Fleet News

Thinking CAP - November 20

CAP's manufacturer relationships manager Martin Ward scours the globe for the week's insider fleet intelligence

Monday

Richard Balshaw and Mark Bell from Toyota Fleet brought a pre-production iQ up to Leeds on a trailer so we could have a look prior to driving it in a couple of weeks’ time.

The iQ is the world’s smallest four-seater and measures just under three metres long, compared to 2.7 metres for a two-seater Smart fortwo.

It has a surprisingly large cabin and, although you wouldn’t want to travel far in the back, it is adequate for two adults.

Tuesday

Flew to Majorca to drive the new 2.2-litre diesel engine in the Mazda6.

On paper it sounds as if Mazda is taking a step back in improving CO2 and fuel consumption by going from a 2.0-litre to a 2.2-litre, but this is far from the truth.

The new engine has three power outputs – 125bhp, 163bhp and 185bhp, and has CO2 emissions ranging from 147g/km to 149g/km.

Using new engine technology, the fuel consumption has been improved, but it is in action that the new 2.2-litre engine is at its most impressive.

It has to be one of the most refined diesel engines I have driven.

I drove the mid and high-power engines, and both feel very quick.

The 163bhp version is not far behind the range-topper, and it’s the one I would go for.

James Hopkins – currently fleet and remarketing director for Mazda in the UK – told me he is leaving these shores to take up the position of European fleet director based at Mazda Europe’s head office in Leverkusen, Germany, in January.

Friday

From Mazda in Majorca, to Megane in Madrid.

This all-new Renault is a huge improvement over the current car.

Some manufacturers launch new cars that are more an evolution than a revolution, but the Megane is a revolution – and a French revolution at that.

When Renault launched the current car it told us it had worked on the assumption that some would like the design, but most wouldn’t, but everybody would grow to like it.

The new car will be launched initially as a five-door hatchback later this month with the very pretty Coupé arriving in January.

The two cars share only the front end, with every panel behind the windscreen being different.

They will appeal to two very different types of customers.

The design on the hatch has been toned down, but is stylish and will be more acceptable to a wider audience than the outgoing model.

The Coupé is a great looking car from every angle and, despite it having a sloping roof, it still manages to get two adults in the back with plenty of head and legroom. The interior quality is unbelievable – a giant step forward.

I drove both on a variety of roads in and around Madrid in sun, rain, fog and very windy conditions, and we all thought it is an all-round improvement.

The handling, road-holding, brakes and steering are fantastic, and – dare I say it – really too good for this type of car.

The typical driver will not appreciate just how good it is.
 

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