• Image Credit: BMW / James Riswick

10 Year Challenge: Car Edition

The 10 Year Challenge has been making its way around Facebook and Instagram, "challenging" people to post side-by-side photographs of themselves now and 10 years ago. It's not exactly the Ice Bucket Challenge in terms of effort or importance, but hey, it's something to do. 

So, in that spirit, here are a whole whack of cars from 2019 and 2009. Queue Barbra Streisand's "The Way We Were." 

James Riswick, Contributing Editor

  • Image Credit: Hyundai

2009 Hyundai Accent

No car company has come as far visually in the last decade as Hyundai. Well, except corporate sibling Kia. The radical transformation would begin two years later with the Hyundai Sonata, but until then, this jolly little yellow Accent without standard ABS would be kicking about for those who needed the thriftiest of transportation. 
  • Image Credit: Hyundai

2019 Hyundai Accent

Wow, look who got hot. OK, hot for a subcompact sedan. That's quite the transformation. 
  • Image Credit: Kia

2009 Kia Optima

I once wrote that this Optima was styled by the Witness Protection Program. So anonymous, it might as well have been invisible. 
  • Image Credit: Kia

2019 Kia Optima

Today's Optima is just an evolution of the car that came between it and the previously shown Invisi-car. Still, shows how far Kia has come in 10 years. 
  • Image Credit: Mercedes-Benz

2009 Mercedes-Benz A-Class

We didn't have an A-Class in 2009, but Europe sure did. This thing's styling was inspired by a door stop. 
  • Image Credit: Mercedes-Benz

2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class

The previous-generation made the transition from door stop to traditional compact hatchback. This latest one, introduced for 2019, makes the A-Class available as a sedan for the first time. 
  • Image Credit: Mercedes-Benz

2009 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

Elsewhere in Stuttgart ... The 2009 E-Class was still rocking the quad headlight look that debuted with the previous generation in the late 1990s. 
  • Image Credit: Mercedes-Benz

2019 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

Va va voom. No more quad headlights and things have gotten slinky in E-Class land. 
  • Image Credit: Chrysler LLC

2009 Jeep Compass

Gah! Kill it! Kill it!

A decade does not make this thing any better. 

  • Image Credit: FCA

2019 Jeep Compass Trailhawk

Phew, that's better. Today's Compass is actually quite the attractive little SUV. It's even pretty cool in Trailhawk guise. 
  • Image Credit: Ford

2009 Ford Ranger

That's right, they still sold the old Ford Ranger in 2009. They'd actually sell it another two years after that. This for a truck that traced its bones to the 1980s. 
  • Image Credit: Ford

2019 Ford Ranger

The toy-hauling trailer isn't the only thing that's gotten bigger in a decade. The new Ranger makes its return to the United States for 2019 ... and it's damn good.  
  • Image Credit: Lexus

2009 Lexus LX 570

This is the 2009 Lexus LX, which belongs to the same generation that's still sold today. Except ...
  • Image Credit: Lexus

2019 Lexus LX 570

Bam! They slapped the most gargantuan rendition of the "Lexus Signature Spindle Grille" on the thing to bring it up to, ah, date? Changes to the interior were more welcome and are less likely to frighten small children. 
  • Image Credit: Nissan

2009 Nissan 370Z Coupe

2009 was the first year for the 370Z, the completely redesigned replacement for the 350Z. 
  • Image Credit: Nissan

2019 Nissan 370Z

Nope, not a lot has changed in a decade. The same could be said for Nissan's Frontier pickup. The GT-R is the same generation as well. 
  • Image Credit: Nissan

2009 Nissan Pathfinder

Not everything at Nissan has remained frozen in amber. This is the body-on-frame third-generation Nissan Pathfinder.
  • Image Credit: Nissan

2019 Nissan Pathfinder

And this is the unibody fourth-generation Nissan Pathfinder. Maybe you'll find some paths in it, but you certainly won't be able to go down them. 
  • Image Credit: Ford

2009 Ford Mustang Bullitt

The last Mustang Bullitt was actually introduced 10 years ago. It was pretty bad ass. 
  • Image Credit: Ford

2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt

Still green. Still bad ass. 
  • Image Credit: Kia

2009 Kia Sportage

Get ready to laugh at juxtaposition in 3 ... 2 ... 1
  • Image Credit: Kia

2019 Kia Sportage

So today's Sportage does have a sort of deranged clown thing going on, but holy cow, look at that transformation! It looks like way more than 10 years have passed since the Sportage was that wimpy like ute-let. Way to go Kia. 
  • Image Credit: Volvo

2009 Volvo S60

This was final year for the first-generation S60, which was among those cars that ushered Volvo away from its boxy aesthetic. Actually, comparing this to the S70 from 10 years prior would be pretty interesting, too, since it was as equally a stunning transformation as ... 
  • Image Credit: Volvo

2019 Volvo S60

This. Yowza, look how far we've come. Hot hot hot. Things have gone from Agnetha Fältskog to Alexander Skarsgård on the Swedish Hot Meter.
  • Image Credit: Honda

2009 Honda Accord

This was the first year for what was arguably the most disappointing Honda Accord. It ballooned in size and the interior was junk compared to the cars that came before and after. Its styling was also not universally loved, especially at the rear.
  • Image Credit: Honda

2019 Honda Accord

The current Accord's styling is also controversial, but there do seem to be more defenders this time around. And unlike its predecessor from a decade ago, the latest Accord is anything but a disappointment. You can even get it with a manual transmission. 
  • Image Credit: GM

2009 Chevrolet Silverado

Ah, what a clean, classic design. Not trying too hard, not overwhelmed by chrome. Things would soon change ...
  • Image Credit: GM

2019 Chevrolet Silverado

Until we got here! Well, the red is about the same. Admittedly, this is the off-road-oriented Trail Boss, but no semblance of classic simplicity was attempted anywhere in the 2019 Silverado line. 
  • Image Credit: Lexus

2009 Lexus ES 350

Beige. 
  • Image Credit: Lexus

2019 Lexus ES 350

Not beige. In color or driving experience. 
  • Image Credit: GM

2009 Buick LaCrosse

This thing looks like Anime Hannibal Lecter was glued to the front of grandpa's Safeway shuttle. And those stupid portholes. Ugh. It's shocking Buick survived this era. Thanks China!
  • Image Credit: GM

2019 Buick LaCrosse

Compared to that monstrosity, the soon-to-be-departed 2019 LaCrosse might as well be an Aston Martin. 
  • Image Credit: Hyundai

2009 Hyundai Sonata

Now let's close this out where we began. The 2009 Hyundai Sonata was actually a pretty good midsize sedan -- you could see that Hyundai was really putting the pieces together. The car that followed would shock the industry -- the current Toyota Camry's designer told me it was one of those cars that truly surprised his team and required some serious rethink. 
  • Image Credit: Hyundai

2019 Hyundai Sonata

That revolutionary 2011-2016 Sonata never received a significant mid-life refresh. Didn't need it. It's unfortunately conservative predecessor, on the other hand, went under the knife last year to spruce things up a lot (and make it better to drive). This is the car that resulted. 

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