The VW Beetle was still popular, but this being the time of the fuel embargo, the Japanese cars became most popular. Toyota, Datsun(Nissan), The US had a few economy cars like the Pinto, Maverick, and the emergence of the K-Car from Chrysler.
chevrolet and dodge were very popular back then. The camaro was real popular...even though I didn't like that model year lots of people bought them. That was about the time all car makers downsized cars...most of them from 79 to 85 was designed for fuel milage...and most were what I call "throw away cars". You purchase them,...drive them until they are done then just junk them and get another.
Many car makers during that era was in a pinch to sell cars...as interest rates was hi..the economy was low...so they tried to make cars that appealed to saving money. This is also when the auto industry came out with rebates...this was due to the fact that they was actually charging too much for the cars...the government made them make certain offers which carrys on today...low financing or rebates.. this way they didn't have to lower the cost of the car and gave them the option to keep the rebates if you took the low financing...works for some...not for me...I just save my money and purchase what I want.
Chevrolet had the nova,s,and the camaro,s.and the elcamino,s and also the chevelle,s.and ford had the Granada,s,and the torino.s and the pinto,s that was the most that you seen back then,,good luck,i hope this help,s.