20 for 20 Best Cars Countdown: Final Part 5
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Each day this week, we've counted down what we've listed as the 20 most iconic, important and significant cars of the past 20 years. So as we hit the exact half-way point of 2020 (July 3), we look back (and a little forward) at our automotive 20 for 20.
Some are brand specific, some are model specific, but all play a part in the way cars have shaped us over the past two decades.
And today, we present the final four as we count down cars 4 through 1, and then we're done!
4. Toyota Hilux
Arguably the icon of NZ motoring, it’s the Hilux ute that people love and buy. It may have been displaced by the Ranger as our favoured vehicle, but second-place is not to be scoffed at. Still, it was number one for… geez, so long it’s difficult to find out exactly when… decades! From farm to work to play, the Hilux, Barry Crump and its reputation for durability and toughness combined with 50 other reasons made the brand and badge what it is today and beyond: bugger me.
3. Volkswagen New/Beetle
What other car has both an old model and a new model in production for decades?! The original Type I Beetle lasted 63 years, until 2003 - while the last of the New Beetles rolled out of the same Mexican factory just last year, in 2019, ending an amazing run for the badge and brand. The people's car for well over half-a-century.
2. Toyota Corolla
Launched in 1966, it was a best-seller by 1974, and in 1997 toppled the Beetle as the most successful nameplate in the world. Powering on in 2020 and beyond, with hybrid options and tech to evolve with the times, it may be humble and small and resistant in a world increasingly dominated by SUVs, but Corolla is still mighty.
1. Pontiac Aztec
Only kidding, please excuse our one-day-early 4th of July joke, for what is arguably America's best car... VERY arguably. Scroll down for the real number 1 car of the last 20 years.
1: Toyota RAV4
We tried to avoid this being a Toyota-thon, but it’s hard to argue against some of the issues of sales, popularity and success - especially when the last 20 years have seen such a shift in the automotive landscape, from large Holden and Ford six-cylinder sedans, to compact hatchbacks, to SUVs.
And when you think SUV, there’s a good chance you think RAV4, the best-selling SUV in the world with more than 10 million sold. Launched in the mid-'90s, the RAV4 was an SUV before SUV was even a common term, and continues on a quarter-of-a-century later, a sure sign of its success and one of the SUV icons of the last 20 years.
And now in hybrid form, it’s another level up and shaping the automotive way for the next decade, with a plug-in hybrid soon to launch. Success is evolving with the times, and RAV4 has managed it very effectively, for the last 20 years, and looking strong for the next 20, too.
Missed a part? See here for our countdown this week:
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