With the ‘big bad diesel’ currently receiving poor press, is it time to turn our attention back to the trusty petrol?
In the early noughties, the shift from petrol to diesel swept across the UK. Government pressure to reduce CO2 emissions was great and diesel engines seemed like the ideal solution, offering a 15% reduction of CO2, compared to that of petrol engines.
Manufacturers were quick to react. More diesel powertrain models were being introduced and diesel cars became more prominent and more accessible to fleet and private buyers alike.
Diesel technology really started to advance; perceptions of diesels being tractor-like or sluggish were quickly dispelled as diesel engines soon matched, torque for torque, in terms of power. They offered the performance and the efficiency with no real compromise to choice, style or looks.
Further incentives around vehicle excise duty (VED) road tax linked to CO2 and cheaper diesel prices at the pump, saw diesel market share rise from 10% in 1995 to 50% in 2012 (Source: SMMT).
Where did it go wrong for the diesel?
The quest for lower CO2 emissions overshadowed the resulting increase in nitrogen dioxide (NO2) emissions and harmful particulates produced by diesel engines.
With air pollution levels reaching new highs, particularly in and around London, the Government is set to take swift action, and their gaze seems to be squarely fixed on reducing the amount of diesel vehicles entering the city.
Parking surcharges of up to 50% may prove the way forward or could a diesel scrappage scheme, targeting the oldest, most polluting cars be the answer?
For fleet drivers, the 3% BIK supplement is set to be with us for a while longer and with a shift of VED potentially steering future driver choice, could we see more fleet drivers opting for a petrol?
Here’s our Top 5 petrol cars for fleet:
1. Audi A4 Saloon 2.0T FSI SE 4dr Tronic
The A4 has been redesigned from the front to the rear. The cabin has been reformed with the latest innovative technology, whilst the design has been made lighter and more agile than earlier versions.
It’s not only the design that’s been enhanced, the engine too has also been improved. The Audi A4 TFSI engine emits just 116g CO2/km, and is very fuel efficient with 55.4mpg. Consequently, this excludes the A4 from the 3% BIK surcharge which it’s diesel counterpart faces.
The A4 has long been considered Audi’s most important model, and this new version will no doubt help to sustain its position. With a new beautifully crafted cabin, impressive fuel efficiency, and safety features such as multi-collision brake assist, the A4 could be the perfect petrol addition to your fleet.
2. BMW 3 Series Saloon 318i Sport 4dr Step Auto
The 3 Series was released in 1975, and after decades of pioneering design and innovation, it stands as the benchmark for the compact executive saloon class.
The design has come a long way since its first release. Although, the characteristic short front overhang and elongated bonnet make it unmistakably BMW.
Opting for the petrol engine on the 3 Series will again exclude you from the 3% BIK surcharge. The performance and efficiency isn’t comprised either, with an impressive 54.3mpg average and 122g CO2/km. Overall, we believe the 3 Series has strong credentials as an efficient company car.
3. Ford Mondeo HB 1.0 EcoBoost Zetec 5dr
Ford have combined the latest technology and expert craftsmanship to give the Mondeo a sleek, striking, and cutting-edge design.
The sleek lines cut through the air more efficiently, whilst the active grille shutter helps improve airflow and reduce drag. Moreover, it comes packed full of the latest technology, improving your experience and comfort behind the wheel.
This is the most advanced Mondeo yet; with emissions of just 119g CO2/km and 55.4mpg, it ranks impressively with us. We think it could be something a little different for your fleet.
4. Skoda Octavia HB 1.4 TSI 150 SE 5dr DSG
The elegant design, coupled with the spacious, luxurious interior, make the Octavia a car to be desired for your fleet.
Available as standard are the LED daytime running lights, which feature a bold, eye-catching split headlight design. In addition, the heated multi-functional steering wheel gives the driver full control and comfort at their fingertips.
The Octavia boasts the strongest efficiency on our top 5 with emissions of just 103g CO2/km, and 72.4 mpg. Combine this with its impressive features such as blind spot detection and rear traffic alert, and you’re onto a winner.
5. VW Golf HB 1.4 TSI 125 Match Edition 5dr DSG
Last but by no means least, is the Volkswagen Golf. Now in its seventh generation, the Golf is considered a superb all-rounder, and is the go to family hatch.
The Golf has consistently combined practicality, comfort, performance, and efficiency; this is still true in the latest model. Originally released in 2014, the Golf receives a 2017 face lift. The biggest change comes in infotainment, with a clear focus to improve the driving experience and comfort.
As like all the cars on our list, the petrol engine excludes it from the 3% BIK supplement. It also promises efficient fuel economy, with an average of 56.5mpg and 116g CO2/km. If you’re considering a petrol alternative as your next fleet addition, the cars above will all be valuable additions.
For more information, or for an in-depth petrol vs. diesel analysis of your fleet, contact us on: