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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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Austin Metro

It wasn’t the most technically advanced supermini when it went on sale in 1980, thanks to its ex-Mini A-series engine and four-speed transmission, yet the Metro was one of the most important cars of the new decade. This was the machine effectively tasked with saving what remained of British Leyland.

Many changes occurred before the Rover Metro (complete with modern engine and five-speed ’box) arrived in 1990, those first ten years seeing the arrival of the five-door, the MG and a smart facelift. Needless to say, the Metro was a huge hit and helped to ease BL towards privatisation.


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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