Renault teams with Irish Restaurant Awards 2017

Renault Ireland and The Restaurant Association of Ireland have announced Renault Ireland as the official car partner of the Irish Restaurant Awards 2017, writes Trish Whelan . The Irish Restaurant Awards (RAI) will travel around the country driving new Renault models for a series of regional events this March to announce county and regional award winners across 15 different categories. County winners will be announced at four regional events with over 600 guests expected to attend each. This year’s host counties for the events are Kilkenny, Fermanagh, Limerick and Sligo. This year over 80,000 individual nominations were cast online from 11-25 January. Pictured above are Ciara Doyle (Business Development & Sponsorship Manager, Restaurant Association of Ireland), and Liz O’Gorman (Marketing Manager Renault Ireland) with two chefs from The Radisson Blue St Helen’s, Stillorgan Road, Dublin. Speaking on the quantity of nominations received, CEO of the Restaurants Association of Ireland

New Kia Rio here soon

Kia’s fourth-generation Rio supermini will soon go on sale in the brand’s 35 dealerships in Ireland, writes Trish Whelan.

Available only as a five-door hatchback, the new Rio competes in the B-segment where it faces stiff competition from big hitters like the Ford Fiesta and VW Polo. 

Three trims are offered, LX, EX and Platinum but final specs have yet to be decided on. Also, while prices are planned, they have yet to be confirmed but the entry level petrol version will be priced at around €16,000, which will be around €500 more than the current model. 

Two petrol and two diesel engines will be offered at launch. All Euro Stage 6b.

They include a 1.25 84hp four-cylinder turbo petrol (at circa €18,250) which includes 16-inch alloys, privacy glass, manual air con, cruise control and rear parking sensor. The 1.2 petrol will be offered on all trims.

The entry level diesel will be a 4-cylinder turbocharged 1.4, with 77hp. A more powerful turbocharged 1.4 putting out 90hp will be available in the EX spec. The 1.4 diesels in LX and EX models will come in at around €18,000 and €20,000 respectively. The lower size diesel is offered on the entry level, the higher hp on the EX trim. 

An ADAS model with Autonomous Emergency Braking which detects vehicles and pedestrians, EB, Lane Departure Warning System, a 5-inch radio screen and rear view camera and will be priced circa €19,500.

The top Platinum trim, which does not have the 5-star Euro NCAP pack, will include 7-inch navigation, support for Android Auto and Apple Play connectivity, 17-inch alloys, auto air con and rear LED lights will come in at around €20,000. 

Petrols have 5-speed gearboxes, diesels get 6-speeds. At present there are no plans for an automatic version.

A 1.0 petrol with 120hp will arrive in time for the July registration plate. 

The New Rio competes in a segment where the brand’s mix has traditionally been higher in diesel cars than in petrol, but Aidan Doyle of Kia Motors Ireland expects a move back to more petrol sales with these two petrol engines. “We’re seeing this traction on this same 1.0L in the cee’d,” he explained. 

I got to drive both petrol and diesel versions in Lisbon earlier this week on all sorts of roads from motorways, primary routes and even a stretch of bad forest road used for rallying as well as some slalom and other tests which all proved how agile the Rio is, and how safe. 

Kia believes the car’s new sportier design and proportions, its innovative features and best-in-class safety, ride and handling, will attract a broad audience of customers to the car, in particular they are aiming at younger buyers, and for more female customers, who want a car with style, dynamism, that is affordable, safe to drive, and with connectivity features. 

New Rio is certainly a big step forward over the previous three generations of the car; the first in 2000, the second in 2005, and the third in 2011. Each had brought its own improvements. 

This new model is slightly longer and wider and has been made stiffer and lighter with the use of more high strength steel. It’s also been given a stronger appearance with a muscular front end and a longer bonnet. The side is sharper with straight lines; the sporty rear gets LED lights. Customers can choose from three sizes of alloy wheels, 15-16-17 inch and from eight exterior colours.

Kia have been improving the interiors of their cars over the last years with excellent instrumentation and a high degree of comfort for all onboard. They also claim the interior of the new Rio is one of the roomiest in its segment for front and rear seat passengers. The inside is now more driver-orientated with a new dashboard. 

Rear seat passengers can charge their electronic devices with the USB charging port located on the back of the centre console.

The boot, at 325 litres (and expandable), is one of the biggest in its class. 

New Rio will be one of the safest cars in its sector with new driver assistant technologies, and more to follow. Safety features include six airbags and Hill Start Assist; Rio’s Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) system which uses a camera and long-range radar to detect vehicles and pedestrians. It can warn the driver of a collision risk and, if they don’t react quickly, the system applies the brakes to prevent a collision. 

Rio has always been a very important product for Kia and is its best-selling car with 2.5 million sales. Sales in 2016 in Ireland amounted to 550 units and Aidan Doyle expects to move over 700 units in 2017.

Rio is built in Korea, unlike the cee’d, Venga and Sportage which are built in Europe, and also comes with Kia’s unique 7-Year warranty.

James Brooks, Managing Director, Kia Motors Ireland, is pictured below with the new Kia Rio at the launch hotel near Lisbon.


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