This powertrain is available for as little as $24,460, and Honda asks $34,690 for the top-spec 1.5T Touring, still a solid value for such a fully realized and useful machine. But yeah, save up a few bucks and get the 2.0T if you can. And we’d get the manual transmission, too.
To get a real insight into the views of the people who are making the crossover boom happen, we arranged a secret unveil event, inviting a cross-section of Auto Express readers to give us their views on the Arona. The readers were told they were attending an unveil of an all-new SUV, but they weren’t aware which brand of car it was.
To understand the significance of the Cavalier Mk3, we need to go back to 1981, when the Mk2 appeared. The Sierra, which arrived a year later in 1982, failed to match the Mk2’s sales throughout its life but, in 1987, the last year of Cavalier Mk2 production, Uncle Henry’s 'fortress of the fleets' finally sneaked ahead. Some argue that this is a measure of just how long it took us sceptical Brits to adjust to the Sierra’s ahead-of-the-curve, jelly-mould looks. By which time we were ready for some svelte.
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.
While grip is a good thing, you definitely can have too much of it. Excess adhesion will dull the responses of a car and frequently make it snappier when it does eventually reach its limits. It reduces the ability to play in that delightful shadowland where stick turns to slip.
Our 1989 and 1990 Best Family Car of the Year
Ford's bookkeeping at the time was "truly a never-never land," David Halberstam wrote later in The Reckoning, a landmark book that chronicled the ills of America's auto industry.
As for the Indy piece of the Triple Crown, Alonso famously raced there this year and was running competitively when his Honda engine failed in the closing stages of the race. So expect to see him there again as well.