In winter, ABS isn't quite as effective, and you may need to resort to the cadence braking method referred to above to make the most of any braking grip you may have.
Honda is doing its best to singlehandedly prop up the dreams of the enthusiast driver by offering a six-speed manual transmission with two of the Accord’s engines. We continue to genuinely enjoy working that manual, so we’d choose an Accord Sport, which is the only trim to offer the stick shift. We prefer the more powerful, Civic Type R–derived turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four, but if the $31,185 asking price of the Sport 2.0T is too rich for your blood, the 1.5-liter turbo four in the $26,655 Sport 1.5T model will still offer plenty in the way of driving enjoyment. An automatic transmission—a continuously variable automatic (CVT) on the 1.5T and a new 10-speed automatic on the 2.0T—is a no-cost option in both trims. Standard features on the Accord Sport 2.0T include:
While with its design the QX50 may stick to tried and tested brand methods, big changes should be coming under the bonnet. The QX50 Concept revealed at Detroit was used to preview the brand’s new variable-compression turbo petrol engine –a downsized petrol 2.0-litre power unit that will replace the ageing 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine currently used across the brand’s line-up.
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.
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.
• Coolers for the differential, engine oil, and transmission
So, “WRC 7” has all of the cars, all of the teams and ALL of the tracks from the current rally season. I started out with the big cars before quickly realizing that they had a little too much power for a rallying rookie; in-house rally driver Jimmy had a bit more luck early on. But with the hyperrealistic brand-spanking-new Thrustmaster Ts-Xw Racer Sparco P310 wheel controller setup -- thanks guys, we love it -- I could feel every errant rock at the edge of the road, every tree stump and every freewheeling jump the Ford Junior WRC car could throw at me. Front-wheel drive: It’s where the losers start.
Right there was the sort of chest-puffing bragging rights Mr Company Car Man loved. But his fleet manager was decidedly chuffed, too: its fuel economy of 51.4mpg at a constant 56mph was pretty parsimonious for the time.
The single teaser sketch issued alongside the announcement of the event lines up nicely with previous glimpses of the next car to come from Nissan’s premium sub-brand. Looking at the QX50 Concept revealed earlier this year at the Detroit Motor Show, similar lines – in particular the kink in the C-pillar – are hinted at in the drawing. A rakish rear end is also alluded to.