“All we need to stay in business and grow,” he said, “is to have more people and higher incomes.”
By their nature, CVTs are easy to despise. Their simple design has an elegance to it, but without the stepped, distinct shifts of a conventional transmission, the engine makes a beeline for its torque peak, where it drones on as speed builds. Fortunately, CVTs work better with modern turbocharged engines like the Honda 1.5T that have broad torque curves so that there’s usually adequate grunt on hand even at lower engine speeds. Honda pushes that advantage even further in the Accord’s CVT by building in virtual gear steps that produce a more natural engine note during acceleration.
Even despite our gearbox woes, which saw the Micra refuse to select or release third gear. There is little to find fault with here either, with the action is both smooth and positive allowing you to change quickly and make the most of the narrow power band. And while most rivals offer more boot space and better legroom for rear passengers, we found the Micra ideal for carrying four adults over short distances.
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.
Elon Musk's recent trip to Turkey and meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan included discussions about the country's national car project, which generated a few headlines two years ago after Turkey purchased the license to the Saab 9-3 from National Electric Vehicle Sweden.
"I probably had the most influence on the international side," Miller told Automotive News in 2003. "In the early days of Ford, the overseas [administration] was separate from the U.S. It was run out of New York. It was duplication and very costly. I ... thought that we ought to get rid of the overseas staff and do everything through a single staff in Dearborn. That was really a big decision, but Henry Ford backed me up and we did that."
But it don’t come cheap. The window sticker on my ride was $110,250. Yikes! But you could easily pay five times that for a really big Class A home. I later attended the California RV Show -- celebrating its 65th year with thousands of RVs -- at the fabulous Fairplex in Pomona. There I saw a show special Thor Vegas for just 79 grand. So go to a show and get a deal. Or buy a 10-year-old rig for a fraction of the price. The industry is huge for new RVs but even huger for used. Shop around. But if you do decide to go new, you will not be disappointed with a Thor Vegas, baby.
With plenty of low-down grunt, it’s all too easy to overwhelm the rear wheels, especially if you have the traction control switched off. At first, this can feel a little disconcerting, but with time you learn to trust the big Jag – its long wheelbase ensuring that slides happen slowly and controllably. Before you know it, you’ll be playing with the throttle through long corners, the rear happily carving an angle wider than the front. It’s addictive, childish, raw fun.