New series of iconic Irish cars starts with Escort MkII

by Maurice Malone on 18 Jul 2016

Complete Car Features | New series of iconic Irish cars starts with Escort MkII

What makes a car an icon? More specifically, what makes a car an icon in the eyes of the Irish public? In a new series, we intend to investigate the cult cars that are so revered on this fine island, and see what all the fuss is about, while unearthing some interesting facts and stories along the way. First up, it's a car that has defined Irish rallying for decades.

Sideways to victory

For a small island with a small population, Ireland has got to be one of the top rallying countries in the world. Per capita, the number of…

Dave asks: "is it just me?"

by Dave Humphreys on 14 Jul 2016

Complete Car Features | Dave asks:

The one thing I love about being a full-time motoring journalist more than anything else is the variety. Not only are no two days the same, but the contrast between them can be huge. We get to experience some of the finest aspects of motoring and regularly witness what most would call petrolhead nirvana. We also get incredible access to people and machinery at times, even if it is for periods that never seem long enough.

In ways it is this wide exposure to a massive variety of vehicles that can, as I found recently, start to detract from the…

Toyota RAV4 vs. Volkswagen Tiguan comparison

by Neil Briscoe on 09 Jul 2016

Complete Car Features | Toyota RAV4 vs. Volkswagen Tiguan comparison

It's the battle of the family crossovers, as the handsome new Volkswagen tries to interlope on the territory currently commanded by the strong-selling Toyota.

In the Metal

The recent facelift for the Toyota RAV4 made it look much more interesting than its predecessor, and in some ways it's a very striking SUV. Those slim, angled headlamps, the sharp creases in the bodywork and the jutting lower jaw of the nose should give it an edge over the relatively conventional looking Volkswagen.

And yet, they don't. Partially, this is down to colour. In bright metallic blue or even white I think…

Group B rallying: the madness begins

by Maurice Malone on 09 Jul 2016

Complete Car Features | Group B rallying: the madness begins

In the first of a new series, we investigate the rise and fall of one of motorsport's most exciting and dangerous eras.

Thirty minutes: the timesheets looked scarcely believable and frantic calculation checking ensued. Ominously, the figures were correct. Thirty minutes was the margin that Hannu Mikkola's development Audi Quattro would have beaten its nearest opposition by, if it was running in the main field as opposed to running as a course car in a national-level Portuguese event in 1980. Audi, without any real rallying pedigree up to that point, had changed the sport forever.

All-wheel drive is so…

162 plate kicks off in style

by Neil Briscoe on 08 Jul 2016

Complete Car Features | 162 plate kicks off in style

The 162-registration plate sales fever is in full flight right now and buyers are flocking, so it would seem, to dealers to grab their brand new cars. More than 13,000 of us have registered a new car in just the first seven days of the month, which officially makes the first week of July a more prosperous seven days for the motor trade than the first week of January. Make no mistake: in the tight, insular world of the car trade, that's a monumental shift in buying patterns.

And those customers, you and me, are able to snap new cars…

Hyundai Tucson vs. Nissan Qashqai vs. Renault Kadjar

by Dave Humphreys on 04 Jul 2016

Complete Car Features | Hyundai Tucson vs. Nissan Qashqai vs. Renault Kadjar

The crossover segment is becoming a crowded place. Here we find out why the Hyundai Tucson is out-selling its Nissan Qashqai and Renault Kadjar rivals.

In the Metal

When it boils down to it there is only a limited number of ways in which a modern day SUV can be packaged. This has led to some quite homogenous silhouettes, but in the case of our three contenders their respective designs are among the more distinctive.

The Qashqai, as well as being the best known model here, is also the oldest. Not that it shows; the Nissan still looks sharp and…