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During the 1990s the Mitsubishi brand was probably best known in the UK for the Shogun.

While the Evo range was still in its early generations and only recognised by performance car enthusiasts, the Shogun had built a reputation as a dependable and capable 4x4.

Good at towing, exceptional off road and with enough ‘bling’ (although we didn’t know the word for it back then) to give it a semi-upmarket appearance it was a desirable alternative to cars like the Land Rover Discovery and Jeep Grand Cherokee.


 
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Why do cars fail? Lack of demand is sure to kill off any vehicle, and there is an extensive list of cars that were decent, but never quite hit the mark.

It's hard to believe that when I drove the last version of the Honda Legend offered in the UK in 2006, it wasn't obvious that it would disappear from price lists by the end of the following year.

We all knew it would be a niche car, but, based on the Acura TL which was reasonably popular in North America, somehow we believed that Honda's modest sales aspirations of up to 400 a year would be enough to sustain it in the UK.

 
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The original Nissan Primera was rated as a decent car to drive, so despite its bland appearance, it won a legion of followers.

It was facelifted in 1999, then replaced by a radical looking new model in 2002.

My first encounter with the later model was in May 2001. It was the only example in the UK, and Nissan had agreed to bring it to the Fleet Show, a major event organized by my employer.


 
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The Vectra. Thanks to a now notorious debut on television in 1995, the car had become a joke before it arrived in showrooms.

A more modern-looking replacement for the Cavalier, its problems ran deeper than just being ‘boring’.

Many criticisms were addressed with a facelift in 1999, but it wasn’t until it was replaced in 2002, with the ‘New Vectra, New Rules’ advertising campaign was it able to lay to rest the ghosts of the original. Except that it didn’t.


 
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This is the section where I'm forced to admit liking cars that perhaps weren't as good as they made out, or fell foul of a drubbing by the mainstream motoring media.

It isn't that I disagree with the opinions of others, it's just in spite of the overwhelming weight of opinion, for some reason, I still like the car.

First subject is the Toyota Camry. It's a car that hasn't been on sale in the UK since 2004. I was present on the last media launch the UK was invited to, just outside Monaco in 2001.