Steering Column

Swap, don’t scrap

Toyota has come up with a clever marketing ploy to sell more of its cars. The hugely popular govern­ment-sponsored scrappage scheme comes to an end in February, but Toyota is planning to extend the benefits it offers for another few months.

Just like the scrappage scheme, Toyota’s “swappage” scheme allows customers to trade in their old bangers and get up to £2,000 off the cost of a new car. Just like scrappage, the cars have to have a full MoT and must have been owned by the seller for at least the past year.

Any hoary old brute between seven and 10 years old can be traded in if it’s still roadworthy and you’ll get a sizeable slice off the cost of, specifically, the new Yaris, Auris or Avensis.

The nice thing is that your old car may not actually be sent to scrap either. If it has still got some life left in it, it could be traded on again for the rest of us poor saps, destined to dine on the scraps from the tables of the rich. Ecologically and socially, it’s a sound move.

Pug power

More expensive to buy, but even more stylish and even more economical, is the Peugeot 308CC which has been given a brand new 1.6-litre HDi FAP diesel engine that hasn’t yet been seen anywhere else in the company’s range.

The sporty coupe/cabriolet has exactly the same 12.2 second sprint time of the Tamura I’ve just mentioned, but it’s capable of giving an official average fuel consumption of over 53mpg.

It turns out 112bhp in power and an impressive 285Nm of torque which is an increase of 25Nm over the outgoing 110bhp diesel engine. When buying it, look for the HDi 112 badge on the tail.

The cost of the Sport version of the car will be £21,095 and the even better equipped SE will be £900 more.

Tamura’s world

Mazda is extending the range of what it calls its Tamura special edition cars. Hot on the heels of the Mazda2 and Mazda6 Tamura specials comes the Mazda3 Tamura.

Based on the TS version of the car, it comes with the addition of a sports styling kit, bigger 17-inch wheels with low profile tyres, front fogs and metallic paint, all for a fiver under £15,000.

The 3 is already a nice looking car with bulges, creases and ripples in all the right places, and the sport kit with a new front grille, side skirts and sports bumpers makes it even better looking.

It comes with a 1.6-litre petrol engine that pumps 104bhp through a five-speed manual gearbox. It’s not a huge amount of power and the 12.2 second 0-62mph sprint time suggests it looks more sporty than it goes, but who cares when you can get almost 45 miles from a gallon of go juice and carbon dioxide output is down to just below 150g/km.

Mike Grundon


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