All the latest and greatest cars, super or otherwise, pass through Autocar, but at the start of every staffer's car story is (usually) the humble hatchback in which they learned to drive.
Matt Burt, editor - Vauxhall Chevette 1.3
The car I learned to drive in belonged to my driving instructor, and was an entry-level hatch, so anonymous that I can't quite picture the make or model. The car I honed my skills in, however, I remember vividly. It was a £400 bright red Vauxhall Chevette 1.3 E saloon. To a raw 17-year-old, it seemed to have pretty good performance for a family car and I was sometimes astonished how fast I could get from university in Bournemouth to my family's home in Cornwall. In 1993 it wasn't the most trendy model in the world, but I was very fond of it.
John Bradshaw, chief photographer - Austin Metro
I learned to drive in an Austin Metro, that my dad described as 'champagne', but that I think was just beige. I took my test in an MG Metro, which was a step up, but the Metro was my car. I crashed it shortly after passing my test, after a night out. Rounding a corner, my friend pulled the handbrake, and the car slid into a ditch. It survived, though.
I learned to drive in a bog-standard petrol-powered Ford Fiesta, with a comparatively miserable week in a Peugeot 207 courtesy car when the Fiesta took a big hit with another learner behind the wheel. The Fiesta wasn't the most interesting or unusual, but it did the job. It kept out the nerve-shredding storm-force winds and torrential rain, come test day, too.
Mark Pearson, senior digital reviews editor: Lancia Beta
My father’s Lancia Beta had a twin-cam engine and plenty of brio, but it also had ludicrously heavy low-geared steering, and a driving position that favoured long arms and short legs. With the seat right back and reclined enough to avoid my head brushing the roof, I could barely reach the bottom of the steering wheel, never mind the top.
Darren Moss, content editor: Ford Fiesta Ghia
The car I learned to drive in was also the first car I owned – a 32,000-mile Mk.4 Ford Fiesta. Its 1.25-litre engine wasn’t the last word in refinement, economy, speed, torque or even noise, but I still adored this car. Ghia spec bought a few luxuries too, including a mock wood effect on the dashboard.