Just as Ford execs were tugging at their Gordon Gekko braces and supping the Bollinger of success, Vauxhall unveiled the Cavalier Mk3 in 1988. Boom – with its sleek, swoopy lines, boy, it cut a dash – and promptly pooped on Ford's party.
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.
The new 10.0in Touch Pro infotainment system is also a vast improvement over the current XJR’s dated touchscreen, with quicker response times and clearer graphics. That said, it still feels a little clumsier and less finessed than Audi’s or BMW’s systems.
In order to stop without skidding, rhythmically pump your foot up and down on the brake pedal. This will essentially replicate what an ABS system does, albeit nowhere near as effectively or quickly. Remember to look where you want the car to go and steer there, and try not to ‘panic freeze’, as you'll simply lock the brakes and have an accident.
When it was recently announced that Fernando Alonso would race in the 24 Hours of Daytona in January, it was described as a warm-up for an eventual attempt to win Le Mans. "Eventual" may come pretty fast: It now looks like the Formula One champion will race in the Le Mans 24 Hours next season as well.
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.”
To save you the math, that's an average of about 43,000 miles per year, or about 117 miles per day, every day, for 18 years. Blackwell logs a lot of highway trips to Georgia and southern Florida for work.
The EPA rates the Accord 1.5T’s Sport and Touring trims with the CVT at 29 mpg in the city, 35 mpg on the highway, and 31 mpg combined; the lower-spec LX, EX, and EX-L models achieve higher ratings of 30/38/33 mpg. While it was in our leadfooted possession for 590 miles, our Accord returned 30 mpg. Not shabby but not quite vicuña, either.
“I think it’s been designed really well,” he said. “I always expect a car from SEAT to have a really smart design, and the Arona lives up to those expectations. The LED lights and contrasting roof make it look classy.
Screen wash has a lower freezing temperature than water alone, so you shouldn’t end up with frozen washer jets, although they can still become blocked if there's a particularly heavy frost or freezing rain gets into them.