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.
It’s stomping the major routes that our Vauxhall still shines. On a fast-moving motorway, the Cavalier is surprisingly subdued, with minimal wind or road noise, demonstrating that all those hours in the wind tunnel were fruitful. And this 2.5-litre V6 engine has even more grunt than the 2.0-litre in our test, delivering effortless roll-on performance, despite being paired to a rather sluggish four-speed automatic gearbox. It’s easy to see why 'the Cav' was the repmobile of choice.
Drivers will be able to tell when the ABS system on their car is activated because when they apply the brakes, brake pedal will pulse rapidly under their foot. Many modern cars have integrated safety systems that will also see the seatbelts tension and even the hazard warning lights activate when under extreme braking.
Thankfully, the rest of the interior is far more commendable. Soft-touch plastics cover the entirety of the dash and, despite the interior looking a tad bland in its monochrome colour scheme, this being a later top-of-the-range V6 CDX model, there's at least plenty of kit to keep you entertained: air conditioning, heated seats, an electric sunroof and a fancy Blaupunkt CD player.
Its genesis was in 1975 with the rear-wheel-drive Mk1, which headed into a cutthroat battle for fleet sales against the ubiquitous Ford Cortina. But by the time the Mk3 was thrust into action, the Cortina had bitten the dust, leaving its replacement, the Ford Sierra, to pick up the baton. And for years, it was these two titans alone vying for the top of the new-car sales charts, leaving realtive minnows, such as the Austin Montego and Nissan Bluebird, picking up the scraps.
You do get a lot of kit for that money, mind you, including a range of safety and convenience features such as adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and a collision-mitigation system. The exterior has plenty of colour-keyed elements to please the eye, including bumpers, mirrors and door handles, and the interior is swathed in nappa leather.
It's a given that you should keep your car maintained throughout the year, but it's doubly vital in the cold and inclement winter months. The reality is that winter checks really aren’t much different from normal car maintenance procedures, although a few items should be given some extra attention:
At its first race, Bob and his co-pilot managed 294 laps, securing 5th pace overall and 3rd in their class, which wasn’t bad considering it was the driver’s first outing at Circuit de la Sarthe ever. The car was retired from racing a little over a year and 17 races after Le Mans, before being sold on to the next lucky owner.
The special issue will include tests on the best 1,500cc cars on the market, the secret to upgrading your car for just £1,500 and the best used cars you can buy for £1,500. You’ll also find part one of our Christmas Gift Guide, not to mention all our usual news, tests and product reviews.
Even despite our gearbox woes, which saw the Micra refuse to select or release third gear. There is little to find fault with here either, with the action is both smooth and positive allowing you to change quickly and make the most of the narrow power band. And while most rivals offer more boot space and better legroom for rear passengers, we found the Micra ideal for carrying four adults over short distances.
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.
But it don’t come cheap. The window sticker on my ride was $110,250. Yikes! But you could easily pay five times that for a really big Class A home. I later attended the California RV Show -- celebrating its 65th year with thousands of RVs -- at the fabulous Fairplex in Pomona. There I saw a show special Thor Vegas for just 79 grand. So go to a show and get a deal. Or buy a 10-year-old rig for a fraction of the price. The industry is huge for new RVs but even huger for used. Shop around. But if you do decide to go new, you will not be disappointed with a Thor Vegas, baby.