Say It Ain’t So!
Around this time every year auto manufacturers announce which cars will cease production and go off onto the scrap heap of history, kinda like TFL’s beloved Pontiac Aztek crossover. However, these manufacturers don’t always make it clear why they are going to stop making said vehicles, although the reason is pretty obvious, no one wants them.
In the TFL Top 5 video above Roman and Nathan have put together their list of the best 5 newly discontinued cars and take a guess as to why no one wanted them. Call them diamonds in the rough: great cars that deserved a better fate — and could offer savvy buyers a great deal at the dealership before they disappear.
What is interesting about all of these vehicles is the fact that it has been well over a year since we have had any of them as test vehicles. What that means is that none of these cars have seen any significant updates in that time. This could also be a major contributing factor, or indication of these vehicle’s deaths.
Now, onto the list:
#5 – Volkswagen Touareg
With a grand total of 386 Volkswagen Touaregs being sold in June, it is no surprise that VW is not keeping this vehicle around. Financially, that just wouldn’t make any sense. It is still a wonderful vehicle, sharing a chassis and parts bin with the Porsche Cayenne and Audi Q7.
Why We Like it: The Volkswagen Touareg is over-engineered in the best way possible. You can tell that the Volkswagen group spent a lot of time — and money — making this vehicle right. It is comfortable, practical, and great both on and off-road. It has no problem keeping up with its competition in the luxury SUV segment. If you can get past the lofty price tag on a Volkswagen, it is a great vehicle for the money.
Why It’s Going Bye-Bye: Call it a case of right car, wrong brand. The Touareg may be a great vehicle, but its lofty price point, $50,000-plus, didn’t fit in well with the Volkswagen brand in the U.S. Here, VW is an economy brand. The people who would’ve bought the Touareg likely bought Audis and Porsches instead.
#4 – Hyundai Azera
In June, Hyundai sold 502 Azera vehicles, explaining why this car will not be sold in 2018. Much like the Touareg, this car had a price that didn’t seem to match its brand, despite our braintrust’s opinion that it was a solid value.
Why We Like it: The Hyundai Azera is an excellent value for the money, if you can ignore the Hyundai badge. It offers well-appointed cabin with plenty of convenience features. Plus, there is tons of interior space to keep you and your passengers happy.
Why It’s Going Bye-Bye: Nobody wanted to buy a $35,000 car and still drive a Hyundai. This car is Hyundai’s most expensive vehicle by a margin of nearly $5,000. That includes their SUV and hybrid offerings. Had the Azera been re-branded under Hyundai’s luxury brand, Genesis, it may have sold well enough to stay alive.
#3 – BMW Z4
With total sales in June reaching a measly 12 vehicles, the Z4 was clearly not going to improve its market share any time soon. However, by Roman and Nathan’s accounts, this vehicle was great to drive. Why did it sell so poorly? Unfortunately, the luxury convertible segment is not very hot right now and has always been relatively small. And the BMW is up against some formidable competition: the Porsche Boxster and the Mercedes SLK.
Why We Like it: The BMW Z4 is one of the better drivers cars you can find. It has Miata-like handling with two major improvements: It has the luxury features you would expect to find in a BMW, and its optional 6-cylinder engine gives it enough power to put a smile on anyone’s face. While it is definitely fun to drive, it also has no issues being a relaxing, comfortable grand-tourer. Either way, this car offers an excellent driving experience.
Why It’s Going Bye-Bye: It could be the best car in the world and people would still probably go buy an Audi Q5 crossover instead. Plus, the new BMW Z5 is supposedly right around the corner. It’s being produced in conjunction with Toyota with the goal of producing a new set of performance coupes that will blow the Z4 out of the water.
#2 – Jeep Patriot
This vehicle is the only one on this list that didn’t see horrendous sales figures in June, totaling just over 4,000 units. However, a lot of these sales were as fleet vehicles. Coupled with massive incentives, it is no surprise that Jeep were able to sell this many Patriots.
Why We Like it: The Jeep Patriot is certainly not Jeep’s top-shelf vehicle in any one category. That being said, it offers Jeep-like performance and four-wheel-drive at an extremely reasonable price-point. In fact, it is the cheapest way to buy yourself a Jeep with 4×4. We have driven this vehicle off-road and in inclement weather with decent results.
Why It’s Going Bye-Bye: Two words: Jeep Compass. The all-new compact crossover is here and it is frankly a much newer and better vehicle and was always positioned as a replacement for the Patriot.
#1 – Honda Accord Coupe
Of all the Honda Accord variations you could buy, the Coupe was certainly one of the least popular. Chalk it up to the segment — coupes — that have been the doldrums of car sales for years, despite the the Accord Coupe’s fantastic performance and value.
Why We Like it: The Honda Accord Coupe offers a package that accomplishes two goals. On one hand it is sporty, sexy, and fun to drive if you get the V6. On the other hand, it still offers all the practicality and usability of the Honda Accord. It is basically the best of both worlds.
Why It’s Going Bye-Bye: Even though Honda just unveiled the 10th generation Accord, they have not announced whether or not they intend to bring back the Coupe body style. One could argue that until the introduction of the Civic Si and Civic Type R earlier this year, the Accord Coupe with a manual transmission was the most thrilling, performance-oriented Honda you could buy. But now it isn’t and that maybe all Honda needed to kill it.
Bonus – Lexus CT 200h
In June Lexus only sold 615 of CT 200h in the U.S. Essentially a Prius with a luxury makeover that upgraded the exterior and interior, the CT 200h nonetheless had a very similar identity crisis to the Touareg and Azera. It just felt too much like an economy car to really sell well as a Lexus.
Why We Like it: The Lexus CT 200h reaches a very elastic group of buyers. It is one of Lexus’ least expensive cars, offering a taste of Lexus luxury and quality for an entry-level price. That, plus its Prius level of fuel economy made it a great choice for those looking to find a fuel efficient, practical car with a taste of luxury.
Why It’s Going Bye-Bye: Its sporty looks and luxury branding really did not match the car’s lackluster, well, Prius-like performance. Pricing aside, Roman and Nathan really liked this car.
Of course, be sure to watch the whole video for Roman and Nathan’s full explanations on these discontinued cars. Also be sure to stop by TFLnow every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 10:00 AM MST for our weekly live show.
Do you know of any other discontinued cars for 2018? Please comment below if you can think of any others.