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Owning a car is one of life’s little luxuries, and for many, seeking the right car that ticks all the right boxes is incredibly important. In fact, you don’t have to be a car fanatic to appreciate that some cars just have it, and some don’t.
This week Trusted Dealers takes a trip down memory lane to remember some of the most memorable cars to hit the UK’s roads in the past few decades.
If you were a child in the eighties, you’ll remember the Volvo Estate. Most dads owned one – they were the middle-class car to drive if you had a family, and they drove superbly well. Offering a huge boxy boot for your luggage and plenty of space and practicality inside, the Volvo 200 proved to be an excellent long distance workhorse. Since the very first Volvo Estate Duett was introduced in 1954, Volvo have sold more than six million estate cars worldwide and estate cars have accounted for approximately a third of the company’s overall sales.
A ground-breaking car that set the standard for hybrid cars across the world. The Toyota Prius was the first mass produced hybrid car. Built in 1997, it became a revolution and everybody wanted one – stars such as Leonardo DeCaprio and Cameron Diaz owned one, and many were drawn to the car’s green credentials and reduced fuel consumption. Since its launch almost twenty years ago, many more hybrid cars have appeared on the market which are more competitive in what they can offer, but the Prius still boasts one of the lowest drag coefficients among production cars at just 0.28.
Originally from Sweden, the Saab 9000 may not look like one of the world’s finest cars but its included in our list for simply being a very sound and highly versatile car. Since its introduction in 2002, the advanced engine management of the Saab 9000 has remained one of the most sophisticated of its time and is still considered of a high standard today. The Saab is a very safe car and technically so reliable that it can easily run 500,000 miles without much intervention – how many modern cars can achieve the same?
One of the most iconic cars from the twentieth century, the Citroen 2CV is also known as the Deux Chevaux, and looks a little like a cabriolet. A quirky feature of the typically mediterranean looking 2CV is that at temperatures below 23 degrees Fahrenheit, the engine was unable to heat the interior, leaving misty windows, not to mention freezing occupants! The reliable and efficient 2 cylinder engine provided the 2CV with plenty of pace, helped along by the car’s extraordinary light weight of just 1250lb, making its road-holding capabilities pretty dire!
The BMW 524 was iconic for its 6-cylinder, 115 hp turbo diesel engine. In 1984, BMW set a standard for diesel engines which would last for decades to come, and the company still dominates when it comes to its superbly run diesel and petrol engines. Producing a top speed of approximately 110mph, even by today’s standards, the car was fast and its pure driving performance would still give modern cars a run for their money, whilst the addition of rear-wheel drive provided the car with exceptional grip.
Described as “the last of the golden-era Mercedes”, the Mercedes-Benz SL R129 was built at a time when quality, comfort and refinement were everything, and this car ticket all the boxes and more. Renowned for its reliability, the R129 came in a soft-top and a hard-top, making it a fantastic all-year round car.
Often regarded as the world’s most popular car, the Volkswagen Beetle, or the ‘Volkswagen Bug’, first went on sale in 1938. It was originally built as an economy car under the instruction of Adolf Hitler who was looking for a cheap, simple car that could be mass produced for the road network in Germany. The Beetle is one of the first rear-engined cars with over 21 million manufactured worldwide. In 2003, production finally ceased and the world bid farewell to this iconic, quirky much-loved car.