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Austin Reviews

Austin was Founded by Herbert Austin in Longbridge in 1905. The company grew to become one of Britain’s industrial powerhouses very quickly. Its future was assured after some early growing pains when the hugely-popular Austin Seven of 1922, arguably the UK’s first people’s car, was launched.

In 1952, Austin became the dominant partner in BMC, and the successful and forward-thinking models continued; not least the best-selling Mini. Economic conditions saw BMC becoming part of British Leyland in 1968 and led to troubled times throughout the 1970s. Its once-dominant market position was eroded during this era, not helped by the relatively unsuccessful Allegro and Maxi. The 1980 Metro was a much-needed sales triumph, but the Austin name was dropped in 1987 by the then Rover Group.

Good: Wonderful art-deco styling, a real head-turner
Bad: A bit to American in the way it drives
Good: Light and stylish, aluminium bodywork
Bad: Lacking in performance for a car called 'Sports'
Good: Great roadholding, and excellent A-Series tuning potential. Cute looks will be a constant conversations starter.
Bad: Brakes and tyres need uprating if you have any intention of using it in modern traffic.
Good: Characterful and easy to maintain
Bad: Ponderous to drive, slower than it need be
Good: Simple and stylish
Bad: Stolid to drive, and slow.
Good: Capable off-road, and an interesting curio
Bad: Outclassed by the Land Rover, mainly military-trim cars
Good: A popular classic with thriving club support and parts supply
Bad: Despite new 'chassisless' design, cumbersome and slow to drive - in standard form
Good: Smooth six-cylinder C-Series power
Bad: Sloppy road manners in standard form
Good: Charismatic and fun
Bad: Handles like a yacht in a storm
Good: Stylish, practical, good fun, a great entry-level classic
Bad: Rust, vague steering and woolly brakes
Good: Stylish Italianate styling, roomy and smooth engines
Bad: Indirect steering, wallowy handling
Good: Cheap to run, a good solid starter classic with great parts availability
Bad: Stodgy to drive, but rust is a major issue
Good: Great steering and handling, neat styling, and a near-modern driving experience
Bad: Not the nicest car to work on, and it does suffer from rust in a big way
Good: Fun handling and nice steering, exceptionally roomy and easy to see out of
Bad: Awful gearchange, questionable switchgear, low values make restoration a matter of the heart
Good: Wonderful ride quality, large interior, easily tuned C-Series engine is nice and smooth
Bad: Its styling is challenging, and even driven gently it uses a vast amount of fuel
Good: Loads of room, hatchback versatility, five-speed cruising
Bad: Heavy steering, obstructive gearchange, lack of refinement from the engine
Good: Comfortable ride, many different options available, cool looking estate, Equipe special edition looks great, a great first-time classic car
Bad: Apathy, sluggish A-Series cars, you'll be forever justifying it to non-believers
Good: Roomy, great ride, cool styling
Bad: Nasty gearchange, unsteerable without power assistance
Good: Cheap and fun, familiar mechanical package
Bad: Rust, weird driving position
Good: Roomy, comfortable, relaxed, and a huge boot
Bad: Lacking in the charisma of its predecessor
Good: Spacious and economical
Bad: Rusty and generally undesirable, only the tidiest examples are worth having
Good: Roomy, comfortable and swift in both 1.6- and 2.0-litre form
Bad: Zero image, and loved by a handful of enthusiasts