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  • Video Review: Toyota Land Cruiser 3.0 D-4D

    May 26, 2011 @ 11:28 pm | by Michael McAleer

    Here is a short video review of the Toyota Land Cruiser. You can read a full review of the Land Cruiser in our Motors Archive. Click on the link. Here.

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  • Top marks for Leaf in latest Euro NCAP safety tests

    May 25, 2011 @ 12:59 pm | by Michael McAleer

    Euro NCAP (New Car Assessment Programme) has been crashing cars for our benefit again and the latest results have been released. And as well as some ‘regular’ cars, the Nissan Leaf has been put through its paces and the results have been rather impressive. It has been awarded the maximum five-star safety rating – the highest score given to any electric vehicle to date.

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    The Leaf earned an 89 per cent rating for adult safety, an 83 per cent rating for child protection and an 84 per cent rating for the effectiveness of its on-board safety systems. The Leaf features ESP as standard and worries about the battery technology have been allayed by the fact that the lithium-ion battery pack will no explode during front or side impact. This result for the Leaf is an improvement on the Mitsubishi iMiev electric car, which scored four stars in the same tests.

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    “Nissan LEAF proves that EVs can achieve the same safety levels as traditional cars. The standard is now set for the next generation of such cars on the European market,” said Euro NCAP Secretary General Michiel van Ratingen.

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    Other cars tested this time around are the new Ford Focus, which also achieved a five-star rating. This score was also achieved by the Volvo V60, which comes with ESC, seatbelt reminder and a driver-set speed limitation device, which lead to a maximum 100 per cent score for Safety Assist.

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    Peugeot’s new 508, the Lexus CT200h and Citroen’s DS4 also achieved a five-star rating.

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  • New Opel Zafira revealed

    May 18, 2011 @ 9:51 am | by Michael McAleer

    Opel has sold more than 2.2 million units of the Opel Zafira across two generations and now the third generation of the popular MPV has been revealed.

    New Opel Zafira: Longer, wider and more luggage space

    The new car has grown in size and now sits on a longer wheelbase (+57mm) and has a significantly wider front and rear track. With 65-litres more Bootspace than the model it replaces in 5-seat format, this 710-litres can expand out to a massive 1,860-litres with all of the seats folded flat.

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    The new car features all-new styling, very much in line with the most modern of the range. There are distinctive twin boomerang graphics at the front and the now familiar Opel centre crease and trapezoidal grille. Opel’s Flex7 seating system, which has always been a clever system, is now upgraded to provide even more functionality.

    The 3rd row can be folded flat and the 2nd row has been redesigned. Instead of a bench seat in the 2nd row, there are three individual seats that can be folded flat and individually moved. There is now an optional Lounge Seating system, which Opel say will offer “limousine-like space and comfort” and with this option the back of the middle seat folds down and turns into an armrest. The outer seats can also slide towards the centre of the car. There will be a range of new storage solutions including the FlexConsole, which is a modular and moveable storage box.

    There is a range of new tech in the new Zafira, including Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and a Collision Mitigating Braking System (CMB) and these will work with new items like the Opel Eye front camera and Traffic Sign Recognition to keep drivers safe and legal. Opel’s clever FlexRide chassis will be offered as an option in the new car, which features a comfort-orientated ‘Tour’ mode in addition to the Sporty ‘Sport’ mode and the well-balanced standard setting.

    Engines will include 110hp, 130hp and 165hp 2.0-litre CDTi diesels

    The choice of engines in the new model is going to consist of three outputs of the 2.0-litre CDTI with 110hp, 130hp or 165hp or two outputs of the 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol version with 120hp or 140hp. There will now be Stop/Start technology to keep fuel economy and emissions low, although we haven’t seen figures on this yet.

  • Irish Times Motors Video Podcast

    May 11, 2011 @ 1:22 pm | by Michael McAleer
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  • Audi A6 2.0 TDi Video Review

    May 5, 2011 @ 3:32 pm | by Michael McAleer

    I’ve been in the new Audi A6 for a week and here is a short video of my impressions.

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    Motoring Editor Michael McAleer drove it recently too, so you can see his review by clicking the link here.

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