QOTD: Living Beyond One's Reasonable Years?

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
qotd living beyond ones reasonable years

A new trim level here, a revised bumper there, general fiddling. Sometimes, there’s just no way around it — a manufacturer’s vehicular offering is overdue for replacement. Today we want to discuss the models on sale in The Current Year that have lived past their reasonable shelf life.

The idea behind refresh-not-replace is of course money saving; to stretch out a few more years from a platform that’s already a sunk cost. It occurred to me there might be several current models overdue for replacement after the article yesterday on the visually

The current Patrol debuted in 2010 overseas, the same year the fancy version appeared locally as the Infiniti QX56. Since then, Patrol has sailed along with mostly minimal changes. The 2020 (second overall) refresh looks as though Nissan put in a bit more effort. There’s finally a central screen in place of a bevy of buttons — thanks, Infiniti. But the rest of the interior does not fare so well.

Areas of age concern are found around the gear shift, the trim along the dashboard, the timbered wheel, and the big red starter button that Nissan has been using in various colors since sometime around 2005. All those things a manufacturer could redesign with a new platform must stay the same if you are stretching out an old one on a limited budget.

The refresh will probably net a slight sales boost, as the exterior alterations are definitely more pleasing and cohesive than the outgoing version. But it’s just not enough. The layers of lipstick are piling up on the pig, and cash-strapped Nissan needs to face facts: that their product needs replacement. Not to say the current model is particularly poor; the Armada seems a good value amongst large SUVs which can seat seven and still go off-road. But that doesn’t change the decade-old underpinnings.

What models on sale presently are overdue for a do-over?

[Images: Corey Lewis/TTAC, Nissan]

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  • WriterRRex WriterRRex on Sep 25, 2019

    Discussions about chassis age/features/need for updates somewhat amuse me. If the vehicle is fulfilling its function is change just "because it's time" or "long in the tooth" really necessary? Chrysler products seem to take the brunt of this criticism (and yeah, I agree that the interior needs some updating, but....). And yet, as I recall, the Toyota Camry was using a chassis design dating from 2002. Yup, there'd been some minor updates through the years, but same design until the release of the new model (2017? 2018?), that information was never reported, or only reported in one or two auto magazines. Was the Camry's 2002 chassis that much better than the Charger/300 in 2005? Or is it simply bias, based on "the Camry's reliability"? I don't know--but if Toyota can get away with the lack of substantive updates, why shouldn't Chrysler? But Chrysler gets nailed every other breath and Toyota gets a pass. And along the way, Chrysler did make upgrades and changes--they've not been totally static. (BTW, the chassis age/dates are based on my failing memory...I'd only read that info in ONE auto mag, and (apparently) missed it if it was in any other story.)

  • Markf Markf on Sep 26, 2019

    4Runner, good lord can we get a modern transmission..........

  • Lou_BC "Owners of affected Wrangles" Does a missing "r" cancel an extra stud?
  • Slavuta One can put a secret breaker that will disable the starter or spark plug supply. Even disabling headlights or all lights will bring more trouble to thieves than they wish for. With no brake lights, someone will hit from behind, they will leave fingerprints inside. Or if they steal at night, they will have to drive with no lights. Any of these things definitely will bring attention.I remember people removing rotor from under distributor cup.
  • Slavuta Government Motors + Government big tech + government + Federal police = fascist surveillance state. USSR surveillance pales...
  • Johnster Another quibble, this time about the contextualization of the Thunderbird and Cougar, and their relationship to the prestigious Continental Mark. (I know. It's confusing.) The Thunderbird/Mark IV platform introduced for the 1971 model year was apparently derived from the mid-sized Torino/Montego platform (also introduced for the 1971 model year), but should probably be considered different from it.As we all know, the Cougar shared its platform with the Ford Mustang up through the 1973 model year, moving to the mid-sized Torino/Montego platform for the 1974 model year. This platform was also shared with the failed Ford Gran Torino Elite, (introduced in February of 1974, the "Gran Torino" part of the name was dropped for the 1975 and 1976 model years).The Thunderbird/Mark series duo's separation occurred with the 1977 model year when the Thunderbird was downsized to share a platform with the LTD II/Cougar. The 1977 model year saw Mercury drop the "Montego" name and adopt the "Cougar" name for all of their mid-sized cars, including plain 2-doors, 4-doors and and 4-door station wagons. Meanwhile, the Cougar PLC was sold as the "Cougar XR-7." The Cougar wagon was dropped for the 1978 model year (arguably replaced by the new Zephyr wagon) while the (plain) 2-door and 4-door models remained in production for the 1978 and 1979 model years. It was a major prestige blow for the Thunderbird. Underneath, the Thunderbird and Cougar XR-7 for 1977 were warmed-over versions of the failed Ford Elite (1974-1976), while the Mark V was a warmed-over version of the previous Mark IV.
  • Stuart de Baker This is depressing, and I don't own one of these.