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Revisited: SEAT Toledo

by Shane O' Donoghue on 03 Feb 2015

changagoidem Features | Revisited: SEAT Toledo

It's been a while since I drove the SEAT Toledo. Indeed, I ran a long-term one for a few months a while back so I knew it well enough to not feel the need to drive another. But this week I ended up at the wheel of the latest version equipped with the iTech pack for a few days and it was a good reminder that we motoring journalists really should revisit automobiles later in their lives rather than just writing about them when they're brand new.

The Toledo has a few clear-cut advantages and disadvantages. First up, despite…

First Impressions: Volkswagen Golf Estate

by Dave Humphreys on 02 Feb 2015

changagoidem Features | First Impressions: Volkswagen Golf Estate

After a long hiatus from Irish shores, the Volkswagen Golf Estate is officially back. The first thing you notice about this Golf Estate is just how smart it looks. In fact it is possibly the best example, leaving the new Passat aside, of just how upmarket Volkswagen is getting with its new automobiles. There is more than enough space than you'll most likely need on a day-to-day basis and that rear tailgate extends high enough to give excellent access. 

As for the drive, the 1.6-litre TDI packs 110hp and comes with a five-speed manual transmission.…

Using technology to change driver behaviour

by Dave Humphreys on 27 Jan 2015

changagoidem Features | Using technology to change driver behaviour

There are a lot of things that we could be doing in order to improve driver education and reduce road fatalities, but we're simply not doing them. 

The million-dollar question is, 'why not?' 

Yes, road fatalities in Ireland have decreased a good deal in recent years; according to the Road Safety Authority (RSA) the period of 2007 through to 2013 saw an overall reduction in deaths of 44 per cent; however, 2014 saw an increase in road fatalities with 196 losing their lives, a three per cent increase from 2013. 

So, what is the solution? 

First impressions: Skoda Fabia Combi

by Dave Humphreys on 19 Jan 2015

changagoidem Features | First impressions: Skoda Fabia Combi

The new Skoda Fabia is a handsome little automobile, as indeed my colleague Mr. Briscoe is discovering this week, but when you take a small hatchback and convert it into an estate a lot of that character can be lost. However, this is not the case with this new Fabia Combi (that's estate in non-Skodaese) thanks in part to the fact that this new model is lower than its predecessor giving it a less awkward stance.

As you would come to expect from a Skoda estate there is plenty of storage: 530 litres (without…

First impressions: Skoda Fabia in Ireland

by Neil Briscoe on 19 Jan 2015

changagoidem Features | First impressions: Skoda Fabia in Ireland

Right, diesel is looking deader than ever to me. I'm spinning around this week in the new Skoda Fabia (and yes, it's coping very nicely with the snow and ice, thanks) and its 1.2 TSI petrol engine is really starting to win me over. 

To be fair, it didn't have a lot of winning to do. I've driven this engine's close relations in other Skoda and VAG products and it's been a winner from day one.

Now it's true that a diesel Fabia would doubtless be getting better fuel economy than the 7.4 litres per 100km that I'm getting.…

First impressions: Ford Focus ST TDCi diesel

by Shane O' Donoghue on 19 Jan 2015

changagoidem Features | First impressions: Ford Focus ST TDCi diesel

This new generation Focus ST comes with the option of petrol or diesel power so we opted for a diesel estate as our first test automobile at the international launch in Barcelona. In grey. Seemed like a good idea at the time, but it's pretty camouflaged today in Spain in the murky weather.

Anyway, first impressions. Read the vital stats below, as they're important, but they don't tell the full story. Press the engine start button and a promising grumble comes from the exhaust instead of the standard diesel rattle. Indeed, Ford has brilliantly isolated the diesel engine sound…






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