More engine variants will follow soon after the car's launch, with Seat officials saying that a plug-in hybrid version would "make sense" for some buyers.
The XJ's interior is looking a bit dated these days next to newer rivals, but it still has a wonderful ambience. Up front, the diamond-quilted seats (embossed with some questionable '575' branding) come with a wide range of adjustment, and those in the rear are treated to plenty of leg room; there’s little reason to opt for the long-wheelbase variant.
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.
We made note of this in our 1989 group test of the Cavalier, describing "the miles whipping by in a quiet comfortable blur", thanks to "the car’s attractive aerodynamic styling, which cuts wind bluster and improves performance".
Vision to the side and back is scary at first but you get used to it, mostly thanks to a convex mirror insert on the outside rearviews. You can’t see behind you unless you’re backing up and looking at the backup camera, and even then the screen is really hard to see. Some backups were done on faith. Give a wide berth to everything within about two blocks.
• Winter car checklist: top products to buy
And the Corvette is on its original 5.7-liter V8 engine, though Blackwell recently had to get the headgasket replaced at around 750,000 miles.
As standard, every X2 will come with BMW's iDrive infotainment and navigation system presented on a 6.5in screen (although that can grow to an 8.8in touchscreen if drivers select an upgraded set-up). The system is similar to that in the new 5 Series this year and can be had in conjunction with an optional head-up display, which projects speed and navigation instructions directly into the driver's field of vision.