News Archive

The archive news from International Decision Systems is below:

10-11-2016

Audi Q2

  

 

The Q2 will be Audi’s first brand new model for 5 years, it is their first entry into the B- SUV Segment and will incorporate the Audi DNA of Premium Quality, State Of The Art Design and Advanced Engineering. Built in Ingolstadt, the Audi World HQ, the Q2 will be Audi’s smallest SUV, standing at a height of 1580mm it is positioned between the A1 and A3, this versatile and practical vehicle will offer a unique proposition with high levels of functionality, building on the popularity of the ‘Q’ series of vehicles for Audi, where almost half of all Audis sold now are an SUV.
The Q2 has a sloping roofline and sharp angular styling lines and sculpted doors, the front is dominated by the large octagonal designed grille, with a combined large air intake and the S LINE standard LED Headlights sit in the top corner emphasizing the width of the car. With a high stance the personalised C-Pillar really accentuates the sloping roof design to give the car an almost coupe silhouette.
Inside the car takes on a similar look to the Audi family, with the new styled centre console, facia and dash, and option for the Q2 is the 12.3” LCD virtual dash, a personal favourite of mine. The rest of the interior is modern and comfortable, cloth upholstery is standard on SE and Sport with Leather seating standard on S Line models. Navigation, Dynamic Suspension and Audi Pre Sense are all standard features.
The engine line up is simple with 1.4L petrol and a 1.6L and 2.0L diesel available at launch, a smaller 1.0L petrol engine will be available in January 2017 and a higher powered 2.0L petrol will launch in mid-2017.


Engines
1.4L TFSI COD 150ps 250Nm 124g/Km Co2 0-62mph = 8.5 Secs 49.6mpg
1.6 TDI 116ps 250Nm 114g/Km Co2 0-62mph = 10.3 Secs 61.4mpg

Torque, Acceleration, Emissions and Economy to be confirmed:
1.0L TFSI 116ps
2.0 TDI 150PS
2.0TFSI 190ps


Price Walks
SE – 15% of Sales and starting from £20,230.00 features include: 16” Alloys, 7” TFT infotainment screen, Leather Multi-Function Steering Wheel, Cloth Upholstery, Dynamic Suspension, Air Con, Bluetooth, USB, DAB, Navigation via USB connection and Audi Pre Sense with Pedestrian Recognition.

SPORT – 40% of Sales and starting from £21,780.00 features as SE plus: 17” Alloys, Contrast Bumpers, SD Card Navigation, Cloth Sports Seats, Rain Sensing Wipers, Audi Drive Select and Cruise Control.

S LINE – 45% of Sales and starting from £26,180.00 features as SPORT plus: 18” Alloys, LED Headlights and Rear Lights, S Line exterior styling, Leather Upholstery and LED Interior Lighting.


Reviewed by: Phil Price, IDS, Residual Values Forecasting Editor

Copyright © 2016 by IDS
All rights reserved. This publication may be reproduced with permission from the author in its entirety only, for cases of distribution or transmission in any form and by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods. Edited versions may only be used with the prior permission of the author. For permission requests, contact the author at the email address below.
pprice@idsgrp.com

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31-10-2016

Dirty Diesels

 

There has been a lot of press recently about diesels and the fact that they could eventually be banned from London and other city centres in the not too distant future, for now the talk is all about widening the low emissions zones. But just how dirty are the diesels these days compared to a standard petrol engine and is the publicity causing the public to choose petrol cars or other fuelled cars or not.

With the new Euro 6 engines manufactured now, diesel cars have never been cleaner and with tighter and tighter restrictions in the future they will get cleaner still. These engine restrictions came in place originally because of the poor air quality in cities and the effect on the o-zone layer, diesel engines were seen as a way of reducing CO2 emissions but they actually produced more NOx particulates when driven in real world conditions. Petrol engines however produce less NOx than a diesel but aren’t as efficient in CO2 emissions. So are the powers that be disregarding the CO2 levels and the subsequent effect on the O-Zone layer now?

What will be the financial impact on manufacturers if these no go zones come into force, a high percentage of commercial vehicles in inner city environments are diesel powered, if these vans and lorries can no longer enter a city centre then manufacturers will have to produce Plug In Hybrid and Pure Electric commercial vehicles, that could make a huge financial strain on them.

Diesel engine cars make up the majority of premium family hatch sales and the fleet companies I have spoken to also confirm that the best selling cars are diesel powered cars, this is probably because they offer better fuel economy and the BIK bands are less because of the better CO2 levels. There has been a rise in small petrol engine powered cars over the last couple of years, but in my experience the diesel engine is still the preferred choice and until there is a proper infrastructure of charging points, better battery range and a drop in price, I personally can’t see electric powered cars making too big a dent in the diesel powered sales.  

 

Article by: Phil Price, IDS, Residual Values Forecasting Editor

 

Copyright © 2016 by IDS

All rights reserved. This publication may be reproduced with permission from the author in its entirety only, for cases of distribution or transmission in any form and by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods. Edited versions may only be used with the prior permission of the author. For permission requests, contact the author at the email address below.

pprice@idsgrp.com

 

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21-10-2016

Suzuki S-Cross Reveal and Test Drives
Location: Milton Keynes

SX4 S-Cross
The S-Cross has been Suzuki’s entrant into the C-Crossover segment and has performed admirably for the brand. In a highly competitive segment the S-Cross has held its own unique position for a number of years offering a mix of practicality and value, whereas the rest of the segment offer more style over value, this has changed recently with the introduction of other value crossovers like the Dacia Duster. With the vehicles in the segment getting evermore stylish the S-Cross had to move with the market, a new front end has been introduced to give the car a bold and stronger presence on the road. The shape of the front of the car has now become more angular as the sloping front of the current model was always seen as giving the vehicle a more MPV shape, a bigger front grille has been introduced and the ground clearance of the car has increased by 15mm to add to that off road look. New headlight design add to that modern look and at the rear a new designed rear cluster gives a more balanced and cleaner appearance.
Inside the car has undergone a styling change which gives the interior a real lift. Better quality fabrics have been used for the seating, softer plastics have added to the better quality of interior. As with the Vitara and Baleno the facia now takes on a more minimalistic look with the excellent infotainment touchscreen also found in the Vitara. As with the Vitara and Baleno the interior is spacious and bright with plenty of 2nd row knee room.
A new 1.0L Boosterjet petrol engine will be introduced from launch, replacing the current 1.6 petrol offering in the current model, available as a 5 speed Manual or 6 speed auto and offering 170Nm of torque it will have no problems in powering the S-Cross. The 1.4 Boosterjet as used in the Vitara will also feature but only with All Wheel Drive.


Engines
1.0L Boosterjet                111hp 170Nm 113g/Km Co2 0-62mph = 11.0 Secs 56.4mpg
1.0L Boosterjet ALLGRIP    111hp 170Nm 119g/Km Co2 0-62mph = 12.0 Secs 53.3mpg
1.4L Boosterjet ALLGRIP    140hp 220Nm 127g/Km Co2 0-62mph = 10.2 Secs 50.4mpg
1.6 Diesel                       120hp 320Nm 106g/Km Co2 0-62mph = 12.0 Secs 68.8mpg

Price Walks
SZ4 features include: 16” Alloys, Air Con, Cruise Control, Bluetooth, DAB, USB, Electric Heated Body Coloured Door Mirrors, Body Coloured Handles and a host of Safety Features.
SZ-T features as SZ4 plus: 17” Alloys, Sliver Roof Rails, Front Fogs, Dual Zone Air Con, Privacy Glass, Leather Steering Wheel, Nav, Keyless Entry and Start, Rear Parking Camera, Front and Rear Parking Sensors, Multi-Function Steering Wheel,
LED DRL’s and Headlights.
SZ5 features as SZ-T plus: Heated Leather Seats, Panoramic Roof, Aluminium Roof Rails and added safety features such as Adaptive Cruise Control and Radar Brake Support.

 

My View
Even though Suzuki have made the conscious effort to make the S-Cross more stylish, they have not deserted the DNA of the vehicle as it is still one of the best value for money vehicles in the market place. The new front end certainly achieves its objective as this now takes on a more SUV shape, the new front and rear headlights add that bit of sharpness that freshens the whole appeal of the car.
I was able to try both the 1.0L petrol and 1.6 Diesel engines during my test drives and the 1.0L was extremely surprising. When told that this would replace the current 1.6L I was very sceptical, but the 1.0L delivers on all fronts, the response is there in abundance if required, but obviously that will have an effect on the economy of the car, but considering that it is pulling a car weighing 1.75 tonnes it is frankly amazing. When I then drove the 1.6 Diesel engine, the power and torque were as present but I didn’t have to drive the car quite as hard to get the performance. The drive of the car itself isn’t the most dynamic, the steering is direct enough and reasonably well weighted, it’s comfortable and glides over bumps and holes in the road with very little cabin vibration and road noise is minimal. The infotainment system is straight out of the popular Vitara, with the excellent and sensitive touch screen guiding you to most controls, its bright and easy to use, basically, the whole interior presence and feel has received a lift and it’s just a nice place to be.
In summary, a great value car that’s had a lift in all the right places and will achieve the volumes Suzuki want, in fact I think it will perform better than the current model and give the competition something to think about, especially that 1.0L engine.

 

Reviewed by: Phil Price, IDS, Residual Values Forecasting Editor

 

Copyright © 2016 by IDS
All rights reserved. This publication may be reproduced with permission from the author in its entirety only, for cases of distribution or transmission in any form and by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods. Edited versions may only be used with the prior permission of the author. For permission requests, contact the author at the email address below.
pprice@idsgrp.com

 

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30-08-2016

Audi SQ7

The new SQ7 sees the introduction of a brand new Diesel 4.0L V8 engine, featuring a world’s first electric powered compressor that increases the work of the two sequential turbo chargers to give 453ps and 900Nm of torque, which is capable of achieving 0 – 60mph in 4.9 seconds and a limited top speed of 155mph. There is a new Aluminium and Steel shell and is combined with a new 5 link rear suspension to give improved handling and ride. Other new features are permanent Four Wheel Drive and a 48v Electrical Subsystem that powers the EPC, this also powers the electro mechanical active roll stabilisation system.

 

Engine

4.0L V8                  435ps         900Nm         190g/Km Co2             0 – 62mph = 4.9 Secs                 39.2mpg

 

SQ7 Specification

Features include: All Weather LED Headlights with High Beam Assist, 20” Alloys, External ‘S’ styling cues, Exterior Aluminium Styling Cues, Black Brake Callipers with ‘S’ logo, Rear Privacy Glass, LED Rear Lights with Sequential Indicators, Twin Oval Tail Pipes, 12.3” HD Digital Instrument Cluster with Virtual Cockpit, ‘S’ embossed Valcona Leather upholstery, MMI Nav with 8.3” fold away screen, 3 spoke Leather Multi-Function Steering Wheel, 180w 10 Speaker Sound System, 4 Zone Air Con, DAB, Audi Connect Services, 7 Seats, Audi Pre Sense, Advanced Parking System, Keyless Go, Hill Hold and Power Tailgate.

 

Optional Features: Full length opening Pan Roof, Head up Display, Electric Folding Tow Bar, 21” or 22” Alloys, Diamond Quilted Seats and Rear Cross Traffic Assist and Exit Warning.

 

 

Audi Q7 e-tron

The Audi Q7 e-tron is the first plug in hybrid from the Q family for the European Market, powered by a 3.0L V6 engine with a 94Kw motor, 71kg lighter than the previous model series despite the e-tron equipment, the new Q7 e-tron will be capable of traveling 34 miles on electric power only.

A new standard feature on the Q7 e-tron will be the Predictive Efficiency Assistant, this feature uses the route planned in the Navigation to assess potential fuel consumption reduction and alerts the driver where it would make sense to reduce speed. Another excellent feature is the ‘Thermal Management System’ which enables waste heat from the electrical drive components to be used in the interior heating system for the car. As with the A3 e-tron there is 3 driving modes, pure electric, petrol or Hybrid mode, the hybrid management system decides the best option for the appropriate situation. Charging via a public charging station or home wall box will take as little as 2 hours and 30 mins. 

 

Engine

3.0L V6 + 94KW Electric Motor     373ps     700Nm     48g/Km Co2     0-62mph = 6.2 Secs     156.9mpg

 

Q7 e-tron Specification

Features include: 19” Alloys, Audi Virtual Cockpit, All Weather LED Adaptive Headlights, LED DRL’s, Drive Select, MMI Navigation plus, Electric Heated Seats, Electric Heated and Folding Mirrors, Tri Zone Climate Control, Leather Upholstery, Multi-Function Steering Wheel, Bluetooth, DAB, Interior Ambient Lighting, Power Tailgate, Audi Connect, Advanced Key, Parking System Plus, Pre-Sense City and Predictive Efficiency Assist.

 

Optional Features: 20” and 21” Alloys, Head up Display, Dynamic pack which includes many safety features, Parking Packs, various different media upgrades and Electric Tow Bar.

 

Summary

I always thought the new shape Q7 had lost some of its character compared to the old style and shape, it was sportier and more aggressive whereas the new Q7 seemed to be conservative in appearance. This may attract more custom though, especially those customers that were put off by the sporty coupé styling of the old model, but, if there is still the customer who wants a sporty styled Q7 then the SQ7 is the answer. This is an awesome piece of machinery, there is no way a vehicle of that size and weight, still over 2 tonnes unladen, should be able to get to 60mph that quickly. I was very lucky that the route Audi had planned for our evaluation contained motorway, A roads and B roads, some of which were very twisty and winding. We had the pleasure of driving through Winchcombe, a lovely little Cotswold town, the sight of 5 Audi SQ7’s driving along the narrow town centre streets was something to behold, they did look a touch out of place and you realise the sheer size of the vehicles. That said, the car is perfectly able to handle the small town roads. The driving dynamics are fantastic, the steering is direct and just weighty enough for a big car, road holding is immense, as you would expect with the clever Quattro suspension, throttle response is excellent and the range between gears when you accelerate hard is nearly into the red!!!. All this of course is done in the sheer luxury that is the Q7, obviously the cars we drove were spec’d up to the eyeballs, these cars had a full opening Pan Roof and all the gadgets, if these cars had been purchased they would have taken price up to around the £80,000 mark and above. I really couldn’t fault the car, but if you wanted a car with better economy figures then you would buy the e-tron.

I was extremely sceptical about driving the Q7 e-tron, I had driven the Audi A3 version and though it was very good, one of the best plug in hybrids I’ve driven, I didn’t think it would work in the Q7. I was wrong, we were able to not only test the car in full electric mode but also in pure diesel mode, in fact, I think there isn’t any reason to buy a standard Q7, either opt for the Q7 e-tron or the SQ7. That’s how good it is, there is little to no difference in driving experience between the standard Q7 and Q7 e-tron when driven without the electric motor because basically it’s the same engine, performance is very good, fuel economy was very good, the ride was very comfortable and drive is as expected for a big SUV, it is as capable off road as the standard Q7, in fact the only difference between them apart from the £11,000 price hike is the fact that the standard Q7 is a seven seater whereas the e-tron is only a five seater, due to the space being taken up by the battery. But for the increase in price you get all the Hybrid technology, Audi Virtual Cockpit, Electric Luggage Compartment Cover, The Advanced Key Function (A Programmable Key Fob) and all the charging cables. Not a huge amount of specification, but when you look at the tax savings it works out at £4,000 a year, over a 3 year lease, that’s £12,000 not including any fuel savings.

 

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07-06-2016

Future VED Rates and Effect

 From the 1st April 2017 a whole new set of VED rates and subsequent yearly rates will be applied to every car that comes on to the market, even zero emission vehicles will be affected, albeit the rather more expensive ones. The new rates or as is more commonly known ‘Road Tax’ will start with a new first year rate determined by the CO2 emissions of the car and then a further tax of £140.00 for every subsequent year, the value of the car will determine the charge of the subsequent yearly Road Tax. The government decided that a £40,000.00 cut off price is the point at which these yearly rates will change, therefore a car with an ‘On the Road’ (OTR) value, this will include any factory fitted options, of less than £40,000.00 and that has a CO2 emissions rating of less than 100g/Km will incur a first year charge of £120.00 and then an annual road tax of £140.00 for every year after, a car with a similar value will incur a first year charge of £140.00 and then £140.00 for every year after that. Cars with a value of over £40,000.00 will also have a first year charge dependant on the cars emissions rating and then an additional surcharge of £310.00 for the next 5 years, then that rate will change to the flat rate of £140.00. Drivers with big expensive cars may see this as an advantage as their current road tax is more than the £450.00 tax (£140 + £310) that will be applied, but the offset of that is that the new first year charge will be double the current value.

 

A couple of examples of how different types of cars will be affected have shown that a car with a current OTR value of £15,000.00 and CO2 emissions of 104g/Km would currently have a first year charge of £0 and then £20 every year after that, under the new VED rates, the increase in tax would be 950% over a three year period. Strangely enough though, a car costing £25,000.00 with CO2 emissions of 150g/Km, which currently has a first year charge of £145.00 and then £145.00 every year after that would only see in an increase of 12% over the same three year period. For cars costing over £40,000.00 and with emissions of less than 50g/Km, they currently do not have a first year charge or a charge for the subsequent years, but after the 1st April 2017 there would be an increase of 910% over a three year period, yet a car with an OTR of over £40,000.00 and emissions of 285g/Km would only see an increase in cost of only 35% over the same period.

This will of course have an effect on the Used Car Market as well, the examples we have given are for only 3 years, so if the car, that had an initial OTR value of over £40,000.00, comes on to the used car market at three years old, it would mean it would still incur the £310 supplement for three more years. The effect being that a car registered before the 1st April 2017 would be more desirable than that of a car registered after the 1st and therefore be worth more.

VED is a strange topic, I was told by a manufacturer recently that the 3rd most popular question on a recent car launch was ‘How much is the Road Tax?’ It will effect customers choices, even if it is only £140.00 a year, this equates to only £11.67 per month.

 

These new VED rates raise so many questions not only to the average customer but also to the Leasing, Fleet and Retail industry and also poses a problem for Manufacturers when it comes to the value of a vehicle, especially for the more mainstream Manufacturers where their top model lines may have originally be valued at over £40,000.00. Lastly it raises the question of what the Government hope to achieve out of this action, apart from the obvious increase in revenue, as the cleaner more green choice cars are the ones that seem to be more affected. We have seen the raise awareness of ‘Dirty Diesels’ and the new emission levels that have to be adhered to, but whereas currently customers are rewarded for choosing a green option, it appears that now they will be penalised compared to the customers who want an expensive dirty car. Lastly will we see the return of Dealer fitted options to cars that have an OTR value of just less than the £40,000.00 price mark, if so how many of these can be carried out without damaging the interior of a car? Most navigation systems now are just a software upgrade on the factory fitted media system, but what of those other options that could have a damaging effect. Will we see a record month in registrations next March?

Leasing and Fleet companies will now be very interested to see what Whole Life Cost Data suppliers do with the residual values of all cars, as that will in effect determine a rise in leasing or rental rates, the same applies to car dealerships, a reduction in residual value would mean an increase in monthly PCP payment. All this would have an effect on customers on which car to buy or lease.

 

At IDS we are of the opinion that the cars more likely to be effected are the low emissions cars and cars that are valued at less than £25,000.00. For the over £40,000.00 cars, we feel the cars that are valued between the £40,000.00 and £50,000.00 price bracket are the vehicles that will be most affected by the change in rates. Above £50,000.00 we don’t think the change will effect too many decisions and the same could be said for cars between the £25,000.00 and £40,000.00 price bracket as the increase, although considerable, isn’t enough to alter the decision of the average driver.

 

Phil Price

Residual Values Editor

International Decision Systems Limited

 

Copyright © 2016 by IDS

All rights reserved. This publication may be reproduced with permission from the author in its entirety only, for cases of distribution or transmission in any form and by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods. Edited versions may only be used with the prior permission of the author. For permission requests, contact the author at the email address below.

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