Special Report

13 Cars That Cost More Than They Used To

4. F-Series
>1980-2014 (inflation-adj.) price pct. change: 49.9%
>1980 retail price: $6,090
>2014 U.S. sales: 753,851

The Ford F-Series pickup truck is far and away the best selling vehicle so far in 2015. With 302,009 trucks sold year-to-date, the F-Series has sold nearly 80,000 more units than the next best selling vehicle in America, the Chevrolet Silverado. As demand for the F-Series has remained steady since its inception in 1948, the price has risen over the years. The F-Series pickup costs $20,130 more today than it did in 1980. When inflation is taken into account, the truck costs $8,724 more in real dollars than it did in 1980, a nearly 50% price increase. The rising cost does not appear to have deterred any potential buyers. Ford sold more than three-quarters of a million F-Series trucks in both 2013 and 2014.

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3. Civic
>1980-2014 (inflation-adj.) price pct. change: 67.6%
>1980 retail price: $3,949
>2014 U.S. sales: 325,981

Since its introduction to the U.S. market in 1973, the Civic has consistently remained a top-seller for Honda year after year. The Civic has always been an economy car, a no-frills utilitarian vehicle designed to reliably get you from point A to point B. Part of the attraction of such a vehicle is not only low operating costs, but also a low price tag. However, despite the Civic’s classification as an economy car, the vehicle has risen by more than $7,500 in price in real dollars over the last 35 years. Regardless of its higher cost in the 21st century, the Civic remains one of the most popular vehicles in America, selling more than 325,000 units in 2014.

2. Suburban
>1980-2014 (inflation-adj.) price pct. change: 96.2%
>1980 retail price: $8,388
>2014 U.S. sales: 55,009

Some of the vehicles on this list have been on the market for decades, but none as long as the Chevrolet Suburban. First sold in the U.S. in 1933, the Suburban has remained one of the top selling SUVs in the country ever since. Before it underwent an exhaustive overhaul in 1981 that made the vehicle more aerodynamic and 300 pounds lighter, a 1980 Suburban would have cost $8,388, which comes to $24,100 in today’s dollars. Last year, a new Suburban cost $47,295, a 465% price increase over three and a half decades. When adjusted for inflation, the Suburban still has seen a significant price hike — a 96.2% price increase since 1980, a difference of $23,194.

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1. Land Cruiser
>1980-2014 (inflation-adj.) price pct. change: 238.2%
>1980 retail price: $8,288
>2014 U.S. sales: 3,158

Some version of the Toyota Land cruiser has been on dealer lots either in the United States or Japan since 1967. However, the name is almost the only feature the current edition of the Land Cruiser and the 1976 version have in common. The car was introduced primarily as smaller all-terrain off-road vehicles. Over the decades, the Land Cruiser has evolved to add more and more luxury features, with the biggest leap taken with the current generation of the car. This most recent generation of the Land Cruiser is a high-end luxury SUV weighing roughly a ton more than the original. Not surprisingly, the price has gone up dramatically since the early days when it was a smaller, less luxurious model. A 1980 edition of the Land Cruiser cost just $8,288, which is roughly $23,800 in today’s dollars. A 2014 version of the car had a price tag of more than $80,000, more than three times the 1980 retail price.

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