With BMW, Mercedes and Porsche all producing four-wheel-drive, turbocharged (and, in the Panamera's case, electrically assisted) super-saloons, the XJR 575 represents the end of a wonderful and wild era. ‘Responsible performance’ is now the order of the day – a memo that Jaguar must have missed, because, instead of taking this opportunity to dial out some of the XJR’s wilder characteristics, it's simply accentuated them. Like handing Liam Gallagher another pint mid-gig, everything about the XJR has been turned up to 11.
Quality is also a little lacklustre. Start prodding around and you’ll be surprised at just how much hard, rather cheap-looking plastic is used for the centre console and the lower parts of the dash. The controls also feel a little low-rent; buttons squeak and the column-mounted stalks feel like parts-bin specials.
Where the Micra shines is with it’s steering. Yes, it is lighter and less feelsome than the best in class, but at low speeds the car is easy to thread through tight spaces, and yet direct and accurate when you want to corner with gusto. Add in Nissan’s Chassis Control traction system, which brakes individual wheels to help corner tighter, gives this little supermini superb balance in the corners.
To get a real insight into the views of the people who are making the crossover boom happen, we arranged a secret unveil event, inviting a cross-section of Auto Express readers to give us their views on the Arona. The readers were told they were attending an unveil of an all-new SUV, but they weren’t aware which brand of car it was.
Check and clean your lights regularly. The salt and dirt can quickly build-up, reducing the effectiveness of the lights and reducing your visibility to other road users. It's best to keep your lights on in all sorts of weather, as it helps you to be seen. Carry extra bulbs in case of a failure, but do try and learn how to replace the bulbs when it's convenient, because you can guarantee that when one blows it'll be in the dark, in freezing cold and possibly wet weather, which isn't an ideal time to learn about your car.
Climbing the finance ladder
Opel has already dipped its toes into the Chinese and Russian markets. It sold about 5,000 cars annually in China in the early part of the decade, but sales were limited because of high tariffs on imports. The brand was also launched in Russia with some success over a decade ago, but sales came to an end when GM pulled out of the country in 2015 following a major market downturn.