Classic 80s cars that dominated the decade

The 1980s saw a huge style change across the board. Gone were the flares and feathered hair, replaced by power suits and sports gear - meanwhile 80s cars saw a huge shift in aesthetic too. We take a look at the cars that defined the decade.

Ford Escort

The Ford Escort may have been around in the 60s, and pretty popular in the 70s, but it absolutely dominated in the 80s becoming the bestselling car for eight years in a row. Replacing both the Cortina, the Escort was smaller, more aerodynamic, and came in a variety of body styles. It also introduced a nifty hatchback to its collection, which has been a feature of the more modern Ford Focus we see on our roads today.

Ford Fiesta

In the mid 1970s Ford realised it needed to compete with the compact cars that Fiatand Renaultwere manufacturing, and it rolled out the Ford Fiesta, a model that was so successful its on its seventh generation and still on our roadways today - albeit with a slicker body. In the 80s Ford released its zippy XR2 model which took off, and the Fiesta models never looked back. As of 2014, the Fiesta overtook the long-held Escort record of becoming the best-selling car ever, so suffice it to say, this is one popular car.

Vauxhall Cavalier

The Vauxhall Cavalier rolled out on the market in 1975, but it was the introduction of the family friendly Mk2 that really saw this model take off in the 80s. In the period between 1981 and 1988 this car saw sales of around 800,000 units, so it’s pretty safe to say that many Britons grew up in this vehicle. Since then the line has been discontinued and the interest moved to the smaller profile of the Vauxhall Astra, but we miss the blockier look of the Cavalier that defined so many childhood car rides.

Austin Mini Metro

The original Mini was big in the 60s and even bigger in the 70s, but in the 80s it was its sister, the Austin Mini Metro that was the Mini 80s car of choice. Even Princess Diana scooted around in one of these prior to her marriage. It was the successor of the original Mini and meant to be its replacement, but buyers had a different idea, and production​ ceased before the millennium hit, and the Mini design got a resurgence of interest when the new MINI series hit the market.

Vauxhall Astra

Another Vauxhall, and this time it’s the Astra herself! The Vauxhall Astra did indeed replace the Cavalier, but for a while it sold alongside the older model. It was pretty much an instant hit, having been rolled out in 1979, by 1980 it was named Car of the Year by What Car?magazine. It has seen seven generations, and despite making its debut over 40 years ago, it is one of the UK’s best selling cars today. An 80s car that truly made the transition into the new millennium.

Nostalgic for 80s cars? You may find a used or new car that fits the aesthetic you’re looking for. Browse our website and come see us, we can arrange a test drive for you.