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Top 10: Cars that should’ve sold better

The launch of a new car usually brings high expectations and a sense of optimism. At least, that’s the theory. But many manufacturers have had their corporate fingers burnt over the years by lower-than-expected sales of various models.

Most famous of all was Ford’s disastrous Edsel episode of the 1950s, but the British market has also seen its fair share of failures over the years. We’re not necessarily talking complete flops here; simply those models that deserved to sell better than they did. Let’s take a look at our ten top choices.

By Paul Guinness, Contributor

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Austin Maxi

How can a car that enjoyed a twelve-year career and sales of around 450,000 units really be considered not popular enough? Well, in the case of the Maxi, it’s true. This was British Leyland’s first ever brand new model, launched in 1969 and featuring such innovation as front-wheel drive, a new OHC engine, five-speed transmission and a versatile five-door bodyshell. Leyland reckoned they’d be producing around 6000 Maxis a week, yet the average figure throughout its career was little more than one-tenth of that. It may have had its faults but the Maxi deserved better.

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Jim Holder    on 5 September 2016

"It may have had its faults..." May have? Original model had a cable driven gearbox. Changing gear was a lottery, it would (eventually) find one but not the one you thought you'd selected. Cables were replaced by levers. This was an improvement in that the surprise was muted by the fact that whilst going forward reverse was no longer selected. The only good thing about tis pile of stuff was that,with the front seats folded backward, one had a half decent double bed. Somewhere to sleep while you waited for the AA with a replacement part.

Edited by Jim Holder on 05/09/2016 at 14:42

Jim Holder    on 5 September 2016

Consul Capri. See those razor sharp edges? That;s where the rust first appeared.

modelman093    on 5 September 2016

"cable driven gearbox" Hmm , stick to the glossy stuff and leave the oily bits to others!

SLO76    on 6 September 2016

Had a few 605's through my hands during the 90's. The 2.1 diesel in particular was a nice combination but the build quality was nowhere compared to German execs and depreciation was horrendous which certainly made them excellent value used. Reliability wise I never had any bother with any 90's Pugs I've sold believe it or not, though the Mot was a little more accepting of the occasional dashboard warning light than it is today...

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