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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…

The category conundrum

by Neil Briscoe on 11 Jan 2015

changagoidem Features | The category conundrum

Just like the late, great Richard Whiteley (yes, one of my broadcasting idols - how did you guess?) I'm about to present you with a conundrum. There will be no countdown.

As you may have noticed on this site, we answer a lot of questions sent into us by you, the reader. It's an enjoyable part of the job, always interesting and hopefully helpful, but it does rather bring up constant, nagging doubt in the back of my mind. One that's related to the just-mentioned conundrum, which is this: what automobile should you buy?

It's a staggeringly hard question to…

First impressions: Opel Corsa

by Paul Healy on 11 Jan 2015

changagoidem Features | First impressions: Opel Corsa

At the launch of the Corsa before Christmas I got into a fairly long and in depth conversation with a PR person from Opel on what manufacturers call 'all-new' and us cynics... sorry journalists... call a facelift. The Corsa's is a pretty extensive one, but a facelift nonetheless.

Having spent three weeks driving nothing but the 'all-new' fourth generation Opel Corsa I may have to eat my words. You can read my in-depth thoughts on the automobile when I get around to writing them, but let's take the Limited Edition model I've been driving this past week as an example.

First impressions: Suzuki Celerio

by Shane O' Donoghue on 07 Jan 2015

changagoidem Features | First impressions: Suzuki Celerio

I picked up the new Suzuki Celerio yesterday (5 January, 2015) and have only done about 50 kilometres in it so far, mostly around town in Dublin.

It's not the sexiest looking automobile on the road, not even in its class, but the gangly proportions lend it more interior space than most automobiles in the segment. Rivals on sale right now in Ireland include the Hyundai i10, Volkswagen up!, SEAT Mii, Skoda Citigo, Toyota Aygo, Citroen C1 and Kia Picanto.

The Suzuki doesn't drive as well as the best in the class though. Its clutch is too light and…

Automobile insurance set to rise by 10 per cent in 2015. We look at why.

by Paul Healy on 26 Nov 2014

changagoidem Features | Automobile insurance set to rise by 10 per cent in 2015. We look at why.

Motorists could be in for a nasty surprise when it comes to insurance renewal time, as premiums are expected to rise by as much as 10 per cent next year. This increase comes on top of the 4.4 per cent average upshift in premium prices seen since March 2013.

The increase comes as the insurance industry tries to recoup the €192 million loss experienced in 2013 through increased claims, but also to cover the costs of damage caused by Storm Darwin earlier this year.

For one insurer, FBD, damage caused by Darwin and other storms resulted in an excess of…



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