These are the cars Santa Claus would drive on his days off, motoring experts have revealed. Father Christmas will be frantically churning-out toys in his North Pole factory this week, ahead of his estimated 316,899,308 mile journey on Christmas Eve...
He’ll be aided by his nine loyal reindeer for that trip - Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen and Rudolph and having worked out the power output of those animals, combined with Santa’s love of exceptional fuel economy and load-carrying abilities, it’s likely St Nick has got one of these motors tucked in his garage.
The list has been compiled by leading UK firm Select Car Leasing, and company director Mark Tongue says: “No-one’s quite sure what Santa drives away from work, as he’s only ever been depicted in his faithful sleigh. But we think we’ve narrowed it down, based on his specific needs.
“And does he listen to Christmas songs in his car? Absolutely.”
The term ‘horsepower’ was first coined by Scottish inventor and engineer James Watt back in the 18th century. By watching horses at work in coal mines, he worked-out that a horse could lift around 33 pounds of coal 1,000 feet in one minute. But it’s a common misperception that one horse only produces one horsepower - in short bursts, a horse can actually produce around 15hp and Select Car Leasing say that if a reindeer produces similar power to a horse, then Santa’s combined nine four-legged friends would actually produce around 135hp - or 136 PS - aka ‘metric horsepower’.
Select Car Leasing explain: “A reindeer might be smaller than a horse, but they’re actually faster in the gallop, achieving a top speed of around 50mph while a horse’s top speed is around 40mph. Reindeer are also pack animals, able to work as a team to produce thrust.
We think 135 hp is an achievable stat for Santa’s reindeer. And we also need to take into consideration his need for a good fuel economy, given the long distances he likes to cover, a good torque figure, in case he needs to tow a trailer full of toys of equipment, and because he’s a fairly big chap, it needs to be spacious, too.
Here’s the top six rides for everyone’s favourite present-giver:
Select Car Leasing say: “It’s big, roomy and reliable - just like Santa. With a 650-litre boot there’s ample space for wrapping paper and baubles.
"It’s also unassuming but punchy - just like the man in red.”
Ford Focus Estate (1.5-litre EcoBlue, 8 speed automatic, 120 PS, £186.70 p/m exc VAT)
“This new Focus Estate is much bigger than previous incarnations, and Santa will get around 75 miles to the gallon from the diesel engine, too.
“It’s a real mile-muncher, too, perfect for those barren, snowy wastelands."
Vauxhall Combo Life (1.5-litre turbo diesel, eight-speed automatic, 130PS, £240.83 p/m exc VAT)
“It might not be showy, but it’s essentially the passenger version of Vauxhall’s van, and it’s perfect for load-lugging, being as tall as it is long.
“Perfect for outdoorsy and active families, too.”
Audi Q2 S-Line (1.6-litre ’30 TDI’, 116 PS, £257.99 p/m exc VAT)
“This compact SUV is one of the safest luxury cars you can buy for the money. If Santa gets the driver assistance options, he’ll have adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assistance, blind spot monitoring and more. The perfect example to set for the kiddies who look up to him."
Hyundai i30 Tourer (1.4-litre turbo petrol, 138bhp, £195.75 p/m exc VAT)
“With the seats folded flat, Mr and Mrs Claus will get 1,650 litres of space in the back.
“The fuel economy is a reported 74mpg and there’s a class-leading tech interface for Santa to get his gloved mitts on.”
Seat Leon FR (1.5-litre TSI EVO, 130 PS, £151.99 p/m exc VAT)
“This is a touch more exciting than the other cars in the line-up, but Santa would enjoy it, and it still falls within the 135 hp reindeer range!
“It’ll do 0-60mph in under 10 seconds - 9.4 secs, to be precise - and there’s loads of room in the back for his favourite elves.”
When it comes to the ‘torque’ of a reindeer, the animals fare less well on the power front - with ’torque’ being a measure of how much a force acts on an object to cause that object to rotate.
Mark adds: “To find a torque figure, you need to look at a reindeer’s ‘horsepower’ and its revolutions per minute (RPM).
“We went with a baseline ‘cruising’ RPM of 1800, and got around 2.9 ft/lbs per reindeer. Which means you’d need around 24 of the animals just to equal the torque of a Toyota Aygo!”
*Prices correct as of 21/12/18