Complete Austin Maxi lineup, specs, economy, dimensions

1980 Austin Maxi II - Technical Specs, Fuel economy, Dimensions1980 - 1982 Austin Maxi HatchbackMaxi II2 Trims 72 to 91 Hp 1969 Austin Maxi I - Technical Specs, Fuel economy, Dimensions1969 - 1980 Austin Maxi HatchbackMaxi I3 Trims 68 to 90 Hp

The Austin Maxi is a medium-sized family car manufactured and marketed by Austin and eventually British Leyland from 1969 to 1981. This 5-door hatchback was built and sold by British Leyland alongside the 1973 Austin Allegro and 1971 Morris Marina. However, the 1982 Austin Maestro replaced these three models.

History of Austin Maxi

The Maxi (code name ADO14) was the final automobile created by legendary designer Alec Issigonis for the British Motor Corporation before it merged into the new British Leyland company. It was British Leyland's first automobile. Initially, BMC planned to name the Maxi the "Austin 1500" when it went on sale in spring 1969, and the saloon variant the "Morris 1500" in the autumn. After BMC and Leyland merged, the management change produced the Morris Marina alternatively. The Marina was a rear-wheel-drive saloon, coupe, or estate automobile introduced in April 1971. Lord Stokes, the new chairman, renamed the hatch the Maxi after the Mini of ten years before. The manufacturer constructed the E-Series engines at a new facility at Longbridge, Cofton Hackett. The Maxi was among the first cars to feature on the BBC's new automotive series Wheelbase, a predecessor to Top Gear, premiered in 1977. The five-door hatchback resembled the French-built Renault 16, named European Car of the Year in 1965. During the 1970s and 1980s, this automobile became one of the most famous cars in most European markets. Austin reused the door frames from the Austin 1800 "Landcrab" on the Maxi despite the redesigned platform, which reduced tooling expenses. When combined with Maxi's carried-over doors and exceptionally lengthy wheelbase, this resulted in a vehicle that resembled a mini version of 1800. After just five years, this style stood in stark contrast to the Ford Cortina Mk III and Hillman Avenger-inspired curvy American "coke bottle" appearance that was popular at the time and which contrasted dramatically with Maxi's mid-1960s aesthetics. With its four-door saloon, the car would face competition with the Ford Cortina in terms of style. The booted expansion brought the Maxi about the exact dimensions as the 1800 vehicle, which was changed in March 1975 by the 18-22 series cars. Thus a prototype was produced and branded as a Morris but never manufactured. In 1971 and 1972, the Maxi was rated as the least stolen automobile. Due to Australia's recently raised local content construction duties, Leyland Motor Corporation produced the Morris Nomad in the UK, a hybrid using the Maxi's E-series powertrain and a rear door attached to the Morris 1100 body already being manufactured in that region. Under the Austin brand, they sold the Nomad in New Zealand with the domestically made Maxi. Among the many appealing features of the Maxi were its roomy cabin, excellent passenger comfort, fair pricing, and low operating expenses. Even though the Austin Allegro and Morris Marina of the 1970s were known for their flaws, a drab interior and shoddy construction set down the Austin Maxi. The Chrysler Alpine (1975) and Volkswagen Passat (1973) were Maxi's main competitors in the 1970s, but Ford and Vauxhall didn't manufacture a hatchback until the early 1980s, when they became the best-selling competitors. Austin Maxi's production ended on July 8, 1981, after a 12-year run. The Austin Maestro, which took over for Allegro's smaller sibling, was unveiled in March 1983. As a replacement for the Maxi, BL reworked the Princess to become the Austin Ambassador. However, this model was only available until 1984, when the Austin Montego replaced it. With only one model left to compete in this market after supplying four similar-sized vehicles for five years, BL had finished its justification.


British Leyland and Austin sold the Austin Maxi with a manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of £1375 (£24,115 or $31,494 in 2022). If you are interested in buying a used Austin Maxi, online auction websites offer various Austin Maxi with prices ranging from £1,000 $to £6,000 ($1,306 to $7,835).


Austin constructed the final models from 1981 to 1982 with new bumpers and indicators, rear reversing lights, full cover plastic wheel trims, broader side molding inserts, and new side repeaters. The company also added nylon trim, door bins, laminated windshield, LM/MW push button radio, and walnut veneer dashboard. Higher models received intermittent screen wipes, tinted glass, more effective sound insulation, velour seats, and burr walnut veneer dashboard.
In 1981, Maxi installed a new chrome bumper and replaced the old matte black.


The Austin Maxi engine delivers 72 hp (54 kW) at 4,900 rpm and 97 lb-ft (132 Nm) at 4,900 rpm of torque. The Austin Maxi accelerates from 0 to 60 mph (97 kph) in 11.4 seconds with a top speed of 101 mph (163 kph) and a curb weight of 2,156 lbs (978 kgs). Austin offered the Maxi as a front-wheel-drive (FWD) model with two available transmissions: 5-speed manual all-synchromesh and 4-speed automatic optional from 1974. Austin powered the Maxi model using a 1750L naturally-aspirated inline-4 cylinder engine.

Release Date

Austin and British Leyland released the Austin Maxi in 1969 and discontinued the model in 1981.