While all the news about the shiny new toys being introduced at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, let’s look at the flip side, at the ten cars that barely made a blip on the sales screen in 2011. All are great cars, many with top safety ratings. They just suffer from less desirable than another model from the same manufacturer, or a competing brand, plus the overall switch from larger gas guzzlers and SUVs to more fuel efficient models and versatile cross-overs. Here’s the list, compiled by Autoblog, which published the list just with price and sales numbers, but no reason for the poor sales. So those comments and opinions are mine.
10. Subaru Tribeca, MSRP: $30,595, Units Sold: 2,791
- Wouldn’t you rather have a Forester or an Outback? Most Subaru buyers did
9. Mazda Tribute, MSRP: $20,555, Units Sold: 2,696
- Separated at birth from the Ford Explorer. Wouldn’t you rather have a Ford??
8. Mercedes-Benz R-Class, MSRP: $52,690, Units Sold: 2,385
- A super-sized station wagon. Longer wheelbase and more expensive than the popular M-Class SUV and redesigned GLK
7. Suzuki Equator, MSRP: $17,899. Units Sold: 2,127
- It sold that many? Must be the price.
6. Cadillac Escalade EXT, MSRP: $63,060, Units Sold: 2,036
- Other than rap stars and limousine fleets, is anybody still buying this super-sized SUV?
Read the next page to find out about the five worst selling vehicles of 2011. Surprise — not one of them is produced by by Detroit big three Ford, General Motors or Chrysler.
5. Toyota Land Cruiser, MSRP: $68,920,Units Sold: 1,662
- Legendary off-roader, but losing out to Land Rover in North America
4. Acura ZDX, MSRP: $46,020, Units Sold: 1,564
- Wouldn’t you rather have a BMW 5-Series?
3. Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback, MSRP: $18,395, Units Sold: 1,548
- Shows it’s tough to mix apples and oranges, or performance sport sedan with hatchback
2. Hyundai Azera, MSRP: $25,495, Units Sold: 1,524
- The ignored middle child, in between the bargain-priced, feature-packed Sonata, and the hot, sporty Genesis
1. Acura RL, MSRP: $47,700, Units Sold: 1,096
- Wouldn’t you rather save $10,000 and get the hot, sexy, Acura TL sport sedan instead?
I haven’t heard that any of these models are being dropped for 2012, but unless the track record improves for 2012, you can expect either major facelifts, or quiet retirement.