Three more test drives - Lexus, Peugeot and Skoda - Avant

Some more impressions in case they're of interest: all unaccompanied test drives of about an hour each (an unexpected bonus from the current restrictions).

Lexus UX

Good to drive, with plenty of performance - but so is a Toyota Corolla with the same 2.0 petrol engine and 'self-charging' hybrid. The Corolla had slightly sharper handling when I tried it.

Two things knock the UX out : the piddly little boot, and the completely hopeless infotainment system, with a touchpad controller which was imprecise when the car was stopped, and suicidal even to try to use when on the move. Infuriating way of adding extras, which has to be via a series of packs. To get lumbar support you have to have the Tech and Sound pack.

I could see no reason to have this Lexus in preference to a Corolla estate. I was impressed by the Corolla (previous thread) but I think my particular needs are best suited to a PHEV.

Peugeot 3008

This should have suited me well. Medium SUV with a strong combination of petrol and electric. The top GT model (naturally the one they had as a demonstrator) costs an eye-watering £46k, but the Allure model is about £10,000 less: how much less powerful it is can't be found out unless you buy one.

Excellent performance: softer suspension than my Q2 but as a consequence rather roly-poly handling. The battery was fully charged, and the electric motor was clearly contributing, but even selecting Electric mode it wouldn't run on electric power alone. I've no idea - nor had the unimpressive salesman - whether this was a feature of the model or faulty French electrics. But the whole point for me of having a PHEV is to do just that.

I'm one of those who can be very comfortable with the small Peugeot steering wheel - I liked it. Infotainment not too bad, and adjusting the heating and AC was less of a hassle than expected - although separate controls would still be better and safer.

The 3008 hybrid failed my 'keyboard test' - I need a flat or nearly-flat floor to roll in my full-size music keyboard in its case with wheels at one end. Most 3008s are fine, but presumably because of the batteries underneath, the hybrids' rear seat backrest won't go lower than about 30 degrees from the horizontal.

Generally not as good as I'd hoped.

Skoda Superb

Oddly, this isn't the car I want (bigger than we need) but it impressed me the most. I wanted to try an example of the VAG PHEV set-up which is gradually being offered in more models.

Plenty of range on electric power only, and spirited performance, which is then very lively indeed with petrol and electric combined. I always find that the balance between ride and handling on VAG cars is just right - one of the reasons I've had several of them. Excellent driving position, and as the quality of the interior fittings in VWs goes down, in Skodas it gets better.

The very good sales team at Yeovil Skoda did a good job of tempting me to buy the Superb demonstrator, but it's too soon to trade in the Q2. My overriding feeling is that the forthcoming Octavia PHEV will be a very strong contender; as is the Ford Kuga which i tried a few weeks ago.

Hopefully this, and PHEV versions of the BMW X1 and Renault Captur, will be with us later this year. I'm sure people will point out any obvious contenders that I'm missing.

Three more test drives - Lexus, Peugeot and Skoda - KB.

As always a treat to read common sense and balanced opinion - ta.

Three more test drives - Lexus, Peugeot and Skoda - thunderbird

Very interesting.

I have read about the Lexus and your comments confirm exactly what the journos said which is not always the case if the journos have been given an expensive hotel and a free car for a week.

Peugeots do not interest me. Our local dealer was absolutely terrible when the Mrs place had a leased one some years ago and the lease company would not let them use a different dealer. At the time one of the owners was Pratt by name, think that sums it up.

Your comment about the Superb being bigger than you need is the reason we have not looked (not the PHEV) despite being amazed by the Fabia. Wife says too much space should not be a disadvantage which I agree with, its parking the thing (or finding somewhere to park it) that worries me. With regards to the Octavia I have read a couple of "first impressions" and whilst the estate seems to get top marks for most things it seems to get lower marks for refinement. They say road noise is far greater than in the Focus estate which is also better to drive.

As I said on another thread we have another test booked in the Corolla on Thursday to see if by adjusting the seat position we can both avoid the ankle pain. Should have the car for 1.5 hours and it will at the end of that stay on the short list or be off for ever.

Went to see the 3 series Touring yesterday and we both really liked it. No petrol Tourer demos available until September at the earliest but they do have a saloon if we want a drive now. Broker discounts and PCP contributions make it quite competitive on price (320i SE @ £30,500) but in all honesty the 330i is the one that really tempts me, probably my last chance to buy a properly quick motor, after discounts etc £34,500 ish. But after building one on-line it seems that there is no spare wheel option and having looked in the boot nowhere to fit one. The sales girl assured me she had specced one before but they would say that to keep you interested.

Having built a 330e on line (just to see how frightening it is) its cheaper than the 3008 GT you mentioned above but nothing in the way of discounts or contributions (at present).

For our use I cannot justify a PHEV. The car will be doing only about 6000 miles a year, the fuel saving over a gas guzzler would be about £400 a year. We would never recoup the premium price. We could justify the price of the Corolla if we could get to like it but that seems a bit doubtful in reality.

The Volvo XC40 and V60 are still on the list but as with BMW no petrol demo's until September. The petrol XC40 we had in February for 2 days was not the current mild hybrid engine so we need to drive the version we would buy before deciding. My main worry about Volvo is the China situation. I appreciate that the cars are not made there but some content will be and if the situation deteriorated what would happen to the residuals, who wants an expensive car from a defunct brand.

Enjoy your search, we aren't.

Three more test drives - Lexus, Peugeot and Skoda - badbusdriver

Given your comments on the 3008 Avant, might be worth having a look at its Vauxhall counterpart, the Grandland X (which as it happens, was mentioned in another thread as being an often overlooked, perhaps unfairly, SUV!). And of course despite sharing all the running gear, does not share the 'i-cockpit' small steering wheel.

Car magazine's Steve Moody is currently running one as a long term test car, (as from June's issue). The only article i've read so far was the introductory report(www.carmagazine.co.uk/car-reviews/long-term-tests/.../) and that doesn't really say anything about how it drives. It does mention the price (though bear in mind this is the top of the range 4x4 with nearly 300bhp), just under £45k!.

But a quick look on Autotrader shows that the 2wd, lower powered (still 225bhp mind) version can be had from as little as £29,995.

Three more test drives - Lexus, Peugeot and Skoda - Engineer Andy

What size of boot are you looking for, BTW?

Additionally, quite a few makes seem to be gradually adding in hybrids and/or PHEV models, so there might be more later on this year/early next year.

I suppose it depends on whether you want to wait or you are keen on parting company with your Audi.

Three more test drives - Lexus, Peugeot and Skoda - Avant

No great desire to part with the Audi - it's one of the best cars I've had. But there's an attraction - environmental as well as financial - to do the many shortish 10-12-mile round trips on electric power.

With on average 2 to 3 long trips a month, my car does 12-14,000 miles a year, SWMBO's 6-8,000, depending on which car we take on holiday. A PHEV makes sense provided that it doesn't cost too much more than the petrol or diesel version. The previous A3 PHEV was £8,000 more than the 1.4 TFSI. But the differential does seem to be coming down.

Thunderbird, I see why it doesn't make sense for you: you must be very tempted to go for a 330i if you can. But as with the Corolla, it'll be worth checking that you're comfortable in one. The previous 3-series was the one car where I couldn't get the driving position right: if I was the ideal distance from the pedals I was too close to the steering wheel. But I expect you'll find that it's a lot more fun to drive than an XC40. Sorry you're not enjoying the search: I find it quite fun.

Completely agree about the spare wheel: I think BMW justify not even providing space for one on the 3-series by making run-flats available. You can't have one in the Superb PHEV either, but both this and the Octavia have so much room that a space-saver (with jack etc inside it) would fit on the boot floor ans still leave plenty of space.

I don't need a huge boot, but the ability to make a van is useful from time to time, plus of course the flat or nearly-flat floor for the keyboard.

Grandland X? I'll certainly have a look although the road tests I've seen say that the 3008 is much better to drive. The other obvious PHEV that I haven't mentioned is the Kia Niro.... but it has only 136 bhp and all the others have 200+. And no, NOT the Mini Countryman.

Edited by Avant on 26/07/2020 at 23:17

Three more test drives - Lexus, Peugeot and Skoda - FiestaOwner

No great desire to part with the Audi - it's one of the best cars I've had. But there's an attraction - environmental as well as financial - to do the many shortish 10-12-mile round trips on electric power.

Speaking from recent personal experience. If you've got a car that you really like, which isn't giving any problems and still does what you want it to do, I would keep it.

I changed a Fiesta (had it for 6 years and really liked it) for a Pre Reg Hyundai i20, which gave nothing but trouble. On paper the Hyundai seemed like a really good deal (as it was at model change over time). Only kept the car for a year and was glad to see the back of it. Was also glad to see the back of the service departments at 2 different Hyundai dealerships.

Replaced the troublesome Hyundai for a very disappointing Toyota Yaris 1.5 (Pre reg). Jerky when pulling away (the same issue that is reported with the VAG 1.5). Only kept this one for a year too.

The reputation of the brands mean nothing if they (or their appointed dealers) sell you duff cars. I am finding my present Ibiza 1.0 TSI (115) really good and am enjoying it.

Unlike the majority on here I wouldn't recommend the Japanese or Korean brands. But have had a very good experience with 3 Fords and 2 VAG vehicles, I have owned.

Of course there is no financial benefit to changing to Hybrid. As you lose out (big time) to depreciation when you change cars.

Strongly suggest you keep the Audi

Three more test drives - Lexus, Peugeot and Skoda - craig-pd130

And no, NOT the Mini Countryman.

The facelifted 225xe has a bigger battery enabling 25+ miles electric-only. I loved my pre-facelift model, but I seem to recall you've tried a 2-series and weren't convinced, is that right?

Three more test drives - Lexus, Peugeot and Skoda - badbusdriver

Grandland X? I'll certainly have a look although the road tests I've seen say that the 3008 is much better to drive. The other obvious PHEV that I haven't mentioned is the Kia Niro.... but it has only 136 bhp and all the others have 200+. And no, NOT the Mini Countryman.

Regarding the Grandland X hybrid, i do actually have the July and August issues (unopened yet) of car magazine, so i had a look at the 'our cars' section to see what else had been written. Sadly, very little about how the Vauxhall 'actually drives'. But on the other hand, if it was particularly bad, i'd have expected a mention, so maybe no news is good news!.

Regarding the Niro and its modest power output, i think i'd reserve judgement till after a test drive. Looking up the Niro for a different thread some time ago, i came upon the Autocar road test of it. Kia claim a 0-62 time of 11.5 seconds, but Autocar recorded a two way average time (in damp conditions) of 9.7 seconds (to 60mph). Stil no rocketship granted, but not too bad. They also praised the ability to hold the gears (DCT box) saying, "doing so shows that the car is also surprisingly strong on in-gear acceleration".

Three more test drives - Lexus, Peugeot and Skoda - targen

Although I work in the service department of a main dealer ..whos cars offer value for money and reliability , if not excitement.... I drive an 18 year old Volvo V40... no image , several dents, and 130k on the clock... unfortunately I see new cars of ALL makes.. and , to be frank , they are ALL pretty rubbish.... manufacturers concentrate on electronic entertainment/connectivity... whizz-bang hybrid drivetrains , and oversize wheels....all of which will be non-functioning/useless in a few years. Any manufacturer offering just THREE years warranty really needs to review their perspective , their cars will be valueless beyond that... who needs 200bhp when you can only go as fast as the old lady in the Micra in front of you?

Three more test drives - Lexus, Peugeot and Skoda - craig-pd130

who needs 200bhp when you can only go as fast as the old lady in the Micra in front of you?

I was thinking along very similar lines yesterday riding home from Ruthin on my motorbike. On the A494 I passed a Lambo Huracan which was 4th or 5th in a queue of cars behind a old motorhome wheezing along at 48mph. Even 600+bhp needs a gap in which to overtake.

Three more test drives - Lexus, Peugeot and Skoda - badbusdriver

unfortunately I see new cars of ALL makes.. and , to be frank , they are ALL pretty rubbish

You can't really say that without having spent time with them. Otherwise it seems more a case of judging a book by its cover.

I drive an 18 year old Volvo V40... no image , several dents, and 130k on the clock

130k in 18 years is just over 7.2k per annum, not actually that much.

manufacturers concentrate on electronic entertainment/connectivity... whizz-bang hybrid drivetrains , and oversize wheels....all of which will be non-functioning/useless in a few years.

Where is your evidence for this?. Look on t'internet and you will find plenty of examples of hybrid or electric cars covering huge miles. Such as the Leaf taxi's in this country, but also in the USA. Like the 2008 Prius i was just reading about which had done 584,613 miles in 8 years. Battery pack had been replaced twice (apparently 200k is considered about average) but still on original engine and transmission. Another example from the USA about a guy who was on his 3rd Prius, all of which had done over 300k (on their original battery packs), the first two cars only being replaced due to accidents. Also, modern cars with internet connectivity can download updates directly from the maker, so much less likely to become obsolete like cars from the 90's.

Wheels and tyres, well i would agree there, but to the majority, image is everything, certainly more important than comfort. If buyers didn't lap up cars with huge wheels, makers wouldn't sell them.

Any manufacturer offering just THREE years warranty really needs to review their perspective , their cars will be valueless beyond that.

This statement is also incorrect and shows that you have never looked at used car values. Even cars with terrible reliability reputations (and 3 year warranties), like Land Rover, hold their value very well indeed.

who needs 200bhp when you can only go as fast as the old lady in the Micra in front of you?

That really depends on type of road, traffic volume and oncoming traffic. I drive a 70bhp VW Caddy van, usually at 50mph. So if i can overtake on a single carriageway road (which i do on occasion), why would a 200+bhp car not also be able to?.

Three more test drives - Lexus, Peugeot and Skoda - groaver

That Superb didn't do too well in a recent 'Elk test'.

They are nice cars inside I have to agree.

Three more test drives - Lexus, Peugeot and Skoda - Avant

"I loved my pre-facelift model, but I seem to recall you've tried a 2-series and weren't convinced, is that right?"

Well remembered, Craig. The 220i came a close second to the Q2: the main reasons why it lost were (a) the Q2 is more sure-footed round corners, and (b) as the Active Tourer apparently doesn't sell all that well, it didn't look like holding its value as well as a Q2.

Fiesta Owner's suggestion to hang on to the Audi is of course not to be disregarded. To be honest, one of the reasons for being semi- rather than fully-retired is that I have the extra income to finance PCP payments, and thus (hopefully) have a car less likely to break down or go wrong.

But it's a good point, and so far I haven't driven anything which has made me regret getting back into the Q2 after a test drive. That's got to be the ultimate judgement whatever you test-drive.

I think the reason for many makers sticking to the 3-year warranty is that most new car buyers don't mind, as they don't intend to keep the car longer than 3 years. And if they do, it only costs a few hundred pounds to extend the warranty. So effectively 1 or 2 extra years are an optional extra - seems fair enough.

 

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