Drive Me, I’m Irish: The Five Most Popular Cars in Ireland [Blessed St. Patrick’s Day]
Long about Saint Patrick’s Day—it’s this coming Monday—many of us embark channeling our internal Irish. Some of the signs are visible: We rummage through the back reaches of bottom dresser drawers for that green sweater from Aunt Millie that we once attempted (but failed) to re-gift, or we pour an extra finger of Jameson as we lodge into our leather recliners for the evening. Other indicators are slightly more nuanced: Our collective reverie turns to little green cookies hiding by the office kitchen microwave, and our appetite increases for crimson meats stewed with cabbages. And, as enthusiasts, we can’t help but wonder . . . what do the Irish drive—in Ireland?
Turns out, of the 82.8 million cars sold on this planet in 2013, just 74,091 were registered in Ireland. As car markets go, the Emerald Isle’s is a wee one, with Toyota typically selling more cars in the U.S. in one month than all carmakers peddle in Ireland in a year. And albeit the sales charts published by bestsellingcarsblog demonstrate that Ireland’s citizens generally favor the same compact hatchbacks and crossovers that other Western Europeans do, there are occasional surprises; the BMW 5-series shortly topped the Irish sales charts for a duo of months, and the Renault-cum-Romanian entry-level Dacia Duster made a strong showcasing one month in 2013. Still, steep fuel prices and identically tall engine-displacement-based registration fees drive most Irish to opt for petite four-cylinder gas and diesel engines. And most are tooled with five- and six-speed manual transmissions. But we’ve kept you in suspense long enough, so based on two thousand thirteen sales, here are the five most popular ways to roll in Ireland:
The best-selling car in Ireland in two thousand thirteen is the VW Golf. That’s not a ample surprise inasmuch as Western Europeans love hatches and VW offers its accomplish lineup of Golf three- and five-door models there, including the GTD, GTI, and Golf R, as well as a large range of more-frugal gas- and diesel-fed fours for buyers with a smaller pot ‘o gold. Most come with a five- or six-speed manual transmission, but some are also suggested with six- or seven-speed versions of VW’s excellent DSG gearbox.
Pronounced “KOSH-kai,” this is the only crossover/petite SUV in the Irish top five. Nissan actually offers three different Qashqai models—the previous-generation five-seater, the long-wheelbase seven-seat Qashqai+Two (the rearmost seats of which are truly for leprechauns), and the new-generation five-seater that shares bone structure (but no engines or dimensions) with the larger Nissan Rogue. As is the regional preference, the engine lineup for all three Qashqais is thick with thrifty diesels ranging from one hundred eight to one hundred forty eight horsepower. The Irish don’t have to scrimp on equipment, however, with push-button ignition, a seven-inch touch-screen, intelligent parking assist, blind-spot warning, and safety baby sitters all available.
Number three on the Irish car hit parade is the Ford Concentrate. Ford sells the four-door sedan and five-door wagon versions of the compact on the island as well as the expected five-door hatch. The fresh 1.0-liter EcoBoost three-cylinder gas engine is available, as is a Duratorq turbo-diesel. And for speedier trips across the stunning Irish countryside, there’s the tire-smoking Two.0-liter EcoBoost-powered Concentrate ST, albeit it costs almost twice as much as the most basic model. Still, that’s better than Golf R buyers, who pay about Two.Five times the cost of a base Golf.
The Concentrate’s subcompact sidekick, the Fiesta, also gets a big share of the sales in Ireland. It’s available in both three- and five-door hatchback assets styles. The wee Ford is powered by mostly wee engines, a 64- or 123-hp 1.0-liter turbo three-cylinder, 59- and 79-hp 1.3-liter four-cylinders, and a 74-hp 1.5-liter Duratorq turbo-diesel. Top billing goes to the Fiesta ST, a Car and Driver 10Best winner for 2014, featuring the same quick-spooling, 180-hp 1.6-liter turbo and six-speed manual as available in the States.
This European cousin of the Toyota Corolla comes in five-door hatch and five-door wagon form for Irish consumption. Speaking of consumption, as with most other cars for sale in Ireland, good fuel economy is a major consideration, so power is on the modest side. The Auris is available with an 89-hp 1.4-liter four-cylinder turbo-diesel, 98-hp 1.3-liter and 130-hp 1.6-liter gas four-bangers, and a 1.8-liter gas-electric hybrid suggesting one hundred thirty six system horsepower. Interestingly, the hybrid has the most punch of the group, with Toyota claiming a Ten.9-second 0-to-62-mph sprint for the five-door hatch version.