"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."
But there is more to a good supermini than standing out in a crowd. It needs to remain practical enough for family life and decent to drive. Admittedly, the Micra lacks the overall polish that makes the latest Seat Ibiza and Ford Fiesta both stand out performers. But the little Nissan goes about its business quietly and with minimal fuss, with only fidgety ride at low speeds providing a real grumbling point. Although I suspect sticking with 16in wheels rather the optional 17s fitted to our car would cure that issue.
Given that the price gap between the Arona and Ateca is a mere £2000, however, expect the new SUV to have a starting price of around £21,000. That would make the car even cheaper than the Kodiaq, which has a price tag of £22,190.
I would be getting a Thor Vegas, technically a Class A but with “many of the advantages of the smaller Class C.” It's shaped like an A on the outside but rides on a Ford E450 van chassis with a 6.8-liter Ford Triton V10 making 305 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque. It's 26 feet, 6 inches long, 11 feet, 3 inches high (not counting the air conditioner and TV antenna) and 7 feet, 10 inches wide, not counting the mirrors.
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.
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.
Location: Kingston, Surrey
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