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 October’s issue.
Driven by Simon Hacker
Some 800 miles have elapsed since the last report, but I struggle to recall most of them. I’m going to assume that’s a positive, then, for our Mazda. After all, it’s not as if the miles have been uneventful. First there was the small business of moving house. Tempting as it is, given all the load space with the final seats folded, we enlisted professional blokes with a lorry. Nevertheless, among other precious oddments, the 5 did sterling service moving an entire house in the process – a doll’s house. I have to report there’s a rattle from the cabin after this turbulent event, but that’s only due to an orphaned set of nuts and bolts that belong to some item of furniture whose whereabouts remain lost in the fog of relocation. Ten days on, it was time for some night-time driving and a small-hours expedition, to Stroud Maternity Hospital, while for three days following, the 5 became a shuttle for many subsequent visits. After that, my brand-new daughter made her first road trip by the very same means. And it seems she likes it – not a whimper was heard beyond the rattle of nuts and bolts. The 5’s a stalwart player in a demanding role, and at 39.4mpg is making reasonable sense.
|Date arrived:||5th May 2011|
|Mileage to date:||2,409miles|
|Fuel consumption:||54.3mpg (official combined)
39.4mpg (on test)
Driven by Victor Harman
As I write, a strange, chunky shape sits in my driveway. It’s Nemo, Citroën’s Multispace HDi 75. The long-term C4 2.0 HDi Exclusive is back at Citroen UK for a six-monthly check over, and they kindly sent me the Nemo in its place for what’s expected to be a week. It makes for an interesting contrast with the C4, on the basis of low-cost practicality versus styling and comfort, although the Nemo is certainly not too shabby on passenger comfort, with comfy seats and a soft, loping ride that ignores most road imperfections. In contrast, the aural experience from outside is frankly none too pleasant, although the cabin ambience is quite refined and you hear little of the cacophony that passers-by do from the little Fiat-sourced 1248cc engine. What a super engine design this has turned out to be for Fiat and other manufacturers who have used it. In the Nemo Multispace it’s surprisingly nippy, and flexible, while impressively economical. I’ve managed to clock up some conversation-worthy fuel economy figures in the 75 to 85mpg band, although admittedly not without some effort. The compact Nemo’s boot is a wonderfully practical shape too, although the hatch door is quite a handful and one could rather too easily clout a careless child with one of its corners. But I’m looking forward to the C4’s imminent return as there are one or two longer journeys in prospect where its turn of speed and refinement will be much appreciated.
|Date arrived:||2nd February 2011|
|Mileage to date:||5,776miles|
|Fuel consumption:||56.5mpg (official combined)
52.3mpg (on test)
Driven by Richard Dredge
Within the past two months the Kia has been to Jersey, Scotland, Wales, all over England and even the Isle of Wight. We didn’t get to Ireland, so we can’t claim a full house, although it came close to transporting us to Italy. The lack of a tow bar meant we couldn’t tow the trailer we needed to take, so the Sportage stayed at home and we took a Kia Sorento instead – you’ll be able to read about it soon, in our forthcoming 4×4 special.
The latest trip was to Yorkshire, two-up with all the paraphernalia needed to photograph a collection of classic cars. That meant tripods, lighting, steps, cleaning gear and camera bags galore, which the Sportage swallowed without a murmur. However, this jaunt put another 500 miles on the clock, which means we’re getting perilously close to our 18,000-mile limit before we have to hand it back. However, Kia may relent and let us have it for the full year, which means another four months, by which time the mileage will be closer to 25,000. What’s been interesting during the miles that we’ve done is that the car hasn’t changed at all. The engine is just the same and so is the gearbox; a lot of new cars will loosen up after five to 10,000 miles, but the Kia didn’t need to. It’s used barely any oil and there are no squeaks or rattles, while nothing has stopped working. I reckon we should subject it to a 10-year test and see how it fares; what you say Mr Editor?
|Date arrived:||2nd December 2011|
|Mileage to date:||16,124miles|
|Fuel consumption:||52.3mpg (official combined)
42.9mpg (on test)