When BMW was in charge of Rover, there was a big sign at the end of the Rover 75 production line that read: “You are building the best front-wheel-drive car in the world.”
It was the type of backhanded compliment that meant “we still make the best rear-wheel-drive cars in the world” but it was, at least, kinda true, if you wanted a complete all-round car.
But when I’m talking about the best front-wheel-drive cars, I’m not looking for the best junior Bentley: I’m talking about the best front-drive driver’s car of all time. This, here, is the definitive list of those. Well, almost. There are one or two models that (a) I haven’t driven or (b) have been nabbed by my colleagues. But it’s as close as you’ll see, regardless of whether they’re any good or not as used cars: consider this a celebration of all things great, rather than a conventional used buyer’s guide.
That said, the used market is quite savvy and the classic car market savvier still. It rewards not necessarily the reliable, practical cars but, in terms of value and esteem, what the market reflects now is whether these cars were any good in period.