Like all products, there’s a certain lifespan associated with automobiles that puts an expiration date on the unit’s marketability and competitiveness. Some cars are refreshed constantly — every two to three years, which is a lot when you look at how complex making cars really is. Others, like the Volvo XC90, for example, can make it 10 or more years before they’re mercifully overhauled to rekindle public interest.
There are new cars revealed virtually every year, as well as many updates and light refreshes that keep the cars desirable for long enough until the automaker can implement a full replacement. We’ve combed the headlines to find out which vehicles are in the midst of a life-changing change, and we’ve showcased 10 of them for your perusal and enjoyment.
1. Nissan Maxima
The Altima is Nissan’s bread and butter in the U.S. sedan market, but the Maxima is still an important piece of the brand’s portfolio. That being said, the Maxima may be one of the next cars to get swept up in Nissan’s widespread redesign strategy that sees the adoption of the V-inspired design language that currently adorns the new Rogue, Pathfinder, and Murano. Though the new car hasn’t been revealed, it’s possible that the Maxima will likely adopt cues from the sleek and modern Sport Sedan concept.
2. Honda Pilot
Honda’s Pilot SUV is largely successful because it’s entirely inoffensive. It’s simple — bland, even — without a design risk to be seen inside or out. It’s a bit blocky but otherwise fairly unremarkable from a design point of view, and as a result, Honda has sold a tremendous number of units. However, the car has remained virtually unchanged since 2009, when the flying brick shape was introduced, and it’s getting a bit long in the tooth at this point. Details are, per usual, scarce, but some spy shots indicate that development of a 2016 model is well underway.
3. Toyota Sequoia
The Toyota Sequoia is among the most capable full-size SUVs on the market, but it missed the boat on the Tundra’s 2014 redesign despite being very closely related to Toyota’s large pickup. This means that the Sequoia is still rocking the design language that was introduced in 2008 as the car goes into the 2015 model year. Eventually, SUV will be refreshed and likely take on the new bolder, more aggressive styling that currently adorns the Tundra.
4. Nissan Titan
Nothing spells automotive longevity quite like the Nissan Titan. That face that you see on the 2015 model is virtually the same that adorned the truck upon its introduction to the market in 2003, and it now chugs its way into its 12th year of service. But Nissan hasn’t been sitting idly by of late and has actually been hard at work on a replacement for the thoroughly aged pickup. We know the new model will come with a diesel engine option, but as far as the styling goes, we’re still in the dark.
5. Mitsubishi Outlander
The Mitsubishi Outlander SUV has a problem: Upon its redesign for 2013, the new vehicle ended up looking — to many, at least — older than its predecessor. This is rarely a good thing, but it’s especially difficult for a company like Mitsubishi,which has seen its U.S. presence dwindle while the industry flourishes. A new offering is under development, which will hopefully take cues from the Outlander Concept S that bowed at the Paris Motor Show earlier this year. So far, it’s too early to tell, but the brand needs it — and desperately.
6. Cadillac SRX/XT5
The SRX crossover is among the last vehicles in Cadillac’s stable to be transitioned into the brand’s new design language. Though still selling well, it’s about that time for the crossover to get its due update so it can better take on a revamped X3 from BMW, a renewed lineup from Mercedes, and the new NX from Lexus. Along with its new looks, the Cadillac will also be getting a new name: the XT5, it seems.
7. Mercedes-Benz E-Class
Though the new Mercedes E-Class is fresh off a mild redesign, the Daimler engineers aren’t resting on their laurels. Another E-Class is slated for 2017 and will reportedly feature new straight-six engines and a new body. Sharp, angular lines will apparently be swapped out with curvier motifs, similar to the new C and S Class sedans; it will also likely inherit some tech from its larger siblings to help secure its place among the luxury sedans of the world.
8. Chevrolet Camaro
The Chevrolet Camaro got a minor update for the 2014 model year, but in order to stay competitive against the completely redesigned Ford Mustang, a more in-depth and comprehensive rehash will be in order. It’s likely that the Camaro will retain the same overall shape and key styling cues, but Ford has indicated that muscle cars no longer need to be blocky, brick-like creatures with questionable aerodynamics. There’s no telling how far Chevy will go styling-wise, but expect the refresh to arrive for the 2016 or 2017 model year.
9. Chevrolet Volt
Though it’s one of the more polarizing cars on the market, the Chevrolet Volt has done pretty well for itself. However, it hasn’t had a redesign since its introduction in 2011, and as companies like Tesla and BMW show that plug-ins and hybrids can be green and sexy, Chevy’s heading back to the drawing board for a new Volt that will be coming out sometime next year as a 2016 model, at least tentatively.
10. Toyota Tacoma
Though it dominates the midsize truck segment, the Toyota Tacoma has done so because there aren’t any other competitors aside from the Nissan Frontier. But with a new GMC Canyon and Chevy Colorado now hitting dealerships, the Tacoma will have to rely more on things other than its size to move units, and this truck could use a good overhaul all the way around. It looks old, its engines are dated, its fuel economy is now less than par, and it won’t remain competitive for much longer as the segment gets crowded again.
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