- Five of the most hotly anticipated cars of 2016
- Large saloons and SUVs set to wow the fleet crowd
- Running costs look set to continue falling
Company cars are an enormous market for manufacturers, with fleet purchases making up a hefty percentage of new car sales in the UK, and we don’t think this trend will change any time soon.
That’s why we’ve put together a list of the company cars we’re most excited to see in 2016.
BMW 5 Series
No list of company cars would be complete without the BMW 5 Series. The incredibly popular saloon will be replaced in 2016, getting a new lightweight platform and a brand new range of engines.
The all-new platform is designed to bring the weight down by around 80kg, allowing the upcoming 5 Series to make use of BMW’s economical 1.5-litre three-cylinder diesel engine.
The weight shedding, coupled with the frugal three-cylinder, means it’ll achieve a claimed 72.2mpg while still producing 148bhp, according to our sister magazine CAR – more than enough to get the big German saloon up to speed.
If three-cylinder engines aren’t your cup of tea, BMW is offering plenty of larger alternatives. There will be one petrol and two diesel four-cylinders, along with with two petrol and three diesel straight-six options if you’re after even more performance.
On sale: Late 2016
The second executive saloon on this list and much like the 5 Series, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class is one of the biggest names in the company car world.
As with the BMW, it has also been on a diet, shedding between 70 and 150kg, and there’s a new range of engines too along with a complete cabin redesign to bring quality up to the standards set by the luxurious S-Class saloon.
A new entry-level 1.6-litre, four-cylinder engine with 122bhp provides plenty of intrigue for fleet drivers, claimed to average 99g/km of CO2 for low benefit-in-kind tax. More powerful engines are being offered as well, with Mercedes starting to phase out V6 units for new, less expensive straight-six alternatives in both petrol and diesel format.
We imagine the plug-in hybrid versions will be popular with company car drivers, with a 2-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine matched with an 82bhp electric motor, and a diesel/electric hybrid also rumoured to be in the pipeline.
On sale: January 2016
A bold new design is the major change with the fourth-generation Kia Sportage, but the Korean car-maker has been hard at work trying to make its best-selling SUV a more economical option.
Improved aerodynamics and engine tweaks should mean lower CO2 emissions – a must-have for company car drivers.
There will be a larger engine line-up available, with Kia offering its 1.7-litre diesel and an upgraded version of the current 2-litre unit, which can be had with either 134bhp or 181bhp. A more economical version of the 1.6-litre petrol engine can also be picked, alongside a turbocharged 1.6-litre for the new top-spec GT Line trim.
Suspension upgrades provide what the firm claims is an improved ride from the previous generation, while Kia will continue to pack the Sportage with plenty of kit on its trim levels so customers don’t have to go mad on the optional extras.
On sale: Early 2016
Taking on the aforementioned BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class along with the Audi A6 and Jaguar XF, Volvo is set to wade into the competitive executive saloon market with the upcoming S90.
The big Swede will be available with a powerful petrol engine and as well as two diesel options. The less-powerful D4 unit promises 68mpg and produces 109g/km while still covering 0-62mph in a very respectable 8.2 seconds. The more potent 232bhp D5 unit does the same sprint a second quicker, but at the cost of returning just 55mpg and producing 133g/km of CO2, meaning it’ll be more expensive to tax.
However the most impressive variant for company car drivers will be the T8 plug-in hybrid, which manages to create a whopping 401bhp while achieving 148mpg and CO2 emissions of just 44g/km, bringing taxation costs right down.
Interior quality is set to improve from the Volvo S80 it succeeds, while available kit is also given a boost.
On sale: Summer 2016
Jag’s first ever crossover is being targeted heavily towards company car drivers, and if you’re in the market for a luxury SUV the attractive F-Pace will be difficult to ignore.
It will be presented with a choice of three engines, but it’s the 2-litre diesel with the six-speed manual gearbox that we think fleet drivers will be most interested in, emitting a reasonable 129g/km of CO2, meaning it slots into a 23 percent tax band for the 2015/16 tax year.
Plenty of technology comes with the F-Pace too, with Jaguar offering a highly advanced infotainment system boasting a large 10.5-inch colour touchscreen which is used for presenting a range of in-car apps as well as the sat-nav system. There’s even an option to turn the F-Pace into a roaming wi-fi hotspot for up to eight devices.
On sale: April 2016
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