Thinking CAP - CAP manufacturer relationships manager Martin Ward scours the globe for the week's insider fleet intelligence
To Volkswagen’s UK HQ in Milton Keynes to have a brief look at a pre-production all-new Sharan.
The seven-seater MPV has grown by 22cm and is wider and lower than its predecessor so looks sleeker and even a bit sporty.
The sliding rear doors make it easier to get in and out and there will be an electric opening option.
The quality of both interior and exterior looked much improved, but the biggest improvement by far is the seat system that now folds flat into the floor in just a few seconds and can be done with one hand.
This new MPV, due on sale in the UK this autumn, is worth waiting for.
There is plenty of competition now in this sector, so it has to be good to stand any chance, and it is.
We are going to see the Seat version soon so will see if they have done as good a job.
Over to Mitsubishi’s European R&D HQ in Frankfurt to drive their new ASX.
They call it a crossover. I would call it a very good and keenly-priced Volkswagen Golf, Ford Focus, Peugeot 3008 and Nissan Qashqai competitor.
It will be available at launch in either two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive versions, though the two-wheel drive will account for more than 80% of sales.
It looks good and drives really well. The interior plastics are not up to German standards, but for the money are acceptable.
As good as it is, I do worry that it will just become a well-kept secret, and it deserves better than that.
Prices will start from £14,999, but the one to have is the ASX3 1.8DiD priced at only £18,499 – a bargain.
Mark Bulmer and Rob Hester from the Black Book team were telling me that there is an over-abundance of sub-standard cars at auctions at the moment from leasing companies.
These cars have been run and run, have had their contracts extended by well over a year and are looking very tired.
To make it worse, these cars have been through the worst winter for years, had minor bumps and been pelted on the motorway for weeks with gritting salt.
These cars are not CAP Clean cars and sellers should be putting the right reserve on them. If it isn’t CAP Clean and ready to retail, it isn’t going to make CAP Clean money – simple!
The message is loud and clear from the auction companies – buyers will pay strong money for the right cars and bid low at the poor ones.