Steering Column 14.11.08

More 6 please, we’re British

THE hugely popular series of mid-sized family cars from Mazda is being extended in January. The brand-new 2.2-litre turbo-charged diesel engine is being brought to the UK range of Mazda6 cars with a choice of three different power outputs. It will be available with 119bhp, 162bhp, and 184bhp.

The diesel option comes on top of the existing petrol engines with 119, 146 and 169bhp.

Mazda says its diesels are the quietest on the market today and despite its larger capacity and different fuel system it’s only about the same size and weight as the existing two-litre petrol engine.

Reliability index

A nationwide car ownership survey, flagged up as one of the country’s biggest, has named what it says are the top 10 most reliable cars on the road today.

Fleet News looked at nearly 900,000 cars operated by vehicle leasing companies and assessed them according to the number of breakdowns per 100 vehicles. It has compiled two charts – one that ranks manufacturers and another that ranks individual cars.

Five of the manufacturers who sell in Shetland are in the top 10, but the overall winner is BMW. Toyota came in third place as a brand, just behind Honda, but its Avensis was number two on the individual vehicle charts, just behind BMW’s 3-series. Ford is third on the manufacturers’ chart, but its highest placed car was the Focus at number nine in the chart.

Volkswagen is the number five brand while its Golf is at number four. Mazda is at number nine but it has no car in the model chart.

Vauxhall is at number 10 but again it has no model in the individual vehicle chart. Statistics and reliability charts, particularly those looking specifically at a single sector of the market like fleet leasing, should be taken as a guide rather than a definitive view, but it’s no surprise to see Toyota and Ford right up there near the top.

V4 victory

Due to public pressure and press enthusiasm, Honda has announced it is to launch a production model of the futuristic-looking V4 concept bike it has been putting around the world’s bike shows.

Building and selling will begin in the first half of 2010 – the news was announced at the Milan show this week.

There are very few other details available yet, but expect to see the bike’s sleek and minimal lines splashed across the front pages of the bike press in the coming weeks. If nothing else it’s certainly very photogenic.

Prettied up pug

Peugeot’s little 107 hatchback is getting a styling work-over for next year.

On top of that, it has also getting a slightly more efficient and even cleaner engine than the one we’ve already been impressed by.

The company says it is trying to make the car look more youthful and the little one-litre, three-cylinder engine is going to be able to do an average 62.8 miles on a gallon of petrol.

It’s only an efficiency improvement of two-per cent, but every little helps. You will be able to buy it early next year and full details and prices will be released then.

Mike Grundon


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