The Vantage Point

Study Shows No More Petrol/Diesel Cars by 2025

May 16th, 2017 Driving guides

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The landscape on the roads is set to change in a big way over the next 8 years, as experts now believe that there will be no petrol or diesel sold anywhere in the world by 2025.  It seems that the entire market is going to make a move over to electric, which will enviably lead to a collapse in the petroleum industry, which has long been one of the most profitable and robust markets for many years.

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The prediction has come straight out of Stanford University.  Economist Professor, Tony Seba, detailed his predictions in a report he titled ‘Rethinking Transportation 2020-2030’.  The report has since flooded social media and been picked up by car industry professionals who have seemingly acknowledged his findings to be very much probable.

In his report, he surmises that people will stop driving altogether and switch to self-drive electric vehicles that are ten times cheaper to run than fossil based vehicles and have a far longer lifespan. Seba suggests that the new wave of electric vehicles (EVs) will have an expected lifespan of 1,000,000 miles.  He concluded that the only obstacle these developments would have to overcome is the nostalgia from motorists who would prefer to drive a traditional vehicle.

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Tesla’s range of electric vehicles has really set the bar, producing super power performance at just one tenth of the running cost. It would seem that their stronghold on the market is only going to get more competitive in the upcoming years, which will breed a new wave of choice for those who are keen to make the move to electric.  For some prestige brand loyalists, it will be a long-awaited move to see their favourite brands establish themselves on the market and offer an alternative to the Tesla.

Want to share your thoughts on the move to electric? Or are you seeking advice from one of our Electric motor specialists? Give us a call on 0161 434 4321 to find out more.

Mercedes Premium Large SUV – The New GLE

April 21st, 2017 Driving guides

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Rechristened, rebirthed and revamped – once the ML had taken its final drive into the sunset, in its place stood the GLE as Mercedes’ new premium large SUV.

Taking on the BMW X5, the GLE became the final piece of the GL 4×4 Mercedes family, playing the role of big brother to the GLA and GLC.

As part of Mercedes’ revival, the GLE continues the theme of their most recent designs with a strong, imposing styling, as the brand continues to shake its dated image.  And like Jaguar, it’s getting the job done.

The entire GL range is essentially a revamp of previous models been and gone.  Granted, they’ve been tweaked slightly to adopt the modern aspirations of today’s car buyer’s market.  The GLC, for example, comes to the market as the direct competitor of the BMW X6, but some will argue that it is 7 years too late.  Having already established itself as the new breed of ‘coupe 4x4s’, the X6 has monopolised a stronghold which has seen its vehicles flood onto our roads.  But the GL range is quickly loosening the grip the X6 has on the market, having now established itself in the Mercedes family tree.  It’s fair to say that the X5 and X6 have serious contenders.

Following on from the ML, the GLE though has the biggest expectations to bear.  What’s immediately noticeable about the GLE versus its current contenders is how exact it drives.  The nine-speed automatic gearbox that helps manage the popular 350d engine is super smooth, which only adds to the already noticeable comfort factor.  Equally, there is some serious grunt to the 350d engine, but if that isn’t enough the GLE 63 AMG’s ridiculous 577bhp should satisfy even the hungriest of appetites.  Frankly speaking, the 5.5 litre V8 is an assault on the road, let alone the environment.

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On the inside, the GLE exceeds in the essentials.  It does everything you might expect and if you go for the premium plus model, it actually exceeds expectations.  You’ll get reams more in the GLE  Premium Plus than you would in an equivalent competitor and whilst it does most things differently, once you get used to the finding where things are, it’ll become second nature.  If there is one complaint to be had, it’s that the fussy dashboard that existed in the ML has seemingly made its way into the GLE.  It feels like there’s been little thought put into its design, as whilst those ML concepts still exist, they’ve been furnished with a clunky IPad like dash screen that looks like it had been forgotten about in the initial designs.  But these slight flaws shouldn’t take away from the car’s impressive functionality.  It really does exceed any expectations you might have had.

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However, the GLE’s best selling feature (for a limited time only) is the price.  Currently, at Vantage Leasing we have new stock available for registration immediately – it could be on your drive in just 2 weeks!  And at less than £400 per month plus VAT when you pay 6 months in advance, there are no premium SUVs on the market that will offer you the style and features that exist in the GLE.

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There’s more to the Range Rover Evoque than just the eD4 SE

April 11th, 2017 Motoring News, New Deliveries

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It’s hard to believe that at one time Range Rover’s smash hit mini SUV was just a twinkle in Victoria Beckham’s eye nearly ten years ago.  But since its release in 2011, the Evoque has flooded our streets and become the must-have vehicle for those fashion-conscious types.

In many ways though, the Evoque has got lost in its own noise.  For those consumers that sit on the fringes of the Evoque’s fan base, the notion that this car fits into the style over substance category has left may consumers undecided.  But the good news is that if you pick the right options, there is a winning formula.

For the majority of our customers who are seeking a Range Rover Evoque on a lease, we find a lot of them are interested in the entry level eD4 model.  Alopt of this is driven by price and it’s a shame, because one of the characteristics that makes this car great is how some of the better models drive.  The Evoque drives far better than expected, as it attacks the road and feels light and precise, providing a feeling not too disconnected from a hot hatch.  Needless to say, that feeling only comes when you start to look away from the eD4 engine and turn towards the far

It really is a surprising beast, as it attacks the road and feels light and precise, providing a feeling not too disconnected from a hot hatch.  Needless to say, that feeling only comes when you start to look away from the eD4 engine and turn towards the far more pokey 2.0 TD4 engine.  Not only does the TD4 possess a more inspiring drive, it also forces our customers into the 4WD option, which again is well worth the extra money.

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But with the punchy, hot hatch feel comes certain shortfalls.  The boot is only good for a couple of Selfridges shopping bags – it’s unlikely you’ll be able to fit in a couple wolfhounds.  Despite that though, the Evoque has a lot of the look and feel that the Range Rover brand has come to encompass.  The layout is muted and simplistic, as Range Rover continues to try and make the move away from physical switches to a more minimalist look.

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On the higher end trims, everything is covered in leather, but even the lesser models aren’t limited to cheap plastic materials.  As the flagship trim, the dynamic option pack really pushes the Evoque’s feel into an elite status, making it feel like a completely different car to the eD4 SE.

For many though, the Evoque most desirable asset is that it blends its agile, hot hatch feel with the best aspects of driving a large SUV.  It’s high driving position and roomy interior is noticeable.  The rear seating is equally spacious and plus-6-footers should get into the back with no problem.

However, external visibility in the Evoque isn’t quite what it is in Range Rovers bigger models.  The rear window, in particular, is shallow and offers little viewing perspective.  That is overcome though by the parking assist options and rear reversing camera.

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What’s clear with the Evoque range is that if your budget can reach into towards a spec that includes the 2.0TD4 engine, then you’re in for a car that really ticks a lot the boxes.  Whilst the eD4 serves its purpose as the entry level Evoque, there is a huge step up in driver experience when you stretch to the TD4.  Jump up again, and you’re into the relatively high levels of performance for a vehicle of that size.  The 2.0Si4 petrol reaches 60mph in just over 7 seconds and still manages a modest 36.2mpg on average.  So make sure you consider all the options and before you commit to a lease with us, take some time down at your local Range Rover provider to try out the different options so that you can make the most informed decision.

Jaguar F-Pace Review:- Jaguar’s Bounce Back to the Big Time

April 6th, 2017 Driving guides, Fleet News

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For those of us that remember the 80’s, you’ll recall the prestige and iconicity the Jaguar brand possessed back then.  In recent years, that highly regarded image has diminished somewhat, as brands like Audi have made strides in the prestigious market.

The noughties brought about a string of Jaguar models that were incredibly mild to drive, encountered reliability issues and generally lacked lustre.  But it’s fair to say that this jungle cat has licked its wounds and pounced back into the hearts of many.

For the past couple of years in particular, Jaguar has returned in a big way.  Make no mistake, the F-Type and the F-Pace are both outstanding vehicles and although they are at the other end of the spectrum in terms of their utility, they are united in the beaming reviews they’ve shared and as symbols of Jaguar’s new wave of truly impressive vehicles.

Whilst the child in me wants to shout about the impressive driving experience you get from the F-Type, when it comes to exceeding our customers’ expectations, there is no car I feel more reassured to do that than the Jaguar F-Pace.

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Quite simply, it ticks every box.  Arguably one of the most imposing and visually stunning vehicles available in the market, it’s clear that Jaguar took careful consideration when they built the F-Pace.  As with most of the premium SUVs, you pay a premium as you venture up the trim scale.  But there’s no doubt that at the top of that scale, the F-Pace First Edition ranks as one of best-looking SUVs ever made, especially from the kerb when you see its 22” wheels go rolling by.

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There’s more than just looks to Jaguars first ever SUV though.  It’s important to remember that the F-Pace is cousins with Land Rover and largely inherits a lot of the good qualities they have spent several decades discovering.  However, the F-Paces focus is more on the road and while it shares nearing exact ground clearances as the discovery sport, along with very similar wading depths, Jaguar hasn’t designed this vehicle to cut through the jungle.  This vehicle has a very specific purpose.  It fulfils the needs of those people who prefer motoring from a higher driver position, surrounded in luxury, with the added bonus of it being able to handle severe weather conditions – should you ever get caught out.

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If you opt for the R-Sport trim, you get all the essentials you need.  There’s no greater sense of the journey Jaguar has made in recent years than when you sit in the F-Pace.  Frankly speaking, there is a huge step up in the general feel of the car (which is also true of the XF and XE models) compared to previous jaguar models.  The InControl system is now a modern 10.2-inch touchscreen infotainment system that does away with a lot of the buttons that were on the older models.  It works intuitively, like an iPad, and boasts razor sharp graphics that are noticeably better than older Jaguar models.  Additionally, it’s spacious.  If you compare it to the Macan, for example, it possesses and additional 150 litres of boot space.

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But what’s most impressive about the F-Pace is its performance.  Jaguar will tell you that this is a ‘performance crossover’, furthering the notion that this really hasn’t been designed for trekking across the amazon.  Where this car sits is right in-between the Macan and the Cayenne.  Like the Macan, the F-Pace drives superbly, with a feather light feel, that gives it a tighter feel than its cousins from Land Rover.  Naturally, while the big V6 engine will be appealing for most, I’d encourage all potential customers who’d consider leasing an F-Pace to check out the ingenium 2.0 litre engine – it’s surprising.

For more information on the F-Pace or any of our Jaguar Leases, please feel free to give us a call on 0161 434 4321.

The Range Rover Velar

April 4th, 2017 Driving guides

Technical specs of the Range Rover Velar

Wondering why you should lease the Range Rover Velar…?  Well check out the technical specs below.


Range Rover Velar Leasing


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SVO to get their hands on the Discovery

April 3rd, 2017 Driving guides, Motoring News

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For the Land Rover Defender enthusiasts that were heartbroken when 68 years of production final came to an end last year, there’s news from the manufacturer that might get your chest beating again.

It seems that Land Rover’s SVO Technical Centre, famed for producing luxury modified versions of the Jaguar/Land Rover product, are going to get their hands on the new Discovery.  However, rather than producing the refineries that the brand has become associated with, this project will focus specially on making the discovery more ‘rough and tough’.

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The extreme 4×4 will be built so that it can endure and compete in punishing races like the Paris-Dakar and the Camel Trophy.  Therefore, it is thought that SVO will focus more on the car’s ability to handle extreme off-road situations, rather than just straight forward performance.

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It seems likely that the Discovery will go through an extensive overhaul to meet SVO’s expectations, including a reworked chassis and body cladding.  It is expected that the 3.0-litre TDV6 engine available in the current top of the range Discovery models will be used to keep this beast moving forward.

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It’ll be an exciting step for Land Rover, not at least because it moves slightly away from what SVO have done with the more refined Range Rover SV, but more because it’s just a fantastic product.  While the Range Rover SV just focuses purely on comfort and performance, of which is arguably geared to on-road driving, SVO’s intentions here will be completely different.  The emphasis of this product is going to be heavy weighted to endurance and taking on any terrain.

Rumour has it that the model will be called the ‘Discovery SVX’.

We certainly can’t wait to see it.

 

D-Day. The VED changes are finally here

March 31st, 2017 Motoring News

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D-day.  If you’re reading this, then we’re making two assumptions.  The first is that you like to leave things to the last minute and the second you’re in the market for leasing a car.  With the VED changes all but setting on the horizon, today is the final day where registered vehicles in excess of £40,000 won’t be subjected to the premium fee of £310 for years two to six, regardless of their emissions.

It’s a radical overhaul, which will inevitably affect a lot of prestige leasing market and, on the whole, a majority of our customer base.  So, we think it’s important that you get to grips with the changes if you haven’t already.

The main change in philosophy is that while the amount of VED you pay will be subject to your car’s emissions, its impact on the rate banding has substantially diminished.  Now it seems that VED will also be more weighted towards the value of the car and not just the emissions they produce.  It’s particularly odd move for a government who had expressed an eagerness to push hybrid/low emission vehicles, especially in the past few years.  So with these changes, the lure that some of the more prestigious hybrids once posed has greatly diminished.

New cars will still be divided into 13 bands.  However, this will only be for the first year.  The main change here is that only zero-emission vehicles, like electric cars, will be applicable to the lowest band.  But the changes really come into full flow in years two to six.  While a flat rate of £140 per year for petrol and diesel will be applied to vehicles under the value of £40,000, cars over that threshold will be subject to a premium fee supplement of £310, regardless of their emissions.

This means that electric cars that break the value of £40,000 that would have been tax-free today, will no longer be the attractive proposition they once were.  So, if you were in the market for a Tesla, you might want to think about acting on it pretty soon.

Here’s how the bands look after 1st April 2017.

Emissions (g/CO2/km)   First-year rate    Standard rate*

0                                                              £0                           £0

1-50                                                       £10                         £140

51-70                                                     £25                         £140

76-90                                                     £100                       £140

91-100                                                   £120                       £140

101-110                                                £140                       £140

111-130                                                £160                       £140

131-150                                                £200                       £140

151-170                                                £500                       £140

171-190                                                £800                       £140

191-225                                                £1200                    £140

226-255                                                £1700                    £140

over 255                                               £2000                    £140

*cars over £40,000 pay £310 supplement for 5 years.

 

If you have any further questions on the VED changes, then please get in touch.

Does the Range Rover Sport really live up to the hype?

March 29th, 2017 Driving guides, Motoring News

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If you’re in the market for a premium SUV, then it’s likely that you’ve arrived at the Range Rover Sport. For most, this is the quintessential symbol of luxury motoring and while the brand carries a certain prestige, there’s good reason why this car has established its name.

When you step into a Range Rover Sport, you’re comforted with a great sense of appreciation because, weirdly, it just feels right. There’s an inexplicable charm to the Range Rover Sport that you just don’t get from other premium SUVs – many of which are very, very good. But the Range Rover Sport sets the bar because it has something that is untouchable, established deep in the core of the brand’s name.

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That’s not to say that what makes this car special is its name alone. There are plenty of features that you can feel that not only heighten the sense of luxury, they also enhance the driving experience.

Range Rover have come a long way since their first-generation model. It was heavy, thirsty and developed a bad name for reliability. Today, however, modern engineering has taken it to new levels, shown in particular by the Range Rover Sport’s flagship model – the SVR. Drive one of these and you’ll have a greater sense of where Range Rover has come from, particularly when you are outpacing some supercars.

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But it isn’t all just about speed. The Range Rover Sport is supremely good at covering large distances. The seats, even on the more basic models, are amazingly comfortable, providing plenty of adjustment to fit most needs. Additionally, the air suspension, which again is fitted to all models, does a great job of smoothing out the road. Plus, if you’re concerned that a fairly bulky car is going to create a lot of wind noise down the motorway, then think again. The Range Rover Sport isn’t the quietest of the premium SUVs, but wind noise certainly isn’t a contributing factor.

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As you’d expect with any product made by Range Rover, the interior is exceptional. Every surface is covered by luxurious leather which leaves little room for cheap looking plastics. The centre console is functional and intuitive. But if there is one area where the Range Rover Sport slips up, it’s that by comparison, the area looks a little dated when you look at other premium SUVs. Where a lot of its competitors offer more encompassing digital speedometers and touch screen interfaces, this Range Rover Sport is slightly lacking. Arguably, the new Range Rover Velar will bridge that gap though, given that the interior in that range is possibly the best in the market (we wrote about it earlier in the week). But, in any case, that’s where the Range Rover Sport’s shortcomings stop. There’s plenty of room for 4 adults to sit comfortably and there’s enough boot space to fit another small vehicle, let alone a pram or a few sets of golf clubs.

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But what’s great is despite clearly being a fairly large vehicle, the Range Rover Sport is more than easy to drive. As with most SUVs now, all Sport models have proximity sensors and a reversing camera as standard. But putting those toys aside, there is plenty of visibility to gauge the size of the car whilst town driving or parking. The steering feels super light and accurate too, which when coupled with the 8-speed standard gearbox, it takes on most journeys with ease.
Overall, the Range Rover Sport lives up the hype that it’s been accredited for maybe the past ten years. While there are serious contenders for the title, namely the new Volvo XC-90 and the BMW X5, there’s no getting around the fact that this car has a greater sense of occasion and class. There’s defiantly a lure that the Range Rover poses and it seems to overshadow its slight inefficiencies. The best compliment I can pay it is that despite all of the hype, you won’t be disappointed.

Just what is the new Rang Rover Velar?

March 27th, 2017 Motoring News

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It’s been almost 50 years since Range Rover expanded its established model line.  So, when they launched the new Velar, the world wanted to see what this hugely revered brand had created.

It’s clearly been popular, with reports coming directly from Land Rover that the Velar has attracted more pre-orders than any other product in the company’s history.  But given that they are yet to hit the streets, just what is the Velar and what can we expect from it?

Range Rover’s plans are to have it go on sale this summer with pricing starting from £45,000.  Like the Range Rover Sport, the Velar will boast a flagship model that will be capable of achieving high levels of performance.  However, what’ll set the Velar away from its brothers and sisters is its cutting-edge design and ultra-modern interior.  The expectation is that it’ll thrust the Range Rover brand into the focal point of market leading technology.

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Inside the Velar the cabin has not one, but two high-definition ten-inch mounted touch screens for both the infotainment system and car controls.  The whole of the Velar’s instrument cluster is designed beautifully, adopting a minimalistic look.  Heralded as a game changer, all of the interfaces keep the use of physical switches to an absolute minimum.  Instead, nearing everything is controlled via touch screens.  So when you fire up the car’s ignition, there’s a real sense of occasion.  Everything around you lights up as your surroundings seem to come alive, providing a real feast for the eyes.

And it doesn’t just stop at the eyes.  As what’s come to be a customary with the Range Rover brand, the Velar similarly gets the lavish treatment.  As with the Range Rover Sport, the Velar’s high grade leather seats feel luxurious.  There’s a real appreciation for the finer touches, particularly the lacking of plastically materials that detract from the interiors of other premium SUVs.

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Range Rover have specifically created the Velar to sit in between the Range Rover Evoque and the Range Rover Sport.  It’ll bridge the gap between the small to medium SUVs and the larger SUVs.  Having seen their rivals Porsche and Audi have great success the Macan and the Q5, the Velar will aim to attract some of the market share where the Evoque misses out on size alone.  And let’s face it, there will be a huge majority of SUV drivers that will be excited by the prospects of the Velar’s size.  As the SUV demand continues to expand, it makes sense for Range Rover to provide another size for the market’s Goldilocks mentality.

Performance wise, the Velar again offers a complete range of engine sizes to accommodate every need and want.  The most popular engine option will most likely be their D240 – a 4 cylinder turbo charged 2.0 litre diesel engine that will put out 240 BHP and hit 60mph in 6.7 seconds, which is comparable to the other premium SUVs.  Having said that, if you’re looking for more performance, there will be a V6 version that will put out 375 BHP and get to 60 mph in just 5.3 seconds.

For all the hype with the Velar’s sophisticated design and new technology, it has been glaringly overlooked in other areas too.  Land Rover feel confident that the Velar’s capacity off road will further the brand’s longstanding name in off road capability.  Having fitted it with class leasing ground clearance and wading ability, Land Rover seem confident that the Velar won’t let you down should you ever waiver from the streets of suburban living.

Range Rover will offer the standard, S, SE or HSE as trim levels.  Both popular optional black and luxury packs will also be available on the HSE.  So, if you’re looking to style up your Velar even further, you feel comforted to know that they are both available.

If you are interested in finding out more on the Range Rover Velar, why not speak to one of our advisers on 0161 434 4321 or email us at sales@vantage-leasing.com

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Geneva Motor Show 2017

February 13th, 2017 Motoring News

This March, the eyes of the motoring world will all be turned towards the Geneva Motor Show. Universally recognised as amongst the most important motor shows in Europe and the world, the show has hosted some of the most exciting car launches ever made. So it’s of no surprise that it will be top of the list of many manufacturers’ priorities – and highlighted in countless motoring fans’ calendars worldwide (ours included).

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