‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ comes to mind. With these models becoming icons of the automotive industry, each in their own ways, we take a look at the cars that have stood against time or evolved with it.
1. Mazda MX5
Since 1989 this roadster also known as a ‘Miata’ in the US was originally not branded as a Mazda but instead as a ‘Eunos Roadster’ when Mazda were trying out using a different mark/brand name such as Toyota using Lexus. The first version of the two door convertible was produced for 10 years and yours to own from £13,895. The mark 2 was then introduced in 1998 until 2005 and the latest third generation model was launched in 2005 and today the MX5 starts from £18,495.
2. Toyota Corolla
This is the best-selling car of all time and it is still being made in the US. The Corolla was introduced in 1966 and has had eleven reincarnations before becoming the vehicle it is today. However in the UK it was replaced by the Auris in 2007. Early models of the Corolla were rear wheel drive and are still holding their value, while newer models are all front wheel drive.
3. Mercedes-Benz G-Class
Built in Austria for military purposes by the Emperor of Iran and available for civilians to buy since 1979 this Mercedes will definitely make a statement driving it on the roads in the UK. Currently costing £83,805 and features an unusual steering wheel that swings upwards when you have parked, making it easy to get in and out of the vehicle.
4. Peugeot 405
Twenty years ago there were many Peugeot 405s on the road in Britain and the only French model to make it to this list was first sold in 1987. Interestingly the licence for the car was bought and is now only made in Iran under a different name, the ‘Samand’ and it has since been named the national car of Iran. It was also the last ever Peugeot to be sold in the US in the nineties.
5. Land Rover Defender
One of the oldest vehicles on the list being produced since 1948, it is unfortunately due to cease production in 2015 which all comes down to the European pedestrian safety laws. Originally this was simply called the ‘Land Rover’ and the Defender name was added at a later date. It is a common site in more rural areas of the UK.
6. Ford Fiesta
The Ford Escort and F series of trucks have actually sold more than the Fiesta; however the Fiesta is now in its sixth generation since the original model which was produced in 1976. Today you can own a brand new model from £9,995 which comes with hill start assistance as standard on its base ‘Studio’ model.
7. Volkswagen Golf
Now on its seventh generation since 1974 it is also known as the Volkswagen Rabbit in the US and the Volkswagen Caribe in Mexico. With over 29 million sold worldwide and the marque winning multiple awards there is no sign of the Golf’s production ending any time soon. Current prices start from £16,775 which will come with Bluetooth and a DAB radio with multi device interface to connect your modern day media to.
8. Volkswagen Passat
This large family car was actually introduced in 1973 before the Golf and originally shared the same engines used in the Audi 80 after the Volkswagen group took ownership of Audi in 1974. Nowadays you can buy the S model from £20,235 which comes as standard with alloy wheels, Bluetooth and a digital radio.
9. Volkswagen Beetle
Yes another Volkswagen is on the list. The iconic Beetle has hardly changed its form much and is still very much recognisable to the ‘Type 1’ which is the one of the oldest on this list being driven since 1938. Prices start at £15,715 and the base model includes air conditioning and Bluetooth as standard features!
10. Morgan 4/4
And finally, the oldest car on the list is the hand built, British made Morgan. The classic 4/4 roadster was first introduced in 1936. The version available today resembles the Series II, which was first seen in 1955 and can be yours to own from £33,075. For that price you don’t get much apart from leather upholstery in black or brown, reclining sports seats, a choice of ten paint colours and a historical design. Production hasn’t always been constant though and there have been a few major interruptions including the Second World War.
Interestingly Volkswagen dominates this list and in recent news they are aiming to be the top car manufacturing group with plans to become larger than GM and Toyota. Since taking over Audi in 1974, the Volkswagen group have also acquired Bentley, Bugatti, Seat, Skoda, Lamborghini and Porsche. They also own Ducati motorcycles and in the commercial sector they own MAN, Scania and Neoplan. They currently rule the European market and are seeing China as a key market for VW and Audi models.
Porsche is the group’s brand that is needing more improvement and VW’s advisory board chief Ferdinand Piёch describes Porsche as ”a jewel in need of polishing”. So we are expecting to see some new, more mainstream Porsche models in the not too distant future.