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Giant

New Car Thread

I'm about to choose my first company car, which will also be my first new car 'purchase'. Our list is a little odd, with some models I'm surprised by their absence, others I'm surprised by their presence.
Although I'm tempted by the spec of titty X fiesta which is on the list, I need/want something slightly larger, which leads me to my options:

New Astra
Focus hatch/estate
308 hatch/estate
Cactus
C4
Civic hatch/estate
Qashqai
Pulsar

Other than the Cactus and Pulsar (which are both available in top spec) the specs are all low to average. On paper there's a clear leader, but being my first new car I intend to tour the showrooms to get a broader picture.

All opinions welcomed, and in true forum fashion, will probably be ignored!
Nice Guy Eddie

Either a Qashqai or Focus.
DetmoldDick

Qashcow for me.
Racing Teatray

My brother-in-law has a 308 wagon which is actually rather nice, but then again his is kitchen-sink spec, and I wonder how appealing it would be as a low-rent equivalent.

I quite like the idea of the ridiculousness of a ritzy company Cactus. It will have the advantage of not seeming to be a company car...

Also quite like the look of the Civic estate.

No idea what a Pulsar actually is?
Chris M Wanted a V-10

Racing Teatray wrote:

No idea what a Pulsar actually is?

A lowered Qashqai.

I'd probably go for the Fiesta Titty X, if not the Qashqai or Civic Estate (tourer?) from that list... idealy I'd go for something completely different
JohnC

I think my order of preference would be:

Focus
Astra
Qashqai
Civic
308
C4
Cactus
Pulsar

A Focus estate should be big enough for almost anything you need but the Qashqai is a good looking vehicle with a higher driving position and a bit more road presence. I have never found Vauxhalls to be poor cars as long as it is a decent engine and the new Astra seems to be quite well liked if not a bit anonymous.
Humphrey The Pug

Out of that lot it would be the Kumquat, as long as it was a decent spec.

The Cactus runs it a close second, just for it being odd and I quite like them.
Michael

Cactus, it's the only one I'd be interested in. In grey with grey goose bumps they look like little tanks.
Giant

I very much doubt I'll pick the Qashqai. Our carpark is awash with them, which does suggest it's the perfect car for our roles and I don't want to be different just to be obtuse, but for some reason they just don't appeal. Had a Renault Kadger been on the list, that would have appealed far more.

It's interesting (to me!) how with some cars I'd always struggled to understand why people chose them when viewing from the outside, are suddenly appearing on my shortlist!
Giant

Michael wrote:
Cactus, it's the only one I'd be interested in. In grey with grey goose bumps they look like little tanks.


In grey on grey or black on black there is something very Mad Max about them which makes me smile when I see them though I also like the contrast of white on black.
Humphrey The Pug

Giant wrote:
Michael wrote:
Cactus, it's the only one I'd be interested in. In grey with grey goose bumps they look like little tanks.


In grey on grey or black on black there is something very Mad Max about them which makes me smile when I see them though I also like the contrast of white on black.


They look better in a bright colour so that the side bumps are really obvious.
DetmoldDick

We all know the bumps will lose their adhesion 2 days after the guarantee runs out
DetmoldDick

So, if you are ruling out the Qashqai I think I would go for the Astra. One main reason being that it is the newest on the list.
I'd rule out the Civic, despite the fact I have one, as it is to be replaced next year.
BeN

The 308 is actually pretty decent. The interior is nice, even in low spec.

Otherwise I'd go for the Qashqai. The Cactus is far too quirky for my tastes. It's rather small too.
Dr. Hfuhruhurr

Cactus in top spec, or failing that, Qashqai
Nelson

I think you have to consider how many miles you will be driving in it and then it's all about driver appeal from behind the wheel, how does it drive and how does it make you feel to sit in it in all sorts of environments, slow crawl to motorway blast. The driving environment has always played a major part in any of my car purchases, so from your choices I'd plump for the Astra give its smart well designed upmarket looking interior even if poverty spec.

The new Astra is believed to drive nice.

Yep, Astra for me
cbeaks1

What spec are they all?

As nice as a Fiesta Tit X is I'd rather have a Focus estate Zetec as long as you have the sat nav.

I wouldn't rule out a Qashqai purely on the grounds of ubiquity. I've not driven one but that size crossover makes for an excellent car and they are very well regarded and equipped.
Stuntman

As an object: Cactus all day long
As a thing to drive: Focus or Astra, whichever you prefer.
PhilD

Michael wrote:
Cactus, it's the only one I'd be interested in. In grey with grey goose bumps they look like little tanks.


I thought that recently! there's a green which also makes them look quite military. Do they still not offer a folding rear seat? that would be a deal breaker for me.
Giant

PhilD wrote:
Michael wrote:
Cactus, it's the only one I'd be interested in. In grey with grey goose bumps they look like little tanks.


I thought that recently! there's a green which also makes them look quite military. Do they still not offer a folding rear seat? that would be a deal breaker for me.


Folds but no split.
Frank Bullitt

PhilD wrote:
Michael wrote:
Cactus, it's the only one I'd be interested in. In grey with grey goose bumps they look like little tanks.


I thought that recently! there's a green which also makes them look quite military. Do they still not offer a folding rear seat? that would be a deal breaker for me.


The rear seat does fold and has from launch, but as a change to the 2016 model they've introduced a 60/40 split seat - the reason is bizarre though; in Australia a car can only be modelled as having a rear seat if it has isofix mountings and as time Cactus had only the two side seats covered it is licensed as a 4-seater; they've introduced the isofix for the middle and done the split at the same time, it adds a bit of weight but will make it more marketable. The colour you saw is 'Lagoon Blue' but I can see why you'd call it green!

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Cactus would be my choice - in the newly introduced Jelly Red which looks sensational, Habana cloth interior and black airbumps; roll down this thread to see the new colour and the split rear seat. In all its glory;

http://www.autoweek.nl/forum/read.php?4,5242156,page=20

Sadly the red interior isn't available in the uk yet; delivery is 3-4 months on factory orders at the moment.

If that was too unusual I'd go for the 308; they are a lovely car with a very nice interior indeed; the Active spec is good with everything you'll ever need but the Allure lifts it with some tasty FG (LED's, nicer trim) but be aware of you are going for an Allure 120 Blue HDi they put the most revolting wheels known to man on it.
PhilD

Frank Bullitt wrote:


The colour you saw is 'Lagoon Blue' but I can see why you'd call it green!



I've checked and it's Hello Yellow!

The front seat teasingly bench like.
Frank Bullitt

Ah, Hello Yellow - the only free colour and until Jelly Red arrived, the nicest.

The front bench is great, car with the ETG gearbox get that fitted but manual models have a definite split.
tali

I have a  Qashqai- and although there are loads about, it seems in a class above the others for style and quality.
A Cactus will have more character- but it simply does not have the premium feel inside and out.
Dunno how old you are but the Cactus is far more suited to a younger driver.
Roadsterstu

What engines, CO2 etc are you limited to?

I'd be sorely tempted by the Cactus. The Qashqai looks good but is beginning to appear everywhere. Fir something more car like I'd go Focus or new Astra.

I saw a Cactus driving school car near Peterborough last weekend. Pretty unique and very cool.
Giant

cbeaks1 wrote:
What spec are they all?

As nice as a Fiesta Tit X is I'd rather have a Focus estate Zetec as long as you have the sat nav.

I wouldn't rule out a Qashqai purely on the grounds of ubiquity. I've not driven one but that size crossover makes for an excellent car and they are very well regarded and equipped.


Focus Estate Zetec Nav
Pulsar Accenta
Cactus Flair
Qashqai visia
Astra design or Techline
Civic S (with Nav on hatch but not estate)
Can't remember the 308 at the moment

Cactus is firm favourite. Stopped at local Citroen dealer on way home, which was a waste of time. Only had one 'Feel' model on site with a flat battery, the salesman didn't look up from his computer (must've been on a forum or something ) and when I asked what you get on a Flair Edition on top of the standard Flair he looked blank, then went on the Citroen website as I had done and told me what I already had seen for myself, which is clearly wrong as its a £1000 premium but only states a panoramic roof, which is a £600 option.
Frank Bullitt

Flair edition has the panoramic roof and black cloth/ leather interior plus a limited colour choice. I think there might be a couple of other exterior trim bits too.

tali wrote:

A Cactus will have more character- but it simply does not have the premium feel inside and out.


Life is too short for Missionary-position motoring; premium feel sounds terribly dull.
Giant

Roadsterstu wrote:
What engines, CO2 etc are you limited to?

I'd be sorely tempted by the Cactus. The Qashqai looks good but is beginning to appear everywhere. Fir something more car like I'd go Focus or new Astra.

I saw a Cactus driving school car near Peterborough last weekend. Pretty unique and very cool.


I don't know how the list is compiled, mainly by cost per month it appears and less than 120 carbons per month. Predominantly diesels with the odd petrol thrown in.

The perception of premium my be true of the Qashqai, but I don't particularly like them for no justifiable reason. They have become the default (with good reason), jack of all trades, all bases covered car. Which is great for many, many people, but not really for me.
gooner

The 308 looks good but I find the dials atop a low steering wheel a bit odd.

The new Astra is getting some great reviews but if they're using the same paint as on my insignia you'll be stung with a big re spray bill at the end of its tenure.

In your shoes I'd be tempted to play it safe with the Focus, Astra or Cashcow but the Cactus makes an interesting wildcard, just watch the CO2 emissions, none of those options is good enough to be worth £20-£30 a month more in tax than the others. If you can have a Focus with the 1.0 ecoboost petrol it'll have a good BIK rate. At this level Diesel engined cars are on shakey ground as company cars.
Frank Bullitt

Cactus Blue HDi is 92 carbons with 17" wheels, the 1.2 Puretech 110 is 107 carbons; if the latter is offered I would go for that, but as its a company car then probably an oiler!
Giant

I've already weeded out the ones with outlandish monthly tax, I'm looking at a max of £60 per month, all the options I've given are between £50 and £60.

Cactus is diesel only, in fact I think all are on my shortlist.
Andy C

Focus, without doubt.
tali

Frank Bullitt wrote:
Flair edition has the panoramic roof and black cloth/ leather interior plus a limited colour choice. I think there might be a couple of other exterior trim bits too.

tali wrote:

A Cactus will have more character- but it simply does not have the premium feel inside and out.


Life is too short for Missionary-position motoring; premium feel sounds terribly dull.


But cheapy low budget does not sound appealing either.A VW Golf is the personification of premuim dull


Giant wrote:
Roadsterstu wrote:
What engines, CO2 etc are you limited to?

I'd be sorely tempted by the Cactus. The Qashqai looks good but is beginning to appear everywhere. Fir something more car like I'd go Focus or new Astra.

I saw a Cactus driving school car near Peterborough last weekend. Pretty unique and very cool.


I don't know how the list is compiled, mainly by cost per month it appears and less than 120 carbons per month. Predominantly diesels with the odd petrol thrown in.

The perception of premium my be true of the Qashqai, but I don't particularly like them for no justifiable reason. They have become the default (with good reason), jack of all trades, all bases covered car. Which is great for many, many people, but not really for me.


Yes they are default- but in a classy way, whereas the euroboxes are boring in a default way
How about a low spec DS5? -possibly the best interior ambience  of any car.Look classy aswell.Drive wise nothing special though.
Frank Bullitt

tali wrote:
Frank Bullitt wrote:
Flair edition has the panoramic roof and black cloth/ leather interior plus a limited colour choice. I think there might be a couple of other exterior trim bits too.

tali wrote:

A Cactus will have more character- but it simply does not have the premium feel inside and out.


Life is too short for Missionary-position motoring; premium feel sounds terribly dull.


But cheapy low budget does not sound appealing either.


...which the C4 Cactus isn't, to be honest.
Giant

tali wrote:
Yes they are default- but in a classy way, whereas the euroboxes are boring in a default way
How about a low spec DS5? -possibly the best interior ambience  of any car.Look classy aswell.Drive wise nothing special though.


It's all about perceptions, mine, probably skewed by the half dozen in my office car park is that Qashqais are default in a boring way. They're good cars no doubt, and I've been very impressed when driving my colleagues one, but I think I want something a little bit different.

I wait for this post to come back and haunt me when I inevitably order a Qashqai in a couple of weeks!  

If a DS5 were on my list, this thread would not involve any short list!
Chris M Wanted a V-10

Isn't a Captur on the list ?

... or a C-Max instead of a Focus Estate ?

Giant

Capturs are, but were immediately disregarded! No CMax options, the only MPVs were C4 Picasso and a sole model of Scenic, which I had assumed had been removed from sale ages ago, I can't remember last time I saw a new one.

Oh and no XMODs!  
tali

Frank Bullitt wrote:
tali wrote:
Frank Bullitt wrote:
Flair edition has the panoramic roof and black cloth/ leather interior plus a limited colour choice. I think there might be a couple of other exterior trim bits too.

tali wrote:

A Cactus will have more character- but it simply does not have the premium feel inside and out.


Life is too short for Missionary-position motoring; premium feel sounds terribly dull.


But cheapy low budget does not sound appealing either.


...which the C4 Cactus isn't, to be honest.


Some of it is good but in other areas you can tell they have cut down on quality  badly.But it just doesn't cut it as upmarket. Funky , friendly , yes  but not upmarket.Like i said , for younger drivers and not old fogeys like me.



Giant wrote:
tali wrote:
Yes they are default- but in a classy way, whereas the euroboxes are boring in a default way
How about a low spec DS5? -possibly the best interior ambience  of any car.Look classy aswell.Drive wise nothing special though.


It's all about perceptions, mine, probably skewed by the half dozen in my office car park is that Qashqais are default in a boring way. They're good cars no doubt, and I've been very impressed when driving my colleagues one, but I think I want something a little bit different.

I wait for this post to come back and haunt me when I inevitably order a Qashqai in a couple of weeks!  

If a DS5 were on my list, this thread would not involve any short list!


QQ is  admittedly hyped up- and it came  back to haunt me aswell!
Frank Bullitt

tali wrote:
Frank Bullitt wrote:
tali wrote:
Frank Bullitt wrote:
Flair edition has the panoramic roof and black cloth/ leather interior plus a limited colour choice. I think there might be a couple of other exterior trim bits too.

tali wrote:

A Cactus will have more character- but it simply does not have the premium feel inside and out.


Life is too short for Missionary-position motoring; premium feel sounds terribly dull.


But cheapy low budget does not sound appealing either.


...which the C4 Cactus isn't, to be honest.


Some of it is good but in other areas you can tell they have cut down on quality  badly.But it just doesn't cut it as upmarket. Funky , friendly , yes  but not upmarket.Like i said , for younger drivers and not old fogeys like me.


Who cares if it's not upmarket, not everyone wants such obviousness - not sure a Qashqai qualifies as upmarket either TBH. Some of the interior, particularly at lower level is built to a price on the Cactus, but then that's true of lots of cars; Qashqai Visia on the list is distinctly poverty spec and missing some of the nicer trim, as is the Focus Zetec and Civic S. At least the Cactus has some lovely detail, not all (many) of the cars on that list do. It's not everyone's choice, but it would be mine - plenty of older people like them too.
gooner

Chris M Wanted a V-10 wrote:
Isn't a Captur on the list ?

... or a C-Max instead of a Focus Estate ?



Wouldn't the Kadjar be a better alternative to the Cashcow? Are they on the list?
Bryan M

What engines can you get in them?
Giant

gooner wrote:
Chris M Wanted a V-10 wrote:
Isn't a Captur on the list ?

... or a C-Max instead of a Focus Estate ?



Wouldn't the Kadjar be a better alternative to the Cashcow? Are they on the list?


No Kadgars. The list is odd, I thought Kadgars are cheaper than Qashqais, so would therefore be there, but maybe they cost more to lease.

Bryan M wrote:
What engines can you get in them?


Basically 1.5/1.6 diesels.
gonnabuildabuggy

I suspect a lot of it will be down to what the trim levels have with them.

My thoughts are:

You need to drive them, a car you can "hussle" can make boring journeys more fun and I suspect the Focus and Astra might deliver on that level.

I like the Focus looks and the Astra (last yrs model) I had in SRi spec as a hire car last year was a good place to do miles.

Civic still appeals, and is a bit more left field (and looks less like a company car).

The Qashqai was my initial choice and least repmobile I would think but perhaps not as much fun to hussle.
Bob Sacamano

I've had a 1.5 diesel Focus on hire for a few months and to be honest it's very good. With the new grille it looks very smart, the interior is well-built and the Ford Sync is excellent. It does 59mpg all day long and goes down the road and handles very well. I can't see it offending anyone over the 3-4 year life as a company car.

I've not tried the Astra but they benchmark them so closely to the Focus it's hard to see it being majorly different.

When we were looking for a car for Mrs Sacamano we narrowed to down to the Qashqa, the Cactus and the DS3 (weren't expecting to include that but they are very nice with showroom appeal). Ultimately, the DS3 was disregarded on space grounds and we tried the other two. The problem we had with the Cactus was that when you got inside it felt very much  like you were going back to the Citroens of the 70s, with the squashy seats and slightly odd/dodgy plastics and styling. The ride and handling were a bit of a throwback too and we felt we'd tire of it after the novelty wore off. It also wasn't that cheap and the auto box is a dog. Ultimately, the Qashqai won out as it did everything just a bit better. That said, as has been pointed out, if you're just being offered the Visia it really is the lowest spec and loses some appeal, which I suppose brings me back round to the Focus.

Of the rest, as has been said, the Pulsar is just a Qashqai with a normal ride height - it does have masses of leg room in the back though.

Peugeot - not feeling it, especially as a company car - though if you're not going to do many miles you might get away with it.

The Civic could be interesting - I thought he current one was a massive styling disappointment when it came out but one of the guys at work has just got a white one (which masks the rather awkward wheel arch bulges somewhat) and has dark wheels. I'm coming round to it.
PhilD

Bob Sacamano wrote:
The problem we had with the Cactus was that when you got inside it felt very much  like you were going back to the Citroens of the 70s, with the squashy seats and slightly odd/dodgy plastics and styling. The ride and handling were a bit of a throwback too and we felt we'd tire of it after the novelty wore off.


There are bits from the pictures that look cheap but I imagine I'd go the other way to you Bob and I'd think about them for 5 minutes before getting on with enjoying the car and then properly bonding with it like Mark and his Defender  (or Franki and his uncomfortable and slow GT4...)
Dr. Hfuhruhurr

Or just opt out of the company car scheme and buy the best E46 CS or E90 M3 you can find!
Michael

How long are you likely to keep it? I think Bobs long term approach is more sensible so try and get a few 24hr test drives in. I walked past a black on black Cactus earlier and they are cool but small. It's the one I find most desirable having never sat in any of the list.
Grampa

The order in which I would be visiting the showrooms would be:-
Vauxhall,
Ford,
Nissan,
Citroen,
Peugeot,
Honda

And I would be quite happy if it turned out I didn't get past the Astra - the new one is a nice looking car inside and out.
cbeaks1

The c pillar bit on the new Astra is criminal. Well reviewed though and buying the newest on a list has some appeal.

Are you going to be high mileage motorway usage? I know there a few Cactus lovers here but to me it is a very plain body with chintzy bits, and based on a B car platform. Seems to be described a lot as a city car (Autocar wrote something along the lines of barely adequate handling and not particularly stable).
Bob Sacamano

Michael wrote:
How long are you likely to keep it? I think Bobs long term approach is more sensible so try and get a few 24hr test drives in. I walked past a black on black Cactus earlier and they are cool but small. It's the one I find most desirable having never sat in any of the list.


I wouldn't buy any car now where they didn't offer an extended, preferably 24 hour, test drive. You can't really learn anything on a quick spin round the block.

I was pleasantly surprised when we popped into the dealership one Saturday and the Nissan salesman said to us; "take the Qashqai away for 24 hours, there's petrol in it, stick the dog in and go down the beach, try your golf clubs in, go for a good day out in it and thrash it a bit, I don't want to see you again before Sunday lunchtime".

It's the only way to really test a car.

Similarly, I'm not in the market for a Focus but the last few months have cemented what a good all round package it is.
gooner

The Focus does do everything well. When I had mine (for six months between the Megane and Insignia I had a titanium spec 1.6d) I really enjoyed driving it and found the 1.6 diesel to be reasonably smooth and returning 50-55mpg in mixed driving. The new 1.5 diesel should be better still.

The Astra has the appeal of being the latest on to the market so will look newer than the others, but only until the hire car companies start buying them by the thousand, by which time your low spec one will start feeling less special.

End of the day though, they are all good cars and will all do everything you'll ask of them, you've just got to look at each properly and decide which you like the most.
Frank Bullitt

Michael wrote:
How long are you likely to keep it? I think Bobs long term approach is more sensible so try and get a few 24hr test drives in. I walked past a black on black Cactus earlier and they are cool but small. It's the one I find most desirable having never sat in any of the list.


Citroen are offering a 24 hour test drive on any car in the range, either sorted by your local dealer or Citroen UK through their web site, Facebook and Twitter accounts.

I'm tempted to have one for 24 hours as it is - whisper it, but I might even pension off the A2 and get a Cactus. Potential employment changes will decide the petrol v diesel argument.
Boxer6

Frank Bullitt wrote:
Michael wrote:
How long are you likely to keep it? I think Bobs long term approach is more sensible so try and get a few 24hr test drives in. I walked past a black on black Cactus earlier and they are cool but small. It's the one I find most desirable having never sat in any of the list.


Citroen are offering a 24 hour test drive on any car in the range, either sorted by your local dealer or Citroen UK through their web site, Facebook and Twitter accounts.

I'm tempted to have one for 24 hours as it is - whisper it, but I might even pension off the A2 and get a Cactus. Potential employment changes will decide the petrol v diesel argument.


What? Sorry? Didn't quite catch that  . . . .
PG

How many miles a year will you do? I think that is critical to know and for you to think about as your choose.

What might be funky / different / likeable in commuter and weekend car, might drive you to the verge of suicide in 20k per annum on the motorways.

I'm an old git but I'd go for the one that was the best compromise of quiet, comfy, with a light clutch and a decent stereo. And size usually means more comfy - if you try a Fiesta and a Focus back to back for example that becomes apparent.  

I don't know enough about the spec levels of your available choices, but I'd avoid anything base / low spec for the reasons I give above. Low spec also usually means less sound proofing, money-shaved interiors and a shitty stereo to cap all that off.

I totally agree that extended test drives are essential.
Stuntman

Dr. Hfuhruhurr wrote:
Or just opt out of the company car scheme and buy the best E46 CS or E90 M3 you can find!


The best idea, if you can do so and can sensibly justify either of the Doc's suggestions above!
Martin

As others have said, it depends on how many miles you do.  if its a decent amount (20,000+), then get the biggest most comfortable car on your shortlist.   It's difficult when you don't know the trim level on offer, as that can make a huge difference, but I think my shortlist would be Astra, 308, Qashqai and possibly the Focus.

I don't understand the widespread fondness for the Cactus at all.

Surely Chris is joking about getting rid of the A2?!
Michael

When FB says pension off I assume he means retire it to his garage rather than somebody else's.
Martin

Michael wrote:
When FB says pension off I assume he means retire it to his garage rather than somebody else's.


That does make more sense.
Roadsterstu

Frank Bullitt wrote:
Cactus Blue HDi is 92 carbons with 17" wheels, the 1.2 Puretech 110 is 107 carbons; if the latter is offered I would go for that, but as its a company car then probably an oiler!


This level of knowledge is, on the one hand, very impressive. On the other hand....

Giant

In reply to various posts above:

It'll be kept for three years.

I'll do 18-22k a year, but virtually never go near a motorway. My mileage is probably about 45-30-20 split between A roads, B roads and town driving, with the remaining 5% motorway and dual carriageway.

I've requested  test drives online for the Cactus, Astra, Civic, Focus and 308. I declared it to be for a company car purchase when asked. Astra and Civic both arranged for Saturday, both salesmen friendly and helpful. The local Peugeot dealer senior salesman who phoned me back to arrange the 308 test drive virtually spat down the phone at me, telling me he doesn't endorse his staff wasting time, 'their kids have to eat after all'.
Whilst I appreciate they won't get a sale, I requested the test drive on Peugeots website and ticked the box informing them it was for a company car so it's hardly my fault I got passed on to this particular dealership.

Qashqai has been removed from my list. I don't like my colleagues Accenta spec ones enough to want one, so a Visia one really wouldn't excite me.

Pulsar was only on the list as an extreme left field choice based on being too spec. Also removed.

The Drs/Stunts suggestion would be great in a parallel universe. In this one the opt out option would leave me in my rapidly creaking A2, I think the clutch is on its way out, hopefully it'll last long enough to see me into a new car!

Yesterday I was all about the Cactus, Today I'm thinking the Astra appeals!
Martin

Did the man from Peugeot used to work for Audi?  What a Grade A (short sighted) tosser.
PG

Martin wrote:
Did the man from Peugeot used to work for Audi?  What a Grade A (short sighted) tosser.


+1

In one call everything wrong with how cars are sold was laid bare. In our company as most of our customers are international, a deal may need to involve two or three sales people (or "account managers" to give them their posh name). The one that looks after the HQ, the two in the countries of the sites being implemented and so on. We have a set out system of "splits" that share out margin when a sale is made - and this is for both local profit measurement and sales commission. We do that because they all need to sell and they all have to do a good job (and be financially incentivised to do a good job).

It is not beyond the wit of man that the auto industry could get off its arse and do the same. Do a demo on a car and that punter buys his company car elsewhere - you get some compensation. Easy! It only works if the punter actually buys elsewhere, so no cheating and it makes everyone sell. [/list]
Martin

There's also the chance that, given great service, the company car driver may buy a private car from them in the future or at the very least recommend the dealer to friends/family.  I can't believe all the sales people at Peugeot are 100% busy with potential customers and can't spare 30mins.
Giant

Indeed, whilst it would've cost one of his staff half an hour with out a prospect of a sale, he has instead ensured I would never buy a car from Yeomans group and as is human nature, speak of his attitude far louder and for much longer than had provided brilliant customer service.
Bob Sacamano

A phone call complaining to Peugeot corporate is probably in order. That said, the dealerships are all private traders so they can pretty much set out their own policy on company car test drives.

Anyway, it's a Peugeot, they've probably done you a favour and saved you from 3 years of pain.
Frank Bullitt

Martin wrote:
Michael wrote:
When FB says pension off I assume he means retire it to his garage rather than somebody else's.


That does make more sense.


Eye, that's the idea - the A2 has limited financial value now and I can't really get rid; it might be that I get a cactus on pcp and then do 10kpa in that and the A2, or just do 20kpa in a cactus or...whatever else I can think of! Or I might just do 20kpa in the A2!
Dr. Hfuhruhurr

Boxer6 wrote:
I might even pension off the A2

Head for the hills - the end is nigh!    
Chris M Wanted a V-10

Martin wrote:
 I can't believe all the sales people at Peugeot are 100% busy with potential customers and can't spare 30mins.

Then you're lucky to live where dealers have "spare" staff, or I've been unlucky to always visit showrooms when the staff are absent or occupied with other potential customers.

When I was seriously starting to look at replacing the Galaxy about a year ago, the local Peugeot dealer's staff never approached me as I spent quite a long time looking in the various models in their showroom, and then when I asked one of them seated at a desk, they didn't have a 5008 to look at, either new or secondhand on their massive site.  I had similar experiences with other car dealers including Honda.  Apart from the Ford dealer where I eventually ended up buying, I think that the Citroen dealer was the only other place where I was approached and asked if they could help.
Martin

Just because they were sat at their desk, doesn't mean they were busy with other customers and definitely doesn't mean they were too busy to talk to someone who'd made the effort to visit the showroom.
JohnC

Martin wrote:
There's also the chance that, given great service, the company car driver may buy a private car from them in the future or at the very least recommend the dealer to friends/family.  I can't believe all the sales people at Peugeot are 100% busy with potential customers and can't spare 30mins.


Even if he didn't get to sell the car, he would probably have benefitted from doing any service and warranty work, which is where they make most of their profit these days.
Grampa

Martin wrote:
There's also the chance that, given great service, the company car driver may buy a private car from them in the future or at the very least recommend the dealer to friends/family.  I can't believe all the sales people at Peugeot are 100% busy with potential customers and can't spare 30mins.


Where would the car be serviced? - they still have the potential to gain a customer. Totally agree that reputation spreads too.  The principal from the Vauxhall garage I've bought from a few times had the attitude that everyone who walked though the door had the potential to be a customer either soon or sometime in the future, so even 'dreamers' were to be treated well.

The level of service, no matter who you deal with has always been exemplary.

Edit - sorry for the duplicate of the same thought as a above - obviously had the same thought at the same time.


Chris M Wanted a V-10 wrote:
Apart from the Ford dealer where I eventually ended up buying, I think that the Citroen dealer was the only other place where I was approached and asked if they could help.


You really have to wonder how many more car sales could be made simply by extending common courtesy to all who walk in the door.
Giant

Stuntman wrote:
As an object: Cactus all day long
As a thing to drive: Focus or Astra, whichever you prefer.


After a day of test sits and a couple of drives, this turned out to be nub. I love the minimalist interior of the cactus and like the different from the crowd exterior, but I was surprised and disappointed that I found myself far more drawn to the Astra and Focus as a three year 'ownership' proposition.

The focus is great to drive, and in ZetecNav spec comes with a decent amount of FG. In Deep Impact Blue it looks sensational. My options would be the 95bhp estate or 120 hatch, who's boot is disappointingly small.

The Astra is a revelation. On the same test drive route as the Focus, albeit in
PG

Giant wrote:
....The Astra is a revelation. On the same test drive route as the Focus, albeit in


..... are we supposed to finish the sentence or are you planning to enlighten us  

Or were you so shocked that the Astra was a revelation that you have turned your life and all your worldly goods over to some odd sect? And turned your back on the internet forever.....
Chris M Wanted a V-10

...albeit in the dry instead of rain, it rode quieter, was more responsive.... but ultimately it's a Vauxhall :-(
gooner

Giant wrote:
Stuntman wrote:
As an object: Cactus all day long
As a thing to drive: Focus or Astra, whichever you prefer.


After a day of test sits and a couple of drives, this turned out to be nub. I love the minimalist interior of the cactus and like the different from the crowd exterior, but I was surprised and disappointed that I found myself far more drawn to the Astra and Focus as a three year 'ownership' proposition.

The focus is great to drive, and in ZetecNav spec comes with a decent amount of FG. In Deep Impact Blue it looks sensational. My options would be the 95bhp estate or 120 hatch, who's boot is disappointingly small.

The Astra is a revelation. On the same test drive route as the Focus, albeit in


Be interesting to hear what else you thought of the Astra. The Focus hatch boot is pretty pathetic actually and is the one reason I couldn't live with one of the current shape on a long term basis. I'd go with the Astra if I were you. I might downplay my Insignia at times but it's a decent enough car to live with and has bee perfectly reliable mechanically.
Bob Sacamano

Not sure why there's negativity to Vauxhalls, the current ones are pretty good.

In the past I've had a Mk2 Astra, Mk1, Mk2 & Mk3 Cavaliers and at the time they were all class leading and reliable.
gooner

Bob Sacamano wrote:
Not sure why there's negativity to Vauxhalls, the current ones are pretty good.

In the past I've had a Mk2 Astra, Mk1, Mk2 & Mk3 Cavaliers and at the time they were all class leading and reliable.


My Dad had an A reg Cavelier for years growing up and it was certainly a lot more reliable than the Montego it replaced!
PG

Bob Sacamano wrote:
Not sure why there's negativity to Vauxhalls, the current ones are pretty good.


When I ran a quite big company car fleet back in the 1980's, I'd say that at the B and C car level, the Vauxhall / Opel offering was as good or better than the Ford equivalent to live with day to day as a fleet car. And based on employees' choices, we had way more Astras (Mk 2) than Escorts (Mk 4) - but neither was exactly a great car looking back - and loads of Cavaliers (Mk 2) - which was a good car. And the Carlton / Senator was as good as the Scorpio any day.

And they had interesting stuff too - Carlton / Senator GSi. Or the Manta, then Calibra and Tigra.

They just seemed to lose it in a big way from the middle of the 1990's. When they started to think that lots of chrome = premium. And GM ruined everything they went near.

I think they are now getting it back and the latest Astra and Insignia are finally as desirable than the equivalent Fords again. They're still not up there with Ze Germans of course, but they probably never will be while they are part of GM.
Chris M Wanted a V-10

PG wrote:
..... And GM ruined everything they went near.

Especially SAAB  
Grampa

Bob Sacamano wrote:
Not sure why there's negativity to Vauxhalls, the current ones are pretty good.

In the past I've had a Mk2 Astra, Mk1, Mk2 & Mk3 Cavaliers and at the time they were all class leading and reliable.


Same here - I had two Mk2 Astras - it was a car that was much admired in its day - the shape was one of those cars that moved design along when it was introduced - I never owned a Mk3 Cavalier but drove plenty - had a loan of one the day after launch day (thanks to that Vauxhall dealer who knew how to look after his customers) and it really turned heads - drove a GSi round Mira (thanks again to the Vauxhall dealer) and it was quite a car.
I had one of the first Calibras - not so much a head turner, more a stop people dead in their tracks car at the time - drove a 4x4 Turbo (guess who arranged that!) - 6 speed way ahead of its time - that was an amazing car.
Then finally my VXR - a car much maligned by the press - still a lot of things about it, particularly the interior, the build quality and a fantastic engine that were ahead of my - much admired by the press - Scirocco.
My son-in-law has a Mk6 Astra and my daughter (the other one) has just bought an Insignia - both fine cars. An Agila is an absolute hoot to drive too - way way better than a Polo.
So, no, I can't understand any negativity towards Vauxhall either - and the new Astra is a fine looking car, especially inside.
Martin

I was a Vauxhall fan when I was younger, my first car was a Mk2 Astra which was followed a couple of years later by a Mk3 Cavalier.  I regularly used a Sierra Pool car when I had the Cavalier and mine was much nicer to drive.  My mum replaced her MG Montego with a Mk3 Cavalier SRI 130 and as much as I liked the MG, the SRi was a great car.

For moved back ahead with the first Mondeo and Focus, I had both an Astra Mk5 and Focus hire car on trips to Ireland and there was no comparison.   I think it's much more even between the 2 now.
Frank Bullitt

I think Vauxhall did themselves a lot of damage with the first generation Vectra which followed the Mk3 Cavalier which went from being fantastic to out-dated also-ran too quickly sadly and the Vectra wasn't seen as much better than the Cavalier of at all; at the same time Vauxhall put that horrible chrome grill on the (mk3?) Astra which had previously been very attractive indeed - the Mk4 (?) Astra which looked like the Vectra's ugly little sister did nothing to redress the balance despite being a decent car. I think this period in Vauxhall's history has done a lot to build up prejudice in the products they offer.

I drove a MK Christ knows what Astra Estate 1.6 16v in Germany about 8-9 years ago and was thoroughly impressed at everything about it really; the engine was excellent (an indicated 120mph at one point), steering and ride/ handling good and this to me was also a good looking car. Still didn't buy one though!
PG

Grampa wrote:
...I had one of the first Calibras - not so much a head turner, more a stop people dead in their tracks car at the time - drove a 4x4 Turbo (guess who arranged that!) - 6 speed way ahead of its time - that was an amazing car.....


+1 to that . Headlights aside - they were stylish but useless. I got my Calibra when I moved to Shropshire and it is the only car I've had that has ever gathered onlookers when parked up. Shropshire has changed a lot since 1992.......

In fact everything that went wrong with Vauxhall can be summed up in this before and after picture.




That's far too good looking, let's add a horrible V grille      

Martin

The only problem with the Calibra was the interior not matching the sleek/modern exterior.
Bob Sacamano

Martin wrote:
The only problem with the Calibra was the interior not matching the sleek/modern exterior.


It was the Cavalier interior which, in GL trim and above, was good compared to its contemporaries.
Martin

It was good compared to other saloons at the time, but something more in keeping with the exterior would have been even better (but not financially viable, I appreciate that)
PG

Martin wrote:
The only problem with the Calibra was the interior not matching the sleek/modern exterior.


I think when the Calibra was launched (1991 IIRC) the interior was pretty good. It compared favourably to the Audi 80 coupe I looked at (which was the base model), the main feature of which seemed to be the blanking plates for everything that was an option. A bit like current base spec Macans.....  

But the Calibra was left unchanged for too long and got left behind. Plus they introduced the awful white dials and ugly airbag steering wheel, managing to make the interior both nasty and chavvy at the same time.
Martin

Yes, but the 80 coupe was boxy on the outside, so a boxy inside suited it  

It's not just Macan, it effects all the current range unfortunately.  You can't even select enough options to fill all the blanks on most models.  There aren't any blanks in the Boxster despite it not having PSM, Sport Chrono etc.  It has a trim strip to match the equipment fitted.

If I had a current Porsche, I'd have to specify it with the right options to make sure both sides were balanced!
Grampa

Martin wrote:
The only problem with the Calibra was the interior not matching the sleek/modern exterior.


I loved the interior - yes it was borrowed from the Cavalier, but bear in mind this was 1990 and the Cavalier's interior was way ahead of most things mass market at the time, including the cooking spec BMW's and Audis of the day.
Grampa

PG wrote:
I think when the Calibra was launched (1991 IIRC)
1990. I had mine 1st Jan 1991, with a 'git' H-plate which put me in the dog house with Mrs L - ironically now her plate (it was just after the DVLA started doing the ones you could choose) - it was delivered to the dealer early Dec but my company insisted on it not being registered until 1st Jan to maximise its resale value. The dealer did let me take out on trade plates the day it arrived - very frustrating to have to give it back.
Grampa

Martin wrote:
The only problem with the Calibra was the interior not matching the sleek/modern exterior.


I loved the interior - yes it was borrowed from the Cavalier, but bear in mind this was 1990 and the Cavalier's interior was way ahead of most things mass market at the time, including the cooking spec BMW's and Audis of the day.
PhilD

Grampa wrote:
Martin wrote:
The only problem with the Calibra was the interior not matching the sleek/modern exterior.


I loved the interior - yes it was borrowed from the Cavalier, but bear in mind this was 1990 and the Cavalier's interior was way ahead of most things mass market at the time, including the cooking spec BMW's and Audis of the day.


Yeah but still an interior from a saloon.
Bob Sacamano

PhilD wrote:
Grampa wrote:
Martin wrote:
The only problem with the Calibra was the interior not matching the sleek/modern exterior.


I loved the interior - yes it was borrowed from the Cavalier, but bear in mind this was 1990 and the Cavalier's interior was way ahead of most things mass market at the time, including the cooking spec BMW's and Audis of the day.


Yeah but still an interior from a saloon.


Yes, damn them saloons what with their steering wheels, heating controls, radios, gear levers and that red button that when you press it makes your winkers go blinky-blinky.
PhilD

Bob Sacamano wrote:
PhilD wrote:
Grampa wrote:
Martin wrote:
The only problem with the Calibra was the interior not matching the sleek/modern exterior.


I loved the interior - yes it was borrowed from the Cavalier, but bear in mind this was 1990 and the Cavalier's interior was way ahead of most things mass market at the time, including the cooking spec BMW's and Audis of the day.


Yeah but still an interior from a saloon.


Yes, damn them saloons what with their steering wheels, heating controls, radios, gear levers and that red button that when you press it makes your winkers go blinky-blinky.




gonnabuildabuggy

Frank Bullitt wrote:
I think Vauxhall did themselves a lot of damage with the first generation Vectra which followed the Mk3 Cavalier which went from being fantastic to out-dated also-ran too quickly sadly and the Vectra wasn't seen as much better than the Cavalier of at all; at the same time Vauxhall put that horrible chrome grill on the (mk3?) Astra which had previously been very attractive indeed - the Mk4 (?) Astra which looked like the Vectra's ugly little sister did nothing to redress the balance despite being a decent car. I think this period in Vauxhall's history has done a lot to build up prejudice in the products they offer.


This exactly.

I had a Cavalier MK2 and MK3 and was due to order my first company car in 1995.

As I had a "hand me down" MK3 at the time I awaited the launch of the Vectra and Rover 400 before deciding what to go for (Mondeo/Vectra/400/Primera/405).

The new Vectra was a massive disappointment and to my mind was poorer materials than the Cavalier it succeeded and the Rover 400 was a horrific blob.)

The Mondeo launched in 1994 had moved the game on, though I'll confess I ordered a run out 405GTX as it was "fully loaded" and great to drive.
PhilD

gonnabuildabuggy wrote:


The Mondeo launched in 1994 had moved the game on, though I'll confess I ordered a run out 405GTX as it was "fully loaded" and great to drive.


great looking car!
Frank Bullitt

Given those options I would have made the same choice - obviously id have chosen a Xantia in preference to all of them.
Alf McQueef

Frank Bullitt wrote:
I think Vauxhall did themselves a lot of damage with the first generation Vectra which followed the Mk3 Cavalier which went from being fantastic to out-dated also-ran too quickly sadly and the Vectra wasn't seen as much better than the Cavalier of at all; at the same time Vauxhall put that horrible chrome grill on the (mk3?) Astra which had previously been very attractive indeed - the Mk4 (?) Astra which looked like the Vectra's ugly little sister did nothing to redress the balance despite being a decent car. I think this period in Vauxhall's history has done a lot to build up prejudice in the products they offer.


Indeedy. I had a stop-gap Vectra SRi company car when I was about 24, for 6 months. It was an early Vectra. My anticipation with it being a Vauxhall at that time was a strong engine but iffy handling, as Cavaliers and so on. In fact the engine was very weedy set against the weight of the car, and the handling (coming from a fairly aged 309GTi) was absolutely shocking. It rolled loads, could not begin to contain even its very modest power on corner exit, and was utterly joyless to drive - plus it broke down many times (well, Martin would call them non-breakdowns, but it was awfully fond of "limp home mode" and a stay in the dealer, who were incredibly rude and unprofessional). That was it for me and Vauxhall, though I appreciate they make good cars now. There is a faint whiff of Max Power about their cars as well, more so than with fast Fords in my book (though obviously they are not unaffected).
Martin

PhilD wrote:
gonnabuildabuggy wrote:


The Mondeo launched in 1994 had moved the game on, though I'll confess I ordered a run out 405GTX as it was "fully loaded" and great to drive.


great looking car!


It was.  My Boss has one, which replaced a GRDT (or GROT) and it had a really nice spec.  I had an LX Estate with a non turbo diesel engine.  It still felt like a good step up from my Cavalier (power steering, electric sunroof, remote locking, velour trim etc), but the 406 LX that followed was a big step forward.
Giant

Giant wrote:
Stuntman wrote:
As an object: Cactus all day long
As a thing to drive: Focus or Astra, whichever you prefer.


After a day of test sits and a couple of drives, this turned out to be nub. I love the minimalist interior of the cactus and like the different from the crowd exterior, but I was surprised and disappointed that I found myself far more drawn to the Astra and Focus as a three year 'ownership' proposition.

The focus is great to drive, and in ZetecNav spec comes with a decent amount of FG. In Deep Impact Blue it looks sensational. My options would be the 95bhp estate or 120 hatch, who's boot is disappointingly small.

The Astra is a revelation. On the same test drive route as the Focus, albeit in

... In atrocious conditions for both, the Astra is quieter, more refined, felt as sharp in the bends, rode better, and the trip was showing 72mpg over the past 434 miles. The only 'weak' link was the gear change, which seems to be a Vauxhall weakness from personal experience, it wasn't bad, just a little vague.

It was an easy choice in the end, and quite an unexpected one! Deep Sky Blue Tech Line 110ps StartStop ordered, due in 10-12 weeks.

In the meantime it looks as though I'll be given a 116d that a colleague has just returned! Two new cars in 24 hours, not a bad few days!

Sorry for the delay in finishing the post, I'm still internetless, the seamless Plusnet changeover has now dragged on for a week, with another 3-5 days until a router arrives.  
After 45mi s on the phone for the second time in a week, the indifference shown by the customer service department was staggering.  

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