The auto industry feels like its engaged in a constant competition to offers consumers the latest and greatest vehicles on the market; when innovation strikes, new models are released as quick as possible to draw vehicle buyers into showrooms.
Like any product, the newest variant of a car model is usually the best version, though exceptions can be made for some solidly built platforms with very long lives. Sometimes manufacturers even sell these previous model-years alongside their newer replacements, if there is still a market for them.
Older models are sometimes also sold in countries outside the U.S. and Canada with less-strict safety regulations thats why the original 50s-born Volkswagen Beetle was sold in Mexico long after it disappeared here. The cars can be less expensive because new tooling isnt needed, and it creates a greater catalogue of parts for older vehicles, too.
Or sometimes the manufacturer has lots of stock that needs to be moved as the new model starts up production, or it keeps building the old one for fleet sales. Here are five zombie models that were still sold alongside their newer replacements.
Ram will still sell you a fourth-generation year truck in 2021, alongside the fifth-generation one. The older Ram was originally on the market from 2009 to 2018, but when the fifth-generation model was introduced in 2019, the previous one remained in production as the Ram Classic.
While it may sound silly to sell two trucks that are functionally identical, the Ram Classic is offered in a single-cab configuration, a body style not always offered by other brands including Ram itself, on the newer 1500.
The production history of the Malibu is so ridiculous, youd think somebody at GM used the previous years calendar for its entire production run. The Malibu would overlap its succeeding generation three times in its life.
The fifth-generation was originally sold from 1997 to 2003, but continued from 2004 to 2005 as the Chevrolet Classic, overlapping the sixth-generation model introduced in 2003. The sixth-generation would then run from 2004 to 2007, and overlap the seventh generation for one year in 2008. The absurdity saw reprieve for one year, but then once again in 2016, the eighth-generation Malibu was alongside the ninth generation as the Malibu Limited.
When the Infiniti Q50 was introduced for the 2014 model year, it also introduced a new naming convention to replace the old G-series. Although the Q50 was the direct replacement for the G37, the G37 remained in production until June of 2015, albeit renamed the Q40.
The G37/Q40 was facelifted slightly for its final year of production, which included a redesigned trunk lid emblem. Colour choices were also reduced to just four: Liquid Platinum, Graphite Shadow, Black Obsidian, and Moonlight White. The Q40 cost less than the Q50, and was only offered as a sedan.
The original MK4-generation Golf was built from 1997 to 2004, but was brought back for 2008 in Canada as the City Golf. Canadians didnt have the option of a base-model diesel-powered Golf, so the MK4 City Golf stepped in to fill those shoes.
The City Golf was offered as the bottom-of-the-line model but featured revised headlamps and tail lamps, front and rear fascias, sound systems, and wheels. The MK4 finally ended its production run in 2010, after 13 years on the market.
For the 2014 model year, the Nissan Rogue entered its second generation with new styling, as well as a third-row option. The first-generation Nissan Rogue was originally sold from 2007 to 2013, but production capacity allowed the brand to offer the old vehicle for a few more years under the name Rogue Select. It was lower-priced than the next-generation model, which drew in fleet customers as well as consumers.
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Not Ready to Die: These 5 'zombie' cars were sold alongside their replacements - Driving
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Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero