Fleet News

Thinking CAP, June 9, 2011: BMW 1-Series, Kia Picanto, Suzuki Jimny

Monday

Up to a cold, misty and wet Inverness to drive the BMW 1-Series M Coupé along some splendid roads and past some beautiful lochs.

It is powered by a 3.0-litre petrol engine that produces 340bhp and goes from 0-62mph in 4.9 seconds.

The car looks brilliant from every angle and probably goes even better than it looks.

BMW has also given the interior plenty of thought in its design and attention to detail.

The black leather and Alcantara, with its orange stitching, doesn’t sound good, but it looks very special when you see it in the car.

BMW GB will get only 450 of these £40,000 coupés, and there won’t be that many fleet operators that want to offer them to drivers, but be quick if you want one.

Wednesday/Thursday

Down to Bordeaux in France. What a lovely town, and the surrounding area is spectacular with its grapevines for mile after mile.

We were there to drive the all-new Kia Picanto, and what a great little car it is. It is available with a either a 99g/km 1.0-litre or a 1.2-litre (one Ecodynamics version producing 100g/km, with the standard version using the manual gearbox at 109g/km), both petrols.

The three-cylinder sub-100g/km is a cracking engine. It easily cruised at 81mph on the French motorways, and was quick enough away at the traffic lights in the towns.

The quality, like all Korean cars, has come on in leaps and bounds over the past couple of years.

Prices start from £7,995, but the one to have is the 1-AIR at £8,600 – great value.

Friday

I’ve been using a Suzuki Jimny, which must be one of the oldest cars available new today.

Launched in 1998, it has hardly changed at all, even the indicators are still on the right-hand side of the steering wheel.

But despite it being 13 years old, it does not feel old at all, and is a good, reliable small, cheap 4x4.


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