Fleet News

Thinking CAP

Martin Ward, CAP’s manufacturer relationships manager, scours the globe for the week’s insider fleet intelligence.

MONDAY

Vauxhall came up to Leeds to show us the new Agila, which has so much more style than the outgoing boxy model.

We were given the opportunity to drive the vehicle round the city - it did exceedingly well.

The interior has a modern feel and is comparable in size to the old Corsa.

Vauxhall expects to sell around 5,000 Agilas a year, and should retain the existing customer base and also attract new buyers who currently drive small-estates.

TUESDAY

Over to Paris to drive a trio of new cars from Renault.

However, I use the term new loosely as all are variations on a theme.

The first is the Clio Sport Wagon, which is the estate version of the Clio hatchback.

The second is the Grand Modus, a larger version of the Modus, and the third is the Kangoo van and people carrier, which now has the Scenic platform and is 18cm longer.

The Clio Estate has some style, more space and Renault say it will cost slightly more than a five-door hatch.

I personally wonder where this car will be best received.

Probably in mainland Europe where small estates are still popular.

Here in the UK sales are on the decline – look at 206 wagon sales over the past few years – they haven’t gone up.

The Grand Modus should have been launched from the start as the extra luggage space is a must.

It makes you wonder why they ever brought out the standard Modus – the Nissan Note, which is a similar size to the Grand, has been a success, so the Grand Modus must also sell well.

Renault says it will cost £150 more than a small-Modus.

The new Kangoo is the pick of the bunch.

It looks better than the current van, is quiet, offers good quality and has loads of storage space in the cabin and can take a euro-pallet, and has a very clever roof-rail system.

We went to Renault’s Techno Centre to have a look at a new car due on the market next October, but as usual, confidentially agreements make it impossible to report on the very stylish new vehicle which will enter a sector it has not been in for more than 20 years.

The second day was spent having numerous presentations on Renault’s green policies and ECO2 range of cars, but I’ll spare you the details.

FRIDAY

Had a chance to drive briefly a Jaguar XF 4.2 V8 – and there were no surprises.

It drove exactly as I expected it to.

It’s quick, quiet, refined and has perfect handling.

The interior is of a high quality with fit and the finishes are probably the best Jaguar has ever produced.

I liked how the start-button glows as you get in and the round gear selector slowly rises from the centre console – the car has loads of nice touches that give you the feel-good factor.

The front grille looks enormous, and out of place when you see it in the photographs, but in the metal it works really well. Rear leg-room is not fantastic, but no less than its direct competitors.

The XF to have, though, will be the 2.7-litre twin-turbo diesel.

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