6 Popular French Car Brands

French Car Brands
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When you think of French cars, do you immediately think of the Citroën DS or Peugeot 404? Or are these the most famous French car brands that never cross your mind?

Are you looking to purchase a new vehicle but would prefer to support the automobile industry in France? Check out this list of the six most famous French car brands before shopping around. 

Plus, get tips on negotiating with dealerships to make your dream car even more affordable!

1. Peugeot

The first on our list of French car brands is Peugeot. Peugeot is a car manufacturer based in France founded by Jean-Pierre Peugeot. The first vehicles produced by Peugeot were quadricycles.

Most recently, Peugeot has been credited with several high-profile racing wins. This includes an overall win at both 24 Hours of Le Mans and 24 Hours of Daytona and back-to-back wins at Petit Le Mans in 2012 and 2013.

Peugeot specializes in making smaller cars that are efficient and relatively affordable, which has earned it widespread praise.

Among other vehicles produced by Peugeot is its 807 compact family vehicle. It weighs just over 2 tons and can accommodate up to 7 passengers. It also contains a total of 14 different airbags for your safety.

2. Citroen

Citroen is one of the largest French car brand manufacturers. They specialize in small cars and large vans. Many Citroens are also hatchbacks and sedans.

Citroen manufactures some of its vehicles, but it is part of a giant conglomerate that produces other brands. This includes Peugeot, DS Automobiles, and Renault Trucks. 

Citroens have been produced since 1919; their logo features a trident symbolizing strength and confidence. Most models cost less than $30,000.

Their most popular vehicle is arguably their C4 Picasso MPV vehicle designed for families or long-distance travel. Other examples are their Berlingo van and C3 sedan.

3. Renault

Located in Boulogne-Billancourt, France. Renault is an automobile company that builds both cars and commercial vehicles. Louis Renault and his brothers Marcel and Fernand founded it in 1899. Michelin later took it over in 1999.

Renault has become synonymous with high-quality, fuel-efficient cars over its 100+ year history. Today Renault produces a wide range of sedans and most French car brands, including Clio, Scenic, and Megane models.

4. Alpine

The legendary Alpine made its first sports car in 1959. It entered international rally races with a prototype that performed well despite being underpowered the year after. From then on, it established its reputation. It has an impeccable style and performance at an affordable price. 

Since then, Alpine has developed various models based on Renault platforms, including sports cars, sedans, and station wagons.

The company’s ongoing partnership with Renault is one of its biggest strengths. For example, Engines from Renault-Nissan powers many of its models. Their brands are known as the best French car brands because of their impeccable style and performance.

5. Bugatti

Known as the world’s most influential luxury brand, Bugatti is one of the hottest French car brands. Ettore Bugatti founded it in 1909 and named it after his son, Carlo Bugatti. 

Today it has eight brands: Veyron, Divo, Sport Legend series (Grand Sport, Type 57S, and Atalante), De Tomaso series (Filou), Mansory series (Chiron and Kamel), Italdesign Giugiaro series (Aerolithe model) and Maserati series (2007 MC12).

The Chiron is 1 of only 30 vehicles that have received a perfect 100 score from both major reviewers at Autocar & Motor Authority.

6. Ligier

Ligier is a former French racing car manufacturer that has undergone several ownership changes. They have been relaunched as a luxury supercar maker.

Guy Ligier bought Ligier in 1965. He then sold it to Cyril de Rouvre in 1976, who turned it into a successful Formula One team with drivers like Jacques Laffite, Patrick Depallier, and Teo Fabi.

Years later, the company went into liquidation in 1982. Later, Alain Prost and his partners bought it. This resulted in a sports car division that made successful road cars using engines from companies like Porsche, Honda, and Chrysler. Most of these are available today as rare collectibles of french car brands.


The popularity of French cars comes from two main factors. The first is that France is a trendy tourist destination.

Most people know about what France offers, even if they have never been there.  The second factor is how many world-class luxury and sportscar brands are produced in France.

Several of these French car brands have an excellent reputation for producing high-quality vehicles with stunning designs. People from all over want to own one themselves as soon as they can afford it. 

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