This is where things get interesting, because high-end versions of the new SUV are likely to cost you more than £30,000 – dangerous territory for a brand where value has always been a high priority. Bear in mind that the Seat SUV's closes rivals, the Kia Sorento and Hyundai Santa Fe, cost £28,850 and £32,845 respectively.
What to do when your car oversteers
If your car regularly breaks down and leaves you stranded, or even if it just suffers from a plague of minor faults that require regular trips to the garage, you’re far less likely to pick the same brand again.
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.
What lets the little Nissan down is its 0.9-litre petrol engine, our preference remember over the 1.5 diesel and the non-turbocharged 1.0 petrol. Although at cruising speeds the engine is quiet and refined, with enough thrust to make overtaking almost effortless, there just isn't enough power at lower speeds.
He credits its handling with saving his life one dark night when a bumper fell off a semi, forcing him to swerve into an interstate median, blowing out two tires in the process. "Had to obviously get the tires replaced and the car towed in that night. But any other car, there was no way in the world that I would not have hit that bumper."
Step inside, press the bright red starter button and the supercharged V8 bursts into life with an intensity that is often missing from modern-day turbocharged engines. It’s a real brute of an engine that is absolutely brimming with character; at low speeds, you’re treated to a lovely V8 warble that's soon joined by a delicious, high-pitched wail from the supercharger as the revs climb. It’s an intoxicating soundtrack that is backed up by prodigious levels of performance.
The Accord is available with a full toy box of technology, too. That’s what buyers want, and Honda does a particularly good job of integrating it all to the point of near elegance. The ergonomics are good, the seats are pedestals of perforated leather happiness, the controls make sense, and everything the driver touches feels high grade. The interface between human being and car is elevated to a new level with this Accord.
Although designed for life on a track, where it excels in tight corners, the 1LE doesn’t feel excessively compromised on the road, certainly not beyond the limitations common to the rest of the family. As with any sixth-generation Camaro, you’ll have to cope with a cramped cabin and visibility that’s limited by the shallowness of the windshield, the dearth of glass area, and the thick roof pillars. But while the 1LE is more stiffly sprung than the regular V-6 coupe, it still rides without excessive harshness. Adding velocity or cornering loads gives the upgraded dampers something to chew on, and hard use reveals a chassis that feels tight and poised, all of which keeps the body’s motions in check even on some of the poorest-quality surfaces that Michigan could throw at it. The tightened front end also brings a marked improvement in steering feel over the already communicative helm of the standard V-6 model, with the suede-wrapped steering wheel faithfully relaying information about tire loads, slip angle, and even surface textures. Many engineers responsible for the increasingly feel-free steering in posher sports cars could benefit from spending time with this humble Camaro.
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This powertrain is available for as little as $24,460, and Honda asks $34,690 for the top-spec 1.5T Touring, still a solid value for such a fully realized and useful machine. But yeah, save up a few bucks and get the 2.0T if you can. And we’d get the manual transmission, too.
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.