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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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Innocenti Mini

It’s a shame that the neat little Innocenti Mini was never sold in the UK, particularly as this Italian firm was owned by British Leyland at the time. By the early ’70s, Innocenti felt that the original version of the Mini was getting a bit long in the tooth and began development of its own replacement.

What arrived in 1974 was a chunky three-door hatchback based on the Mini platform but with all-new Bertone-styled bodywork. By 1976 though, British Leyland’s financial difficulties led to all but 5% of the company’s shares in Innocenti being sold to De Tomaso.


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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