2014 is quickly drawing to a close. It’s been a remarkable year in a number of ways, from big-time news events, political happenings, and perhaps most importantly in some people’s minds, the automotive market. This year saw the entrance of the Challenger and Charger Hellcat models, the start of aluminum Ford F-150 construction, and even the announcement for the first mass-market fuel cell vehicle, the Toyota Mirai. It’s safe to say that there has been a lot going on, and car buffs have definitely had a chance to get their fix on automotive news and excitement.
As with any other winter, we also get a chance to get excited about the next year’s new model introductions and redesigns. With 2015 just around the corner, there are more than enough reasons to hit the car lots come January to get first dibs on the best and newest the world’s auto manufacturers have to offer. Of course, that means that we’re also losing some models as well, and that’s what this list is all about.
Thanks to Kelley Blue Book, who put together an “in memoriam” video in honor of 2014’s lost models, we get a microcosm of some of the more popular vehicles that are disappearing from the market. KBB includes a few vehicles that actually ended production in 2013, but were still available for the 2014 model year. So, what vehicles will we be missing in 2015 and beyond? Read on to find out.
1. Honda Insight
The Honda Insight was one of the vehicles that was on the cutting-edge of hybrid technology. To this day, it still presents a viable market force with a starting price of under $19,000, and fuel economy of up to 41 miles per gallon in the city. It’s never really been up there with the Toyota Prius sales-wise, and as a result its time has come, according to the Honda brass. The Insight dates all the way back to the dawn of the new millennium, but will see its end very soon. A new Honda fuel-cell car is on the way, and consumers can still opt for the Honda Fit in its stead.
2. Toyota FJ Cruiser
The FJ Cruiser, Toyota’s iconic and time-proven off-roading SUV, will be seeing its life cycle come to an end this year. Sporting the aesthetics — along with much of the same capability — of the old FJs of yore, the latest Cruiser offered a venerable go-anywhere attitude for consumers with a taste for the outdoors. During its seven-year lifespan from 2007 until 2014, the FJ Cruiser won over a lot of off-road enthusiasts with a heavy-duty suspension system, a torquey 260-horsepower V6 engine, and a price of under $30,000. Not bad. The FJ Cruiser will be sorely missed.
3. Subaru Tribeca
After nearly a decade in production, Subaru’s Tribeca SUV will be mothballed come 2015. Although consumers generally felt positive toward the Tribeca, it suffered from the same faults that many SUVs in its segment do; namely, it comes up short on cargo and space when the third row is in use, poor fuel economy, and a cheap-feeling interior. Still, Subaru knows how to put together a sport utility vehicle, and the Tribeca delivered where it counts, in engine power and handling.
4. Toyota Matrix
Toyota originally built the Matrix hatchback off of the Corolla platform — and its popularity helped it take off from there. It was introduced formally to the market back in 2002, and made its debut as a 2003 model. After 10 years or so, the Matrix is now in line to be retired. The Matrix, during its time on the market, was lauded for its safety features and crash-test ratings, as well as its affordability and economic performance. Though there are plenty of other options out there for those looking for a viable alternative, the Matrix will be remembered fondly.
5. Ford E-Series
While the E-Series isn’t really a consumer-centric model line, these Ford cargo and passenger vans definitely have gotten a big thumbs-up from the commercial and business world. Though they had their time in the sun, the E-Series is being discontinued in favor of the newer, sleeker and more economical Transit line. The Transit brings a more European vibe to American shores, and also improves on many of the design and engineering aspects that the E-Series lacked. After more than half a century, we bid farewell to the E-Series.
6. Acura ZDX
Acura is undergoing some big changes for 2015, and that includes dropping a couple models. First and foremost is the ZDX, a hatchback/crossover hybrid that only lasted four or five years on the market. Though customers generally liked the ZDX, its high starting price of around $50,000 and quirky, offbeat nature likely led to dwindling sales, particularly as American and other markets faced the recession. Production officially ended in 2013, and 2014 marked the last model year that the ZDX is available.
7. Dodge Avenger
In the crowded mid-size sedan segment, there are bound to be some casualties. One of those casualties comes in the form of the Dodge Avenger, which has been in production since 2007. Prior to 2007, the Avenger saw life 1995-2000, but apparently is getting elbowed out of the market once again. Though the Avenger is economical, sporty, and priced very competitively, it simply doesn’t appear that it can keep up with the rest of the market. With competition from Ford, Honda, Nissan, Toyota, VW, and others, the Avenger had a tough task ahead of it.
8. Acura TSX
Another Acura model set to bite the dust is the TSX, to be replaced with the new TLX sedan. Acura’s compact executive car first hit the market 10 years ago, and has reached the end of the line. There were variants as well, including the wagon/hatchback configuration, making the TSX a fairly popular choice among cost-conscious luxury car consumers. The TSX was priced rather meagerly compared to many other Acura models, but it appears that the Acura higher-ups are leaning in a different direction. After 10 years and two generations, we bid the TSX adieu.
9. Chevrolet Avalanche
It’s hard to remember the world before the Chevy Avalanche hit the scene, and starting next year, we’ll return to that status. The Avalanche took the pickup truck and tweaked it a bit, offering a different take on larger vehicles for those who were in the market for it. Production officially ended in 2013, making 2014 the last year the Avalanche would be available on dealer lots. After nearly 15 years on American roads, the Avalanche is rolling out of town.
10. Volvo C30
One car that is sure to be missed will be the Volvo C30, a fun and very Volvo approach to the hatchback that delivers on all levels. The Swedish automaker built the C30 between 2006 and 2013, with the vast majority of those completed models destined for European dealerships. The C30 was available in a huge number of variations and special editions, including the C30 R-Design and the C30 Polestar Performance Concept Package. Though it’s now destined to go the way of the Dodo bird, the C30 will be missed.