It’s easy to drive, too. So far, I’ve discovered the best thing to do is to sit there and try to work out what methods of propulsion the PHEV’s using. There is a handy energy flow display on the screen that shows you just that and, as with all similar cars, the object soon becomes seeing how long you can keep the car going on full electric drive around town before the engine cuts in. I dare say there’ll be a lot more on that in future reports.
"It was unbelievable," Miller recalled of his first months at Ford in the 2003 interview with Automotive News. "During World War II they lost money on cost-plus contracts. Now that takes some skill, to lose money on a cost-plus contract."
What lets the little Nissan down is its 0.9-litre petrol engine, our preference remember over the 1.5 diesel and the non-turbocharged 1.0 petrol. Although at cruising speeds the engine is quiet and refined, with enough thrust to make overtaking almost effortless, there just isn't enough power at lower speeds.
There are lots of reasons why people buy cars, from a change in circumstances, such as becoming a parent, to retiring. But when it comes to why people keep their cars and stick with the same brand year after year, there’s one factor that has the biggest influence: reliability.
GM prevented the German division from having a big presence in key growth countries such as China because of fears it would compete with Chevrolet and Buick models -- some of which were based on Opel engineering.
“I am green” Ford famously said at the time, “and searching for answers.”
The same striking approach was also carry through to the interior, with sections of crisp black plastic, swathes of soft-touch materials, and splashes of blue and cream all helping lift the ambiance. Include the standard-fit fully loaded touchscreen infotainment system and the optional, yet clever, Bose stereo system, and the Micra is somewhere you won’t mind spending long periods of time in.
Check screen wash
Infiniti has teased that a new SUV – most likely the next-generation QX50 – will be revealed ahead of the Los Angeles Motor Show at a set-piece Infiniti event on 28 November.
Regular Outlanders have always sold pretty well, even if they make do with nothing more exciting than a conventional 2.2-litre diesel engine. But it’s the PHEV version that has caught the eye of more than just the young man I mentioned earlier – it’s the UK’s best-selling electrified vehicle, with more than 25,000 cars sold, and that's despite the halving last year of the Government grant that applies when buying a new one. So popular is it that it actually accounts for nearly 50% of all the PHEVs on the road.
Short answer: pretty much everything. The powertrains are all new, the car has been completely redesigned, the infotainment system is brand new, and there is a mountain of new standard active safety technology. Also, the Accord’s two-door variant has passed beyond the veil, marking the final transit of the mass-market mid-size coupe. Two turbocharged four-cylinder engines now make up the Accord’s nonhybrid powertrain lineup, replacing a naturally aspirated four-cylinder and a V-6. A hybrid variant will join the rest of the family on dealer lots in early 2018, rounding out the new Accord’s lineup.
But don’t go thinking that Jaguar has abandoned what it has always been famous for – namely, creating high-powered, luxurious, rear-wheel-drive saloons. First seen in camouflaged guise going up the hill at this year's Goodwood Festival of Speed, this new (and we use that world very lightly) XJR 575 is the most powerful version of Jaguar’s flagship saloon to date.
But are these updates enough to keep what is, in effect, an eight-year-old car competitive in an increasingly competitive market?