Gone, but not forgotten
Friday 28 December 2012
We saw some great new cars launched in 2012, but plenty of cars also went off sale in the same period. Here we pay tribute to just five of those cars, with the occasional tear along the way.
Mind you, just because these models are no longer on sale as new cars, don’t think you can’t buy them. On the contrary, there are plenty of used examples all over the country, so you can still enjoy them.
With the 9-5, we’re not just marking the end of production of one car, the end of 9-5 sales marked the end of Saab full-stop. The company’s death was a sad day for any motoring enthusiast, and although no one will pretend that the 9-5 was the best car the company had ever produced, it certainly wasn’t without its merits. First, the car has acres of space inside, and secondly, with an all-turbocharged engine range, every model performed strongly. It also rated highly for safety, came with plenty of equipment and made a decent motorway cruiser. If you’re looking for something a little different to the ‘usual suspects’ in the executive car class, this is worth a look.
Click here to search for a used Saab 9-5
Like Saab, Daihatsu is another brand that disappeared from new car showrooms in 2012. However, it was the strength of the Yen (making its cars too expensive) that forced the company’s demise in the UK – Daihatsu cars are still on sale in other parts of the world. They’re a sad loss, as the company sold lots of quirkily attractive little cars, and the Copen is a perfect example. A tiny two-seat convertible with an electronically operated roof, it had very decent performance and surprisingly good handling. Best of all, it was so cheap that it effectively had no rivals.
Click here to search for a used Daihatsu Copen
Of course, we won’t shed too much of a tear over the end of the Mk6 Volkswagen Golf, because we already know that the new version that replaces it is a fantastic piece of engineering. Nevertheless, the old model was a class-leading an award-winning car. It drove extremely well, had loads of space inside and was thoroughly practical; above all, it took levels of class and quality in the small hatchback class to new levels. In that respect at least, the only thing that could beat it was the arrival of a new Golf. If you can find a good used example, you’ll be on to an absolute bargain.
Click here to search for a used Volkswagen Golf
Like the Golf, the only reason we’re saying goodbye to the Clio Renaultsport is that a new model is on its way – and, needless to say, we’re very excited about that. Even so, we’ll admit we’re sad to see this hot Clio disappear from Renault showrooms. As keen drivers, we’re big fans of hot hatches, and they don’t come much better than this pocket rocket: as we said in our review at the time, the Clio Renaultsport “is one of the ultimate giant-killers – able to run rings around many cars of twice the price – and it’s ideally suited to British roads. The way the car behaves on a great road has more in common with exotic sports cars than its small price tag would ever suggest.”
Click here to search for a used Clio Renaultsport
Citroen’s history is littered with some wonderfully oddball machinery, and to say the C6 stands out from the crowd is like saying the Queen is quite well-off. A supremely comfortable and refined executive car, it’s almost as rare as hen’s teeth and combines retro and modern elements in its design to dazzling effect. Safety and equipment levels were also strong points, but its high prices as a new and – even more importantly – the savage depreciation it suffered meant it made no sense as a new-car buy, and led to Citroen taking it off sale. However, for the dedicated used-car buyer who’s prepared to hunt one down, it could make a fantastic bargain.
Click here to search for a used Citroen C6