Representatives from Sandicliffe Motor Contracts attended Fleet News’ Company Car in Action 2018 at Millbrook Proving Ground, which took place on 12-13 June. The event is described by organisers as “the UK’s most comprehensive driving event for fleet decision makers and influences”.
With around 300 models from 26 manufacturers, the event allowed visitors and our guests the unique opportunity to compare, test-drive and evaluate all the latest vehicle models unaccompanied on Millbrook’s unique and purpose-built tracks.
Exclusive to the event for 2018 were first drives that included the New Mercedes-Benz A-Class, Jaguar I-PACE, New Nissan Leaf and Volvo V60 plus a first look at the Porsche Cayeene E-Hybrid. The event also put a real emphasis on low emission vehicles with the main hall being taken over by electric vehicles and hybrids.
It was therefore no surprise that at this year’s CCIA, electric vehicles were on demand and a popular choice by manufactures and visitors. 28% of the vehicles showcased were either PHEVs, Hybrids or EVs. Petrol accounted for 31% and still by far the most popular manufacturer demonstrators were diesels, which accounted for 41% of the vehicles.
Over the two days we observed significant popularity from business delegates for Jaguar Land Rover, Volvo and all the German manufactures, of which the Jaguar I-PACE appeared to be one the most popular demonstrator vehicles out on track.
Paul Nichol, Senior Marketing Executive commented “The event provided the ideal opportunity for us to learn more about the increasing number of PHEVs, Hybrids and EVs on the market so we could feedback to customers. Having driven a wide selection available on the day, for me, the stand out car was the Jaguar I-PACE, which was in one word – phenomenal! The I-PACE offers great handling, incredible performance in a comfortable and relaxed space”.
The NEW A-Class:
Producing 111g/km CO2 the new A-Class proved popular with visitors with its slightly sportier stance, solid feel and smooth ride – it left us with nothing but positive thoughts, especially with its brand-new voice-control system and AI. Simply say “Hey Mercedes” and your command. View video.
Toyota’s Yaris GRMN:
This tiny Japanese dragon comes in at 170g/km CO2 and was only available for hot laps, but driven fanatically by ex-Lotus F1 driver Martin Donnelly. The Yaris GRMN is currently the fastest small hot hatch in its class and is powered by the 1.8 litre supercharged engine as used in the Lotus Elise S, producing 209bhp it sees 0-60 mph in just 6.3secs! Watch video.
Volvo’s XC range:
The XC90, XC60 and XC40 were very popular amongst visitors of CCIA. Volvo’s focus on sustainability and environmental credentials definitely shone through across the Volvo brand and particularly the XC range as representatives explained the use of reclaimed driftwood and recycled materials used in the production of the cars. Watch the walk around videos here XC40, XC60 and XC90.
Coming in at 181g/km CO2 for the 2litre diesel and 225g/km CO2 for the 3.3litre petrol engine, the Stinger proved to be another popular car at CCIA. The Stinger is Kia’s challenger to the German auto industry and at first glance appears to take similar design cues from Audi’s A5 sportback or Jaguar with its side fin. The Stinger really surprised those who tested it – definitely one to consider. Watch video.
The New Nissan Leaf
The all-electric (0g/km CO2) Leaf feels like budget premium EV! Great cabin feel and interior space, and when you consider the price is 50% less than the Jaguar I-Pace, for what you get for you money, the Leaf offers an excellent value alternative. Watch video.
Ford’s All New Fiesta 1.0 Ecoboost
With its new interior that features a much larger display screen, the new Fiesta offers a practical and comfortable space with much more refinement than the previous models. For those who are yet to drive the 1.0 Ecoboost, the 140bhp version is the best option to go for, with 104 g/km CO2 and an impressive 0-60 time of 8.7secs, this version is both eco-and-warrior. Watch video.
Toyota CH-R Hybrid
Another car which stood out for us was the CH-R hybrid. A well-designed interior and interesting exterior styling makes the car feel like a relaxed place and forward thinking space to be in. Even more so when you consider it comes in for a low Benefit in Kind (BIK) rate of 17% (86g/km CO2). Watch video
Managing Director Alastair Houston concluded, “CCIA offers vehicle leasing companies like ours, the perfect opportunity to introduce prospects or customers to a wide choice of manufacturers, at what is a world leading automotive facility. The event continues to be hugely important to our industry, allowing customers to improve their decision making by experiencing the latest automotive advances. As ever, the event proved popular with visitors, demonstrating the real appreciation from all of us in the industry towards Fleet News and the manufacturers who continue to support the event each year.”
A must-see event for 2019, CCIA is likely to take place on 12-13 June next year (to be confirmed). For customers looking to join our team at the event, we strongly recommend registering your interest with our Strategic Account Managers, Business Development Managers or directly with us at your earliest convenience.