Ignition Issue 12 May 2013
Car views and news by FleetNews
FIRST DRIVE: LEXUS ISB 300H
Has diesel had its day? GO New hybrid offers cost-effective option ●
Fleet market slips GO behind retail ● Business registrations fall to lowest share since April 2007
All the latest GO cars tested ●
Reports include Volkswagen Golf GTI and BMW 3 GT
Sign up to Ignition
FREE Download Ignition
Click here to contact us
F IR S T DRI V E
WATERSHED MOMENT FOR HYBRIDS
Refined new IS provides a cost-effective alternative to premium diesel rivals
LEXUS IS 300H NEED TO KNOW
n First premium D-sector car below 100g/km n Lower running cost projections than diesel rivals n Roomier interior and more luggage space than previous IS range
By Simon Harris exus has always had an uneasy relationship with diesel engines. Understandable when you consider that the brand’s most important market during the past 24 years has been North America, where diesel remains a small niche in the car market. The second-generation Lexus IS model, launched in 2006, offered customers diesel for the first time, but a combination of a single engine with so-so CO2 emissions in a manual-only format wasn’t a great draw. However, during that time Lexus has continued to develop petrol-electric hybrid technology, and it feels whatever the most desirable diesels for fleet operators can offer in the sector, it can do better. To start with it has the ability to offer CO2 emissions from 99g/km – combined with the 3% diesel supplement it puts the IS 300h SE five BIK tax bands lower than the BMW 320d EfficientDynamics automatic (comparing like for like) and six bands lower than the automatic version of the Mercedes-Benz C220 CDI Executive SE. Fuel economy figures are evenly matched as the slightly lower figure of 65.7mpg for the Lexus is offset slightly compared with diesel rivals because of the lower pump price of petrol. The IS 300h SE is in the 11% BIK tax band for 2013/14, compared with 16% for
TESTED THIS MONTH
IS 300h has high levels of refinement
New IS is more comfortable than before the BMW. For the driver, it means annual BIK tax payments could be £50 a month lower (for a 40% taxpayer), and employers’ national insurance contributions £213 a year less for choosing the Lexus. So the rational argument seems fairly strong. But what about the emotive argument? Well there seems to be a little more soul in the styling. The car is larger than the IS it replaces with much of its extra length going into the wheelbase, liberating some much-needed rear legroom. It is also stiffer than before promising more responsive handling as well as a more comfortable ride. And if the entry-level SE with its low-CO2-friendly 16-inch wheels doesn’t fit the bill, the 109g/km F-Sport variant, with a more aggressively-styled front-end, and more sporty features might be more alluring. From a performance standpoint, the IS 300h squares up to its rivals. It is almost as quick in the 0-62mph sprint as the BMW 320d EfficientDynamics auto, and is around the same as the Mercedes-Benz C220 CDI auto. Lexus would argue that the IS does all of this while providing a higher level of refinement than diesel rivals. The IS 300h has a combined power output of 220bhp (its 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine combined with its electric motor) driving the rear wheels. On the move there is the traditional Lexus hybrid refinement, even after the engine cuts in, and the chassis upgrades for the new model are evident in its more engaging feel for the driver. Lexus might well have abandoned diesel as a viable option for its own range, but the new IS marks a watershed moment, where petrol-electric hybrid might be a cost-effective alternative.
COSTS P11D price £29,440 BIK tax band 11% Annual BIK tax (20%) £648 Class 1A NIC £447 Annual VED £0 RV (4yr/80k) £8,150/28% Fuel cost (ppm) 9.54 Running cost (4yr/40k) 41.48ppm
SPEC Engine (cc) 2,494 Power (bhp) 224 (total) CO2 (g/km) 99 Fuel economy (mpg) 65.7 Max speed (mph) 124 0-62mph (secs) 8.3
To compare running costs, click here
T E S T ED T HIS MON T H
Volkswagen Golf GTi
A raft of advanced engineering touches look set to win significant new fleet user-chooser business for Volkswagen's ultimate Golf. Changes that have delivered sharper performance while also allowing a dramatic cut in tailpipe emissions promise to drive the latest GTI on to many more company choice lists. As before, the car advertises its performance credentials by sitting on lowered suspension and retains distinctive red brake callipers and two big exhaust pipes to deliver a throaty roar from its brawny motor. CLICK HERE FOR MORE
Hyundai i800 auto
Fleets and company car drivers face myriad options when choosing a people carrier. Do they opt for a compact MPV as an occasional seven-seater, a mid-range model with ample passenger room but limited boot space, or a full-size car which swallows both people and luggage? We opted for an extreme: HyundaiÂšs eight-seater i800, the taxi and executive car hire favourite which goes up against Volkswagen's more premium offering (Transporter) and the likes of the Peugeot Expert Tepee and Fiat Scudo. CLICK HERE FOR MORE
Dacia Sandero 1.5dci 90 Ambiance
Dacia is earning a reputation for offering excellent value for money among retail buyers, and it could follow suit among fleets. In the first three months of the year, the Romanian brand, which is owned by Renault, registered 1,978 Sandero superminis and Duster SUVs. The most attractive of these models for fleets, from a cost perspective, is the Sandero 1.5dCi Ambiance which, with a P11D price of ÂŁ8,340 and CO2 emissions of 99g/km, is the cheapest sub-100g/km car available. CLICK HERE FOR MORE
TESTED THIS MONTH
Chevrolet Trax 1.7 VDTi LT
As a small player in the UK with a market share of just 0.66%, people may be surprised to learn that Chevrolet is the fourth largest car brand worldwide. In fact, a Chevrolet is sold every 6.4 seconds. The growing small/compact SUV segment has seen many new players emerging, with more expected to join over the coming months. Chevrolet hopes the launch of the new Trax will enable it to lure business away from the likes of the Nissan Juke, Peugeot 2008 and Renault Captur. CLICK HERE FOR MORE
BMW 318d SE Gran Turismo
Long gone are the days when a manufacturer of upmarket cars could survive with two or three model ranges. A combination of exploring various niches together with the increasing popularity of premium badge cars has led to a proliferation of models from BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz that have made it harder for mainstream brands to compete. More recently we have seen premium brands begin to encroach on hatchback territory with so-called four-door coupés. CLICK HERE FOR MORE
Skoda Octavia Estate
It’s hard to overstate the importance of the Skoda Octavia for the Czech firm. It’s the company’s bestseller and the estate was Europe’s highest-selling wagon in 2012. The estate’s wheelbase has been lengthened by 108mm over the previous model to shake off that feeling of being a big car based on a small hatch. It’s also 90mm longer and 45mm wider, creating a 610-litre boot or 1,740 litres of cargo space with the seats folded flat, 85 litres more than before. The Octavia estate has the same excellent comfort and handling as the hatch. CLICK HERE FOR MORE
F L EE T S A L E S F IGURE S
Fleet share slips behind retail Volkswagen is the April star as fleet sales are dwarfed by retail demand
By Jay Nagley, Redspy Automotive he fleet proportion of the overall market fell last month to 46.0%, the lowest April share since at least 2007. The fleet market actually grew in April by 0.8%, but that was dwarfed by the growth in the overall market of 14.8%. At a manufacturer level, both Ford and Vauxhall fell by a similar amount, but not for the reasons one might expect. In Ford’s case, the Mondeo has got back to normal after months of supply restrictions caused by industrial unrest in Belgium. In fact, the Ford Mondeo narrowly outsold the Vauxhall Insignia last month. What caused Ford’s drop was a 42.5% fall in fleet sales of the Fiesta. As the Fiesta increased its retail sales, there is clearly no underlying fall in demand for the car, so Ford is rebalancing sales of its small car towards private buyers. Vauxhall’s fall was largely accounted for by a 27.9% drop in Astra sales and a 34.3% fall in Insignia sales. In third place, Volkswagen had a big rise, thanks to the Golf, which shot up by 85.7%. In fact, the Golf made a little bit of history in April as its sales overtook both the Vauxhall Astra and Ford Focus, to take segment leadership when taking into account all elements of fleet, from rental to leasing, Motability to end user.
Golf was the top fleet seller in its segment
Dacia has appeared in the fleet sales table for the first time Elsewhere in the table, Renault is finally showing signs of a recovery, although it is still behind both Mini and Land Rover for 2013. Reflecting the reduced Renault range, more than 90% of fleet sales are coming from just three models: the new Clio, the Megane and Scenic. Fellow European manufacturer Fiat has a similar profile, with 90% of sales coming from the 500, Panda and Punto. That sort of proportion of sales in the A and B segments would have been seen as suicidal a few years ago, but Fiat is adamant that C segment hatchbacks are not worth making in Europe right now. One brand making its first appearance in the table is Dacia. Unusually, Dacia’s target is to keep the fleet sales total as low as possible. It wants retail buyers prepared to pay the full – if very low – retail price. Its unofficial motto seems to be “Please don’t ask for a discount, as being kicked out of the showroom may offend”. It will be interesting to see just how low Dacia can keep the fleet proportion, as that will indicate how many retail buyers are prepared to accept that its showroom prices are effectively “post discount”.
TESTED THIS MONTH
April April YTD YTD Manufacturer fleet 2013 fleet 2012 % change 2013 2012 % change Ford 10,697 11,588 -7.69% 50,331 56,328 -10.65% Vauxhall 9,204 10,207 -9.83% 46,840 40,845 14.68% Volkswagen 8,820 6,974 26.47% 35,355 36,475 -3.07% Audi 5,007 4,624 8.28% 25,176 24,782 1.59% BMW 4,288 6,269 -31.60% 21,254 22,578 -5.86% Peugeot 3,960 3,915 1.15% 21,229 20,238 4.90% Nissan 3,925 3,792 3.51% 20,702 17,705 16.93% Mercedes 3,773 3,378 11.69% 19,152 16,160 18.51% Hyundai 3,197 3,008 6.28% 13,434 11,994 12.01% CitroĂŤn 3,361 2,467 36.24% 13,304 10,286 29.34% Toyota 2,335 2,555 -8.61% 12,032 12,536 -4.02% Kia 2,467 2,724 -9.43% 10,610 11,009 -3.62% Skoda 1,915 2,161 -11.38% 8,342 8,216 1.53% Honda 1,292 1,336 -3.29% 7,907 7,482 5.68% Volvo 1,616 1,544 4.66% 7,449 7,088 5.09% Seat 1,958 1,845 6.12% 6,883 6,849 0.50% Land Rover 804 601 33.78% 5,857 4,412 32.75% Fiat 1,733 1,142 51.75% 5,752 4,349 32.26% Mini 892 1,013 -11.94% 5,638 5,653 -0.27% Renault 935 648 44.29% 4,933 5,541 -10.97% Mazda 365 320 14.06% 3,279 2,742 19.58% Jaguar 583 417 39.81% 2,690 2,326 15.65% Suzuki 171 136 25.74% 2,010 1,876 7.14% Chevrolet 627 572 9.62% 1,734 4,021 -56.88% Lexus 251 253 -0.79% 1,388 1,621 -14.37% Mitsubishi 121 156 -22.44% 1,042 646 61.30% Alfa Romeo 209 358 -41.62% 770 1,374 -43.96% Smart 147 182 -19.23% 675 679 -0.59% Chrysler 57 49 16.33% 495 472 4.87% Porsche 60 92 -34.78% 324 321 0.93% Subaru 68 7 871.43% 314 532 -40.98% Jeep 57 48 18.75% 244 280 -12.86% Dacia 32 0 136 0 Aston Martin 42 17 147.06% 129 126 2.38% Bentley 34 17 100.00% 111 140 -20.71% SsangYong 15 18 -16.67% 77 116 -33.62% Other 49 47 4.26% 182 580 -68.62% Total 75,067 74,480 0.79% 357,780 348,378 2.70%
F UEL P RICE S
1 BIRMINGHAM Diesel 137.68 Unleaded 132.77 LPG 73.9
6 EXETER Diesel 136.15 Unleaded 132.52 LPG N/A
2 BRIGHTON Diesel 136.68 Unleaded 131.38* LPG 68.9
7 HEREFORD Diesel 137.75 Unleaded 133.85 LPG 69.9
3 CAMBRIDGE Diesel 140.19** Unleaded 135.78 LPG 73.4
8 LEEDS Diesel 134.7* Unleaded 136.9** LPG 69.9
4 DERBY Diesel 138.9 Unleaded 131.46 LPG 71.9
9 LIVERPOOL Diesel 136.67 Unleaded 131.61 LPG 66.4
5 EDINBURGH Diesel 136.4 Unleaded 132.08 LPG N/A
10 LONDON Diesel 137.04 Unleaded 132.27 LPG 73.9 11 MANCHESTER Diesel 137.44 Unleaded 132.77 LPG 66.15*
4 1 7
12 3 14 10 2
12 NORWICH Diesel 135.23 Unleaded 133.33 LPG 66.9 13 OXFORD Diesel 138.7 Unleaded 133.23 LPG 74.9** 14 WATFORD Diesel 138.01 Unleaded 131.61 LPG 74.4
For full UK fuel price figures Click here * Cheapest ** Most expensive
We’ve thought of everything...
Desirability Better by design, perfectly balancing your business needs and drivers’ requirements.
Sustainability Be cleaner and more fuel-efﬁcient with the World’s No. 1 Green Brand (Interbrand 2011 & 2012).
Serviceability Award winning service and more peace of mind with our Service Charter.
Affordability Class-leading whole life costs, company and driver savings.
The New Auris Touring Sports from 85g/km CO2.*
Brilliant for business *Available July
Reliability Committed to quality keeping your drivers on the move.
Rangeability A range of 26 models giving you choice without compromise.
...so you don’t have to
We’ve put our minds to creating a range of solutions to meet your needs. So companies can enjoy cost-effectiveness, drivers can enjoy style and performance, and you’ll all beneﬁt from the fuel efﬁciency, tax savings, less time off the road and peace-of-mind services – thanks to our dedicated Business Centre Network. Put our thinking to the test. Call 0844 701 6186 or visit us online to arrange your extended test drive.
EL EC T RIC F L EE T SUP P L EMEN T
Manufacturers are committed to making alternative fuels such as pure electric, hybrid, range-extender, and plug-in work as a viable alternative to the conventional diesel (and petrol) engine. Take-up has been slow for both cars and vans, but more models are coming to market this year, including premium all-electric cars for the first time. The latest Electric Fleet supplement – published with the June 13 issue of Fleet News – considers how your business might make electric vehicles work and gazes into the future with a look at the opportunities offered by hydrogen fuel cells. Key features include: n Assessing the wholelife costs of electric vehicles and hybrids n Securing funding for electric vehicles n The business case for plug-in vehicles n Establishing an infrastructure for hydrogen vehicles n Fleet case studies – real-life user experiences n The cars and vans coming to market this year
LOOK OUT FOR THE JUNE 13 ISSUE OF
JUNE 13 I S SUE
CO2 27g/km* FROM
BiK 5%** UP TO
Absolutely, positively not a hybrid, Ampera’s advanced Extended-Range Electric Vehicle technology offers the convenience of a conventional car – overcoming the range anxiety often associated with other electric cars.
Book your FREE 3 Day Test Drive at www.3daytestdrive.co.uk or call 0870 240 4848
VAUXHALL FLEET Call 0870 010 0651 | visit www.vauxhall.co.uk/fleet
BusinessCar Green Model of the Year 2013
Official Government Test Environmental Data. Fuel consumption figures mpg (litres/100km) and CO2 emissions (g/km). Model shown Vauxhall Ampera Positiv: Urban: N/A. Extra-Urban: N/A. Combined/weighted: 235.4mpg (1.2). CO2 emissions: 27g/km. * = The “Combined/weighted” fuel consumption/CO2 figures for Ampera are calculated from two test results: one with the battery fully charged and the other when the battery is discharged. The two test results are a weighted average, taking into account mileage range on battery power only, providing a representative figure in a variety of charge conditions. Extended range is achieved by 1.4 litre 16-valve VVT ECOTEC® petrol engine generating electricity. ** = 2013-14 to 2015-16 tax years, 7% in 2016-17 tax year. General Motors UK Limited does not offer tax advice and recommends that all Company Car Drivers consult their accountant with their particular tax position. All figures quoted correct at time of publication (May 2013).
FAST FORWARD TO THE FUTURE The Ampera is way ahead of its time with an ingenious, practical solution. A revolutionary Extended-Range Electric Vehicle (E-REV), it uses advanced technology to provide a non-stop range of up to 360 miles1 – giving all the convenience of a conventional car, but with significantly lower CO2 emissions (27g/km2) and running costs. Cost savings also extend to the London Congestion Charge. With the Ampera, you can totally avoid paying the charge (saving up to £12 per day3) even after TfL introduces the new Ultra Low Emissions Discount on 1 July 2013. How can any conventional car compete with that?
Ampera: Advanced thinking, revolutionary motoring It’s clever. The Ampera’s battery provides up to 50 miles4 of motoring – plenty for most commuters5 – but on longer trips, a 1.4-litre generator cuts in seamlessly, providing up to another 310 miles1 before having to recharge or refuel. And, happily, there’s no shortage of performance, either; the 150PS electric motor gives 0-60mph in 8.7 seconds, and a 100mph top speed. Reassuringly, the battery has an eight-year/100,000 mile warranty and each car also comes with Vauxhall’s 100,000 mile Lifetime Warranty6.
Enhanced driving, reduced costs The Ampera is a very sophisticated five-door four seater. While it drives like a conventional automatic, it also has two hi-tech displays that show power flow and charging schedules – and four driving modes for different driving conditions and styles.
Tax breaks and buying incentives • £0 Vehicle Excise Duty (first year and standard rates) • Exempt from London Congestion Charge3 • 5% Benefit-in-Kind taxation8 (from £29 per month, 20% tax payer 9)
Incredible fuel economy Fuel savings will depend on particular drivers and journeys, but if every commute falls within the battery-only range, the cost per mile will only be around two pence7. The Ampera offers a Combined/weighted fuel economy figure of 235.4mpg2. Seeing is believing; take a look at your potential fuel costs at www.vauxhallfleet.co.uk/fuelcosts
• Reduced Employer Class 1A National Insurance contributions • 100% first year Writing Down Allowance • Eligible for the Government £5,000 Plug-in Car Grant • Ampera Driver’s Package Free home chargepoint installation (Vauxhall and Government Grant)10 Free Type 2 public charging cable
Drive the future To book your FREE 3 Day Test Drive, go to www.3daytestdrive.co.uk or call 0870 240 4848 (never has a three day road trip cost so little…).
1 = Cumulated range from battery electric and range extender operation, based on the respective official Combined consumption figures according to regulation R (EC) No.715/2007 (in the version respectively applicable). The figures for fuel consumption, electrical consumption, range and CO2 emissions do not relate to a specific vehicle and are not part of an offer. They are provided only for the purpose of comparison between different vehicle variants. Additional equipment may increase the weight of the vehicle when empty, which may lead to a reduction in top speed and increased acceleration time. The published performance figures assume a 75kg driver plus 125kg load. 2 = The “Combined/weighted” fuel consumption/CO2 figures for Ampera are calculated from two test results: one with the battery fully charged and the other when the battery is discharged. The two test results are a weighted average, taking into account mileage range on battery power only, providing a representative figure in a variety of charge conditions. Extended range is achieved by 1.4 litre 16-valve VVT ECOTEC® petrol engine generating electricity. 3 = The charge is £12 if paid by midnight on the charging day after travel, or £10 if paid in advance or on the day of travel. Those who register for the Congestion Charging Auto Pay scheme pay £9 per day. Exemption from London Congestion Charge available upon the payment of a £10 annual fee. 4 = The range achievable in battery mode with a fully charged battery under typical everyday driving conditions, modest use of engine performance and in average weather conditions (without use of additional electrical consumers). The range is substantially influenced by the driving style. 5 = CCB EcoAuto Research, May 2010. 6 = Lifetime Warranty covers lifetime ownership of first car owner, 100,000 mile limit, (eight-year 100,000 mile warranty on the Ampera battery subject to the warranty conditions as outlined in the Vauxhall Ampera service booklet). Annual check required. The warranty excludes wear and tear and serviceable items and the vehicle must be serviced in accordance with the manufacturer’s servicing schedule to continue the Lifetime Warranty. Terms and conditions apply. Offer available to all Vauxhall passenger cars, (this offer does not apply to car-derived vans) registered from 1 August 2010. 7 = Depending on electricity prices. 8 = 2013-14 to 2015-16 tax years, 7% in 2016-17 tax year. General Motors UK Limited does not offer tax advice and recommends that all Company Car Drivers consult their own accountant with regards to their particular tax position. 9 = Benefit-in-Kind quoted is based on Earth model, 2013-14 to 2015-16 tax years. 10 = Vauxhall £335 (inc. VAT) Home Charging Top-up Allowance equivalent to the 25% funding gap on domestic home charging installations. The Government will fund 75%, up to £1,000 towards a home chargepoint installation. For more information on the Government grant visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/domestic-chargepoint-grant-guidance-for-chargepoint-suppliers. All figures correct at time of publication (May 2013). Image is shown for illustrative purposes only.
OUR F L EE T
A180 CDI BLUE EFFICIENCY SE
Easy to see why the A-Class has been such a resounding sales success NEED TO KNOW
n Fun to drive n Great all-rounder
A-Class is averaging 61.2mpg
COSTS 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) £7,575/36% Fuel cost (ppm) 8.78 AFR (ppm) 13 Running cost (4yr/80k) 29.29ppm
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 61.2 Current mileage 1,408
Click here for previous A-Class tests *Running cost data supplied by KeeResources (4yr/80k)
W By Debbie Wood
e all know real-world economy sometimes falls far off the official fuel consumption, so when I saw the A-Class had a 74.3mpg combined figure, I wasn’t expecting to get near it. But I have actually come quite close, achieving 65mpg on longer journeys. The only problem is that it is a real effort to drive ‘economically’ as the A-Class is just too much fun to drive. The steering is well weighted and there is plenty of pull available at lower gears. It cruises well at motorway speeds and there is little noise from the engine. Also, the interior is comfortable and the technology is so easy to use that even my seven-year-old nephew had no problems navigating around the entertainment system to find more ‘appropriate’ music to listen to (One Direction!). The interior trim is luxurious and there are a few useful touches like storage space for my sunglasses in the roof lining. However, there are a few niggles. The novelty of the seatbelt tightening when the key is inserted is slightly annoying now and the satellite navigation can, at times, leave it quite late to give instructions which has resulted in a few wrong turns and exits being missed. But I am clutching straws to find faults. The A-Class is a great all-rounder and I am yet to find something I really do not like about it.
TESTED THIS MONTH
2.0 TDI HIGHLINE BLUEMOTION TECHNOLOGY
Fuel-saving technology could save a fleet thousands of pounds NEED TO KNOW
n Stop-start increases fuel economy by 2mpg n Enthusiastic driving drops economy to 38mpg
Passat's stop-start system works well, even in freezing temperatures
By Stephen Briers y 12-mile commute to work includes multiple traffic lights and roundabouts which create traffic jams and offer plenty of opportunities for the Passat’s stop-start system to kick in. Volkswagen’s technology operates in most temperatures once the engine has warmed up, unlike some we’ve tested recently which dislike any Celsius figure beginning with a negative. Manually over-riding the system for the duration of the journey results in a noticeable dip in fuel efficiency – I reckon the stop-start is saving me at least 2mpg on the average figure by reducing idling time. That means 49mpg rather than 47mpg on a comparative journey, which tots up to a monthly saving of £1 solely on my commute – or £12 over the course of a year. Considering I actually travel four times that distance over the course of a year, stop-start alone is saving me almost £50 (possibly more thanks to the M25!). A fleet of 100 cars reimbursing actual fuel used could therefore expect stop-start to shave £5,000 off their overheads. However, this figures is still relatively inconsequential when compared to the impact of the driver. Enthusiastic driving easily drops the fuel efficiency to 38mpg; in contrast, ultra-conservative driving tops out at 54mpg.
P11D price £22,955 BIK tax band 18% Annual BIK tax (20%) £826 Class 1A NIC £570 Annual VED £0 then £30 RV (4yr/80k) £5,850/25% Fuel cost (ppm) 10.63 AFR (ppm) 15 Running cost (4yr/80k) 35.55ppm
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 48.1 Current mileage 1,136
Click here for previous Passat tests *Running cost data supplied by KeeResources (4yr/80k)
OUR F L EE T
T27 2.0TDI BLUEMOTION
Bluemotion variant is packed with fuel-saving technology to reduce bills NEED TO KNOW n Standard stop-start and gear-shift indicator n Bluemotion model available only as standard body T27
COSTS Price (exc VAT) £19,035 RV (4yr/80k) £4,675/25% Fuel cost (ppm) 14.57 Volume (cu m) 5.8 Running cost (ppm) 36.36 GVW (kg) 2,700 Towing (kg) 2,200
SPEC Engine (cc) 1,968 Power (bhp) 114 Torque (lb-ft) 114 CO2 (g/km) 166 Fuel efficiency (mpg) 44.8 Max speed (mph) 102 0-62mph (sec) 14.8 Test mpg 43.0 Current mileage 661
Click here for previous Transporter tests *Running cost data supplied by KeeResources (4yr/80k)
Transporter’s first long run achieved 43mpg
By Simon Harris an manufacturers traditionally haven’t been required to publish official fuel consumption figures in the same way that car manufacturers have. But a Europe-wide drive to reduce average CO2 for vans has led to the issue of fuel consumption and emissions being addressed. Transporter Bluemotion uses a 114bhp version of the 2.0 TDI engine and comes with stop-start technology, gear-shift indicator, revised gearing and low rolling resistance tyres. It offers CO2 emissions of 166g/km and fuel consumption of 44.8mpg on the combined cycle. It is also the only Transporter to be given a T27 GVW designation – it’s a result of the optimisation process of balancing total weight with the rolling resistance of the tyres and the gearing of the vehicle. The basic price of just over £19,000 (excluding VAT) seems reasonable, and standard equipment includes electronic stability control, daytime running lights, CD/radio, and the various Bluemotion features. The optional SE pack adds air conditioning, alarm, solid bulkhead and arm rest. The Transporter has impressed so far for refinement and fuel efficiency with the trip computer showing 43mpg on its first long run. Over the next few months it should be deployed for more typical working roles carrying loads, so we hope to report on how it maintains its award-winning appeal as well as having a modest appetite for fuel.
TESTED THIS MONTH
2.2 D 150 SPORT NAV
Lower costs means saloon is cheaper to run than predicted
W By Simon Harris
hen a new car is launched, pricing guides and leasing companies want information at the earliest possible opportunity. But what happens when the car is completely new right down to the last component? In this case the pressure still exists to provide an estimate, and as a car manufacturer wouldn’t win many friends by suggesting prices for major component replacement lower than they turned out to be, they tend to err on the side of caution. It’s what happened with the Mazda6. Its SMR information was provided to the running cost guides in October, three months before a car turned a wheel in the UK. Since then Mazda has discovered that the cost of replacing some components will be lower, but the information is still taking time to make its way into revised SMR costs among the pricing guides. For example, in our running costs, provided by KeeResources, the SMR costs for our Mazda6 is quoted at 6p per mile over four years/80,000 miles. This is substantially higher than the previous Mazda6 and significantly higher than the 3.4p per mile quoted for an equivalent Volkswagen Passat. Mazda has assured us that these high SMR prices will reduce as the information filters through, and in this case was exacerbated by a labour rate estimated to be far above its true cost. So good news for anyone who has chosen a Mazda6 so far – it probably won’t cost as much to run as the guides are currently suggesting.
Our Mazda6 has an official combined fuel economy of 67.3mpg
NEED TO KNOW
n Average test fuel economy of 55.1mpg n CO2 emissions of 108g'km
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 55.1 Current mileage 6,825
Click here for previous Mazda6 tests *Running cost data supplied by KeeResources (4yr/80k)
OUR F L EE T
D2 SE NAV
Driving the manufacturer's latest model is like travelling in a mobile rave NEED TO KNOW
n Test fuel economy of 52.5mpg n Autonomous emergency braking fitted as standard
COSTS P11D price £22,740 BIK tax band (2013/14) 13% Annual BIK tax (20%) £591 Class 1A NIC £408 Annual VED £0 RV (4yr/80k) £6,950/31% Fuel cost (ppm) 8.31 AFR (ppm) 15 Running cost (4yr/80k) 32.62ppm
SPEC Engine (cc) 1,560 Power (bhp) 115 Torque lb-ft 270 CO2 (g/km) 94 Fuel efficiency (mpg) 78.5 Max speed (mph) 118 0-62mph (sec) 11.7 Test mpg 52.5 Current mileage 11,021 *Running cost data supplied by KeeResources (4yr/80k)
Click here for previous V40 tests
City Safety is standard on the V40
By Gareth Roberts afety and Volvo go hand-in-hand and the V40 has an array of standard technology designed to keep passenger and metal in one piece. This includes a collision warning system called City Safety, which detects impending accidents and brakes automatically if necessary. Studies have shown a crash frequency reduction of up to 27% in vehicles equipped with such systems. No surprise, then, that fleets will see the value in having cars fitted with the technology, but how will their drivers react to it? City Safety, which works at speeds up to 31mph, uses a sensor positioned at the top of the windscreen to monitor an area 10m ahead of the car. If a collision is likely, City Safety first pre-charges the brakes so if the driver should notice the risk, the car is ready to respond more quickly to their braking action. However, if the driver takes no action and a collision becomes imminent, City Safety independently applies the brakes. During my time with the V40 there hasn’t been the need for the system to brake on my behalf. But I have been subjected to a loud beeping and a flashing red light at the base of the windscreen – the initial stage of the collision avoidance system. The problem is it seems to kick-in when you’re in absolutely no danger of having a collision, with parked cars on a bend in the road the most likely trigger. Drive around a built-up area and the visual and audible warnings combine to create something akin to a rave in the late 1980s. It is possible to adjust the sensitivity, but you can also turn it off and that has to be a concern for fleet managers, even if it is automatically reset on each time you get in the car.
TESTED THIS MONTH
1.6 I-DTEC ES-T
Fleet decision-makers should sit up and take notice of hatchback NEED TO KNOW
n Excellent 1.6-litre diesel engine n Test fuel economy of 65mpg
Drivers tend to love their Hondas
By John Maslen am finding Honda something of an enigma. I have read through a range of reviews for the new Honda Civic from Fleet News to driver ratings on sites such as Parkers, and they all seem to be very positive. The rating for Honda among company car drivers in the Sewells UserChooser Barometer is equally positive. Put simply, drivers tend to love their Hondas. However, looking at the Fleet Operator Attitude Survey, which gauges the opinions of fleet managers, the outlook seems more lacklustre. Fleets which operate Hondas rate the manufacturer highly in most areas, but that doesn’t culminate in them being prepared to recommend the brand to other fleets in overwhelming numbers. The key justifications for not running Hondas relate to issues with value for money and desirability, but these seem to directly contradict the opinions of drivers who love their Hondas. The challenge, and the resolution to this enigma, seems to lie in reacquainting decision-makers with Honda and giving them a clear message about its core strengths, while also showing them that drivers would love their products, given the opportunity to get behind the wheel. The excellent new 1.6-litre diesel engine in the Civic is a great persuader on its own, particularly with its impressive fuel economy (I am getting 65mpg without trying), but based on our overall experience, the Civic as a package is a strong contender for any fleet choice list.
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) 8.31ppm AFR (ppm) 12 Running cost (4yr/80k) 30.3ppm
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 62.4 Current mileage 2,850 *Running cost data supplied by KeeResources (4yr/80k)
Click here for previous Civic tests
TESTED THIS MONTH
1.6 CRDI 3 ECODYNAMICS
Premium feel helps hatchback shake off brand's budget image NEED TO KNOW
n Coupé-like roofline n Interior has soft-touch plastics and high-quality materials
COSTS The new Ceed is much better looking than its predecessor
By Sarah Tooze potting a previous generation Ceed recently made me appreciate how much better looking the current model is. The old Ceed makes the words ‘bland’ and ‘conservative’ come to mind whereas the new model appears classy, with a nod towards sportier models thanks to its lower ride height and a coupé-like roofline. Kia has also redesigned the badge and shifted it from the ‘tiger nose’ grille to the bonnet. The most striking feature, though, is the wrap-around lamp clusters housing LED daytime running lights, which gives the Ceed a much more modern look. A colleague agrees that the new model is much more upmarket. His verdict: “It wouldn’t look out of place next to a Volkswagen Golf.” Inside, the premium feel continues with soft-touch plastics and high-quality materials, confirming that the brand is shaking off its budget image. The price tag certainly isn’t budget although, as noted in the previous test, the Ceed comes with plenty of standard equipment. The design changes are likely to be influenced by ex-Audi designer Peter Schreyer who oversaw the entire creation of the new Ceed. Kia admits that when Schreyer joined he was only able to make his mark on “the smallest design details” of the previous Ceed.
P11D price £20,040 BIK tax band 15% Annual BIK tax (20%) £601 Class 1A NIC £415 Annual VED £0 RV (4yr/80k) £4,375/22% Fuel cost (ppm) 8.78 AFR (ppm) 12 Running cost (4yr/80k) 31.52ppm
SPEC Engine (cc) 1,582 Power (bhp) 126 Torque (lb-ft) 260 CO2 (g/km) 100 Fuel efficiency (mpg) 74.3 Max speed (mph) 122 0-62mph (sec) 11.5 Test mpg 51.2 Current mileage 2,621
Click here for previous Ceed tests *Running cost data supplied by KeeResources (4yr/80k)
OUR F L EE T
HYBRID T SPIRIT
Petrol-electric supermini impresses with refinement and comfort NEED TO KNOW
n Test fuel economy of 58.2mpg n CVT gearbox provides seamless performance
COSTS P11D price £17,790 BIK tax band 10% Annual BIK tax (20%) £356 Class 1A NIC £246 Annual VED £0 RV (4yr/80k) £4,650/26% Fuel cost (ppm) 8.25 AFR (ppm) 18 Running cost (4yr/80k) 29.02ppm
SPEC Engine (cc) 1,497 Power (bhp) 101 Torque lb-ft 82 (engine only) CO2 (g/km) 85 Fuel efficiency (mpg) 76.3 Max speed (mph) 103 0-62mph (sec) 11.8 Test mpg 58.2 Current mileage 12,383 *Running cost data supplied by KeeResources (4yr/80k)
Click here for previous Yaris Hybrid tests
Yaris has plenty of interior room for four adults
By Andrew Ryan he Toyota Yaris Hybrid has continued to be a worthy addition to the Fleet News long-term fleet with another trouble-free month. Since the last report, it has had its first service, due at 10,000 miles, at Marshalls in Peterborough, while average fuel economy has also risen slightly. It is now returning between 58mpg and 59mpg on each tank of petrol. This is some way off the official combined figure of 76.3mpg which I attribute partly to the fact that most of the Yaris's mileage is on A-roads and not in more hybrid friendly urban areas, but it's still pretty good for a petrol supermini. The Yaris's comfort and refinement continue to impress, and a number of recent journeys have shown that it can accommodate four adults on long journeys in reasonable comfort. The petrol-electric powertrain offers ample power, although the CVT gearbox – which provides seamless progress – gives the perception that the car is slower than it really is. In a car with a manual or conventional gearbox, the engine revs rise as the car accelerates, but the CVT allows the engine revs to rise first, and holds them there while the car's speed catches up. This experience is still a bit alien to me as it loses the direct link between engine revs and speed, but the rate the needle on the speedo rises shows then it's got enough acceleration for everyday needs.
TESTED THIS MONTH
AUDI A3 SPORTBACK
1.6 TDI SPORT
Extra practicality of five-door Sportback makes hatchback a winner NEED TO KNOW
n Phone and media player can be connected wirelessly n Fuel economy falls short of official claimed figure
COSTS Our A3 Sportback has CO2 emissions of 99g/km
By Luke Neal udi has had some negative press recently over the A3’s claimed fuel efficiency figures. It’s not just the A3, of course, or Audi for that matter, it is merely providing laboratory figures in accordance with European regulations and in line with other manufacturers. And while it is almost impossible to get close to the official figures, which are obtained in laboratory conditions, at least car to car comparisons can still be made. Would it be fairer for carmakers to supply real-world figures? Maybe not as the conditions could vary so much from test to test that it would be very difficult for any comparison to be accurate. At least this way everyone is on a level playing field, albeit an inflatable one. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) will now be forcing carmakers to include a disclaimer in adverts to explain that quoted fuel economy figures may not reflect real-world performance. At least this will help to make it clearer that what you see is not what you get. Our A3 Sportback 1.6TDi Sport is currently returning around 50mpg, which I think is a good return, and as the car has only just covered 566 miles I would expect this to improve over the coming months. Having previously struggled with a lack of space in the three-door A3, the rear doors and the slightly longer body of the Sportback make it a joy in comparison. Although the three door model is the better looking of the two, practicality, a lower CO2 figure of 99g/km and higher (claimed) fuel economy figure make the Sportback a better car for me, as I imagine it will for the majority of fleets.
P11D price £21,945 BIK tax band 14% Annual BIK tax (20%) £614 Class 1A NIC £424 Annual VED £0 RV (4yr/80k) £7,648/35% Fuel cost (ppm) 8.78 AFR (ppm) 15 Running cost (4yr/80k) 30.63ppm
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 Current mileage 566 *Running cost data supplied by KeeResources (4yr/80k)
Click here for previous A3 tests
T E S T ED T HIS MON T H
FOR A F UL L NE W C A R L AUNCH C A L ENDA R , CL ICK HERE
COMING SOON... SKODA SUPERB FACELIF T On sale: July
A sharper look, improved equipment levels and lower CO2 emissions herald the Skoda Superb's midlife facelift. Still one of the most comfortable cars in its class, the Superb offers a great combination of value and quality, while the estate version offers the most luggage space for the money.
SE AT LEON SC On sale: July
The three-door version of the new Leon has been given the SC ('sport coupĂŠ') designation to emphasise its sleeker styling than the five-door hatchback. It's the first three-door Leon to be offered, and equipment levels will reflect those of the five-door version.
PEUGEOT 308 On sale: Jan 2014
This all-new model uses a new platform, which plays a key role in it being an average 140kg lighter than the current generation 308. New technology has allowed many major components to be reduced in size to further help with the overall weight, leading to significant reductions in CO2 emissions to a new best-in-sector of 85g/km.
TESTED THIS MONTH
New models you need to know about in the next few months
MERCEDESBENZ S-CLASS On sale: Nov
RANGE ROVER SPORT On sale: June
A new Range Rover Sport will go on sale in June. The car benefits from reduced weight resulting in improved fuel efficiency. The Sport has a new '5+2' seating option offering occasional seats in the third row, while a weight saving of up to 420kg means the V6 diesel has CO2 emissions from 194g/km.
The new Mercedes-Benz S-Class has been revealed with a 115g/km diesel hybrid variant. This entirely new design is packed with technology, and could be a benchmark in the sector. New Pre-safe functions can help to prevent collisions. It will arrive in the UK toward the end of the year with petrol and six-cylinder diesel variants with a four-cylinder S300 Bluetec diesel hybrid model to follow. A plug-in petrol-electric S500 will be introduced later.
R E N A U LT CAPTUR On sale: June
The Renault Captur is based on the same platform as the Clio. Renault is claiming bestin-class fuel consumption from the car's petrol and diesel engines with CO2 emissions starting from as low as 96g/km. The standard Captur will have hands-free entry, hill start assist and rear parking sensors.
networking of the year dinner The
13th November 2013 Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel, London
Book your table now â€“ visit www.fn50event.co.uk