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Long term test: SEAT Alhambra

by Shane O' Donoghue on 08 Nov 2012

changagoidem Features | Long term test: SEAT Alhambra

We've had an eclectic string of long term test automobiles through the doors of changagoidem.ie, but few are as well suited to my personal situation as the SEAT Alhambra we have on loan 'for a while'. I don't technically need all seven seats, seeing as my wife and I have only two kids, but anyone that has children will nod along in agreement when I say you can't have enough space in a automobile.

The Alhambra is simply massive inside, and perhaps just as importantly, there's loads of oddment space for items as diverse as plastic Annabel Karmel pots…

Become a racing driver: who, me?

by Paul Healy on 06 Nov 2012

changagoidem Features | Become a racing driver: who, me?

"Now, you have all completed the beginner courses here in Mondello Park, am I right?" asked Roger Tiernan, one of Mondello's  Racing School instructors. Not wanting to be the only member in our group of eight with my hand in the air I kept quiet.

At the launch of the Mondello Park 'Become a Racing Driver' competition a few weeks ago I had joked that, as I had not completed a racing school I was ineligible for the competition; a throw away remark that I thought no more of until an email arrived from Leo Nulty (Mondello's new Sales…

Nissan shows Ireland its sporty side

by Shane O' Donoghue on 29 Oct 2012

changagoidem Features | Nissan shows Ireland its sporty side

We had to double check that the invite to a day of high-performance on-track action in Mondello actually came from Nissan Ireland. After all, our economy is, well, you know what it is, and hence the vast majority of automobile sales in the country are of small and efficient models. Along with all that, Nissan didn't have any especially new model for us to try out in between acting the race driver.

However, Nissan is in buoyant form, as it should be with the excellent Qashqai in second place in the sales charts at the moment. Next year will be…

Shoe-string motoring: update on Craig's fleet of bangers

by Craig Castle on 29 Oct 2012

changagoidem Features | Shoe-string motoring: update on Craig's fleet of bangers

Welcome fans of cheap and cheerful motoring once again to the continued saga of yours truly. This week I have considered taking up home baking to keep me away from automobiles. But I had second thoughts after my cooker started making crunching noises...

In an attempt to get some sanity, domestic peace and perhaps credibility back, I did a rain dance and the troublesome Fiat Seicento will be sold next week. Sold for €500 and yes the buyer is aware of the gearbox malady. But with two new tyres, as well as a full year on the NCT, once…

What gets my goat - damn autoboxes!

by Paul Healy on 29 Oct 2012

changagoidem Features | What gets my goat - damn autoboxes!

I have suffered something of a revelation as of late; I am undeniably and unequivocally getting older. Not in the literal sense mind; obviously we are all getting older by the second, but I have recently found myself doing 'senior things'.

I can no longer bend or reach without letting out the kind of groan or grunt one would normally associate with the women's Wimbledon finals - not because the simple movement of bending over to retrieve a child's toy causes me any pain you understand; it just seems natural. I can also not pass a mirror without searching for…

'Steer-by-wire'? No thanks!

by Paul Healy on 23 Oct 2012

changagoidem Features | 'Steer-by-wire'? No thanks!

Nissan has unveiled what it claims to be the world's first digitally-controlled 'drive-by-wire' steering system.  Instead of a mechanical connection between steering wheel and front wheels, Nissan's system uses a bunch of clever electronics that transmit driver steering input from the wheel to a myriad of electronic brains and finally onto the wheels themselves. 

According to Nissan the system can transmit driver input to the wheels much faster, theoretically improving steering response, 'and increasing the direct driving performance feel by quickly and intelligently communicating road surface feedback to the driver', or in other words throwing in…