The Peugeot 306 - so much more than the French Golf.
The car was actually a true, all new 93 model and was updated during its 10 year life adequately with all the necessary tech. But this, the first phase, looked like it was from the 80's both inside and out. It was the French being quirky in a very subtle way - instead of blandly following the new trend of design, they made it look like a concept from the past with the grotesquely angled dash, steering wheel and general oddness.
And yet, with a minor facelift, the car looked better and more modern than anything else for the money for 6 more years. This is what I consider to be a successful design - both flexible and one that ages well.
Of course not everyone agrees with me, even I myself grew up hating the thing - it was French, for one, and in Bulgaria, a country which stuck blindly with Germany for two world wars, anything besides a VAG, BMW and Merc products, even very old, was a social no-no. Also, everyone was desperate for modern western cars after the fall of the Berlin wall and a neo-retro-ironic design didn't exactly fly well. But then I entered engineering school and learned the value of objectivity and how to be honest with myself. I also learned about how cars work in-depth and was finally able to decide for myself whether the Golf 3 is the second coming or not. I started to appreciate the 306's honesty, simplicity and, later, it's massive lift-off capability, courtesy of the torsion bar rear suspension. So much so, that I bought this one.
Also, first OPPO post!!