New company car time

Currently reading:
New company car time

Schumi2001

Banned
Joined
Sep 18, 2018
Messages
615
It's coming up to that time again. The last 4 years have absolutely flown by!

Currently in a BMW 520d Lux with some options. I love it. Fast enough, relaxing to drive (I do 30k+ miles / year on business), lots of toys, decent audio system etc. I pay £50 / month towards the car, as I added some options like tow-bar and the Harmon-Kardon audio.

Ideally, I'd replace like for like, but the government war on diesel company cars has gone mad - the monthly tax bill for a replacement would be £410 / month.

Just to compound things, the £40k 'luxury car tax' means anything over £40k has £25/month added to lease rates. So even adding lumbar support to a 3-series isn't possible!

Anyway, to cut a long story short... my options based on current models.

Lexus ES300h. A proper replacement for my 5. Lots of kit, incl. CarPlay, electric adjusted, heated leather seats, privacy glass, Pioneer audio system. This would come in at £280 / month in tax.

BMW 330e MSport (forget the SE as it comes with plastic seats and the Sport doesn't get the latest iDrive system). Fairly basic spec - so no privacy glass, manual seat adjustment (but they're heated) and no lumbar support. This would be £160 / month in tax.

With the Lexus, I'd be £150 / month better off. With the BMW, I'd be £250 / month better off...

2 things come to mind - a 3 is a step down for me. I know I'm being a bit vain, but I always feel that, in my role, a 5-series type car is the expectation to demonstrate to customers that I'm a decision maker... a 3 can be a bit 'sales rep'.

The other is that I spend around half my working week in the car, so an extra £100 / month for something that better suits me - ie. lumbar support, electric seats, decent audio system, is worthwhile expenditure.

Additionally, I've never owned a Lexus (although our camper van is a Lexus in all but name - it has the RX300 engine and most of the interior bits come from the GS and LS).

I prefer the presence and exclusivity of the Lexus, too.

What would you do?
 

StevenRB45

Upstanding Member for Newcastle
Joined
Mar 23, 2007
Messages
9,774
Location
Newcastle
Have you driven both?

It's all very well playing spec sheet bingo but given the amount of time you spend in the car I'd imagine ergonomics being absolutely right will also be a factor also whether or not you get on with each car.
 
OP
OP
S

Schumi2001

Banned
Joined
Sep 18, 2018
Messages
615
I'm booking test drives.

The reason I'm looking at Lexus rather than BMW is that I'm on my 2nd BMW in a row and I've noticed a few little niggles which seem to be replicated across the range - mostly to do with hip angles and pedals in RHD versions rotating the hips slightly. The Lexus is designed around a RHD platform, so this may not be an issue. Unfortunately, it has only become noticeable over a lot of miles - more miles than you can ever do even with an extended, 48 hour, test drive.
 

StevenRB45

Upstanding Member for Newcastle
Joined
Mar 23, 2007
Messages
9,774
Location
Newcastle
30k miles a year with no lumber adjustable support and only basic seat adjustment would not seem to be a good idea on the face of it. I like my Japanese cars though, no one quite builds day in day out cars like them.

Out of interest are all diesels out the window or would something like the Mercedes C class diesel Hybrid avoid the additional charges? Ah Nevermind it's over 40k..petrol may just drop under though may no longer be available.
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
S

Schumi2001

Banned
Joined
Sep 18, 2018
Messages
615
We removed Mercedes and Jaguar from the lists a couple of years ago, as they didn't have a lot to meet our CO2 targets - and, as you see, the hybrid Mercs are very expensive!

VW and Lexus were the replacements, but then VW hybrids are not holding value, meaning a Passat GTE costs £100 / month more to lease than a 520d. This puts it about £75 / month above my allowance. Utterly insane...

As an example - a 330e MSport is listed at £455 / month, the ES300h is at £473 / month... a 520d is only £435 / month! A Passat GTE is up to £550 / month depending on spec. My allowance is £475 / month.

The option to pay for an upgrade was removed when we removed Merc and Jag - too many silly spec. cars with huge tax bills kicking around the compound and no new employees wanting to take them due to the tax.

I'm going to ensure I get 48 hour drives in the ES300h and 330e, as I can't see anything else that would suit me. I'd love an SUV, but the only hybrid option at the moment is the UX250h, which is a bit small... Volvo's XC40 hybrid has horrendous lease rates, despite being a sub £40k car.
 

StevenRB45

Upstanding Member for Newcastle
Joined
Mar 23, 2007
Messages
9,774
Location
Newcastle
Had a look at the Es300h briefly, was unaware they were front drive, 4 cylinder and CVT which is all the ingredients for a decent taxi. May have had the GS in mind..

At that point yep, test drive essential could be perfectly acceptable for how you use it, it could moo at you annoyingly every time you're accelerating off a roundabout up to speed. Given the mileage I assume it'll spend a lot of it's time at and accelerating to a high speed cruise. So the CVT programming will make a big difference to the experience. You'd hope that things like hills on cruise control it would use the electric motor rather than winding up the petrol engine and creating more noise.

Whether that outweighs the lack of basics in the BMW is another thing entirely.

SUV wise, hybrid can't do much about aerodynamics, I assume the company pays the fuel but fuel range could get annoying if it's only going hit 30s at the cruise (Fuelly puts the average for an XC40 at 32mpg compared to 49 for the ES300h).
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
S

Schumi2001

Banned
Joined
Sep 18, 2018
Messages
615
The ES is the replacement for the GS in Europe - the GS was quite an expensive platform as it wasn't shared with any of the Toyota range. However, the hybrid version was still the one to have when it was available, so still had the CVT box.

The ES is on the Camry platform, which we will also see in the UK... sadly not an option for me, as it looks like the top line Camry is a great car, too.

I've run a Toyota hybrid before (mkII Prius) so know the downsides, and the ES has the latest 2.5 4-pot and HSD system with less of the rubber band feel than older systems.

Definitely need to get this test drive booked in!

The biggest downside is that, in a few years time, when these come off company car fleets, is that every Uber driver in the country will want one!
 
OP
OP
S

Schumi2001

Banned
Joined
Sep 18, 2018
Messages
615
The worst part about SUVs isn't so much the published economy - it's the horrendous emissions most of them have. Although the two are somewhat related.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jan 18, 2012
Messages
297
Have you seen the Sniff Petrol video on the Lexus ES? It made me want to buy one just to see how relaxed it made Jonny and Rich!
 

StevenRB45

Upstanding Member for Newcastle
Joined
Mar 23, 2007
Messages
9,774
Location
Newcastle
One used for school run duty a lot more?

The best XC40 petrol on Fuelly manages 36mpg average, some are down at 19mpg.

However it doesn't specify if there are hybrids among the numbers there is one solitary vehicle sitting at an average of 65mpg but that's an average of 30, 112 mpg and 2 other more average fill ups so could be a hybrid or could be someone ballsing up data entry.

But the overall impression from the figures is that it is not an efficient vehicle.
 
OP
OP
S

Schumi2001

Banned
Joined
Sep 18, 2018
Messages
615
Have you seen the Sniff Petrol video on the Lexus ES? It made me want to buy one just to see how relaxed it made Jonny and Rich!

This one?

[ame="https://youtu.be/ipjdt:LOL:9Wco"]https://youtu.be/ipjdt:LOL:9Wco[/ame]

Watched all 40 minutes of it last night - it's what tipped things away from the 330e, to be honest.

I don't get on with MSport derivatives of BMWs, but the 'Sport' is a generation behind on interior tech.

Their ES review kind of reaffirmed that they're the perfect car for driving 300 miles and walking straight into a meeting / sales pitch.
 
OP
OP
S

Schumi2001

Banned
Joined
Sep 18, 2018
Messages
615
The best XC40 petrol on Fuelly manages 36mpg average, some are down at 19mpg.

However it doesn't specify if there are hybrids among the numbers there is one solitary vehicle sitting at an average of 65mpg but that's an average of 30, 112 mpg and 2 other more average fill ups so could be a hybrid or could be someone ballsing up data entry.

But the overall impression from the figures is that it is not an efficient vehicle.

There aren't many PHEV XC40s out there, probably due to crazy lease rates, so real world MPG will be hard to come by.
 
Top