My turn to share some impressions of my new car and - with the rain having stopped for a few hours - some pictures. Nearly three weeks and already 1200 miles with the car now, after a trip back to the UK and a weekend in Normandy. After fifteen years’ driving petrol-engined V8s it’s inevitably quite a change, but first impressions are very good: it does what it says on the tin and then some. The engine pulls very strongly in the gears and with lots of low-down torque the power characteristics aren’t really so different from a lazy petrol V8. The 6-speed gearchange is a delight and the chassis feels well-sorted. The ride is quite firm, especially in town, but the handling is good, with a nice crisp turn-in and no noticeable problems with torque-steer so far. Until now the best handling FWD car I have “owned” was a Mondeo V6 I ran as a company car in 1995-96, so it will be interesting to see how the Accord compares with more experience. Overall, it’s more enjoyable to drive than I expected. Inside, it looks much more modern than the MG ZT it replaced and feels very well put together: yes, it’s a notch down from the German brands like Audi, but a similarly specced A4 S-line here would cost another 10K. The ICE set-up is excellent, with particularly good iPod integration. I think the Type-S gets a different interior trim from the UK market: here in France we get a part leather (black)/part velour trim (black with red spots and red leather stitching): it's hard to photograph, but it does "lift" the interior a bit. Oh, and I left the fuel consumption to last. Actually, after brimming it on delivery I’ve only done one fill-up since! It’s still showing a range of nearly 150 miles on the second tankful. That works out to 44-45 MPG on the first tankful, which included some horrendous traffic getting out of Paris to come to the UK (the difference is between my calculation and the trip computer, which was slightly more optimistic), then an almost indecent 48.7 MPG so far on the second tankful, according to the trip computer. Not pushing too hard while running-in may have helped, but the engine is still tight and I’ve had the aircon on (to demist as much as cool!). With diesel more than 10% cheaper here than petrol, my fuel bill has been cut by 60% overnight. So what’s not to like? Well, there’s the inevitable diesel noise at start-up when cold, but I find it very quiet on the move, especially when cruising. If you can’t enjoy listening to a V8, you might as well have some good music! I’ve kept the revs down to 3,000 running it in, and although it’s very strong even then, I am sure I will miss letting the engine sing a bit more. Otherwise I have very few niggles: some reflections from the dash in the screen and a couple of small, mainly hidden things where costs have been cut (e.g. a miserly prop for the bonnet). So, so far so good. I won’t be putting on too many miles over the next month, but then in mid-August I’ll be off to Lake Geneva for a week’s holiday with a back roads route over the mountains to get there. It’s a drive I always enjoy and it should be a good test of the car’s chassis and overtaking performance Julian.