The only thing truly constant, it’s said, is change. With the possible exceptions of the Porsche 911 and every model built by the Morgan Motor Company, nowhere is this adage more true than in the automotive industry.
We said goodbye to a fair number of cars in 2012, including some that were one-time favorites and others that, frankly, we’re glad to see go. Some went out with a flourish, while others simple went gently into that good night of automotive oblivion.
Below is an obituary for 14 models that will be signing off in 2012 or 2013. Bow your head respectfully, and read on.
Ford Escape Hybrid:
If ever there was an automotive “Little Engine That Could,” it was the Ford Escape Hybrid
. Doubt that hybrids can be as reliable as conventionally powered cars? Tell that to the thousands of trouble-free Escape Hybrids that plowed the streets of New York City as yellow cabs, delivering fuel economy up to 34 mpg. While the 2013 Escape promises to be better in every way (except city fuel economy), it’s got some big shoes to fill.
Lexus HS 250h:
We’re still not sure if re-bodying a Prius, upping the luxury content and adding $13k to the sticker was sheer genius or pure desperation on Lexus’ part, but consumers voted with their wallets when the more affordable Lexus CT 200h hybrid was released. Sales of the HS 250h
fell off a cliff in 2011, and they’re looking even worse in 2012. We’re not surprised that Lexus pulled the plug without so much as a simple goodbye.
Not quite a minivan and not really an SUV, Mercedes-Benz’s large crossoverish R-Class
never caught on with U.S. customers. The odd styling and ambitious price tag certainly didn’t help, and U.S. dealer moved just 178 units in the first two months of 2012. If you’re a fan of the R-Class, fear not: it lives on in Canada and in China, where customers can’t get enough of the plus-sized-crossover.