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Top 10: Nineties hatchbacks for less than a grand

Classic cars from the Nineties have been on the up for a while, but there are still some accessible bargains around, especially if you go for run-of-the mill family hatch, which, let’s face it, is where the nostalgia lies...  We pick out our top 10 on-the-cusp classics – buy them now, while they’re still available for beer money.

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Renault 19

In many ways, the Renault 19 was an unfortunate beast. Launched in 1988, for a short while it was France’s best mid-size hatchback, but that was up against the awkward-looking Peugeot 309 and unnecessarily complicated Citroen BX. It was smart, modern and had a good looking, well-appointed cabin.

But under the bonnet, the 19 used the same aged mechanical components as the 9 and 11 models that preceded it. Engines that could trace their roots back to the mid-1970s, and couldn’t keep pace with their contemporaries. When the plush and agile Citroen ZX arrived, closely followed by the driver’s delight that was the Peugeot 306, the R19 became France’s bronze medallist. Yet in many ways, it’s an admirable and well-packaged car. 

Read our Renault 19 review

Comments

darthmaud    on 28 November 2016

There's some truly shocking examples of automotive engineering in this list.

cfc2000    on 29 November 2016

The ZX was decent to drive, but front shafts were fragile and the fuel lift pumps only lasted about 50,000 miles. Better than that Golf though, which then as now was hugely over-rated and over-priced. None of those cars is dstinctive enough to make it collectible. Soemthing like a Saab would make much more sense, cost less than £500, and be a bit different (even if it is a Vauxhall in disguise).

Chris C    on 9 February 2017

Agree with the R8's but it's a shame that early ones often have badly faded grey bumper plastics. Don't forget the Honda equivalents which are often in excellent carefully kept condition, no K series engine problems and relatively much rarer.

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