Company Car Today - Issue 54 - 26th June 2019

It’s almost refreshing to see that the Government is a bit of a shambles in so many areas at once, and that the company car market suffering at the hands of Treasury inactivity over BIK rates is just another example of poorly functioning parliament rather than anything deliberate. Aside from the general self-serving ridiculousness of the Conservative leadership campaign, the latest mess is the around Clean Air Zones, with both Birmingham and Leeds being forced to delay their schemes due in January 2020. Despite Government devolving decision- making to local authorities, it has still failed to deliver vehicle checking software on time (the main bit Westminster had responsibility for), which means that Birmingham has delayed by six months, and Leeds is yet to offer a new date. For businesses, the Leeds zone is less of a big deal, because it only covers buses, coaches, HGVs and taxis, but the Birmingham zone will ensnare a lot of grey fleet vehicles, although the delay does mean more of the pre-Euro6 diesels that aren’t compliant will have washed through company fleets. It’s good news for drivers and businesses not wanting to pay the charge, but not good for those concerned about city air quality, and it’s more than a bit embarrassing, given these were two of the flagship schemes outside of London. These CAZs are an inconvenience and likely to most punish those least able to afford to change their vehicle, so getting across the message that they are designed to address major environmental and health issues is tricky enough without the potential for looking half-baked and badly organised. And it’s due not to those tasked with making the decisions, but to central Government that has passed on the responsibility for implementation in the first place. The irony would be amusing if the stakes weren’t so high. FOREWORD COMPANY CAR TODAY.CO.UK 5 WELCOME EDITORIAL: EDITOR: Paul Barker T: 01206 638034 E: CONTRIBUTING EDITOR: Tristan Young CONTRIBUTORS: Euan Doig NEWS: PRODUCTION: ART DIRECTOR: Caroline Creighton-Metcalf T: 01206 638037 E: PUBLISHING: PUBLISHER: Dave Wallace T: 07739 554329 E: ADVERTISING: T: 01206 638036 CIRCULATIONMANAGER: AndyKirk T: 01825701520 E: SUBSCRIPTIONS: Subscribe to Company Car Today : UK £120.00 (two years £205, three years £270) . Europe and Eire £165 (two years £280, three years £370). Company Car Today @companycartoday DISCLAIMER: CompanyCar Today is published byAutomotiveMedia&Events Limited, registered address 1 SecondAvenue, Halstead, Essex, CO92SU. Registered number 10034249. All rights reserved. No part of themagazinemay be reproduced in any form inwhole or in partwithout prior written permission of the publisher. All material published remains the copyright of AutomotiveMedia&Events Limited.While every reasonable care is taken to ensure accuracy, information is obtained froma variety of sources and the publisher is not responsible for any errors or omissions, nor dowe accept liability for any loss or damage, howsoever caused, resulting fromthe use of themagazine.We reserve the right to edit letters, copy or images submitted to themagazinewithout further consent.The submission ofmaterial toAutomotiveMedia &Events Limited unsolicited or requested, is taken as permission to publish. ISSN 2514-1902 (online) Printing: Micropress Printers Ltd, Suffolk. 20 22 12 06 34 06 NEWS New Peugeot 2008; new Merc GLB; cities delay clean-air zones 11 NEW FORD PUMA Name is reborn on small SUV 12 BIG TEST Practical Mercedes B-Class MPV 20 INTERVIEW Transport Select Committee chair Lilian Greenwood 22 REVIEWS New VW Passat Estate; Ford Mondeo hybrid Vignale; revised Renault Kadjar; Suzuki Swift 30 LONG-TERM TESTS Getting to know our Seat Tarraco; Citroen C3 Aircross farewell; Volvo V90 update; Honda CR-V hello 32 FACTS AND FIGURES All the numbers you’ll need 34 FLEET OF FANCY Munich masterclass: BMWM2 CONTENTS Paul Barker Editor Guild of MotoringWriters Editor of the Year 2017 Newspress Automotive Editor of the Year 2018