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Bryan M

More Test Drives

I have been doing very well with getting extended test drives from work. We are only meant to have 3 and hopefully I will end up with 5 all being well. I am doing equally badly at posting them up.

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV - covered on another thread

BMW 420d SE Gran Coupe - I loved this car, it looks great from the outside especially with the frameless doors. The interior is dated in my opinion but has all of the kit required and good ergonomics. It also had the all important 5 door practicality with a big boot and a good standard kit count.

We went upto the Lakes for a long weekend - I highly recommend the Wild Boar Inn, great steaks, whiskey and the 6ft round copper bath tub

http://englishlakes.co.uk/hotels/.../windermere-hotels/wild-boar-inn/



Anyway back to the driving - it was great on the motorway but occasionally the engine was very noisy and other times very refined - I couldn't work out a particular cause (cold?) but its a torquey lump. It handled it self very well around the lakes and was a delight to drive on the A684 through Garsdale Head through to Bedale on the way home. It was also ridiculously economical given the work out it had. Less than £40 to fill when it was dropped off with about a 1/4 tank and still half left when we got back to Derby!

Were the aim of the exercise not to save the maximum (ish) money I would be getting one of these - saves around £200pcm over the Evoque









I also had the opportunity to have 24hrs in a BMW 330e - very impressive with the electric and petrol engine combined but a shame they only do it as a saloon - a touring would have been at the top of the list.

Mercedes C350e Estate Sport

As previously discussed this was the logical choice on numbers alone. †I was uncomfortable choosing a car I hadn't driven and booked a weekend in C220d estate to get a feel - this fell through and Mercedes pulled something out of the bag by getting me a C350e Estate for Mon-Wed - which I duly drove to Bristol and back to see what it was like.

It looks very purposeful and the estate is better than the saloon in my opinion. The interior is very contemporary but would be better if the screen was integrated into the dash. The integration of petrol and electric is seamless and very quiet and it is the most powerful of the cars I have tried - 280bhp combined with 60mph arriving in around 6 secs. The car felt very refined and drove very well with the airmatic suspension. I didn't get the chance to hustle it too much but it didn't feel out of its depth on the back roads.

What was really impressive was the electric motor in traffic - silently gliding along rather than the engine turning on/off with stop start - very refined and the future I think.

I deliberately didn't fill it with electric before I set off to see what the fuel economy would be like - in Hybrid mode it averaged according to the trip 47mpg on the way to Bristol (free flowing 50-70mph morning traffic). On the way back the traffic was a little clearer and it averaged around 45mpg. Both of these are better than the Evoque and covered by the mileage allowance so perfectly acceptable for a 211bhp petrol estate.

The rear seat space was a little tight but the boot was fine despite the raised floor taking up some space.

I ran a quote for a black C350e estate sport with the LED ILS which came in at a monthly contribution of £8 over my pot - with the reduced CO2 it would be pushing £400pcm back. 2 days later the quote went up by £100 a month .......

I had a tense weekend until I worked out the original quote was valid for 8 more days and then a contemplative night about ordering a car I hadn't driven - I placed the order to keep the quote alive as it looked like an unrepeatable deal. I'm glad I did as the car is now £140 a month more!

I am looking at adding a few more options as I have the car for 4 years - - - Privacy glass in case little ones come along/drug dealer look,
- 360 camera as there is no button to get a front screen graphic without going via reverse otherwise
- Proper leather rather than Artico - it was OK but did feel fake - hopefully the proper leather is better

This lot should come to £25pcm more once the lease company have calculated it properly (fingers crossed! - they came back once with a £50pcm increase). If they play silly buggers I'll stick to standard with the ILS

I would have had the premium plus pack but there isn't a way of getting it without pushing up the emissions on the estate because it dictates 18" wheels rather than the standard 17"s

So a decision has been made!
Bryan M

Merc Pics








I had cancelled the Golf GTE weekend I had booked so that I could try an Audi A7 3.0 tdi SE Exec (that is booked next weekend)

Whilst in London on Thursday the Golf was dropped off which was a bit surprising - it looked good in Blue and I took it on my stag do, as it seemed rude not too!

It was great on the Herefordshire roads and the motorway on the way down - when the 1.4 tsi petrol and electric combine (204bhp) it has really strong performance - it is more vocal when the engine kicks in that the Merc. It also struggled to get its power down on occasion but gripped well in the corners. Again I didn't fill up the battery and in hybrid mode with some hard use it averaged 50mpg - seriously impressive for a petrol.

I could see me getting one but it would cost more than the deal I have got on the C350e and space would be a serious issue - the rear seats were probably bigger than the C Class but the boot was woefully small - a couple of crates of cider and an overnight bag basically filled it



So lots of fun around country roads but ultimately too small.

Roll on next weekend for the A7 which should be fun but it looks like a Merc will be arriving on my drive in September †
Martin

Sounds ideal and you can't argue with such a significant saving.  The monthly tax bill will double in the next couple of years, but I guess the increase in £ will be similar to having a diesel?  The mpg is better than I thought it would be, so even with a tiny fuel tank the range should be OK.

When will you get it?
Bryan M

The lease on the Evoque runs out in September so around then.

The tax in year 4 (19/20) will be 16% so around £280pcm cheaper than what I am currently paying.

The 106g CO2 BMW 420d would be 28% tax by comparison in 19/20 and the Evoque at 149g CO2 would be 36%

so the petrol electric hybrid is still way ahead assuming they don't move the goal posts!
Martin

28% for a 106g diesel!!

Just had a look at the table and mine would be 37% which is as high as it goes. †Time to re-run the man maths and make me feel better / increase the budget next time!

You're definitely doing the right thing imho.

edit: £1000 a month in tax alone to run my 535d as a company car plus the loss of car allowance, so call it £1400 in total. †Cheaper to buy/run my own. †Reducing the list price/co2 down to a 520d M Sport Estate takes the cost down to just under £1100.
PhilD

Bryan M wrote:


Golf - the rear seats were probably bigger than the C Class but the boot was woefully small - a couple of crates of cider and an overnight bag basically filled it



Is the boot full of batteries or are you a woeful packer?!
Martin

We don't know how big the crates of Cider were and the size of his costume.

IIRC the boot space is 100 litres or so less, which must be 25-30% smaller than the standard car and that will all be out of the height. †

edit: Just googled the 350e Estate and it's got 350 litres, which is 30 litres less than a normal Golf and 10 litres less than a new Clubman.
Bryan M

Martin, are you sure you are working that out correctly?

I am a good packer but the boot is basically level at the opening and filled with batteries below!
Bryan M

The 350e boot is deceptive, wide and long but shallow upto the load cover. I'll see if I can get a pic of the golf boot
Martin

I wasn't as it was a guess, but I've just checked the VW website and the 5 door Golf has a 380 litres boot, the GTE has 272 litres. †So that's 28.42% smaller.

GTD



GTE

Bryan M

Hee hee, I meant your car tax!
Martin

Bryan M wrote:
Hee hee, I meant your car tax!


Ahhhhh! †

I think so....

£60,000 x 37% x 40% = £8880
£22,100 x 37% x 40% = £3270
Total = £12,150 or £1,012 a month
Plus allowance

You could rightly argue that having a fuel card wouldn't give me any benefit at that % rate, as the cost is £270 a month and I spend about £250 a month on private fuel at the moment.
Bryan M

I wasn't factoring in fuel benefit, makes sense now.
PhilD

Martin wrote:
I wasn't as it was a guess, but I've just checked the VW website and the 5 door Golf has a 380 litres boot, the GTE has 272 litres. †So that's 28.42% smaller.



Same as mine then so Bryan is a woeful packer  
PG

Bryan M wrote:
I could see me getting one but it would cost more than the deal I have got on the C350e and space would be a serious issue - the rear seats were probably bigger than the C Class but the boot was woefully small - a couple of crates of cider and an overnight bag basically filled it

..... but it looks like a Merc will be arriving on my drive in September †


"Two crate of cider" - makes a change from the "two golf bag" test that seems to be the default for boot tests.  

I think the Merc looks the right choice, there being no 330 estate (shame on you BMW).
PG

Martin wrote:
Bryan M wrote:
Hee hee, I meant your car tax!


Ahhhhh! †

I think so....

£60,000 x 37% x 40% = £8880
£22,100 x 37% x 40% = £3270
Total = £12,150 or £1,012 a month
Plus allowance

You could rightly argue that having a fuel card wouldn't give me any benefit at that % rate, as the cost is £270 a month and I spend about £250 a month on private fuel at the moment.


Useful man maths there. Makes the XFR look a bargain as a private purchase.
Martin

Happy to help!  

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