There are some things in this world that are completely unfair. This applies to everything in life, but it is often pertinent to the automotive industry. No matter how painful it is, good cars get canceled. This unfortunate reality happens more often than you might think. Good cars can disappear due to lack of enough marketing, a car being too expensive to produce, poor sales, or any number of other reasons.
Conversely, crappy cars can hang on for years, scraping by with just enough sales to make business sense. While we’d like these vehicles to just disappear, they won’t until the automaker sees that they’re not making money or that they have something more profitable to focus on to cease producing them. With all this in mind, here are five vehicles we never wanted to leave and five of them that we could care less if they disappeared.
The Ones That Should’ve Survived
These are the cars that lived too short of lives. The ones that passed on to that great parking lot in the sky too soon. The cars that you point out to friends when you see someone driving one down the street in your hometown. The run for these models may have ended, but we wish it hadn’t.
This isn’t the first time we’ve mourned the passing of the Chevrolet SS, and it won’t be the last. The Aussie-built sedan with its big 415 hp V8 engine will always have a place in our hearts. The car just didn’t sell, no matter how many times we and several other publications expressed its merits. The SS delighted in a straight line and had the goods to lay down some rubber on the racetrack. It had room for five and a spacious trunk. There was little not to love, but the lack of marketing and the craving for crossovers in the United States spelled the hot rod’s demise.
We don’t get why the WRX
Isuzu made the compact SUV known as the VehiCross only from 1997 to 2001. The vehicle was a bit of an oddball when it came out, but we think had it survived it would enjoy healthy sales in today’s current automotive climate. The VehiCross featured your choice of two strong V6 engines and a BorgWarner torque-on-demand 4-wheel-drive system. It was more of an off-roader than most of the wimpy crossovers we see today, but the vehicle was groundbreaking for its time. Unfortunately, it was too far ahead of the market and not too many folks bought it.
Audi A4 Avant
The Audi A4 Avant is still sold overseas, but for some reason, American buyers can’t compute the fact that wagon plus performance equals excellent car. The fact of the matter is that there are too many people who still think of the big soft family boats that used to pass for station wagons when they think of any kind of car with a long hatchback shape. The Audi A4 Avant was anything but that. It was a European wagon that drove beautifully and came with
The Ones That Need to Die
Like we noted above, for every car we wish would have survived, there’s one that should get the
The BMW X4 is one of the weirdest crossovers in recent memory. It’s essentially a BMW X3 with the back end made to look like some kind of funky hatch/sedan. It’s an abomination, but surprisingly the higher performance version of the vehicle drives well. The M40i variant gets a 3.0-liter twin-turbo inline six-cylinder good for 355 hp and 343 lb-ft of torque. Still, despite good road manners, the vehicle is a poorly conceived crossover, and its mailbox slot of a rear window makes visibility poor.
There are few truly awful cars out there these days, but the Fiat 500L is one of them. We get what Fiat was thinking. Let’s take our cute little 500 and make it longer, they said. Unfortunately, by doing so, they eliminated what makes the original 500 so charming. The 500L has no charm, is ergonomically a mess, and has a slushbox of an automatic transmission that reduces its fun factor to almost zero. We wish we could say something nice about its cargo area, but the lack of flat folding seats keeps us from being able to do so.
Tesla Model X
You might be surprised to see the Tesla Model X here. It’s an innovative EV SUV with Falcon Wing doors in the rear and a five-star safety rating from the government. The reason we think it should go is that it’s ugly. That and the fact that the falcon wing doors are about as useful when it rains as a dirt flavored lollipop. Still, Tesla’s ability to adjust is impressive. That flaw in its design was somewhat fixed with a simple software update. As much as we’re not huge fans of the Model X, we find what Tesla has done to be commendable and would like to see more cars like the Model S sedan.
With all the new EVs out there, it’s a wonder why Mitsubishi even bothers with the i-MiEV. The vehicle only gets about 60 miles per charge and it has a top speed of 80 mph. It is the cheapest EV available but if you don’t mind spending a little more you can get a Chevrolet Spark EV that’s much better in terms of interior comfort, and it actually looks like a car. The i-MiEV looks like a weird spaceship hatchback. The car used to be a real frontrunner in the EV space, but Mitsubishi failed to continue pushing the model forward. No major changes have been made recently and the i-MiEV simply exists as the glorified golf cart it is.
Every time we see a Pathfinder we want to stop the vehicle, get the owner to roll down his or her window, and ask them this question: why did you pick this over the completion? There’s some seriously stiff competition out there in this segment, and no matter how much of a Nissan fanboy you are, making the case that the Pathfinder is a better choice than the Mazda CX-9 or the Honda Pilot is difficult. The Pathfinder used to be cool. It used to be a rugged off-road ready vehicle. Today, it’s devolved into a people toting commuter crossover. Can it still go off-road? Sure, but not with the same badass flair that it used to. With six crossovers in its lineup already, two others of which can come with a third row of seating, we just don’t get the point of keeping the Pathfinder around anymore.