Since the company car tax reform back in 2002, diesel has been the engine of choice for most company fleets. As diesels generally emit less CO2 than their petrol equivalents, they have been more favourable in terms of tax.
But, as the government continue to pile on the pressure, consumers are starting to weigh up their options. Evident in the number of new car registrations for 2017 so far, in July, diesel sales have dropped by 11% compared to July 2016.
Although company car tax and fuel efficiency may still favour diesel for company car drivers, technology is constantly improving. CO2 emissions in petrols are moving closer to their diesel counterparts, and the tax benefit may not be as large as it once was. And, when you think of future residual values (RVs) for diesel models, all this negative exposure will begin diminishing their value and consequently bump up monthly rentals.
For fleet, there is no ‘one-size fits all’ solution in terms of fuel choice. The solution lies in the individual needs of your fleet. By looking closer at mileage, journey data, and your current fuel mix, we are encouraging businesses to challenge your current policies, and identify whether any existing diesel vehicles could be effectively swapped for a petrol alternative.
Our latest Top 6 is a great place for you to see what could work for your fleet…
1. Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer 1.0i SRi Nav 105PS Turbo S/S ecoFlex
First up on our list is the recently refreshed Astra Sports Tourer. Always a solid choice for a company fleet, have you explored its capabilities in terms of petrol?
Now in its seventh generation, the newest edition combines a premium design with functionality. The exterior adds not only a cutting edge with its sharp lines, streamlined curves and sloping roofline, but also creates a refreshing sporty appearance.
The interior adds an extra level of elegance to the Astra Sports Tourer. Using premium materials such as the soft-touch plastic and chrome-trimmed control knobs, it gives it an upmarket feel. It is also fitted with a 7” colour touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, and Cruise Control as standard, to give you extra comfort.
Additionally, the Astra Sports Tourer provides an OnStar concierge service that is your personal onboard assistant. It offers a range of services that can help you feel safer on the road, including crash response and stolen vehicle assistance.
The Astra Sports Tourer offers an excellent engine range that offers high economy figures and low company car tax costs. The most efficient petrol engine is the 1.0L, which returns a strong 62.8mpg and impressive emissions of just 103 gCO2/km. As a result, we think it could be an ideal petrol company car.
2. Kia Pro_cee’d 1.0 TDGi GT Line 118hp
At number two on our list is the Kia Pro_cee’d.
It competes in a congested hatch market, but stands its ground with bold styling, class leading standard safety features, and competitive pricing.
The Pro_cee’d is essentially a three-door version of the Cee’d Hatchback. However, the coupe inspired design gives it a striking appearance thanks to the deep side skirts, ‘ice cube’ LED running lights and mesh grille.
The distinctive styling is continued on the inside with black high gloss console and silver stitching on the steering wheel, gear shift and seats, complimenting the grey dashboard nicely. It also boasts an impressive list of features that are standard across the range such as Kia Connected Services, which features TomTom, live traffic info, and speed camera alerts.
What’s more impressive, is the standard safety and comfort features across the Pro-cee’d line up. At entry level, each model is fitted with: Brake Assist System, Emergency Stop Signalling, and Rear Parking Sensors. This has helped the Pro_cee’d to achieve a 5-star Euro NCAP rating.
Finally, it ranks well for its environmental credentials. Although slightly higher than other entrants on our list, the 1.0 TDGi GT Line emits only 115 gCO2/km, whilst delivering 57.6mpg combined. Therefore, due to its impressive list of safety features, striking design, and strong environmental credentials, it could offer your fleet something a little different.
3. Peugeot 2008 1.2L PureTech Allure 110 S&S
The third entry on top 5 list is the 2017 Auto Express Driver Power Best Small SUV award winner, the Peugeot 2008.
Launched in 2013, the 2008 entered a growing crossover market, dominated by the likes of the Nissan Juke and Seat Ateca.
But, it made an instant impression, outselling Peugeot’s expectations. And we believe due to the exceptional petrol emission figures, it’s a fantastic alternative to diesel equivalents in the SUV segment.
To maintain its strong position in the market, the 2008 was recently given a facelift. Building on its character, the facelift adds high-tech black chrome headlights, revised LEDs and a new front grille to help it stand out from the competition.
Inside, the 2008 features LED track laser cut headlining with ambient backlighting, premium leather trim, and is finished with high quality materials that adds a sophisticated feel to the cabin. Also, the layout adds further touch of class with Peugeot’s innovative i-Cockpit that helps make your driving experience more pleasurable, such as the head-up instrument panel.
Peugeot offer the 2008 in both petrol and diesel, however there are only two engine sizes available. Our engine of choice is the 1.2L PureTech 110 S&S, which delivers exceptional efficiency for a car of its size, emitting just 103 gCO2/km, and delivering 64.2 combined MPG.
The award winning 2008 delivers great value for money, thanks to its premium design and exceptional efficiency. Why not see how it compares to our Top 7 SUV Crossovers?
4. BMW 1 Series 118i SE Auto
The next entry on the list is the BMW 1 Series.
Although the 1 Series line up is the lowest priced in BMW’s model range, it benefits from BMW’s excellent craftmanship, technology, and is a good alternative to more popular models such as the 3 series.
The premium 3-door Sports Hatch has a strong presence on the road thanks to trademark BMW characteristics such as the unmistakable kidney grille and eye-catching headlights. Although the design was recently refreshed, it remains as recognisable as ever.
Its premium appearance is enhanced once you climb inside. The top of the range materials and excellent craftmanship add class that other sporty hatches struggle to compete with. Sitting proudly at the centre of the dashboard is the easy to use 6.5” colour screen with iDrive controller, which features Real Time Traffic Information.
There are also a variety of optional extras to choose from that aid your driving experience, such as Lane Departure Warning, Attentiveness Assistance, and Adaptive Cruise Control.
The 1 Series offers plenty of engine options, both in diesel and petrol variants. But our petrol engine of choice is the 118i SE. Although it is the entry level model, you benefit from an array of premium features that you may not expect from an entry level model.
It also delivers the best efficiency from the petrol options, emitting 112 gCO2/km. Furthermore, the standard Auto Stop-Start features helps achieve 56.5 combined MPG, which for an engine that delivers 136hp, is impressive. If you’re looking for a reliable, sporty, and luxurious company car, the 1 Series could be just what you’re looking for.
5. Volkswagen Passat Saloon 1.4 TSI 150 SE Business 4dr
As consumers begin to make the shift towards petrol engines, manufacturers are realising this and adapting their offering to suit.
After a number of years, Volkswagen have reintroduced a selection of petrol engines to their Passat line-up to reflect the shift in fuel choice.
If you compare the 1.4 petrol Passat to the 2.0 diesel Passat, not only is the list price almost £2,000 cheaper, the Benefit-in-Kind is also lower on the petrol too. Delivering a similar performance output, we believe the petrol derivative could be a possible gamechanger for many of our customer’s fleets.
And the eighth generation Passat is still as sophisticated as ever in terms of its design. The latest generation features shorter body overhangs and a dynamic silhouette that is highlighted by the front and rear lights, creating an imposing presence.
The sophisticated design is continued on the inside, finely crafted with a host of quality materials that are both pleasing on the eye, and ergonomic. Typical of Volkswagen, the layout is uncomplicated and clear, with the well positioned central touchscreen taking centre stage.
In addition, the Passat offers exceptional levels of comfort and practicality with its list of advanced features on offer. At entry level, driver’s assistance features such as Driver Alert, Hill Hold Function, and Start/Stop Function all come as standard to help make your journey that little bit easier.
In terms of engine choice, there are plenty of options for you to choose from. Our pick is the 1.4 SE Business, which emits just 115 gCO2/km and achieves 55.4 MPG combined. Couple this impressive efficiency with the additional safety features, and you’re looking at an ideal, petrol, company car.
6. Audi A1 Sportback 1.4 TFSI S Line 150PS S Tronic
The final entry on our latest top 5 is the Audi A1 Sportback.
By adding a small car option to your fleet it can offer those drivers who don’t need loads of space to benefit from increased efficiency.
Featuring Audi’s trademark LED running lights and distinctive body lines, the A1 Sportback is unmistakable on the road. The premium compact design is enhanced with S line body styling and roof spoiler, which give it a dynamic and sporty aesthetic.
The premium design is continued in the interior, using high quality materials that are finely crafted and considered throughout. Neat finishing touches such as the 3-spoke leather multi-function steering wheel with aluminium inlay, high gloss air vents, and LED interior light package add an extra level of refinement.
Moreover, the A1 Sportback is fitted with an array of features to aid your comfort such as the ability to control key telephone and radio functions with your voice. Also, Cruise Control, Rear Parking Sensors, and Auto Start-Stop system is standard across the A1 line up
Whilst the 1.0 TFSI petrol engine emits just 97 gCO2/km, our recommended petrol engine is the 1.4 TFSI cylinder. This engine offers plenty of power, but also achieves impressive fuel economy of 58.9mpg combined and emits just 112 gCO2/km.
With a beautifully crafted cabin, efficient environmental credentials, and impressive fuel economy, could this petrol alternative be what you’re looking for?
Thinking of going hybrid or electric?
Explore Ultra Low Emission Vehicles in more depth by looking at our Top 10 ULEVs for 2017.
To book an appointment to help you understand what’s right for your fleet, or for any quotations on the vehicles above, don’t hesitate to contact us on: