Hop in and first impressions are favourable – there’s certainly no sign of any wear. In fact, it really does look as good as new, and there’s loads of room, too. Unfortunately, hybrid Outlanders are five-seat only (the diesel versions have seven seats), but at least all five have plenty of space to lounge around in. The driving position is tall, upright – commanding even – and although the placing of some of the switchgear seems a little haphazard, and the infotainment system is a little clunky to use, the instruments are clear and easily readable.
It sounds simple, and it is. The days are shorter and the weather is worse during the winter months, so maintenance of your exterior lights an important aspect of any winter car checklist.
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.
You do get a lot of kit for that money, mind you, including a range of safety and convenience features such as adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and a collision-mitigation system. The exterior has plenty of colour-keyed elements to please the eye, including bumpers, mirrors and door handles, and the interior is swathed in nappa leather.
Climbing the finance ladder
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.”
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Seat first confirmed it would be adding a large SUV to its range in March, but 2015's 20V20 concept car showed the company's ambitions for such a car.
"If any car deserves to be in a museum, it's this one," Blackwell says, "for the miles it's gone and the things it's done for me."
Faraday Future, the once-hyped Tesla competitor, appears to be going through another rough patch after repeated scaling downs of its manufacturing targets and facilities following funding issues that cropped up this spring. Now, a string of high-profile departures points to more turmoil at the company.
The upcoming SUV will be based on the same underpinnings as the Skoda Kodiaq – a car that scooped our Large SUV of the Year award back in January. Both five and seven-seat versions will be offered and, like the Ateca, will be geared towards agility rather than off-road prowess.