The Diesel Car long-term reports in every issue give you the lowdown on the most important cars on sale today – here’s a reminder of how some of our testers fared in November’s issue.
Driven by Matthew Carter
This is the car Land Rover said it would never build: a car with front-wheel drive only. While the pursuits might shudder at the thought of a two-wheel drive Landie, the company’s marketing men will no doubt say its arrival is not before time. Soaring sales of 2WD ‘faux-by-four’ models from the likes of Hyundai, Kia, Nissan and Toyota meant Land Rover felt it was losing out. The Freelander 2 eD4 is the result. So what’s it like? Is it a real Land Rover, or thanks to the lack of all-wheel drive neither fish now fowl? That’s what we intend to find out: the Freelander, fresh from a near 9,000 mile stint on the Land Rover press fleet, is with Diesel Car for the next few months to assess the same kind of scenario that a second hand buyer will experience. At the time of writing, though, it’s only been with us for a couple of weeks so this report is all about first impressions. And they are generally positive. Despite lacking drive to the rear axle, it certainly looks and feels like a 4×4. You sit up high while the excellent ground clearance and big wheels and tyres make easy meat of the urban jungle: the pot holes, speed bumps and other obstacles put in the way of the city driver. My only concern so far is the price. In top HSE spec, it’s an eye-watering £33,005 before options. More significantly, it’s only £750 cheaper than the equivalent four-wheel drive version!
|Date arrived:||11th August 2011|
|Mileage to date:||9,066miles|
|Fuel consumption:||47.2mpg (official combined)
34.4mpg (on test)
Driven Keith Adams
It’s been a busy old month for the Swift. Despite not really going anywhere, we’ve managed to pile on the miles, with over 5,000 showing on the odometer now. Not that you’d know it – it’s proving such a fun little car to drive that journeys which might prove to be a chore in a rival supermini, are actually eagerly anticipated. Why? Put it down to excellent handling, keen steering, and what one female colleague refers to as ‘the fun factor’. She’s definitely on to something there – and it’s telling that whenever I’m in the office, I have constant requests from colleagues who would like it for the weekend. And more often than not, I’m going to say… No.
We were hoping that with the miles piling on, the rather vocal engine might start getting quieter as part of the loosening-up process. But alas, that’s not proved to be the case. Yes, it’s getting quicker and more economical (with a monthly average that’s just tipped over 60mpg, without too much trying), but I really do wish that there was a tad more soundproofing under the bonnet. Still, you only really notice the chatter when accelerating hard or idling from cold. But come on Suzuki, why is it noisier than the similarly powered Fiat Punto Evo? But that’s a minor moan, if it wasn’t such fun, I’d not find myself fighting for the key come Friday afternoon!
|Date arrived:||16th June 2011|
|Mileage to date:||5,155miles|
|Fuel consumption:||67.3mpg (official combined)
60.1mpg (on test)