Fleet News

Thinking CAP: June 10 – Mazda6, Auris hybrid, Land Rover, electric vehicles

Thinking CAP - Martin Ward, CAP manufacturer relationships manager scours the globe for insider fleet intelligence

Monday

To Barcelona with Mazda fleet.

It’s not often you can say a manufacturer has made an excellent car even better with minor changes, but it’s certainly the case with the Mazda6.

Changes include a revised chassis with new bushes and dampers, which give the new 6 improved ride and comfort as well as reducing noise in the cabin.

The steering has been improved to enhance straight-line stability.

The model to have is the TS hatchback with the 2.2D 129bhp diesel engine that has CO2 emissions of 138g/km, combined fuel economy of 54.3mpg and a price tag of £19,115.

Tuesday

Sometimes we see a car too early in its development, as was the case with the Toyota Auris HSD when we saw it a few months ago.

The early pre-production car’s automatic CVT gearbox was not right and it whined, the plastics were poor and fit and finish was sub-standard, and it left me feeling a bit concerned.

But today we drove one of the first HSDs off the production line at Burnaston, near Derby, and what a difference.

We managed to achieve around 55mpg on just a short journey and CO2 emissions as low as 89g/km.

With this sort of green machine, and many others, who needs an electric vehicle that costs much more and has a limited range?

Thursday

So, Land Rover finally announced it is going to launch a two-wheel drive vehicle, namely the production version of the LRX Concept.

What a good decision. I’m convinced it will sell and won’t dilute the Land Rover brand.

Friday

The electric vehicle debate goes on and I seem to be getting asked more questions, mainly from the leasing industry.

We have already said that CAP will not value any EV without a battery included, and this seems to have had a unanimous thumbs-up.

The question of the £5,000 (inc VAT) subsidy and who gets it is also being asked. The answer to that seems to be the registered keeper.

If that is a leasing company then it is up to the company what to do with it: knock it off the front-end price and pass it on to the customer, knock it off the rentals, save it for the back-end disposal, or a mixture of all of them – there doesn’t seem to be any rules.

This is all, of course, assuming the new Government is willing to pay out around £260 million to be seen to be green.

If not, the viability of EVs has to be in question.



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