These small indiscretions give the Micra a couple of big black marks against its otherwise impressive package. Don’t get me wrong, if you invested in one you would be getting a superb supermini that is well appointed and is better to drive than most in this class. But the Ibiza and the Fiesta have an added layer of polish that you would expect for a car priced as ours is.
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.
Our new long-termer is a 2016 one-careful-owner car, which I picked up from the bustling Mitsubishi main dealer Shelly Motors in Epsom, Surrey. There, brand manager Lee Higlett talked me through some of the finer points of Outlander ownership. On close inspection, our PHEV certainly seems little troubled by its one year of usage. I was interested to hear that if you were to buy one like ours from a main dealer, it would currently set you back around £28,000. New, our top-spec 5hs will set you back a whopping £43,555, and that’s after subtracting the £2500 grant – so straight away there’s something to be gained by buying it at this age.
"It was unbelievable," Miller recalled of his first months at Ford in the 2003 interview with Automotive News. "During World War II they lost money on cost-plus contracts. Now that takes some skill, to lose money on a cost-plus contract."
• Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
This is where things get interesting, because high-end versions of the new SUV are likely to cost you more than £30,000 – dangerous territory for a brand where value has always been a high priority. Bear in mind that the Seat SUV's closes rivals, the Kia Sorento and Hyundai Santa Fe, cost £28,850 and £32,845 respectively.
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.