10 Times Car Companies Sold Old and New Versions of the Same Car Side-by-Side

10 Times Car Companies Sold Old and New Versions of the Same Car Side-by-Side

It sounds crazy, but it has happened more often than you might expect!

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The curious Canadian-market Volkswagen Golf City
The curious Canadian-market Volkswagen Golf City
Image: Volkswagen

Building cars is a weird business. It’s also an incredibly expensive one, with loads of complexities and potential inefficiencies. When a company figures out how to make money doing something, they don’t want to change. It’s for that reason that automakers sometimes sell previous-generation models alongside their just-released counterparts.

Today we’ve compiled a list of 10 recent examples of this phenomenon. A few are still on sale today, but most are examples from prior years. Care to hazard a guess at which of today’s models could live alongside their future replacement?

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Ram 1500 Classic

Ram 1500 Classic

You can even still get it in Warlock trim!
You can even still get it in Warlock trim!
Image: Stellantis

We’ll start with perhaps the most obvious current example. Right now you can walk into a Ram dealership and order a new Ram 1500 Classic — the fourth-generation model that first emerged on the scene in 2009, the same year Fiat and Chrysler joined forces. What’s especially nice is that despite the aged interior, customers can option an 8.4-inch touchscreen running Stellantis’ latest Uconnect 5, ensuring you’ll at least get a modern tech experience in your 13-year-old full-size pickup. The Ram 1500 Classic starts at $29,650 — almost $7,000 less than the current-gen Ram that first hit showrooms in 2019.

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Nissan Rogue Select

Nissan Rogue Select

Image for article titled 10 Times Car Companies Sold Old and New Versions of the Same Car Side-by-Side
Image: Nissan

From model year 2014 to 2015, Nissan offered the first-generation Rogue compact SUV on sale alongside its replacement. It was called the Rogue Select, and at the time it was more than $3,000 cheaper than the new Rogue that was redesigned for 2014, sliding in comfortably under the $20,000 threshold.

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Volkswagen Tiguan Limited

Volkswagen Tiguan Limited

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Image: Volkswagen

Like the Rogue Classic, the original Volkswagen Tiguan persisted as the Tiguan Limited for two years into its successor’s lifespan. The second-gen Tiguan grew noticeably longer and wider despite being lighter, and so its predecessor filled a vacant role in the German automaker’s lineup. The Tiguan Limited lasted until the 2018 model year.

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Ford Fiesta Classic

Ford Fiesta Classic

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Image: Bahnfrend via Wikipedia

You may not be surprised to learn that it is nigh impossible to find official images of the Indian-market Ford Fiesta Classic — a short-lived patch on the Mk V Fiesta that was sold concurrently with its successor, the Fiesta we got here in the States. It received a facelift to better mesh with the rest of Ford’s lineup in the early 2010s, but I can’t say the work helped. Which is especially a shame, because the fifth-gen Fiesta was a smart-looking subcompact.

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Jeep Grand Cherokee WK

Jeep Grand Cherokee WK

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Image: Stellantis

You can thank Stellantis once again for being the leader in selling brand-new ancient vehicles new in 2022. The outgoing Grand Cherokee is still on sale as the Grand Cherokee WK — amusing in and of itself, because rather than append vague modifiers like “Classic,” “Select” or “Limited,” Jeep just decided to call this continuation of its bread-and-butter SUV by its internal chassis code.

The move made sense when the new-gen Grand Cherokee first came out, because Jeep prioritized the three-row “L” model early in the run, and you couldn’t get a two-row version for a while. But today, you can get the latest Grand Cherokee with two rows or three, and the price difference between the old and new Grands Cherokee is negligible, unlike with the Ram Classic: $37,375 for the WK, versus $38,720 for a base fifth-gen example.

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Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTD

Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTD

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Image: General Motors

This one is a little weird, because unlike the case with the Ram Classic or Grand Cherokee WK, General Motors is selling a pre-facelift version of the half-ton Silverado alongside the facelifted version that emerged for model year 2022. While they are the same generation of truck, there are still big differences — particularly inside the cabin. The new Silverado’s interior looks like a very nice place to be with an upscale, tech-laden dash. Meanwhile, the LTD’s is so banal and dated, it’s frankly amazing GM was able to get away with selling it for so long, especially at pricier trim levels.

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Chevrolet Classic/Malibu Classic

Chevrolet Classic/Malibu Classic

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Image: General Motors

GM actually kept the old Malibu around on two occasions: first as the Chevrolet Classic, a version of the fifth-gen Malibu offered to fleets in 2004 and 2005; and again with the sixth-gen, sold for 2008 only. The latter retained the Malibu name, unlike its predecessor. I remember the first time I saw one of these. It must have been one of the ’04 or ’05 cars, because I assumed the Malibu badge was removed or had fallen off.

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Toyota Land Cruiser 70

Toyota Land Cruiser 70

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Image: Toyota

More than three decades’ worth of Land Cruisers have come and gone since the original Land Cruiser 70 was offered for sale in 1984. Sure, we haven’t been able to purchase the 70 series here in the States for a long time, but it remains on sale in some countries, including Australia. Worryingly, Toyota recently paused sales there because of supply chain snags making it difficult for the company to satisfy historical demand for the legendary workhorse, but hopefully that will be rectified soon. It’s probably the only vehicle on sale anywhere on the planet with halogen headlamps advertised as a notable feature.

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Volkswagen Golf City

Volkswagen Golf City

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Image: Volkswagen

You might be surprised to know that this little hatchback actually inspired this feature. A few years ago I was walking to my apartment in Brooklyn when I walked past a Golf City with Ontario plates. Volkswagen sold this heavily-facelifted Mk IV Golf in some regions after the Mk V hit showrooms. As with the earlier example of the Fiesta Classic, the automaker tried to bridge the gap between its old and new design languages with bespoke headlights and taillights, but even that couldn’t mask the fourth-gen Golf’s aggressively ’90s silhouette, greenhouse and windows. You get some pretty strange results when automakers try to dress up old bones in new clothes.

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Infiniti Q40

Infiniti Q40

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Image: Infiniti

Sometimes, researching a deep dive like this turns up some surprises. For example, before embarking on this journey, I had no idea that Infiniti offered the prior-gen Q-series sedan — back when it was known as the G37 — as the Q40 for model years 2014 and 2015. In fact, our old pal Doug DeMuro even wrote about it back then on this very website.

The Q40 was sold concurrently with the all-new Q50, which released around the same time. And don’t be surprised if that happens again, because the Q50 is still on sale and looking practically identical to how it did almost 10 years ago. Some things never change, one of those being Infiniti sedans.

That rounds out our list of some of the most prominent examples of old-generation cars being sold alongside their replacements. We are surely just scratching the surface here though, so please feel free to name drop any vehicles that fit the criteria but weren’t mentioned here down in the comments. It’ll make our collective future car sighting adventures even more fun!

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