Countdown to extinction - the best-selling cars heading for oblivion

Once a familiar sight, these popular models are on borrowed time

Monday, 13th July 2020, 6:00 pm
Saab 9-3

There are some cars that are so common on our roads they just become part of the background. Repmobiles and superminis that sell in their millions and seem to be everywhere all the time. But even for ubiquitous models like the Ford Mondeo, it turns out that the clock is ticking and they will one day vanish. To see how long some of the UK’s most popular cars have left, insurer Adrian Flux looked at the numbers of licensed vehicles for each quarter from the beginning of 2010 and use this to work out how quickly they are disappearing from our roads. Based on that it created a projection as far ahead as 2029 to see when these best-sellers will vanish for good.

Extinct by Q2 2028. Once so commonplace that Tony Blair named an entire section of society after it, the Mondeo is still in production but Adrian Flux is predicting its demise within the decade, losing 8,756 cars per quarter.
Extinct by: Q1 2027. Over 10 years and two generations Ford's city car changed and improved radically but it's no longer in production and with 8,000 leaving the roads every quarter it won't see the end of the 2020s.

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Extinct by: Q2 2026. Originally famous for its eye-catching rear end, the Megane has mellowed over the years. Back in 2010 there were nearly 360,000 on the roads, now it's half that and more than 25,000 a year are disappearing
Extinct by: Q2 2022. There were more than 500,000 206s on UK roads in 2010 but within 2 years we might have seen the last of them as a staggering 14,750 fall off the DVLA's records every three months.
Extinct by: Q4 2023. Another former big-seller already on its last legs. The Punto was still on sale in 2017 but within six years of sales ending it may have disappeared completely. Insert your own joke about Italian cars and rust here.
Extinct by: Q1 2029. Not to be confused with the impressive new model, this is the old Corolla, sold in the UK until 2006. Thanks to Toyota's reputation for reliability it'll be the end of the 2020s before the last of those shuffles off
Extinct by: Q1 2028. The Corolla's larger, even less interesting stablemate looks like it will be almost as long-lived. Practical, reliable and devoid of any character, the Avensis just keeps on motoring
Extinct by: Q4 2022. The 307 never sold in the same numbers as the smaller 206 and 207, and with nearly 8,000 per quarter being taken off the road the Ford Focus rival is an increasingly rare sight
Extinct by: Q3 2022. The Mondeo's ever-present rival doesn't look to have the same staying power. In 2010 there were 180,000 fewer Vectras than Mondeos and, with a similar rate of decline as the Ford, the Vauxhall's time will be up sooner
Extinct by: Q2 2023. The Scenic was one of the first compact MPVs to find popularity up in the 2000s. Despite its modular interior providing a smart solution for families it fell out of favour with the arrival of SUVs and is now on a downward slope
Extinct by: Q4 2022. Like the Scenic, the Xsara Picasso was a flexible family mover that sold well in the mid-2000s. Now almost every example you see is falling to bits and belching smoke, meaning its impending demise is to be welcomed
Extinct by: Q1 2027. The 9-3 was a leftfield alternative to the German premium models and Saab has a dedicated following in the UK. Those folks might save a few 9-3s from the scrap heap but Flux's estimates reckon they'll all be gone by 2027
Extinct by: Q4 2025. The X-Type is closely related to the third-generation Mondeo but with its premium badge and price never sold as well. With 10,000 a year disappearing we'll be lucky if there are any left by the middle of the decade
Extinct by: Q1 2025. The Accord is another big Japanese saloon with bulletproof reliability but limited sales. There were just under 50,000 left at the end of 2019 and with 10,000 a year leaving the roads it will vanish in the next four years
Extinct by: Q2 2028. While sales of the regular Scenic have stopped, the Grand Scenic soldiers on against seven-seat SUVs and larger MPVs. Despite still being on sale, the decline in models outstrips new registrations, painting a gloomy future for it