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How much engine power do you really need? We asked a motor expert

Liam Murphy of Audi Cork shares the inside track.

Image: Unsplash

FINDING THE RIGHT car for your needs, lifestyle and budget can be a tricky process. We want to help streamline the search. As part of our Insights series, every week we’ll take a different car-buying question to the experts at the heart of the motor industry.

This week, we asked Liam Murphy, sales manager at Audi Cork for his insight on a tricky choice for anyone sussing out a new car: how much engine power do I really need? Here he shares some insider tips.

1. Don’t be closed off to opting for a smaller engine

A lot of customers that we see are surprised that a 1.0-litre turbocharged engine are so powerful and efficient. Generally I’d always say to them not to be afraid of a smaller engine.

If you are opting for a bigger car you won’t necessarily need a 2.0-litre engine. In fact, if you have a larger engine in a smaller car, you’ll need to rev more so you’ll have a smoother delivery with a smaller engine size.

2. Always pick the engine size that suits your lifestyle

alan-king-581569-unsplash Source: Unsplash

For a family who say wanted to buy a seven-seater, a 2.0-litre 150hp diesel engine would be more than enough for families who tend to do a lot of mileage. For those who are doing motorway driving, you’d want to go for an A4 or A6 2.0-litre 190hp – they usually give you enough punch to overtake, while being efficient on fuel.

For people who don’t tend to do so much mileage, a small city car with a 1.0-litre engine would be fine as all small engines are turbocharged, meaning you get more power from the air being pushed into the engine, giving it the same power as a higher engine car.

3. Find the models that give you bang for your buck

A lot of people would find 120hp powerful if they are coming up from something lower. But if you wanted to go for something really high-powered like 300hp+, there aren’t a lot of them out there that are reasonably priced.

However, the SEAT Leon Cupra is fairly reasonably priced at around €40,000 – it’s very powerful for what you’re paying for. The Volkswagen Golf would be similar at around €43,000 and 300bhp.

4. Maintenance on a higher-power engine will be more costly

evan-kirby-112622-unsplash Source: Unsplash

If you are opting for a high-power engine, bear in mind that they are going to be less efficient – they use more fuel and are more expensive to maintain. Plus, a lot of times when you go for high-powered engines, tyre tests and road tests can work out as more expensive.

Insurance costs will also go up too as unfortunately faster cars are technically more likely to get into accidents so it’s a higher risk for insurance companies.

5. Use fuel the right way to maintain it

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In order to get a long time out of the engine you do buy, you’d want to get engine maintenance checks done regularly – make sure it’s at least once a year.

Also make sure that your tyre pressure is right and that you’re using good fuel. Also don’t let the tank go too long at a low volume – it doesn’t suit the car and can harm the engine.

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