluetooth and USB connection, and the 3.5-inch TFT digital display between the dials, where the radio settings are also displayed.

With Media Nav, the console features a large 8.0-inch touchscreen positioned at the top of the dashboard with four speakers throughout the vehicle. The screen is slightly angled towards the driver for greater visibility and ergonomics. The design is sleek, and the intuitive, easy-to-use interface is compatible with Bluetooth and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

A new ‘Car’ tab provides access to specific driver assistance and safety settings. The multimedia system now also features onboard navigation and wireless connectivity for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus six speakers for the sound system.


The All-New Sandero and Stepway are the first Dacia models to be built on the CMF modular platform. Offering superior strength and rigidity, it increases protection in the event of a collision. The structure has been reinforced in the engine bay and the passenger compartment. The new door pressure sensors and accelerometer can detect early side-impact collisions enabling the new curtain and side airbags to inflate rapidly, protecting the stomach, chest and head.

The All-New Sandero and Stepway include the following standard features: six airbags, seat belt load-limiters, front and back seat belt pretensioners and emergency call system (SOS button located next to the dome light in the front of the car).

The structural frame of the new front seats has been improved and anti-whiplash headrests have been fitted to provide better protection.

Standard LED headlights improve visibility, increasing the length of the beam light by 37% (110 m) and the width by 9% (24 m) compared with the halogen dipped beam headlights of the outgoing Sandero, while there’s also a broader selection of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) available.

In addition to the speed limiter, latest ESP system and the steering wheel-mounted cruise control switch, the All-New Sandero and Stepway feature state-of-the-art driver-assistance systems:

  • Emergency brake assist as standard: Active between 6-170km/h. A radar sensor located at the front of the vehicle identifies the distance to the car in front (stopped or in motion). The sensor triggers an audible and visual warning if there is a risk of collision with the vehicle in front, before:
    • increasing the brake force if the driver has applied the brakes but there is still a risk of collision
    • automatically activating or applying stronger braking force if the driver fails to brake hard enough, or soon enough.
  • Blind spot warning: Active from 30-140km/h. It warns the driver of a risk of collision with another vehicle located next to or behind the vehicle during lane change manoeuvres. An ultrasound detection system comprising four sensors (two at the back, two at the front) detects any moving objects, including cars and motorbikes, in the driver’s blind spot area. When the sensors detect a vehicle or someone in the blind spot area, an LED located on the appropriate wing mirror flashes.
  • Park assist: This system utilises four radar sensors at the front and at the back, a rear-view camera and dynamic guiding lines, and triggers audible and visual warnings to help with the manoeuvring.
  • Hill start assist: Prevents the vehicle from rolling backwards for more than two seconds when drivers lift their foot off the brake pedal to depress the accelerator pedal when pulling away on a hill.

Dacia Sandero dimensions

Length: 4,088mm
Width: 1,848mm (2,007mm including mirrors)
Height: 1,499mm
Ground clearance: 133mm loaded

Boot capacity: 328 litres

Dacia Stepway dimensions

Length: 4,099mm
Width: 1,848mm (2,007mm including mirrors)
Height: 1,535mm (1,587 mm with roof bars)
Ground clearance: 174mm loaded

Boot capacity: 328 litres

The new Volkswagen ID.41 – World premiere of the fully electrically driven SUV


– Presenting the ID.4, which is celebrating its digital world premiere. This is Volkswagen’s first fully electrically driven SUV generating zero local emissions and is produced with a carbon-neutral balance. It will be launching into the world’s largest market segment, the compact SUV class.

“The ID.4 is an emotional all-rounder which will impress many customers with its efficient electric drive, generous amount of space, modern assist systems and powerful design,” says Ralf Brandstätter, Chief Executive Officer of Volkswagen brand. “As the first global electric car, this model will roll out our modular electric drive matrix platform that has been developed specifically for electric mobility the world over. Volkswagen is thus once again demonstrating its leading role in innovation, technology and quality on the high-volume market.”

SUVs are very popular with an increasing number of customers. They are the most popular vehicle segment in the USA and China as they offer good levels of visibility, safety and comfort. In Europe and Germany market shares are also continuously on the up and especially compact models are booming. With the ID.4, Volkswagen is offering a fully electrically driven SUV for the very first time. It offers the space, flexibility and all benefits customers appreciate about SUVs. The ID.4 is an all-round talent that can be driven in a sporty, yet also easy and comfortable way. The battery stores up to 77 kWh of energy (net) and enables ranges of up to 520 km (WLTP). It is installed below the passenger compartment which guarantees a low centre of gravity.

The electric drive motor, positioned at the rear axle, generates 150 kW (204 PS) – enough to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 8.5 seconds and deliver a top speed of 160 km/h. Thanks to the rear-wheel drive’s strong grip and its 21 centimetres of ground clearance, the E-SUV also performs well in gentle offroad terrain. Dynamic appearance. The ID.4’s exterior has athletic proportions for an ultra-modern appearance. Its clear, flowing design is inspired by nature and guarantees very good aerodynamics with a drag coefficient of 0.28. Its basic version already features headlights that are almost completely equipped with light-emitting diodes while its tail light clusters have been fully equipped with this technology.

As the top-of-the range version, interactive IQ.Light LED matrix headlights are even more progressive: they welcome drivers with swivelling lens modules and generate an intelligently controlled main beam. These headlights have been paired with the new 3D LED tail light clusters. Their tail light is particularly homogeneous and lights up in an intensive red. The large wheels with a diameter of up to 21 inches underline the vehicle’s character. Spacious concept: long wheelbase, plenty of room for passengers and luggage The ID.4 with a length of 4.58 metres uses Volkswagen’s modular electric drive matrix (MEB) architecture. It divides the space for occupants and technology in a completely new way in favour of passengers. The room available in the vehicle interior is at the level of conventional SUVs in the next category up.

Colours and materials are contemporary while also being homely. Depending on the rear seat backrest’s position, the luggage compartment boasts a capacity from 543 to 1,575 litres. The equipment range of the ID.4 includes an electrically driven boot lid, roof railing and a towing bracket. The E-SUV’s operating concept does not depend on physical buttons and switches. It is based on two displays – one of which diagonally measures up to 12 inches and features touch functionality – as well as “Hello ID.” natural voice control. The new ID.Light – a narrow light strip under the windscreen – intuitively supports drivers. An augmented reality head-up display is optionally available to blend a host of displays with reality – for instance, navigation arrows telling drivers to turn off are projected onto the road surface in exactly the right lane.

The Discover Pro navigation system brings We Connect Start online services on board. IQ.Drive assist systems make driving an even more relaxed experience and this particularly applies to Travel Assist. Software and hardware in the ID.4 have been designed as part of a completely new architecture, making it possible for customers to download updates to the car after the purchase. We Charge: charge at home, when out and about and on long journeys Together with the ID. models, Volkswagen is launching on the market a complete package for convenient, connected and sustainable charging of electric cars under the name We Charge. This offers the ideal solution for any situation – whether you are at home, out and about or on a long journey.

The ID.4 can be recharged with direct current to cover the next 320 km (as per WLTP, at 125 kW) at a DC quick-charging station in around 30 minutes. In parallel, Volkswagen is establishing an ecosystem of sustainable electric mobility surrounding ID. models. ID.4 customers will receive a vehicle that has been produced with a carbon-neutral balance. And if it is charged using sustainably produced electricity – like Volkswagen Naturstrom – it will remain carbon-neutral on the road too.

Volkswagen’s strategy: the future of mobility is electric As of late, Volkswagen has been supplementing the brand’s traditional product portfolio with the ID. family: a new, independent product range. Following the compact ID.32, the ID.4 SUV is the second fully electric model. In the future, Volkswagen will be competing in the globally booming compact SUV segment with the ID.4. The ID.4 will be gradually turned into an electrically driven, global car with plans to produce and sell the E-SUV not only in Europe, but also in China and later in the USA.

On a whole, Volkswagen brand will be investing eleven billion euros in electric mobility by 2024 as part of the Transform 2025+ strategy. 1ID.4 – power consumption (NEDC) in kWh/100 km: 16.9–16.2; CO₂ emission in g/km: 0; efficiency class: A+ 2ID.3 – power consumption (NEDC) in kWh/100 km: 15.4–14.5 (combined); CO2 emissions in g/km: 0; efficiency class: A+

In conversation with Hollywood star Patrick Bergin


Patrick Connolly Bergin is an Irish Actor who is perhaps best known for his leading role opposite Julia Roberts in Sleeping with the Enemy and for playing the villianious Aidan Maguire in the BBC soap Eastenders.

Mr Bergin was born in Dublin and raised in Drimnagh. His father was a Labour Senator from Carlow.

Patrick left Dublin for London in 1969 and formed his own Theatre Group in West Hamstead in London. Bergin worked on building sites and at The National Central Library. He studied at night and completed a degree in Education.

He worked as an English Teacher for several years helping to set up a school for children that wouldn’t go to school in the Kilburn/ West Hamstead area.

Earlier this year, Patrick was announced as Toyota Ireland’s newest brand ambassador. Patrick is currently driving the Toyota Hybrid Camry. When this publication reached out to interview Patrick, very graciously Mr Bergin committed to the interview without hesitation and we are truly grateful to Patrick for his time and allowing us feature him in our magazine.

“My ambassador role with Toyota came about through Joe Kinsella. The nice thing about my Toyota Camry is that I picked it up on my Birthday and my partner Helen and I headed off to the lovely Wineport Lodge in Athlone and we stopped off in Clonmacnoise on the way back and it’s a lovely car to drive,” said Patrick Bergin.

“The car is great for the short journeys as well as longer road trips. It is a very safe car and it alerts you if you have gone out over the white line which is great for the country roads as it is so easy to go over that line on small country roads.

“My very first car was a 1971 Jaguar XJS and I’ve still got it in the garage but it is beyond use now. The coolest car I’ve ever owned was the Jaguar and I bought that when I was filming ‘Treasure Island,’ on the Isle of Man and the car only had 5,000 miles on it,” added Mr Bergin.

“I’m very impressed with this car and the other interesting thing about the hybrid is has just enough technology to make it very efficient to run and it is also very economical, smooth to drive and it is very quiet whilst in motion.

“It is a brilliant car and of course, as an Actor I love being in front of a Camry,” he enthused.

In 1980, Patrick decided to pursue acting full-time and he found work in repertory theatre. Throughout the 1990’s, he worked in diverse films such as a triology of Yeats plays; Morphine & Dolly Mixtures for which he won a Welsh Best Actor Award and Durango based on John B Keane’s novel; hosting TnaG’s Silín Draióchta and narrating Patrick Cassidy’s famine concert.

After Sleeping with the Enemy, his reputation grew and he was offered the role of Robin Hood with Uma Thurman.

Mr Bergin may be best known internationally for playing the menacing husband of Julia Roberts’ character in the thriller Sleeping with the Enemy and is also known for his role as Irish terrorist Kevin O’Donnell in the film adaptation of Patriot Games. Bergin also appeared as Robin Hood in a 1991 television film. In 2013, he played notorious Glasgow gangster Arthur ‘The Godfather,’ Thompson in The Wee Man. Patrick joined the BBC soap Eastenders towards the end of 2017 and departing in March 2018.

“The highlight of my career is the film ‘Mountains of the Moon,’ and that film is not only the highlight of my career but it is also the film that led to ‘Sleeping with the Enemy,’ and I wouldn’t have got that film if I hadn’t done ‘Mountains of the Moon.’

“Subject to Covid-19 I’m due to shoot a short film in September/ October and there is a bigger film called ‘The Cold Sun,’ which will hopefully be shot in Maritius in early 2021,” revealed Patrick.

Presently Mr Bergin is involved in a rather unique project in Powerscourt Estate. Powerscourt Estate is home to the third best gardens in the world and they have launched a novel initiative to encourage people to connect with and be inspired by nature. To create inspirational stories in the forms of poems and lyrics as part of the ‘Poetry in Bloom,’ initiative.

This poetry initiative is an invitation to everyone from seven year olds up to create a poem or write lyrics, inspired by nature they have observed at Powerscourt Gardens and Waterfall throughout the months of August and September. All submissions are online and will automatically be entered into an open prize draw to win a variety of amazing prizes.

‘Poetry in Bloom,’ was developed by Powerscourt in partnership with the creative writing organisation Fighting Words and is in homage to the late Viscountess of Powerscourt Sheila Wingfield who was a gifted Poet with many of her poems inspired by nature and her surrounds at Powerscourt Estate.

The initiative is supported by Mr Bergin as he is a lover of poetry and a great supporter of the arts in the young in London, Dublin and LA. Patrick will be reading through the submissions and helping to select a number of poems to be used as a basis of a short poetry film to close the initiative.

Patrick had the priviledge of singing Leonard Cohen’s ‘Anthem,’ for the Pope on his last visit to Ireland. He also had a number one hit for Christmas with a Christmas song entitled ‘Switzers Song,’ and had several appearances in The National Concert Hall and performed at various venues around the country and abroad.

Prior to Covid, Patrick has been busy with a number of movies and television projects including a television drama ‘The South Westerlies,’ currently on RTÉ One. Just out on Netflix ‘The Last Days of American Crime,’ with Edgar Ramirez and Michael Pitt with several more in the can.

As to projects Patrick is currently working on?

“Next year I have been asked to do a guided tour around Ireland and hopefully I will be using my Toyota for that. Essentially I will be taking tourists (subject to Covid 19) from Dublin to Waterville in County Cork around all of the poetic sites in Ireland. This will be taking place in April or May of next year and I think it will be quite unique. I’m honoured to be an Ambassador for this wonderful Toyota Camry, it’s a wonderful car to drive,” concluded Patrick Bergin.



Renault is continuing to expand its model range with the All-New Arkana SUV set to go on sale across Europe from 2021. The mid-sized compact SUV offers a standout exterior design with a strong coupé silhouette, increased refinement, along with the latest in advanced hybrid technology and connectivity.

Combining SUV proportions with the sloping roofline of a coupé, the Arkana delivers space and practicality for the whole family in a package only slightly longer than the New Megane Hatchback. The new model will be built on the Alliance’s CMF-B modular platform which underpins the All-New Clio and All-New Captur, bolstering Renault’s existing SUV line-up, which currently consists of the All-New Captur and Kadjar.

The cabin of the New Arkana features the latest interior finishes and design touches to ensure a premium feel and finish as well as exceptional comfort for all occupants. This is combined with one of the largest digital displays in its segment thanks to two screens, as well as advanced connectivity systems which deliver seamless convenience and minimal distraction for the driver.

The All-New Arkana will be available with a selection of electrified powertrains featuring hybrid technology which ensures refined and efficient performance. The new SUV model will feature Renault’s latest full hybrid E-TECH technology while mild-hybrid technology will be offered with the 1.3-litre four-cylinder turbocharged direct injection TCe petrol engine.

The All-New Arkana will arrive in Irish showrooms in September 2021.

Exterior design

The All-New Arkana features a sophisticated and sleek design which combines its elevated SUV body and ground clearance, with a coupé-like shape featuring muscular beltline and wide shoulders for a premium and assertive appearance. The front and rear skid plates and the wheel arch protectors enhance the SUV look, while the plunging roofline combined with rising window line deliver an agile and slender curved design that extends to the rear windows, enhancing the dynamic look.

The front grille, featuring a larger Renault logo in the centre, is flanked by chrome brightwork and trim elements which provide added elegance and sophistication. Below, the expressive front bumper enhances the dynamic design while the skid plate gives the car a robust look.

All-LED headlights feature the C-shaped lighting signature found across the rest of the Renault range and further underline the dynamic design of the All-New Arkana. The rear of the vehicle also features the C-shaped lighting signature with a strip extending over the whole width of the tailgate, emphasising the All-New Arkana’s taut and distinctive look.

The profile of the All-New Arkana is one of its most striking features. The unique coupé-style SUV outline of the car is instantly recognisable, combining a sleek and sturdy shape. Measuring 4,568mm in length, 1,571mm in height and with a 2,720mm wheelbase, the car’s overall size gives it a flowing profile. Chrome elements, such as the trim accentuating the windows, the side door protections and the front fender trim, further enhance the premium design.

Following on from the All-New Clio and New Mégane, the All-New Arkana will be available in R.S. Line trim, combining premium finishes with a more dynamic design. It draws its inspiration from Renault Sport’s DNA and the New Mégane R.S. model. The car’s bold design is further enhanced by the Orange Valencia colour and black-painted and dark metal exterior elements, including the Formula 1-inspired aerodynamic blade. The bumper features red inserts and Shadow-Tinted wheels that are unique to this model. An R.S. Line badge has been added to the wing trims while the rear sports a chromed dual exhaust outlet and a darker skid plate.

An optional Colour pack further enhances the look of the New Arkana R.S. Line: its front and rear bumper and the lower protective door strip will be painted in the colour of the bodywork, with a black roof and gloss black spoiler.

Customers will be able to choose from seven body colours: Opaque White, Pearl White, Metal Black, Metallic Grey, Zanzibar Blue, Fire Red and Valencia Orange (exclusive to the R.S. Line version). An optional black roof and three choices of 17- and 18-inch wheels will also be available.


Despite the coupé-like body shape, the Arkana provides the levels of practicality expected of an SUV. The bootspace has a load capacity of 513 litres and features a raised floor and seats which can be folded completely flat. Meanwhile the front of the cabin offers a large amount of storage space, including a storage net on the passenger side with door pockets each large enough to hold 1.5-litre bottles.

The stylish architecture of the dashboard features modern ergonomic elements with the upper part covered with a soft feel foam lining, and each trim level boasting its own exclusive lining strip. All models feature chrome details across the door handles and air vents, while a leather-finished gear lever adds an extra touch of quality. Moving up the model range brings a leather steering wheel, with chrome inserts added to the dashboard and cup holder, and the upper part of the doors covered with a foam lining.

R.S. Line models benefit from a specific interior, with a carbon-finish dashboard and door lining, a red trim running along the top of the dashboard and a black roof. Stylish and sporty red topstitching embellishes the leather steering wheel as well as the mixed leather/suede-like upholstery and door panels, while a red strip features on the seat belts. Completing the package is an aluminium pedal unit, an e-shifter gear selector (with the E-TECH Hybrid engine) and R.S. Line badges.


Following on from the All-New Clio and New Mégane, the All-New Arkana will feature a full hybrid engine as well as offering a a 1.3-litre four-cylinder turbocharged direct injection TCe petrol engine combined with mild-hybrid technology.

The full hybrid powertrain will combine a 1.6-litre petrol engine with a lithium-ion battery and two electric motors for a total power output of 140hp., Following on from other E-TECH models, it will also feature a smart multi-mode clutchless gearbox. The system utilises advanced F1-inspired E-TECH technology and has been the subject of more than 150 patents. The ground-breaking combination of the electric engines and dogbox transmission optimises and smooths gear-shifting, whilst the architecture –the fruit of the Renault DP World F1 team’s labour – provides greater energy efficiency.

Incorporating the energy management modes, also developed by the Renault F1 experts, the E-TECH hybrid technology enables the vehicle to start in all-electric drive, offering greater pleasure in all driving conditions with crisp, immediate acceleration. The engine also has excellent energy efficiency, thanks to its innovative multi-mode gearbox, its powerful energy recovery braking system and its high-level automatic battery-charging system.

The E-TECH hybrid powertrain can provide up to 80 per cent of city driving time with all-electric power, reducing CO2 emissions and fuel consumption by up to 40 per cent over a combustion engine in urban driving. Drivers can use the Multi Sense settings to select a specific driving mode: My Sense for daily driving, Eco for even lower fuel consumption and Sport to combine the power of the engines.

The All-New Arkana E-TECH Hybrid’s engine is ideal for all types of journey and usage, ensuring optimum versatility. It is equally suited to drivers looking for an electric drive mode for better fuel efficiency as it is to high-mileage drivers who previously preferred diesel engines, but now look for lower consumption while keeping the same driving habits.

Also available is the 1.3-litre four-cylinder, turbocharged, direct injection TCe petrol engine that is fuel-efficient and powerful to provide increased driving pleasure. Paired with an EDC dual-clutch automatic transmission, it will produce an output of 140hp.

The engine will be available with mild-hybrid technology which is delivered through an added alternator-starter system paired with a 12V lithium-ion battery under the passenger seat. This technology improves Stop & Start and enables energy regeneration during deceleration. It also assists the engine during the highest fuel-consumption phases, when the engine starts or accelerates. It reduces fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, and ensures smoother engine restart and greater driving comfort.

The 1.3-litre TCe 140 petrol engine produces 260Nm of torque from 1,600rpm and offers the perfect combination of afuel-economy, an engaging driving experience and comfort.


Following on from the All-New Captur, All-New Clio and New ZOE, the All-New Arkana features the latest connected technologies as well as a suite of Advanced Driver Assistance systems.

A digital dashboard features a 4.2-, 7- or 10-inch Driver Information Display (dependent on the model), offering a personalised, intuitive driving experience. This is complemented by the 7-inch horizontal or 9.3-inch portrait Easy Link touchscreen infotainment display oriented towards the driver, ensuring heightened convenience for both driver and front passenger while ensuring distraction is kept to a minimum with easy-to-view information.

The centre console features a wireless smartphone charging system and an electric automatic parking brake with Auto-Hold option, as standard, while E-TECH Hybrid models feature the elegant e-shifter gear selector. The All-New Renault Arkana also gets four USB plugs (two at the front, two at the rear) for powering electronic devices and providing connectivity for all passengers.

With Renault Easy Connect, the All-New Arkana is able to access a number of services through the MY Renault app and the Easy Link multimedia system. It features continuous 4G connectivity and additional services offered by partners such as Google (address finder) and TomTom (real-time traffic information).

From remote vehicle control to real-time traffic information, including door-to-door navigation with the destination information sent to the car, vehicle location and remote door control, all systems aim to offer a unique connected experience, both inside the vehicle and outside, via the driver’s smartphone. The Renault Easy Link multimedia system and onboard mapping also provide automatic and regular updates thanks to “Over the Air” technology.

The Renault Easy Link multimedia system will be available in three configurations, all compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay; with 7-inch screen, 7-inch screen with sat nav or 9.3-inch screen with sat nav. Influenced by smartphone design, the Renault Easy Link multimedia system provides a practical, ergonomically designed interface. Users can create profiles and customise certain screens using widgets, enabling everyone to access their favourite features directly.

Renault Multi Sense technology gives drivers the opportunity to personalise their driving experience depending on their mood. Interacting with engine mapping, power-assisted steering, ambient lighting and the digital screen configuration, Multi Sense settings offer three available modes:

  • Eco: Uses a more measured mapping of the accelerator pedal and adapted gear changing for the most economical drive.
  • Comfort: steering assistance increased for greater flexibility and ease of driving, from 10 to 40 per cent depending on the vehicle speed
  • Sport: steering assist is now 25 per cent firmer and the engine mapping offers 20-25 per cent more torque at the same throttle position for a more dynamic drive
  • My Sense: Best for everyday use, My Sense offers the best compromise in terms of performance and economy, using as much electric power as possible, but in the most efficient way.

Multi Sense settings can be easily accessed from the Easy Link multimedia system’s interface or a special keypad on the centre screen. A single touch will open the Multi Sense window and allow drivers to change their preferences, including eight ambient lighting options. Depending on the selected mode, drivers can also display a customisable widget on the dashboard screen, such as the consumption in Eco mode or power and torque in Sport mode.

The latest Advanced Driver Assistance Systems provide added convenience and safety for the driver. The All-New Arkana will be available with a selection of systems including Motorway & Traffic Jam Companion, Adaptive Cruise Control (with Stop & Go), Active Emergency Braking System (AEBS), Blind Spot Warning, Traffic Sign Recognition, Lane Departure Warning and Lane Keep Assist.

Motorway & Traffic Jam Companion combines Adaptive Cruise Control (with Stop & Go) and lane centring assistance, which even works on curved roads up to a certain level. It controls car speed from zero to 160km/h and maintains safe distances between vehicles while providing lane centring assistance. It is particularly useful in heavy traffic conditions and automatically stops and restarts the car after three seconds without any action by the driver.

For added convenience, a series of features make it easier for the driver when performing low speed manoeuvres, or parking. The 360-degree camera features an additional four cameras, offering a view from above the vehicle that provides a single image of all the obstacles around it. The 360-degree camera is simple to use and automatically activated when the car is reversing. The system displays two images: the front or rear view based on the selected speed and the choice between a 360-degree view or a zoom of the passenger-side camera. Further to this is Easy Park Assist (for parallel, oblique or vertical parking) making manoeuvring easier when entering or exiting a parking space. The sensors control steering while drivers control the pedals and transmission.

The All-New Renault Arkana will arrive in Irish showrooms in September 2021. Prices to be confirmed.

Unmissable new offers on quality used cars from Renault SELECTION – over €10 million available to lend from Renault Bank in September


Renault Group Ireland has announced unmissable offers on used Renault and Dacia cars for September and October, available exclusively across its network of approved Renault SELECTION dealers. 

Through the Renault SELECTION programme, Renault Bank has over €10 million available to lend this September.

With these offers, customers can avail of:

  • Savings over €1,500 in interest vs high street banks
  • 4.9% APR HP/PCP
  • Minimum 2 Years’ Manufacturer’s Warranty + Roadside Assistance

This finance rate is available on all Renault SELECTION used stock and offers a highly attractive 4.9% APR HP offer over five years, saving customers up to €1,500 in interest compared to high street banks. 

The low 4.9% APR is also available on Renault’s PCP product. PCP provides a low monthly payment with a low deposit, and guarantees a minimum future value on the car at the end of the 2, 3 or 4-year term, providing reassurance and certainty for customers.

This offer provides real value and savings to customers purchasing a highly affordable used Renault or Dacia model, while the proven Renault SELECTION programme offers industry-leading peace of mind and reassurance.

Renault SELECTION cars come with a full certified vehicle history check with every used car prepared to a unique “Buy Today – Drive Today” standard. This ensures customers receive only the highest-quality product, and when a customer purchases a used car, it’s ready to go to its new home the same day.

To demonstrate Renault Group’s confidence in the vehicles it sells, dealerships will exchange a vehicle purchased under the programme for one of a similar value (within 30 days or 1,000 kilometres from date of delivery) should an irreparable fault occur.

Renault SELECTION Sales Events will take place across Renault’s network of approved dealerships for two weeks from Monday 14th – Saturday 26th September.  This is an appointment-based sales event.

These offers are available now until 31st October 2020, for more details on the Renault SELECTION programme and a list of current authorised dealers, check out


New Kia Sorento PHEV revealed with low emissions and high power


Kia Motors has today revealed the new Kia Sorento Plug-in Hybrid for first time, an ultra-low emissions version of the brand’s flagship global SUV. The new variant combines supreme practicality with low running costs and high power, and broadens the appeal for the D-segment SUV.

The new Sorento Plug-in Hybrid is the second electrified model in the new Sorento line-up, and sits alongside the low-emissions Sorento Hybrid. The new variant combines a powerful turbocharged gasoline engine with a high capacity battery pack and high output electric motor, giving drivers the ability to complete shorter drives on all-electric, zero-emissions power.

The Plug-in Hybrid variant achieves this while maximising space and versatility, with the innovative platform that underpins the fourth-generation Sorento designed from the outset to accommodate electrified powertrains. The new platform and large body ensures the Plug-in Hybrid model retains the generous cabin and luggage space and five- and seven-seat layouts that define other models in the line-up.

Pablo Martinez Masip, Director of Product Planning and Pricing at Kia Motors Europe, comments: “The Sorento Plug-in Hybrid completes the new fourth-generation Sorento line-up, and is one of two electrified models available to European drivers. It deploys a turbo hybrid powertrain to boost performance, while reducing the car’s environmental impact and running costs. Plug-in models continue to grow in popularity across Europe, and the new Sorento will be one of the most spacious, practical and versatile electrified models available.”

In the first half of 2020, electrified models – including mild-hybrid, parallel hybrid, battery electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles – accounted for around one in four of all Kia vehicles sold in Europe*, with sales accelerating year-on-year.

Sales of the new Sorento Plug-in Hybrid will commence in select European markets in early 2021, with Kia’s unique 7-Year, 150,000-kilometre warranty as standard.

High-power, low emissions

The Sorento Plug-in Hybrid isn’t just the lowest-emitting model in the Sorento line-up in Europe, but also the most powerful. The beating heart of its ‘turbo hybrid’ powertrain is its 1.6-litre T-GDi (turbocharged gasoline direct injection) engine, which, on its own, produces up to 180 ps and 265 Nm torque. The engine is paired with a high-capacity 13.8 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack and a powerful electric motor which produces 66.9 kW and 304 Nm torque.

Combined, these powertrain components enable the Sorento Plug-in Hybrid’s powertrain to produce up to 265 ps and 350 Nm torque.

The Sorento Plug-in Hybrid’s all-electric range will be sufficient to enable drivers to complete most short drives on electric power alone. Its all-electric range and CO2 emissions are pending homologation and will be confirmed by Kia closer to the car’s on-sale date.

Power is sent to all four wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission. The transmission allows the full power of the engine and motor to be transferred in parallel, with minimal loss of energy. The result is immediate acceleration responses at any speed, and direct access to available battery power at higher speeds.

A range of innovations throughout the powertrain also ensure the Sorento Plug-in Hybrid is the most advanced, efficient PHEV to-date from Kia. The new model represents Kia’s first use of an independent battery pack water-cooling system in a PHEV, ensuring optimal heat management and efficiency for the high-voltage battery pack. For the 66.9 kW electric motor, the rotor benefits from a new two-stage lamination process to reduce noise and vibration levels.

The engine features Kia’s latest ‘Smartstream’ innovations, including Continuously Variable Valve Duration technology, which regulates the duration that the intake valves open and close depending on driving conditions. This enables the engine to operate on different combustion cycles, seamlessly optimising engine performance and fuel efficiency.

Design and packaging

Kia’s new midsized SUV platform, introduced with the fourth-generation Sorento and underpinning the new Plug-in Hybrid model, plays a key role in accommodating the new powertrain. Its innovative structure and layout maximises space for passengers and luggage, with the battery pack located beneath the floor of the cabin.

As a result, the Sorento Plug-in Hybrid offers generous space for up to five or seven passengers as its Hybrid and diesel counterparts. It also offers one of the largest cargo capacities in its class, with the larger battery back not taking up significant amounts of boot space – up to 809 litres (for seven-seat models) or 898 litres (five-seat models) with two rows of seats in place. In seven-seat models, with all seven seats in place, boot space is 175 litres (compared to 179 litres for its Hybrid counterpart).

Visually, Sorento Plug-in Hybrid models retain the same modern exterior design as other variants in the line-up, with ‘eco plug-in’ badges and a charging port on the rear quarters standing out as the only points of differentiation.

Inside, the cabin also remains largely unchanged, although the 12.3-inch fully-digital instrument cluster is redesigned, with new graphics and dials to provide drivers with a clear picture of the powertrain’s status. It enables drivers to keep track of the battery’s state of charge, as well as the flow of electric and gasoline power through the powertrain. The 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system also features new functionality to enable drivers to easily locate vehicle charging points on-the-go.

The same comprehensive range of ‘connected car’ and safety technology

The Sorento Plug-in Hybrid offers the same high level of technological innovation as other Sorento models. The touchscreen infotainment system enables full, seamless smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™. A powerful 12-speaker BOSE® surround-sound audio system is also available, delivering a more immersive sound to all passengers, as well as a cabin Mood Lighting system, with up to 64 colours for users to choose from.

It also offers Kia’s innovative UVO Connect telematics system, connecting drivers by providing invaluable information via the in-car touchscreen and on their smartphone. Featuring Kia Live services provide drivers with live traffic information, weather forecasts, points of interest, and details of potential on- and off-street parking (including price, location and parking availability) – in addition to nearby vehicle charging points. UVO Connect also enables drivers to send route directions to their car before a journey, and check the location of their vehicle at any time.

The Sorento Plug-in Hybrid offers a range of Kia’s Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) to help reduce many of the inherent hazards and stresses of driving. Available technologies include Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) technology with pedestrian, cyclist and vehicle detection and FCA Junction, which detects vehicles at junctions when turning; Blind-Spot View Monitor (BVM); Surround View Monitor (SVM) and Blind-spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA); Intelligent Speed Limit Assist (ISLA); Smart Cruise Control with Stop&Go (SCC) and Navigation-based SCC (NSCC); Lane Following Assist (LFA); Driver Attention Warning (DAW); and Highway Driving Assist (HDA). It also offers a Rear View Monitor (RVM) with Reverse Parking Collision-Avoidance Assist (PCA) and Rear Cross-traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA). The Sorento’s Safe Exit Assist (SAE) feature also prevents rear doors from opening if the vehicle detects a hazard approaching from behind, such as a cyclist or another vehicle.

The new Sorento also implements Kia’s first Multi-Collision Brake system, which enables the Sorento to mitigate the severity of secondary collisions. It automatically applies vehicle brakes when the airbags have been deployed after an initial collision, further protecting occupants from secondary frontal or side impacts.

Sales commence in 2021 with Kia’s 7-Year, 150,000 km warranty included

The new Sorento Plug-in Hybrid will be built for Europe and many other markets at Kia’s Hwasung manufacturing facility in Korea. European sales are due to commence in early 2021 in select markets. Every model sold in Europe will offer Kia’s unique seven-year, 150,000-kilometre warranty as standard, extending to cover the battery pack and motor.