2012 AUTOMOTIVE OBITUARIES
Acura ZDX: The Acura ZDX was never really well-received by the automotive press or the public. The four-seat crossover had a coupe-like roofline and controversial styling, limited utility, and a price tag that made it hard to justify its purchase over the mechanically related MDX.
Chevrolet Avalanche: Unlike other vehicles on this list, the Chevrolet Avalanche isn’t being discontinued because it’s a bad vehicle – it’s leaving us as a result of parental neglect. The second-generation of the innovative Avalanche debuted in 2007 and saw its only real update in 2009, when the four-speed auto was replaced by a six-speed slushbox. Because the Avalanche was never kept fresh, sales dwindled, eventually resulting in its discontinuation.
Lexus HS 250h: First introduced in 2009, the Lexus HS 250h didn’t live up to Lexus’ sales or its customers’ fuel economy expectations. The problem may have been that most customers expected the HS 250h to net fuel economy comparable to the similarly sized Toyota Prius. Since the HS 250h used a modified version of the Toyota Camry Hybrid’s powertrain, that never happened. The end result was a slow-selling unattractive car, discontinued after just three years on the marketplace.
Lexus LFA: The Lexus LFA is the most recent edition to this list; the last of the carbon fiber supercar rolled off its special assembly line earlier this month. The 552-hp V-10-powered LFA was always intended to be a limited edition model, with just 500 made before Lexus closed up shop.
Mazda CX-7: The Mazda CX-7 died for the greater good of the Mazda lineup. The CX-7 was a bit of a tweener that never really had a direct competitor, but worked for Mazda until the CX-5 arrived. Since the CX-5 offers better fuel economy and more interior space, Mazda has dropped the CX-7 from its U.S. lineup.
Mercedes-Benz R-Class: Fact: Americans don’t like minivans. Fact: The Mercedes-Benz R-Class is essentially a minivan, despite the lack of sliding doors. With Mercedes customers buying GL- and M-Class vehicles in droves, the R-Class quietly left the U.S.
Mitsubishi Galant: For the Mitsubishi Galant, its demise frankly couldn’t come soon enough. Here’s hoping Mitsubishi goes back to the drawing board and returns with a groundbreaking midsize sedan in the next five years.
Suzuki: Sadly another automaker announced its departure this year. Suzuki is following in Saab’s footsteps and halting new-car sales in the U.S. Suzuki’s lineup includes gems like the Kizashi and Equator. Though good when they first debuted, models like the SX4 and Grand Vitara likely won’t be missed.
Volvo C30: Volvo was once known for selling stylish hatchbacks and wagons. Last year, it withdrew its V50 wagon from the U.S., and now it’s taking back its last hatchback. That’s a shame too, because with Volvo teasing variants like the C30 Polestar, it was just getting good.