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Why the new Opel Astra was my Top Gear of the year in 2022

In my personal view, the Irish Car of the Year should be awarded to a motor that ticks all the boxes regarding space, technology and safety

The new Opel Astra was my favourite car in 2022

The Dacia Jogger is superb value

The Volkswagen ID.Buzz is funky and fun© VOLKSWAGEN

The Cupra Born is a hidden gem in the Volkswagen group

The all-new Nissan Ariya blew me away

The BMW i4 could be mistaken for a combustion car but it is 100 percent electric

Robbie FarrellSunday World

A few weeks back I wrote an article congratulating Volkswagen Ireland on scooping the top gong in this year’s Irish Car of the Year awards for its ID.Buzz.

The long-awaited Microbus, which was more than two decades in the making, finally arrived on our shores this year and was almost celebrated more than Lionel Messi lifting the World Cup trophy before Christmas.

However, in the same article I explained why I could not give it my personal overall winner of the year as its price tag, which starts at just north of €65k, is way out of reach for many Irish families.

In my personal view, the Irish Car of the Year should be awarded to a motor that ticks all the boxes regarding space, technology and safety and one that won’t have the bank manager constantly on your back.

For that reason I award the all-new Opel Astra my top award for 2022.

Opel Astra

Opel obviously still see a big future for family hatchback cars that have sadly been left on the sidelines in an industry dominated by SUVs and Crossovers.

The new Astra is spacious, stylish inside and out and loaded with the latest technology. Prices for the new Opel Astra Opel SC 1.2 start at €29,380.

Dacia Jogger

The Dacia Jogger is superb value

The Dacia Jogger was chosen by a panel of journalists as the overall winner at the AA Ireland Car Awards this year.

It may not be electric, but in every other sense it’s the car of the moment. Spacious, practical, affordable and frugal, the Jogger is a proper seven seater and is very much affordable with prices starting at €27,990.

Volkswagen ID.Buzz

The Volkswagen ID.Buzz is funky and fun© VOLKSWAGEN

After more than 20 years in the making, the all-new all-electric ID.Buzz was definitely well worth the wait.

It’s extremely funky and spacious and we can’t wait for the campervan version to arrive. Prices for the new ID.Buzz start at €66,295.

Cupra Born

The Cupra Born is a hidden gem in the Volkswagen group

The all-electric Cupra Born is yet another hidden gem in the Volkswagen group. It’s the Spanish brand’s first fully-electric car, and it’s fantastic.

Sharing many of its underpinnings with the Volkswagen ID.3, I think it is far more stylish and it’s five grand cheaper too, with prices starting at €40,820.

Nissan Ariya

The all-new Nissan Ariya blew me away

I was late to the Nissan Ariya party this year and only got behind the wheel of it in the last few weeks when it blew me away.

Its futuristic looks, state-of-the-art technology and enormous amount of space inside ticked all the boxes for me. Prices for the Nissan Ariya start at €48,995.

BMW i4

The BMW i4 could be mistaken for a combustion car but it is 100 percent electric

The all-electric BMW i4 is the best premium electric show in town in my eyes.

The i4 is basically an electric version of the 4 Series Gran Coupe and it’s pricey but fantastic.

It handles superbly like a petrol/diesel model and prices start at €68,825.


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