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Help CAR pick its next long-term test cars

Published: 27 October 2011

We’d like to think CAR runs a pretty good mix of long-term test vehicles. We’ve got everything from a warm hybrid hatch to an Italian hot hatch, via BMW’s latest M car, a supermini to rival the Mini, the best MPV you can buy, an EV, and an intriguing Swedish saloon.

But are we missing anything? And what would you like to see on our fleet? At most there’s room for 14 cars, so which models would you like to see in CAR Magazine and online?

It’s not just a simple case of listing your dream garage though; we want an eclectic mix of cars, not just the latest selection of supercars. Should we be running the four-cylinder diesel model that the majority buys, or should we be testing the more interesting hybrid variant?

Sometimes we’ll get a car just as soon as it’s in the UK, like our long-term 530d Touring, which meant taking a car with £20k of options on it – not exactly representative we know, but crucial for the manufacturers come resale time and a chance to test the latest technology and safety gadgets and gizmos.

On the other hand, a Mercedes CLS250 CDI joins our fleet next month, a long while after it went on sale in the UK because rather than opting for the 350CDI we’ve waited for the entry level 2.1-litre four-cylinder diesel – and for it to become available in the top-selling Sport trim. That means thinking months in advance too, as these cars need to be ordered and built and arrive when there’s space on the fleet. Each car needs to go to an appropriate journalist too: I’ve got no need for anything practical, whereas half the team will bite your arm off for a decent diesel estate.

Here’s CAR’s current fleet:

Alfa Romeo Giulietta
Audi A1
Audi RS5
BMW 1-series M Coupe
Ford Grand C-Max
Honda CR-Z
Infiniti M35h
Nissan Leaf
Saab 9-5
Volvo V60
Volkswagen Touareg

Next month that Mercedes CLS250 CDI, plus a Skoda Superb Estate and Audi RS3 Sportback join our fleet; the CR-Z, RS5 and C-Max leave us soon; and by New Year we’ll have new models from Jaguar, Land Rover, Mini and Seat too. But what else do we need? Click ‘Add your comment’ below and let us know what you think. We can’t promise to obtain the exact cars you suggest, but any and all thoughts will be considered in our future plans.
 

By Ben Pulman

CAR's editor-at-large, co-ordinator, tallboy

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