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by Matt Campbell

Land Rover Defender 90 Heritage Edition_005

There have been some big-name retirements in the automotive landscape recently – the most prominent of them being the Land Rover Defender.

But there are some other models out there that have been kicking around for quite a while, so we thought we’d take a look at some of the oldest ‘new’ cars still on sale.

We’re talking about cars that have been on sale in Australia, in their current generation guise, for – in some cases – decades.

By current generation we mean that the original body panels and underpinnings remain: we know there are some cars on this list that have seen new drivetrains, chassis components and interior fitouts over the years, but the premise of the original vehicle remains.

Here goes:

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Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen – on sale since 2011, but same generation since 1979

Okay, there are mixed opinions on the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen – or G-Class or Gelandewagen – in the CarAdvice offices. Some (like me) hate its terrible steering but admire its hardcore underpinnings. Others just love the look of the thing – it’s boxy as.

There’s a replacement on the way, though, and we hope it’s great. And I hope it has new steering.


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Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series – on sale since 1985

So the old LandCruiser 70 Series looks pretty much the same on the outside as it did 30 years ago, but the thing has been comprehensively upgraded with new safety, new engines and new chassis rails over its time here.

Of course, it’s tough as nails, and miners and aggies love it.


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Nissan Patrol Y61 – on sale since 1997

The original tough-nut Nissan Patrol Y61 has been seen out with the Legend Edition, which celebrates the hardcore off-roader’s no-nonsense roots.

We’ll miss it – and buyers will, too, because it’s Nissan’s only serious off-road SUV with a diesel engine.


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Suzuki Jimny – on sale since 1998

The Suzuki Jimny small SUV is the most hardcore off-roader you can buy if you’re on a budget.

The brand has had to limit the number it imports due to safety regulations, but there are still 100 per year being brought in. We can’t wait for the new model.


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Morgan 4/4 – on sale since 2002

The Morgan 4/4 is a sports car that has been designed with history in mind. Yuck.


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Rolls-Royce Phantom – on sale since 2003

Yes. The Rolls-Royce Phantom is almost 14 years old. And yes, it’s still one of the most amazing and luxurious cars ever. Some might say it is timeless. Others might just say it’s totes ridic ancient, you know?


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Suzuki APV – on sale since 2005

Mike Costello absolutely, unreservedly loves the Suzuki APV. Maybe that love started in his formative years, because this little cargo van is oooolllllllld.


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Suzuki Grand Vitara – on sale since 2005

Another old Suzuki. The brand has been smashing out new models in the past 18 months, but its SUV offerings just keep soldiering on.

Driving a Grand Vitara is like meeting up with an old school friend – the world around you may have changed a lot, but some things stay the same.


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Toyota Tarago – on sale since 2006

Ah, the Tarago. It’s a people mover that has been part of the Toyota family for 10 years, and while it has been updated and upgraded over the years, we can’t help but feel that it really falls shorts compared to newer rivals. We love the V6 engine, though!


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Jeep Wrangler – on sale since 2006

The Jeep Wrangler is soon to be replaced by an all-new model that will be lighter and tougher than this one, which has been on sale for more than a decade.

That hasn’t stopped people buying it: the Wrangler has the country’s biggest selling convertible for a while, now (yeah, that’s how it’s classified due to its removable roof).


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Mitsubishi Pajero – on sale since 2006

One Mitsubishi that hasn’t changed much in a decade is the Pajero. No, not the Triton-based Pajero Sport, but the regular Pajero, which is starting to drop off in terms of sales as it’s overtaken by its smaller, more modern Sport successor.


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Aston Martin Vantage models – on sale since 2006

Buy an Aston Martin Vantage and you undoubtedly get ageless styling – and that’s mainly because the car has been around for a decade, yet still looks sexier than you thought Paris Hilton did when this car first appeared.


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Holden Captiva – on sale since 2006

The reign of the Holden Captiva as the brand’s big-selling SUV offering will surely come to an end at some point. We can’t get over the fact that Holden virtually gives these away – at the moment you can buy one for $25,000 drive-away. That’s a lot of SUV for the money. It’s just a shame it sucks.


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Mitsubishi Lancer – on sale since 2007

Nearly a decade has passed since the current-generation Mitsubishi Lancer went on sale, and it’s really surprising just how many people are still buying them: more than 7000 sales in 2016, and that’s despite there being much better cars for similar money. Perplexing.


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Toyota Yaris sedan – on sale since 2007 (now dead)

Well, that didn’t happen soon enough. The Toyota Yaris sedan has been declared dead after nearly 10 years on sale. It was old five years ago, yet it remained as part of the line-up because Toyota… Don’t think we’ll see a replacement.


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Caterham 7 – on sale since 2007, not that many people have bought one

The Caterham 7 is designed to look like a racy old car. It succeeds… in being both old and racy.


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Volkswagen Crafter – on sale since 2007

The Volkswagen Crafter will be replaced in 2017. That’s good, because it needed to be.


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Mahindra Pik-Up – on sale since 2007

What can we say about the Mahindra Pik-Up? It’s thoroughly good fun off-road. That’s all.


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Ssangyong Actyon – on sale since 2007

The most useless ute on the market, the Ssangyong Actyon dual-cab is still on sale after close to a decade. And yeah, Ssangyong still exists – weird, right?


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Toyota LandCruiser 200 Series – on sale since 2007

After a comprehensive facelift in 2015, the LandCruiser 200 Series wagon remains one of the best off-road vehicles on the market. We love it, buyers still love it. So why replace it?


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Jeep Patriot – on sale since 2007

The Jeep Patriot. It’s old. It’ll be replaced soon. Thank goodness.


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Fiat 500 – on sale since 2008

It was styled to look retro, but the current Fiat 500 is actually becoming a bit of a relic. Having launched here in its first ‘series’ in 2008, not much has changed to the body of the car.

It’s still tiny, well packaged and fun. But the world is ready for a new take on an old classic.


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Dodge Journey – on sale since 2008

It’s been quite a journey, this seemingly-life-long drive with the Dodge Journey. Now make it stop.


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Fiat Scudo – on sale since 2008

Commercial vehicles can get away with being not-quite-as-up-to-date as their passenger car compatriots. But with new competitors, the Scudo feels older than Mount Vesuvius.


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Hyundai iLoad – on sale since 2008

It was updated recently, and we still reckon the Hyundai iLoad – and its people-moving mate, the iMax – are good value for money. But gosh, it stands out like hammer-banged digit against its H-branded peers.


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Nissan GT-R – on sale since 2009

Seven years on sale may not be as big a deal as some of the other old farts here, but as far as super sports cars go, the Nissan GT-R is longer in the dentals than a sabre tooth tiger.

It has gotten quicker (or at least its claimed 0-100km/h time has dropped) over the nine years since its debut in Japan, but it needs to be smaller, lighter and more high-tech to keep up with the best.


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Nissan 370Z – on sale since 2009

Speaking of being smaller and lighter, the GT-R’s little brother – the 370Z – is also older than the hills.

It’s still fun, but it’s a bit of a nowhere car in terms of pricing. If it were $40,000, people would still be buying them in droves.


Tell us what you think: should any of these vehicles be put out to pasture?




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