Company car tax bands are changing for the New Year meaning automakers are making some efficiency-focused alterations to their best selling business models, upping fuel economy and lowering emissions to improve that all important company car tax determining efficiency rating.
So, based on the business-biased diesel models, here is our recommendation for the 10 best (in no particular order) business buys for the New Year:
- – The Mondeo is known for its excellent dynamics including entertaining handling, steering with excellent levels of feedback and a supple ride. With the Blue Oval’s 200bhp 2.2-litre turbo diesel emitting fewer than 160g/km CO2, it’ll be both environmentally and fiscally friendly promising strong levels of all-round performance for the money.
- Hyundai i40 – Hyundai are really trying hard to improve the brand’s image with some truly premium design features that bely the i40’s £22,995 starting price. At around £2,000 less than a similarly trimmed Mondeo, the i40 comes with decent kit as standard. Its 2.0-litre diesel will return a combined 62.8mpg and produces 119g/km CO2, making it eligible for free road tax in the first 12 months.
- Skoda Superb – The Superb shares its chassis with the MK6 VW Golf and also inherits the former’s range of diesel engines, but the Superb is a bit boring and doesn’t deliver the entertainment value of its Golf sibling. It’s as competent as a VW Passat but just doesn’t turn any heads. Two choices of VW’s 2.0-litre diesel engine are available – a 138bhp unit and a 168bhp spec engine.
- Vauxhall Insignia – The Insignia is a bit of a looker on the quiet and comes available in three different body styles – saloon, hatchback and estate. It’s also available with either a 130bhp or 160bhp 2.0-litre dturboiesel engine – the later producing under 140g/km CO2.
- Audi A4 – The A4 is a premium product and does everything a high-end compact executive saloon should. The new A4 offers four different 2.0-litre diesel engines as well so you won’t be found lacking for choice: two TDIe eco versions in 136 and 163bhp tune and two non-eco variants in 144 and 177bhp trim, available for the same money, can be had in the latest A4 with emissions performance and fuel economy of the lower powered diesel coming in at 112g/km CO2 and 65.7mpg respectively.
- BMW 3 Series – BMW’s 3 Series 320d with EffecientDynamics eco-focused technology will return 69.9mpg and emit less just 109g/km CO2. That means low running costs, typical refined, exploitable handling and performance and strong residuals making it easy to sell. The 3 Series will take everything you can throw at it and still take you home in cosseting comfort – all for a fair £27,245.
- Mercedes-Benz C-Class – The latest iteration of Mercedes’ smallest saloon is a seriously good-looking car. When fitted with the Three Pointed Star’s 2.2-litre CDI BlueEFFICIENCY diesel engine that emits 127g/km CO2, you’ll find the Merc a willing partner with decent performance but running costs that make it an attractive ownership proposition. The one problem with the Merc? The BMW 3 Series – and there’s a new one coming this year.
- Mazda6 – The Mazda6 shares the Ford Mondeo’s driver-focussed platform so is bound to handle well. The 2.2-litre diesel engines come in 128bhp, 160bhp and 186bhp states of tune – the motors are gutsy and perform well with the 0-62mph dash dispatched in 8.7 seconds whilst remaining relatively efficient at 53.3mpg combined and 140g/km CO2.
- Toyota Avensis – In business-friendly D-4D spec, the new Avensis emits just 119g/km CO2 dropping it into the lowest Benefit in Kind tax bracket of 17%. The latest Toyota saloon is a quiet cruiser and features a dependable 124bhp 2.0-litre diesel engine that will return a combined fuel economy of 61.4mpg. Strong figures for a big business-biased saloon.
- Volkswagen Passat – The VW Passat appears to sit in a position all of its own in the business saloon market. It’s not quite up to the standards of the 3 Series, C-Class or A4 but is more upmarket than the likes of the Mondeo, Insignia and the rest of the more budget business saloons. But the Passat is still a good buy – especially so given the powerful and efficient range of engines available from VW.
Check out the emissions based vehicle excise duty/road tax bands to see where your business vehicle falls: http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Motoring/OwningAVehicle/HowToTaxYourVehicle/DG_10012524