What is the best small crossover to lease in 2019? The last 3 years have seen the prestige German brands dominate this category with the Audi Q3, BMW X1 and Mercedes GLA, the latter being one of our most popular cars of 2018.
However, the Swedish manufacturer, Volvo, has seen a significant resurgence in popularity having revised much of their SUV and crossover range. The medium XC60, larger XC90 and now this, the XC40, have placed some extremely interesting options for customers to consider as part of their next new car consideration.
Where Volvo have really pushed their vehicles is with the introduction of “PHEV” technology to accommodate personal and business user alike. Of course a big thank-you to our Basingstoke personal leasing customer for sending these amazing pictures of their new XC40.
If you are looking for some fantastic “non-glossy” images, take a look at these!
So what is all the fuss about a PHEV? A Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle, or PHEV for short, has been in the UK market for longer than people think; they first came into focus with the Mitsubishi Outlander.
A PHEV option combines the lithium battery technology you get on an electric vehicle with the traditional combustion engine technology.
Are PHEVs just petrol? In truth most of the leading options will use a petrol engine together with the battery technology. However the Mercedes 300de option is a diesel PHEV option in their luxury saloon – the E-Class.
The diesel aspect really helps those drivers covering the longer motorway-style journeys.
Coming back to the petrol vehicles, you have a small battery which works on its own or in conjunction with the engine. As the battery is smaller, the vehicle ranges on electric alone will only be 15-30 miles, so this isn’t suitable for any higher-mileage drivers. We have received complaints about the limited ability of the battery but customers do need to be aware that this only has a smaller capacity and will often benefit the driver covering smaller start/stop journeys.
The other key aspect to note is the cars DO need to be charged.
Some drivers confuse a hybrid and PHEV, in that they think the hybrid is the vehicle which will need a cable and to be connected to an external charging point. However, this is actually quite the opposite and for drivers using a PHEV they need to research:
A charge point – the choice is to get a Home Charge Point, workplace point or one at a service/petrol station;
A Charging cable – most manufacturers will produce a standard 3-pin charge cable. However, the rate of charge via a domestic plug socket is a little slow and therefore for those drivers using a external charge point they need to organise a Type 1, Type 2 or even a CHDdeMO cable/adapter.
Charging your vehicle is paramount in order to achieve the MPG which the vehicle is stated to offer and to also benefit from the electric aspects. With grants available for charge points/cables, this can often be a more cost-effective solution than fuelling your car with petrol (or diesel).
Due to the size of the battery, a dedicated home charge point should be able to charge your vehicle in circa 3 – 4 hours (depends if a 3 or 7kW charge point).
As any new charge point must be “smart”, this process will happen overnight for you. If your employer offers a charging facility, this currently doesn’t cost you anything in Benefit in Kind/fuel duty.
Can I use a rapid charger? You need to check the rate of charge on your vehicle to answer this question. While a fast charger (22kW) or rapid charger (50 kW+) could present a much more expedient solution, not all vehicles can connected to them or they will be unable to be charged at that rate. Vehicles can only be charged at a specific rate; plugging into a rapid charger will not make this any quicker. For further info on charging points and charging cables, head over to our Car-E website.
So why are people making the transition to PHEV cars? A lot the growth has been fuelled by tax advantages and grants in the company car markets. As the emissions the vehicle produces are key to working out your tax position, the lower these are the less tax you pay.
Moving forwards vehicles producing less than 50g/km will qualify for some excellent BiK percentages from April 2020 to March 2023.
In particular, a sub-30 mile range PHEV will qualify for 12% BiK in 2020; whereas an equivalent efficient diesel would be around 20%! Historically the Government would also supply a £3,500 grant towards customers purchasing or leasing a PHEV.
Unfortunately, this was ceased last year and this did affect some of popularity of the vehicles.
However, with many personal and business customers wanting to experience electric travel in some form, the PHEV presents a great interim option.
In terms of the car shown, the Volvo XC40 DIESEL ESTATE 2.0 D4  Inscription Pro 5dr AWD Geartronic (Auto), this is based on the following configuration:
· Denim Blue Metallic Paint
· Leather – Blond
· Drift wood inlays
· 19″ 5 double spoke diamond cut/black alloy wheels
· Tempa spare wheel and jack
· Smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay and Android auto + 2 USB
· Power glass tilt and slide panoramic sunroof with sun curtain
As standard the car includes powered operated taillights, 19” alloys, Sensus connect with 250W sound system, keyless start, cruise control, rear park assist, heated washer nozzles, rain sensor windscreen wipers, DSTC, hill descent control, hill start assist, emergency brake assist, luxury floor mats, Bluetooth, front park assist, lane keep assist, oncoming lane mitigation, 12.3” driver’s instrument control, auto dimming rear view mirror, body coloured externals, electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors, DAB radio, dual exhaust pipes, roof spoiler, adaptive brake lights with LEDs, LED fog lights, climate control, cooled glovebox, 3-spoke leather steering wheel, leather upholstery, ambient interior lighting, footwell illumination, city safety, first aid kit, run off road mitigation and protection, road sign information display, WHIPS, 60/40 split folding seats, heated front seats, power driver seats, key integrated central locking, immobiliser and anti-theft alarm.
In terms of additional factor options consider adding – dark tinted glass, wireless phone charging and smartphone integration (Apple CarPlay is not standard!).
On the technical-side company car and business users can note the P11d at £38,225.00 and CO2 at 131g/km. The 1969CC 8 speed auto diesel engine delivers 56.5 combined MPG (EC), 39.8 (WLTP), 190ps and 0-62 times of 7.9 seconds.
So would the Volvo XC40 be your select SUV car leasing option? Or would the others be your next car?