The best way is to take some time out to check your car over and make sure everything is in order. But where do you start? Simple: take our checklist below and give every part of your car the attention it needs to survive until the spring.
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.
If your car regularly breaks down and leaves you stranded, or even if it just suffers from a plague of minor faults that require regular trips to the garage, you’re far less likely to pick the same brand again.
“I think it’s been designed really well,” he said. “I always expect a car from SEAT to have a really smart design, and the Arona lives up to those expectations. The LED lights and contrasting roof make it look classy.
The two M Sport models both sit on 19in alloy wheels and include unique bumpers and paintwork, as well as heated front seats. The M Sport and M Sport X are inspired by circuit racing and rallying respectively. Both trims receive stiffer M Sport suspension and have a lowered ride height.
It’s not that there’s no droning sound as the Accord accelerates, but Honda has done a good job of tamping down that irritation. Yes, we prefer the conventional 10-speed automatic that Honda uses with the turbocharged 2.0-liter engine, but Honda’s implementation of a CVT is among the best.
Essentially a fancy term for leasing, these deals remove much of the hassle that comes with car ownership – although, unlike personal contract purchase deals, they don't give you the option to buy the car outright at the end of the term.
"Probably no major industrial company in America's history was ever run so poorly for so long," Halberstam said of Ford. "Only its sheer size saved it, that and, in the war, the government's dependence upon it for military production."
The heart of the Accord line is powered by a turbocharged 1.5-liter four backed by a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). This is the powertrain that will be found in most of the Accords sold at retail, the ones dealers push out the door every day wearing $199 monthly leases or 72 months of $300-per-month financing. A million or more Accords equipped like this will make their way onto American roads over the next several years before Honda even thinks about revising this powertrain. If you don’t wind up driving a car like this yourself, it’s likely someone in your immediate family will. Maybe even someone with whom you’re on speaking terms.
The Accord’s 192-hp version is at least nominally close to the CR-V unit, with its 10.3:1 compression ratio, direct fuel injection, and VTEC variable valve-timing system. All variants use essentially the same hardware, including the Mitsubishi TD03 single-scroll turbocharger. What varies is the software, boost levels, and, in the case of the Civic Si, a preference for premium fuel.
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.