With Autocade exceeding the 5,000,000 page view milestone (it’s on 5Â·12 million), I thought it might be fun to look at a few of the models on the site: the most popular, the least loved, and the first on the site.
Looking at the stats, here are the most popular models. These shouldn’t be surprising: for a long time, our page on the E100 Toyota Corolla was the most-read. That’s since been overtaken by the Ford Fiesta Mk VII, the Toyota’s rival, the Nissan Sunny (B14), and the older Nissan Bluebird (910), probably thanks to a link from Wikipedia.
1. Ford Fiesta (B299/B409). 2008 to date (prod. over 1,000,000 Europe only to March 2011). 3-, 4- and 5-door saloon. F/F, 999 cmÂ³ (I3 DOHC), 1242 cmÂ³ petrol, 1399 cmÂ³ diesel (I4 OHC), 1388, 1596 cmÂ³ petrol, 1498, 1560 cmÂ³ diesel (I4 DOHC). Fordâs global small car, part of European Fiesta lineage with nameplate returning to North America for the first time since 1980. Four-door for Asian and North American markets. Regarded as class leader, excellent chassis and handling. Showed small-car interpretation of âkineticâ design theme which dÃ©buted on larger Ford Mondeo Mk IV. Minor facelift in 2010, more substantial, Aston Martin-esque facelift in 2012, with Ecoboost three-cylinder and 1Â·5 diesel added.
2. Nissan Sunny/Nissan Sentra (B14). 1994â2000 (prod. n/a). 4-door sedan. F/F, F/A, 1295, 1497, 1597, 1838, 1998 cmÂ³ (I4 DOHC), 1974 cmÂ³ diesel (I4 OHC). Undistinguished front-wheel-drive sedan with more limited markets; Europe and many western markets were now selling only the Pulsar (as the Almera). No station wagon as Sunny range trimmed. Sold in numerous Asian countries. Sentra in MÃ©xico, with 2Â·0-litre option. In production in Thailand till 2000. CoupÃ© called Lucino in the home market, a separate line.
3. Nissan Bluebird (910). 1979â86 (prod. n/a). 4-door sedan, 5-door wagon, 2-door coupÃ©. F/R, 1595, 1598, 1770, 1809, 1952 cmÂ³ petrol, 1952 cmÂ³ diesel (I4 OHC), 2393 cmÂ³ (I6 OHC). Squared-off Bluebird began Nissanâs 1980sâ rise, dropping its alphanumeric model codes in many markets. Badged Datsun for export initially, with Nissan badges appearing in 1981. Sold in US as 810, 810 Maxima, and then Maxima from 1982. Conventional, despite sharp, boxy styling. End of Japanese production 1983. Facelift in Australia in 1985.
4. Toyota Corolla/Holden Nova (E100). 1991â9 (prod. n/a). 4-door sedan, 5-door liftback sedan, 4-door hardtop, 3- and 5-door hatchback sedan, 5-door wagon, 5-door high-roof van, 2-door coupÃ©. F/F, F/A, 1296 cmÂ³ petrol, 1974 cmÂ³ diesel (I4 OHC), 1331, 1497, 1498, 1587, 1762 cmÂ³ (I4 DOHC). Dr Akihiko Saito, in charge of the Corolla programme, wanted to create the most refined Corolla possible, with Lexus-style comfort. To some degree, the team succeeded, but the carâs price went up in Japan during a recession. Roomy, but heavy, and less competitive alongside other small cars, including Koreans. Sales were initially slow. Longer wheelbase. Short-tail hatchbacks still Corolla FX in Japan. Liftback actually part of Sprinter range in Japanese home market. Four-door hardtop coupÃ© from 1992 called Corolla Ceres. Last Corolla built in Australia, where it was also the Holden Nova from 1994 to 1996.
5. Toyota Corolla/Toyota Huaguan/Toyota Limo (E120). 2000 to date (prod. n/a). 3-, 4- and 5-door sedan, 5-door wagon, 5-door minivan. F/F, 1364 cmÂ³ diesel (I4 OHC), 1398, 1598, 1796 cmÂ³ (I4 DOHC), 1995 cmÂ³ diesel (I4 DOHC). Corolla grows to its biggest size up to that point but limited by Japanese taxation requirements (setting the maximum width to 1,700 mm before it goes into a higher tax bracket). Shortened Toyota Vista (V50) platform, 2,600 mm wheelbase. Torsion beam axle at rear, replacing independent rear suspension. Sedans sold as Corolla Altis in some Asian markets. Wagons named Corolla Fielder, with hatchbacks taking Corolla Runx and Allex names (the latter replacing Sprinter). Corolla Spacio denoted a minivan model, sold as Corolla Spacio in Europe. Toyota Matrix, a different small van or tall hatchback, sold in US, renamed Corolla Matrix in 2005. Platform shared with Pontiac Vibe (or Toyota Voltz). Competent small car, hatchbacks in fact quite stylish, though interior design dull. Mid-life facelift 2004 in Japan. Japanese production ended 2006; some other countries 2008; continuing in China into the 2010s as Corolla EX, running alongside E150 successor.
But what of the least popular? Itâs unfair to go to the bottom of the statisticsâ page, because youâre going to get a newer page that might become popular later. The following four are models which Iâve seen at the bottom of that page even after they had been on the site for a while, suggesting not too many are searching for them.
1. Riich X1. 2009 to date (prod. n/a). 5-door sedan. F/F, 1297, 1497 cmÂ³ (I4 DOHC). B-segment city car with SUV looks, exported as Chery Beat to some countries. Meant to have been absorbed into the Chery range when the Riich marque was killed off in 2013, and continued to appear on Cheryâs export site, though it vanished from domestic listings. Based on the Riich M1.
2. Pontiac LeMans. 1973â7 (prod. n/a, incl. 4,806 GTO). 2-door coupÃ©. F/R, 231 inÂ³ (V6 OHV), 250 inÂ³ (I6 OHV), 260, 301,350, 400, 455 inÂ³ (V8 OHV). Unreliable, thirsty GM Colonnade model line, with poor gas mileage (improving somewhat for 1975). GTO offered as an option for one year only, and more driveable than other LeManses and even previous GTOs, but fans tended to forget this model. Luxury LeMans for 1973 and 1974, renamed Grand Le Mans in 1975. Related to Pontiac Grand Am (1973â5), and other GM intermediates including Buick Century (1973â7), Oldsmobile Cutlass (1973â7) and Chevrolet Chevelle (1973â7).
3. Buick Park Avenue (WM). 2007â12 (prod. n/a). 4-door sedan. F/R, 2792, 2986, 3564 cmÂ³ (V6 DOHC). Chinese-assembled version of Holden Statesman (WM), but with differences such as visually large grille, different bumpers, and no indicators and vents in wings aft of the front wheels. Smaller Australian-built 2Â·8-litre unit related to one from Cadillac CTS available on Chinese edition, along with 3Â·6 from Holden Commodore (VE), later both replaced by 3Â·0. Otherwise mechanically similar to Statesman. Killed off in 2012 due to slow sales.
4. Chevrolet Monte Carlo (W-body). 1995â9 (prod. 376,483). 2-door coupÃ©. F/F, 3135, 3791 cmÂ³ (V6 OHV), 3350 cmÂ³ (V6 DOHC). Chevy brings back the Monte Carlo nameplate for a two-door version of the Lumina. Z34, with extra equipment, featured DOHC V6, replaced by smoother but less powerful 3Â·8 in 1998. New four-speed auto in 1997. Good value for money, and a comfortable, long-distance cruiser. Average in terms of reliability.
Finally, the oldest photos on the site tell us which articles I wrote first. A few of the oldest photos have been replaced for quality reasons, but itâs safe to say the following five cars were among the original ten or dozen entered on to Autocade.
1. Renault MÃ©gane (X84). 2002 to date (prod. n/a). 3-, 4- and 5-door saloon, 5-door estate, 2-door coupÃ©âcabriolet. F/F, 1390, 1598, 1998 cmÂ³ (I4 DOHC); 1461, 1870 cmÂ³ diesel (I4 OHC). Surprising shape for 2002 launch, a total departure from earlier MÃ©gane, with Renault designers showing their creativity. Hatchbacks have vertical tailgate with a bustle; saloon, estate and coupÃ© convertible more conventional. Successful seller for Renault not just in home market, but in Germany. Revisions to range 2005. As before a ScÃ©nic minivan offered but this time in short- and long-wheelbase (Grand ScÃ©nic) versions, though not marketed as a MÃ©gane despite âMÃ©ganeâ tag appearing in the C-pillar. (See separate entry at Renault MÃ©gane ScÃ©nic II.) Turbo model claims 165 ch; RS delivers 225 ch. Hatchbacks replaced 2008 in France, estate in 2009. Saloon replaced by Fluence in South America 2011, though continued in Iran at Pars Khodro with 1600 and 2000 models; Grand Tour (estate) in Brazil to 2013.
2. Trabant P601. 1964â91 (prod. 3,000,000 approx.). 2-door saloon, 3-door estate, 2-door utility convertible. F/F, 595 cmÂ³ (I2 OHV), 1093 cmÂ³ (I4 OHC). East German subcompact car descended from DKW, made with cotton-based plastic (Duroplast) bodyshell. Sold in UK till 1965. Made with 595 cmÂ³ engine (26 PS) until 1989 when larger and cleaner Volkswagen Polo 1Â·1-litre engine adapted under licence. Estate variant called Universal. Utilitarian âoff-roadâ convertible model called Tramp. Kitsch value toward the end of its life as a relic of the DDR, but unloved for most years.
3. Ford Falcon (E240/FG). 2008â14 (prod. n/a). 4-door sedan, 2-door utility truck. F/R, 1999 cmÂ³ (I4 DOHC), 3984 cmÂ³ petrol, 3984 cmÂ³ LPG (I6 DOHC), 4951, 5408 cmÂ³ (V8 DOHC). Extensively revised series launched in February 2008 with three grilles, for regular Falcon, G6 (which replaces the Futura and Fairmont nameplates) and XR. V8 engine restricted to sporty XR8 model only. No station wagon (EA169 platform carried over on facelifted model briefly). Very little change in fuel economy figures compared with predecessor. V8 produces 290 kW. FG designation supposedly meant to evoke memories of now-defunct Fairmont Ghia nameplate. Marketed as larger than Mondeo Mk IV, but in fact smaller in key dimensions except overall length. At time of launch, petrol models gained a five-star ANCAP safety rating, one up on its main competitor, the Holden Commodore (VE). EcoBoost turbo four from 2012, when FG also had a minor facelift. Smaller 5Â·0 Miami V8 for XR8 from 2013.
4. Ford Falcon. 1970Â½ (prod. 26,000 approx.). 2- and 4-door sedan, 5-door wagon. 250 inÂ³ (I6 OHV), 302, 351, 429 inÂ³ (V8 OHV). For half a model year (built JanuaryâAugust 1970), Ford transferred its Falcon nameplate from the compact model to the intermediate TorinoâFairlane bodyshell (117 in wheelbase for sedans; curiously, the wagon was on 114 in), making the Torinoâs engine options available. Still marketed as an economy car, the last American Falcon is characterized by its swooping design. After 1970, Falcons were made only in Australia and Argentina (with an assembly plant for Australian models in New Zealand).
5. Hyundai i30 (FD). 2007â11 (prod. n/a). 5-door hatchback, 5-door estate. F/F, 1396, 1591, 1975 cmÂ³ petrol, 1582 cmÂ³ diesel (I4 DOHC), 1991 cmÂ³ diesel (I4 OHC). First Hyundai designed specifically for Europe, rivalling Volkswagen Golf. Designed in RÃ¼sselsheim, Germany with excellent dynamics, among the best for the Korean brand. Quality survey in Germany in 2010 put the car at the top. Estate added at end of 2007 and sold in some markets as Hyundai Elantra Touring. Sister car to Kia Ceeâd (2006â12), released earlier, but lacks that modelâs three-door hatchback style.