Compare cars side by side to save time clicking backwards and forwards between them.
Maximum number of cars added to compare list.
We need your postcode in order to provide accurate search results.
The 1980s was an exciting era for the birth of some iconic cars, many of which will be recalled with fond memories. Perhaps it was your family car? The first car you ever owned? Or even the car your best friend’s dad drove, that you always wished was yours? Whatever the car and the reason, we’d like to celebrate cars of the 80s by looking at some of the very best-sellers.
Trusted Dealers has got hold of the sales data for cars of the 1980s to find out the top five bestsellers from 1980-1989 inclusive – they may not be as exciting as the music and clothes, but definitely worth taking a look for a trip down memory lane!
Ford Escort (1,607,999 registered)
The Ford Escort was originally built in the 1960s and first made its debut in 1969, but it took a further decade before the model really took off. During the 80s, there were two generations of Ford Escort manufactured which took the number one sales sport – the front-wheel drive Mk3 in 1980 and its facelifted replacement the Mk4 in 1986. Many of the lesser models have been neglected over the years, but those who are keen to own a 1980s Ford Escort will find plenty of the more exotic XR and RS models in better nick, but with a hefty price tag attached.
Ford Fiesta (1,273,689 registered)
Still flying the flag for the most popular car in the UK is the Ford Fiesta. Since its introduction back in 1976, the British public took to the Fiesta immediately and it remained within the top ten sales charts throughout the 80s as well as ranking as the best-selling car of the 1990s and 2000s. What makes this supermini so popular is it’s fun to drive and offers space for a small family but without the running costs of larger cars. Similarly to the Escort, the Fiesta’s popularity in the 80s came from sportier models such as the XR2 and most surviving cars are similar variants.
Vauxhall and Ford have always been longstanding rivals and have remained at the top of the sales charts for as long as people can remember, but it was in the 1980s when their rivalry really took off. The most popular model Vauxhall produced in the 80s was the Vauxhall Cavalier which first hit the market in 1981 as a front wheel drive verson of the German Opel Ascona. Again, the Cavalier range featured some highly desirable models such as the SR1 130 in order to remain third place in the popularity tables.
Ford Sierra (979,379 registered)
The Ford Sierra was built to replace the popular Ford Cortina in 1982, and at first its radical styling failed to capture the interest of buyers initially, but despite selling less cars than the Cortina, it still remained in the top four best-selling cars of the 80s thanks to its production of legendary vehicles such as the RS Cosworth, a special design enabling Ford to compete in Group A racing. Produced between 1982 and 1993, the Ford Sierra was eventually replaced by the still-popular Ford Mondeo.
The Austin Metro was first released in October 1980 and was described as the ‘British car to beat the world’. It was a highly popular car immediately, but few models remain today, mainly due to the car’s suitability as an engine donor for Minis. Those Austin Metro cars that do remain are not worth much aside from the super-rare MG turbos and Vanden Plas 500 models so you can pick up a second-hand car for a decent price if you’re a fan.