THIS year’s Geneva Motor Show saw plenty of new metal – and plenty of models likely to appeal to company car drivers. Here’s our pick with the Top 10 company cars at the show.
When Mercedes invented the four-door coupé with its dramatically styled CLS, the concept was an instant hit. The problem? That look came at a price that was out of reach for most company car drivers.
Volkswagen soon filled the gap with the sleek Passat CC but now Mercedes is doing its own half-price CLS – the CLA. Expect this to fly out of the showrooms at the expected £25K starting price. More about the CLA here.
Volkswagen Golf BlueMotion
The new Golf is already going down a storm but Geneva sees the debut of the fuel-sipping BlueMotion model that turns in 88.3 mpg and 85 g/km. It was made the International Car of the Year at Geneva.
If you don’t want to don a hair shirt there’s a quick new Golf GTI, as well as the GTD, the sporty diesel that tries to give you the best of both worlds. And don’t forget the new Golf estate, either. (Our full car review of the new Golf 1,6 TDI is here.)
Skoda Octavia estate
Hot on the heels of the new Octavia hatch comes the updated estate. Skoda’s latest Audi-worrier is bigger and plusher than ever before, and with the usual wide choice of efficient Volkswagen TDI and TSI engines, there should be plenty to please company car drivers who need to carry a lot of stuff. Prices start at £16,790. (We’ve driven the Octavia saloon – click here for the car review.)
Infiniti is still an unfamiliar name for company car drivers but all that could change with the arrival of the company’s 3-Series and C-Class competitor, the Q50.
The main point of interest is a business-friendly sub-115g/km 2.2-litre diesel engine that comes from the tie-up between Daimler and Infiniti’s parent company Nissan – and it arrives just as Lexus is dropping the diesel engine on the rival IS in favour of a petrol hybrid.
For most business drivers, Vauxhall means solid, dependable mile-munching Astras and Insignias but lately the company has been trying to jazz things up a bit.
First there was the electric Ampera, quickly followed by the Adam, a rival for the Mini and Fiat 500 with its zany colour schemes and personalisation options. Now there’s the Cascada too, a big, stylish full four-seat convertible that should give Vauxhall’s image a big lift. (More about the Cascada here.)
This one won’t be turning up in your company car park right away, but remember the Qoros name because you’re probably going to be hearing a lot more of it in future. China’s Chery Automobile, Israeli investors and European engineers and designers have come up with the Golf-sized 3, which promises to be a polished product at a keen price. Watch out Hyundai and Kia – and everyone else.
The iX35 is already a success but Hyundai used the Geneva Motor Show to announce a mid-life update just to keep it fresh. As well as the usual interior and exterior tweaks, there’s a Flex Steer system offering three different levels of steering effort and feel, and a new Euro-5 compliant direct-injection petrol engine developed in Europe.
The Ecosport arrives in Europe thanks to its maker’s “One Ford” policy which means that any model that shows promise gets picked up sold around the world. The first Ecosport mini-SUV was a hit in Brazil and emerging markets, and now this latest model is coming to Europe too. Among other tricks it features sync voice control and streams Spotify through the entertainment system.
The V40 was already an interesting choice for company car drivers thanks to a fair dollop of style, a decent badge, all those Volvo safety features and a 1.6 diesel that turned in 94g/km and 78.5 mpg. Now the company has squeezed even more economy out of this business favourite and the latest version achieves 88 g/km and 83.1 mpg. (Click here for our car review of the V40.)
Toyota Auris Touring Sports
This one slipped in under the radar but could be an interesting choice for some company car drivers. For the first time, Toyota’s Prius-style hybrid drivetrain is united with a practical estate body in a car that promises 85g/km with prices starting at about £21K.
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