This was also an era, don’t forget, when the green brigade began its inagrual march for fuel efficiency. But unlike today, when it's all about downsized engines and hybrid technology, in the late 1980s the buzzword was aerodynamics. And with its thoroughly modern lines and flush-fitting windows, the Cavalier Mk3 boasted a slippery drag coefficient of just 0.29 versus the Mk2’s 0.37. Overnight, it had made every one of its rivals look faintly prehistoric.
After three decades of consistent excellence and 20 consecutive years on our 10Best Cars list, the Honda Accord is brand new this year. When something you love changes, it’s natural to be a little nervous: Would we miss that trusty V-6? What if Honda nixed our cherished manual transmission? But we had no cause for fear. The new Accord is once again the best mid-size family sedan on the market. The model lineup is lighter this year, the coupe variant having gone to that Great Showroom in the Sky, and there are three shiny new engines, a trio of satisfying transmissions (yes, the manual is still among them), and a bold exterior design to usher in a new era of greatness for this most established sedan. There’s also a thoroughly updated infotainment system—an elegant and intuitive answer to our plaintive cries—as well as a comprehensive list of standard safety gear. The Accord’s hallmarks remain graceful handling, a spacious interior, and reasonable pricing, and after all these years, it’s still earning our love and admiration.
While with its design the QX50 may stick to tried and tested brand methods, big changes should be coming under the bonnet. The QX50 Concept revealed at Detroit was used to preview the brand’s new variable-compression turbo petrol engine –a downsized petrol 2.0-litre power unit that will replace the ageing 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine currently used across the brand’s line-up.
"Le Mans is agreed," a source close to Toyota told the BBC. "The rest of the season is still being negotiated, but it looks like he will do most of the races."
It's up to you whether you buy a second set of wheels to fit them on, but if you choose to swap the winter tyres onto the same wheels, it's a job for a tyre fitter, as it's a pretty tough job to do yourself.
• Blind-spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert
For each fault, we asked the owner to identify time spent off the road using categories ranging from less than one day to more than a week. We also asked them to tell us how much the repairs cost, from being fixed under warranty for free to more than £1500. This information was weighted according to the severity of the fault; those that cost the most and kept the car off the road the longest were penalised most.