The Clinton- and Bush-Era Cars Still Sold Today


We hear it on a regular basis: Hold politics out of MotorTrend. Properly, you’re in luck, as a result of regardless of the political nature of this text’s title, there are not any political undertones to the textual content. Did you help Invoice Clinton whereas Newt Gingrich and Ken Starr tried to take him down? No matter. Had been you hooting and hollering as George W. Bush spoke on the deck of the united statesAbraham Lincoln underneath a “Mission Completed” banner? It’s irrelevant.

Neither of those presidents’ accomplishments, failures, or insurance policies matter. We’re merely utilizing their presidencies as a measure of time. In any case, it’s one factor to say an automaker’s been promoting the identical fundamental automobile for a dozen years; it’s one other to comprehend an automaker first launched a particular automobile it nonetheless sells whereas William Jefferson Clinton or George Walker Bush helmed the Government Department of the USA authorities.

1996 Chevrolet Specific/GMC Savana

This van represented the primary redesign of Basic Motors full-size cargo and passenger vans because the early 1970s. The 1996 Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana acquired trendy styling and security options, in addition to stiff new underpinnings. Virtually 25 years later, the vans soldier on. Minor facelifts and powertrain enhancements helped the vans keep some semblance of modernity through the years. That mentioned, GM’s full-size vans appear and feel comparatively historical subsequent to extra up to date rivals such because the Ford Transit, Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, and Ram ProMaster.

2005 Nissan Frontier

Not like shopper curiosity in mid-size pickups, which ebbs and flows just like the Colorado River, the Nissan Frontier persists—a residing fossil, like a horseshoe crab or a coelacanth. The Japanese automaker took the wraps off the truck on the 2004 Detroit auto show and introduced its arrival for the 2005 mannequin 12 months. Utilizing a variant of the body that underpins the full-size Nissan Titan pickup, the Frontier impressed us on its debut with its “well-controlled and decently compliant ride” and accessible 265 horsepower 4.0-liter V-6 engine. Nissan rested on its laurels, although, and adjusted little concerning the mannequin within the ensuing years. The model lastly made a noteworthy change to the Frontier for the 2020 mannequin 12 months with the introduction of a brand new 3.8-liter V-6 engine, which makes 310 horses and replaces the truck’s prior 4.0-liter V-6 and beforehand commonplace 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. Powertrain apart, little else separates the 2005 and 2020 Nissan Frontiers.

2007 Toyota Tundra

The Toyota Tundra lastly went toe-to-toe with the home full-size pickup vans for the 2007 mannequin 12 months. Daring and brash, the second-generation Tundra carried over its predecessor’s 4.0-liter V-6 and 4.7-liter V-Eight engines, but additionally supplied patrons a brand new 381-hp 5.7-liter V-Eight choice. Regardless of the thrust of its large bent-eight, the Tundra didn’t take down the 2007 Chevrolet Silverado in a comparison test. Small enhancements included the arrival of a extra trendy 4.6-liter V-Eight engine to switch the getting older 4.7-liter unit, in addition to revisions to the exterior and interior for 2014. Regardless of this, the Tundra that Toyota sells immediately stays largely the identical because the truck it launched throughout Bush’s second time period in workplace.

2008 Dodge Challenger

Following the success of its Challenger idea automobile on the 2006 Detroit auto show, Dodge greenlit the rear-drive coupe for manufacturing. The 2008 Dodge Challenger arrived in high-horsepower SRT8 kind boasting a 425-hp 6.1-liter V-Eight that pushed the 197.7-inch lengthy muscle automobile to 60 miles per hour in 4.7 seconds. Dodge added much less highly effective six- and eight-cylinder engine choices for 2009, and an excellent rowdier 470-hp 6.4-liter V-8 for the 2011 mannequin 12 months. The actual social gathering arrived for 2015, although, with an exterior and inside refresh and a brand new Hellcat trim, which included a 707-hp supercharged 6.2-liter V-8. The rip-snorting powertrain allowed the 4,449-pound coupe to hit the mile-a-minute mark in 3.7 seconds and cross the quarter-mile after 11.7 seconds at 125.Four mph. Dodge then took issues a few steps additional with the 840-hp 2018 Challenger SRT Demon and the 797-hp 2019 Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye. Though Dodge continues to develop the Challenger, the large coupe stays—at its core—essentially the identical automobile it was greater than a decade in the past.

2008 Dodge Grand Caravan

The 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan ditched its predecessor’s jelly bean-like appears to be like for sq. wares that loosely resemble the styling of the unique 1984 Caravan. Sadly, the mannequin’s plastic-heavy inside didn’t impress. Dodge rapidly reworked the Grand Caravan with a 2011 model year refresh that gave the minivan barely much less blocky styling particulars, a reworked inside, and a 3.6-liter V-6 underhood. After that, crickets. Whereas the Grand Caravan’s sibling, the Chrysler Town & Country, retired after the 2016 mannequin 12 months to make method for the arrival of the brand new Pacifica minivan, the Dodge retains on chugging. Though the geriatric Grand Caravan stays part of the 2020 Dodge lineup, it’s as a consequence of disappear from the American model’s 2021 model line.

2008 Lexus LX/Toyota Land Cruiser

Lexus and Toyota revealed new iterations of the LX and Land Cruiser for the 2008 mannequin 12 months, the previous of which dons the identify LX 570, an homage to the 5.7-liter V-Eight engine that rests underhood. Regardless of its identify’s lack of digits, the identical engine motivates the Land Cruiser. Like prior iterations of those dear SUVs, the most recent LX 570 and Land Cruiser are large and boxy. Lexus made some minor enhancements to the 2013 LX, which acquired the model’s “spindle” grille design. The hulking luxurious SUV benefitted from a extra thorough reskin for 2016—coinciding with a facelift for the extra utilitarian Land Cruiser. A dozen years on, although, these two Japanese SUVs nonetheless keep a lot of the identical mechanical items because the day Lexus and Toyota tore every fashions’ wraps off.

2008 Toyota Sequoia

As goes the Tundra, so goes the Sequoia. One mannequin 12 months after Toyota revealed the redesigned Tundra, its SUV sibling acquired a full makeover. The body-on-frame individuals mover acquired a entrance finish and dashboard like that of the Tundra, in addition to new mechanical bits—similar to an unbiased rear suspension and an optionally accessible 381-hp 5.7-liter V-8. Whereas the Tundra acquired an intensive mid-cycle replace for the 2014 mannequin 12 months, the Sequoia troopers on largely unchanged from the day it broke cowl on the 2007 Los Angeles auto show.

2009 Dodge Journey

When it was launched, the 2009 Dodge Journey introduced crossover sensibilities to the American model’s largely automobile and SUV dominant mannequin line. Though it supplied good-looking appears to be like when new, the Journey’s low-quality inside supplies and middling powertrains (an ordinary 173-hp 2.4-liter I-Four and four-speed computerized transmission, and an non-obligatory 235-hp 3.5-liter V-6 and six-speed computerized) didn’t impress. Dodge up to date the mannequin with a higher-quality inside, revised styling, and a brand new V-6 engine for 2011. Whereas the 283-hp unit introduced extra liveliness to the Journey and allowed the 4,350-pound, all-wheel-drive crossover to hit 60 mph in 7.5 seconds, the usual, pokey I-Four remained a sore spot. The addition of a butcher trying Crossroad bundle added considerably to the Journey’s attraction, nevertheless, the lack of the V-6 engine for the 2020 mannequin 12 months in the end makes this getting older crossover an excellent more durable promote in immediately’s aggressive market.

2009 Dodge Ram 1500

Dodge’s final pickup entered the marketplace for the 2009 mannequin 12 months with evolutionary styling and a revolutionary (by truck commonplace’s) coil spring rear suspension setup. Within the early 2010s, Ram formally broke away from Dodge and the previous Dodge Ram 1500 pickup truck acquired the less complicated Ram 1500 nomenclature. The Ram-badged truck grew to become the 1500 Classic for 2019 with the intention to separate it from the redesigned Ram 1500. Regardless of the 2 Rams filling the identical important position within the truck model’s mannequin line, the 1500 Traditional continues on as an entry-level different to the dynamically superior, MotorTrend Truck of the Year profitable, new 1500.

2009 Nissan 370Z

Roughly six years after the arrival of the reborn Nissan 350Z sports activities automobile, the Japanese model let unfastened the completely reworked 370Z. As its identify implies, the brand new automobile traded its predecessor’s 306-hp 3.5-liter V-6 for a 332-hp 3.7-liter unit. With almost 4 inches minimize from its wheelbase, greater than two inches added to its rear observe, and some kilos slashed from its curb weight, the brand new Z automobile promised noteworthy efficiency enhancements. Sadly, the engine’s further displacement ends in additional coarseness. Though initially accessible in each coupe and roadster kind, Nissan culled the drop-top from the lineup for the 2020 mannequin 12 months, leaving the hard-topped mannequin as the only Z choice. Happily, the long-lived 370Z is because of exit to pasture with the intention to make room for a completely redesigned Nissan Z car

2009 Nissan GT-R

After years of begging, North American customers lastly obtained the prospect to personal Nissan’s legendary GT-R for the 2009 mannequin 12 months. The redesigned super-coupe not served as a variant of the Skyline (offered right here—on the time—because the Infiniti G37), and as a substitute turns into its personal devoted mannequin. With all-wheel-drive, a slick six-speed dual-clutch computerized transmission, a 480-hp twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V-6 engine, and a beginning value simply north of $70,000, the GT-R supplied six-figure efficiency in a five-figure bundle. The automobile’s dynamic capabilities and inherent worth earned it our Car of the Year award. Nissan continued to enhance the mannequin all through the subsequent decade, with the present, entry-level GT-R making a full 565-hp from its twin-turbo six-cylinder engine. The automobile additionally prices a superb deal extra as of late, with the least costly 2020 GT-R ringing in at $115,335—greater than $40,000 larger than the 2009 GT-R’s value of entry.

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