The Most Infamously Short-Lived Car Models In The UK

Most car model families last an exceptionally long time.

This can be because the cars were well designed and popular enough that very little other than an occasional engine rebuild to meet new standards was required in an update. This was infamously true of long runners such as the Mini Cooper and Range Rover Classic.

In other cases, a car model family lasts a long time because it constantly evolves and develops with new models, as has been seen with BMW’s 5 Series, the Mercedes S Class and until recently the Ford Fiesta.

Short-lived models, on the other hand, are far rarer, as they almost always are the result of either a limited edition production run or spectacular failure. Here are some of the most infamous examples.


Peugeot 1007

Built on the same platform as the far more successful Peugeot 206, the 1007 was designed around the rather interesting premise of having sliding doors on a small car, which would make parking in tight spaces a breeze.

The problem was pretty much everything else. Its design confused nearly every possible car category, it was very expensive for its size, it took 18 seconds to reach 60mph, automatic and semi-automatic gearboxes were found wanting and it was alarmingly cramped.

It sold so badly that once the model was discontinued after just three years, Peugeot admitted that they had lost more per vehicle than its initial sticker price.


Suzuki X-90

Perhaps the ultimate example of a car having no clue what it wants to be, the X-90 was a crossover before the Toyota RAV4 had taken off, designed far more for style than for rugged offroading, or speed, or handling, or quality of any kind.

It was quite infamous for its poor reception, and Suzuki pulled the plug in 1997, just two years after launch.


Renault Avantime

There’s a striking number of similarities between the failure of the 1007 and the infamous catastrophe of the Renault Avantime, a coupe built on the platform of the gigantic Renault Espace people carrier.

Featuring unique doors, a gigantic window and a panoramic sunroof, as well as a range of innovative designs, it is a car that lasted but a single year on the UK market before annihilating production house Matra.



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