Another month, another round-up of new vehicle launches to whet the appetite for the 2020 Irish Car of the Year awards, in association with Continental Tyres.
This time out, we run the rule over three very different new offerings from Honda, Range Rover and Skoda. Whether you’re in the market for a new car or simply interested in the new vehicle scene, we hope you find our quick capsule reviews interesting. Enjoy!
Honda HR-V Sport
First off the blocks is the new Honda HR-V Sport, a seriously nifty looking crossover with a raft of lovely new design touches including dark chrome front grille, sharp headlights, rear chrome trim and a sporty front bumper. The new lines give a pleasing impression of aerodynamism and efficiency, the new shape designed to “catch the eye and stir the heart” according to the manufacturer.
The 1.5 litre VTEC turbo petrol engine certainly adds to the impression, with razor-sharp yet impressively refined driving dynamics that are equally suited to a weekend jaunt in the countryside or a crosstown dash in the traffic. Honda’s unmistakable driving character is very much to the fore in this most modern of crossovers.
There’s plenty to enhance the driving experience too, with the 7” touchscreen Honda Connect system, including DAB digital radio and the acclaimed ‘Aha’ app that lets you access internet music services, radio shows, podcasts, as well as your own social media platforms. Safety is also to the fore, with a range of Advanced Driver Assistance System technologies including multi-angle rear view camera and much more.
Range Rover Evoque S D 244 diesel
Next is a heavyweight new arrival in the coupe-like shape of the Range Rover Evoque, the latest iteration of the wildly popular 2011 version, which comes to Ireland as a 5-door SUV that’s big on style… and substance.
The new Range Rover Evoque offers a highly sophisticated design featuring fewer lines, cleaner surfaces and some genuinely compelling touches including 20” split-spoke wheels, illuminated treadplates and a range of subtle exterior colours: Nolita Grey, Yulong White and (our favourite) Seoul Pearl Silver.
Inside, attention to detail is the watchword with a quality of finish very much what you would expect from such a luxury brand. The infotainment system includes InControl Portal giving you access to your music, a Smartphone Pack to control apps through your phone, Navigation Pro system for map exploration and Heads-Up Display providing all your driving data. We could go on and on!
On the road, the Evoque is refinement personified with startling low noise levels and reassuring power delivery, especially at faster speeds. Handling is nice and sharp too, and of course this powerhouse’s off-road abilities are nothing short of legendary.
Skoda Scala hatchback
And so to the new Skoda Scala hatchback, which has already drawn rave reviews for its class-leading space – plenty of legroom for rear seat passengers and a truly cavernous boot – as well as a range of hugely competitive packages.
Lest we forget, the new Scala is great to look at. The car is the proud recipient of a ‘Red Dot’ award for product design, with a sporty silhouette that features lots of crisp, swooping lines and a lovely array of light/shadow shapes. Interior finish is high on quality, with an impressive free-standing display putting the driver at the centre of the action.
Cutting-edge technology is liberally deployed throughout the new Scala, with a generous array of safety features including Side Assist, Lane Assist, Front Assist (with pedestrian monitor), not to mention comfort assists including adaptive cruise control and auto light assist. Smart Link connectivity, meanwhile, puts a state-of-the-art infotainment system at your fingertips.
Driving dynamics are crisp and reassured, with plenty of power coming through the 1 litre petrol engine, and overall the Skoda Scala offers more than enough to delight hatchback lovers.
More to follow
Hope you found something of interest in our latest batch of ones to watch. We’ll be taking a fresh lot of new arrivals next time and doing the very same, keeping you right up date with the Irish new car market. Watch this space.