Top 10: Forgotten cars of the last decade

Despite the hundreds of millions spent on development and research, car manufacturers can get it wrong sometimes.

Here are the cars that you could buy new until very recently, but that were so under the radar that they were withdrawn from sale without anyone noticing and quickly forgotten. 


Cadillac SRX

On sale in the UK: 2004 – 2009

As recently as 2009, Cadillac thought that the UK’s car buying public would genuinely be agog at the thought of owning a big and brash SUV from "MURICA!"

So agog, in fact, that we'd be collectively blinded to its questionable looks, huge list price and terrible efficiency – there was no diesel engine. It was about as classy as a bargain bucket from KFC and only lasted a year in right-hand drive form. 

Read our review of the Cadillac SRX 


Aston Martin Cygnet

On sale in the UK: 2012 – 2013

A Toyota iQ tarted up by Aston Martin and with a £30,000 price tag is proof that some people will buy anything if you charge enough for it. At the launch of the Cygnet, Aston Martin filled the press material with bluster like 'sets a new benchmark for compact luxury', but this was really no more than an exercise in reducing the company’s overall tailpipe emissions.

Aston would have been just as well off giving away a G-Wiz with every DB9 purchase. 

Read our review of the Aston Martin Cygnet


Chrysler Delta

On sale in the UK: 2011 – 2014

Launching the Delta in the UK was a relatively cheap experiment for Fiat – the company that owns Chrysler – because by 2011 the car was already about half way through its model cycle elsewhere in Europe. Badged the Lancia Delta in Europe, rebadging it as a Chrysler and selling it here seemed like a reasonable way to enter the family hatchback market.

It was powered by a good set of Fiat engines too, but those looks were always going to hamper it – it’s a fine line between quirky and plain embarrassing. Fiat managed not to cross that line with the 500, but in the Delta’s case…

Read our review of the Chrysler Delta


Dodge Avenger

On sale in the UK: 2007 – 2010

If the Dodge Avenger was a movie, it would be The Avengers. That much is obvious, but we’re not talking about the recent and perfectly decent movie starring Robert Downey Jnr – we’re talking about the 1978 made-for-TV Avengers.

Starring Lou Ferrigno – you may remember him as the original TV Hulk – it was low budget, naff, appealed to only a very small group of people and was quickly forgotten. See, perfect analogy. 

Read our review of the Dodge Avenger


Nissan Micra C+C

On sale in the UK: 2005 – 2011

On sale for six whole years, the Micra C+C has the dubious distinction of being the longest-serving new car on this list. The Nissan Micra wasn’t the most obvious basis for an electric hardtop convertible, but it was made into one nonetheless, becoming another example of practicality and dignity traded for wind-in-your-hair motoring.

There was even a Barbie pink version made, proving that even massive corporations aren’t averse to a bit of gender stereotyping when it comes to flogging cars. 

Click here to read our review of the Nissan Micra C+C


Renault Wind

On sale in the UK: 2010 – 2012

A contender for the silliest and most ill-conceived Renault ever made – and this from the company that brought us the Avantime, Vel Satis and Koleos – the Wind was supposed to be the stylish two-seat Roadster you could afford.

From the fabric strap door handles, to the one-piece folding roof mechanism that ruined the rear, the Wind had all the appeal of a force 12 gale. In a straw house. Sure enough, it was blown away in the big Renault model cull of 2012. 

Read our review of the Renault Wind


Saab 9-5

On sale in the UK: 2010 – 2012

The 2010 Saab 9-5 wasn’t actually bad at all – but it was devastatingly average. Coming at a time when an on-its-knees Saab really needed a life-saving car, the 9-5 entered the executive saloon market with distinctive looks in its favour, but nowhere near the sort of build quality, dynamism or class to trouble the Germans.

Ergo it became just another left-field Swede, and Saab became just another brand that couldn’t cut it in the competitive European marketplace. 

Read our review of the Saab 9-5


Subaru Tribeca

On sale in the UK: 2006 – 2010

“Now I’m down in Tribeca, right next to DeNiro,” rapped Jay-Z in his 2009 single Empire State Of Mind. And for a long time, we genuinely believed that the superstar hip hop artist was discussing a road trip in a Subaru 4x4 undertaken with one of the world’s most eminent actors.

But it turns out Tribeca is a housing estate in New York. Which makes sense, because The Jiggaman is more of a Maybach 62 kind of guy, whereas the Tribeca looks like the Chinese had a go at copying a Porsche Cayenne one lunchtime. Back in the UK, if its face wasn’t off-putting enough, the lack of a diesel engine and a £30k list price ensured it saw very few suburban driveways. 

Read our review of the Subaru Tribeca 


Suzuki Kizashi

On sale in the UK: 2012 – 2013

Building a crossover with a bit of leftfield appeal is one thing, but launching a car slap bang in the middle of where the Ford Mondeo operates, is another altogether. It has to be utterly brilliant and play by the rules, to have a chance.

Enter the Suzuki Kizashi in 2012. It was petrol only, four-wheel drive only, had average build quality and a less than average driving experience, to put it kindly. Exit the Suzuki Kizashi in 2013.

Read our review of the Suzuki Kizashi


Toyota Urban Cruiser

On sale in the UK: 2009 – 2012

Toyota’s Urban Cruiser is a classic example of a “me too” car, as everyone scrambled for a piece of the success being enjoyed by Nissan from 2007 onwards – to Qash in, you might say. But probably not. 

Problem was, the Urban Cruiser was shoddy both on the road and on paper – and not just because of its terrible name, which was akin to calling your garden shed a ‘gangsta outhouse’. A three-star Euro NCAP safety rating, small boot, cramped cabin and lacklustre performance made sure it only lasted three years.

Read our review of the Toyota Urban Cruiser