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Ignition Issue 14 August 2013

Car views and news by FleetNews


Can new 308 challenge Golf? GO Hatchback continues brand’s move upmarket ●

All the latest Focus and B-Max GO GO cars tested ● drive Ford growth ● Mondeo supply issues ease as manufacturer powers ahead

Reports include BMW 520d, VW Golf GTD, Seat Leon SC

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n All new model is lighter and more efficient n New safety technology available n Even lower CO2 diesel in the pipeline



By Simon Harris ou’d be forgiven for thinking the car on these pages is merely a facelifted replacement for the outgoing model. It is perhaps ironic that while Peugeot has traditionally signified the introduction of a new model by naming it as the next number in sequence, its newest car – an all-new model – retains the same nameplate as its predecessor. So the replacement for the 308 is the new 308, which is a shame as it fails to convey how very new the car is. It’s the first Peugeot to come from the new EMP2 platform – which is PSA Peugeot Citroën’s versatile modular components set that will be the basis for many future products, helping the loss-making company reduce costs. It has helped Peugeot reduce the weight of the new 308 compared with its predecessor by up to 140kg and, along with other improvements, make significant reductions in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Peugeot also has big ambitions to take the brand upmarket, and there is evidence of this strategy as the 308 adopts premium features and even higher levels of ‘perceived quality’. It means more soft-touch materials, combined with expensivelooking metallic trim parts inside, a large multi-function touchscreen display and an impressive lack of clutter on the dashboard. As in the 208, the steering wheel in the 308 is smaller to help achieve a more




New 308 provides a refined and comfortable drive




New IS is more comfortable than before

engaging drive, while the main instruments are set high on the dashboard. We spent time in the 115bhp 1.6 HDi, which, depending on tyre choice, can achieve CO2 emissions as low as 95g/km – equalling the Volvo V40 D2 and Honda Civic 1.6 i-DTEC. It’s a quiet engine and with up to 199lb-ft of torque available it’s pretty responsive as long as you keep the rev counter needle above 1,500rpm. There is also a 92bhp version from launch in January, as well as 125bhp and 155bhp petrol variants. A three-cylinder 82bhp petrol version will be the entry point to the range, but in spring 2014 Peugeot will begin to introduce ultra-efficient Blue HDi diesel variants, including a 150bhp version. With AdBlue technology to clean up emissions enough to achieve Euro 6 levels, CO2 will also be reduced to as low as 82g/km. The 308 offers a refined drive, with excellent comfort on our test vehicle – tested on a few imperfect roads – and feels quite involving. It would be a little more fun if the six-speed manual gearshift was less cumbersome, though. New safety technology makes its debut on the 308, including a blindspot warning and autonomous emergency braking. Adaptive cruise control will also be available as well as a collision warning system. Customers will also be able to choose versions with a self-steering parking aid. So the 308 is transformed to a highly competent all-rounder where its predecessor was something of an also-ran in a crowded sector. It will do most things as well as any rival, and matches the Volkswagen Golf for quality feel, but without offering anything that stands out so much that it would be a key reason for choosing it. But with Peugeot’s recent sales success in the UK with the 208 and 2008, perhaps the 308 will become a high achiever.

COSTS P11D price £19,500 (estimated) BIK tax band 14% Annual BIK tax (20%) £546 (est) Class 1A NIC £377 (est) Annual VED £0 RV (4yr/80k) n/a Fuel cost n/a Running cost n/a

SPEC Engine (cc) 1,560 Power (bhp) 115 CO2 (g/km) 98 Fuel economy (mpg) 74.3 Max speed (mph) 119 0-62mph (sec) 10.2

To compare running costs, click here


Volkswagen Golf 2.0 TDI GTD

The Golf GTI has gained iconic status in some eyes over the years, but it’s a little known fact in the UK that there has been a hot diesel variant of the Volkswagen for almost as long. The first Golf GTD appeared alongside the Mk1 GTI, but it wasn’t until the GT TDI of the fourthgeneration Golf that UK customers really showed enthusiasm for diesel version of the hot hatch. The technology is now sophisticated enough to ensure a strong preference among some for the extra low- to mid-range response compared with petrol engines. CLICK HERE FOR MORE

Ford Transit Custom Econetic 310

The Custom Econetic offers significant improvements in fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions compared with its predecessor, so could be a more desirable choice in the range for fleets wanting to minimise fuel spend or to comply with any overall environmental policy. For its part, the Transit Custom Econetic probably offers the most sophisticated off-theshelf fuel-saving features of any conventional van. Standard stop-start can, according to Ford, reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by up to 10% in urban driving. CLICK HERE FOR MORE

Suzuki Swift 4x4 1.2 SZ3

Suzuki has decided it wants a piece of the Fiat Panda 4x4’s success, so has joined the B-segment 4x4 sector with the launch of its Swift 4x4. Drivers get a choice of two specifications: the SZ3, which looks like a normal Swift SZ3 apart from a 4x4 badge and a suspension lift of 25mm; and the SZ4, which adds front and rear skid plates, black wheel arch extensions and black side skirts. On the road, the 4x4 is composed and handles as well as its two-wheel drive counterpart, and better than a cumbersome full-size 4x4. CLICK HERE FOR MORE



Seat Leon SC 2.0 TDI 184 FR





Go-faster fleet drivers are expected to play a big part in plans to drive Seat to another record year for sales in Britain. Officials at the manufacturer think rising demand for corporate transport with added kerbside appeal will lead to extra business in the sector with the latest versions of the Leon hatchback. “Our sales performance has shown a massive improvement since the Leon five-door range was launched in March and there’s no doubt this has contributed to a new perception of the brand,” said Seat UK product marketing manager Jo Elliott. CLICK HERE FOR MORE

BMW 520d SE

BMW has deleted the Efficient Dynamics model from its 5 Series range after a number of mid-life enhancements cut the emissions of the 520d. This 184bhp 2.0-litre diesel model accounts for the majority of 5 Series sales to UK fleets and emits just 119g/km in both manual and automatic transmissions, the same as the outgoing Efficient Dynamics model. Combined fuel efficiency is 62.8mpg. Styling tweaks have improved aerodynamics to the wheel arches, under-body panelling and front bumper, which has cut the drag factor on the car. CLICK HERE FOR MORE

Nissan Micra 1.2 DIG-S Acenta

The latest Micra got a bit of a frosty reception when introduced in 2010. The previous model was popular with retail buyers thanks to its quirky looks and decent build quality. But for the fourth-generation model, Nissan moved production from Sunderland to Chennai in India in the name of cost-cutting and – although the latest Micra is clearly a budget car – it made a lot of financial sense. However, lacklustre sales mean Nissan has rushed through this facelift to try to recapture some of the character from the old model. CLICK HERE FOR MORE


Sector leader opens the taps After a quiet start to the year, Ford sees big increases from Focus and Mondeo


By Jay Nagley, Redspy Automotive t 83,767 registrations, the fleet sector took 51.6% of the total market last month. That figure is slightly below the long-term average, but July is such a small month that minor changes are of little importance to the annual totals. At a manufacturer level, Ford appears to have opened the fleet tap somewhat after a very quiet start to the year. The biggest increases came from the Focus, the Mondeo (after supply shortages caused by industrial unrest at the doomed Genk plant) and, of course, the new B-Max. As an aside, it is worth noting that the Ka city car has virtually been dropped from Ford’s fleet line-up: sales were just 31 in July – less than half the passenger car fleet registrations of the Transit Tourneo. In contrast, Fiat’s fleet registrations of the 500 city car in July were 960. It seems unlikely that Ford’s original sales planning for the Ka included being outsold by Fiat by 17:1 in fleet so far this year (357 vs 6273). Vauxhall had a much quieter month than Ford overall, but there are interesting variations in individual models. Whereas every Ford model (except the B-Max) had

Citroen's C4 is outselling its more charismatic brother, the DS3, this year

Vauxhall's Antara has seen 2013 sales yearto-date rise by 306% compared to the same period last year

year-to-date (YTD) sales variations within a range of +/- 60%, four continuing Vauxhall models had bigger variations, including a rise of 306% for the Antara. That is remarkable for a car that has been around since early 2011. At the other end of the scale, the Ampera fell by 64% to just 51 units so far this year (and none at all in July). Among the medium-sized fleet players, the biggest growth has come from Citroën. The evergreen DS3 continues to increase fleet sales (accounting for 27% of all Citroën fleet sales YTD). However, it is actually being outsold by the rather less charismatic C4 hatchback. The difference is that 51% of DS3 sales YTD have been made to the fleet market, whereas the corresponding figure for the C4 is 73%. Further down the table, Fiat is doing well on the back of the previously-mentioned 500, which now accounts for 54% of all its fleet sales. Including the Panda, 66% of Fiat fleet sales now come from the city car segment, which is an extremely high proportion. However, things are less healthy elsewhere in the group, with Alfa Romeo’s fleet sales down by 50% YTD, while combined fleet sales of Alfa, Jeep and Chrysler are below Lexus so far this year.







July July YTD YTD Manufacturer fleet 2013 fleet 2012 % change fleet 2013 fleet 2012 % change Ford 14,570 10,825 34.60% 95,699 96,436 -0.76% Vauxhall 10,446 11,672 -10.50% 85,047 79,864 6.49% Volkswagen 8,578 7,503 14.33% 64,113 63,032 1.72% Audi 5,617 5,138 9.32% 43,294 41,578 4.13% Nissan 5,042 4,491 12.27% 34,916 30,521 14.40% BMW 4,953 4,255 16.40% 41,045 41,541 -1.19% Peugeot 4,125 3,985 3.51% 35,590 35,295 0.84% Mercedes-Benz 3,802 3,691 3.01% 32,494 28,120 15.55% Kia 3,157 2,892 9.16% 19,597 20,036 -2.19% CitroĂŤn 2,877 2,359 21.96% 23,542 18,325 28.47% Toyota 2,773 2,345 18.25% 20,924 20,564 1.75% Skoda 2,623 1,734 51.27% 16,583 14,442 14.82% Hyundai 2,245 2,719 -17.43% 22,858 20,717 10.33% Fiat 2,068 1,088 90.07% 11,845 9,063 30.70% Honda 1,738 1,361 27.70% 13,617 12,721 7.04% Volvo 1,664 1134 46.74% 12,859 11,832 8.68% Seat 1,350 1,080 25.00% 12,328 11,594 6.33% Land Rover 1,032 1,132 -8.83% 9,384 7,931 18.32% Renault 1,180 883 33.64% 8,411 8,785 -4.26% Mazda 896 380 135.79% 5,503 4,105 34.06% Mini 835 1,174 -28.88% 9,418 11,883 -20.74% Jaguar 431 471 -8.49% 4,328 4,088 5.87% Lexus 404 235 71.91% 2,514 2,676 -6.05% Suzuki 318 273 16.48% 2,933 2,765 6.08% Chevrolet 293 529 -44.61% 3,437 6,250 -45.01% Alfa Romeo 133 265 -49.81% 1,116 2,221 -49.75% Chrysler 103 183 -43.72% 928 906 2.43% Porsche 98 86 13.95% 573 547 4.75% Jeep 95 71 33.80% 441 469 -5.97% Bentley 74 38 94.74% 252 262 -3.82% Smart 71 104 -31.73% 1,164 1,151 1.13% Mitsubishi 49 46 6.52% 1,286 954 34.80% Dacia 41 0 0.00% 252 0 0.00% Aston Martin 18 20 -10.00% 202 178 13.48% Subaru 13 29 -55.17% 407 587 -30.66% SsangYong 3 40 -92.50% 109 186 -41.40% Other 52 44 18.18% 314 723 -56.57% Total 83,767 74,275 12.78% 639,323 611,448 4.56%





1 BIRMINGHAM Diesel 141.15 Unleaded 136.57 LPG N/A

6 EXETER Diesel 143.18** Unleaded 137.67 LPG 73.93

2 BRIGHTON Diesel 140.98 Unleaded 136.31 LPG N/A

7 GLASGOW Diesel 138.61 Unleaded 136.09 LPG N/A

3 CAMBRIDGE Diesel 142.9 Unleaded 138.27** LPG 76.9**

8 HEREFORD Diesel 140.86 Unleaded 136.99 LPG 72.9

4 DERBY Diesel 141.55 Unleaded 135.91 LPG N/A

9 LEEDS Diesel 139.98 Unleaded 135.9 LPG N/A

5 EDINBURGH Diesel 140.68 Unleaded 136.4 LPG 69.9

10 LIVERPOOL Diesel 138.93 Unleaded 136.32 LPG N/A 11 LONDON Diesel 137.66* Unleaded 135.15* LPG 67


10 12

4 1 8

13 3 11



12 MANCHESTER Diesel 140.52 Unleaded 136.73 LPG 68.9 13 NEWCASTLE Diesel 141.67 Unleaded 137.36 LPG N/A 14 NORWICH Diesel 141.33 Unleaded 136.43 LPG 66.9*

For full UK fuel price figures Click here * Cheapest ** Most expensive




SUV is equally at home on the motorway or negotiating country lanes NEED TO KNOW n Fuel economy of 47.9g/km and CO2 of 154g/km n More practical than predecessor

COSTS P11D price £23,170 BIK tax band (2013/14) 25% Annual BIK tax (20%) £1,159 Class 1A NIC £799 Annual VED £175 RV (4yr/80k) £8,675/37% Fuel cost (ppm) 13.15 AFR (ppm) 14 Running cost (4yr/80k) 36.15ppm

SPEC Engine (cc) 1,997 Power (bhp) 140 Torque (lb-ft) 236 CO2 (g/km) 154 Fuel efficiency (mpg) 47.9 Max speed (mph) 117 0-62mph (sec) 10.7 Test mpg 38.3 Current mileage 1,108 *Running cost data supplied by KeeResources (4yr/80k)

Click here for all Ford tests *Running cost data supplied by KeeResources (4yr/80k)

Boot space has increased by 46 litres


By Gareth Roberts he all-new, more fuel efficient Kuga is the centrepiece of Ford’s strategy to expand in the fast-growing European SUV market. Fleets will be most interested in the 2.0-litre TDCi Duratorq diesel engine, which is available with 140bhp in front-wheel and all-wheel drive versions offering combined official fuel economy from 53.3mpg and 139g/km of CO2; and a 163bhp version that achieves fuel efficiency figures from 47.9mpg and 154g/km of CO2. The front-wheel drive 140bhp 2.0 TDCi with emissions of 139g/km will be targeted at the user-chooser market, while our AWD version produces 154g/km of CO2. Climbing behind the wheel, the dashboard is similar to that of the current Focus or C-Max. Its layout is practical, but many of the buttons are small and some controls aren’t as intuitive as they should be. The Ford-engineered four-wheel drive system evaluates road conditions every 16 milliseconds and adjusts the power split from the front wheels to back to provide a precise blend of handling and traction at all times. It certainly combines to give you a car that feels equally at home cruising along the motorway or negotiating a winding country lane. The handling is sharp while the ride soaks up all but the biggest of humps and bumps. It is also more practical than its predecessor. Boot space has been boosted by 46 litres with the new car boasting between 438-481 litres, depending on how far the rear seats have been reclined.









A180 CDI is a more fleet-friendly option than its flashier AMG brother Understated A-Class is a sensible choice

NEED TO KNOW n A-Class has badge appeal n 64.2mpg average test fuel economy


W By Tim Rose

hile Fleet News has been running an A180 CDI Sport model, its sister magazine AM has been using the diesel flagship in the range, the A220 CDI AMG Sport. The two cars, effectively non-identical twins, have totally opposing characters. The A180 CDI is the more sensible, understated and frugal one, while the A220 CDI AMG Sport is the slightly flash, arguably better looking, binge drinking other. Each have their good and bad points. I found the A180 CDI slightly boring after the A220 CDI's sportier AMG styling, paddle shift auto transmission and heaps of equipment. Except for its badge, I wonder why it would get chosen over a Volkswagen Golf. However others in the team actually preferred its understated presence. Without question it is far more efficient on both fuel economy and tax: it is averaging 64.2mpg compared to the larger-engined A220CDI’s 51mpg and its 17g/km lower CO2 emissions give it a BIK rate four percentage points lower on a P11D value that is £6,190 lower. It also has a much more forgiving ride than the AMG Sport's standard lowered sports suspension. Nevertheless, the A220CDI AMG Sport feels more special both to drive and to be in, plus it attracts more admiring glances from my neighbours in the suburbs. Isn’t that a key reason for choosing a premium brand car?

P11D price £21,170 BIK tax band (2013/14) 14% Annual BIK tax (20%) £593 Class 1A NIC £409 Annual VED £0 RV (4yr/80k) £6,935/33% Fuel cost (ppm) 8.78 AFR (ppm) 12 Running cost (4yr/80k) 29.78ppm

SPEC Engine (cc) 1,461 Power (bhp) 109 Torque (lb-ft) 192 CO2 (g/km) 98 Fuel efficiency (mpg) 74.3 Max speed (mph) 118 0-62mph (sec) 11.3 Test mpg 64.2 Current mileage 7,348 *Running cost data supplied by KeeResources (4yr/80k)

Click here for previous A-Class tests




Saloon might not excite, but it still feels a cut above mainstream rivals NEED TO KNOW

n Image of quality and dependability n Test fuel economy of 54.8mpg

COSTS P11D price £23,175 BIK tax band 18% Annual BIK tax (20%) £834 Class 1A NIC £576 Annual VED £0 then £30 RV (4yr/80k) £5,825/25% Fuel cost (ppm) 10.26 AFR (ppm) 14 Running cost (4yr/80k) 35.49ppm

SPEC Engine (cc) 1,968 Power (bhp) 140 Torque lb-ft 236 CO2 (g/km) 119 Fuel efficiency (mpg) 61.4 Max speed (mph) 132 0-62mph (sec) 9.8 Test mpg 54.8 Current mileage 6,481

Click here for previous Passat tests *Running cost data supplied by KeeResources (4yr/80k)

Little details make Passat seem more expensive than it is


By Simon Harris ow does one define quality when it comes to cars? Well there is the much talked about ‘perceived quality’ – that which we see and feel – and other elements that encompass the longevity of components. Volkswagen has always done a great job of ensuring everything the driver and other occupants can see and come into contact with creates an impression of high quality. I remember driving a Polo on a launch in 2001 and noticing the bonnet had gas struts keeping it aloft without the need for a prop. At the time it would have been one of the elements that made it stand out from the rest of the small car sector. But the MG6 we tested recently in Fleet News also had this feature – still absent from most cars in the medium sector – but nothing else about it made us think it could be described as a high-quality product. However, Volkswagen has managed to cultivate an image of quality and dependability. Despite having its origins in the Passat launched in 2006, the current model looks and feels a cut above mainstream rivals. The quality is good, and it has allowed Volkswagen to become the benchmark to which the others aspire to. The Passat might not excite, but it feels good and the little details inside make it look like a more expensive product.








2.2 D 150 SPORT NAV

Improved quality will help improve the image of manufacturer


By Stephen Briers friend commented upon hearing the news that I was about to swap my long-term Volkswagen Passat for our long-term Mazda6 that “the cars look good but the quality is poor inside”. It neatly encapsulated the issue that many manufacturers have: tackling brand perceptions starts with the exterior style with interior improvements some way down the evolution trail. The original Mazda6 started Mazda’s brand recovery in the UK when it was launched in 2002, particularly with fleets. Launched on a cloud of zoom-zoom advertising, it was a decent car to drive and it looked great, but the interior ultimately undermined the experience with its cheap plastics, especially on the lower trim levels. Image takes time to overcome and for all its talk of Skyactiv technology, low emissions and powerful performance, Mazda continues to be dogged by views that it trails the competition when it comes to interior look and feel. Will the newest model change that? It’ll certainly help. Quality has discernibly improved, switches and buttons are more tactile; in short, everything above knee level is sleek and very impressive. However, the scratchy plastics persist on lower level sections around the footwell and along the sides of the middle console, which is disappointing, but perhaps not unusual for cars outside the premium sector. One other comparison with the Passat. On my 12-mile commute to work, the Volkswagen was averaging 53-55mpg. The Mazda has so far struggled to get above 49mpg. Mazda6's average test fuel economy is 47.1mpg


n Improved quality and tactile switches n However, quality doesn't match that of VW Passat

COSTS P11D price £25,540 BIK tax band 16% Annual BIK tax (20%) £817 Class 1A NIC £564 Annual VED £0 then £30 RV (4yr/80k) £6,075/24% Fuel cost (ppm) 9.47 AFR (ppm) 18 Running cost (4yr/80k) 39.8ppm

SPEC Engine (cc) 2,191 Power (bhp) 150 Torque (lb-ft) 280 CO2 (g/km) 108 Fuel efficiency (mpg) 67.3 Max speed (mph) 131 0-62mph (sec) 9.0 Test mpg 47.1 Current mileage 9,947

Click here for previous Mazda6 tests *Running cost data supplied by KeeResources (4yr/80k)

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A3 falls short of official economy figures despite fuel-saving technologies NEED TO KNOW

n Stop-start system works seamlessly n Average test fuel economy of 50.6mpg

COSTS A gearshift indicator and energy recuperation system are standard on the A3 Sportback


By Luke Neal 've now spent three months with the A3 and I’m only just getting used to its start-stop technology. The Audi is the only vehicle I have used which has had the feature – in the past I’ve owned cars in which the engine would stop when they came to a rest, but this was because they were old and there was always a chance that they wouldn’t re-start, leaving me stranded. Inititally this led to mild panic every time the Audi’s engine cut out in traffic, but fortunately that feeling has now subsided. So much so that I’m enjoying start-stopping even at every opportunity. There is a button on the centre console to turn it off, but why would you? After stopping, the engine fires up immediately when you're ready to start moving again, so even the most impatient driver won't get annoyed at any delay. The only downside in the hot weather we've been having is that it doesn't always work when the air-conditioning is on because of the drain on the battery. Other fuel-saving technologies on the A3 Sportback are a gearshift indicator which tells you the most efficient gear to drive in, and a recuperation system which converts the kinetic energy created when coasting or braking into electrical energy which is stored temporarily in the battery. When the vehicle accelerates, this energy is used to relieve the load on the alternator, resulting in a claimed fuel saving of up to 3%. However, I don't think I'm feeling the full benefits on this technology; I'm recording an average economy of 50.6mpg – well down on the 74.3mpg achieved in the official combined cycle test.

P11D price £22,320 BIK tax band 14% Annual BIK tax (20%) £625 Class 1A NIC £431 Annual VED £0 RV (4yr/80k) £7,375/33% Fuel cost (ppm) 8.48 AFR (ppm) 12 Running cost (4yr/80k) 31.3ppm

SPEC Engine (cc) 1,598 Power (bhp) 147 Torque lb-ft 236 CO2 (g/km) 99 Fuel efficiency (mpg) 74.3 Max speed (mph) 121 0-62mph (sec) 10.9 Test mpg 50.6 Current mileage 2,774 *Running cost data supplied by KeeResources (4yr/80k)

Click here for previous A3 Sportback tests



1.6 TDI SE

Hatchback's rear end leaves some looking back in anger – or at least angst NEED TO KNOW n Official combined fuel economy of 74.3mpg n Excellent rear-view camera

COSTS P11D price £21,720 BIK tax band 13% Annual BIK tax (20%) £565 Class 1A NIC £390 Annual VED £0 RV (4yr/80k) £6,725/31% Fuel cost (ppm) 8.31 AFR (ppm) 12 Running cost (4yr/80k) 30.0ppm

SPEC Engine (cc) 1,597 Power (bhp) 120 Torque (lb-ft) 221 CO2 (g/km) 94 Fuel efficiency (mpg) 78.5 Max speed (mph) 129 0-62mph (sec) 10.5 Test mpg 62 Current mileage 7,058


By John Maslen ost people agree that the Honda Civic is great to look at, but when you are inside looking out opinions begin to differ. Rear visibility is hampered for several reasons. The low sloping rear end means the vertical opening isn’t that large in the first place, but what space there is has been taken up with a very substantial light cluster and spoiler combination. In terms of its design to help fuel economy and smooth airflow, then it does its job extremely effectively. As I mentioned in my last test, fuel economy is consistently more than 60mpg in real-world tests. I even tried to drive as uneconomically as possible to see how far the figure might dip and economy didn’t fall below 58mpg. However, for some reviewers, there is a fair amount of looking back in anger, or at least angst, as there isn’t a clear view of following traffic or when reversing. There is an excellent rear view camera in our ES-T option, which helps, although it would be nice if rear parking sensors were standard, rather than just an option. I can see why it can be a constant niggle if you aren’t comfortable with it, but over the past six months I have just adapted to it and barely notice the ever present shadow in my rear view mirror over the past 7,000 miles. While the view of traffic might be an issue, the expected costs for fleets are much clearer thanks to the excellent car running costs feature on the Fleet News website. The feature allows you to compare up to five models back-to-back in just a couple of clicks, and you can see the Honda offers a competitive package.

*Running cost data supplied by KeeResources (4yr/80k)

Click here for previous Civic tests

A large spoiler and light clusters dominate the Civic's rear

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A period of electric-only driving has seen economy increase to 200mpg NEED TO KNOW

n No benefit-in-kind guidance on electricity provided by employer n 51 Amperas sold to fleets so far this year

COSTS P11D price £38,940 BIK tax band 5% Annual BIK tax (20%) £389 Class 1A NIC £267 Annual VED £0 RV (4yr/40k) £12,825/33% Fuel cost (ppm) 2.6ppm AFR (ppm) N/A Running cost (4yr/40k) 74.36ppm

SPEC Engine (cc) 1,398 Power (bhp) 150 (electric motor) Torque lb-ft 273 CO2 (g/km) 27 Fuel efficiency (mpg) 235.4 Max speed (mph) 100 0-62mph (sec) 8.7 Test mpg 200 Current mileage 9,852 *Running cost data supplied by KeeResources (4yr/40k)

Click here for previous Ampera tests

Ampera can travel 38 miles on electric charge alone

W By Sarah Tooze

hen we last reported on the Ampera, it had been achieving a still-creditable 140mpg after a longer journey dented the nearly all-electric 200mpg-plus. But we can happily report that following a series of commutes with little need for the engine to power up the battery, we are back to the 200mpg mark again and should continue to see that improve in the near future. Another bonus is that all of the charging has taken place at our office, which means I have been commuting at no cost to me in terms of ‘refuelling’. There is currently no benefit-in-kind guidance on electricity provided by employers for private mileage. If I was using fuel paid for by my company for private mileage then I would have been liable to pay tax. Longer journeys over the weekend do come at a price, however. I don’t have a charging point installed at home as I live in a flat and the 38 miles I am getting on electric is not always enough to see me through the weekend. That means the Ampera ends up running on petrol at around 40mpg, making a diesel hybrid, which can boast a higher fuel economy figure, appear more attractive. To make my range envy worse, I have spotted an Ampera parked on a neighbouring street, with a charging point by the front door of the house. This brings the total number of Amperas in my neighbourhood to two – the equivalent of 4% of the Amperas sold to fleets in the UK this year.









Simplicity is the name of the game for the technologically-advanced hybrid


By Andrew Ryan or a car packed with an enormous amount of technology, life with the petrol-electric Auris Hybrid is refreshingly simple. I've driven cars which have had impressive levels of technology but really make you work to get the most of it, whether that's through an unfriendly software interface, or that you have to operate it through a confusing system of knobs and more buttons than a Boeing 747. But the Auris is different. The CVT gearbox couldn't be simpler - you move the small gearknob to either drive, neutral, reverse, or B (for brake) to provide additional engine braking on hills. Unlike traditional automatic gearboxes, park is operated via a button on the centre console next to the gearknob, and this is automatically selected when the car is turned off. Its front and rear parking sensors come on automatically at low speeds, as does the rear-view camera when reverse gear is selected – combined with its light steering and decent manouvreability, parking it couldn't be much simpler. The same can be said for the Touch & Go navigation system (a £650 option). Operated through half-a-dozen large buttons and a touchscreen, the sat-nav system is straightforward to programme, and includes a handy option to view traffic messages so you can quickly find any potential problems in your area. The iPod interface is also logical and easy to use – it's possible to select the track or podcast you want with just three or four clicks and presses. Everything just makes sense in the way it operates. All of this combines with a refined and comfortable ride to make the Auris hybrid a very easy and relaxing car to live with.


n CO2 emissions of 91g/km n Test fuel economy of 59.7mpg

COSTS P11D price £22,090 BIK tax band 10% Annual BIK tax (20%) £442 Class 1A NIC £305 Annual VED £0 RV (4yr/80k) £5,425/25% Fuel cost (ppm) 8.41 AFR (ppm) 17 Running cost (4yr/80k) 32.79ppm

SPEC Engine (cc) 1,798 Power (bhp) 98/80 (engine/electric) Torque lb-ft 105/153 (engine/electric) CO2 (g/km) 91 Fuel efficiency (mpg) 72.4 Max speed (mph) 112 0-62mph (sec) 10.9 Test mpg 59.7 Current mileage 9,432 *Running cost data supplied by KeeResources (4yr/80k)

Auris's centre console houses the intuitive Touch & Go media system, as well as the CVT gearlever

Click here for other Auris Hybrid tests



COMING SOON... Vauxhall Insignia Country Tourer On sale: November 2013 What’s new: Rugged 4x4 version of the Insignia Sports Tourer with automatic 4x4 transmission fitted as standard and 20mm extra ground clearance. Engines: 165bhp 2.0-litre CDTi available with manual or automatic gearbox; 195bhp BiTurbo 2.0-litre CDTI available with automatic gearbox. CO2 emissions: Likely to be below 130g/km for the 165bhp CDTi. Price (estimated): from £31,000

BMW i3 On sale: November 2013

Mazda3 On sale: January 2014 What’s new: All-new model which will be lighter and more efficient than the outgoing car, thanks to Skyactiv technology. With styling very similar to the Mazda6, it’s likely to provide tough competition for the likes of the Volkswagen Golf. We expect there to be a smaller diesel engine in the pipeline with ultra-low CO2 emissions. Engines: 1.5-litre 100bhp petrol; 2.0-litre petrol (120/165bhp); 2.2-litre 150bhp diesel. CO2 emissions: 2.2-litre diesel will emit 104g/km of CO2 and return 72.4mpg. Performance: 2.2-litre diesel accelerates from 0-62mph in 8.1 seconds and has a top speed of 130mph.

What’s new: The i3 will be available either as a pure electric vehicle powered by a 168bhp motor which will provide a range of 80 to 100 miles, or as a range-extender with a 34bhp 650cc motorbike engine that increases the range to 170 miles. It’s been designed as a city car with a turning circle of less than 10 metres, but with room for four adults. Performance: 0-62mph in 7.2 seconds (7.9 rangeextender) and top speed of 93mph. Price: £25,680 (electric only) or £28,830 (rangeextender)







New models you need to know about in the next few months Skoda Rapid Spaceback On sale: October 2013

What’s new: The Spaceback is a more conventional hatchback version of the Rapid. It has the same 2,602mm wheelbase but a shorter rear overhang, meaning bootspace drops from 550 litres to 415. CO2 emissions: New 88bhp diesel unit emits 99g/km and is capable of 74.3mpg. Price (estimated): Expected to have a small premium over the current Rapid range, which currently starts at £12,905.

Ford Transit On sale: Late 2013 What’s new: The new Transit offers a two-tonne payload and will be available with a range of body styles and a choice of front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive. Like-for-like, the new Transit will be around 10% larger than the outgoing model. Engine: 2.2-litre TDCi with 100bhp, 125bhp, 155bhp Price: (estimated) £23,000 (excluding VAT).

Range Rover Hybrid On sale: January 2014 What’s new: Land Rover is mating its TDV6 engine with an electric motor to create a powertrain that produces 335bhp.. Adding just 120kg to the kerb weight of the diesel model, performance isn’t hindered with a 0-62mph time of 6.9 seconds and a top speed of 135mph. CO2 emissions: 169g/km and fuel economy of 44.1mpg. Price (estimate): £80,000

Mercedes S300 Bluetec Hybrid On sale: Spring 2014 What’s new: A 2.1-litre diesel engine is being offered to UK S-Class buyers for the first time, combined with a 27bhp electric motor. The result is a combined fuel economy figure of 64mpg. Although it won’t be as powerful as S-Class buyers are used to, the figures are still impressive for a car of this size and it can accelerate to 62mph in 7.6 seconds. CO2 emissions: 115g/km Price (estimated): £60,000


Driving down accidents For many van fleet operators, road accidents are accepted as an unavoidable part of running an LCV fleet, however the Fleet Van Summit will be covering the topic of driving down accidents from a number of perspectives to help keep your fleet safe. The British Sleep Society will be tackling the issue of driver fatigue and sharing potentially lifesaving tips. Whilst Zurich Risk Engineering will be offering advice on how to reduce costs post-crash as well as offering general safety advice. The Summit will also look at reducing accidents through driver training and risk management.


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Attend the Fleet Van Summit and learn how to implement some simple steps to help reduce accident rates and keep your fleet safe.

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To book your place visit or contact Nicola Baxter on 01733 468289 or email

Ignition August 2013  

First drive of the all-new Peugeot 308, plus tests of the VW Golf GTD, BMW 520d SE, and more. Ignition is brought to you by Fleet News.

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