However, since the launch of the international award-winning Renault Megane the styling doesn't seem so off the wall. And now I have had a chance to drive the Fleet News long-term Vel Satis 3.0 dCi Initiale auto, I have decided it would be an excellent choice for a company executive who was looking for something that little bit different.
Everything about the Vel Satis is a work of art. The build is good, although it is still not a match for the executive models from the German marques. There are enough gadgets inside to satisfy even the most demanding technophile. The innovative styling cues of the exterior are echoed inside the car, with sweeping angles and some attractive detailing including a wood veneer trim on the dash and doors.
Driving the Vel Satis is a pleasurable experience, although I do find the steering a little too light.
Even though the Vel Satis is a very large car with acres of space inside, the extremely refined 3.0-litre dCi engine ensures there is more than enough power on hand for effortless driving.
Even though the car suffers from a poor predicted residual value of just 28% after three-years/60,000-miles according to CAP Monitor, there is always the consolation that there will never be too many other Vel Satis models on the road – which can only be a good thing if you want to be considered an individual.
Company car tax bill 2002 (40% taxpayer): £313 per month