It’s a fact of life that every car model has a shelf life. Whether that may have been competitive and relevant some years ago is likely to have shed some of its edge down the years. That is usually down to new technology, ever-competitive running costs, or the unstoppable evolution of how motorists like to use their car and how they like their car to look.
But there are some cars that just don’t seem to want to move on and for some reason or another, haven’t been dropped by car manufacturers. Here, we’ve shone the spotlight on five cars whose days are surely numbered.
Critics weren’t kind to the pint-sized city car when it replaced the Colt in 2012 with Top Gear magazine slamming it as “truly, profoundly terrible”, while The Guardian likened the handling to that of “a bloody jellyfish”.
We’re with them – it was the first car we thought of when compiling this list and whenever the ‘worst car you’ve ever driven’ topic arises, ‘Mitsubishi Mirage’ are always the first words out of our mouths.
The Volkswagen Up and Toyota Aygo prove that city cars can be great fun when done properly, but with lifeless driving dynamics, a cheap and drab interior, noisy and harsh ride, and a starting price in excess of £11,000, we wish the Mirage lived up to its name.
With the phenomenally popular Outlander PHEV and L200 pick-up pushing Mitsubishi’s sales to an all-time high, it’s possible that the Japanese brand sees straight through the primitive and joyless Mirage. For us though, its downright rubbishness makes it genuinely unforgettable.
Smart Fortwo Cabrio
Going on sale early 2016, this is the newest car on our list. Considering it was officially one of the worst selling cars in the UK first time round, we were kinda surprised when Smart announced that it would once again lower the lid on the dinky Fortwo.
We’re not denying that the Fortwo Cabrio isn’t a lot of fun and it is the perfect car if you ever need to park in a postbox.
However, it is expensive and hopeless in the majority of situations so that’s why we don’t expect to see the soft-top Fortwo to be around for too long.
This is a car so rarely spotted on UK roads that we had to double-check that it was still on sale. With the Mokka doing so well, it can’t be long before Vauxhall does something about the Antara’s needlessly prolonged existence.
Being spacious and boasting a surprising amount of safety features still can’t save the Antara from the fact that it has proved annoyingly unreliable with a hideous ride, vague steering, and a cheap, noisy interior.
What Car? couldn’t think of a single reason to choose the Antara ahead of its rivals, and neither can we.
There was a time – not too long ago – when Fiat’s supermini was a worthy rival to the mighty Ford Fiesta. Sadly, it’s fallen behind the competition big time and the funky 500 has had to step up to fill the role of Fiat’s top seller.
Think of the Punto as a fallen mid-90s pop star. At one time, they were everywhere, but now reside exclusively in the ‘where are they now?’ category.
We look forward to the day they pull off a Craig David-style comeback but with the success of the 500 and a fierce and congested supermini market, it’s more likely to simply disappear from the Fiat range altogether. Quite sad really.
Another car we don’t blame you for completely forgetting about is the SEAT Toledo, a virtually anonymous car that serves as the only blemish on SEAT’s otherwise splendid product range.
‘Uninspired’ is the most efficient way to sum up the Toledo. Its only saving grace is that it offers a cheap route to becoming a taxi driver, ticking all the boxes on what you’d expect from a private hire vehicle: five doors, five seats, five wheels (if you count the steering wheel) and enough boot space for a few suitcases.
Anyone driving a universally basic Toledo isn’t doing so by choice, it’s highly likely that they were saving up for a Skoda Octavia but couldn’t be bothered and bought this instead.
Speaking of Skoda, the Toledo is so closely related to the Czech brand’s Rapid that you could replace the words SEAT and Toledo with Skoda and Rapid and it’d still make perfect sense.
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