Alpine A110 original and new
Beth Twigg

Beth Twigg

Beth is a Digital Copywriter in the Carparison marketing team, tasked with creating great articles to keep you both entertained and informed. She has two years previous experience, but has been writing and scribbling for much longer.

Read time of 6 minutes.

If it's not broken, don't fix it - probably the motto of the manufacturers of these cool retro-styled cars.

Feeling the pull of nostalgia? Find yourself dreaming of cars gone by - but not ready to give up modern technology and comforts?

Luckily, there're many retro-styled cars on the market that tap into that unique nostalgia for some of the design choices and well-loved cars from yesteryears, but without compromising on safety or comfort.

We've pulled together a list of some of our favourite cars that either take retro cues for their design or have been in production for decades with minimal design updates (but plenty of tech and performance overhauls).

All that remains is for you to decide which retro car is your favourite - and trust us, that's no easy feat. But with plenty of excellent retro-styled car lease deals, you'll be driving in style and comfort in no time. 

1. Alpine A110

It's 1961 and Alpine, a French manufacturer of racing and sports cars, has just launched the Alpine A110.

It was an instant success.

Alpine was bought by Renault in 1973, and the original A110 was in production until 1977. The last Alpine-badged car was built in 1995, and the Dieppe factory turned its hand to building Renault hot hatches.

The Alpine brand was revived in 2017 and within the year had relaunched the A110. With its distinctive hunchbacked profile, twin headlights, and aluminium bodywork, the A110 revival closely echoes its fallen ancestor and has been a huge hit with enthusiasts.

They have done a fantastic job at blending the old with the new. The cool retro style feels fresh, not outdated, and the 1.8-litre turbocharged engine gives it a fantastic turn of speed that is matched by a feeling of fluency and balance.

It's a brilliant example of retro-styling done right.

Browse our best-selling Alpine A110 lease deals

2. Fiat 500

The Fiat 500 is a true icon.

First launched back in 1957, the instantly recognisable shape has changed little over the years. It's been a stalwart of the modern city car category for years and has been instrumental in shaping how the modern city car looks and performs. 

The current Fiat 500 shot onto the scene back in 2007 and has remained true to the tiny original - without compromising on modern safety standards.

It's practical, refined, and - with a monthly car lease - affordable, with a cute retro design and plenty of technology. The latest generation of the Fiat 500 has even gone fully electric, planting the Fiat 500 firmly in the 21st Century and ensuring it remains a popular choice for years to come.

It's the very definition of a retro-styled success story.

Browse our best-selling Fiat 500 lease deals

3. Jaguar F-Type

The Jaguar F-Type might not hit you instantly as a retro-styled car, but it owes its shape to the coupes of the 60s. 

The F-Type has been heralded as the spiritual successor to the Jaguar E-Type, and there's a certain resemblance to the look of the two cars. But in its heyday, the Jaguar E-Type was the sports car.

Beloved by fashionistas and footballers alike, the stylish looks and superior performance made the E-Type a stand-out vehicle and it remains a popular classic. The F-Type borrows some of its iconic lines, but without looking outdated - its tight proportions and slightly rugged appearance bring it up to date.

But it's still an incredible sports car - the top trim R-Coupe P575 AWD boasts a 567bhp output, and it feels every inch the supercar.

Browse our best-selling Jaguar F-Type lease deals

4. Jeep Wrangler

First launched in the summer of 1986 - inspired by the Willys MB and Ford GPW used by the military during WWII - you'd be hard pushed to tell the newest model apart from the very first Wranglers.

It doesn't get much more retro-styled than this.

The Wrangler has kept the CJ-inspired design cues down the years, with the squared-off body, external fenders, and slatted grille design. The only real change is the windscreen - it's a bit steeper now.

It's the quintessential off-roader. So much so that the word 'jeep' has become a catch-all term for nearly any vehicle with off-roading capabilities, in much the same way that vacuums are Hoovers and sticky tape is all Sellotape.

It's probably the first vehicle you think of when you hear the phrase 'off-roading'. It's a definite example of a successful retro-styled vehicle - though the Jeep Wrangler isn't so much retro-styled as 'this worked so well no one bothered fiddling with the design'.

We love it.

Browse our best-selling Jeep Wrangler lease deals

5. Mercedes-Benz G-Class

Originally designed for military use, in recent years the Mercedes-Benz G-Class has become a status symbol - one fondly referred to as a 'G-Wagon'. 

Meant for harsh terrain, now the G-Wagon has to contend with rush-hour traffic on the school run and whizzing down the motorway on weekend getaways - interspersed with accidental runs down country lanes when the satnav is having a tantrum.

But throughout its long, illustrious life, what has remained constant is the G-Wagon's boxy, retro looks. 

The cabin has undergone several changes - it feels luxe and upmarket, and the addition of all Mercedes' best tech is welcome. Each generation has brought with it a more powerful engine, and - despite its style creds - it's still a capable off-roader, with three locking differentials, a low range gearbox, and a wading depth of 700mm. Should the apocalypse happen, the G-Class has got you covered. 

It ticks all the boxes - retro style, icon status, excellent performance. And with a Mercedes lease making the G-Class a more affordable option, not much could be better.

Browse our best-selling Mercedes-Benz G Class lease deals

6. MINI

Another example of a retro recreation of a beloved past model, the MINI - first built by BMC, British Leyland, and Rover - has been a staple on British roads for decades.

It was a best-seller, cycling through seven generations from its launch year in 1959 until production ceased in 2000. Just a year later, BMW launched their remake of the classic Austin Mini, and it's proved supremely popular ever since.

The new MINI boasts a style that echoes the iconic original but in a larger and much more modern package. The latest iterations of the MINI use the distinctive retro features across its now extensive range.

The traditional 3-door hatchback remains a stalwart of the brand, carrying on MINI's iconic legacy and ensuring that its retro appeal isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

Browse our best-selling MINI lease deals

7. Ford Mustang

Originating in 1965, the Ford Mustang quickly became a hugely influential car for the American manufacturer.

Cementing the legacy of 'muscle cars', the Mustang carved out its place in automotive folklore. The sixth-generation Mustang was launched in 2015 and has seen the Mustang return to its roots. 

It remains an appealing choice, especially for a monthly Ford lease deal. If the heritage and nostalgia appeal wasn't enough to sway your hand, the Ford Mustang - with its incredible performance and build quality - is good value for your hard-earned cash.

The current car design has a modern edge, but it has enough of an echo back to the original Mustang to retain the retro feel. 

In 2020, Ford released the Mustang Mach-e, a modern alternative with an electric twist, which brings the Mustang up to date and ensures its lasting popularity for decades to come. 

Browse our best-selling Ford Mustang lease deals

8. Land Rover Defender

The Land Rover Defender has been a staple of UK roads for years.

Iconic British brand Land Rover shot onto the automotive scene back in the 1940s, and the Defender's distinctive squared-off design has been carried on through the generations ever since.

The latest Defender carries on the look of its ancestors with a modern flair.

It's a true multi-purpose vehicle now. It has the toughness and capabilities of all the Defenders that have come before it, with a refined sense of comfort and quality. It's as at home pootling around town as it is wading through a fjord or tackling a steep hill climb with plenty of potholes.

The Defender can compete with rivals in both the off-road and family SUV classes, but without losing that inherent sense of Defender-ness that has made it so attractive to so many over the years. All that's left is for you to find the right Land Rover lease deal, and you'll be off-roading with the best of them before you know it.

Browse our best-selling Land Rover Defender lease deals

9. Porsche 911

Beloved by many, the Porsche 911 is a sports car that's firmly cemented its place as an icon.

Released in 1963, the 911 has managed to maintain its sleek looks while pushing the boundaries of what technology can do time and time again. It's not so much retro-styled as it is a vehicle that's evolved with each passing update, keeping its retro appeal while sticking firmly with the times.

Each new iteration of the 911 has pushed it that bit further, bringing with it everything Porsche has learned over the years to improve the performance while refining the design elements that harken back to the original.

The newest model is unmistakably a 911.

Oval headlights, powerful haunches, curving roofline - you'd never mistake it for anything else. 

Browse our best-selling Porsche 911 lease deals

10. Honda e

The Honda e meshes the best of both worlds - it's an electric city car with a cool retro design.

The Honda e is a landmark car for Honda. It brings the brand firmly up to date, putting them in a strong position to change with the automotive landscape. The technology Honda uses in the e showcases what they're bringing with them into the years ahead, and the 136-mile range centres the car as an excellent city run-around.

But when it comes to the look, the Honda e is firmly a retro-inspired car.

Its styling cues are inspired by Honda Civics of the 1970s - the circular headlamps set back in the grille are a dead giveaway. The tight proportions and enchanting front are reminiscent of 80s and 90s JDM hatchbacks.

The design is good fun, and the retro appeal makes it stand out in the crowd. But the fully electric capabilities mean that both the running costs and the environmental impact of the vehicle will be reduced - and a monthly electric car lease will help to make the Honda e even more affordable.

The Honda e is the perfect blend of retro and modern.

Browse our best-selling Honda e lease deals