During the middle 1980s, Chrysler offered Americans a pair of homely-but-sturdy front-wheel-drive subcompacts at low, low prices: the Dodge Omni/Plymouth Horizon and the Dodge/Plymouth Colt. The first came from a design glommed from Chrysler Europe’s Simca, and the second was a rebadged version of the Mitsubishi Mirage. The Colt had some success competing against cheap, high-quality Japanese imports because it was a cheap, high-quality Japanese import; here’s a full-page magazine advertisement touting the ’84 Colt’s purpose.
That $5,045 base sticker price comes to about $12,890 in today’s money, though you had to pay more if you wanted the amazing Twin-Stick dual-range transmission. The more reliable (but slower) 1984 Toyota Tercel listed at $5,098, while the Mazda GLC (ancestor of the Mazda3) looked like a steal at $4,995 that year.
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