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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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Fiat Panda

If the 127 was one of the best-selling superminis of the 1970s, the new Panda was one of the following decade’s most innovative. Think of the Panda as an ’80s equivalent of the Citroen 2CV and you wouldn’t be far wrong, thanks to its functional styling, flat glass, hammock-style seating and ultra-basic specification.

Remarkably, the Panda remained in production from 1980 through to 2003 (though UK imports ceased in ’95), and during that time it was ‘poshed up’ via extra equipment, more trim and new engines. For us though, the original was proof that less really can be more.


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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