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Bryan M

PHEV

I had the first of my potential company car choices on loan this weekend, a 2016MY Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 4h





I picked it up on Friday morning and returned it today - I covered just over 500 miles around Worcester and Herefordshire plus a fair degree of motorway work too.

Overall impression is positive - I could see myself getting one but it would be a head choice not heart. It has loads of space, 4wd, lots of kit and is cheap on the company car tax.

Positives
I was worried if it would feel fast enough with 119bhp petrol engine and for a large car it gets a move on. I never felt it wanting for power over the weekend and I had a swift motorway dash down. The only time it struggled a little was up a very steep hill (The Ankerdine at Knightwick near Bromyard) when the battery was empty and petrol only

Fuel economy wasn't terrible - I tested the performance and deliberately avoided topping up the electric (and could have done so at a couple of services were I registered) and it averaged c.38mpg. Certainly not close to the 148mpg promised......but for me the ppm reimbursement from work covers this. Given it was a weekend I was able to travel faster than during the week plus some charging, I could see it getting 45-50mpg - which for a big beast isn't too bad.

The MY16 facelift has made the car look a whole lot better and the interior has had a quality uplift......

Negatives

....The quality inside is still way of the pace and best described as functional, plenty of scratchy plastics and tinny sounding bodywork. Not sure how well this would wear over the 4 years I have it - there was already an annoying rattle in the b pillar.

The technology was really annoying and a likely deal breaker - my phone would sync to the car and then keep dropping out/reconnecting - it s a known fault according to various websites and a basic in this day and age. Most of computer functions are laborious to get around - iDrive it isn't!

The seat could have done with better lumbar support but towards the end I was finally finding a comfortable driving position

I was glad I had the steering wheel to hold onto - it is a rolly old barge on roundabouts!

In summary I liked the car and it remains a real contender - but the phone is the big issue

BMW 420d Gran Coupe SE on test this weekend (going to lake Windermere)

VW Golf GTE on test mid April to get an idea what the Passat Estate GTE may be like

I have had a small try of a Mercedes Estate and I am trying to get a test drive of the C350e sport version plus a long test of the estate through Mercedes - this has just had a £150 a month price drop so will cost the same as the Outlander now. Not sure about RWD but could always invest in winter tyres - joint front runner with the OUtlander at the moment

Sytner are arranging a 24hr demo of the BMW 330e saloon

If I can wangle the system I am going to try to get an Audi A7 3.0 SE Executive to try - it would be marginally cheaper than the Evoque to run

An outsider would be the Audi A4 3.0tdi Sport Avant - good on co2 and 6pot noise but Audi are very stingy with kit on the car as standard.  

I'll keep you updated  
gonnabuildabuggy

420d Gran Coupe, Golf/Passat GTE and Merc C350e all sound like nice choices to me.

If it were me then I'd be pondering going the Golf route to minimise tax and getting something big as a family car. Depends on how many miles you do privately and what your wife's preferences are on driving and if you pay for private mileage or not.

When we had two little ones I got fed up with moving car seats around at weekends and we'd end up using the Escort (hers) rather than the S60 (mine), given petrol cost was similar and I paid private mileage.

Hence the FRV was bought as a main family car, freeing me up to have fun stuff albeit paid for with a company car allowance rather than a company car.
Frank Bullitt

I made this suggestion last time and Brian did say that he didn't want to pay for private mileage in a large family car, but I agree that this is the most obvious route especially as a Golf GTE thingy will likely cost £fuck-all in car tax compared to the Evoque
Bryan M

You are correct - I would want to keep the large family car as the one which is fully expensed for tyres/servicing etc Especially as we have family in Kent/Worcester. It makes little sense to me to pay out for wear and tear privately on a car when I don't have to

We also need to look at Claire's car in the future to - her Captur has 3 years left and costs around £250 a month. It would be nice to see if we can get her a car which didn't have a monthly outgoing attached. I was thinking an Audi A2 - which we could swap between us depending on journey length - but I am not sure she would go for a 10 year old car
PhilD

gonnabuildabuggy wrote:
420d Gran Coupe, Golf/Passat GTE and Merc C350e all sound like nice choices to me.



Had a good look at a 4 GC last night. It's more 3 series hatch back than the 6 (much harder to lower the roof with a shorter car) but still a very attractive car.
Martin

I understand the desire to let the company pick up wear and tear on your private miles, it doesn't make sense to cover that yourself unless you've opted out of the car scheme.  How many private miles do you do?

I think the Passat GTE makes the most sense based on your requirements, but will be interesting to see what you think when you've tried all the options.
PG

Re: PHEV

Bryan M wrote:
Negatives

....The quality inside is still way of the pace and best described as functional, plenty of scratchy plastics and tinny sounding bodywork. Not sure how well this would wear over the 4 years I have it - there was already an annoying rattle in the b pillar.

The technology was really annoying and a likely deal breaker - my phone would sync to the car and then keep dropping out/reconnecting - it s a known fault according to various websites and a basic in this day and age. Most of computer functions are laborious to get around - iDrive it isn't!


The inside quality must be a Mitsubishi thing. The plastic inside our Shogun (new in 09) is variable in colour, largely shiny and appears scratchy. But seven years later it looks exactly the same.  It is clearly tough rather than aesthetic.

I can't comment on technology - our Shogun has simply a CD radio.
Roadrunner

The interior qulaity of the Mitsubishi Lancer hire car I had five years ago was shameful. In fact the whole car was shockingly bad in terms of build quality, lack of refinement, poor handling and general crapness. The only Mitsubiishi I have ever driven which was anything other than rubbish was my 1997 Galant 2.5 V6.
Frank Bullitt

Bryan M wrote:

We also need to look at Claire's car in the future to - her Captur has 3 years left and costs around £250 a month. It would be nice to see if we can get her a car which didn't have a monthly outgoing attached. I was thinking an Audi A2 - which we could swap between us depending on journey length - but I am not sure she would go for a 10 year old car


As a second car, you can do much worse than a clean, late 1.4 petrol A2 - but I can understand the concern of an older car, although the £3kpa saving minus a few costs now and then makes it much sweeter!
Chris M Wanted a V-10

Bryan M wrote:

We also need to look at Claire's car in the future to - her Captur has 3 years left and costs around £250 a month. It would be nice to see if we can get her a car which didn't have a monthly outgoing attached. I was thinking an Audi A2 - which we could swap between us depending on journey length - but I am not sure she would go for a 10 year old car


How much to buy the Captur at the end of the agreement?
Alternatively you could look around for the current Fiesta and try to bag a low-mileage one that's just a few years old, especially if you go for the Ecoboost engine  
Bryan M

Re: PHEV

PG wrote:
Bryan M wrote:
Negatives

....The quality inside is still way of the pace and best described as functional, plenty of scratchy plastics and tinny sounding bodywork. Not sure how well this would wear over the 4 years I have it - there was already an annoying rattle in the b pillar.

The technology was really annoying and a likely deal breaker - my phone would sync to the car and then keep dropping out/reconnecting - it s a known fault according to various websites and a basic in this day and age. Most of computer functions are laborious to get around - iDrive it isn't!


The inside quality must be a Mitsubishi thing. The plastic inside our Shogun (new in 09) is variable in colour, largely shiny and appears scratchy. But seven years later it looks exactly the same. †It is clearly tough rather than aesthetic.

I can't comment on technology - our Shogun has simply a CD radio.


I can live with the interior as I suspect you are right, it will be equally crap for the whole time of ownership. I suspect for a Mitsubishi they have moved the game on considerably from a 90s Lancer but then so has everyone else

The sat nav/stereo is like one of the aftermarket double din types - all the more surprising it has connectivity issues.

The current thinking is Merc or Passatt but VW have been strangely silent on the release date - I suspect they have issues with CO2 and licensing the car for the grant.

I don't have to think about the Captur for a couple of years!
tali

These PHevs are everywhere - and Mitsubushi are not exactly giving them away at 35k a pop. Dashbaord looks very dated.
Humphrey The Pug

tali wrote:
These PHevs are everywhere - and Mitsubushi are not exactly giving them away at 35k a pop. Dashbaord looks very dated.


Good tax benefit at the moment I believe, shove it through the business and I've been told it costs next to nothing.
BeN

I wouldn't say that the interior of my Mitsubishi is of high quality, but it still looks pretty reasonable at 15 years of age. Some parts do look old and worn, but still.
gooner

Humphrey The Pug wrote:
tali wrote:
These PHevs are everywhere - and Mitsubushi are not exactly giving them away at 35k a pop. Dashbaord looks very dated.


Good tax benefit at the moment I believe, shove it through the business and I've been told it costs next to nothing.


They're levelling that up over the coming years though and the P11d value doesn't take into account the government grant used to massage the purchase price. Without the grant it's a £40k car as far as the tax mans concerned so the BIK may be a lot closer to that of a £30k car than you'd think.

Re the Golf, there's a new 1.0ltr tsi engine out now with 113ps and 99g CO2 for just £21k. For the same reason as with the Outlander, the BIK could be pretty close to the GTE. I'm looking at one myself to replace the Vauxhall later this year.
gonnabuildabuggy

Frank Bullitt wrote:
Bryan M wrote:

We also need to look at Claire's car in the future to - her Captur has 3 years left and costs around £250 a month. It would be nice to see if we can get her a car which didn't have a monthly outgoing attached. I was thinking an Audi A2 - which we could swap between us depending on journey length - but I am not sure she would go for a 10 year old car


As a second car, you can do much worse than a clean, late 1.4 petrol A2 - but I can understand the concern of an older car, although the £3kpa saving minus a few costs now and then makes it much sweeter!


The new car is costing £3000 per annum, that would cover a lot of repair bills on an older car as FB says. Buy right and depreciation isn't worth thinking about either (the right A2 for example.

Buy well and you've nothing to worry about. Our Honda is at 128K miles/11 yrs old and I'd drive it across Europe tomorrow without a concern, and the leggy 328 did the majority of it's 60K in my hands pounding the motorways.
Bryan M

The difference between the diesel cars and phevs is about £200 a month lower tax. Hard to ignore that level of cost.

I have no concerns with older cars, other half will take a bit more convincing 😊
Giant

How much would you be saving getting a PHEV over your other options? I'm all for minimising tax outgoings, but that interior would remind me I'd gone for the cheap option every single time I got in. Obviously you have the Porsche and Elan to provide weekend thrills, but how many miles/hours would you be stuck in that time warp interior every week?

Edit: you answered my question as I was typing it! £200 a month is a huge difference, so can see why you're considering it now! What band does the PHEV fall into for BIK tax? My Astra is 16% BIK, which alongside a list price of £19k means it's £98 per month for higher tax band earners. Have you considered cars with a cheaper list price (which I would've thought will easily outdo the PHEV on most parameters)?
gooner

Bryan M wrote:
The difference between the diesel cars and phevs is about £200 a month lower tax. Hard to ignore that level of cost.

I have no concerns with older cars, other half will take a bit more convincing 😊


£200 a MONTH? How did you work that out?
Bryan M

Here are my calculations for the next 4 years - some of the difference to current is down to changing lease provider and extending the term to 4 not 3 years - so I would save a fair bit having another Evoque


JohnC

Is the Difference To Current table correct? I would have expected more negatives at the bottom of the table.

The Merc looks like the winner to me on a pure cost basis and the Passat appears ludicrously overpriced.
gonnabuildabuggy

JohnC wrote:
The Merc looks like the winner to me on a pure cost basis and the Passat appears ludicrously overpriced.


Same. I'd also be tempted to put the Golf in too though and see what the difference is vs Merc as that money could then be put into partners car.

Taking the Golf on long journeys isn't a killer but it makes little sense for your wife to have to squeeze baby/babies into something small every day whilst you luxuriate in an Outlander PHEV on the M6 on your own.

I know others have different opinions but for ease of use with small children it's hard to beat a people carrier with space, easy access and high up seating.

As you all know, my kids, both relative petrol heads, preferred the FRV on a long journey to the E500, which they considered a "small car" :)
gooner

That's quite a difference cost wise. It just shows how much this government are really ramping up the tax on company cars, probably because most drivers of them have little choice but to have them. And to think they used to accuse the Labour government of taxation by stealth....
Nice Guy Eddie

Bryan M wrote:
The difference between the diesel cars and phevs is about £200 a month lower tax. Hard to ignore that level of cost.

I have no concerns with older cars, other half will take a bit more convincing 😊


So you've told the missus she has to cut her car costs down as rolling around in a Captur is far to ostentatious, whilst you've still got the Lotus and 911 in the garage?

Love it! Reminds me of the discussion I had with my wife recently, I chucked her my Trousers and said try them on, she said there far too big. Correct said I, Now just you remember who wears the trousers in this relationship. With that she flung her knickers at me and told me to try them on, when I couldn't get in them she reminded me with that attitude I'll never get into her knickers again.
gonnabuildabuggy

Nice Guy Eddie wrote:
Bryan M wrote:
The difference between the diesel cars and phevs is about £200 a month lower tax. Hard to ignore that level of cost.

I have no concerns with older cars, other half will take a bit more convincing 😊


So you've told the missus she has to cut her car costs down as rolling around in a Captur is far to ostentatious, whilst you've still got the Lotus and 911 in the garage?

Love it! Reminds me of the discussion I had with my wife recently, I chucked her my Trousers and said try them on, she said there far too big. Correct said I, Now just you remember who wears the trousers in this relationship. With that she flung her knickers at me and told me to try them on, when I couldn't get in them she reminded me with that attitude I'll never get into her knickers again.


 
gonnabuildabuggy

gooner wrote:
That's quite a difference cost wise. It just shows how much this government are really ramping up the tax on company cars, probably because most drivers of them have little choice but to have them. And to think they used to accuse the Labour government of taxation by stealth....


I think you'll find it's merely levelling things off as the drop in emissions has meant a reduced tax take.

Company cars are still very cost effective motoring compared with funding it yourself, and for a large number of people it's a perk not a requirement so arguably should be taxed.

It was a daft scheme but the days they taxed you according to mileage (the higher the company miles you drove, the less you paid) made sense in many ways. However many got round it by loaning their cars out to the high mileage sales guys if you were just short of the tax break.
Frank Bullitt

JohnC wrote:
Is the Difference To Current table correct? I would have expected more negatives at the bottom of the table.

The Merc looks like the winner to me on a pure cost basis and the Passat appears ludicrously overpriced.


The positives are a saving over the current amount Bryan pays, hence the Eco options save more than the less Eco options.

Agree with GBB, a fully funded car for 1/3-1/2 of the cost of owning one means any bleating falls on deaf ears.
Martin

Running an electric car is a lot cheaper, but in four years time the real cost of the A7 is £800 a month, which isn't. ††That assumes Bryan would get an allowance in line with what he can spend on a lease.

There are good savings to be had whatever he goes for, which is a nice position to be in.
Bryan M

Ha ha ha at NGE ....not quite the way I positioned it, just better not to have a £250 month commitment if going down to one income!

The difference to current I'd the wrong way round, ie the A7 will cost me £66 a month more in year 4.

Merc would give me £396 a month back over the evoque in year one.

Passat costs are assumed until they confirm it

The savings are massive and potentially worth a crap interior
PG

The other shocking thing is the contribution you have to maker to the Merc seems tiny compared to some of the others. Merc must be putting some serious money behind lease deals.

I think I'd go for the Merc. Easily the best compromise between saving and quality.
Bryan M

Trying the merc is proving difficult, the price was c£150 a month higher last week......agree it us the one to go for with a set of winter wheels.

Not sure I could get a car without trying it though.

GBB makes a good point about a higher up car being good for kids though. In 8months time I could have pick between X1 and Tiguan phevs but not now.
Racing Teatray

My wife's aunt had a PHEV. It was universally considered to be horrible. So nobody cried when it got written off in an accident. She now has the C350e and says it is night and day nicer.
Roadrunner

Bryan M wrote:
Trying the merc is proving difficult, the price was c£150 a month higher last week......agree it us the one to go for with a set of winter wheels.

Not sure I could get a car without trying it though.

GBB makes a good point about a higher up car being good for kids though. In 8months time I could have pick between X1 and Tiguan phevs but not now.


Try an ordindary C if you can't get an electric one. That will give you an overall flavour of the model.
JohnC

I reckon the deal on the Merc will evaporate very quickly and it will remove itself from the equation. Merc always push towards the end of a quarter to get their numbers up and once they're gone, they're gone (until mid June). However this kind of car is becoming very popular with Co Car drivers so the discounts might not be there in 3 or 6 months.
Bryan M

I have managed to arrange an extended test drive of a Merc 22d Sport Estate for April 1st -4th weekend

John - how long do Merc offer the deals for - weeks or months at a time? ie what chances am I taking by waiting until Mid April?
Bryan M

Maybe too late on the Merc - the price to me may have gone up from £485 to £545 - Drops the saving down to £360pcm instead of £398 - one to watch

EDIT: Interesting Development - I have a quote I ran on the 14th March at £485 for the Merc which is valid for 14 days......

I could be about to order a car I have never driven!

What are RWD with winter tyres like?
Nice Guy Eddie

It's a c class, it'll drive more than ok. Any chance of upgrading to the amg line as it really helps the looks
JohnC

Bryan M wrote:
I have managed to arrange an extended test drive of a Merc 22d Sport Estate for April 1st -4th weekend

John - how long do Merc offer the deals for - weeks or months at a time? ie what chances am I taking by waiting until Mid April?


Bryan, I watch leasing prices etc for a few clients as well as my own interest. The manufacturers/dealers work in calendar quarters and they are looking to maximise the registrations in each quarter. The new reg quarters tend to have a bit more activity with a push for numbers.

Mercedes usually have a purge towards the end of a quarter with great subsidised deals which then disappear in the next month. They then filter back in over the next quarter. The extent of the deals is (I would think) determined by how near or far they are from their quarterly target.

I quite often see great deals at the beginning of the next quarter with 3rd party leasing companies who I presume have hoovered up the remaining cars at the end of the previous quarter at a great discount from the manufacturer. These deals are much cheaper than the dealers can do but for obvious reasons disappear fast.

In answer to your question, I don't know! Was it a Merc deal, in which case ask the dealer. If it was a leasing company deal, you could ask but they are likely to have a specific number to shift and specs etc may be limited.
Frank Bullitt

Bryan M wrote:
Maybe too late on the Merc - the price to me may have gone up from £485 to £545 - Drops the saving down to £360pcm instead of £398 - one to watch

EDIT: Interesting Development - I have a quote I ran on the 14th March at £485 for the Merc which is valid for 14 days......

I could be about to order a car I have never driven!

What are RWD with winter tyres like?


Given the choice of the Mitsubishi Outlander PHUKIT or an undriven Mercedes, I know which one I'd take a chance on!
Roadrunner

[quote="Bryan M:547291"]Maybe too late on the Merc - the price to me may have gone up from £485 to £545 - Drops the saving down to £360pcm instead of £398 - one to watch

EDIT: Interesting Development - I have a quote I ran on the 14th March at £485 for the Merc which is valid for 14 days......

I could be about to order a car I have never driven!

What are RWD with winter tyres like?[/quote]

A 3.0 cdi E-Class will safely overtake on snow.
Martin

Frank Bullitt wrote:
Bryan M wrote:
Maybe too late on the Merc - the price to me may have gone up from £485 to £545 - Drops the saving down to £360pcm instead of £398 - one to watch

EDIT: Interesting Development - I have a quote I ran on the 14th March at £485 for the Merc which is valid for 14 days......

I could be about to order a car I have never driven!

What are RWD with winter tyres like?


Given the choice of the Mitsubishi Outlander PHUKIT or an undriven Mercedes, I know which one I'd take a chance on!


Exactly!  No amount of saving is worth running an Outlander for 4 years imho.  In answer to your question, a RWD car on winter tyres on snow / ice / cold & wet roads is like running a RWD car in the damp.  Running a mid engined rear wheel drive car is even better, wish I'd had the opportunity to take it out in the snow
Giant

I'm not a big fan of the C Class, or Mercs in general, but that is based on subjective things like styling and image compared to equivalents from BMW, Jaguar, Audi etc. I genuinely cannot comprehend how a PHEV vs Merc C class is any kind of debate when there is no difference cost wise.
Bryan M

Unless the gran coupe blows me away this weekend the merc is going to get ordered. There aren't many choices on spec.

Yes to adaptive led lights
What is real leather like compared to artico? The vinyl seems ok, is the real stuff much better?
Can't see much point in the active safety systems, air freshener or hud.

That's about it unless you add the premium pack which defeats the object by moving it into the next tax bracket.

Thinking free black paint and black artico/leather

Need to understand how the lease company deals with winter wheels too
JohnC

I like the blue metallic on the C Class. The Artico is really pretty good. Dealers will tell you that it wears better than the leather and looks much better after a few years of use. My Father in Law's C Class has Artico and it's hard to tell the difference. I have been told though that it is easier to cut so jeans with rivets etc are not recommended.

I know we have quite a few winter tyre lovers but I have never run them and never had a problem with 3 Mercs and 2 RWD BMW's: when it's cold and damp you just don't push it and leave a decent gap to the guy in front. I accept that winters do make life a bit safer and certainly better in snow but in reality how many days does that apply to. I wouldn't get wound up about winters and would just deal with it when the time comes.
Racing Teatray

Bryan M wrote:
Unless the gran coupe blows me away this weekend the merc is going to get ordered. There aren't many choices on spec.

Yes to adaptive led lights
What is real leather like compared to artico? The vinyl seems ok, is the real stuff much better?
Can't see much point in the active safety systems, air freshener or hud.

That's about it unless you add the premium pack which defeats the object by moving it into the next tax bracket.

Thinking free black paint and black artico/leather

Need to understand how the lease company deals with winter wheels too


What spec-line would the C-class be?

I ask because in a ritzier trim level (eg Sport-onwards) they get full chrome side window surrounds (which really help to define what is otherwise a rather blobby shape) and decent alloys, and look fine. As they do in brighter metallics. But I pass a black base-spec (ie SE) C-class saloon without the full chrome side window trim (SE just gets a silver sliver along the bottom of the side windows) and on shirt-buttons most mornings and it looks almost painfully dowdy.
Bryan M

It is sport spec
PG

I think it's a case of just get that C class ordered.
OK, you've never driven it, but hope sometimes is the best (or only available) strategy.  

I suppose you can cancel it after the April test drive if you want to?
Bryan M

I could look to cancel and will order after the weekend assuming no gran coupe diversion!

Merc dealers are universally crap, several haven't returned calls for a general sales query. Some I have been into will barely talk to you when it is a company car and Nottingham today has two c350e including an estate. They refused my request to look in the boot (note not asking to drive it). Hope they aren't like this when you have a car......derby and Loughborough dealerships seem ok

Contrast to bmw, who have always been exemplary in their service, to the extent they are arranging 24hrs in a 330e in a couple of weeks.
Racing Teatray

Don't tell them it's a company car then!
Bryan M

I have tried that approach still crap

I have used my best forked tongue (coming out of company car into diesel but seen a used C350e etc) Only Derby has called back (with the offer of a drive in 10days time depending on other bookings) Sheffield promised to call me back regarding driving one tomorrow and hasn't, Huddersfield won't even return calls or answer the phone - left two messages re a used car (didn't specify C350e)

How they are still in business is beyond me - I think they can sell everyone they can get hold of and I suspect many company car drivers are chasing a drive - but to not let me even look in the boot when it is parked 10ft away †

Anyway the C350e estate in black looked very nice - so mind is made up - order is going in on Monday unless the Gran Coupe is phenomenal and tweaking options means I can get one for £8 over my allowance.

Just going to add the Intelligent LED lights †and stick to solid black/black artico - Year 1 it will be c £400 cheaper than the Evoque - result! †
Martin

Both Mercedes and Audi dealers are terrible in my experience, things only improved at Audi when I was moved from the eg A7 to A8 and started to deal with the lady that looks after A8/R8/RS6/RS7 customers.

You should have gone for white with Vinyl seats for the full on taxi spec!  Only joking, it's a good choice, especially because of the amount of money it will save
Bryan M

I just dropped the delivery driver off to the station. Initial impressions of the 420d are very favourable 😃
Racing Teatray

The 4-series is jolly desirable.

I thoroughly enjoyed the convertible version I tried.

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