the UK's motoring misfits

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When did you final see a Renault Vel Satis?
Automobile makers anticipate every mannequin to fill a gap in a market, however they don’t all the time get it proper. We sift via the glowing embers of current low-sellers

We’re not even twenty years in and already there are some 21st-century vehicles which might be heading in the direction of extinction. Some have offered so slowly that they’re even now at risk of disappearing. Others offered higher, however are forgettable sufficient that they’re on the best way in the direction of the crusher’s oblivion. 

When did you final see a Renault Vel Satis, a Suzuki Kizashi or an MG Rover CityRover? Though on this final case, maybe you averted your gaze. Some, like this trio, are already lifeless; some we characteristic as a result of though they’re nonetheless on sale, they promote at a fee to make sure they may all the time be uncommon. The Peugeot iOn, as an illustration: gross sales of this rebadged Mitsubishi i-MiEV have crawled to 431 over nearly 9 years. 

Others are the product of repeatedly failing ambitions. Cadillac will need to have tried three relaunches of its vary in Europe, even troubling to develop righthand-drive variations of some fashions. However they made as a lot affect as a snowflake in a snowstorm. You nearly must really feel sorry for Infiniti: its dogged dedication to supply a success has seen an entire sequence of SUVs and saloons launched right here, to the enjoyment of just about no person. 

So right here, then, are the determined final rolls of the cube, half-baked segment-busters hoping to snare indulgent middle-class whims, tentative ventures into different propulsion programs, bastard youngsters of alliances and plain outdated turkeys – all populate our gallery of 21st-century misfits.

Aston Martin Cygnet

Launched: 2011 Complete gross sales: 154 Numbers left: Taxed 143/SORN 13

This oddball, a super-luxury metropolis automobile apparently sired from a dialog between Dr Ulrich Bez and Akio Toyoda, is without doubt one of the rarer Aston Martins, although not of the acquainted kind. Amazingly, Cygnets at the moment are price greater than the earliest examples of the V8 Vantage

Cadillac BLS

Launched: 2006 Complete gross sales: 597 Numbers left: 360/59

Considered one of Cadillac’s bolder makes an attempt to crack Europe, the BLS was a freshly iced slice of Saab 9-Three cake. There was even an property. Nerdy factoid – this was the one Cadillac not offered within the US, the one one made in Europe and the one one with an Italian diesel engine. 

Cadillac CTS

Launched: 2005 Complete gross sales: 299 Numbers left: 161/43

A small saloon by American requirements, of very small gross sales.

Cadillac SRX

Launched: 2006 Complete gross sales: 55 Numbers left: 40/5 

A big luxurious American SUV, of even smaller gross sales.

Cadillac STS

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Launched: 2008 Complete gross sales: 31 Numbers left: 24/2 

A barely bigger American saloon than the CTS, however of even smaller gross sales.

Cadillac XLR

Launched: 2007 Complete gross sales: Three Numbers left: Three 

An American convertible with gross sales that may solely be described as tiny

Chevrolet Volt

Launched: 2012 Complete gross sales: 130 Numbers left: 118 

This automobile was meant to set off a low-emission revolution. A revolution following the well-worn wheel-tracks of the Toyota Prius, it’s true, however the plug-in Volt introduced extra. However to not Britain. And its Vauxhall Ampera brother scored solely 1288 gross sales, each fashions strangled by costs thought of too excessive.

Chrysler Delta

Launched: 2011 Complete gross sales: 892 Numbers left: 846/11 

A crass, UK-market rebadging of yet one more off-target Lancia.

Citroën C6

Launched: 2005 Complete gross sales: 781 Numbers left: 566/110 

A extra spectacular automobile than its XM predecessor, the C6 offered much more slowly, the marketplace for huge saloons from mass-makers nearly lifeless. The C6 attrition fee is way decrease than for the XM – it’s vastly extra dependable, and already nearly collectable.

Citroen C-Zero

Launched: 2011 Complete gross sales: 237 Numbers left: 229/5 

Model’s temporary flicker of EV life. Has two dim Peugeot and Mitsubishi cousins.

Dodge Avenger

Launched: 2009 Complete gross sales: 1085 Numbers left: 739/11 

This depressing US rent-a-car machine got here with a raucous Volkswagen diesel to take your thoughts off Detroit’s ‘most interesting’ plastics. An arrival triggered by DaimlerChrysler’s madcap scheme to relaunch Dodge within the UK, a stunning variety of Avengers survive.

Fiat Croma

Launched: 2005 Complete gross sales: 1020 (est) Numbers left: 609/167* 

*Incorporates a handful of first-generation Cromas: uninteresting, even much less profitable.

Hyundai Grandeur

Launched: 2005 Complete gross sales: 39 Numbers left: 31/1 

Grandeur is often a uncommon commodity, and so it proves right here…

Hyundai XG

Launched: 2000 Complete gross sales: 698 Numbers left: 80/52 

A mid-size Korean businessman’s saloon – greatest deployed in Seoul.

Infiniti EX30/37

Launched: 2009 Complete gross sales: 174 Numbers left: 164/Three

It’s arduous to know which Infiniti is which, so bland is its naming system. This one is a not unattractive SUV, and it was even out there with a diesel. However that wasn’t sufficient, its risible gross sales an unlucky portent for the model.

Infiniti FX

Launched: 2010 Complete gross sales: 797 Numbers left: 713/23 

Larger than EX30/37 and nonetheless extra placing SUV, however clearly not placing sufficient.

Infiniti G37

Launched: 2009 Complete gross sales: 207 Numbers left: 195 

A Three Collection-scale coupé and cabriolet, extra fascinating used than new.

Infiniti M30D/35H

Launched: 2010; 2011 Complete gross sales: 74; 240 Numbers left: 70/1; 225/6 

Infiniti’s slow-selling diesel and hybrid M vehicles

Infiniti M37

Launched: 2010 Complete gross sales: 13 Numbers left: 12/1 

Petrol-powered M37 represents Infiniti’s lowest vendor of the lot.

Infinti Q60

Launched: 2014 Complete gross sales: 170 Numbers left: 158/12 

One other try on the Three Collection, this time even rarer. And lifeless already.

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Infiniti Q70

Launched: 2013 Complete gross sales: 382 Numbers left: 378/four 

A big and comely mannequin carrying a lot package. To restricted avail.

Lexus IS-F

Launched: 2008 Complete gross sales: 232 Numbers left: 206/10 

An thrilling Japanese tackle the BMW M3, however just for 232 people.

Lotus Evora

Launched: 2009 Complete gross sales: 792 Numbers left: 708/84 

It’s taken 10 years to make nearly 800 gross sales, regardless of its many deserves. Its huge downside is Porsche, and a value that has risen, in actual phrases, through the years.

Maybach 57/62

Launched: 2003 Complete gross sales: 81 Numbers left: 64/22 

Daimler’s ill-judged try to counter BMW’s audacious acquisition of Rolls-Royce. Maybach was an nearly unknown model, however the principle downside was this limo’s forgettable styling – it seemed like a stretched Rover 75, however with out the magnificence. A number of stretched egos purchased them, although.

MG 6

Launched: 2012 Complete gross sales: 1254 Numbers left: 1213/14 

The primary all-new product of the now Chinese language-owned MG, the modestly fashionable 6 was undermined by creaky cabin development, a bizarre ignition key and sub-standard engines. Plus the truth that few realised MG was nonetheless alive, or might discover a seller.

MG Energy SV8

Launched: 2004 Complete gross sales: 36 Numbers left: 23/18 

MG Rover’s most ill-advised journey (and there have been many), the De Tomaso-based SV8 was ugly, unfinished and just about unsaleable. It was fast, although, and its carbonfibre panels had been of remarkable high quality, in contrast to the inside.

Mia Electrical

Launched: 2013 Complete gross sales: 18 Numbers left: 13/2 

This bizarre French cross between child automobile, bus and van had a central driving place, sliding doorways, electrical drive and a spread that kind of coincided with the second if you’d had sufficient. It dealt with, although.

Mitsubishi i-MiEV

Launched: 2009 Complete gross sales: 277 Numbers left: 244/9 

From this imaginative machine had been spawned two French-flavoured variations within the Citroën C-Zero (a reputation to tempt destiny) and the Peugeot iOn. Not one of the trio has offered properly, though the EV market was tiny 10 years in the past.

Mini Minivan

Launched: 2012 Complete gross sales: 1020 Numbers left: 957/28 

A cute throwback to the Minivans of the 1960s, and equally ineffective as a significant load provider. A positive instance of a automobile that sits in a distinct segment inside a distinct segment, that is the BMW Group’s one and solely car-derived van. And it’s uncommon.

Peugeot iON

Launched: 2011 Complete gross sales: 431 Numbers left: 428/Three 

The least unsuccessful of the Mitsubishi-based EV trio, and it’s nonetheless on sale.

Proton Impian

Launched: 2001 Complete gross sales: 2324 Numbers left: 508/148 

Impian: it means ‘goals come true’ in Malaysian, however not on this case. However it was Proton’s first in-house automobile with Mitsubishi engines, and Lotus sprinkled some chassis stardust to sweeten the deal.

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Renault Avantime

Launched: 2002 Complete gross sales: 393 Numbers left: 196/122 

A luxurious MPV coupé is about as helpful as a backyard shed with a bidet. However the Avantime has followers, who’ve a membership. Partly conceived to occupy the Matra manufacturing facility beforehand constructing the Espace, it achieved neither that nor the institution of a brand new phase.

Renault Fluence

Launched: 2012 Complete gross sales: 79 Numbers left: 57/6 

An electrical Mégane saloon, the Zoe’s greater brother had memorably ferocious low-speed acceleration, and an equally ferocious urge for food for amps. A excessive value and the desirability of an extension lead quickly killed it. The current EV increase has lifted costs, although.

Renault Vel Satis

Launched: 2001 Complete gross sales: 1284 Numbers left: 237/197 

Renault’s final formidable, costly and spectacularly ineffectual try to beat the premium gamers. The Vel Satis was undeniably completely different and unexpectedly well-made, however immediately joined the sizeable automobile park of French cars which might be too unusual to promote.

Rover CityRover

Launched: 2003 Complete gross sales: 8666 Numbers left: 943/586 

An more and more determined MG Rover struck a eager deal to purchase the Tata Indica, a rudimentary however serviceable hatchback, which it then (flippantly) tarted up and tried to promote for an excessive amount of cash. Extra fascinating as a paragraph of historical past than a historic artefact.

Sensible Crossblade

Launched: 2003 Complete gross sales: 27 Numbers left: 19/16 

Foolish roofless, windscreen-free metropolis automobile for sun-seeking, draught-loving, parking-constrained urbanites of limitless money assets. Of whom there are surprisingly few, these numbers counsel. Additional deterrents to a sale included left-hand drive solely, a excessive value and the necessity to home it undercover.

Ssangyong Kyron

Launched: 2006 Complete gross sales: 1102 Numbers left: 672/171 

A largish SUV of curiously fascinating type.

Subaru B9 Tribeca

Launched: 2006 Complete gross sales: 685 Numbers left: 445/53 

Tribeca is an unique suburb of New York. The B9 Tribeca is extra unique than Subaru deliberate

Suzuki Kiashi

Launched: 2013 Complete gross sales: 340 Numbers left: 325/5 

A compact, sporty saloon for the US, the big-engined, sharp-of-chassis Kizashi momentarily appeared a good suggestion for the UK. However solely momentarily.

Vauxhall VX220

Launched: 2002 Complete gross sales: 1892 Numbers left: 958/527 

Additionally out there from different manufacturers, the aluminium-chassis, composite physique, mid-mounted engine and terrific styling made a modest hit of the VX220. The chance to purchase the true factor from Lotus inevitably restricted its affect, regardless of it trying higher than the Elise.

Vauxhall VXR8 

Launched: 2007 Complete gross sales: 561 Numbers left: 517/53 

The intention was by no means to promote many of those muscular rebadged Holdens, and so it transpired. Immediately collectable, because the survival figures point out.

Learn extra

Autocar’s information to reasonably priced future classics​

Unicorns: the rarest vehicles you should purchase​

The slowest-selling UK vehicles of 2018​


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