Ford F-150 Lightning to Tesla Cybertruck: Electric truck roundup 2022 Honda Civic 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT 2022 Hyundai Tucson GMC Hummer EV 2021 Ford Bronco Best car insurance

See how popular vehicles like the Camry, Wrangler and F-150 have changed over the last 25 years

Today's Honda Civic is about the same size as an Accord from 1995, though it's more powerful. Here's how other popular nameplates have changed since then.

Listen
- 21:51
How popular vehicles have changed over the last 25 years

Some of these vehicles have changed a lot, others have stuck to same proven formula.

Jeep/Honda/Ford/General Motors/Mercedes-Benz/Toyota/Porsche
This story is part of CNET at 25, celebrating a quarter century of industry tech and our role in telling you its story.

It's hard to believe, but CNET is celebrating its 25th birthday this month. Over the last quarter century, we've grown by leaps and bounds and so have some of your favorite vehicles.

Don't believe it? Well, we've compared a series of 1995-model-year cars and trucks to their 2020 counterparts to see just how much some popular nameplates have changed. The '95 Honda Civic, for instance, is roughly the same size and weight as an Accord from that time period. Ford's F-150 pickup truck has changed immensely, its maximum tow-rating nearly doubling. Keep scrolling and see if you're as shocked as we are. 

Representing the pony-car class is Chevrolet's venerable Camaro. Just like today, the 1995 model was offered in two body styles. You could get your mullet-machine as either a coupe or convertible. Beyond that, the name, and rolling four wheels, however, there's not much a 25-year-old version of this Chevy has in common with today's model.

For instance, the 2020 Camaro's base, 2.0-liter turbocharged engine puts out 275 horsepower, or exactly the same amount as the 1995 Z28 model's alpha-dog 5.7-liter LT1 V8 did. But the comparison is even more shocking when you look at the current ZL1 model, which brandishes 650 ponies. It's more than twice as powerful as the '95 model!

But it's not just under-the-hood hardware that's starkly different. The 2020 Camaro's wheelbase is nearly 10 inches longer, though its body is about 5 inches shorter, providing dramatically more attractive proportions.

1995 Chevrolet Camaro Z28    

2020 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1    

Engine

5.7-liter V8

6.2-liter supercharged V8

Power

275 hp

650 hp

Torque

325 lb-ft

650 lb-ft

Transmissions

6-speed manual

4-speed automatic

6-speed manual

10-speed automatic

Wheelbase

101.1 in

110.7 in

Length

193.2 in

188.3 in

Brett Pearce/CNET

Sport utility vehicles such as the Isuzu Trooper, Oldsmobile Bravada and Mitsubishi Montero have all gone the way of the dinosaurs. The Chevrolet Blazer, Jeep Cherokee and Honda Passport were goners, too, but have since been raised from the dead to do battle in a new century. Through it all there's been one constant, however: The Ford Explorer. Over the last 25 years, this popular family-hauler has changed greatly, gaining a third-row seat, switching to a front-drive-based architecture for a generation and offering more technology and amenities than there's room to list here.

The 1995 model was the first year of this nameplate's second-gen model. It sported sleeker styling, a nicer interior and plenty of chassis updates. But what was industry-leading a quarter century ago is painfully quaint today.

In '95, just one engine was offered in the Explorer, a 4.0-liter pushrod V6 that delivered 160 hp. The most potent powertrain Ford offers today is a twin-turbocharged V6 that delivers 400 ponies in the Explorer ST, a whopping 2.5 times more. Naturally, this nameplate's wheelbase, curb weight and overall length have swelled considerably.

1995 Ford Explorer (4-door)

2020 Ford Explorer ST

Engine

4.0-liter V6

3.0-liter twin-turbo V6

Power

160 hp

400 hp

Torque

225 lb-ft

415 lb-ft

Transmissions

5-speed manual

4-speed automatic

10-speed automatic

Construction

Body-on-frame

Unibody

Wheelbase

111.5 in

119.1 in

Length

188.5 in

198.8 in

Max. cargo capacity

81.6 cu-ft

87.8 cu-ft

Estimated curb weight

4,189 pounds

4,701 pounds

Unquestionably, one of the most dramatic vehicle transformations over the last quarter-century has happened to the Ford F-150. In 1995, you were far more likely to see one of these trucks in a farm field or on a construction site than parked in front of a shopping center. Over the years, customers have demanded more creature comforts in their rigs and Ford has happily obliged.

The 2020 F-150 offers amenities including a navigation system, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist and a weight-saving aluminum body, features that were probably unimaginable to drivers in 1995. Back then, power locks and windows weren't standard, and air conditioning cost extra, ditto for stuff like a tachometer and cruise control.

Performance and capability have increased dramatically as well. The entry-level engine is basically twice as powerful as in 1995. The 2020 alpha-dog powerplant is similarly more potent than its 25-year-old counterpart. The current F-150's high-output 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine cranks out 450 horsepower, far more than this rig's 5.8-liter V8 could muster.

1995 Ford F-150

2020 Ford F-150

Engines

4.9-liter I6

5.0-liter V8

5.8-liter V8

3.3-liter V6

2.7-liter twin-turbo V6

5.0-liter V8

3.5-liter twin-turbo V6

3.5-liter high-output twin-turbo V6

3.0-liter turbodiesel V6

Power

145/150 hp

205/195 hp

210/205 hp

290 hp

325 hp

395 hp

375 hp

450 hp

250 hp

Torque

265/260 lb-ft

275/270 lb-ft

325/330 lb-ft

265 lb-ft

400 lb-ft

400 lb-ft

470 lb-ft

510 lb-ft

440 lb-ft

Transmissions

5-speed manual

4-speed automatic

6-speed automatic

10-speed automatic

Max. towing

7,500 pounds   

13,200 pounds    

Max. payload

2,205 pounds    

3,270 pounds    

Honda's Civic has pretty much always been the gold standard in the small-car class. It is today, and it was 25 years ago.

But my how things have changed! Comparing EX sedan models, this venerable nameplate's overall length has swelled by nearly 10 inches and its weight by a commensurate amount. At just shy of a ton and a half, the 2020 Civic EX four-door is nearly 400 pounds heavier than a similar 1995 model.

Of course, more features, greater safety and larger overall dimensions contribute to this startling increases. Fortunately, engine output has grown at a similar rate, with the current car's 1.5-liter turbo-four delivering 174 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque. That's not a monumental increase, but it's much more startling when you compare it to a DX hatchback model from '95. They only had 70 hp! 

1995 Honda Civic EX Sedan    

2020 Honda Civic EX Sedan    

Engine    

1.5-liter I4    

1.5-liter turbo I4    

Power    

125 hp    

174 hp    

Torque

106 lb-ft    

162 lb-ft    

Transmissions        

5-speed manual

4-speed automatic

CVT    

Wheelbase   

103.2 in    

106.3 in    

Length

173.0 in    

182.7 in    

Cargo capacity

12.4 cu-ft    

15.1 cu-ft    

Curb weight  

2,522 pounds   

2,917 pounds    

Base price     

$11,980   

$21,605   

Honda was late getting in the modern minivan game, trailing Chrysler by more than a decade. Still, the 1995 Odyssey proved to be an excellent product.

Curiously, four was the magic number with this vehicle, which had Accord sedan underpinnings. It featured a double-wishbone suspension at all four corners, was powered by a 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine that delivered 140 hp and was matched to a four-speed automatic transmission. Not only that, it featured four conventionally hinged doors unlike rivals that had sliding rear access portals.

As you'd expect, today's Honda Odyssey is vastly more tech-laden, comfortable and, like practically everything else on this list, bigger than its 1995 counterpart. This minivan's length, wheelbase and curb weight have all grown significantly. And at 4,398 pounds, the lightest version of the 2020 Odyssey is nearly 1,000 pounds husker than an equivalent model from 1995, a staggering increase. Fortunately, horsepower has doubled, and the transmission has six additional gears.

1995 Honda Odyssey LX    

2020 Honda Odyssey LX    

Engine

2.2-liter I4    

3.5-liter V6    

Power        

140 hp    

280 hp    

Torque

145 lb-ft    

262 lb-ft    

Transmission      

4-speed automatic    

10-speed automatic    

Max. fuel economy   

18/22/20 mpg   

19/28/22 mpg    

Wheelbase   

111.4 in    

118.1 in    

Length  

186.7 in    

203.2 in    

Curb weight   

3,435 pounds    

4,398 pounds    

Base MSRP    

$22,985   

$31,910    

1995 Jeep Wrangler used the same basic formula

1995 Jeep Wrangler
Jeep

From its basic configuration to the way it looks, a 1995 YJ model Wrangler is strikingly similar to the JL variant you can pick up new from a dealership right now. But as that old saying goes, the devil is in the details.

Comparing a 1995 Wrangler to a two-door 2020 model, the vehicle has grown significantly. The new one is about 15 inches longer and nearly 8 inches wider. Consequently, similar models are nearly half a ton heavier. The size increase is certainly to blame for that weight gain, but extra equipment plays a role, too. In 1995, features like air conditioning, anti-lock brakes and a passenger-side exterior mirror were all optional.

Under the hood, two engines and a pair of transmissions were offered 25 years ago. Today, a broad range of powertrains is on the menu, including gasoline engines augmented by a mild-hybrid system. You can even get V6 diesel, though only in four-door Wrangler Unlimited models. 

1995 Jeep Wrangler    

2020 Jeep Wrangler (2-door)    

Engines    

2.5-liter I4

4.0-liter I6

3.6-liter V6

2.0-liter turbo I4

Power    

123 hp

180 hp

285 hp

270 hp

Torque    

148 lb-ft

220 lb-ft

260 lb-ft

295 lb-ft

Transmissions    

5-speed manual

3-speed automatic

8-speed automatic

6-speed manual

Wheelbase  

93.4 in    

96.8 in   

Length    

151.9 in    

166.8 in    

Curb weight    

2,943 pounds    

3,919 pounds   

Approach angle  

33.2 degrees    

41.4 degrees     

Departure angle   

36.1 degrees    

25.0 degrees   

Breakover angle    

25.2 degrees    

35.9 degrees    

Minimum ground clearance   

7.5 in    

9.7 in    

Like the Wrangler, Mazda's legendary Miata roadster has remained true to its original formula, even after three decades of production and four generations. This two-seat fun-machine was all about funneling as much driving pleasure to the left-front seat as possible, and that mission statement remains the same.

Dimensionally, the venerable Mazda Miata hasn't changed much. The 2020 model's wheelbase has only grown by 1.7 inches to 90.9, while the car's overall length has actually shrunk by 1.3 inches. But remarkably, despite gaining far more amenities, being safer, stronger and having a much nicer interior, the Miata's bulk has barely increased. A 1995 model weighs as little as 2,293 pounds, while a comparable 2020 is a mere 48 pounds heavier.  

1995 Mazda MX-5 Miata    

2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata    

Engine

1.8-liter I4   

2.0-liter I4   

Power    

128 hp    

181 hp    

Torque    

110 lb-ft    

151 lb-ft    

Transmissions    

5-speed manual

4-speed automatic

6-speed manual

6-speed automatic

Max. fuel economy    

21/27/23 mpg    

26/35/30 mpg    

Wheelbase   

89.2 in    

90.9 in    

Length   

155.4 in    

154.1 in    

Curb weight    

2,293 pounds    

2,341 pounds    

The current-generation Mercedes-Benz S-Class is a sleek and sophisticated flagship sedan, just as it was a quarter-century ago. The volume-selling model in the US today is the S560, which is broadly equivalent to the S500 from 1995.

That old-school Benz featured a 5.0-liter V8 engine that delivered a stout 320 hp, which was routed to the rear wheels through a four-speed automatic transmission. In comparison, the 2020 S560 is also powered by a V8 engine, one that displaces a smaller 4.0-liters, but it's boosted by a pair of turbochargers. This combination delivers 463 hp, or 143 more. Making the most of that output, the engine is matched to a nine-speed automatic transmission and either rear- or all-wheel drive.

Busting out a tape measure, this new S-Class isn't too much larger than its 25-year-old counterpart. It's only about 5.6 inches longer and, in rear-drive form, roughly 322 pounds huskier.

1995 Mercedes-Benz S500    

2020 Mercedes-Benz S560    

Engine   

5.0-liter V8    

4.0-liter twin-turbo V8    

Power    

320 hp    

463 hp    

Torque    

347 lb-ft    

516 lb-ft    

Transmission    

4-speed automatic    

9-speed automatic    

Fuel economy   

14/18/15 mpg   

17/27/21 mpg    

Wheelbase    

119.7 in    

124.6 in   

Length    

201.3 in    

206.9 in    

Curb weight    

4,409 pounds    

4,731 pounds    

Another automotive legend is the Porsche 911. In 1995, the 993-generation Turbo model delivered pretty shocking performance. Its horizontally opposed, 3.6-liter engine cranked out 400 hp and an equal helping of torque, not bad for an air-cooled engine. With standard full-time all-wheel drive and a six-speed manual transmission, it could rocket from a standstill to 60 mph in as little as 4.4 seconds, while its top speed was advertised at 180 mph.

In comparison, the latest and greatest 911 Turbo S is endowed with 640 hp and 590 lb-ft of twist. All-wheel drive is still standard, and absolutely necessary with that much under-hood firepower, though no manual transmission is offered. It's been replaced by an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic.

How has this German thoroughbred's performance changed? Well, chew on this. That new 911 Turbo S can hit 60 mph in a blistering 2.6 seconds and its terminal velocity is 205 mph.

1995 Porsche 911 Turbo    

2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S    

Engine   

3.6-liter twin-turbo H6    

3.8-liter twin-turbo H6    

Power    

400 hp    

640    

Torque    

400 lb-ft    

590    

Transmission

6-speed manual    

Eight-speed dual-clutch automatic    

Drivetrain    

All-wheel drive    

All-wheel drive    

0-to-60 mph   

4.4 seconds   

2.6 seconds    

Top speed

180 mph    

205 mph    

Wheelbase    

89.4 in    

96.5 in    

Length    

167.7 in    

178.6 in    

Curb weight    

3,307 pounds    

3,636 pounds    

Ah, the Toyota Camry, a car that's a ubiquitous as smartphones or fast-food restaurants. Like McDonald's hamburgers, it's been a best-seller for decades, though this family machine has changed greatly over the last 25 years, unlike, say, a Quarter Pounder with Cheese.

Today's Camry is expressively styled, with a large grille, aggressive headlamps and plenty of surfacing. In comparison, the 1995 model is about a generic looking as a car can get, with a dead-simple three-box design and zero flourishes. Visually, it's about as exciting as waiting in line, though at least multiple body styles were available. At the time, you could get the Camry as a sedan, coupe or station wagon.

Mildly restyled for '95, this venerable nameplate offered a 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine good for 125 hp. In comparison, today's base engine displaces 2.5-liters and churns out up to 206 ponies. Back in the day, drivers that wanted more oomph could get a 3.0-liter V6 that was rated at 188 hp, a far cry from the 2020 model's bent-six that delivers 301 equines.

1995 Toyota Camry    

2020 Toyota Camry    

Engines    

2.2-liter I4

3.0-liter V6

2.5-liter I4

3.5-liter V6

Power    

125 hp

188 hp

203/206 hp

301 hp

Torque    

145 lb-ft

195 lb-ft

184/186 hp

267 lb-ft

Transmissions    

5-speed manual

4-speed automatic

8-speed automatic    

Wheelbase    

103.1 in    

111.2 in    

Max. length    

187.8 in    

194.6 in    

Cargo capacity    

14.9 cu-ft    

15.1 cu-ft    

The Toyota Tacoma has been immensely popular for decades. Aside from its manageable dimensions, ruggedness and long-term reliability are cornerstones of its success. 

In 1995, three engines were offered, a base 2.4-liter unit, a larger 2.7-liter four-cylinder and a top-shelf 3.4-liter V6. A four-speed automatic or five-ratio manual were your two transmission choices.

Today's Taco is still available with a 2.7-liter four-cylinder, one that delivers 159 hp, though chances are you'd be a lot happier with the up-level V6 that's rated at 278 hp, 88 more than the one available in '95. As before, two transmissions -- a manual and an automatic -- are offered in this truck, though both have six forward speeds. 

1995 Toyota Tacoma    

2020 Toyota Tacoma    

Engines    

2.4-liter I4

2.7-liter I4

3.4-liter V6

2.7-liter I4

3.5-liter V6

Power    

142 hp

150 hp

190 hp

159 hp

278 hp

Torque   

160 lb-ft

177 lb-ft

220 lb-ft

180 lb-ft

265 lb-ft

Transmissions    

5-speed manual

4-speed automatic

6-speed automatic

6-speed manual

Approx. max. payload    

1,860 pounds   

1,620 pounds   

Approx. max. towing 

5,000 pounds  

6,800 pounds  

Now playing: Watch this: Celebrating 25 years of CNET
3:58