End-of-year car shopping? Get good buys on 2016 cars discontinued for 2017. It’s the end of the road for these sedans, coupes and SUVs, including hybrids, cancelled entirely, or being replaced by similar models.
Buick Verano – Unlike the popular luxury Buick LaCrosse, the mid-size Verano sedan never caught on. Maybe it was the “eh” styling, inside and out, even though it’s a near match to GM’s best-selling European brand and model, Opel Astra. Buick gave it four years – it was introduced in 2012 – but killed it in 2016, although after a few models were produced for 2017.
Chrysler 200 – Launched in the days of sky-high gas prices (remember those?), this was one of the first new models launched by the “new” Fiat/Chrysler merger, after Chrysler’s divorce from Daimler (remember that?) and near demise. The 200 simply paled by comparison with its beefy and more popular larger sibling, Chrysler 300. Get 15% off MSRP on the last of the 2016 models, which are the last of the Chrysler 200, unless Chrysler brings it back under another name.
Dodge Dart – I’m truly unhappy about the end of this fuel efficient, affordable compact sport sedan. First, it was the return of a great nameplate – Dart – from when Detroit ruled the roads (remember that?). With parts – including the award-winning MultiAir engine – and design influences from Alfa Romeo, which Chrysler parent Fiat also owns, the new Dart held the promise of production cost efficiencies matched with Italian oomph. Seems that Fiat/Chrysler is betting on the new Alfa Romeo Guilia instead.
Honda CR-Z – This hybrid hatchback had a small but devoted following, which loved its sportscar styling and available manual gearbox, a rarity in the automatic world of hybrid-ness. But that, apparently, wasn’t enough to save it. With an MSRP of $20,295, solid fuel economy and good looks, this is a great car.
Cadillac ELR – What a shame, since a gorgeous hybrid coupe named Cadillac should have blown the doors off sales. Unfortunately, this great looking puppy was both over-priced and under-powered. Even Elvis wouldn’t have spent $75,000 for a Caddy with just 181 horsepower, even if it came in pink, which it didn’t. You’ll find info on it now on Cadillac’s dedicated “legacy vehicles” website, along with all the other models that have driven into history, including Eldorado and Seville from the good old days, and the Escalade Hybrid more recently. Why does Cadillac keep killing off hybrids?
Hyundai Genesis (pictured) and Hyundai Equus – Hyundai finally bit the bullet and acknowledged that its low-priced brand reputation impacts the sale of luxury cars, even though Equus and Genesis offered more for the money than comparable models from other luxury brands. Like Ford/Lincoln, Toyota/Lexus, Honda/Acura and Nissan/Infiniti before it, Hyundai has unshackled its two top models into a wholly new brand, called Genesis. It’s confusing, but the new Genesis brand is redesigning, rebranding and remaking new versions of these two cancelled Hyundai models.
Lincoln MKS – Despite a great, quirky ad campaign featuring Matthew McConaughey, this luxury sedan never caught on with the public, only with so-called “black car” services, and that’s just not enough sales to keep it going, especially with the return of the Lincoln Continental. I’ve long believed that Lincoln made a huge and stupid mistake that may have sunk sales when it renamed its vehicles with meaningless letters. Seriously, even an auto writer like me can’t remember the difference between vehicles named MKS, MKT, MKC, MKX. Which one is the sedan and which is the crossover? The MKS mid-size sedan being cancelled has a $39,015 MSRP, which means you can buy it at discount for the same price as the smaller MKZ luxury compact.
All photos courtesy of the respective manufacturer.