Styling fads come and go, technology comes and goes, and buyer needs are constantly changing. These are all the reasons why the automotive world is constantly evolving. When automakers become complacent and live off of past success, they eventually learn what the now-defunct Saturn learned: change or die.
This constant changing is also why we see so many different cars coming and going each year. As new model years roll around, buyers can see dozens of old cars disappear and be replaced by a dozen all-new cars. Understandably, this can all get rather confusing.
To help you get a grasp on what cars are checking out for 2015, InsiderCarNews.com has put together a list of the 10 most notable cars that won’t be around after 2015. Some of these cars are leaving to simplify confusing lineups, while others simply don’t make great business sense. However, there is one vehicle that won’t live beyond 2015 that has no reason to go anywhere other than the fact that its parent company obviously wants to shake things up a bit.
1. Chevrolet SS
On paper, the Chevy SS was a hit. It had four doors, 415 horsepower and required little engineering work because it was simply a rebadged Holden Commodore imported from Australia. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case as only 2,166 units have found garages to call home as of October 2014. On top of slow sales, GM has decided to cease Holden operations in Australia starting in 2017, meaning the SS must die too or GM needs to find a way to produce the SS in another country. The latter simply won’t happen, and the 2015 model year will be the last for the SS.
2. Dodge Grand Caravan
From the beginning, Chrysler’s minivan lineup was a little odd; there were three nearly identical vans sold under three different names: Dodge Caravan, Chrysler Town & Country and Plymouth Voyager. When Plymouth died, things became clearer, but they were still murky. Now with Fiat running the show, there are some serious shakeups going on within all of Chrysler’s brands, and one of these shakeups is the elimination of the Dodge Grand Caravan, leaving the Town & Country as Chrysler’s only minivan offering. Fiat is an odd company, so don’t be surprised to see the Grand Caravan return in some form in the future, but for now it is walking that Green Mile.
The TL has been a forgotten model in Acura’s lineup for quite some time, as have pretty much all Acura sedans, and it hasn’t stacked up well against others in its class in recent years. For 2015, Acura made the TL’s demise official with the release of the all-new TLX. Whereas the TL lacked the features required to make it feel like a premium car, the TLX has those features in spades and the drivetrain options to better compete with the German heavy-hitters.
4. Cadillac CTS-V Wagon
The Cadillac CTS received an amazing redesign for the 2014 model year, and became a car that could actually compete with premium German brands. Sadly, the CTS-V did not debut immediately, though we did receive a 420-horsepower CTS Vsport model. However, the CTS-V will return soon enough, but because of the lack of interest in the wagon model, there is no CTS-V Wagon in the cards for the new-generation model. Fortunately, Cadillac decided to offer the old body-style CTS-V Wagon for one more model year in late 2014, but this appears to be the end of the line for the fast American grocery getter.
5. Toyota FJ Cruiser
The Jeep Wrangler rarely has had a competitor to worry about in recent history, as the Geo Tracker of the 1990s was too soft and the current Nissan Xterra doesn’t quite have the off-road prowess of the legendary Jeep. That all changed when Toyota released the FJ Cruiser with its off-road-ready suspension and meaty tires in 2007. The FJ gave the Wrangler all it had, but Toyota promised its all-terrain rig would be only a one-generation model and it is making good on this promise as we head toward 2015. In fact, FJ production has already ceased, but there should be some new stock left when 2015 rolls around
10 Cars That Are Being Discontinued After 2015
6. Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet
The Nissan Murano was never a particularly good-looking crossover, but it did fit the bill as a well-equipped and sporty model that was relatively affordable and had decent cargo room. So, yes, it fit a niche, but the Murano CrossCabriolet is another story altogether. Never once have I heard someone say “Gee, I want a high-riding crossover without the cargo room and with a retractable roof.” Nissan is a company that’s not afraid to take a chance on a model, but the CrossCabriolet is one that likely should have been scrapped from the beginning. Fortunately, the 2015 Murano features an all-new body, and there is no CrossCabriolet version in sight. Any leftover CrossCabriolet stock should be off dealer lots by early-2015.
7. Jaguar XK
The Jaguar XK was in the same shoes as the F-Type back in 1997. It was Jag’s newest sports car and it helped give the struggling brand some legitimacy during its harder years. Fast-forward to the end of 2014 and we now have the sleek and sexy F-Type, and the world has almost forgotten about the poor XK. With the success of the F-Type, Jaguar realizes that the XK has no place in the lineup and will eliminate it following the 2015 model year. Rumors point toward an eventual replacement that will ride on a stretched F-Type chassis, but these are unconfirmed to date.
8. Nissan Cube
As I said before, Nissan isn’t afraid to take risks. Sometimes it hits a home run and other times it knocks a dribbler back to the mound. Well, the Nissan Cube is more like the equivalent of a popped-up bunt that accidentally lands in the pitcher’s mitt. Sure, the Cube has its niche, but it is very narrow and that is evident by the 200, or so, units it sells each month. The Cube was a model destined for the guillotine, I am just surprised that Nissan let it hang around for six model years before putting it out of its misery.
9. Honda Fit EV
The Fit EV is not long for this world, but not by any fault of its own. As a “compliance car” of sorts, the Fit EV was sold to obey the stricter emission laws in a handful of states. Technically, the Fit EV was never “sold” to anyone. Since its debut, Honda has offered it strictly on a lease basis for a rather low price. This all comes to an end after the 2015 model year, as Honda will cease production of the Fit EV and crunch data to see if building one on a grander scale makes good business sense.
10. Dodge Durango
Every car on this list has a really good reason for getting the axe. Some are being cut to simplify lineups, some are poor sellers, and some are built just to satisfy regulations. The Durango, on the other hand, fits none of these reasons. It only recently received a redesign, its sales are consistent, and Dodge’s lineup isn’t bursting at the seams with SUVs. Regardless of lack of reasoning, the 2015 model year will be the Dodge Durango’s final run. There are rumors that the Durango could simply shift brands and become a new, three-row SUV in Jeep’s lineup, but that has yet to be confirmed.