Latest figures show that in 2003, 56% of the cars bought for business customers had an engine size of 1900-2200cc, up 2% from 2001's figure.
The figures come from fleet and fuel management company Arval PHH, which said its research demonstrated that the more powerful vehicles now had cleaner engines and had become increasingly tax-efficient.
Clive Forsythe, managing director of Arval PHH's business customer division, said: 'The benefit-in-kind tax change introduced in 2002 means company drivers have to pay more if their cars produce higher CO2 emissions. Although the trend towards lower-emission mid-size vehicles has been quite pronounced since the late 1990s, it seems to be levelling off.
'There are several reasons behind the continuing appeal of more powerful cars. Manufacturers have focused their attention on making cars with cleaner engines and lower emissions, so even 2.0-litre models generally do not present too many benefit-in-kind problems for company drivers. The tax difference between a 1.6-litre car and its 2.0-litre version is often minimal.'