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Average shelf life of a car model in India is somewhere around 5-6 years in India. Some cars though run longer. Ladder frame UVs usually have a long shelf life, for instance, the previous gen Innova/Fortuner/Pajero went on to sell for 10+ years without showing signs of slowdown in sales. There are some exceptions though, which I have listed below. While 7 years may be not long, when you compare with the current competition, they are quite old.

Volkswagen Polo

Launched back in 2009, the car is good 11 years old. Over the years, it has seen a plethora of engine/gearbox combinations, and silly limited editions. Still sells about 1-2K copies a month.

Maruti Suzuki Eeco

Launched way back in 2010, Eeco has remained the same, except for the engine. It came with 1.3L mill during launch as I recall, and now comes with K12 engine. Recently got BS6 makeover.

Volkswagen Vento

Launched in 2011, the car is 9 years old in Indian market. Sales have dried up and there is no news yet on an all new model.

Maruti Suzuki Alto 800

Launched in 2012, the model has remained same for almost 8 years now. Barring few feature updates and bumper/headlamp makeover, sheet metal and engine haven’t been changed much.

Ford Ecosport

Launched in 2013, it got major makeover recently. Ford has kept this car relevant by updating engines, features, etc. Sells in good number despite being the oldest among rivals.

Skoda Octavia (3rd gen)

Launched in 2013, it is on the verge of replacement. Octavia has been a key player in this segment and despite newer launches, Octavia is able to hold on to its position.

Hyundai Grand i10

Launched in 2013, it now plays a second fiddle to the Nios. Expect this to be axed soon. I don’t think Hyundai discloses separate figures for i10 vs Nios, that said, I see a few new copies on road.

Note: I have not included few models like Dzire tour/Pajero Sport etc. as I feel they are almost extinct or cater only to commercial segment.

Despite the age, many of these cars are doing alright in market (with respect to sales, performance or safety). Some of these car are still favored by BHPians/enthusiasts despite newer launches. What helps manufacturers to sell a model longer? Better design? Solid engineering (probably helps to meet evolving safety norms)? Or just good marketing?

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