Ask The Best And Brightest: What Expiring Model Will You Miss The Most And The Least?

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
We’re committed to finding, researching, and recommending the best products. We earn commissions from purchases you make using links in our articles. Learn more here
ask the best and brightest what expiring model will you miss the most and the least

With the 2011 model-year ending, it’s time to eulogize the cars that have reached the end of the road and are being discontinued with the 2012 model-year. Some of them are well past their sell-by date (Hello, Lucerne, DTS!) whereas some are being euthanized in their prime due to regulatory issues (Goodbye, Elise and RX-8!). Some are slow-selling luxo-confections with nowhere to go (X6 ActiveHybrid), some are long-running workhorses which have simply run out of time (Ranger, Crown Vic), whereas others are simply mediocrities that the market has run out of patience with (Eclipse, Tribute). The New York Times‘ Sam Smith provides our list of expiring models, so hit the jump and tell us who you’ll miss and who you won’t. After all, unlike a real funeral, we don’t mind if you speak ill of the recently deceased…

  • MAZDA RX-8
  • VOLVO S40
  • VOLVO V50
Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

More by Edward Niedermeyer

Join the conversation
4 of 111 comments
  • Ciddyguy Ciddyguy on Nov 28, 2011

    Saddened to see the Ranger and the Dakota go as is the Element too. While I've not had the Dakota nor the Element, I see their potential markets though. The Ranger? I own a '92 with the Cologne 4.0 V6 and 5spd manny tranny and it just turned 236K miles as of today. It still runs decently enough despite oil leaks, perhaps a coolant leak somewhere (not now that the cooler weather is upon us, but it IS in dire need of a flush though). That said, having owned mine for almost 6 years and roughly 46K miles since 2006 when I bought it, it's been very reliable despite the master and slave cylinders for the clutch needing to be replaced and the usual expendable suspects like tires, oil etc too. It's sad that many people feel the need to go to huge vehicles such as the current F-150 for their truck "needs" or is that to inflate their "lack of confidence" in themselves or whatever is the reason when I've almost never see them being used used for their intended purposes unless it's obviously a work truck. My best friend has a 2001 F-150 crew cab Lareat with 4x4 and V8 that he bought used and yes, he actually uses it as intended as it even has a towing package and hauls stuff in his dual axle trailer to places like the dump and to their family cabin he helps maintain and rents out. The Element, a good idea, but sadly, it seems it the sum of its parts just didn't add up and the target market didn't jibe with who ended up buying them. I see them ALL OVER the Seattle/Tacoma area so they did sell, at least out here but like the Ranger and Dakota, wasn't freshened/updated enough to keep relevant and thus it languished and simply didn't work out a replacement. Ford, on the other hand, needed to rethink their strategy and bring over the Euro Ranger instead and my guess they will when us Americans suddenly clamor for it when gas gets to high for our big trucks. I agree that eventually the huge gas guzzling truck we have now as the must have vehicle will be replaced by more modest sized units in a few years by sheer dint of the CAFE requirements alone if not by the eventual rising of gas prices in the years to come.

  • Andy D Andy D on Nov 28, 2011

    I bought a '94 Ranger this summer to use as 3rd vehicle /beach buggy. My expectations were low. My dream truck was a Tacoma. So far the Ranger has been a help around the house and grounds despite a fried clutch. I understand the Ranger will continue to be built abroad, but wont be imported. I see Rangers everywhere. Used,they go for a lot less than a conquerable Tacoma. I'll miss the Ranger and the Panther. If BMW retires the un-turboed I 6, that will be missed too.

  • Adub Adub on Nov 28, 2011

    I will miss the Elise, the RX-8, and the Element. Each one served a niche.

  • Occam Occam on Nov 29, 2011

    Miss the most: Ranger. I never owned one... I had a GMC Sonoma that was a POS, but these are really practical little haulers, and are agreeable enough. Every time I have the 'luck' of driving a full size pickup, I'm left scratching my head why anyone would actually want to drive one for pleasure, let alone be willing to be stuck driving one as a daily driver. Miss the least: Buick Lucerne. I had to do a google image search to remember what they even look like (Camry with those tacky gangsta port-holes already on from the factory - I guess Buick is serious about shaking its old-man-car image... they're going for the sub-prime credit ghetto market)