www.AAireland.ie The official Magazine of the AA AA now offers car loans Spring 2007 MOTORING Volume 11 Issue 1 Useful tips for All-new driving in France Mondeo Putting your safety first Get the Nokia 6230i for only $99* (RRP $278) PLUS a fully installed car kit To sign up for this great phone and car kit offer, just call into your local Vodafone store with the following: • AA - membership card • ID - passport/driver licence • Proof of address - recent bill/bank statement For a full list of stores go to www.vodafone.ie Make the most of now *This stated price of $99 is only available when you connect to Vodafone Perfect Fit 600. However, this offer is also available to both new and existing customers when you connect to Vodafone Perfect Fit 200 or higher on the Vodafone network. Ask in store for price details. Existing customers must be eligible for an upgrade. This offer is available until 30th September 2007 or while stocks last, ask in store for terms and conditions. CONTENTS an environmental downside. Most people know that we are far behind our Kyoto targets because these were based on 1990 as the base year. Since 1990, the Irish economy has doubled in size, GDP has more than Renault Scenic 7 trebled, the population rose by 15% and car ownership doubled. Driving in France 8 Unsurprisingly, this has come with a New Audi A4 has it all 10 carbon cost and our levels are currently far too high. All- new Mondeo reviewed 12 Alternative, non-oil based fuels will Leisure and Competition 17 be a key counter measure. Ford and Saab currently have ethanol-fuelled Honda CR-V roadtested 24 Pat Kiely, Managing Director, AA Ireland cars available in Ireland; soon Volvo Landrover goes freely 27 will as well. And motorists are very WELCOME to the latest edition of AA willing to play their part. One Motoring, our magazine for AA suggestion that came to us from an Members. You will have noticed some AA member was that new service slight changes to the design and stations should be obliged to stock layout. We hope that you enjoy the alternative fuels. That suggestion is new format and we look forward to now firm policy with the NRA for your feedback. Climate Change 20 motorway rest areas and we hope As we go to print there is evidence that Government will act on it as that Ireland’s road safety strategies Safety first 31 well. are beginning to work. This is While working on the broader Alternative fuels 34 particularly satisfying because the issues the AA is very committed to main planks of the road safety Think Awareness continuing to provide value to strategy – a Garda Traffic Corps, a Driving Programme 37 members. We have invested heavily in penalty points system, random breath Fiat Sedici adds up perfectly 38 new Rescue resources. We attended testing, reforms to driver training and to 160,000 members' cars last year testing – were all policies that the AA and 2007 is even busier. We are formulated in consultation with its recruiting new patrols and buying new members and then lobbied to have equipment to meet the growing introduced. demand. We have also developed our Road deaths seem to be coming Home and Motor insurance offerings down. We are a long way from being Infrastructure 28 to members and we can now offer able to declare victory but the signs of excellent deals on car finance. progress are very encouraging. If you have any comments or ENQUIRIES: John Farrell Tel: 01 6179390. We are still further from victory questions, please contact e-mail: email@example.com when it comes to climate change. firstname.lastname@example.org or write Colm Burns 01 2600899. That mankind’s activities are to Public Affairs Department, perturbing the planet’s delicate AA Ireland, 56 Drury Street, Dublin 2. Published by Goldstar Media, 7 Cranford Centre, Montrose, Dublin 4. balance is no longer in dispute. We Finally, let me give you our best Tel: 01 2600899. Fax 01 2600911. must reduce carbon usage and lessen wishes for a safe and happy e-mail: email@example.com our environmental footprint. Summer on the roads, wherever you Views expressed in road test articles are Ireland’s rapid economic growth has may be. ■ those of reviewers and not of AA Ireland. SPRING 2007 AA MOTORING MAGAZINE 3 Five star treatment - as well as peace of mind. For premium breakdown assistance when motoring abroad, Five Star European Breakdown Cover from the AA is the only choice. With 24 hour English speaking assistance, emergency repairs, towing and garage repairs all covered, you really are never alone. To arrange cover right now, call (01) 617 9988 or buy online at AAireland.ie. You’ve got a friend FINANCE AA on the Cards Competitive new car for Lady Golfers AA INSURANCE has loan offer from AA sponsored the issuing of new membership cards to 60,000 lady golfers as part of the developing relationship with the ILGU. With a variable rate of just 7.5% As the primary sponsor of the ILGU, AA Insurance has invested heavily in the AA IRELAND has now entered the financial use it to reduce the car loan. But fixed development of ladies’ golf in services market and their first offering is a rate loans do not allow this: fixed means a Ireland and in widening the Car Loan with a variable interest rate as fixed commitment. opportunity for lady golfers to low as 7.5% - depending on the amount of An AA Finance loan is much more compete at a national level. the loan. flexible and the fast approval process The All-Ireland AA This is one of the lowest variable rates gives people the power of a cash buyer. Insurance Ladies’ available on the market and loans are This year is shaping up to be another Championships was a open to both members of the AA and to very strong year for car sales and it resounding success last year, non-members alike. The new service seems likely that 600,000 people will buy attracting 15,000 participants offers customers a fast decision, approval a new or second-hand car. Consequently of all ages or one in four of in advance, and no charge for early there are a lot of car dealers competing the 60,000 golfers who are clearance. for business, so customers are in a affiliated to the ILGU through their clubs. The AA Championships are now An AA Finance loan is much more flexible and established as the prime the fast approval process gives people the event in the ladies golf calendar and the new power of a cash buyer sponsorship of the ILGU membership card cements the relationship further. One of the most attractive features of position to drive a hard bargain. As part of the sponsorship the loan is that it is a variable rather than Secondhand cars are certainly an agreement, ILGU members a fixed rate. The problem with fixed rate attractive option, with a lot of good quality can enjoy the benefits of a offers is that they can be inflexible, and models available this year. Having AA loan special package of car and the customer cannot pay the loan off early approval in hand gives a customer a very home insurance. This includes or pay in extra money if and when they strong negotiating position. free golf club cover up to the have it. AA Finance also includes a small bonus value of €2,000 if golf clubs Many people who take out a car loan in the form of a 20% reduction in the cost are stolen, without affecting will find after a while that it suits them to of an AA Vehicle Inspection which is very the no claims bonus. pay in extra money and pay the loan off useful for second-hand buyers. If calling AA Insurance for early. Perhaps as an SSIA matures or as The AA strongly recommends that any reason, ILGU members some extra monthly income becomes motorists have a proper inspection of a should remember to say that available, it can make financial sense to second hand car carried out before buying they are lady golfers. ■ it. No reputable dealer will object to this, Variable Car Loans and the type of inspection carried out by Sample amount borrowed: €25,000 the AA will uncover all sorts of details € monthly APR about the car which will make sure that AA Finance €600.00 7.50% you are not buying someone else’s AIB €604.24 7.73% problems. BOI €615.16 8.70% Enquiries about AA Finance can be PTSB €616.87 8.5% made to 1890 794794 and on-line quotes DATE AS 28/3/07 are available at www.AAireland.ie ■ SPRING 2007 AA MOTORING MAGAZINE 5 R O A D T E ST Picture perfect Renault Scenic IT’S NOT often that you get to spend time 54mpg) and a CO2 emissions figure of just with a living legend, but that’s very 138g/km, data that should keep even the definitely a title that sits easily on the most stringent of accountants or eco- shoulders of Renault’s Scenic. The original warriors happy. 1996 Scenic did more than merely explore Inside, the cabin receives the same new territory, it created an entirely new upgraded materials that debuted on the segment of the market and changed Megane hatchback in 2005, and it remains forever the way we buy cars. an exceptionally stylish and comfortable When the second-generation Scenic place to be. The seats in particular are came along in 2003, it added sharper excellent, in the grand (tres grande?) looks both inside and out and the option of French tradition. The digital instruments seven seats to that ground-breaking look classy and are easy to read and the package. For the current model year, combination of finger-tip controls for the Renault has updated the car, with revised stereo and a a well-positioned gearshift exterior styling consisting of new mean that long journeys in the Scenic are headlights and reprofiled bumpers front close to effortless. and rear, as well as faster-reacting LED tail You can now have the Scenic in three lights, and the now-standard fitment of a different forms; standard length five-seater, panoramic glass roof on all models. stretched seven-seater Grand Scenic and There’s also a new engine, a top-of-the- now a stretched five-seat Grand Scenic range 150bhp 2.0-litre diesel, but we’ve which loses the third row of seats but tested what we reckon to be the pick of compensates with an even bigger boot. the range, the 105bhp 1.5-litre dCi turbo- It may have been around for four years diesel. It’s one of the best diesels on the now, but the changes keep the Scenic market, in any car, combining excellent feeling fresh, and especially when equipped economy with very good performance, and with the 1.5 diesel, it remains at the very manages to return a fuel consumption peak of the MPV tree. ■ figure of 5.2-litres per 100km (that’s BY NEIL BRISCOE SPRING 2007 AA MOTORING MAGAZINE 7 TR AVE L Driving in France THIS summer will again see many This is all good, of course. Hefty When you take your car thousands of Irish drivers heading fines are being handed out to tourists abroad you must inform across the water to France. Ever who are caught speeding, and heaven your insurance company popular with the Irish, La Belle France help you if you are silly enough to take a or you will only have the remains a welcoming place but if you risk with drinking and driving. legal minimum level of haven’t been there in the last few years, France’s permitted blood alcohol you should know that they are now level is lower than ours at 50 cover. You do not need taking their traffic laws very seriously. milligrams, which means that even that a Green Card nor should The French spent years treating their single glass of red wine could put you you need to fill out any relatively poor rate of road death with a over the limit. French law allows for documents. Your insurance gallic shrug. That has changed. extraordinary powers, up to and company should NOT President Chirac made ‘prevention including the permanent confiscation of CHARGE for an extension routiere’ a campaign priority when the vehicle, for serious road traffic of cover to travel within successfully running for re-election in violations. the EU. If they try to, then 2002. This has certainly been carried For the compliant driver though, the call the AA. through, and with broad public support road network is marvellous. High quality the French have begun policing their autoroutes link every part of the excellent roads much more vigorously. country. There are toll charges (péage) The AA’s online route planner The results have been impressive, but there is always a good alternative is a fantastic tool for working with road deaths down by 35% since route available and they never make the out your itinerary. It will give 2002. France is still behind the best Irish mistake of putting a toll onto a by- detailed directions between performing countries like the UK, the pass and forcing traffic to run through any two points in Europe (as Netherlands and the Scandinavians, but the town. well as Ireland and the UK), they are catching up fast. The tolls are pricey, however. As a and you can use it to avoid general rule, using the autoroutes will tolls or to take in points of cost you about as much in tolls as it does in petrol. For example, the run interest along the way. from Le Havre to Paris is 195 km and It also gives estimated journey The French automatic costs €16 in tolls. times and distances. You’ll French petrol is generally about 15% find it at www.AAireland.ie . speed radar system has more expensive than in Ireland, although diesel is the same price. ■ gone into overdrive in the last few years, trebling the amount of cars detected and pushing FRENCH TOLL CHARGES revenue to a whopping Le Havre - Paris Paris – Bordeaux Lyon – Montpellier 195km = €16 570km = €48.10 297km = €21.50 €349 million in 2006. 8 AA MOTORING MAGAZINE SPRING 2007 R O A D T E ST All-Mighty long-travel air suspension is markedly better at dealing with rough, unkempt tarmac than the regular A6’s but that apart, all is familiar. OF COURSE there is a social and In spite of all the high-end technology We all want a 4x4, don’t we? environmental cost to SUVs, and the used to create the Allroad system (the growing public consciousness of four-wheel-drive system is a permanent After all, nothing is more in tune impending environmental doom is making 50:50 split with a self-locking differential ownership of a full-size 4x4 an exercise for extra grip in really tricky conditions with the modern Zeitgeist than in avoiding abuse. and the air suspension can be But thankfully, Audi has a solution for automatically controlled by a computer a tall, spacious, family-friendly those who don’t want people to think that which reads the road conditions) the real they’re wrecking the planet and yet can’t star here, as it is with most Audis, is the SUV that satisfies both the bring themselves to give up the space, interior. versatility and all-weather, all-terrain grip The sheer quality of the cabin takes demands of transporting of a proper off-roader. your breath away, and it’s one of the It’s called the A6 Allroad, and as you nicest places we’ve ever whiled away a modern children and keeping might guess, it’s based on the A6 Avant traffic jam in. The combination of estate estate. For conversion to Allroad status, space, saloon handling and ride and the the driver’s fleeting MacGyver the A6 gains Quattro four-wheel-drive, air extra height and traction of a 4x4 is a suspension that can adjust the ride bewitching one, and a few hours in an fantasies alive. height from low-slung for on-road driving Allroad will have you phoning your bank and tip-toe-high for rock-climbing and manager and rooting out your cheque some chunky lower-body detailing to book as it’s hard to imagine a car better differentiate it from regular A6 models. suited to Irish road conditions. The only And it all works amazingly well. We real downside is the price tag, which drove the 233bhp 3.0-litre V6 TDI version starts at €70,750. Better get saving… ■ and, surprise, surprise, it drives much BY NEIL BRISCOE like a ‘vanilla’ A6 Avant. There’s a little more body-roll when cornering, and the Thinking of changing your car? We’ve got the key to a special car loan rate from just 7.5% APR variable* Call us now on 1890 794 794 or log onto www.AAireland.ie to apply online You’ve got a friend Terms and conditions apply. Credit facilities are subject to repayment capacity and financial status and are not available to persons under 18 years of age. For a car finance facility, a facility documentation fee of €63.49 applies. Security may be required. A typical €10,000 5 year variable interest rate car loan will have monthly repayments of €202.60, 8.5% APR*. If the APR does not vary during the term of the loan, the total cost of credit will be €12,219.49. A typical €30,000 5 year variable interest rate car loan will have monthly repayments of €595.80, 7.5% APR*. If the APR does not vary during the term of the loan, the total cost of credit will be €35,811.49. Rates and repayments are correct as at 1/1/2007. * APR quoted will depend on the amount borrowed and the period of the loan AA Finance is an alliance between AIB Finance Limited and AA Ireland Limited. AA Finance loans are underwritten by AIB Finance Limited. AIB Finance Limited is regulated by the Financial Regulator. AA Ireland Limited is an authorised Credit Intermediary of AIB Finance Limited. R O A D T E ST WORLD The launch of the new Ford Mondeo has a significance beyond its importance to Ford's balance sheet. Ford not only wants to sell THE ALL-NEW Ford Mondeo has a Herculean task ahead of it, and this car, but they also want it to if it succeeds, then it will have re-established the role of the conventional, mass-market family saloon, a type of car that Ford revive customer interest in the practically invented with the Zephyr saloon of the 1950s. For some time now, this market segment has been shrinking, mid-size saloon segment. coming under attack from prestige manufacturers such as BMW 12 AA MOTORING MAGAZINE SPRING 2007 designer Martin Smith exercise his theory of Ford Mondeo ‘Kinetic Design’ to it’s fullest. "We wanted to create an emotional connection with the new Mondeo that would attract people from an aesthetic point of view even before they appreciate its technology," explains Smith. "Our goal was to make people feel impressed when they see the car, and ultimately want to own one." Under that carefully honed skin, the Mondeo uses the same component set as the S-Max and Galaxy models, sharing engines and chassis with those two cars. Considering that both of those vehicles have been roundly praised for their driving dynamics and high quality of construction, the future bodes well for the new Mondeo. The engine range will start with a 1.6-litre petrol engine which comes with either 110bhp or 125bhp (equivalent to the current Mondeo's 1.8- litre units). There is also a 2.0-litre 145bhp petrol, a 2.3-litre 161bhp petrol fitted with a six- speed automatic gearbox as standard and a range-topping 2.5-litre 220bhp turbocharged five- cylinder engine, which is shared with the Focus ST and the Volvo S40 T5. Diesel engines will be the same 1.8 and 2.0-litre diesels as found in the S-Max and Galaxy, with power outputs ranging from 100bhp to 140bhp. Inside, knowing that it’s the interior quality of the ‘Premium’ brands that has been particularly significant in tempting buyers away from the current Mondeo, Ford has been hard at work to combine high-quality materials with high technology and a subtle ambience. All Mondeos will get air conditioning and a clever on-board computer which Ford calls HMI (Human-Machine Interface). More expensive versions will have a HMI system with a large colour screen mounted between the speedometer and rev-counter. Keyless entry and ignition will also be available, and all new Mondeos will have Ford’s new EasyFuel system, which dispenses with a conventional filler cap and also makes it impossible (claims Ford) to fill up with the wrong fuel. CLASS Safety is, of course, very high on the agenda, and all Mondeos will come with Electronic Stability Control as standard, along with a full complement of airbags including a drivers’ knee-bag. At this point it certainly seems as if Ford has ticked all the boxes necessary to make the new Mondeo the success it needs to be. It looks and Audi and more diverse ‘niche models’ such as SUVs and sharp and, if other current Fords are anything to MPVs including Ford’s very own S-Max. go by, should drive every bit as sharply. It comes The Mondeo’s task is not merely to sell well for Ford and its packed with high levels of technology and a dealers, but also to reinvigorate the public’s appetite for a tempting range of engines. The task ahead is no ‘normal’ saloon car. easy one, but from this point, the new Mondeo To do this, Ford has started with the styling, letting chief looks ready. ■ SPRING 2007 AA MOTORING MAGAZINE 13 Looking for a used car? Get peace of mind with AA Vehicle Inspection. There is only one sure way to find out what you’re really getting before you purchase a used car. Vehicle Inspection from the AA. Receive a comprehensive report on the condition of the vehicle as compiled by an experienced engineer. So you can make your purchase with complete peace of mind. To arrange your vehicle inspection, call (01) 617 9370 or visit AAireland.ie. You’ve got a friend N E WS Driving test Member savings in Kildare Village AA members can avail of special offers in Ireland problems and around the world through the Show your Card! programme. Now members can get a VIP Day THE driving test system continues to Card, giving 10% off purchases at Value Retail's struggle to cope with demand and first outlet shopping village in Ireland - Kildare deliver consistent results. The Village. Simply Show your Card at the average waiting time is now at 22 information centre in Kildare Village, pick up your weeks, and while that figure has been VIP Day Card and start shopping! worse it is still a long way short of Located just off the M7 at exit 13, Kildare Village offers last seasons' collections with up to where it should be. 60% off, with an impressive range of international Another ongoing problem is the brands on offer such as L.K. Bennett, Calvin Klein failure rate. This is actually two and Molton Brown. problems. Firstly, the pass rate For more information on AA members' overall is 53.6% which in effect offers, visit www.AAireland.ie/membersclub. means that the 46.7% who fail go To contact Kildare Village, call 045-520501 or back into the ever-worsening queue. visit www.KildareVillage.com ■ The AA recommended some years ago that for pass rates to improve (and hence the log-jam in the queue to improve) we needed to have Drink-Drive limit likely to be reduced compulsory lessons so that people turn up for the test well prepared. Ireland’s drink driving limit is likely to be countries who tolerate a level that high. That in turn needs proper registration reduced down from 80 milligram (0.8 mg/ml) Ireland’s limit was last reduced from of driving instructors so that their and after 50 milligrams (0.5 mg/ml), which is 1.0mg/ml down to 0.8mg/ml mg in 1994 in standards can be monitored. more normal across the EU. The proposal is what was then a very controversial change. Secondly, the pass rates vary contained in the new road safety strategy put Given the sensitivities in some quarters the from one centre to another. Do the forward by the Road Safety Authority. At the government is likely to refer the RSA proposal moment ourselves, the UK, Luxembourg and to their Advisory Panel (of which the AA is a test in Buncrana, Birr or Tuam and Cyprus (where the limit is 90 mg) are the only member) for assessment. ■ the likelihood of passing is over 65%. Try your luck in Tipperary and it is less than 45%; Wicklow is not much better. Even within cities, 53.6% pass Clever people in VW do it again in Cork while only 44.2% pass in VW Jetta TSI is a Jetta saloon with a fiendishly clever engine. By strapping both a Rathgar, Dublin. turbocharger AND a supercharger onto the familiar 1.4-litre petrol engine, VW has Given that it is supposed to be the created a car with 2.0-litre performance (140bhp) but 1.6-litre economy and same test that everyone is attempting emissions (7.2-litres per 100km (39.2mpg) and 169g of CO2 per km). there is clearly a problem with consistency of standards. What’s it like? Surprisingly normal, in spite of all that tech. Like any other Jetta, it’s The Road Safety Authority comfy, beautifully made and smooth to drive. It seems impossible that a 1.4-litre inherited these problems when it took engine could offer this breadth of performance, but the combination of power and a over driver testing last September. slow moving fuel gauge are proof that it can. Instructor registration is to be part of How much? €27,240, the new road safety strategy which is which seems pretty very welcome. Other initiatives, such reasonable when you as more outsourcing of testing, are factor in standard-fit air also on the way. The AA is confident conditioning, a six-speed enough in the new measures to say gearbox and all that that we may at long last be at the technology into the beginning of the end of the fiasco of price. ■ Ireland’s driving test woes. ■ SPRING 2007 AA MOTORING MAGAZINE 15 AA MEMBERS DISCOUNTS ON MOTOR AND HOME INSURANCE Up to... • 25% discount off Motor • 20% discount off Home For instant cover at an even better price, call the AA Members Direct line today (01) 617 9248 (Monday - Friday 9am to 5pm) Home Insurance Car Insurance Insurance AA Ireland Limited trading as AA Insurance is regulated by the Financial Regulator Terms and conditions apply LE I S U R E DESTINATION CORK Cork has been a favoured holiday destination for generations, offering a wide variety of interests and activities, from the lively centre of Cork City to the rugged beauty of the country side. The AA has a range of appointed accommodation throughout the county – here is a selection of the excellent AA Guesthouses on offer: Kelly’s Rosslare scores Lancaster Lodge, Western Road, Cork This newly refurbished AA 5 Diamond double for cuisine guesthouse overlooks the River Lee in the heart of Cork City centre. Bedrooms are spacious and feature an excellent range of facilites. A wide choice is offered for AA Hotel of the year Kelly’s Resort Hotel and Spa has become the breakfast. Free secure parking is provided. first hotel in Ireland to be awarded Rosettes for both restaurants at an AA appointed property. This demonstrates the serious AA MEMBERS OFFER: Enjoy a 3 night special room rate of commitment to food, wine and hospitality, all areas in which Kelly’s €115 per night for a Double Deluxe bedroom. is renowned. Bed & Breakfast included. Valid to end of July 2007 Beaches restaurant is situated next to a five-mile stretch of sandy beach and here Chef Jim Aherne employs a classic approach Aherne’s of Youghal in County Cork using the finest local produce, including locally grown vegetables Owned and run by the Fitzgibbon family since and fresh fish from Kilmore Quay. 1923, Ahernes, an AA Five Red Diamond Guesthouse is located in the seaside La Marine offers a more relaxed dining experience with an towntown of Youghal, only 30 miles east of Open Wine Cellar and open fire. Head chef Eugene Callaghan’s offers Cork City. The award winning restaurant is traditional French and European dishes. well known for its daily-changing menu of the freshest seafood specialities. Kelly's has also recently completed a new look for their leisure centre "The Aqua Club", incorporating a sauna, steam room, Jacuzzi SPECIAL OFFER: Enjoy 2 nights luxury accommodation and outdoor Canadian Hot Tub and two superb pools. breakfast each morning PLUS 1 five course dinner in the World Famous Seafood Restaurant. For just €240.00 per person sharing in a deluxe double. For that added bit of luxury, it’s just Enjoy a 2 day mid week offer at Kelly’s resort hotel including Full €270.00 per person in a Junior Suite. Board, Dinner on Arrival to Lunch on Departure this summer from €308 p.p.s. To book log on to www.AAireland.ie/hotels To book visit www.AAireland.ie/hotels. All offers are subject to availability COMPETITION: Win 2 nights accommodation and one evening meal at the AA Four Red Star Killarney Park Hotel, Killarney, Co Kerry The Killarney Park Hotel is the Question: In which county is perfect location to either explore The Killarney Park Hotel located? the beautiful environs of Killarney A) Dublin B) Galway C) Kerry? or relax in the hotel spa. There is Text GOLD and your answer A, B or C to a choice of fine dining in the 53600. Or send your answer on a postcard to award winning Park Restaurant, AA Motoring Competition, 56 Drury Street, Dublin 2. where traditional recipes are Text message cost €0.60 incl. VAT (Operator charges given a new twist or the more may apply). Terms & Conditions: No Cash alternative. casual ambience of the Garden Offer subject to pre-booking and availability. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other Killarney Park Hotel or BarFor further details please visit AA offer. Competition is not open to AA staff and their www.AAireland.ie/hotels families. SPRING 2007 AA MOTORING MAGAZINE 17 Look for a used car with confidence. Look for the AA Autocheck. Autocheck is a programme designed by the AA in order to quality-check used cars. Look out for the symbol and get the peace of mind of having an independent assurance of quality – so you’ll know you’re buying a quality vehicle. For more information, visit AAireland.ie or drop in to your local Autocheck approved dealership. You’ve got a friend N E WS When size isn’t everything Think new cars don’t SUVs are finding themselves at the receiving end of something of a fashion backlash these days. While the break down? term came from the US to describe what are often Think again… AA Ireland enormous vehicles by our standards, in Ireland many attended to 11,616 cars with are car-derived and not true off roaders. Nevertheless 06 registration numbers they are coming under fire; not least because of the during 2006, and 2007 has begun in much the same sheer size of some of them on city streets. vein. Dublin City Council has caught the trend of a Owners of brand new cars populist (in some circles) demonisation of SUVs. There call on AA Rescue for all MERCEDES MOVES was a proposal recently to double the cost of sorts of reasons. Of course resident’s parking discs in the city council area when being new does not stop a E CLASS UP A NOTCH the engine size of the car is 2.0 litres or more. This car from getting a flat tyre or What’s new? On the outside, not was proposed as a measure to discourage SUVs in the collision damage, but a lot of much. New headlights and a interests of preserving space. the trouble is mechanical and deeper, more sculpted front The AA argued successfully that engine size is the especially electronic. New cars these days are bumper. But under the skin, it’s a wrong thing to measure. It is perfectly possible to have highly advanced machines bit more serious. Quicker steering, an ultra low emission vehicle no larger than a standard that fairly bristle with better quality and more power for saloon but which has a 2.0 litre engine (the Saab 9-5 complex electronic gadgetry. the 1.8 Kompressor engine, ethanol version, for example). The City Council agreed, This is all very nice when it bringing it to 184bhp. and is now proposing that the extra charge will only all works, but it does not What’s it like? Same as before, apply when a vehicle exceeds 4.5 metres in length. take much to bring it to a but better. The familiar E-Class Assuming this passes through public consultation it is halt. likely to come into effect in the Autumn. ■ AA rescue vehicles carry pillow-y ride is still there, but the the AA’s ‘Vixen’ system, steering feels meatier and the whereby the Patrol can improvements to the cabin quality connect a laptop to the are very welcome. Looks great engine management system inside at night, with subtle and quickly diagnose instruments and soft downlighting. electronic faults and get cars back on the road again. How much? €54,510 and it’s on Other new car problems sale now. include locks and alarms, ignition systems, poorly connected leads and hoses. ■ Bumper year for sales and taxes Irish car sales increased by 4.1% New Rules of the Road booklet in 2006 with 178,826 units sold. THERE is at long last a new version of the Rules of the Road available. Quite Last year was also notable for the scandalously it had not been updated in nearly 12 years, during which time both big surge in imports of second the roads network and the country itself has changed out of all recognition. hand cars; an estimated 75,000 of When you consider the developments in the intervening time – motorways, them. With all this going on it is mobile phones, penalty points, metrification – the older version really had become hardly surprising that VRT, that hopelessly out of date. most despised of all motoring The updated version contains a lot more information and a taxes, had a bumper year raising lot more detail. At just over 200 pages, it is three times as €1.3 billion. The national fleet now long. It will become the new one-stop reference for all has some 2.2 million vehicles, of matters to do with motoring and the law, and it is essential which 1.8 million are private cars. reading for anyone who is learning how to drive. Small wonder that motor tax The Road Safety Authority will be making arrangements to collectors are also having a happy have 1.7 million copies of the new book posted to every time of it, raising €870 million in address in the country, and it should become essential 2006. reading for drivers of all ages and levels of experience. The Rules of the Road can be downloaded from www.rsa.ie ■ SPRING 2007 AA MOTORING MAGAZINE 19 PUBLIC POLICY Climate Change The landmark UN report on climate change published in February essentially saw the global scientific community speaking on the issue with one voice. Climate change is happening and than the cars. Also the ‘transport humanity is causing it. We now need sector’ includes all land and sea to decide exactly what we should do transport, so trains and shipping are about it. counted as well. While there are improvements and Cars are making phenomenal strides changes that we can make in every in terms of cleaning up their act. Since aspect of our economy and our daily the advent of catalytic converters and lives, some commentators would have unleaded fuel in the 1990s, the car of you believe that the car is the major today produces less than 5% of the culprit. The AA believes that motorists pollution of the equivalent model of 20 are willing to play their part, but we also years ago. CO2 remains, and is want a sense of perspective maintained. serious, but the car is making fantastic Transport is one sector that progress here as well. generates greenhouse gases, producing Of course, Bio-Fuels are a potential in the order of 18 per cent of Ireland’s short-term solution as they use alcohol overall contribution. But other sectors based fuels made from distilling crops generate significantly more. that have absorbed CO2 from the Over 65% of Ireland’s electricity is atmosphere. Ford already sells its generated by burning highly polluting popular Focus model with a 1.8-litre fossil fuels; coal, oil and peat. The much 125bhp engine capable of running on cleaner (but still not renewable) natural E85 bio-fuel, regular unleaded or any gas generates 28%. Only a tiny small combination of the two. The driver won't notice any difference (other than fraction comes from renewable sources. slightly worse fuel consumption when The 7 million cattle in Ireland’s running on the faster-burning E85) and national herd generate an enormous the Focus, Focus estate and just- quantity of methane through enteric introduced C-Max Flexi Fuel models fermentation, and methane is far more all qualify for a 50% VRT rebate, efficient as a greenhouse gas than CO2. bringing their prices down to a starting In industry, one of the major sources of point of just over €20,000. CO2 is cement production, and the But for the moment, the bio-fuel Celtic Tiger has a relentless appetite for infrastructure is limited, and growing cement. enough crops to create enough bio-fuel Nevertheless the problem with for all vehicles on the road simply isn't transport is that it is the fastest growing possible. sector of all in terms of its CO2 The EU has ordered car makers to emissions. There are now 2.2 million reduce the CO2 emissions figure for vehicles in Ireland, 1.8 million of them cars to below 130 grammes per private cars. That figure is growing at kilometre by 2012. That ‘grammes per 5% annually. It is worth noting that the kilometre’ measure has become the heavy vehicles generate far more CO2 standard for describing CO2 vehicle 20 AA MOTORING MAGAZINE SPRING 2007 PUBLIC POLICY Irish Concern on Climate Change Highest in Europe IRISH people are more concerned about many aspects of climate change than people in other EU countries, according to a Eurobarometer study carried out recently. The survey covered all 27 Member States of the European Union on a randomly selected sample of over 25,800 individuals of at least 15 years of age who were interviewed by telephone. The results showed that Europeans collectively view climate change as very serious and want their governments, emissions and is likely to become as nationally and at EU level, to do familiar as ‘miles per gallon’ was in the something about it. past. Ireland is to introduce compulsory emissions labelling for cars next year, enabling consumers to make an informed 92% of Irish people feel that they will have to change their own personal consumption choice when buying a new car. It seems also as if government has habits; the highest figure in Europe. been listening to AA representations, at least partly. The Department of the Environment is studying ways to charge 95% of Irish people want their government to specify a minimum share for the amount of annual car tax on the basis of emissions energy generated from renewable instead of engine size, perhaps as early sources, again the highest in Europe. as next year. Unfortunately, they cannot seem to Stricter standards and subsidies for shake themselves free of the ‘need’ to efficiency were also supported. take our money and think with a little more imagination. In asking for opinions on how such a system should work, the 66% of all Europeans feel that EU measures are more likely to be successful than Department stressed the importance of national measures when it comes to the revenue raised and that any improving energy efficiency. rebalancing must be ‘revenue neutral’. Europeans also wanted to reduce the This brings us up against the Catch 22 share of nuclear energy; a view the of eco-taxes. The more effective a tax- Irish agreed with. incentive system is at moving people away from polluting behaviour the less revenue it generates. 90% of Europeans want the EU to impose common standards of safety for nuclear It we are to make genuine progress in making transport sustainable without installations rather than leaving it to damaging our economy, then both national governments. government and eco-commentators will have to show more vision than to simply target car users. ■ 97% of Irish people agreed with this point; the highest out of all 27 countries SPRING 2007 AA MOTORING MAGAZINE 21 What is it that Irish motorists love about the Suzuki Swift? Everything. Just one look at its stylish exterior and you’ll see why so many Irish motorists love the Suzuki Swift. But there’s much more to this car than just beauty. Whether you choose the 1.3 litre, the 1.5 litre Automatic or the 1.6 www.suzuki.ie Sports, you’ll find the combination of power and comfort make the Swift a real pleasure to drive. What’s more, the starting price is a very attractive €14,295 (excluding delivery and related charges). Take a test drive in the car voted Irish Car of the Year 2006 by the Irish Motoring Writers, the Swift. Suzuki Ireland 57 Broomhill Drive, Tallaght Ind Est, Dublin 24. Tel: (01) 414 55 55 Way of Life! Fuel consumption: 1.3 GL; Urban L/100km – 8.0, Extra Urban L/100km – 5.1, Combined L/100km – 6.2, CO2 g/km - 148. 1.5 Automatic; Urban L/100km - 9.3, Extra Urban L/100km - 5.6, Combined L/100km - 6.9, CO2 g/km - 170. 1.6 Sports; Urban L/100km - 9.0, Extra Urban L/100km - 6.2, Combined L/100km - 7.2, CO2 g/km - 175. N E WS AA Five Star If you are taking your car abroad this summer, it is very important to have breakdown cover in case you have a motoring emergency. It is stressful enough to have car trouble in Ireland. Transpose it onto a French autoroute or a Spanish mountain road, add in a car full of tired kids and New N4/M50 interchange suddenly the minor problem becomes a major headache. For many years the AA has M50 gates to go been providing 5 Star travel insurance. It’s a bit like taking the AA with you when you go. There’s a 24-hour emergency but toll remains call centre, based in Lyon, where your call will be answered in English and help will be quickly arranged. If the car cannot be fixed then THE AA has welcomed the Government’s road network, especially on urban roads Five Star provides for a decision to get rid of the toll barriers on and by-passes. replacement car, the M50, but has warned that the People in towns like Drogheda, Fermoy accommodation for the proposed new barrier-free system will still and Kinnegad will agree that previous AA travelling party and a range of cost the motorist money. predictions are being borne out by events. other services. Free despatch AA Members have for many years Those towns remain congested with traffic of spare parts and even the expressed their frustration with the because cars and especially trucks are recovery of the car all the way barriers, which were often directly at fault avoiding the toll charges. This will still be a back to your driveway in for traffic delays. problem with the new West Link toll even if Ireland are all included. There is no doubt that the upgrade the charges are collected electronically. AA Members pay reduced project which is now underway will be a Given how busy the road is and is likely rates, which vary for the significant improvement in what has been to become, there is little doubt that major cover, which varies in price a long and tortuous history of the traffic problems will persist long after the depending on how long your development of the M50. barriers are gone. trip is. A two week holiday The third lane installation project on The AA is also concerned about the with a couple of days’ journey the M50 is due to be finished in August of likely cost motorists of paying the new toll time added in will cost next year. This, together with the on an ongoing basis. The NTR toll went up €119.00. There is an extra completion of free-flowing junctions at the year on year, no matter how busy the charge for cars over 8 years N4 interchange and at Red Cow, will bridge was or how bad the service was. old and for caravans. certainly help. These developments are Motorists are entitled to know how this You can get more details and critical given that traffic volumes on the new State toll will be managed. How will buy online at www.AAireland.ie road have trebled in the last ten years. electronic tolls work? How will the system or call (01) 6179988. It is also important that Minister Cullen cope with out-of-State registration has made the government’s position very numbers? And most importantly, will the clear in terms of extending the tolls to motorist be protected against constant cover the rest of the M50. He declared, increases in the toll charge? rightly, that this cannot be done in the More clarity from government on foreseeable future because the city does these issues would go a long way towards not have public transport alternatives to alleviating the scepticism of motorists offer commuters. who have seen and heard a lot of The AA remains concerned at the use promises about the M50 over the of tolls in general on the growing new Irish years. ■ SPRING 2007 AA MOTORING MAGAZINE 23 R O A D T E ST FOR HONDA, the CR-V represents its slow and subtle transformation from a maker of mass-market family cars to a genuine premium market contender, able to compete toe-to-toe with the lauded German marques. In a broader sense, the CR-V shows the rest of the world that a 4x4 SUV can be as good to drive, and as ecologically clean as a medium-sized saloon car. Indeed, Honda compares the CR-V directly to its own Accord executive saloon, and the comparison is apt. When fitted with the 2.0-litre iVTEC petrol engine, the CR-V’s carbon emissions are only 3grammes per km higher than those of the Accord saloon with the same engine. Such environmental responsibility can do nothing but add to the CR-V’s already powerful lustre. It comes to the market during a great period of creativity and success for Honda (Irish Car Of The Year award for the daring Civic, burgeoning Formula One success) and its combination of sharp (and very distinctive) looks and Honda’s reputation for peerless reliability and build SMASHING quality ensure that the CR-V was much anticipated long before we knew of its green credentials. And in spite of distinctly un-SUV-like consumption and emission figures, the THE MOULD CR-V still has all that is good about the breed. It uses a sophisticated torque-split 4WD system that sends the engine’s power to the front wheels most of the time, diverting it to the rears when slippage is detected. It works so smoothly WITH THE NEW CR-V, HONDA IS LAYING DOWN that you’ll never notice. The high driving position that so many A BENCHMARK, BOTH FOR THE MOTOR INDUSTRY people like about SUVs is present and correct, even though this model of CR-V is lower-slung than before, to the benefit of AT LARGE AND FOR ITSELF AS A COMPANY. ride and handling. ■ 24 AA MOTORING MAGAZINE SPRING 2007 AA Frequent Travel Insurance. Peace of mind all year. To arrange cover call (01) 617 9988 or buy online at AAireland.ie. Members receive a 20% discount on standard rates. Plus save an extra €20 if you take out cover by May 31st 2007. You’ve got a friend LE I S U R E Top Award for Sandhouse Hotel AA Inspectors have bestowed their prestigious 3 Red Star Status on the renowned Sandhouse Hotel, Enjoy 2 nights at ★★★ Sandhouse Hotel or any Rossnowlagh, Co Donegal. Sandhouse Hotel is a Manor House Hotel of converted mid 19th-century fishing lodge located Ireland this Summer for literally on the beach with breathtaking views of the €145 per person Atlantic Ocean. midweek and €165 per The Seashell Restaurant in the Sandhouse Hotel provides AA Rosette award winning cuisine using local person weekend. Donegal produce. The AA Inspectors’ Choice Awards Sandhouse will include a complimentary are announced annually and recognise the very best balneobath treatment for all stays hotels in Ireland. To achieve this award, a hotel must during the months of April, May offer consistently outstanding levels of service. and June. Sandhouse Hotel is amongst the top five percent of For reservations and details of special Irish hotels to achieve this top classification. inclusions at other Manor House Hotels Sandhouse Hotel is part of the Manor House Hotels Lo call 0818 281281 or visit of Ireland Group, made up of an exclusive selection of www.manorhousehotels.com 30 charming luxury Country & Manor House Hotels All offers are subject to availability. along with luxury boutique hotel accommodation. A whole lot of Room inside The Skoda Roomster is actually a little sections. In front, everything should wrap centre seat can be removed altogether, shocking on first acquaintance, because it around the driver and make them feel creating a ‘Club Class’ two seat layout. looks so distinctive that it’s hard to know secure and cocooned. In the rear though, The 1.2-litre entry level petrol engine is how to pigeonhole it. The theory behind passengers like to have space all game for anything, developing 70bhp from such bold styling move is that a car works around.All three of the rear seats can be its three cylinders but feeling brisker than best when it’s divided into two distinct individually folded and reclined, and the the figures suggests, and very smooth too. It even sounds quite sporty. Needless to say, this being a Skoda, prices have been kept to a comfortably affordable level. Prices start at €16,825 for the 1.2-litre entry model, and our Comfort-spec car cost €19,490. While the Roomster’s styling may divide opinion, you can consider us thoroughly conquered by its charm and usefulness. ■ 26 AA MOTORING MAGAZINE SPRING 2007 R O A D T E ST Land Rover Freelander FREEDOM TO GO WITH the new Freelander, Land Rover has completed will, and the steering is incisive and full of its recent transformation from a brand that began information about what the front tyres are up to. life as the farmer’s friend, to a genuinely premium The Freelander settles into a rhythm on a twisting marque that can stand comparison with the road that would simply have been unthinkable in a Mercedes, BMWs and Audis of this world. 4x4 a decade, even five years ago. It also marks the final separation of Land Rover Practicality hasn’t been forgotten in the pursuit from what was Rover, as the new Freelander is of dynamic excellence though. The Freelander has entirely Ford-based, sharing components with various a large, 755-litre boot, and space in the rear seats Fords, Volvos and Mazdas. You could never mistake is good enough for two six-footers to sit behind it for anything other than a Land Rover though. The one another. styling, wisely, doesn’t deviate far from the hugely- The primary engine on offer in Ireland is a new successful 1997 original’s, but enough cues have 2.2-litre 160bhp turbo-diesel, running through a been taken from the Range Rover and Discovery to standard-fit six-speed manual transmission. An ensure that the Freelander looks both contemporary automatic gearbox will be available later in the year. and classy. It’s an excellent engine, with enough performance Inside, the story is much the same. The shapes for the Freelander to stand comparison with an and switches are all clearly influenced by Land executive saloon, and refinement is also good once Rover’s bigger models, and the downsizing the engine has warmed up. Fuel consumption of necessary to fit them into the smaller Freelander 7.5-litres per 100km (37mpg) and CO2 emissions hasn’t hurt them one bit. The cabin is well executed of 194g/km are bang on the class average. in design, spacious and very comfortable. But there’s nothing average about the Freelander. But where the Freelander really scores is on the Although it certainly picks up where the old model road. Thanks to having been subject to the left off, it’s far classier and more befitting a luxury attentions of Mike Cross, Jaguar’s near-legendary marque. Just imagine what those farmers who handling expert, the Freelander sets new standards bought the original Land Rover in 1948 would make for SUVs in its on-road deportment. There is body of it. ■ roll in corners, but it never rolls as far as you think it BY NEIL BRISCOE SPRING 2007 AA MOTORING MAGAZINE 27 I NF R A STR U C T U R E The re-aligned N18 opens early Castleblayney bypass Road improvements way ahead of target Two schemes have The Ennis bypass opened in December intention to provide massive investment 2006, 4 months early and on budget. in Northern Ireland's roads. A sign of opened ahead of The road takes through traffic away from things to come will soon be seen by the busy Clare town and forms part of motorists on the M1, where the final link schedule since our the Government's "Atlantic Corridor" plan, in the Republic, the Dundalk to Newry upgrading road links from Letterkenny link, will open in the third quarter of the last issue, a growing south through Connacht and Munster to year. This road takes motorists across Cork and Waterford. It's estimated that the border and replaces the current, trend in new road the 14km bypass removes a massive congested route and means that 14,000 cars from the town every day. motorists can travel from just north of openings in recent Another early opening was the N6 the Port Tunnel entrance in Dublin across dual-carriageway from Kinnegad to the border to Newry, where there are years. Tyrrellspass. This road forms part of the plans to upgrade the existing dual- new Dublin-Galway route and its early carriageway route to Belfast. opening allows traffic to get from the Castleblayney in Co. Monaghan will capital to Tyrrellspass without passing soon see Leinster's first 2+1 road. The 14km Ennis bypass removes a massive 14,000 cars from the town every day. through a single town. The stretch This type of road will alternate a two- will link to the existing Athlone bypass lane/one-lane system every 2km, to allow by end 2008. The project will then be traffic to overtake safely while costing ready for the final phase through less to build than a full dual-carriageway. Co. Roscommon towards Galway, which The Castleblayney, Annyalla and is in planning as a two-stage project – Clontibret bypass opens in the 3rd Athlone to Ballinasloe and Ballinasloe to quarter of this year, leaving just two Galway. towns not bypassed on the N2; Ardee The 2007-2013 National Development (whose bypass is in the planning stage) Plan announced the government’s and Slane. ■ Ennis bypass 28 AA MOTORING MAGAZINE SPRING 2007 R O A D T E ST Volvo C30 City-sleek compact makes an impact The compact, VOLVO has expanded far beyond its rather tight, but then the C30 and its classic-estate car roots in recent years and rivals are aimed at singles and couples, premium-badge has become both profitable and more than not growing families. a little fashionable. I bet you can see Under the bonnet, you get a range of hatchback market is where this is going… engines that is broad and impressive. It Yes, Volvo has joined with BMW, starts with a 100bhp 1.6 petrol, moves one of the fastest- Mercedes, VW, Audi and Alfa Romeo in on to a 125bhp 1.8 petrol, a 145bhp 2.0 offering a compact, sexily-styled hatchback petrol and a rnage-topping 225bhp 2.5- growing segments of for the trendy person about town. It’s litre turbocharged five-cylinder petrol. called the C30 and bears close There are three diesel engines, a 110bhp the car market, and mechanical links to not only Volvo’s S40 1.6-litre, a 130bhp 2.0-litre and a 180bhp saloon and V50 estate, but also to the 2.5-litre. The average CO2 emission level it’s a darned profitable Ford Focus, Mazda 3 and even Land Rover for the entire range is 201g/km with the Freelander, such is the breadth of Ford’s 1.6 diesel having the lowest figure, a one too. platform-sharing system. 126g/km. At the front, the C30 looks identical to Of the range, we reckon that the 1.8- the S40/V50 with which it shares engines litre petrol offers the best balance etc, but it’s around the back that things between performance and economy. The start to get interesting. There you’ll find an C30, despite being compact, is hardly all-glass tailgate and thick-cut tail-lamps lightweight and the 1.6 petrol and diesel that give the C30 a very definite character, models can occasionally feel a little drawing links to previous Volvo coupes, underpowered. The C30 is a delight to such as the short-lived 480 of the early drive though, with linear, well-weighted nineties, and the wonderful P1800 ES of steering, a surprisingly smooth ride quality the sixties. and exceptional refinement for a car in Inside, it’s identical to the S40, which this class. ■ which means it has a well-laid out, beautifully-made and fantastically- comfortable interior. Space in the back is BY NEIL BRISCOE SPRING 2007 AA MOTORING MAGAZINE 29 N E WS Council’s capital plan Dublin City Council is COLLECTIVELY called the ‘City Centre Depot, which is clearly necessary, is Plan 2012’, the proposals are quite also planned. considering a traffic plan visionary. They include a ban on general Between them these proposals will traffic from Dame Street to College dramatically change the character of that is rather drastic. Street and Westmoreland Street and a south central Dublin. Some aspects of ban on general traffic on O’Connell the plan, including the closures to The proposals were Street south of Abbey Street. These are traffic of those main thoroughfares, are major traffic arteries in the city centre subject to public consultation and drafted by the Dublin which will effectively become zones for modelling; so a lot could change yet. pedestrians and public transport only. However it is quite exciting in setting Transportation Office in The plan also includes new bus lanes out a vision of what the city could look co-operation with the City Council in order to The pedestrianisation of Grafton Street improve the environment was radical when proposed and yet we for pedestrians, cyclists can't imagine the city without it now and public transport in the city centre. on the north and south quays (feasible like in the future. now that the Dublin Port Tunnel is The AA applies a general principle to open), a new bus lane on Clanbrassil these types of proposals. If it is felt Street and Patrick Street and a new that genuine alternatives are being bridge across the Liffey at Macken provided then motorists can be Street. supportive of the measures. Included too are substantial It is in everyone’s interest to have a improvements to the Quality Bus vibrant capital city. However it is not Corridors on the Malahide, Swords and fair if motorists are just being bumped Merrion Road routes. Alongside the sideways without the necessary physical improvements there will also improvements in public transport. be enhanced technology allowing buses When transport plans are good to communicate with and receive everyone wins. The pedestrianisation of priority from traffic lights. Grafton Street was radical when it was It is also highly likely that the Luas proposed and yet we can’t imagine the extension connecting the Red and city without it now. Green lines from St. Stephen’s Green The key to the success of this vision will be routed through College Green is providing the public transport, and and Westmoreland Street. An extension that is where efforts should be from Connolly Station to the Point concentrated. ■ 30 AA MOTORING MAGAZINE SPRING 2007 S A F ET Y Rating safety EuroNCAP, the European THE new Bravo, which replaces the Stilo which in turn replaced the old Bravo, In its last test in 2000, the Voyager scored just 2 stars. This time, the left- continues to match the high standard of hand-drive (LHD) model sold in New Car Assessment passenger safety Fiat have aspired mainland Europe was tested and was towards over the past number of years set to score a respectable 4 star Programme, recently tested and scored a maximum 100% score in rating. However, it became known that the side impact test. the right-hand-drive (RHD) models are the new Fiat Bravo. The fact One of Ireland's most popular cars, not fitted with a driver's knee airbag so the Toyota Corolla, has been tested for this was also tested. The result of this that this car, which isn't on the first time. The test on the latest test, which awarded the Chrysler model gave it the maximum 5 stars. The Voyager two stars with one struck sale until the summer, has first small saloon to achieve such a rating through, contrasted badly against the and lines up well against the best in its LHD model's test. already been submitted for class in terms of safety. The new 2007 Chrysler has said that all of their Corolla is built in Turkey for the European models are tested at speeds required testing shows just how market and while its sales in mainland by European legislation, which is lower Europe are usually quite modest, its Irish than those used by Euro NCAP. AA important to manufacturers sales are huge. Ireland has written to Euro NCAP to Unfortunately not all manufacturers ask for routine testing of RHD models the Euro NCAP test has have endeavoured to satisfy Euro NCAP's at the same time as LHD cars to high standard of car safety. Chrysler's expose any anomalies like this. become. Voyager MPV caused an upset recently Manufacturers like Renault and Fiat when it failed to beat its previous low have spent millions developing safer Euro NCAP score. cars and their Euro NCAP results show this. Renault’s efforts, in particular, have led to a major refocusing of the company’s energies towards safety, and every model they’ve introduced since 2001 has received the highest rating – meaning today, the entire range has five stars. Finally, while safety pioneers Volvo have strayed away from the saloons and estates towards coupés, convertibles and even turbocharged hardtop convertibles, they haven't forgotten their roots. Their new C30 hatchback, based on the solid architecture of the S40 saloon (itself based on the five-star Ford Focus), received the coveted 5 star rating in a recent test. No surprises there - but thanks to organisations like Euro NCAP raising the bar for car safety, Volvo are no longer alone in prioritising Bravo scores top marks passenger welfare. ■ SPRING 2007 AA MOTORING MAGAZINE 31 N E WS AA Shop returns to South Mall New Motor & Home THE AA has opened new offices in the heart of Cork city. Located at 24/25 Insurance Quotations South Mall (directly opposite AIB), the 1890 600 700 office is now open for Motor, Home & Travel Insurance together with AA Cork: Other Services Membership, International Driving Permits 021 4252411 and other AA services. Older members may remember that AA Members’ Rescue Line / were in the South Mall many years ago before moving to Bridge Street and then Roadside Assistance to Emmet Place for the last 18 years. The Michael King in our South Mall office 1800 66 77 88 new premises have been fully refurbished with state of the art modern facilities and and Travel Insurance and welcomes AA Finance technology to cater for the rapidly business from non-members as well. growing number of AA customers in the 1890 794 794 “All in all we have a great range of city and in the Munster region. products and services to offer to our “AA Insurance offers customers an customers, and we have the people and exclusive branded service for Motor, the facilities to deliver them Home and Travel Insurance from our professionally.” offices here in Cork.” Says Team Manager AA Motor Insurance Policies include AA Bernard McCarthy. “The office can also Lifetime No Claim Discount protection for deal with all Membership enquiries. Fire, Theft & Windscreen claims. AA Home Membership is growing strongly in the Insurance offers customers very Munster region, with more and more competitive premiums with full Accidental people using Rescue and other services.” Damage cover as standard on both The AA offers members preferential Buildings and Contents for owner occupier discounts and benefits for Motor Home homes. Customers with any queries on AA Services can contact AA Cork in the usual ways, or please feel free to drop into us on the South Mall and we would be happy to talk to you there. The telephone contact numbers have not changed. So there is no need for customers to change any details that they have. You can also contact the AA on the internet on www. AAireland.ie and by email on firstname.lastname@example.org. ■ SPRING 2007 AA MOTORING MAGAZINE 33 A LTE R N ATIVE FU E L Biofuelboost Some time ago AA Member Fergal O’Byrne THIS seemed like a very clever and simple idea. The AA researched it and began lobbying for it to be acted upon. There are two main types of alternative sent in an email suggesting that all new fuel that are reckoned internationally to have the most promise. These are E85, a blend of 85% alcohol to service stations should be obliged to devote 15% unleaded petrol; and Biodiesel, which is similar in most respects to ordinary diesel but is made from at least one pump to providing alternative plant material. These biofuels have the major advantage of being fuels as a condition of their planning carbon neutral. Only the carbon absorbed during growth is released when they are burnt. When you permission. (see AA Motoring Winter burn traditional fuels the carbon released is ‘new’ to the atmosphere having been fixed into 2006). the oil for millions of years. Both can be used interchangeably with the traditional fuels once a car has been designed or modified to do so. In fact a little bit of biofuel can be added to ordinary fuel without any modification, and every little helps in carbon terms. Ford, Saab and soon Volvo all have E85 models on sale in Ireland. But the problem, as Fergal points out, is supply. On 24th January the AA wrote to both Environment Minister Dick Roche and the NRA to press for service stations to be compelled These biofuels have the major to devote one pump to each of these fuels. The NRA are currently looking for private companies to provide advantage of being carbon 12 new service stations on the motorway network. We are told that the Department are taking the proposal under active consideration, and even more neutral. Only the carbon positively the NRA has agreed to make the provision of alternative fuels a requirement in all service absorbed during growth is stations on Irish motorways. All of which adds up to a clear victory for Fergal, released when they are burnt. the AA and the planet. ■ 34 AA MOTORING MAGAZINE SPRING 2007 www . team.ie For all your motoring needs The fuel efficient, low emission 4x4 for everyday life. Introducing the robust yet compact Sedici - an intelligent solution to everyday 4x4 driving. Designed by the legendary Giorgetto Giugiaro, the Sedici provides class leading fuel economy and CO2 emissions in both petrol and diesel versions, while delivering 4x4 On-Demand driving at the touch of a button. And with its raised seating improving all round visibility, driver, passenger and front side airbags as well as ABS + EBD and Isofix child seat attachments, the Sedici protects its occupants as well as it does the environment. And, as with all Fiat cars, Sedici comes with a 4 year manufacturer’s warranty and 4 year AA membership as standard. Prices from 22,400*. For more information click on www.fiat.ie or visit your local dealer. *Prices exclude delivery and related charges. 1.9 Multijet diesel 26,400. Sedici combined fuel consumption (l/100): 6.6-7.1. CO2 emissions (g/km): 173-174. O N TH E R O A D THINK AWARENESS DRIVING PROGRAMME The Rosemary FOR TRANSITION YEAR STUDENTS Smith Driving THE ROSEMARY SMITH Think Awareness private grounds are available to drive Academy has Driving Programme has been specifically around. The campaign is supported by tailored to teach practical driving skills in a Ford Ireland and many of the pupils are been actively safe environment to students before they trained in new dual-control Ford Fiesta reach the age for driving on public roads. models. All of the instructors have been working over the past ten This approach has proven to be a very specifically trained and have many years effective way of giving the students an experience in teaching pre-driving age years to improve road-user appreciation of the dangers and teens as well as older novice drivers. practicalities of driving. It also gives the The day is divided into morning and knowledge and good driving student a grasp of the rules that affect afternoon driving sessions, each student them even as pedestrians and cyclists who spending about an hour behind the wheel. practice among transition account for almost half of those maimed In the cars they learn best practice in or seriously injured in road accidents. driving, the rudiments of car dynamics, year students throughout The course gives the participants an proper control, cockpit drills, and courtesy. introduction to what is a very important life In a classroom setting they are instructed the country. skill that may one day help them save in driver awareness, attitude to driving, somebody’s life. road safety, and practical information on A large number of secondary and the theory test, licensing, insurance, and community schools participate in the rules of the road. course, and this year over 1,100 students Rosemary Smith, former rally champion, will attend. The programme consists of a devised the Think Awareness school one-day course for multiples of six following the success of similar students aged around 15 to 18, in groups programmes in America. “I had observed of 18 to 30. The students need not have the driver education which my nephews any previous driving experience, in fact it’s and nieces were receiving in the US,” preferable that they don’t. recalls Rosemary. “It convinced me that For schools in the Leinster region the driver teaching should be part and parcel students are taught in extensive facilities at of a school curriculum. Programmes in Goffs on the Naas Road. Further afield Britain bore this out - there is a clear the same programme can be correlation between education and the provided where suitable reduction in tragic driving accidents.” ■ Interested schools or youth groups should contact: The Rosemary Smith Driving Academy at 01 2956570 www.RosemarySmithDriving.com SPRING 2007 AA MOTORING MAGAZINE 37 R O A DTE ST Fiat Sedici 16 4 x 4's are becoming ever more Now, don’t go thinking that the Sedici SWEET popular, but with growing is a full-on off-roader and that you could concern over their cross the Kalahari on your way to the environmental impact, shops; that’s not the idea. The idea is that perhaps it's time to you have a family car that is easy to park, down size. has light fuel consumption (7.1l/100km Take for example, the case for the petrol, 6.6ll/100km for the diesel ) of a family living in a rural area. and low emissions of CO2 (173g/km for Not farmers, but certainly not the petrol and 174g/km for the diesel), townies, they regularly use roads but that has sufficient traction and which, in the grand Irish tradition are ruggedness to make dealing with bad poorly surfaced, strewn with mud and roads a doddle. would tax the suspension compliance and And so it proves. The Sedici drives like traction of a conventional car to their an entirely conventional car, with sharp, limits. A 4x4 would seem necessary. well-weighted steering, a comfortable ride But 4x4s are generally large, expensive quality and good road holding. Where it to buy and expensive to put fuel in. Fiat, really comes into its own is on twisty, tight however, has a solution and it’s called the backroads. The roads where mud is a Sedici. Sedici is Italian for 16 and, of constant companion, surfaces are broken course, 16 is four times four. 4x4. You and heaving and oncoming traffic forces see where they’re going with this? you to pull into the ditch. Here, the Sedici The Sedici is a compact family is supreme, using its tight dimensions and hatchback, sized roughly between the all-wheel grip to duck, dive and dodge its Punto and the forthcoming Bravo way along. It feels supremely confident in hatchback. It uses either a 1.6-litre petrol even the worst conditions and yet, in town, engine or Fiat’s familiar 1.9-litre will never be subject to the withering turbodiesel, and it’s a five-door car with stares of those disapproving of big 4x4s. seats for five. So far, so conventional, but So, in a world where poor surfaces what sets the Sedici apart from other and 4x4 fashionability are paramount, but hatchbacks is the fact that it has the anti-SUV sentiment continues, the Fiat ground clearance and all-wheel-drive of a Sedici could be the answer to our proper 4x4. prayers. ■ BY NEIL BRISCOE 38 PRI ING 007 A A M O T O R I N G M A G A Z I N E SS P RN G 22 0 0 7 New lower rates every time you rent. Hiring with Hertz is now even better value. As an AA member, you can now enjoy 10% off our lowest available rates every time you book by phone or online. So whether it’s for work, a family holiday or a well-earned short break and wherever in the world you’re going, you’ll now save even more. That’s because when you book, we’ll automatically search for our lowest rates and deduct 10% off the best available price every time. Simply quote your special CDP number – It’s that easy. So get in touch today for a great value deal from the world’s #1 car rental company. How to book www.hertz.ie 01 676 74 76 CDP number 522585 Hertz lowest available rate refers to our publicly available best rate candidate tariffs that are applied to unaffiliated reservations which have no other discount or promotion attached to them. Hertz best available rates are available on Hertz websites or by telephone and may be either prepaid or locally paid. Valid at participating locations only. www.landrover.ie Please drive responsibly on and off-road. ALL - NEW FREELANDER 2 READY WHEN YOU ARE Model featured is for illustrative purposes only. ALL-NEW FREELANDER 2 Available to test drive now at your Land Rover dealership Official fuel consumption figures for Freelander 2 range L/100km (mpg): combined 7.5 (37.7) – 11.2 (25.2), urban 9.2 (30.6) – 15.8 (17.9), extra urban 6.2 (45.5) – 8.6 (33.0). CO2 emissions: 194 – 265g/km. Clare: Liam Cleary Car Sales, Kilrush Road, Ennis. Ph: 065 684 0939. Cork: Johnson & Perrott Land Rover, Mahonpoint Retail Park, Cork. Ph: 021 461 5240. Drive Motor Group, Blarney Business Park, Mallow Road, Cork. Tel: 021 438 8020. Donegal: McGinley Motors Ltd, Pearse Road, Letterkenny. Ph: 074 912 5666. Dublin: HB Dennis Airside, Airside Motor Park, Swords. Ph: 01 870 1404. Spirit Motor Group, Arena Road, Sandyford Business Park, Dublin 18. Ph: 01 489 3760. Stuarts Garages Ltd, Greenhills Road, Dublin 24. Ph: 01 462 4100. Galway: Bradley Land Rover, Dublin Road, Galway. Ph: 091 770909. Kerry: McElligotts Tralee Ltd, Listowel Road, Tralee, Co. Kerry, Ph: 066 718 1911. Kildare: Chapmans of Kildare, Dublin Road, Kildare, Ph: 045 521 203. Kilkenny: Young’s Land Rover, Waterford Road, Kilkenny, Ph: 056 775 2599. Limerick: Singland Motors, Dublin Road, Limerick, Ph: 061 331 933. Meath: Newgate Land Rover, Newgate, Navan, Co. Meath. Ph: 046 902 7777. Waterford: Auto Boland Ltd, Butlerstown Roundabout, Cork Road, Waterford. Ph: 051 337 900. Westmeath: Autoworld Casey, Athlone Business Park, Dublin Road, Athlone, Co. Westmeath. Ph: 090 6486666. Wexford: Trinity Motors, Trinity Street, Wexford. Ph: 053 9122500. Wicklow: Sean Behan Ltd, Dublin Road, Arklow, Co. Wicklow, Ph: 0402 32647.
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