A few cars are so familiar that they feel timeless. The likes Ford’s Fiesta, which has been available in UK showrooms since late 1970s, is one example.

However, there are motors which live much shorter lives. Some of these motors last just months before being destroyed.

Autocar has provided us with information so that we could list 10 of the most popular models of the current era in the UK. All of these were pulled from maker’s lines and only available for 12 months.

Cars that couldn't cut the mustard: We take a look at ten recent UK models - including the four pictured - that were on the market for the shortest period of time before they were culled from showrooms for one reason or another

The worst car models: Here’s a list of ten UK models, including the four shown. These were the most recent and in-demand models that have been on the UK market since the beginning. They were all sold for a short time but were eventually taken out of showrooms.

The reason a motor goes off the market after a brief period could have to do with a variety of factors. These include the lack of compliance to emission standards or brand withdrawal from the UK.

Sometimes, the reason is that they are so popular it doesn’t make sense to keep them.

These are 10 examples of the shortest-lived modern examples, the oldest dating back to 25 years.

Autocar allows us to tell you the number of these vehicles that are still in use today, and how much they might be worth. 

This is a clear example of how exclusivity in motorsport doesn’t necessarily translate into high prices. 

10. Chevrolet Trax

Available for purchase: 2013-2014

Why is it so fragile?Chevrolet pulled from the European market 

What are the remaining numbers? Approx 1,600

What is the price of one? Good condition examples for £5,000

Manchester United players (L to R) Alexander Buttner, Anders Lindegaard and Sam Johnstone pose with the Manchester United Red Edition Chevrolet Trax

Manchester United’s players, Alexander Buttner (L to Right), Anders Lindegaard, and Sam Johnstone are seen with the Manchester United Red Edition Chevrolet Trax

Chevrolet created the Trax as a solution for compact crossover buyers from across the Atlantic.

This car went on sale just as Manchester United sponsored the manufacturer. A small number of Red Devil liveried models were also released.

Its existence, however, was not as long-lasting as those of Man United’s managers. In fact the Trax disappeared when General Motors’ parent Chevrolet decided to remove the brand from Europe.

Vauxhall Mokka the Trax’s sibling model, was on the UK markets until 2019.  

9. Honda Legend Mk4

Available for purchase: 2006-2007

Why are they so fleeting? Sales blown out of the water by German rivals

What are the remaining numbers? Dozens

What is the price of one? Good condition examples for £4,000 

The Honda Legend Mk4 made its debut at the London International Motor Show in 2006. It was pulled from UK showrooms the next year

It made its debut in 2006 at London International Motor Show. It was then removed from UK showrooms.

It doesn’t have to be unpopular for a car to make it a poor motor. The final generation Honda Legend was offered to UK customers.

This model was loaded with standard equipment, and it was also the first to include automatic lane keep assistance.

But there were two major issues: firstly, it was offered with just one engine – a less-than-impressive 3.5-litre V6 petrol with no diesel option at all; and secondly, it was priced at around £40,000. 

The Legend was not as good-looking and priced at the same level, and had more efficient oil-burning engines than its German counterparts. Its debut in 2006 saw it quickly drop from the showrooms. The Legend is a reliable and used family sedan that’s well-equipped.

8. Suzuki X-90 

Available for purchase: 1995-1997

Why are they so fleeting? Unpopular when available, though arguably ahead of its time

What are the remaining numbers? Approx 130

What is the price of one? £1,500, if you can find one

The X-90 was hugely unpopular when new in the mid-90s. If launched today - with crossover sales booming - Suzuki would probably have a success story on its hands

In mid-90s Japan, the X-90 wasn’t very popular. Suzuki could have been a huge success story if it was launched today, with the crossover market booming.

Suzuki X-90, a brand that launched a vehicle ahead of its time, is an example. It would have been a huge success if it was released decades later.

The compact crossover is a modern twist on the Jeep convertible. It offers open-top driving even on rough terrain. The majority of UK models that were sold were all-wheel-drive, and there was not much to go around.

It was too difficult for the reserved drivers of the UK to cope with its small dimensions and unique appearances.

It is most remembered for being used as a marketing tool. Red Bull painted several of them with brand colours and strapped a huge energy drink can at the back. They sent them out to give away free samples. 

7. Nissan Cube

Available for purchase: 2010

Why are they so fleeting? Exchange rate made it non-profitable for dealers at the time

What are the remaining numbers?1000

What is the price of one? Good condition examples for £3,200 

Just 1,000 UK versions of the Nissan Cube were delivered before the Japanese brand culled the model due as the exchange rate deemed the vehicle non-profitable for dealers

The Japanese brand cut the Nissan Cube in the UK to just 1,000 units, due to the fact that the Japanese exchange rate made it non-profitable.

Nissan announced the arrival of the Cube as an official UK model by encasing one in a giant ice cube on the Southbank in London

Nissan announced that the Cube was now an official UK model and placed it in an enormous ice cube at the Southbank of London.

It is perhaps the most distinctive model ever to hit the marketplace, and the launch in London of the Nissan Cube was an appropriate way to present it to the UK as an official car.

However, the Cube didn’t appear on British roads until 2010. Due to its unique shape, the Cube small motor gained an enormous following. Many drivers imported earlier models from Japan. 

Nissan decided to make it available as a right-hand drive UK model because of the high demand. There were 1,000 units in 2010!

But that was the lot, with the poor exchange rate between the Yen and the Pound meaning there were no profit margins for dealers. It was therefore canceled before another shipment arrived, earning it a place on the list.

6. Renault Fluence Z.E

Available for purchase: 2012-2013

Why are they so fleeting? Exchange rate made it non-profitable for dealers at the time

What are the remaining numbers? Just 47

What is the price of one? If you can find one, over £5,000

The Fluence Z.E was Renault's early - and unsuccessful - experimentation with electrification. It was everything that's wrong with trying to shoehorn an EV powertrain into a standard car

Renault’s initial, and ultimately unsuccessful, experimentation in electrification with the Fluence Z.E. was called Fluence Z.E. This was all that could go wrong when trying to fit an electric powertrain in a regular car.

The Fluence is one of the few ‘good’ full-electric cars that were available in those early days.

Fluence, a saloon-sized car that was sold throughout Europe was the medium size. However, it was chosen as the perfect model for incorporating a zero emission powertrain as part of Renault’s early experiments with electrification.

Although it was terrible to drive, it offered a range claimed at 115 miles. In reality, however, this was only half the distance. The fact that small saloon cars aren’t very popular in Britain for many decades meant it was not widely known by the market.

Renault only sold 79 units in 12 months. Yet, they have managed to keep their value relative well today. This is a testament to how strong the market for used EVs.

5. Renault Koleos Mk1

Available for purchase: 2008-2009

Why are they so fleeting? Not a proper 4X4 + not an economical crossover = not popular

What are the remaining numbers? Approx 1,800

What is the price of one? Good condition example for £2,000 

Renault has twice tried to sell a Koleos 4X4 to Britons, both times failing miserably and taking them out of showrooms ahead of schedule. The original was on sale for around one year only

Renault attempted to sell two Koleos 4X4s to Britons twice, each time failing spectacularly and taking them out the showrooms earlier than planned. Original was only available for a year.

Renault, a French brand, jumped on the SUV boom in 2008 when it introduced the first Koleos to the UK.

Although it had all-wheel drive, it was not a conventional offroader with large ground clearance and robust design. It wasn’t economical enough or of modern design to be competitive with Honda’s CR-V and other crossovers.

Also, it was only sold with an old-hat Diesel engine. That was reason enough for customers to steer clear of the car. 

Renault revived the Koelos’ name almost 10 years ago for another SUV attack. However, the vehicle was taken out of production in 2020 for ‘commercial reasons’, just like its predecessor.  

4. Saab 9-5 Mk2

Available for purchase: 2010-2011

Why is it so brief-lived Saab went bust in 2011

What are the remaining numbers? Approx 1,000

What is the price of one? If you can find one, around £5,000

When Saab eventually went bust in 2011, it took the 9-5 with it. That was no shame, as it was arguably the worst car the Swedish brand - known for build quality - ever produced

Saab lost the 9-5 when it went bankrupt in 2011. It was not a shame as the 9-5 was the most ill-built Swedish car ever made.

Although the Saab 9-5’s original success was impressive, there is no denying that the second Saab 9-5 attempt in 2010 wasn’t as successful.

The launch of the Swedish brand’s first-generation 9-5 was at the time of its imminent collapse. It had recently divorced General Motors, and was in dire need of cash injections. The company had placed its hope on the delivery of the second-generation 9-5, but it came with an ineffective Vauxhall Insignia under which it could not compete with Mercedes and BMW. 

Although the suspension was made more flexible on UK roads to reduce vibrations, it still felt terrible. 

Saab declared bankruptcy in December 2011 and that was the end of the 9-5.

3. Subaru B9 Tribeca

Available for purchase: 2006-2007

What is the point of being so fleeting? Painfully expensive running costs

What are the remaining numbers? Approx 350

What is the price of one? If you can find one, around £6,000

The combination of the snout grille design and horrendously expensive running costs were enough to kill off the B9 Tribeca after just a year in showrooms

Combining the bad design of the nose grille and high running costs was enough for the B9 Tribeca to be wiped out after only a year.

The B9 Tribecas’s design was terrible, but its poor quality and high operating costs played a larger role in the UK’s sales collapse.

Subaru’s infamous’snout’ was actually a Subaru’spreadwing’ design, which it introduced as a tribute to its aeronautical heritage. A Bugatti’s unique design doesn’t necessarily work for a family SUV. 

Its combination of a flat-six, 3.0-litre ‘Boxer’ petrol engine and a five-speed automatic transmission was a nightmare when it came to vehicle excise duty, with 291g/km putting it in the highest possible band, which today translates to annual tax bills of £600 a year! 

It boasts a fuel consumption of 23 mpg so it is understandable that it wasn’t popular. Subaru even removed it from showrooms.

2. Suzuki Kizashi

Available for purchase: 2012-2013

Why are they so fleeting? Not fit for the UK market, especially with saloon sales in decline

What are the remaining numbers? Approx 305

What is the price of one? If you can find one, around £5,500

Suzuki asked customers and the press if bringing the Kizashi saloon to the UK - without a diesel engine option - was a good idea. Drivers must have lied to them...

Suzuki asked the customers and press whether bringing the Kizashi saloon into the UK without the diesel engine was a good idea. The drivers must have believed them…

Suzuki tried to play a dangerous card in early 2010, asking people and journalists if they were interested in an updated family saloon that had four-wheel drive, and a choice between a 2.4-litre V6 petrol engine.

The surprising thing is that the Kizashi was actually brought to Britain. But the people who didn’t show any interest in the Japanese executive saloon idea weren’t willing to spend their hard earned money.

The model saw very little demand, due to the absence of a diesel option. This resulted in high 191g/km CO2 emission.

This car was not a good fit, but it wasn’t all bad. The car is comfortable and easy to drive. It can handle any British weather. 

1. Honda Logo 

Available for purchase: 2000-2001

Why are they so fleeting? Scarcely equipped and super-basic supermini nobody wanted

What are the remaining numbers? Approx 600

What is the price of one? Good condition examples for £900

Remember the Honda Logo? You probably don't because it was only available in UK showrooms for 9 months around the turn of the century

Do you remember the Honda Logo? Because it wasn’t available anywhere else in the world for 9 months, the Honda Logo was not widely accessible.

The Honda Logo is a trademark that you may not have heard about. It’s easy to understand why, as it wasn’t on sale for more than nine months in the UK before the Japanese bosses jumped on the opportunity to eject this shabby model.

It was released on the UK market in April 2000. However, it had been discontinued by the UK market by January 2001. 

According to survey results, it is one of most reliable vehicles you can buy. This is because there wasn’t any other equipment to make it a problem.

The Jazz supermini, which was a UK success, took the logo out of showrooms. Honda created the Logo in order to promote a compact car at that time.

> For a full list of every short-lived car sold in the UK, checkout Autocar’s full slideshow of examples

You might not be aware of the latest models that were culled

Mercedes-Benz X-Class (2018-2020)

There was such little demand for an executive pick-up truck that Mercedes culled the X-Class after only two years

Mercedes culled X-Class from production after two years because of a lackluster demand for executive pick-up trucks.

German premium brand the Premium Brand spotted a gap on the 2018 market – the absence of an Executive-Class Pick-up Truck. It signed a contract with Nissan to make use of its Navara, and clad it with Mercedes badges. The interior was more luxurious to make the X-Class.

However, there was not much demand for the posh trucks and buyers continued to purchase cheaper Nissans. The X-Class’s pickup sales declined, too. 

Bentley Bentayga diesel (2017-2019)

The Bentayga introduced Bentley's first - and likely - last diesel engine, which was released in the wake of parent group VW's huge diesel emissions cheating scandal

Bentley’s first and probably last diesel engine was presented by The Bentayga, following the scandalous diesel emissions cheating allegations of VW parent company.

A modern example of a motor that doesn’t stay in showrooms long is the diesel Bentley Bentayga. This was an iconic British brand’s first (and likely last) oil burner.

The range was quickly canceled after it arrived following the dieselgate scandal at parent company VW. 

Fiat/Abarth Spider (2017-2019).

Fiat's collaboration with Mazda to use the MX-5's brilliant chassis for the Italian's own roadster sounded like a great plan...until Fiat put their own engine in it

Fiat and Mazda teamed up to create a roadster in Italy using the MX-5 chassis. It sounded great until Fiat added their engine.

Mazda MX-5 is one of the top-selling roadsters. This latest Mazda MX-5 is an outstanding combination of driving dynamics and affordability.

It sounds like Fiat has all the ingredients to resurrect the iconic 124 model, including a more powerful Abarth variant. The Fiat’s original 1.4-turbo-petrol engine, however, was an inferior and flatter alternative to Mazda’s classic. After three years it vanished from the marketplace.

Suzuki Jimny Mk4 (2018-2020)

The last iteration of the Jimny was a massive sales success for the limited time it was available. Suzuki was forced to kill it off due to its high emissions

Jimny’s last version was hugely popular for its limited availability. Its high emission levels forced Suzuki to end it.

The Suzuki Jimny was one example that we regretted to see go. Its cute design and excellent off-road capability won over many fans. They were too slow to make enough for the demand.

The 4X4’s premature demise was due to its emissions. Suzuki couldn’t meet their carbon targets with emissions of 154g/km. The 4X4 was therefore culled. The vehicle is now being used as a commercial vehicle, meeting lower CO2 emissions and with no rear seats.  

Range Rover Evoque Convertible (2016-2019)

Some crossover attempts are destined to fail, such as a soft-top SUV. The Range Rover Evoque Convertible looked like a bathtub on wheels

Crossovers are not always successful, like the soft-top SUV. Range Rover Evoque Convertible was like a tub on wheels

Land Rover’s Evoque was a huge success, and it is no surprise that the company decided to remove the roof from the small SUV. In 2016, it introduced the Convertible, which looked almost like a bathtub.

Starting prices were astronomical – around £47,000 – and the added weight required to stiffen the chassis to cope without a fixed roof absolutely obliterated any driving characteristics it had. The Mk2 Evoque was launched in 2019 without a drop-top model. This is a good thing.


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