The price of South Africa’s favourite cars in 1994 – TopAuto
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The price of South Africa’s favourite cars in 1994

The car market was much simpler in 1994.

For example, there were only about 23 car manufacturers on the market locally – compared to the 97 which can be found listed online today.

Their lineups were also noticeably smaller, and included fewer models.

Audi offered the S2 Quattro, S4 Quattro, and six variants of the popular 500e sedan in 1994.

Today, it offers 16 different models which together produce 76 derivatives of Audi vehicles.

Almost nothing that we expect as standard in 2021 was fitted to vehicles back then, either.

Power steering was paraded as a high-end feature, and automatic transmissions were a luxury few could afford.

Great cars

Still, the year wasn’t without its automotive prestige – as the world experienced cars like the Supra MK4 at its prime and saw the introduction of the first multi-valve engine across the Mercedes-Benz E-class range.

To see how these and other popular cars from 1994 compare in price to cars from today, we used the new vehicle pricing section from a January 1994 edition of a motoring magazine.

What was clear is the fact the South African market is moving toward smaller cars and compact SUVs – compared to the large sedans of yesteryear.

Those that survived, however, are still top-sellers in the individual brand’s offerings – and we were surprised to see that some prices have, in fact, not risen that much.

Below is a list of popular vehicles that were available locally in 1994 and which can still be found today – along with their inflation-adjusted prices to see what they would have cost if they were new in 2021.

The price of their closest modern equivalent has also been included.

Audi 500e

  • 1994 price – R134,269
  • Inflation adjusted price – R620,069
  • Modern day equivalent – Audi A4 35 TFSI
  • Modern day equivalent price – R644,000

BMW 320i

  • 1994 price – R106,590
  • Inflation adjusted price – R492,244
  • Modern day equivalent – BMW 320i
  • Modern day equivalent price – R725,000

Ford Courier 1800 SWB

  • 1994 price – R49,847
  • Inflation adjusted price – R230,199
  • Modern day equivalent – Ford Ranger 2.2 TDCi Single Cab Base 5MT 4×2 LR
  • Modern day equivalent price – R328,000

Honda Ballade 150 Encore

  • 1994 price – R53,026
  • Inflation adjusted price – R244,880
  • Modern day equivalent – Honda Ballade 1.5 Comfort CVT
  • Modern day equivalent price – R336,500

Jaguar XJ-6 AT

  • 1994 price – R369,505
  • Inflation adjusted price – R1,706,415
  • Modern day equivalent – Jaguar XJ Standard Wheelbase Luxury
  • Modern day equivalent price – R1,613,900

Land-Rover Defender 110 P/U (“4”)

  • 1994 price – R106,919
  • Inflation adjusted price – R493,764
  • Modern day equivalent – Land Rover Defender 110 S
  • Modern day equivalent price – R1,143,900

Mercedes-Benz E220

  • 1994 price – R179,900
  • Inflation adjusted price – R830,798
  • Modern day equivalent – Mercedes-Benz E220 d
  • Modern day equivalent price – R984,000

Opel Astra 140

  • 1994 price – R44,157
  • Inflation adjusted price – R203,922
  • Modern day equivalent – Opel Astra 1.0T M/T
  • Modern day equivalent price – R325,000

Toyota Hilux 1800 SWB

  • 1994 price – R50,246
  • Inflation adjusted price – R232,042
  • Modern day equivalent – Hilux Single Cab 2.0 VVTi S 5MT
  • Modern day equivalent price – R298,400

Volkswagen Golf VR6

  • 1994 price – R112,533
  • Inflation adjusted price – R519,690
  • Modern day equivalent – Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR
  • Modern day equivalent price – R675,700

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