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Company cars to watch out for in 2014

  • The nine models likely to cause a major stir in the company car park
  • All due in 2014 and range from 4x4s to premium to plug-in hybrids
  • Included are mega frugal hatchbacks, capacious family wheels and high riding 4x4s

With 2013 drawing to a wintry close, it’s time to look into our crystal ball and find out what new metal could be gracing your company car park in 2014. It's shaping up to be an interesting year.

Audi A3 e-tron

 Audi A3 e-tron 

What is it?

How does average fuel economy of 188mpg and CO2 emissions of 35g/km sound? Those rather attractive figures belong to the upcoming petrol-electric plug-in hybrid version of the Audi A3 Sportback – potentially, anyway.

First shown off at the Geneva motor show back in February 2013, the e-tron combines Audi’s 1.4-litre TFSI petrol engine with a 100bhp electric motor and automatic gearbox. It can run on electric power alone, via the petrol engine, or a combination of both. Audi says it will have a 31-mile range in all-electric mode at speeds of up to 80mph.

The e-tron will be available in the five-door ‘Sportback’ body style only.

When does it arrive?

Development is on-going and Audi remains tight-lipped on the release date but we can expect the e-tron to land in Autumn 2014.

How much will it cost?

Audi has announced that it will cost 37,000 Euros in Europe, which converted to pounds is nearly £33k. That would make it the most expensive A3 in the range if it held true but no UK price has been announced yet. Nor has the trim but expect the e-Tron to be well specced to help justify its higher price tag.

BMW 2 Series

 BMW 2 Series 

What is it?

For 2 Series, read 1 Series Coupe – these days the BMW 3 Series Coupe is called the 4 Series and the same naming strategy is being applied to this sleek, two-door coupe based on the 1 Series’ underpinnings.

There will be two petrol and three diesel engine options from launch, all driving the rear wheels. Best for CO2 emissions, and therefore the most tax-friendly, will be the 218d 2.0-litre diesel with 141bhp, which emits as little as 114g/km of CO2. It could also average more than 60mpg.

When does it arrive?

The 2 Series makes its public debut in January 2014 with the full range set to go on sale in spring 2014. There will be a convertible version following later.

How much will it cost?

Expect prices to start from around £24,000.

Ford Mondeo

 Ford Mondeo 

What is it?

The archetypal company car, we’ve been waiting a long time for the next Mondeo. In fact, it was unveiled in 2012 and was expected to arrive in 2013 but instead will arrive late in the new year.

Fashionably late then, but will it be worth waiting for? Notable features include the first use of a 1.0-litre engine in the large saloon market, the addition of an all-wheel-drive diesel and petrol-electric hybrid models and an Aston Martin-esque grille to bring the car in line with other new models in the Ford range.

When does it arrive?

Ford says we can expect the new Mondeo to go on sale in the final quarter of 2014.

How much will it cost?

Expect prices to start from around £19,000. The current Mondeo has been given a bit of price cut in the meantime to help sustain interest.

Lexus GS300h

 Lexus GS300h 

What is it?

Another hybrid version of the GS saloon. There’s already a GS450h hybrid in the range powered by a combination of a 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine and an electric motor, but the new GS300h offers far more attractive running costs for company car drivers as it substitutes the big engine for a more efficient 2.5-litre unit.

There are four equipment grades (SE, Luxury, F Sport and Premier), with standard equipment including 17-inch alloy wheels, a 12-speaker digital radio system (which, being a Lexus, should sound superb), cruise control, parking sensors and heated seats. It’s also likely to feature the huge central multimedia display from the rest of GS range (which, being a Lexus, is fiddly and overcomplicated to use).

When does it arrive?

It’s available to order now and first deliveries start in January 2014. We'll be testing it very soon and you'll be able to read our thoughts in our Road Tests section.

How much will it cost?

In SE trim, the GS300h has a P11D price of £31,440 before options and will cost 40 percent rate taxpayers £137 a month in BIK tax.

Mercedes-Benz C-Class

 Mercedes-Benz C-class 2014 

What is it?

The replacement for the UK’s ninth best-selling car of 2012. A premium saloon that aims to rival the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4, the next-generation C-Class gets a plusher interior, more room for passengers and significant weight savings over the outgoing model.

Among various new high-tech features will be a touchpad system to control various in-car functions (a little like that already available on the BMW 5 Series and Audi A3), a head-up display system, optional air suspension and a satellite-guided air conditioning system that can alter its settings automatically when entering a tunnel, for example.

There are no official pictures of the exterior just yet, but Mercedes has revealed the interior (pictured above).

When does it arrive?

The first public airing of the car will be in January 2014 and it will roll up in dealerships in the summer.

How much will it cost?

Expect prices to increase slightly compared with the current model, but only by a small amount.

Mini Mk3 Hatchback

New Mini hatchback 2014

What is it?

This is the eagerly awaited third generation of the ‘new’ Mini (which makes it the new, new, new Mini).

Unsurprisingly, it looks quite a bit like the old one. It’s a bit bigger than before though, with the aim of improving interior space for occupants and allowing a bigger boot. Its makers promise it will be just as much fun to drive as the famously nimble outgoing model.

Headline news for company car drivers is that the diesel Cooper D version could be capable of CO2 emissions as low as 92g/km if you pick the right wheels and tyres.

When does it arrive?

UK and global market launches are scheduled for spring 2014.

How much will it cost?

The entry level Mini Cooper hatch will start from £15,300, the diesel-powered Cooper D from £16,450 and the hot Cooper S from £18,650.  

New Nissan Qashqai

Nissan Qashqai 2014

What is it?

The follow up to a sales phenomenon in the UK. One of the first ‘crossover’ models, the Qashqai successfully mixed elements of family hatchback and small off-roader and became a huge hit among both fleet and private buyers.

It’s beginning to feel its age though and the time is right for a replacement. The all-new Qashqai offers more up-to-date looks, a higher quality interior and more space for passengers and luggage.

Tax-conscious fleet buyers may be interested to know that the smallest diesel engine, the 1.5 dCi, emits only 99g/km of CO2.

When does it arrive?

It’s available to order now with the launch date slated for February 2014.

How much will it cost?

Prices start from £17,595.

Peugeot 308

 Peugeot 308 2013

What is it?

A sharp-suited family hatch with a modern-looking interior, a large boot and competitive running costs.

On the way in spring 2014 is a 1.6-litre ‘BlueHDI’ diesel version with claimed fuel economy as high as 91mpg on average and impressively low CO2 emissions of 82g/km.

We’ve already given the Peugeot 308 the full Parkers review treatment – find out what it’s like here.

When does it arrive?

Available to order now, deliveries start from January 2014. The lowest emission engines are due in spring 2014.

How much will it cost?

Prices range from £14,495 to £24,045 – more info here.

Volkswagen Golf Plus

Volkswagen Golf Sportsvan concept 

What is it?

First of all, we should point out that this car might not actually be called the Golf Plus by the time it reaches the market.

The car pictured above is called the Volkswagen Golf Sportsvan concept and was on display at the Frankfurt motor show earlier in the year – in reality, though, it’s a near-production ready replacement for the Golf Plus, a more practical high-roofed version of the Golf that met with mixed success in the UK.

This one is bigger and offers more space and a larger boot. There’s also lots of safety tech and a diesel Bluemotion version that’s claimed to average as much as 76mpg and emit less than 100g/km CO2.

When does it arrive?

Whatever it turns out to be called, we can expect the new Golf Plus to reach these shores around July 2014.

How much will it cost?

Pricing is yet to be confirmed.