The original Mini has been given a new lease on life by David Brown Automotive, but what other car revivals wouldn't be so keenly received?
6 April 2017

David Brown Automotive's re-imagination of the Mini for the 21st Century got us wondering which other classic cars we’d like to see revived for the modern day

Now here’s a few that we aren't so keen to see again.

Perodua Kenari

Perodua has long lived in the shadow of Proton when it comes to Malaysian automotive bragging rights, and it really didn’t help itself with the Kenari.

Based on early generations of the Daihatsu Move, it was woefully unstylish, terrible to drive and garnered nothing but scorn from the automotive press until it was axed in 2009. It was at least cheap, but that’s no reason to bring it back.

Suzuki X90

An SUV with none of the practicality or performance of an SUV? That was the probable thinking behind the two-seater X90, a vehicle seemingly built by the marketing department. It wasn't pretty and it was slow, yet it had a spoiler on the back for no reason whatsoever.

Apparently, someone from Suzuki went through the bins, found a discarded list titled ‘Stupid Ideas’ and thought it was the blueprint for a new vehicle. It lasted for three years before it was mercifully taken off sale in 1997.

Chrysler PT Cruiser

The cartoonish, retro PT Cruiser has actually proved pretty popular among people who know absolutely nothing about cars. It’s essentially the automotive equivalent of a novelty tie or a sign above your desk that reads 'you don’t have to be mad to work here, but it helps'.

If it had hot rod performance to match its 1940s looks, then maybe we’d be more forgiving. But it didn’t, so we’re not, and thankfully the PT Cruiser died in 2010.

Ford Cougar

Not to be confused with the similarly pronounced but differently spelt Kuga SUV, the Cougar was, on paper, a nice idea. Intended as a spiritual descendant of the Capri, and a successor to the rather awful Probe, the Cougar was a two-door sports coupe that, executives hoped, would bring some vim and vigour to Ford’s European line-up.

Although it actually drove relatively well, the drab looks and boring interior made it somewhat anonymous and the public didn’t go for it at all. Production of it ceased after just four years.

Chrysler Crossfire

Famously described by Jeremy Clarkson as looking like a dog doing its business, the Crossfire was another vehicle from Chrysler that unashamedly played on its American visuals while ignoring important things like being good to drive. Based on an aging Mercedes platform that dated back to 1993, it was already outdated when it launched in 2003, and its interior was poor.

Good amounts of equipment couldn’t persuade customers and it sold poorly before eventually being axed in 2008.

Reliant Robin

There’s a kitsch factor with Reliant’s Robin that’s led to its enduring popularity, aided by the Only Fools and Horses connection.

Viewed objectively, though, it was unstylish, unreliable and probably wouldn’t fare well in a Euro NCAP crash test. It’s best kept as a joke about the past; the last new one rolled off the production line in 2002, shortly before motoring journalists began concluding that there was no longer such a thing as a bad car. A modern-day revival would be nonsensical.

Ford Scorpio

While the Sierra continues to elicit gushing praise from die-hard fans, no one reminisces about the gormless, lumbering Scorpio. The first generation – known as the Granada in the UK - was actually just a stretched Sierra and is so excused from this lambasting.  The second generation, introduced in 1994, does not.

It had bemusing styling with weird American-style lumps in all the wrong places. A more barge-like executive car you will be hard pressed to find, and we hope it stays that way.

Phill Tromans

What cars do you think should stay in the past? Have your say in the comments below.

Our Verdict

Chrysler Voyager

The Chrysler Grand Voyager offers ample room for seven in this comfortable and capable MPV

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Comments
27

25 July 2016
I agree with all of the above, with perhaps the exception of the Reliant. For all its lack of capability and it slightly ridiculous nature, I feel the world of cars would be a less interesting and diverse place without it.

A34

25 July 2016
hardshoulder wrote:

I agree with all of the above, with perhaps the exception of the Reliant. For all its lack of capability and it slightly ridiculous nature, I feel the world of cars would be a less interesting and diverse place without it.

Needs to be built back2front with 2 front wheels and 1 rear. Like a Practical Motorist Morgan 3 Wheeler. The Robin would be the Nibor in that case...

25 July 2016
In todays SUV obsessed market, something akin to the X90 would probably sell pretty well now. And is the idea any more silly than a convertible Evoque?

25 July 2016
Most of these are spot on, but I have to disagree with the entry of the Cougar.

The looks are certainly hit or miss given they were very unusual for it's time, but it's aged very well. The shape is very sleek, and I find that 90% of people appreciate them. I also find the performance solid - it holds the road well and it's V6 block is good fun. The interior isn't as uninspired as people make out, and where it's tacky in places, there are touches of unique design that I enjoy.

The car manages it's age well too. Mine has 95k miles, and copes with my 80-mile-a-day trips just fine. Parts are Mondeo-cheap and easy to fit (mostly). I think that in the modern day, the Mondeo platform is one of the best around - and it could certainly host another coupé body on it - as it has hosted Volvo and Jaguar bodies in the past.

Moreover, there are other cars in this category more deserving of not being resurrected. After all, as 2+2's go, the Cougar is far more a solid all-rounder than the Celica, the Coupe/Tiburon, the FTO, the C70 or the old C-Class. The only real downfalls were the target market. The Cougar wanted to be an executive car, with a sporty edge, so it was too expensive to be considered as an option over the Celica, and too cheap [and a Ford..] to be considered over an X-Type or C-Class. I think the badge undermined what Ford wanted to do. By no means is it a poor car.

I drive my '98 V6 everyday. It has no rust, no major issues, and it's more fun to drive than other cars I've driven, such as an 07 Megane Coupe or an 07 Kia Rio (top spec). To say a coupe with a Mondeo chassis shouldn't happen again is extremely ignorant, since it'd always be a good car to drive.

31 July 2016
archefluxx wrote:

Most of these are spot on, but I have to disagree with the entry of the Cougar.

The looks are certainly hit or miss given they were very unusual for it's time, but it's aged very well. The shape is very sleek, and I find that 90% of people appreciate them. I also find the performance solid - it holds the road well and it's V6 block is good fun. The interior isn't as uninspired as people make out, and where it's tacky in places, there are touches of unique design that I enjoy.

The car manages it's age well too. Mine has 95k miles, and copes with my 80-mile-a-day trips just fine. Parts are Mondeo-cheap and easy to fit (mostly). I think that in the modern day, the Mondeo platform is one of the best around - and it could certainly host another coupé body on it - as it has hosted Volvo and Jaguar bodies in the past.

Moreover, there are other cars in this category more deserving of not being resurrected. After all, as 2+2's go, the Cougar is far more a solid all-rounder than the Celica, the Coupe/Tiburon, the FTO, the C70 or the old C-Class. The only real downfalls were the target market. The Cougar wanted to be an executive car, with a sporty edge, so it was too expensive to be considered as an option over the Celica, and too cheap [and a Ford..] to be considered over an X-Type or C-Class. I think the badge undermined what Ford wanted to do. By no means is it a poor car.

I drive my '98 V6 everyday. It has no rust, no major issues, and it's more fun to drive than other cars I've driven, such as an 07 Megane Coupe or an 07 Kia Rio (top spec). To say a coupe with a Mondeo chassis shouldn't happen again is extremely ignorant, since it'd always be a good car to drive.

More fun than an 07 Kia Rio (top spec, mind you). Now there's a phrase that Ford's Bribery Department never thought of putting into the mouths of the motoring media. Even the most adept sow's ear specialist would consider that to be symbolic of the last few surviving straws being grabbed.

I don't need to put my name here, it's on the left

 

4 August 2016
bowsersheepdog wrote:
archefluxx wrote:

Most of these are spot on, but I have to disagree with the entry of the Cougar.

The looks are certainly hit or miss given they were very unusual for it's time, but it's aged very well. The shape is very sleek, and I find that 90% of people appreciate them. I also find the performance solid - it holds the road well and it's V6 block is good fun. The interior isn't as uninspired as people make out, and where it's tacky in places, there are touches of unique design that I enjoy.

The car manages it's age well too. Mine has 95k miles, and copes with my 80-mile-a-day trips just fine. Parts are Mondeo-cheap and easy to fit (mostly). I think that in the modern day, the Mondeo platform is one of the best around - and it could certainly host another coupé body on it - as it has hosted Volvo and Jaguar bodies in the past.

Moreover, there are other cars in this category more deserving of not being resurrected. After all, as 2+2's go, the Cougar is far more a solid all-rounder than the Celica, the Coupe/Tiburon, the FTO, the C70 or the old C-Class. The only real downfalls were the target market. The Cougar wanted to be an executive car, with a sporty edge, so it was too expensive to be considered as an option over the Celica, and too cheap [and a Ford..] to be considered over an X-Type or C-Class. I think the badge undermined what Ford wanted to do. By no means is it a poor car.

I drive my '98 V6 everyday. It has no rust, no major issues, and it's more fun to drive than other cars I've driven, such as an 07 Megane Coupe or an 07 Kia Rio (top spec). To say a coupe with a Mondeo chassis shouldn't happen again is extremely ignorant, since it'd always be a good car to drive.

More fun than an 07 Kia Rio (top spec, mind you). Now there's a phrase that Ford's Bribery Department never thought of putting into the mouths of the motoring media. Even the most adept sow's ear specialist would consider that to be symbolic of the last few surviving straws being grabbed.

I'm not apologizing for my car repertoire. They were inferior cars.
I'm not going to compare it to a car I've not driven, but the fact that in almost every regard the Cougar has been superior to the cars I mentioned means they're more suitable for this list. Given that the only points put forward to justify it being on the list are it's looks and interior, I could name any of the hundreds of models to better qualify for the list.

5 August 2016
archefluxx wrote:
bowsersheepdog wrote:
archefluxx wrote:

Most of these are spot on, but I have to disagree with the entry of the Cougar.

The looks are certainly hit or miss given they were very unusual for it's time, but it's aged very well. The shape is very sleek, and I find that 90% of people appreciate them. I also find the performance solid - it holds the road well and it's V6 block is good fun. The interior isn't as uninspired as people make out, and where it's tacky in places, there are touches of unique design that I enjoy.

The car manages it's age well too. Mine has 95k miles, and copes with my 80-mile-a-day trips just fine. Parts are Mondeo-cheap and easy to fit (mostly). I think that in the modern day, the Mondeo platform is one of the best around - and it could certainly host another coupé body on it - as it has hosted Volvo and Jaguar bodies in the past.

Moreover, there are other cars in this category more deserving of not being resurrected. After all, as 2+2's go, the Cougar is far more a solid all-rounder than the Celica, the Coupe/Tiburon, the FTO, the C70 or the old C-Class. The only real downfalls were the target market. The Cougar wanted to be an executive car, with a sporty edge, so it was too expensive to be considered as an option over the Celica, and too cheap [and a Ford..] to be considered over an X-Type or C-Class. I think the badge undermined what Ford wanted to do. By no means is it a poor car.

I drive my '98 V6 everyday. It has no rust, no major issues, and it's more fun to drive than other cars I've driven, such as an 07 Megane Coupe or an 07 Kia Rio (top spec). To say a coupe with a Mondeo chassis shouldn't happen again is extremely ignorant, since it'd always be a good car to drive.

More fun than an 07 Kia Rio (top spec, mind you). Now there's a phrase that Ford's Bribery Department never thought of putting into the mouths of the motoring media. Even the most adept sow's ear specialist would consider that to be symbolic of the last few surviving straws being grabbed.

I'm not apologizing for my car repertoire. They were inferior cars.
I'm not going to compare it to a car I've not driven, but the fact that in almost every regard the Cougar has been superior to the cars I mentioned means they're more suitable for this list. Given that the only points put forward to justify it being on the list are it's looks and interior, I could name any of the hundreds of models to better qualify for the list.

At least Jedward aren't as bad as Milli Vanilli, right.

I don't need to put my name here, it's on the left

 

25 July 2016
I test drove the Cougar. I couldn't get comfortable in the seats at all. I really wanted to like it, but that it was longer than the base model and yet supposed to be sportier didn't really fit. When I was in a position to buy one, I opted for a Subaru. I still think someone like Ford could to an epic coupe, one which was really stunning, and good to drive. Why won't they even try?

25 July 2016
I'd much rather see Del Boy in a Reliant Robin than Matt LeBlanc in a so called hypercar.

25 July 2016
I agree that the Evoque convertible is a very short evolutionary step from the Suzuki X90

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