As fleet operators put Peugeot's range of 306 and 406 high pressure direct injection diesel engines through their paces during a driving event at the Heritage Motor Centre in Gaydon, Warwickshire, recently, they backed the benefits of the fuel. Jon Child, fleet manager of construction firm the BDL Group, drove a 406 GLX 2.0-litre 110bhp and concluded: 'I normally drive a petrol 406 and I wouldn't have been able to tell the difference between the two. I would be sorely tempted to have the HDi. From a business point of view it is attractive because of the considerable savings that can be made on fuel costs with the new diesel engines.'
Paul Cutress, commercial manager for the Leasing Group, drove the 306 D Turbo 2.0-litre 110bhp HDi, and said: 'The HDI engine has put diesels back on the map and together with the advantages of fuel economy which we know diesels can offer over petrol, makes it an attractive proposition. The driving enjoyment is equal to that of the petrol-engined version.' Peter Galtrey, fleet manager of Liverpool City Council, tested the 406 GLX 2.0-litre 110bhp HDi, and commented: 'The power, handling and low noise levels were the most impressive aspects of it. My knowledge of HDi had been based on press reports and the reality is that the car's as good as they said it would be.'
Murray Watson, group fleet manager for Blick Group Management Services, drove a 2.0-litre 306 and has HDi Peugeots on his fleet. He said: 'I gave one of my engineers an HDi car when his own standard diesel was off the road and he said it was incredible and wanted to get one straight away. All my 415-strong sales force are going on to HDi estate cars, including the 406. The best thing about them is how quiet and fuel-efficient they are. All my drivers feel the same way.'