In the mid-1960s, Miller was driving home from his Dearborn, Mich., office in a Lincoln Continental when another car struck him from behind. The Continental spun around and burst into flames. Because he was wearing a shoulder-strap seat belt, Miller was unharmed in the accident, and because the doors of the car didn’t jam, he escaped the flaming wreckage. But memories of the crash stayed with him for years.
Miller had spotted a Life magazine article about Henry Ford II’s search for fresh executive talent to help oversee the company, which had racked up losses for 15 straight years and was reportedly losing a million dollars a day at the time.
Optional assistance features include a parking assistance, lane departure warning, a speed limit warning and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection. The Driving Assistant Plus package includes adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assistance, meaning the car can accelerate, brake and steer itself within a lane at speeds of up to 87mph. The driver must have at least one hand on the steering wheel for it to work, though.
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.
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.
There's also no formal name for the SUV yet. Seat has been holding a vote, with the public able to choose their favourite. The current finalists are Talboran, Taranda, Avila and Tarraco. Of those, our money is on the Seat Avila, given that it fits in well with the current line-up of Ateca and Arona. Seat was due to make a formal announcement of the name this month, but that has been delayed due to events taking place in Catalonia.
When it was recently announced that Fernando Alonso would race in the 24 Hours of Daytona in January, it was described as a warm-up for an eventual attempt to win Le Mans. "Eventual" may come pretty fast: It now looks like the Formula One champion will race in the Le Mans 24 Hours next season as well.
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