Iconic Car Prices Then and Now
1. Land Cruiser
> Make: Toyota
> 1980-2014 price difference (non-inflation adj.): $72,242
> 1980 price: $8,288
> 2014 price: $80,530
The Toyota Land Cruiser exemplifies how much can change in one industry in three and a half decades. What was a smaller all-terrain off-road vehicle in 1980 is now a high-end luxury SUV weighing roughly one ton more than the original. Not surprisingly, the price has gone up dramatically since the vehicle’s early days. A 1980 edition of the Land Cruiser cost just $8,288, while a 2014 version of the car had a price tag of more than $80,000. With a price roughly 10 times the 1980 price, and with an entirely different target market, perhaps the only thing that has not changed in the Toyota Land Cruiser is its name.
> Make: Mercedes-Benz
> 1980-2014 price difference (non-inflation adj.): $63,032
> 1980 price: $30,793
> 2014 price: $93,825
The S-Class is Mercedes-Benz’s flagship full-size sedan. In 1980, a comparable S-Class sold for $30,793. In 2014, a new, fifth-generation S-Class cost $93,825. Like most other cars reviewed, inflation contributed the most to the relatively large price difference of $63,032. The 1980 $30,793 price tag would have cost $88,468 when adjusting for inflation.
> Make: Porsche
> 1980-2014 price difference (non-inflation adj.): $57,595
> 1980 price: $27,700
> 2014 price: $85,295
The Porsche 911 was an icon almost immediately after its release in 1964. It has remained popular as a powerful sports car and racing vehicle. In 1980, the same year the German automaker pulled its Turbo edition 911 in the United States, a new fifth-generation 911 cost $27,700. In 2014, the Porsche 911 was in its 11th generation and cost $85,295. Even after adjusting for inflation, a Porsche 911 cost nearly $6,000 more last year than it did in 1980.
> Make: Jaguar
> 1980-2014 price difference (non-inflation adj.): $50,095
> 1980 price: $25,000
> 2014 price: $75,095
The Jaguar XJ is the only British vehicle that was sold in the U.S. market in both 1980 and 2014. In 1980, the luxury sedan sold for $25,000. In 2014, the XJ had a price tag of $75,095. Along with the price, the aesthetics of the car changed significantly during those 34 years. The 2014 model was the first generation that abandoned the antiquated style in favor of a sleeker, more modern look.
> Make: Mercedes-Benz
> 1980-2014 price difference (non-inflation adj.): $48,795
> 1980 price: $36,130
> 2014 price: $84,925
First introduced to the American market in 1954, the SL-Class is one of the oldest continuously produced models in the auto industry. While the SL-Class’s price tag was nearly $50,000 lower in 1980 than in 2014, the inflation-adjusted price was actually $18,876 higher in 1980 than in 2014. This significant drop in price may be the result of the German automaker’s attempt to make its luxury vehicles available to a wider market.