Ten Cars That Won't See 2015

Montage

Automakers give all sorts of reasons for canceling a model. Sometimes it comes from a deliberate one-and-done cycle, as Scion often employs. Other times a car too similar to its corporate siblings — compare the ultra-luxury Maybach brand to an optioned-out Mercedes-Benz S-Class — and allowed to age without a redesign can spell doom. And some cars just plain stink: Four of our 10 Worst Cars of the 2000s sputtered out with no direct replacement.

Whatever the cause, cancellations often coincide with lackluster sales. Consider former Volvo spokesman James Hope, whose eulogy for the now-defunct S40 and V50 was short and sweet. "The S40 and V50 are great cars," Hope said. "Our focus, however, needs to be on our [sales] volume vehicles."

More than a dozen models were discontinued in 2013. We polled our editors to see which cars we think will meet their end next year.

Murano_CC_2

1. Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet
The bizarre-looking Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet never found its audience, even after Nissan slashed its starting price twice. It doesn't help that the SUV-turned-convertible essentially came in one well-optioned trim that today runs $13,500 more than the base Murano. Nor do its road manners, which are anything but sporty. Nissan has sold all of 1,568 CrossCabriolets this year, so it only accounts for 3.9 percent of Murano sales. Get ready for the curtain; we think this vehicle is a one-act play.

Cube_2

2. Nissan Cube
In its 4½ years on the market, the Cube remains an enigma. Nissan originally touted the hatchback's "incognito canine" styling, but irony fell on the buyer. Get above city speeds, and the Cube is a dog: It handles like a skateboard, surrenders to highway crosswinds and has the passing power of a 1990s econobox. The side-hinged cargo door is anathema to parallel parking, and the once-impressive high-20s combined EPA mileage has been leapfrogged by Nissan's cheaper, techier Versa. The Versa, in fact, outsold the Cube this year by a ratio of nearly 22-to-1. The Cube's modish interior sports water-droplet themes in the headliner and cupholders, but the waves have run their course. This Nissan could head out to sea.

Eos_2

3. Volkswagen Eos
With a starting price north of $36,000, the aging Eos holds a sensible perch within Volkswagen Group's pantheon of brands. It starts right about where the soft-top Beetle convertible maxes out, but still runs thousands less than the A5 Cabriolet from Volkswagen's upscale Audi brand. But these days few Volkswagen shoppers take the plunge. Even after a styling refresh, sales in 2012 amounted to just 6,214 cars; through November 2013, they're down 32.3 percent. The Beetle convertible outsells the Eos by a ratio of more than 4-to-1. Its asking price could be hard for a Volkswagen shopper to stomach — and with Audi's forthcoming (and presumably more affordable) A3 Cabriolet, the case for an Eos becomes thinner still.

Crosstour_2

4. Honda Crosstour

While its Accord platform mate saw a stylish redesign for 2013, the unsightly Crosstour continues to earn its place alongside such eyesores as the Chevy Lumina APV and Subaru B9 Tribeca in Cars.com's Top 10 Ugly Cars. If Honda wants to rescue the nameplate, a sweeping overhaul with more versatility, better sightlines and improved cabin quality is in order. The Crosstour did get styling tweaks and a remodeled interior for 2013, but that amounts to a hill of beans compared to the Accord's redesign. Sales through November are down 17 percent; the end could be near.

TSX_2

5. Acura TSX
In Honda's Acura luxury division, the TSX formula made sense: Take an overseas version of the Accord sedan, add a few more standard features and rebadge it for stateside shoppers. Problem is, those shoppers now have the more affordable, Civic-based ILX to choose from, and that puts the squeeze between the TSX and Acura's larger TL. Further complicating matters, the TSX with an optional V-6 overlaps TL territory — and for similar money, the TL has more features and cabin room plus better fuel economy. The ILX and TL both outsell the TSX, and Acura might weigh anchor to focus on the other two.

Land_Cruiser_2

6. Toyota Land Cruiser
With a starting price damn near $80,000, the Land Cruiser flies in the high-luxury stratosphere. Yet its comatose steering, disconnected ride, still-fake wood trim and low-rent plastics would be embarrassing on an SUV that's half this price. The Land Cruiser's luxury sibling, the Lexus LX 570, improves on cabin quality enough to command its price. Toyota could leave the turf to its Lexus subsidiary and focus on the less-expensive Sequoia SUV, which has more room and a lower price. In fact, shoppers have bought fewer Land Cruisers this year than any other Toyota, Lexus or Scion model currently on sale. The nameplate has lots of history, but unless Toyota reboots the formula, we think it will become history.

LR2_2

7. Land Rover LR2
We wonder where Land Rover's least expensive SUV, the LR2, sits in the brand's lineup. Throw on a few options, and the LR2 treads into Range Rover Evoque territory — and it's clear Land Rover has funneled more resources toward the latter. The Evoque is a bit smaller but a lot sharper, with a chic interior and 15 percent better EPA combined fuel efficiency. The LR2, meanwhile, soldiers into its seventh model year without a redesign. Sales are all but a dribble; this is the slowest seller by a fair margin among Land Rover's five SUVs. The brand faces a conundrum: Redesign the LR2 with the brand's current face, and it will become all but impossible to differentiate from the Evoque. Any price increase would overlap the two completely, too. The easy solution would be to pull the plug, and Land Rover may do just that.

MKT_2

8. Lincoln MKT
The MKT joined the Crosstour and Murano CrossCabriolet as current-day denizens on our ugly-cars list. (The BMW 5 Series GT made it there, too, but BMW seems hell-bent to sell Americans on hatchbacks.) Ford's luxury division has righted the styling ship in some areas, like the new MKC. But Lincoln still hangs by a sales thread. Through November, the Taurus sedan outsold all five Lincoln models combined. The three-row MKT shares platforms with the Ford Flex, but even those product-development savings may not be enough to rescue it. Rather, the MKT's ticket to longevity may lay in fleet sales. A replacement for the livery-staple Town Car, the MKT could sell to limo companies for years to come. Retail sales to individual consumers, however, remain a question mark.

Touareg_2

9. Volkswagen Touareg
Like the Eos, the Touareg costs a pretty penny for a Vee-Dub. It starts around $45,000 and finishes north of $60,000. At that price, the Touareg overlaps the Audi Q7 and Porsche Cayenne — both SUVs from Volkswagen Group's upmarket Audi and Porsche subsidiaries and platform siblings with the original Touareg. The formula has rendered around 7,415 sales through November, a figure the Q7 and Cayenne both beat. Why buy a Touareg when a few thousand bucks more gets you a Cayenne? That's a good question. Volkswagen may answer it by eliminating the choice altogether.

ForTwo_2

10. Smart ForTwo
Slow sales, poor drivability and unremarkable gas mileage — with premium gas! — weigh down the tiny ForTwo, which has the ignominy of topping Cars.com's Worst Cars of the 2000s. Little has changed since, and parent company Daimler (which owns Mercedes-Benz) needs to reboot or rescind the Smart experiment. Either way, the ForTwo as we know it may not be around for long.

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Comments 

Bowrider

Lincoln should never have changed their naming nomenclature. The MKT should have always been the Town Car.

Thanks for amusing me by throwing Smart 4 2 on your list, but bottom line: Gas is a Dinosaur.
I am not connected to the Smart Electric Drive, manufacturers, dealers, or sales. I am an owner of a Smart ED. From the vaulted postition of complete ignorance, it seems to me that what I saw them do was design a car around the engine.
They did so at a time when the industry's paradigm was "take our car and throw an electric motor in." The other way, tho it takes longer, is a more effective product.
And I believe that's what all we top-of-the-wave owners are proving every day.
Daimler/ Swatch started with an electric battery and built a car around it. I love it... hands-down best decision I ever made.
Bottom Line: you're judging the gas version, and it's already dead. Indeed I could say "gas is a dinosaur."

Matthew

So sad about the Nissan Cube. It is a wonderful car. Sitting in it is like being in a cathedral. Head room for miles. Great gas mileage for a square non aerodynamic vehicle. I had plans to stay with this car till the "wheels fall off" and buy another. Hope fully someone out there will create something similar with ample headroom. By the way the go kart feel on the road makes it fun.

Andrew

If I'm not mistaken both the TL and TSX are getting dropped and replaced by one car to take on the middle of the range spot for Acura.

JCA

Crosstour, X-5 and X-6...hands down the ugliest vehicles on the road today discounting the 10 Aztecs still roaming the planet.
Unless there's a FUNCTIONING camera on the stern, you'd have to be 7' tall to see out the rear window. I too agree with the Cube.Nasty looking little thing, and I'd like to see the bill for the curved window that the kid broke with his baseball. :(~

The Smart ForTwo would have been far more successful in this market if the European version was sold here. Fuel economy on the E.U. diesel is over 70 mpg. I wanted one, but was disappointed when I saw the U.S. fuel economy estimates.

T. Sinclair

Frankly, besides the ones mentioned above, there are quite a few more cars that should have been scrapped.

One good thing is, that what we get as replacements for these losers should be much better, albeit more expensive.

Then again, you get what you pay for. And if cost and fuel economy are a consideration, maybe you can't afford a car.

Maybe we'll get lucky and as the market shakes itself out we'll see more of these dogs disappear by 2016.

deb browne

They should be sell the Smart for 2 diesel here and it might get better sales.

Talentless Hack

I saw the numbers on the Smart Fortwo, and thought to myself, "why bother?" Benz could very easily replace it with the latest version of the A-class. Drive a real Benz and get 40 MPG - on diesel, of course. Costs the same as premium unleaded.

Frank

We saw tha Smart in Rome back in 2001 and it was a great car in the environment for which it was intended (tight streets and miniscule parking spaces), but it is a fish out of water here in the states, just like any other "city car."

Chris H

I wonder if Lincoln designers realize that the MKT is a hearse. It is an UGLY vehicle & I don't know many people interested in driving something that looks like it belongs to a funeral parlor. They should dump it or redesign it.

Karl

I have an EOS Convertible and love this car. Quality and reliability are outstanding!!!

Norm F

Smart car diesels might have been better but now I own a diesel pickup I realize how few gas stations in town sell diesel. Most are on the edge or town near main highways. Not really consumer friendly.

Staci Kanter

I love my Lincoln MKT. I previously only drove Mercedes and this car converted me over to Lincoln. I think it's much better looking than the Mercedes R class! It drives beautifully and is extremely comfortable and well appointed. For a mom with 2 kids in car seats, I needed a 3 row SUV or a minivan. Looked at a large number of options and the MKT was the clear winner. We don't all have the same taste. Personally, I think the design (or lack thereof )the Ford Flex is hideous but some people love it.

responder

I don't see Land Cruiser going away, and don't agree with this article's assessment of its interior quality. It's obviously a cut above Sequoia in quality. It's off-road abilities are second only to Land Rover, though folks in Africa often prefer the Land Crusher for their rugged landscape. The basic design was perfected decades ago, so it is likely a high profit vehicle , as well as being a halo vehicle that established Toyota in America. Unless Toyota is dropping hints that it's a goner my money would be on it hanging around for the foreseeable future.

jyd

None of these cars will be missed.

A coworker of mine said Nissan was going to build a coupe to rival the BRZ/FR-S but that the main guy at Toyota had a wife that wanted a convertible suv. How Crazy is that!

Jose

I agree with all but they need to add the Scion Xd, this little car is 100% forgettable, in fact all of Scion is forgettable except the FR-S. Apparently an all new Smart is being designed so who knows.

King of the road

The LC from Toyota is just a great SUV. Smart intelligent, just with right weight and sexy engine. The american GM's vehicle 2015 versions are big boxy and it look like the designers took a volountary retirement. LC Toyota is great with offroad as well far better than sequoia, looks like an elephant and dumb.

Fareed

I am professional Limo driver (HVT Limo) I drove Lincoln Town Car for over twenty years. The mileage I put on them was between 400k to 500k in five year period. I don't think any vehicle can take these many miles in NYC driving. I am personally heart broken when Lincoln changed the Town Car shape to look like a hearse. I will never by an MKT because of it's ugly shape. Please petition Lincoln to bring back the old Town Car with a good looking shape and if they can make this sedan AWD then it will take over the Limo industry again thank you. I bought a Honda Odyssey instead not doing so well in the Limo industry and I am financially hurt

Kevin

The Honda Crosstour is the best car I've ever owned and we really love the design. Now two of my neighbors have bought one also! Honda has already announced the 2015 so it's here to stay. If you drive one, you'll buy it. I guarantee it!

Don Mack

Buy an Escalade if you want phony glitz, don't use it off road, no low range. Get any model of range rover and find out what consumer report mag low reliability rating means.Gas guzzler? Some one who writes a check for an eighty thousand dollar suv probably couldn't care less. My 2010 LC tows my 8000 lb of machinery thr the muck better than my duramax could. The 4wd system with the crawl mode and the center differential lock up is the best I have ever used.

Glenn Guenther

The Cube is a great car. I bought a 2011 model new. Been cross country, D.C.-San Diego more than a 6 times, no issues whatsoever. Crosswinds, wind noise--I have no idea what people are talking about, no better or worse than my prior cars (two Honda Civics). Lots of room for me, good visibility, and the seat is high enough that I simply slide in instead of having to bend down like in my prior Honda's (not getting younger). So far, I would buy it again without question. I don't understand why single people who live in urban area need Chevy Tahoe's or other large SUVs. If they are so damn scared of getting killed in a car crash, they shouldn't be driving to begin with.

John

We bought a lightly used 2011 Cube and had it wrapped to advertise our real estate business. Everyone comments on it and it is a blast to drive. It even fits our Newfoundland dog with the seats down. Yabadabadoo!

Deege

My wife and I have had a Cube for 4 years and love it. We didn't buy it to fly by traffic. It's extremely comfortable, reliable, and has more room than most small SUVs. We would definitely buy another.

John Ross

written by someone that does not understand niche vehicles. dude, not everyone wants honda accords and toyota camrys. i suggest you celebrate diversity.

zombiesweet

The writer (Kelsey Mays) is just some type of idiot that don't know anything about cars. He's just the type of Wall Street elites that don't work and get paid talking and writing bunch of bullshit. Ignorant fool.

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