Exploring the Best French Car Brands
When it comes to the world of vehicles, the French have long been celebrated for their unique blend of style, innovation, and engineering excellence. From the chic streets of Paris to the picturesque countryside of Provence, French cars have captured the hearts of enthusiasts worldwide.
In this blog, we take a look at the finest French car brands. From enduring masterpieces to groundbreaking electric vehicles, France boasts a rich history of making incredible cars. To kick off our exploration, our first stop is Renault.
Renault, one of France's most iconic automakers, has a rich and storied history that dates back to the late 19th century. It all began in 1898 when Louis Renault, along with his brothers Marcel and Fernand, built their first car in the garden shed of their family estate. Renault quickly gained recognition for its innovative designs and engineering. In 1905, they introduced the first mass-produced car engine with a turbocharger. Over the years, Renault's success continued to grow, and they played a significant role in Europe's automotive industry.
The company's journey wasn't without its challenges, including the effects of World War II and post-war nationalisation, but Renault persevered. The 1950s and 60s saw the introduction of iconic models like the Renault 4CV and the Renault Dauphine, which contributed to the brand's popularity.
Today, Renault’s modern lineup showcases a wide variety of vehicles. In particular, the Renault Clio has been a consistent best-seller, known for its compact size, stylish design, and advanced technology features. Also, Renault’s lineup has a great selection of SUVs like the Renault Captur and Renault Kadjar. These French cars offers a more spacious option, making them ideal for families. In recent years, Renault has also been making strides in electric vehicles, with models like the Renault Zoe and the Renault Megane E-Tech Electric, catering to environmentally conscious consumers. They have been part of Renault's commitment to a greener, more sustainable future.
View our latest Renault car lease deals.
Up next, we’ve chosen Citroen which was founded in 1919 by André Citroën. Citroën's first major contribution to the automotive world was the introduction of mass production techniques, most notably the use of assembly lines. In 1924, Citroën made a groundbreaking debut with the Citroën B10, the world's first all-steel-bodied car. This innovation set a new standard for safety and durability in cars.
A few years later, Citroën unveiled the Citroën Traction Avant, one of the first mass-produced, front-wheel-drive cars. However, Citroën's most iconic creation arrived in 1955 with the Citroën DS. This innovative luxury saloon featured an aerodynamic design, advanced suspension, and a range of cutting-edge technologies.
In more recent history, Citroën expanded its offerings to include a wide range of vehicles, from compact cars to vans and SUVs. The Citroën Berlingo, Citroën C3, and Citroën C4 are notable examples, each emphasizing Citroën's commitment to comfort and innovation. Furthermore, Citroën has enthusiastically adopted electric and hybrid technologies, introducing vehicles such as the Citroën e-C4 and Citroën C5 Aircross Plug-In Hybrid. This shows Citroën’s dedication to producing eco-friendly transportation options.
In summary, Citroën’s emphasis on comfort, bold design, and innovative features continues to be a defining trait in its current line-up. It’s a key example of French manufacturing at its best! Some of Citroën’s new models include the Citroën C4 X and Citroën C5 X.
Fantastic Citroën car lease deals available, here.
Peugeot, a renowned French manufacturer, has a rich history dating back to the early 19th century. The company's journey began in 1810 when it was founded by Jean-Pierre Peugeot as a family business dedicated to producing various steel products. It wasn't until the late 19th century that the company entered the automotive industry. In 1889, they unveiled their first car, the Peugeot Type 2, which featured a steam engine.
As technology advanced, Peugeot transitioned to internal combustion engines. During the mid-20th century, Peugeot introduced several iconic models such as the Peugeot 404 and 504, which were known for their durability and style. In the 1980s, the Peugeot 205 became a sensation, winning the prestigious European Car of the Year award.
The Peugeot brand continued to expand globally, forming alliances with other automakers and making acquisitions. In 1974, they joined forces with Renault to form the PSA Group, which later included brands like Citroën and DS. This consortium allowed Peugeot to grow its international presence and develop new technologies.
In recent years, Peugeot has undergone a transformation, emphasising design, innovation, and electrification in its model line-up. The Peugeot 208, for example, is a stylish and compact city car available in both petrol and electric versions. Furthermore, Peugeot has a great selection of SUVs like the Peugeot 3008 and bigger sibling, the Peugeot 5008. Overall, Peugeot's current model line-up reflects the brand's commitment to providing a wide range of vehicles that blend French elegance, advanced technology, and a focus on sustainability.
View our current Peugeot car lease deals.
Alpine's history is a narrative of innovation, exceptional performance, and a promise to crafting beautiful sports cars. Its origins date back to 1955 when the French racing enthusiast Jean Rédélé founded the company. His aspiration was to manufacture sports cars that were nimble, lightweight, and capable of rivalling the best worldwide. He picked the name "Alpine" as a nod to his success in rallying through the Alps.
In the early years, Alpine made a name for itself in motorsport, particularly in rallying. The Alpine A110, introduced in 1961, became an icon in the rally world, winning numerous competitions and championships, including the World Rally Championship. Its lightweight construction, rear-engine layout, and nimble handling made it a formidable opponent on various terrains.
Alpine continued to produce a range of sports cars and achieved success both on the track and on the road. However, in the 1990s, the brand went dormant, and production ceased. It wasn't until 2017 when the French automaker Renault decided to revive the Alpine name and introduce a new era of Alpine sports cars.
The first model to be reborn was the Alpine A110, unveiled in 2017. The modern A110 retained the essence of its predecessor, offering a perfect balance of power and handling. Since then, Alpine has expanded its lineup with various iterations of the A110, including the A110S, a more powerful and track-focused version.
Take a look at our current Alpine car lease deals.
Last but not least, we’ve selected Bugatti as one of the best French car brands. Founded in 1909 by the Italian-born French automobile designer Ettore Bugatti, the company quickly gained a reputation for building some of the most luxurious and high-performance cars of the early 20th century. The first Bugatti car, the Type 13, made its debut in 1910, and it was an immediate success on the racing circuit.
One of the most iconic Bugatti models of the pre-World War II era was the Bugatti Royale, an opulent luxury car with a massive 12.7-litre engine. Bugatti's legacy continued after World War II with the introduction of the Bugatti Type 101 and later, the Bugatti Type 57. These vehicles upheld the brand's tradition of combining exceptional design and engineering. However, the company faced financial difficulties, and production ceased in the 1950s.
Bugatti underwent several ownership changes until it was acquired by Volkswagen Group in the late 1990s. Under Volkswagen's ownership, Bugatti made a triumphant return to the automotive world with the Bugatti Veyron. Launched in 2005, the Veyron was a technological marvel, equipped with an 8.0-litre W16 engine that produced over 1,000hp. After the Veyron, Bugatti launched the Chiron in 2016, continuing the tradition of astonishing performance and supreme craftsmanship. In summary, Bugatti's history is marked by a persistent pursuit of excellence and a commitment to pushing the boundaries of what is possible in the automotive world.
As we conclude our exploration of the best French car brands, we've witnessed the heritage, the innovation, and the undeniable charm that these manufacturers bring to the table. These brands have not only withstood the test of time but have also continued to inspire the automotive world with their passion for design and engineering. Whether you're a fan of luxury, practicality, or the latest electric technology, there's a French car brand that suits your preferences and needs.
If you've been inspired by the rich history and contemporary offerings of French car brands, we encourage you to take the next step in your automotive journey. Explore their current models and check out our latest car lease deals. Your ideal car may be just around the corner, waiting for you to experience the unparalleled charm and innovation that only French car brands can deliver. Also, stay up to date with our current special offers and updates by visiting our Facebook page.