The Barcelona brand’s newest and smallest SUV made its public debut at last month’s Frankfurt Motor Show. Following on from the hugely successful Ateca – SEAT’s first SUV – the Arona is an extremely important car that brings high expectations.
The data has been used to create our What Car? reliability rating, which is the score you see beside each model. Over the following pages, we reveal the best and worst contenders in 10 classes.
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In order to stop without skidding, rhythmically pump your foot up and down on the brake pedal. This will essentially replicate what an ABS system does, albeit nowhere near as effectively or quickly. Remember to look where you want the car to go and steer there, and try not to ‘panic freeze’, as you'll simply lock the brakes and have an accident.
Indeed, he was right: it is a petrol-electric plug-in hybrid (PHEV) – bang on-trend for our changing times, despite actually having been on sale in the UK since 2014. Underneath our Mitsubishi’s long bonnet is a conventional 2.0-litre petrol engine mated to two battery-driven electric motors, one at the front and one at the rear, enabling the Outlander PHEV to be driven by engine power alone, by the batteries or by a combination of the two. These batteries can be charged a little while the car’s on the move or plugged into the mains for a much more sizeable dosage. Fully charged, our PHEV should then have an electric-only range of around 30 miles. Perhaps more impressively, its official fuel consumption is listed at 166.1mpg and its CO2 figure as 41g/km, which is extraordinarily good for such a large and practical five-seat SUV.
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.
Four-wheel drive will be offered on some models. While a six-speed manual gearbox will be standard, an automatic option will be available.
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.
Can you remember a time when 'cavalier' wasn’t merely the attitude of the White House’s incumbent but one of the most prolific automobiles on UK roads? Then settle into a bout of nostalgia as we look back at our 1989 and 1990 What Car? Family Car of the Year winner, the Mk3 Vauxhall Cavalier.
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.
Burns said that with the potential for high-volume production (and long-term support), lining up Tier 1 suppliers for the USPS project hasn’t been an issue. So it was a natural next step to develop a commercial-van version at the same time. Panasonic (Tesla) Batteries, BMW Range Extender The N-Gen and Workhorse’s W-15 pickup will share quite a lot, including their composite body construction. Burns told Car and Driver that they’ll use the same batteries: Panasonic 18650-format cells, a “commodity” format that is roughly AA size and essentially the same as is used in the Tesla Model S and Model X, among other vehicles. But what’s different is the range extender. While the production version of the W-15 will use a 1.5-liter three-cylinder BMW range extender, the N-Gen is going to use the 647-cc two-cylinder Kymco-built engine from the BMW i3, Burns said. That’s because, while the van would only be aimed at commercial use, with well-defined driving loops and the range extender strictly as an emergency crutch, the pickup is being designed with a wider operating range—including sustaining its peak power after the battery is depleted.
Bad weather raises the chances of an incident occurring, but if you are paying attention to what is going on with your car and your surroundings, then you can increase your chances of being safe on the road. Look as far ahead as you can to anticipate any situation, but also be aware of what's going on underneath you by the seat of your pants and what you can feel the front wheels doing through the steering wheel. This will give you all the information you need to know that all is progressing smoothly, and will also tell you when something isn't right.
Why? Well, while the Sierra was fed by an old-fashioned carburettor, the Cavalier had that 'i' for injection in its name. This gave it the legs not just over the Sierra but also the Fiat Croma and Mazda 626 we ran it against, vanquishing their top speeds with a heady 120mph flat out and streaking from 0-60mph in 8.9sec – one second clear of the Sierra and two whole clicks quicker than the Croma.