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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…

First impressions: Volkswagen Polo Blue GT

by Dave Humphreys on 15 Jan 2015

changagoidem Features | First impressions: Volkswagen Polo Blue GT

I guess you could call the Polo Blue GT a warm hatch given its performance credentials. The 1.4-litre TSI engine is as smooth as you like and with 150hp it's neither boring nor overpowered. Add to this the 17-inch 'Montani' alloy wheels, 'Blue Silk' metallic paint and suspension that has been lowered by 15mm to improve aerodynamics and it's hard not to call it a handsome little automobile. In fact I've been conscious of the attention it has been getting on the roads from other drivers and it isn't just to do with the fact that it's on a…

First impressions: Volvo XC60 R-Design

by Shane O' Donoghue on 14 Jan 2015

changagoidem Features | First impressions: Volvo XC60 R-Design

Although I only had the XC60 on test for a few days this week I ended up driving it more than expected, mainly because I liked it so much. The test automobile was in R-Design specification, which looks great, especially in this blue colour, and it's powered by Volvo's exceptional new D4 diesel engine. This unit is at least the equal of the 2.0-litre turbodiesel you'll find in thousands of BMWs around the country with quiet manners, good economy and decent performance.

I reckon the new Geartronic automatic gearbox suits the XC60 best, but this automobile came with a…

First impressions: Renault Twingo

by Paul Healy on 14 Jan 2015

changagoidem Features | First impressions: Renault Twingo

I wanted to like the Renault Twingo I am driving this week, as I think the styling stands a chance of being as timeless as that of the Fiat 500 and it could look as fresh in 2020 as it does in 2015. Unfortunately I just cannot gel with the automobile and it all comes down to ergonomics.

The Twingo, rather brilliantly, features a dashboard mounted phone cradle that is ideal for someone like me who gets lost on the way to the bathroom and travels everywhere with the help of Google Maps. The positioning on the dashboard, just far…





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