Thinking CAP - CAP manufacturer relationships manager Martin Ward scours the globe for insider fleet intelligence
Down to the New Forest to try the new Porsche Cayenne diesel and hybrid.
This is more than a facelift, it is a new car.
It is longer and there is now more room for rear seat passengers, which is a much-needed benefit.
The Cayenne, surprisingly, is Porsche’s best seller worldwide with 280,000 over seven years and 14,000 on UK roads.
Porsche’s petrol hybrid system produces 333PS and I managed to get 37.9mpg driving it very steadily around the Hampshire villages, where the electric motor took over and provided some of the power.
On the motorway this dropped to a disappointing 19.1mpg.
The cost of the hybrid is £57,609.
My choice would be the 3.0-litre V6 diesel that easily managed an average 34.3mpg and costs much less at £44,178.
To Barcelona to drive the Seat Ibiza ST. Normally I would say that a B-sector estate is going to be a disaster in the UK where they have never been loved.
But the ST, which costs £800 more than the five-door hatch, is a good-looking estate that is practical, well put together and looks good value.
I like it, but will the great British public?
Down to Stroud to drive the Volkswagen Polo BlueMotion which is powered by the new three-cylinder 1.2 TDI that produces 75PS.
The claimed combined fuel consumption figure is 80.7mpg, but on the M5 at a steady 70mph it managed only 54.5mpg.
Drop that speed to a constant 55mph and it goes up to 76.9mpg.
This small diesel engine is noisy on start-up, but is very quiet on the motorway. The C02 figure is only 91g/km so should appeal to many company car drivers.
The new Polo is a great looking small hatch and is bound to be a success.
To Birmingham in the evening to CAP’s ‘An audience with leading lights of the motor industry’ event with a panel including Graham Smith, executive adviser to the president and managing director, London Office, Toyota Motor Europe, David Brennan, managing director of LeasePlan UK, Chris Sutton, managing director of Black Horse Consumer Finance and chairman of the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA), and Trevor Finn, chief executive of Pendragon.
The panel was chaired by Christopher Macgowan.
There was a good selection of people from different sectors of the industry and some great questions were put to the panel.
A good, interesting and informative night.
My personal thanks to the panel who gave up their time to join us.