Then and Now – The UK’s most popular cars

The endless changes don’t just finish at how they look on the outside, most of their updates are spawned from the manufacturer keeping up with changes in technology, production and what’s under the bonnet to stay competitive and relevant in the car industry – which is all good news for car buyers!

So we’ve taken a look at some of the UK’s, and our, most popular models and how they have changed since they were first created.

Ford Focus

Ford Focus 2001 model

Succeeding the just as popular Ford Escort, the Focus was first introduced back in 1998 and has became a staple family car ever since. It came in various sizes from a 3-door hatchback to 5-door saloon. Features included CD/Radio, heated front windscreen and air conditioning.

Ford Focus 2018 model

In 2018, the fourth generation Focus was revealed to mark the brand’s 20th anniversary. The overall design these days has a much sportier feel. The latest model is packed with technology such as the FordPass connect, which enhances the Sat Nav system with real-time traffic updates, in-car Wi-Fi hotspot and additional remote features like starting your engine from the comfort of your own home.

BMW 3 Series

BMW 3 series 1989 model

Released as a compact executive car back in 1975, the BMW 3 Series was the successor to the 2 series and has seen 6 different generations. Available originally as a 2-door sedan, the range has expanded throughout the years to include a 2-door convertible, 4-door sedan and 5-door hatchback amongst others. In addition to winning several awards over the years, it is BMW’s bestselling model.

BMW 3 series 2018 model

In its most recent incarnation, the coupe and convertible models have been split from the range and sold as the BMW 4 Series. If you’re looking for something a bit special, the M3 is the most powerful of the 3 series, developed by the brand’s in-house motorsport division. The 2018 Saloon model comes with a £27,800 OTR price and top speed of 130mph.

Volkswagen Golf

Volkswagen Golf 1982 model

One of only three cars that has ever been voted European Car of the Year twice, the Volkswagen Golf is the brand’s bestselling model. A compact car produced since 1974, the first generation was designed as a replacement for the Beetle, coming away from the rounder style to a more boxy shape. They later introduced the GTI variation in 1976 aimed at those who craved extra performance. The Golf was so popular for the brand that by 1988 VW had sold 10 million of the model worldwide.

Volkswagen Golf 2018 model

Now on its 7th generation, it’s had a few facelifts as well as an electric model, the e-Golf, and a plug-in hybrid with the Golf GTE. The Golf has become popular within motorsports and particularly with younger customers looking for something sporty and high quality. Still a very popular car within the UK and around Europe, despite the emissions scandal Volkswagen faced in 2015. Can anything stop the success of the Golf?

Fiat 500

Fiat 500 1959 model

It’s hard to believe that this popular car has such a long history, back to 1957 when it was first born. It was originally known as the ‘Cinquecento’ and was created as a cheap, functional town car for the people of Italy. Designed as a two-seater and only 9 feet long, it wasn’t until 1958 that the car became hugely popular due to improvements such as an opening sunroof. The 500 has had several versions over the years including the Fiat L, or Lusso, but sadly production ended in 1975 after the launch of its replacement, the Fiat 126.

Fiat 500 Mirror 2018 edition

More than 30 years after production had ceased, Fiat decided to bring back the classic little car. Staying true to its retro styling, the new 500 was a modern interpretation with many noticeable changes such as moving the rear mounted engine to the front. One of the 500’s most appealing traits, especially with the younger market, is its different colours options and quirky interior. It’s also been updated with USB connectivity, Bluetooth, DAB and Sat Nav options. It’s easy to see why it has become one of the UK’s most loved small cars.

Luckily for you, whether you prefer the original, the latest model or something in between, you’ll find a huge range of cars at Exchange and Mart/s1cars.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *