Fleet News

Thinking CAP: September 2 - Suzuki Swift, Kia Sportage, Jaguar XFR, Mitsubishi Colt

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

Monday

Alun Parry and Ian Lake from Suzuki brought the current Swift and new model to Leeds.

Put the new one in isolation and it is difficult to spot the difference, but put the two side-by-side and it has changed dramatically and for the better.

The Swift has been on the market for nearly six years and it looks as fresh as it did when it was launched.

It is not a fleet favourite, but the new one with much lower CO2 figures should be much more competitive.

Tuesday

A contingent from Kia, including head of fleet Andrew Sellars, came to the office to discuss future products and leave a new Sportage for us to test.

It’s only 34 years ago that Kia built its first car and 10 years ago it was still selling the Pride – how things have changed in terms of design and quality.

The new Sportage is stylish and the interior quality of this Kia feels every bit as good as a premium German car (see review, p33).

The Sportage measures 4,440mm so as a two-wheel drive 1.7D with sub-140g/km CO2 emissions it should fit neatly on the C-sector hatch choice list – and on the small 4x4 list too.

It is practical, comfortable, economical and flexible – a good all-rounder at a reasonable price.

Thursday

To Silverstone where the press, Jaguar owners and dealers were invited to a track day.

Weather was poor and rear-wheel drive, high- powered vehicles in the wet, despite all the systems and various anti-this and anti-that, did make for some scary driving.

I didn’t go around the circuit but watched a few that did.

I went out in the new XFR, a 5.0-litre supercharged monster of a car that goes from 0-62mph in 4.7 seconds and produces 510bhp.

Not your average fleet vehicle, but more like the modern-day version of a getaway car.

The XF, though, with a 3.0-litre diesel engine is proving popular with user-choosers and so it should as it does look good value.

Friday to Monday

Down to Portugal to visit a friend for the weekend. Rented a Mitsubishi Colt.

This five-door hatch proved to be a great little car, whether on the motorway, around town or on the rocky dirt tracks, where you usually only take 4x4s and hire cars.

But in the UK it is almost unheard of.

Mitsubishi UK seems to concentrate efforts on Evos, 4x4s and more recently the i-Miev and lost sight of its low-volume regular fleet vehicles.

The ASX is selling well but Mitsubishi needs to keep marketing or else it too will get forgotten about.


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