And returning to the environmental theme, and demonstrating how far we’ve come today, we gave the Cavalier extra "greenie points" for being the only car in that test to have a "switchable microchip that enables it to run on unleaded fuel". Hell’s bells, that cutting-edge gizmo meant that, with the flick of a connector under the bonnet, this microchipped marvel could run on the funny new petrol from the green pumps.
PSA plans a return to the U.S. and earlier this year named former Nissan executive Larry Dominique to spearhead the project as senior vice president of PSA North America.
Location: Kingston, Surrey
Ian added: “Some of the technology on board – like wireless phone charging – is quite impressive for the money and this class of car. I like the LED lights as well, as they help to create a clear brand identity for SEAT.”
It’s hard not to notice the striking new looks compared to bubble-shaped cars that went before. Regardless of whether you like its styling or not, the Micra remained a head-turner during its stint with us, helped by its optional Power Blue metallic paint job.
Ursula felt the Arona’s £16,555 entry point will appeal. “For the price in particular I think the spec that you get makes it look really good value,” she explained. “The interior is really nice, and the technology is all there. It’s easy to use, too – I found it really easy to input destinations on the sat-nav compared with other systems I’ve used.”
More to the point, the 2018 model’s numbers beat out four-cylinder rivals such as the Toyota Camry and the Nissan Altima, while essentially matching the Mazda 6’s performance. Still, acceleration is not where the new Accord’s advantages lie.
Hop in and first impressions are favourable – there’s certainly no sign of any wear. In fact, it really does look as good as new, and there’s loads of room, too. Unfortunately, hybrid Outlanders are five-seat only (the diesel versions have seven seats), but at least all five have plenty of space to lounge around in. The driving position is tall, upright – commanding even – and although the placing of some of the switchgear seems a little haphazard, and the infotainment system is a little clunky to use, the instruments are clear and easily readable.