Special Report

13 Cars That Cost More Than They Used To

13. Accord
>Make:
Honda
>1980-2014 (inflation-adj.) price pct. change: 24.9%
>1980 retail price: $6,349
>2014 U.S. sales: 388,374

The Accord, introduced by Honda in 1976, is one of the most recognizable auto brands on the market. By the late 1970s, Honda was already selling more than 100,000 Accords annually, and by the mid-1980s, the Accord was one of the top-selling cars in the country. Initially, the car was just a small, two-door hatchback, weighing roughly a ton. The current version comes in many configurations and trims, and even the basic sedan weighs at least 1,100 pounds more than the original. It may be that the car’s increased popularity and size have contributed to its increasing price over the years. A 1980 version of the sedan cost $6,349 — roughly $18,250 in today’s dollars. Last year, an Accord cost nearly 25% more than that.

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12. Malibu
>Make:
Chevrolet
>1980-2014 (inflation-adj.) price pct. change: 27.5%
>1980 retail price: $6,324
>2014 U.S. sales: 188,519

Chevrolet introduced the Malibu to American drivers in 1964, over five decades ago. The sedan came in several styles, including a popular muscle car version, the SS, or Super Sport. Declining sales led Chevy to retire the nameplate in 1983. However, the Malibu returned in 1997 as a smaller sedan. Even with a 13-year hiatus, the car has gone through eight generations, with a ninth expected in 2016. Chevy sold roughly 188,500 Malibus in the United States in 2014, and roughly 80,000 so far this year. In 2014, a Malibu was roughly $5,000 more expensive than it was in 1980 after adjusting for inflation.

11. Corvette
>Make:
Chevrolet
>1980-2014 (inflation-adj.) price pct. change: 27.9%
>1980 retail price: $14,694
>2014 U.S. sales: 34,839

The Corvette is one of the oldest and most recognized car brands in the country. This famous line of sports car has been sold in the United States — uninterrupted — since 1953. While the Corvette has kept its name and much of its styling over the course of 62 years, much has changed as well. The original Corvette had six cylinders generating 150 horsepower. The 2014 Corvette Stingray coupe, the seventh generation of the car, comes with a V8 engine, and 460 horsepower. The Stingray also costs close to 28% more than a Corvette sold 35 years ago, adjusting for inflation.

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10. Camaro
>Make:
Chevrolet
>1980-2014 (inflation-adj.) price pct. change: 32.7%
>1980 retail price: $6,439
>2014 U.S. sales: 86,297

First introduced in 1966, the Camaro was Chevrolet’s answer to the Ford Mustang. While Chevrolet took the vehicle off the market in 2003, the fifth generation of the Camaro was introduced in 2010 and has been in continuous production since. With more than 80,000 units sold in each of the last two years, the Camaro is now more popular than the Mustang. The 1980 base model Camaro came with 155 horsepower and cost $6,439, or $18,498, in today’s dollars. Now, having borrowed some style features from its first generation predecessor, the Camaro comes standard with more than 300 horsepower and a list price of $24,550. After adjusting for inflation, the Camaro costs $6,051 more today than it did 35 years ago, a 32.7% increase.

9. Impala
>Make:
Chevrolet
>1980-2014 (inflation-adj.) price pct. change: 32.8%
>1980 retail price: $7,253
>2014 U.S. sales: 140,280

Since it was first introduced in 1957, Chevrolet has taken the Impala in and out of production several times. The Impala’s longest stretch on the market started with its debut and lasted until 1985. After nearly a decade-long hiatus, the Impala came back in 1994, only to be discontinued again two years later. After a much shorter break in production, the Impala was reintroduced in 1999 and has remained on the market ever since. Out of all the vehicles that were in production in both 1980 and 2014, the Impala is one of the most popular, selling more than 140,000 units last year. The Impala is now also more than $20,000 costlier than it was in 1980. Even after accounting for inflation, consumers can expect to pay $6,832 more today for the full-size sedan model than they would have in 1980.

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