Special Report

13 Cars That Cost More Than They Used To

8. Regal
>1980-2014 (inflation-adj.) price pct. change: 39.3%
>1980 retail price: $7,228
>2014 U.S. sales: 22,560

Unlike many of the cars with soaring prices, the Buick Regal is not one of the most popular models in the country. Buick sold less than 23,000 Regals last year in the U.S., which is roughly half the number of units it sold in 2011. The Regal was introduced in 1973 as a low-cost family car. However, in recent years, Buick has sought to attract younger buyers to its traditionally older group of customers. The Regal, which was retired from the U.S. market in 2004, was reintroduced in 2011 with a more modern look. Although Buick did not introduce a new generation of the Regal, the 2014 model includes a host of modern features including a version with a turbocharged V6 engine. The 2014 four-cylinder Regal costs nearly 40% more than a similar version did in 1980, adjusting for inflation.

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7. Corolla
>1980-2014 (inflation-adj.) price pct. change: 41.1%
>1980 retail price: $4,348
>2014 U.S. sales: 339,498

Introduced to the American market in 1968, the Toyota Corolla is the best-selling car in the history of the industry. Toyota has been manufacturing the Corolla longer than any other model in its current lineup other than the Land Cruiser. In 1980, the Corolla had 75 horsepower and a price tag of $4,348, which is $12,492 in today’s dollars. Now in its 10th generation, the Corolla is equipped with 132 horsepower and cost $17,625 in 2014. The difference in price over the course of 34 years is more than $13,000 without accounting for inflation, and $5,133 more after accounting for inflation.

6. Mustang
>1980-2014 (inflation-adj.) price pct. change: 43.8%
>1980 retail price: $5,647
>2014 U.S. sales: 82,635

The Ford Mustang has been popular in the U.S. market ever since it was introduced to American buyers in 1964. Selling a remarkable 126,538 units in its first year, the Mustang has become one of the most iconic vehicles in America. Not able to top the sales figures of its debut year, Ford sold 77,186 Mustangs in 2013 and 82,635 in 2014. Though sales have fluctuated over the years, the Mustang’s price tag has been steadily climbing. The Mustang cost $17,688 more in 2014 than it did in 1980. After accounting for inflation, the Ford’s iconic muscle car is $7,111 more expensive now, than it was 35 years ago.

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5. Challenger
>1980-2014 (inflation-adj.) price pct. change: 47.2%
>1980 retail price: $6,502
>2014 U.S. sales: 51,611

The Dodge Challenger has gone through many changes since it was introduced in 1969. Originally a muscle car, the Challenger was taken out of production in 1974. Reintroduced four years later as a less powerful coupe, the second-generation Challenger was also short lived, and was discontinued after just six years. However, in 2008, Dodge brought the Challenger back to its roots as a muscle car. It has been in production ever since, selling more than 51,000 units in 2014. Not only has the vehicle changed dramatically in the last 35 years, but so has the price. Costing only $6,502 in 1980, $18,680 in today’s dollars, the Challenger had a price tag of $27,490 in 2014 — a difference of $8,809, or more than 47%, after adjusting for inflation.

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