With emissions restrictions tightening and safety watchdog groups demanding more each year, it’s inevitable that some cars will have to be killed off to make way for newer, more up-to-date models.
Sometimes it’s not regulation that forces certain cars to be killed off, but poor sales, a changing company image or other production-related issues. A myriad of cars were killed off in 2017 (some for the better) so today we’re going to run down our top 8, ranked in order of how much we’ll miss them in the New Year.
8. Mitsubishi iMiev
It’s likely no one will miss the iMiev. With a cheap interior and a relatively tiny battery pack providing just 80 miles of range, it has been outclassed by a number of EVs and plug-ins since it first arrived in the United States in 2011. It was also wildly slow – sprinting from 0-60 mph in a downright dangerous 14.7 seconds. We’ll say this, though, when it was introduced in 2009, it was actually a pretty impressive product from little ol’ Mitsubishi.
7. VW Touareg
Volkswagen’s mid-size SUV was killed off this year after the automaker introduced the Atlas and the new, slightly bigger Tiguan. With all of its SUV/crossover bases covered, VW saw no need to keep the slow-selling Touareg around. We think that was the right call.
6. Hyundai Azera
With its Genesis brand taking care of Hyundai buyers who want a bit more size and luxury, the Korean automaker decided to kill off the Azera this year. Slow sales also contributed to its death. It’s worth noting Hyundai has introduced a next-generation version (called the Grandeur abroad) for the Korean market and others.
5. Nissan Juke
The oddball that is the Nissan Juke was discontinued this year to make way for the subcompact Nissan Kicks. With the Rogue and Rogue Sport also in its product portfolio, Nissan would have had a confusing amount of small crossovers occupying its showrooms if it were to keep the Juke around. Rest in piece you weird, zany-looking prince.
4. Smart ForTwo Gas (in North America)
Daimler quietly killed off the gasoline version of the Smart ForTwo in the United States and Canada this year. The city car brand will only sell the ForTwo Electric Drive in North America from now on – which is fine, seeing as the powertrain was one of the only things we truly disliked about the ForTwo when we drove it this year.
3. Mustang V6
Sometimes V6 pony cars get a bad wrap, but they aren’t as bad as internet commenters may have you believe. That said, the Mustang’s 3.7-liter Cyclone V6 isn’t as good as the turbocharged 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine, nor the 5.0-liter Coyote V8. Those engines also cover most customer’s needs, so naturally, the V6 engine option has been discontinued for 2018. Pour one out for the six-cylinder Mustang.
2. Chevrolet SS
The Chevrolet SS wasn’t a popular car with consumers, but we’ll be damned if it wasn’t one of the coolest automotive product offerings around for the last few years. It was the only V8, rear-wheel-drive sedan that could be had with a six-speed manual, and it was also offered in a wild array of fun exterior colors. Its discontinuation also marked the end of the RWD Holden Commodore in Australia – another tragedy.
1. Dodge Viper
The Dodge Viper was the last of the truly old-school sports/supercars. With a 640 hp 8.4-liter V10 under the hood and a six-speed manual transmission, it’s definitely not a car for the faint of heart. Dodge also rolled out an ACR version in 2016 with a rear wing the size of a park bench, which then went on to smash several track records at various American circuits. Mark our words: the Viper will go down in history as one of America’s automotive greats.