Although most models are treated to a thorough refresh every few years, there are cars that haven’t been treated to a substantial update since they first went on sale.
Just because they aren’t the latest and greatest though, doesn’t mean they’re not worth considering. There are some advantages to buying something that’s been around a while. For one, the car maker would have worked out all of the model’s foibles, but also with a long production cycle there should be a good supply of parts. With this in mind we scoured the new car price lists to find the ten best oldest models you can buy now.
1.Land Rover Defender
With production ceasing in the UK this year, the Defender just makes our cut. Although it has changed substantially over the decades, it’s visually, conceptually and philosophically close to the 90 and 110 it replaced in 1984. The pick-up version even shares a component with the 1948 version.
It’s crude and noisy by modern standards, but it’s the epitome of ruggedness, strength and capability. To acknowledge the car’s passing, Land Rover launched three special editions priced from £27,800 which will be available to buy from August – the last chance you’ll get to buy a current Defender in England. Although rumours are, there is an all-new Defender coming next year.
Jeep, Chrysler and Ram models part of voluntary recall
Fiat, Chrysler automobiles is recalling nearly 410,000 Chrysler, Ram and Jeep vehicles worldwide for a wiring and software issue that could cause the vehicles to stall. The voluntary recall includes the 2015 Chrysler 200, 2015 Jeep Renegade, 2014-15 Jeep Cherokeeand 2015 Ram ProMaster City.
FCA says that the problem stems from an insufficient crimp in a wiring harness that can result in a solenoid fault code, prompting the engine to stop. No injuries or deaths have been reported in connection with this issue, but the automaker is taking the problem seriously since a sudden loss of engine power could lead to a crash. FCA points out the issue is a temporary one for these vehicles and that they can be restarted in case the problem occurs.
“Most vehicles in the recall population will not experience this fault code over their lifetimes,” the automaker said in a statement. “However, should the condition occur, it can typically be temporarily resolved by stopping the vehicle and re-starting its engine.”
The automaker plans to replace the wiring harness and update vehicle software in the affected vehicles, some 323,361 of which have been sold in the U.S., with the rest in other markets, including Canada.
FCA has not indicated when affected owners will be contacted, though the automaker mentions that owners can contact its Customer Care Center at (800) 853-1403 prior to the start of the notification process.
Visually, the 500 Abarth which is known as the Abarth 595 in select foreign markets — follows the path blazed by the standard 500 by adopting new-look lights on both ends and oval LED daytime running lights up front. The hatchback also receives a redesigned front bumper with bigger air vents, and a new air diffuser out back.
Fiat explains it has spruced up the cabin with Alcantara and carbon fiber accents, but we’ll have to take the company’s word for it because interior pictures haven’t been released yet. Additionally, the 500 Abarth gains the latest generation of Fiat’s touch screen-based Uconnect infotainment system.
Mechanically, the 500 Abarth carries on with a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine, but its output has been bumped up by five horsepower all across the board. Buyers can now order it with either 145, 165, or 180 horsepower. A five-speed manual transmission that spins the front wheels continues to come standard regardless of how much grunt the turbo four generates, and the list of options includes a sequential gearbox controlled by shift paddles as well as a limited-slip differential.
The updated Fiat 500 Abarth is scheduled to go on sale across Europe in the coming months.
As a general exercise, Fiat’s new 124 Spider is at its core a retro effort. The original 124 Spider first went on sale in the late 1960s and enjoyed a relatively successful production run that lasted well over a decade. The new 124 Spider apes many of the old car’s styling cues, wrapping the Italianate look around the fourth-generation Mazda Mx-5 Miata’s basic structure, albeit with a turbocharged Fiat engine under the hood. So it should come as no surprise that, when it came time to design a higher-performance 124 Abarth, Fiat once again mined its history for inspiration.
This time, Fiat’s retro-ray homed in on the Abarth 124 Rally, a special model built from 1972 to 1975 by Fiat’s Abarth tuning arm to satisfy rally-racing homologation rules. Abarth built roadgoing Stradale versions for sale in Fiat dealerships, as well as more seriously prepped full-blown rally versions; the 2017 124 Spider Abarth you see here appears to be modeled after the tamer Stradale cars. Like the ’72 model, the new 124 Spider Abarth is lighter than its regular-production counterpart, wears an “anti-glare” matte-black hood and trunklid, and packs slightly more power, albeit without a face full of auxiliary driving lights, a raised ride height, and gravel-slinging intentions. If that’s more your bag, you’ll be excited to learn of the remastered Abarth 124 rally racingthat debuted alongside the Abarth Spider at the Geneva auto show.