GM prevented the German division from having a big presence in key growth countries such as China because of fears it would compete with Chevrolet and Buick models -- some of which were based on Opel engineering.
Ian praised the extra practicality the Arona offers over a traditional supermini. “It’s got a really good use of internal space, making the most of the Ibiza platform,” he told us. “My Nissan Qashqai is a higher car, but it feels almost as spacious.”
Aside from the transmission, the Accord delivers an unsullied ribbon of wholesome automotive delight. The steering is informative but light enough that it can be operated with fingertips. The interior is roomy, the seats in the EX-L model out-comfort those in some hoity-toity pretenders, and the whole thing is quiet at speed thanks to excellent air management around the car’s skin.
Removed from its natural habitat and heading down a demanding country road, it’s less supreme. With vague steering and relatively soft suspension, the Cavalier feels unwieldy and often gets pitched off line by mid-corner lumps and bumps. It’s easy to see why, in 1995, Ford regained the upper hand – and its pride – with the Sierra’s ground-up replacement: the sharp-handling Mondeo. On which point, we’ll have more on that chapter for you soon.
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Other features include a high-mounted tow bar that can tow 3,500kg, aluminium under guards and rear differential protector, 18-inch black alloy wheels and Pirelli all-terrain tyres.
"It was just elementary," Miller said of the many accounting and finance controls he helped implement through the years. "It was like shooting fish in a barrel."
It isn’t the most sophisticated small SUV going and its interior feels rather cheap in places, but the Suzuki SX-4 S-Cross is still decent enough to drive and spacious enough for most families. It’s great value, too, with lots of low-mileage examples going very cheaply, and it comes with plenty of equipment. What’s more, Suzuki has a great reputation for reliability, so the SX-4 S-Cross should be dependable.