12 new cars that shouldn't be around any longer

October 30, 2017

Like day-old pastries, some new cars have stuck around on the shelf long enough that they're starting to grow a little moldy.

Long ago, these cars first hit the market—and we were generally excited about them back then. At the time, they represented something close to their makers' latest and greatest. They were the height of technology and many won awards. But a decade or more on, they're now little more than easy cash cows for their parent companies. Their development costs have long since been paid off, which is why they stick around.

It's not that they've outlived their usefulness. They're still viable transportation, but these cars are well past their prime and have been eclipsed overall by their competition. What's worse is that they're all continuing into 2018 and beyond. You can still buy one, but should you? Shop wisely.

Here's a look at what we'd probably pass on—and the model year that they were first introduced to the market in their current form.

2018 Cadillac XTS

2018 Cadillac XTS

Cadillac XTS (2013)

But, wait, you say. The XTS hit the market in 2012, which wasn't that long ago. You're right. But the XTS was barely on the market a year before an upsized and upscaled Cadillac CTS arrived at the same price point, followed in 2016 by the flagship-worthy Cadillac CT6 full-size luxury sedan. Today, Cadillac's dealers have three models sized and priced within an 8-inch, ten-grand spread—and that's one too many.

2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody first drive

2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody first drive

Dodge Challenger (2008)

Few new car introductions were met with as much enthusiasm as the Dodge Challenger when it bowed almost a decade ago in early 2008. We still like the Challenger, even though its Detroit rivals Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro have reinvented themselves a few times since. And credit is due to Dodge for milking the Challenger with numerous ever-more-powerful variants. But enough is enough: it's time for a new Challenger.

2018 Dodge Grand Caravan

2018 Dodge Grand Caravan

Dodge Grand Caravan (2008)

Family haulers shouldn't trade on price alone, but that's what the Dodge Grand Caravan does these days. Even when the current model—the fifth generation in a long line of innovative people-haulers—debuted at the 2007 Detroit auto show, it was met with muffled applause. A decade on, it's decidedly short on safety features and it has been eclipsed by sister brand Chrysler's far superior Pacifica minivan.

2018 Dodge Journey

2018 Dodge Journey

Dodge Journey (2009)

It may feel like we're picking on Dodge here, but the automaker's showrooms are distressingly devoid of fresh designs. The three-row, family-oriented Journey suffers the same pitfalls as the Grand Caravan above—it was merely average when it was introduced and hasn't aged well. Like the Grand Caravan, the Journey's light on advanced safety features that we consider essential for anyone transporting their loved ones around. 

2018 Ford Fiesta

2018 Ford Fiesta

Ford Fiesta (2011)

The Ford Fiesta arrived at just the right time in America: a gallon of gas required a fiver in many parts of the country. The fuel-sipping, fun-to-drive subcompact could have been the harbinger of upscale, pint-size cars like those popular in Europe. But cheap gas returned and consumers are back in big SUVs and crossovers. Accordingly, Ford's littlest car withers—although its bones underpin the new (to America) 2018 Ford EcoSport crossover. (A design that debuted in 2012 in India. Draw your own conclusions.)

2017 Ford Taurus

2017 Ford Taurus

Ford Taurus (2010)

Before there was the Ford Explorer, there was the Ford Taurus. The 1986 version of this sedan was a massive leap forward for Ford, but subsequent generations haven't boasted the same momentum. Today's Taurus is a plump, dated four-door best known (once again) as the rental car upgrade du jour at the Hertz counter in Orlando. It's also stripped out and given cop tires, cop suspension, and cop shocks as your local constabulary's Ford Police Interceptor Sedan.

2016 Lincoln MKT

2016 Lincoln MKT

Lincoln MKT (2010)

You've to wonder what Ford's upscale Lincoln division was thinking when the MKT hit the market for the 2010 model year. This voluptuous, elongated tall wagon/squat SUV has some of the most unusual lines ever penned for a car. Even in 2010, the MKT seemed destined for a life of fleet service duty—think town cars and hearses. For those tasks, it works well enough, we suppose.

2018 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class

2018 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class

Mercedes-Benz SL-Class (2013)

The Mercedes-Benz SL-Class roadster isn't so much a case of an outdated vehicle as much as it is an outdated idea. Well-heeled shoppers have largely moved away from high-end roadsters unless they boast supercar-level performance. Sure, there's the V-12-powered Mercedes-AMG SL65 that's the price of a nice home in Cincinnati. But there's also the three-pointed star brand's faster, better handling, and more outlandish AMG GT C roadster for tens of thousands less.

2018 Nissan Frontier

2018 Nissan Frontier

Nissan Frontier (2005)

When the Nissan Frontier first came out, it was just the ticket for hauling home a 51-inch projector TV, a desktop computer package with 17-inch CRT screen, a DVD/VCR combo player, and a whole stack of CDs like Nelly's "Sweat" and "Suit" albums from Best Buy on 2004's Black Friday. This geezer of a compact pickup hasn't changed much since then.

2018 Nissan 370Z

2018 Nissan 370Z

Nissan 370Z (2009)

The latest in a long line of sporty Z-cars from Nissan, the 370Z is a throwback in all of the right and all of the wrong ways. It's still a hoot to put through its paces on account of its linear steering, willing V-6 engine, and balanced chassis, but the 370Z shows its age in its limited feature set. It's possible to spend nearly $35,000 on a 370Z without an LCD screen for its audio system, something that's standard on a $13,000 Chevrolet Spark.

2018 Toyota Sequoia

2018 Toyota Sequoia

Toyota Sequoia (2008)

One look at the Toyota Sequoia's expanse of silver-painted dashboard trim is enough to remind us of another era—back when electronics manufacturers were painting everything metallic silver. The Toyota Tundra pickup on which the Sequoia SUV is based was redesigned for the 2014 model year and is now outdated itself.

2017 Volkswagen Tiguan Limited

2017 Volkswagen Tiguan Limited

Volkswagen Tiguan Limited (2008)

The VW Tiguan Limited comes with an asterisk, but not a big enough one to keep it off of this list. A new Tiguan debuted for the 2018 model year. With its roomy interior and comfortable ride, it's a competitive compact crossover. But VW simply slapped a "Limited" badge on the 2017 Tiguan and plans to keep selling it for a while—even though it's short on important safety tech, has a cramped interior, and is only marginally more fuel efficient than a Chevrolet Suburban. Maybe Limited is for limited appeal.

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