The new death list arrives
The ZDX was puzzling from the very start. A size-challenged spin-off of the
Acura MDX, the ZDX gave up too much rear-seat and cargo space in its quest
for a coupe-like body. Had it been priced closer to $35,000 instead of $50,000,
it might have found a niche--but instead, 2013 will be its last year on sale.
Ford Boss 302 Mustang
The best Mustang you can buy was always conceived of as a 2-yr special.
But the Boss is handing over the reins for 2014, while Ford preps an all-new
Mustang for the 2015 model year.
The Jeep Liberty never got as much respect as it deserved--or it got exactly
what it deserved, depending on who you know. Jeep tussled with the degree
of carlike qualities in the Liberty, and ended up with a vehicle packaged like an
SUV, with less off-road capability and conversely, with the fuel economy of one--
unless you're talking about the coveted diesel model. The Liberty's being replaced
by the very awkwardly styled 2014 Jeep Cherokee, which has its head on straight
when it comes to carlike qualities--it's derived from the Dodge Dart.
Jaguar XF V-8 (non-supercharged)
The Jaguar XF isn't going anywhere--but for the 2014 model year, it's dropping
the base, normally-aspirated V-8 in favor of a supercharged V-6 and a turbocharged
base four. The supercharged V-8s still are available, but if you want the quietest XF
of 2013, it's time to buy.
Mercedes E350 BlueTEC, rear-drive AMG E63
The Mercedes E-Class lineup is getting a major overhaul for the 2014 model year--
and in the process, it's reconfiguring two of its most desireable models. The V-6
turbodiesel gets replaced by a four-cylinder turbodiesel--and the E63 AMG models
lose their rear-drive layout for standard all-wheel drive, all the better to market the
cars in the Northeast.
Suzuki Kizashi, SX4, Grand Vitara, XL7
Suzuki is dropping a lot of models for 2014. All of them.
The VW Routan, the unloved stepchild of Chrysler's minivan power couple, is
actually still being built in limited numbers for 2013 and 2014. The only problem
is, you won't find them in retail showrooms. They're being used as corporate vehicles,
most likely to soak up all the Routans that haven't been sold since VW and Chrysler
inked the badge-engineered deal back in 2009.
Volvo C30 and Volvo C70
The Volvo lineup needs new blood, and it's getting it by 2015 with the new V60 wagon.
In the meantime, it's losing two of its slow-selling smaller cars. The C30 is losing its
production home and its place in the lineup, while the C70 is simply aging out, having
been around since the late 1990s.
Cars on the The Bubble
Mercedes Benz CL-Class
Mercedes is promising 6 new models based on the 2014 S-Class. Who's
betting the CL goes away in favor of an S-Class Coupe ?
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution
Mitsubishi's already said the Evo will die; at this point, it's up to them to pull the plug.
Very slow sales of the quirky hatchback--when Kia can't keep enough Souls on
hand--doesn't paint a bright picture for the Cube.
Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet
Charitably put, all the people who wanted an all-wheel-drive, two-door cabriolet
have probably already purchased their Murano CrossCab.
It's overdue for a replacement, and the xD doesn't do much more
than the also slow-selling iQ.
Subaru says it's interested in building a better seven-seat crossover; a roomier
Tribeca replacement will probably benefit from some Toyota partnership.
Toyota FJ Cruiser and Toyota 4Runner
They're "new" for 2014, but the very slight modifications on these truck-based
utes seems dim.
With the Vibe gone to pasture, will the slow-selling Matrix be far behind ?
There's no death certificate yet on these few vehicles on the bubble, but they're
probably not planning much beyond 2014.