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10 long-gone cars, SUVs and utes still sold outside of Australia: Where old favourites such as the Mitsubishi Lancer, Nissan Patrol Safari and Toyota Starlet still exist

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The Nissan Y61 Patrol lives on in the Middle East as an affordable wagon alternative to the newer Y62 launched last decade.
The Nissan Y61 Patrol lives on in the Middle East as an affordable wagon alternative to the newer Y62 launched last decade.

Cars, like people, are born, go through the cycle of life, and then shuffle off this mortal coil. It’s a one-way journey.

But unlike us organics, machines that have grown old or obsolete in fiercely-competitive markets like ours occasionally keep right on going elsewhere, often with a facelift to keep things fresh.

And why not? If they still work as intended and don’t misbehave, older cars can be sources of easy revenue for their makers – especially if they’ve long amortised their initial development costs – while providing comparatively inexpensive options for price-driven consumers. Wins all-round – in most cases at least.

Here, then, are the popular models no longer available in Australia that are living an extended or second life elsewhere.

If you thought the Mitsubishi Lancer is history, think again: this is the 2024 Grand Lancer.
If you thought the Mitsubishi Lancer is history, think again: this is the 2024 Grand Lancer.

Mitsubishi Lancer

Available in Australia for 10 years from 2007, the ninth-generation Lancer enjoyed a long and successful career locally as a competent and reliable small-car alternative to a Toyota Corolla.

Today, a heavily-facelifted version exists as the Grand Lancer in Taiwan and some other Chinese-speaking markets, using the same basic ingredients, but in a more contemporary body.

Think of it like comparing today’s ASX with the 2010 original – essentially the same car, updated for the 2020s.

There’s a seriously-retro Safari version, complete with Nissan’s ancient 4.8-litre inline six-cylinder petrol engine.
There’s a seriously-retro Safari version, complete with Nissan’s ancient 4.8-litre inline six-cylinder petrol engine.

Nissan Y61 Patrol

Remember when the strong-selling 1997-2013 era Y61 Patrol wagon diesel was replaced by the far-more expensive and V8-petrol powered and auto-only Y62 series and all the traditionalists were up in arms?

Well, that same older Patrol wagon continues in the Middle East (and maybe elsewhere). There’s a seriously-retro Safari version, complete with Nissan’s ancient 4.8-litre inline six-cylinder petrol engine and the option of a five-speed manual transmission.

This is the facelifted Suzuki Baleno, sold under the hallowed Toyota Starlet name.
This is the facelifted Suzuki Baleno, sold under the hallowed Toyota Starlet name.

Suzuki Baleno

Suzuki facelifted the 2015 Baleno in 2022 at the height of the small hatchback’s popularity in Australia, but the model was dropped prior to that here due to the lack of appropriate driver-assist safety features.

Of course, today it still lives on elsewhere as a value-focused small family car, and even has two Toyota-badged spin-offs – the Glanza and Starlet. Sadly, though, the latter isn’t the same 1990s supermini Aussies are familiar with.

The original VW Amarok lives on in Argentina.
The original VW Amarok lives on in Argentina.

VW 2F Amarok (Mk1)

While today’s second-gen Amarok is based on the new Ford Ranger and ia even built alongside it at a Blue Oval plant in South Africa, the 2010 original continues in its native Argentina, but without the latest driver-assist safety systems essential for a five-star crash-test rating here.

The D22 Navara/Frontier has had a long life, yet continues to be made in China.
The D22 Navara/Frontier has had a long life, yet continues to be made in China.

Nissan D22 Navara

Nissan still offers the Navara that debuted all the way back in 1997 in China, even though it’s been succeeded elsewhere by two full generations of one-tonne utes.

If you miss the old-style Toyota HiAce van, go to Japan - it's still available over there.
If you miss the old-style Toyota HiAce van, go to Japan - it's still available over there.

Toyota H200 HiAce

Remember the old-style fifth-gen HiAce forward-control van released back in 2004 and replaced in Australia 15 years later by the much-more-advanced and far-superior short-bonnet version that plies our roads today?

Not only is it still made in Japan and elsewhere, there’s also a Mazda Bongo Brawny offshoot! Happy 20th birthday. We don’t miss you.

Nissan still builds the 2010-era K13 Micra/March in Mexico.
Nissan still builds the 2010-era K13 Micra/March in Mexico.

Nissan K13 Micra

Nissan also continues to sell the 2010 Micra in Latin American markets under the March nameplate, and is now solely manufactured in Mexico.

Now in its second facelifted form, this third-generation Nissan supermini scored a new front end, dash refresh and improved safety tech. Fun fact: the Micra has outlived its Renault Clio IV-based successor released in 2016 and discontinued in 2022.

The Nissan Pulsar sold in Australia from 2012 to 2017 lives on in China as the Sylphy Classic.
The Nissan Pulsar sold in Australia from 2012 to 2017 lives on in China as the Sylphy Classic.

Nissan N17 Pulsar

Serial after-lifer Nissan are at it again.

This time it’s with an undead version of the ungainly Pulsar/Sentra/Sylphy sedan from 2012 that promised to revive the company’s Australian small-car fortunes but instead faded away within four years, taking that once-respected badge with it.

If you’re actually a fan of the last Pulsar sedan, then it’s still available much like it was here as the Sentra, while a facelifted version released in 2021 now exists in China, wearing the Sylphy Classic badge.

Iran is in love with the Peugeot 405, and it is now a national automotive icon.
Iran is in love with the Peugeot 405, and it is now a national automotive icon.

Peugeot 405

If you thought that Peugeot’s brilliant 405 sold in Australia between 1989 and 1997 was long consigned to history, think again.

Thanks to a decades-old agreement with Iranian manufacturer Iran Khodro Company (IKCO), the Pininfarina-penned 405 continues pretty much as it was, and has done so since the mid-1990s. It is now synonymous with the country’s automotive culture.

As we’ve reported in the past, restyled versions on the same 405 platform also exist in Iran, but wear different badges.

The Lada Niva dates back to 1977 and is considered a pioneering SUV today.
The Lada Niva dates back to 1977 and is considered a pioneering SUV today.

Lada Niva

A mainstay of the ‘80s and ‘90s off-roading scene, Russia’s Lada Niva dates back to 1977. Launched in Australia in 1983, it should be considered a proto-SUV given the small 4x4's proportions, lofty seating and adventurous character.

Though it was woefully outdated by the time modern compact SUVs like the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V surfaced around 30 years ago, the Niva stuck around in Australia until 1998, and has remained in production to this day. It’s now known in its home market as the Niva Legend. Huzzah!

Byron Mathioudakis
Contributing Journalist
Byron started his motoring journalism career when he joined John Mellor in 1997 before becoming a freelance motoring writer two years later. He wrote for several motoring publications and was ABC Youth radio Triple J's "all things automotive" correspondent from 2001 to 2003. He rejoined John Mellor in early 2003 and has been with GoAutoMedia as a senior product and industry journalist ever since. With an eye for detail and a vast knowledge base of both new and used cars Byron lives and breathes motoring. His encyclopedic knowledge of cars was acquired from childhood by reading just about every issue of every car magazine ever to hit a newsstand in Australia. The child Byron was the consummate car spotter, devoured and collected anything written about cars that he could lay his hands on and by nine had driven more imaginary miles at the wheel of the family Ford Falcon in the driveway at home than many people drive in a lifetime. The teenage Byron filled in the agonising years leading up to getting his driver's license by reading the words of the leading motoring editors of the country and learning what they look for in a car and how to write it. In short, Byron loves cars and knows pretty much all there is to know about every vehicle released during his lifetime as well as most of the ones that were around before then.
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