News : Top 10 most popular stories on AROnline in 2017

It’s that time of the year again, so we’re looking back at the Top 10 most popular stories on AROnline in 2017 according to Google Analytics data.

This year, we’re breaking the charts up into categories, so you can see just what news is clicking, as well as the most popular BMC>MGR cars that you like to read about…

AROnline Trends in 2017

Rover 75 development story was a continually popular page in 2017…

What’s interesting is that, as we scaled back on our news coverage in 2017, to concentrate on the core of the site – development stories, concepts and archive material – the audience figures actually improved in the second half of 2017. After a long and gradual decline in our readership since 2014, strong growth has returned to AROnlinewith around 180,000-220,000 readers visiting us in a typical month.

The reason for this decline in readership can be put firmly at the door of a change in your behaviour. With Facebook consuming so much of people’s time online, fewer of you have been leaving the blue site and heading towards specialist websites such as this.

There’s also been a drop in engagement on AROnline, with commenting rates down, and the forum now inactive through lack of interest. However, despite this, the number of you visiting AROnline and reading the longer stories is on the up, with strong improvements since August, which ties in pretty much with the site’s relaunch into Mk5 form, and more focus on SEO.

Anyway, thank you so much for supporting AROnline and here’s to more of the same in 2018!

Top 10 development stories in 2017

  1. MINI development story
  2. Princess/Ambassador development story
  3. Mini development story
  4. Rover 75/MG ZT development story
  5. Ford Granada development story
  6. Vauxhall Viva development story
  7. Austin Maxi development story
  8. Vauxhall Cavalier Mk2 development story
  9. Ford Sierra development story
  10. BMC 1800/2200 development story

So, do you love MINIs more than Minis? Probably not, although more people came to AROnline to read about the new one than the classic. Perhaps that’s a reflection of the fact that the ‘new’ car now has classic status of its own?

Top 10 news and blogs in 2017

  1. Blog : Should MG Rover have been bailed out in 2005?
  2. News : Vanden Plas 1800 prototype stars at NEC show
  3. Blog : So, what did Honda get from Rover…?
  4. Blog : Why JLR could do wonders with Vauxhall…
  5. Blog : Project Vinland – an employee’s perspective
  6. Archive : 37 years ago – BL workers sleeping on the job
  7. Blog : MG – which direction for the future?
  8. Blog : The 200,000-mile MG6 taxicab
  9. News : BMH launches Mk1 Mini bodyshells
  10. History : All at sea for the miniMetro launch…

You still love a good yarn, and a counter-factual history piece. The ‘what if’ is still as popular as ever, which goes hand-in-hand with a good old conspiracy theory.

Top 10 history, archive and concept car stories

  1. Engines : Rover V8
  2. In-house designs : Rover 35 (R30)
  3. People : The Harold Musgrove Interview
  4. Best of British : Gardner 6LX diesel engine
  5. Essay : K-Series – what makes it tick?
  6. Concepts and prototypes : Vauxhall Scamp
  7. Concepts and prototypes : Metro saloon
  8. Features : Urban myths and old wives’ tales
  9. History : British Leyland, the grand illusion – Part One
  10. History : BMC/BL/Rover Timeline – 1952 to 2005

I’m always looking for suggested topics to cover on AROnline, as well as contributions from people who have a tale to tell – be it as an enthusiast, or someone with an inside perspective. Every last piece of information makes the story we’re telling even richer.

Keith Adams

Keith Adams


  1. Just to say thanks for all the hard work in producing so much interesting content throughout the year and previous years. Here’s to 2018.

    Best wishes for the new year.

  2. Congratulations on continuing to produce interesting and informative articles (which makes you stand out a bit on the internet !). And although I use Facebook, sites such as AROnline are needed to balance out the trivia.

  3. This site is my bedtime reading almost everyday and I love to read the stories over and over again. A good reason why the MINI story became so popular, might have to do with that fact that, after so many years, some “unknown” prototype photos came up on Car Design Archives page on Facebook and consequently added to the story.

  4. Thank you for all the work and TLC you put into this great website!
    It’s sad to hear numbers are going down – no need to feel frustration, as your site is one of the best car sites on the internet.

    (and I do not use Facebook…)

    • They were going down. They’re on the rise again, and have been since August. It looks like New Year’s Day was a record traffic day – so clearly people like the BL50 idea 🙂

  5. Keith… as you can guess, it’s very easy to become addicted to ARonline so good luck in 2018. I didn’t realise you are Editor of Parkers website. I will be consulting it this month for part ex valuation on my car.

  6. MINI has been in production across 3 generations since 2001, that will be 17 years this year. That is almost a (human) generation.
    Have we reached a tipping point where more people have driven / an interest in MINI than Mini?
    My parents briefly had a Mini as did my wife’s, I test drove a MINI with my wife before she decided the interior was a bit too small, so you can see the generational thing there.

    Would be interesting to see any international demographics, the likes of the US market had brief market exposure to Mini, and in media such as Mr Bean, before MINI (known over there as ‘Cooper’) became surprisingly popular.

    Personally I find the story fascinating, especially the approaches – UK wanted to make a practical car, Germany wanted a sporting car like the Z13 concept, California wanted something funky.
    The type of challenge in introducing a new version of an icon that hasn’t changed in decades that is facing Land Rover, and will no doubt have detractors.

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