Martin Ward, manufacturer relationships manager Cap HPI talks about his week of test drives with Volkswagen, Seat and Skoda.
Monday A bit of a VW Group week, this one. First down to Woburn for a double UK press launch of the Polo and Tiguan Allspace.
This Polo is a revolution and not an evolution. The design and styling is a departure from the MK5.
The clever, strong and bold lines really make this hatch look very modern and different. I drove the 1.0-litre 95PS petrol engine, which has more than enough power.
Prices start from £13,855. Next to drive was the VW Tiguan Allspace. It’s like a Tiguan, but bigger, 215mm longer to be precise, with seven seats as standard, as is sat-nav.
A variety of petrol and diesel engines are offered, and so is 4Motion AWD. Prices start from £29,370 OTR. It’s an excellent choice for fleet drivers who want a good package and plenty of room.
Wednesday I was due to go to Cambridge to drive the Seat Arona, the smaller brother of the increasingly popular Ateca.
But, due to the snowy weather, getting out of my village was impossible. Not too much lost as I had driven the clever and good looking Arona a few months ago in Barcelona.
This compact crossover did everything it should, was quiet, refined and comfortable with plenty of interior space.
Prices start from £16,555 OTR including metallic paint and bi-colour roof, which are standard on all models.
Friday To Lincoln for the UK press launch of the Škoda Karoq. The weather was dull and raining, but at least not snowing. But not as good as the last time I drove this excellent car in sunny Sicily.
This compact SUV sets new standards in this busy sector and has fleet-focused SE Technology which is full of standard equipment.
We drove the Karoq fitted with VW Group’s new 1.5 TSI petrol engine that has Cylinder on Demand. It goes from four cylinders to two, when full power is not required.
Later we drove a Karoq fitted with the sweet 1.0-litre, three-cylinder petrol engine.
I would choose the 1.5 TSI SE Technology with sat-nav, 17-inch alloys, eight-inch touchscreen and adaptive cruise control – all for £22,225 OTR.