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Top 10: Classic superminis

The creation of the supermini was perhaps inevitable. By the start of the 1970s, British Leyland’s evergreen Mini was already more than a decade old, and the gap between it and the family cars of the time was growing ever larger. Car manufacturers began to realise there was room in the market for machines that were bigger and more refined than the Mini but smaller than a typical family saloon.

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Peugeot 205

The 205 wasn’t Peugeot’s first supermini (that accolade went to the 104 of the ’70s) but it was by far the best, going on sale in 1983 and giving the entire sector a thorough shake-up. Here was a car that was slightly larger than its rivals: it was spacious, was available with a good range of engines, had a choice of three or five doors, and was easily the most entertaining-to-drive supermini.

The 205’s superb handling made it a natural for a hot hatch, with the 1984-on GTi models being seen as legends in their own lifetime.


Ngaire Wadman    on 16 February 2017

Why put the entry for the Renault Five in the past tense? Like thousands of other R5 lovers, I still own, drive, and thoroughly enjoy my Five. It's a great shame that they aren't produced still - the Clio has none of the personality of the Fabulous Five!

Edited by Ngaire Wadman on 16/02/2017 at 07:46

Andrew Hosking    on 2 May 2017

Agree - The Audi59/original VW Polo was a fine effort
127 Fiat would've been better with a hatch
Is this list too old to include Micra & Yaris?
205 & R5 were great - where is the UNO?
Corsa/Nova no thanks!!

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