Top 10 Longest Running Name Plates That Are Still On Sale - Honda City, Maruti Wagon R, Tata Safari And Mahindra Bolero
The City, Santro and Safari are among the oldest, ageing almost 23 years in India
Many cars in India are known for their fuel efficiency, some for their safety and build quality while some for their expansive feature list. But there are many cars which are known for being trustworthy after being in the industry for almost two decades. These cars are a brand within themselves and most of them are still very popular.
Here are the top 10 oldest running name plates that we still see plying on the roads.
Mercedes Benz E-Class - 1995
The E-Class sedan is the longest running nameplate, having 26 years of existence. Mercedes Benz partnered up with Tata and E-Class became its first officially sold car in India. This car redefined luxury and set a benchmark for all the upcoming premium vehicles. It still remains a standout when it comes to the comfort of the rear passengers.
Honda City - 1998
The City was Honda’s debut in India, back in 1998. The first-generation model was launched around Rs 6 lakh and was one of the most classiest sedans back then. Its 1.5-litre i-VTEC was rated at 102PS, making it quite powerful for that time. Many believe that its levels of premium quality have gone down over the generations, the first one being the most.
Hyundai Santro - 1998
The Sunshine Car. Hyundai made its debut with this little tall-boy hatchback. That time, you had the Maruti Zen and 800 on sale. So, the Santro came in as a more premium option, with a slightly more powerful engine. Some years later, it got a revamp with the title ‘Santro Xing’. After being discontinued in 2015, it made a comeback in 2018. Interestingly, Santro also kicked off one of the longest running brand endorsements, between Shah Rukh Khan and Hyundai of over two decades.
Tata Safari - 1998
In the 90s, there were very few SUVs sold as there were very few takers. After launching the Sumo, Tata bought the Safari in 1998. A more meaner, aggressive and premium SUV. While Tata cars back in those days were not reliable and were still very raw in nature. However, its butch styling was instantly liked. After being discontinued in 2019, the manufacturer bought the new generation in 2021.
Maruti Wagon R - 1999
Once the Wagon R was launched, it immediately sparked off the tall-boy wars with the Santro. The Wagon R was extremely spacious and quite practical. Currently, in its fourth generation, the Wagon R has been a no-nonsense practical car with high fuel economy and a generous cabin.
Maruti Alto - 2000
Maruti Alto came in as a more premium and modern alternative to the 800 and 1000. It was priced similar to the WagonR and over the 800, was offered with a power steering, AC and an improved instrument cluster. After being in the market for almost 21 years, the current Alto is still Maruti’s one of the best sold cars.
Mahindra Bolero - 2000
The Bolero remains the most outdated model in this list. The rugged workhorse hasn’t received many updates since the past two decades, but still remains very popular. It was mainly popular in the commercial market, but also had a fan following among the private buyers. The Bolero, later, also spawned a hugely successful pickup truck.
Mahindra Scorpio - 2002
Back at that time, the SUV space was still in infancy. Mahindra launched the Scorpio SUV, which with its muscular looks, became an instant hit. That time, it came with rear-wheel drive and features such as a single-din stereo, roof mounted AC and power windows. It was Mahindra’s first global product and is popular in many foreign markets. Now, decades later, it still is one of the best selling Mahindra cars, despite being outdated and pricey.
Toyota Camry - 2002
Toyota’s second product in India after the Qualis was the Camry. By that time, it was already an established global player but did not do so well in India, in its early years. Over the years, people came to know of Toyota’s reliability and long lasting cars. Also, the Camry was very premium and came off as an affordable alternative to the Mercedes Benz. Years later, it’s still considered a highly reliable product and is mainly passed off as a chauffeur driven car.
Skoda Octavia - 2002
This was the time when Indians were starting to look at the performance part of a car. We had the Fiat Palio, Opel Astra and other fun to drive cars by then. Skoda made its debut in 2002 with the Octavia sedan. At that time, it featured ABS, dual front airbags, and power adjustable ORVMs! Also, it is one of the earliest turbo-petrol cars to reach our shores. A good looking, performance focused and feature rich sedan attracted the attention of Indians. Next month, we are getting the fourth-generation of the sedan.
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