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What is it about some cars, trucks and SUVs that make them more appealing the older they get?
Is it familiarity? Faith in the fact that the manufacturer has had time to iron out all the big faults as well as niggling little problems? Or simply that in some cases, prices go down while standard equipment levels go up, to keep buyers interested?
Here are 10 more golden oldies, ranked from oldest to newest, you can still find in new-car showrooms today that are no younger than nine-years-old. Not all are popular and not all are great – but they all have one thing on their side… longevity!
A notable sales failure from an international perspective, the original Amarok has nevertheless earned a place in Aussie pick-up buyers’ hearts for its outstanding – and to this day barely matched – refinement and comfort, courtesy of premium engineering and Volkswagen’s incredibly muscular V6 turbo-diesel option. The Ford Ranger-based successor will be here soon, so if you want the Wolfsburg ute experience, get in quick.
One of the biggest success stories of the last five years, the ASX took a long time to gain traction, being one of the first of the modern breed of small SUVs. Good looks, an appealing interior, long warranty and dependable, reliable mechanicals continue to hold it in good stead today, though for refinement, efficiency and driver enjoyment, the Mitsubishi is really showing its age.
The Kangoo is another decade-old survivor, and is well behind the latest small vans like the Peugeot Partner for safety equipment, interior comfort, multimedia technology and performance. But it looks good, is ably versatile and starts at a low price, so the Renault’s enduring appeal is also understandable. Up in Europe the next-generation version has already broken cover, so our advice would be to sit tight or look elsewhere.
The unrealised potential of the Giulietta is heartbreaking to lovers of Alfa Romeo, because a truly competitive premium sports hatchback sits beneath the slick exterior, even years after it launched in 2010. But the company’s hesitation to provide timely updates in a rapidly changing world meant the Giulietta has fallen behind in too many key areas. But if you’re keen, then maybe take the plunge, because no replacement is planned at this stage.
Behind the slick and snazzy CT200h’s exterior are the bones of the previous-generation Toyota Corolla hybrid – albeit upgraded in many areas befitting a small hatchback wearing the Lexus badge. But the cramped packaging, hard ride and generally unrefined hybrid powertrain have undermined this series since new – we can’t imagine it being any better nowadays. Please, stretch to a Lexus UX instead. Or buy a used version and save.
Soon for the chopping block, the third-generation medium-sized SUV to wear the Outlander name is really two different experiences, depending on grade. Buy the regular petrol or diesel versions, and the space, ease and warranty will be tempered by too much noise and harshness for a modern car. But the Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) grades offer outstandingly good value, with electrification that’s proven a big hit with buyers globally. That’s the one to go for, every time.
Good looks, keen pricing and Jeep’s go-anywhere reputation have kept the Grand Cherokee popular and relevant for years, but this is also the model that has suffered in more recent times by a reputation for allegedly terrible quality and indifferent dealer service. We reckon that it’s probably worth hanging off for the all-new 2022 Grand Cherokee L heading to Australia next year, as it promises to right many of the previous wrongs. And it looks awesome to boot.
Credit to Mazda for creating one of the most sensual and desirable mid-sized passenger cars available anywhere in the world today. The 6’s timing has been awful, with buyers abandoning this class of car en-masse, so the fact that the Hiroshima company has continually improved the series with palpably greater refinement, luxury and dynamics since 2012 means the 2021 versions are well worth a look today. Just beware, though, that the rear-drive in-line six-cylinder replacements aren’t too far away.
Arguably the worst light hatch you could buy new in 2012 has proven best for longevity, outliving the superior Volkswagen Up, tolerable Nissan Micra and cute-but-flawed Fiat Panda. Now in its ninth year, it limps along with a reasonable 100-plus sales per month, fanned by an admittedly clever 2018 facelift that at least gives it a façade of freshness. But no. Don’t do it. Or if you really want to, buy used and enjoy the reliability.
Speaking of sleepers! The big and brutish V8 petrol-powered Y62 Patrol arrived nine years ago to an indifferent public, unimpressed with its diesel-engine unavailability, soggy handling and super-high pricing. But the series has enjoyed a belated revival, first as fuel prices have plummeted, and then with a series of smart updates that have improved the product substantially. Nowadays, the waiting list is long, so why not? Or wait for the all-new LandCruiser 300 instead…