It's a given that you should keep your car maintained throughout the year, but it's doubly vital in the cold and inclement winter months. The reality is that winter checks really aren’t much different from normal car maintenance procedures, although a few items should be given some extra attention:
“We weren’t a bunch of accountants,” he told Automotive News in 2003. “We knew the importance of people.”
The heart of the Accord line is powered by a turbocharged 1.5-liter four backed by a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). This is the powertrain that will be found in most of the Accords sold at retail, the ones dealers push out the door every day wearing $199 monthly leases or 72 months of $300-per-month financing. A million or more Accords equipped like this will make their way onto American roads over the next several years before Honda even thinks about revising this powertrain. If you don’t wind up driving a car like this yourself, it’s likely someone in your immediate family will. Maybe even someone with whom you’re on speaking terms.
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.
We like General Motors’ free-spinning 3.6-liter V-6 in most of its applications, and it does a fine job in the 1LE most of the time, pulling cleanly from low revs and making the snarling noises you’d expect from a pony car when pressed a little harder. But although it runs to 7000 rpm without complaint, it also does so without fireworks, struggling to deliver on straight-line pace when compared to either its more muscular siblings or the broader sports-car segment. It wasn’t that long ago that a 5.2-second zero-to-60-mph time would have been regarded as a serious achievement, but now it feels almost leisurely, as does the 13.8-second quarter-mile time at a trap speed of just 101 mph. For perspective, the V-8 1LE reaches 70 mph in less time than it takes the V-6 car to get to 60, and it will be past 120 mph by the time the smaller-engined car reaches 100.
Spy shots also suggest that the car is ready for its full unmasking. The car pictured earlier this year is disguised heavily, but that doesn’t hide the new shape, strongly influenced by the QX50 Concept. As such, the final production model seems likely to take on many of its design cues with little or no change.
“Oh, she’s electric,” remarked a young man on the pavement as I stepped out of our Outlander. I should explain, in case you think I’d encountered someone who spends his days standing on street corners quoting Oasis songs at people, that this budding car enthusiast had merely spotted the large 'PHEV' badge on the flanks of the car.
The SUV's engines will be borrowed from elsewhere within the Volkswagen Group, and while no official details have been released, we're expecting to see a 148bhp 1.4-litre petrol, a 2.0-litre petrol in two different power outputs and a 2.0-litre diesel with around 178bhp for drivers who cover higher mileages. In the Kodiaq, it's the 2.0-litre diesel engine that we recommend.