Autocar last week did a comparison test between a Lexus GS450hSE, (hybrid)
BMW 535D (diesel) and Merc E500 (petrol) Each was meant as an example of a
'state of the art' power unit in a luxury car. All were of course autos.
As expected, the 5.5 litre petrol Merc had the best performance and by
some margin. The BMW and Lexus were very close. But it's - as usual - the
fuel consumption in the real world that is of interest. Here are the
results starting with the official government ones.
BMW Lexus Merc
Urban 25.9 31.7 16.7
Extra Urban 44.8 39.2 34.4
Combined 35.3 35.8 24.6
Town 18.7 21.7 13.7
Motorway 31.0 29.0 20.6
Country 27.5 24.6 20.0
Test overall 26.3 25.9 16.3
So as usual, the 'official' figures bear no relation to real world driving
conditions, and favour the hybrid.
*The closest I ever got to a 4.0 in school was my blood alcohol content*
Dave Plowman firstname.lastname@example.org London SW
but remember to add in the exhaust emissions to the equation.
the Toyota drive train emissions and driveability are really nice, try
driving them, the Toyota Lexus system is lovely.
as to real world stuff, my friend has a prius, he gets 60 plus in the winter
and 55 plus in the summer. plus low tax and congestion charge.
Apparently though on long term running costs a hummer beats the lot!!!!
Yep. My wife's car gets 62mph and only costs 40 quid in tax.
I'm definitely in favour of much more punitive taxation for the higher
classes. However, I hope they don't get too arsey with 7 seat Group E
vehicles. I bought the lowest emission 7 seater I could find (and afford),
which was a Zafira 2.0DTi. It had 4g/km too much for Group E. However, as
its use often means that we don't need to run two cars for a journey, I bet,
on average, that it saves us CO2 over a 5 seater Group D. I hope that this
is eventually taken into account when the tax differentials ramp up.
I am definitely in favour of punitive FUEL taxation, but leave the cars
Fuel savings comes from all the little cars NOT doing the school run,
NOT doing a supermarket run EVERY DAY and not doing 100 mile commutes
Not from some poor old aristo who takes out the Roller once a week to
visit Harrods..or the Range Rover to go grouse shooting.
By taxing at a rate that is greater than proportionate to use, you are more
likely to affect behaviour.
I just think that the number of seats in a vehicle should be taken into
account to some extent, as the extra seats will take other vehicles off the
road, reducing effective emissions. Obviously, this can't be overdone, or
people will simply buy cars with more seats that they don't need. By
dropping a band by having 7 (or possibly 6) seats or more, or rising a band
by having 2 seats or less, the market will actually be less distorted and
the tax more in line with the likely CO2 emissions per person/km.
Except that it doesn't work. People who want to have big, fuel
consuming cars will pay for them.
I am not sure that that's a logical conclusion. It might be if you
were comparing buses of different sizes. However people use their
cars as a family for the most part. They don't generally provide a
local bus service, except in cases such as a very long run to school
where it might encourage lift sharing among neighbours.
Is it a question of seats or space though? I like to have a large
vehicle so that I can take stuff around easily. However, I don't want
that many seats.
Of course. To prevent that, you'd have to ban them, which I do not propose.
However, I would like them to pay much more than proportionally more. That
money I would like to see invested in CO2 neutral energy technology.
Also, it would deter a good number of people as well. Only the real petrol
heads will continue with a Group G car. Lots of people would be put off and
buy something less damaging.
I think the solution is to make people drive Ford GT40s like Jeremy
Clarkson. Single digit mpg figures when used in anger but it only works for
1 day in every 10 so the average emissions are better than a hybrid.
But there are many people who live in areas where there is little or no
alternative to private vehicles.
If VED was banded according to the address of the registered keeper,
people in cities would pay more for possessing a car; people in rural
areas could pay less. Similar to a congestion charge, but without the
need for spy cameras to police. Admittedly some people would falsify the
keeper's address, but that would render the insurance invalid and would
also be a specific offence.
Although people moan about petrol tax, it doesn't affect behaviour
because it's paid so gradually that it's absorbed into general household
expenditure. An extra few thousand quid demand once a year would,
however, prompt a fair number of people to consider if they really
need/can afford a car.
And any employer saying that an employee must have access to a private
car should have to pay the VED, to encourage increased use of pool cars
or even a taxi account.
Which would again favour those with the ability to pay. Is that what
That's impractical. Increasingly people work from home and so a
private car for business purposes becomes essential. Secondly, there
is a trend away from company provided cars to car allowances. This
becomes somewhat moot because it is treated as income for tax purposes.
Generally though, if people consider that they have a need or desire to
use a private car, they will do so, and TBH, the government is wasting
its time and our money if it believes it can alter behaviour.
Different thing though.
The trend from company leased vehicles to car allowance (and typically
personal lease) is a simple cash one that can be worked out.
On the one hand there is company provided car with business mileage,
fuel allowance, personal mileage etc. leading to a certain tax
On the other there is car allowance, business, personal use and mileage
claim for fuel. The variables are the combinations of personal and
business miles and the tax implications of those.
All one has to do is to look at a three year period (for personal lease
e.g.) and the trend on company provided car taxation.
At a certain point, they have crossed over or will cross over for most
people. At that point, the decision is for a car allowance, it's not
one of having a car or not.
Obviously it depends on the individual. I have very little UK
business mileage since most of my travel is outside the UK. Thus I
have a very low mileage on a car that I took on personal lease over
three years ago. Consequently, I can extend the lease at a very low
rate for a further two years.
Works for me.
My BMW is petrol, but my neighbour's one is a 535d which I've driven. And
you'd be hard pressed to know it's a diesel, apart from the fact it
doesn't rev so high when pressing on. The performance is stunning too.
*Some days you're the dog, some days the hydrant.
Dave Plowman email@example.com London SW
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