They started out with such high hopes. Launched into the world with fanfare and excitement, and quietly dropped shortly afterwards, here are 10 cars you’re highly unlikely to find in any car rental depot…
It’s easy to imagine that every car is a hit. Rental companies like ours buy up your typical Astra, Up!, Focus, Passat and Avensis by the lorry load. But for those cars not championed by rental companies (or anyone else), poor sales can lead to a swift axing, leaving just a handful on British roads. Catch a glimpse of these rarities, and chances are you’ll be getting your last look before extinction beckons…
Appearing in 2011 and removed from sale four years later, the Veloster was a weird, if actually rather good, vehicle that was a hit with Hyundai obsessives and virtually no one else. Sold fewer than 2,600 by the time it was axed.
Like a molar on wheels, the Nissan Cube was the sort of compact, er, cube that fills the streets of Tokyo every day but which has decidedly niche appeal in the UK. Having said that, early import models of this people carrier were relatively popular, but exchange rates did for the introduction of the UK model, which stopped production after just 1000 had arrived in the UK.
Aston Martin Cygnet
There is a rumour that Aston Martin only developed the Cygnet so it would reduce the overall CO2 emissions across the range. What definitely isn’t a rumour is that this city car sold for around £30,000 and was initially offered only to existing Aston Martin owners. According to AutoCar, there were just 143 Cygnets on the road in 2013. By now, there’s a reasonable chance that figure will have halved. Yet values have held because the Cygnet has become a real collectors’ item.
On sale for just one year (2008-9) the Epica was hampered by a name that promised greatness and delivered staggering amounts of ho-hum. Probably forgotten even by the few hundred people who owned one.
On sale for, appropriately enough, six years, this Citroen was ludicrously priced – £6,000 more than an Audi A6? – which accounts for sales that could only charitably be described as lacklustre. Petrol versions, which account for only a tenth of those sold, are now rarer than unicorns.
Taking auto-anonymity to new heights, Fiat manufactured the Idea between 2004 and 2007. Virtually no-one noticed.
Described by Autocar as the most “magnificent automotive folly so far this century” the Avantime was a sort of coupe/MPV mash-up that managed to get so much wrong it sold fewer than 400 in the UK.
Kudos to Renault for creating an affordable electric saloon in 2012. Slightly less kudos for selling just 79 of them.
You don’t remember the Honda Logo do you? That’s because, despite some success in Japan, it arrived on UK shores at the end of its lifespan, which explains why it lasted just 18 months here. Replaced by the Honda Fit. Bet you don’t remember that either.
Forged among political upheaval between Talbot, French co-manufacturers SIMCA and owners Chrysler, the Tagora was designed as a challenger to the Ford Granada, yet whilst it was competent, it lacked the charisma to become anything more than a motoring footnote.
Happily, you’ll be in far more familiar surroundings when you choose one of our hire cars or rental vans. To rent the right vehicle for you, talk to TJS now.
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