10 Discontinued Cars for 2017
When a car company comes out with a brand new or updated model, they’ll make sure you know about it with advertisements, promotions, and shiny new models front and center in showrooms and dealer lots. But what about the cars that run their course and are quietly put out to pasture? Here are a few of those cars that are discontinued for 2017.
1. Buick Verano
The Buick Verano was not a bad idea for a car. It was an entry-level compact semi-luxury sedan that was an affordable, fuel-efficient introduction to a brand struggling to get into a younger demographic. You could even get one with a turbocharged engine and a manual transmission making it a well-kept secret in the driving enthusiast community. Unfortunately for this humble little Buick, gas stayed too cheap and everyone kept buying trucks and crossovers. With the extinction of the Verano and the recent introduction of the Encore, Buick now offers more crossovers than sedans for the first time ever.
2. Dodge Viper
This isn’t the first time we’ve said goodbye to the Viper. After 18 years, this V10 sports car took a brief hiatus starting in 2010 and came roaring back for the 2013 model year. The new one came with an outrageous 8.4-liter V10 engine and an extreme aesthetic to match its performance. Unfortunately, the Viper was cannibalized by its own stablemates, the Hellcat twins. You can get a Charger or Challenger Hellcat with more power for less money than a Viper. While the Viper is a different animal than its muscle car brothers, it was tough for buyers to justify the price. Outside of Dodge dealers, the Viper had the budget-friendly, track-ready Chevy Corvette Z06 to deal with. At the end of the day, it made more sense for FCA to use that manufacturing space and manpower to make high-volume, high-profit trucks that everyone wants.
3. Cadillac ELR
Here’s a car that we assumed was killed years ago until we heard it was being discontinued for 2017. A massive commercial flop, the Cadillac ELR was a luxury coupe based on the plug-in hybrid Chevy Volt aimed to compete with Tesla. That means it had a Tesla-sized price tag. While it had an innovative drivetrain and radical looks that set the tone for future Cadillacs, it was just too expensive and obscure to have any kind of sales success. If you want a plug-in hybrid Cadillac, that option will be available in the big CT6 sedan in Spring of 2017.
4. Chrysler 200
Originally a warmed over Sebring, Chrysler changed the name of their midsize offering to the 200 to make consumers associate it with the bigger 300 sedan. For the 2015 model year it got a big overhaul. It was the first car to speak Chrysler’s new design language and it was a respectable competitor in the mid-size sedan segment. It had best-in-class V6 horsepower and the lowest drag coefficient, but it failed to impress buyers enough to outsell its competitors. It was a big investment with a decent result, but it couldn’t get out of the middle of the pack. Mysteriously, there’s no official replacement planned for the 200 which means it’s looking like Chrysler will only have two models unless they announce something new very soon. They might do some importing an rebadging of something from a different brand, but nothing is official yet.
5. Chrysler Town & Country
Few will miss the rather unexciting Chrysler Town & Country, but it’s a shame the model name that’s been around since 1941 has to die. It’s been replaced by a stylish new minivan bearing the recycled Pacifica name from the forgettable Chrysler crossover of the mid-2000s. Chrysler is marketing to cool young parents and don’t want them to associate it with their parents’ old minivan. The Dodge Grand Caravan, which is basically a budget model of the Town & Country, is still around for the 2017 model year, but expect that one to get the ax soon and join the Town & Country up in car heaven. While the new Pacifica is a good replacement, Chrysler still really needs a crossover – a mandatory ingredient of any luxury marque.
6. Land Rover LR4
The new Discovery is replacing the LR4 which replaced the LR3 which replaced the old Discovery. Make sense? The LR4 served as a cheaper, but still upscale alternative to the flagship Range Rover and it had respectable off-road chops. You could say it was the last of the old fashioned Land Rovers. Unfortunately, the boxy British SUV just went out of style as Land Rover gave the lower end of their lineup a big refresh including the sleek new Discovery, Discovery Sport, and the goofy looking Evoque convertible. Suddenly you can get an affordable, reliable luxury SUV from Jeep in various shapes and sizes so Land Rover needs to stay on their toes.
7. Honda CR-Z
The Honda CR-Z was a quirky little hybrid two-seater that was the spiritual successor to both the CR-X and the first-generation Insight. It tried to combine the astounding efficiency of the Insight, North America’s first hybrid, and the attitude of the beloved old CR-X compact hatch. The result was a little awkward. The car tried too hard to do too many things well and never gained the fan base of either of the cars it was supposed to replace. It wasn’t as efficient as the Insight or as fun as the CR-X. There are more practical, conservatively styled hybrids and Honda’s own Accord Hybrid is a much bigger, more useful car that gets better fuel economy than the CR-Z.
8. Jeep Patriot
Based on the ancient Dodge Caliber compact hatch, the Jeep Patriot was getting very long in the tooth. A replacement was long overdue. The poor Patriot was a punching bag for automotive critics for being boring, uncomfortable, and not even close to its competition in features and overall quality. Despite being a pretty bad car, it sold well because it’s a very cheap way to get into the Jeep brand for an excuse to get one of those “It’s a Jeep thing…you wouldn’t understand!” bumper stickers. It’s finally being put out of its misery alongside the equally terrible Compass for an all-new Compass replacement. The second-gen Compass actually looks pretty cool, especially in Trailhawk guise.
9. Lincoln MKS
When was the last time you saw a brand new Lincoln sedan on the street? Lincoln has practically become a crossover brand and they’re being rewarded in sales numbers for making what everyone wants. The latest Lincoln sedan to be killed by the crossover revolution is the Ford Taurus-based MKS. However, it’s been immediately replaced by the very handsome new Continental as the flagship sedan for Lincoln. The problem with the MKS was it was never luxurious enough to justify its pricetag. The MKS wasn’t a terrible car, but it’s not hard to tell it’s a Taurus wearing a cheap suit. It wasn’t very competitive when it was new in 2009 and hasn’t aged very well since.
10. Hyundai Equus
In a world of showy, flashy luxury cars and crossovers, Hyundai of all people made a full-size luxury sedan that was dignified by its restrained styling. Its subtlety was a blessing and a curse as it tipped the scales from inconspicuous to a bit boring. The most obvious reason that the Equus never sold very well is its brand. In a competitive field of luxury sedans from veterans like Cadillac and Mercedes-Benz, why would you buy one from Hyundai? Plenty of reasons! By the end of its life, it was available with a powerful 5.0-liter GDI V8 engine and had a lovely interior that could really compete with the old-timers in the luxury game. Luckily, the Equus got a worthy replacement in the great big G90 sedan available from Hyundai’s new Genesis luxury brand.