Monday, December 29, 2014

Last Call: 11 Discontinued Cars You Could Still Buy in 2014


In the auto business, timing is everything. As the clock counts down on a new model year, prices drop, compromises are made, and deals are brokered, all in an effort to empty the showroom by closing time. Despite this, many models simply slip through the cracks, retreating to the corner of the showroom to while away the hours until some compassionate soul shows interest. Or some examples spent time with dealer plates being used by staff or family members, or being used as dealership courtesy cars. Either way, look around and you can find some interesting hardware among the wallflowers, regardless of the model year. As evidence, we assembled this list of 11 discontinued models—arranged in descending order by number of units sold—that people took home in 2014, including some that ended production in 2009 (!). Launched as the B9 Tribeca in 2006, the Legacy-based crossover emerged from the Subie womb with a face that only a devoted fan of the German impressionist movement could love. Subaru brought the styling inline with the corporate DNA for 2008, but sales remained lackluster, the Tribeca meandering though life until its maker officially pulled the plug in early 2014. Judged by numbers alone, the Mercedes-Benz CL-class coupe had few contemporaries. Nearly as long as a Cadillac Escalade and wider than a basic Toyota Tacoma, the MSRP for the Even sinking ships need anchors, and for more than 40 years, the Galant was the solid sedan that helped to keep Mitsubishi afloat. Sold around the world under several different names (Dodge Colt anyone?), the Galant was in its ninth generation when the good times came to halt at the end of the 2012 model year. It's a pickup! It's an SUV! It only sold 90 copies! By the time Chevy officially halted production at the end of 2013 model year,  Avalanche sales were already on shaky ground due to competition from the maker's own line of luxurious crew cab pickup trucks. Although production continued through the 2013 model year, Acura  gave notice in the fall of 2102 that the ZDX crossover was not long for this world, giving fans a full year to snap one up before its 2013 termination date. To sweeten the deal Acura limited availability to the top-of-the-line trim level, lowered the MSRP by more than $5000, and tweaked the styling a bit. Even so, a few example lingered in showrooms, 76 of which found their way into buyers' hands in 2014. The grandest Cowboy Cadillac ever to roll off a G.M. production line, the Escalade EXT was a triumph of badge engineering. Essentially a bling-encrusted Chevy Avalanche for pointy-boot wearers and their high-haired companions, Caddy's Escalade EXT SUV/truck thingy is our bet to replace the Pontiac Aztec as the ironic vehicle of choice for the slacker/hipster contingent of 2021. Get one while you can—try the dealers in Texas. Limited to a run of 500 units right from the start, production of the most hyper road-going Lexus ever ended in December of 2012. The LFA was powered by V-10 engine and boasted prodigious amounts of carbon fiber. It appears the last versions of Lexus' $375k supercar left the building in 2014. Spending most of it's life as an automotive  apparition of sorts, the Alabama-built Mercedes R-class crossover bid adieu to the U.S. market at the end of the 2013 model year. Mercedes plans to keep the Technically, the Mercedes-Benz CLK ended production in 2009, but its classic Benz styling will likely never go out of style. Combined with rear-wheel drive and available in either coupe or cabriolet body styles, it makes a statement that endures. Which is good, since three of them were still available as new this year. It appears that Hyundai just can't seem to shake its Veracruz crossover. Even though the car was discontinued at the end of the 2011 model year, Hyundai had enough remaining examples to rebadge them as 2012 models and put 'em back on dealer lots. But even with a full year to dispense with the inventory, at least one Veracruz made it through 2013 unspoken for, eventually finding a buyer in 2014. Loved by many, misunderstood by most, Mazda's RX-8 carried the free-revving, rotary-engine flag as long as technology would allow. Pulled from the European market in 2010 when it failed to meet  emissions standards, the RX-8 bid adieu to the U.S. in 2011.  The object of worship for a small, cult-like group of enthusiasts, we're confident this example in is good hands.


from Car and Driver Blog


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