Cold and damp weather can put a strain on your car's 12-volt battery. Cold weather makes it harder for an engine to turn over, but unfortunately, as an EV driver will tell you, cold weather also has a negative impact on the power a battery can deliver. If you haven't changed your car battery recently, then it could be tired, and the cold weather means it might not play ball. Add in the additional power drain of heaters and other electrical devices, and it can become a critical component. If the battery struggles to provide enough power to start your car, the chances are it's on its way out.
The SUV's engines will be borrowed from elsewhere within the Volkswagen Group, and while no official details have been released, we're expecting to see a 148bhp 1.4-litre petrol, a 2.0-litre petrol in two different power outputs and a 2.0-litre diesel with around 178bhp for drivers who cover higher mileages. In the Kodiaq, it's the 2.0-litre diesel engine that we recommend.
What you’re looking at is the rumored baby NSX that has been talked about among Honda fanatics for quite some time. We have bad news and good news about it: It’s not a real car, but you can drive it—at least virtually. The Honda Sports Vision Gran Turismo is a digitally rendered concept car made specifically for the latest edition of the Gran Turismo game for Playstation 4, called Gran Turismo Sport. It has us salivating over the possibility of a real-life Honda sports car in this same vein. A mid-engined two-door coupe with futuristic but not outlandish styling cues, the Sports Vision certainly shares some visual DNA with the current Acura NSX. Its low, angular front end is similar, as are the large air intakes aft of the doors. Although it doesn’t actually exist, Honda says that the Sports Vision Gran Turismo only weighs 1982 pounds thanks to several carbon-fiber bits. That featherweight construction makes the car’s hypothetical powertrain—a 404-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with VTEC mated to an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission—particularly enticing, as it would give the car an highly impressive power-to-weight ratio. A tight two-seat cabin features an unconventionally shaped spaceship-like steering wheel and a minimalist dashboard with two climate-control knobs, a few toggle switches, a push-button shifter, and not much else.
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.
“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.
With it time to bid our long-term Nissan Micra a fond farewell, let's conclude whether this fifth generation car is more than just style over substance.
Braking performance was good, with the firm pedal offering plenty of feel and easy modulation. It’s well placed for heel-and-toe rev-matched shifting, too. The manual gearshift of the six-speed transmission has a nice weight and precise action.
With plenty of low-down grunt, it’s all too easy to overwhelm the rear wheels, especially if you have the traction control switched off. At first, this can feel a little disconcerting, but with time you learn to trust the big Jag – its long wheelbase ensuring that slides happen slowly and controllably. Before you know it, you’ll be playing with the throttle through long corners, the rear happily carving an angle wider than the front. It’s addictive, childish, raw fun.
“Oh, she’s electric,” remarked a young man on the pavement as I stepped out of our Outlander. I should explain, in case you think I’d encountered someone who spends his days standing on street corners quoting Oasis songs at people, that this budding car enthusiast had merely spotted the large 'PHEV' badge on the flanks of the car.
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.