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Redusernab Asks: What Car or Truck Needs to Die in 2017?

Robert Emslie January 3, 2017 Redusernab Asks 46 Comments

new-year-old-cars

Nissan introduced their Frontier mid-size pickup in 2005 and since then they’ve pretty much left it alone. That’s part of the reason why today a brand new one feels somewhat lacking. The other reason is because they weren’t all that good to begin with, especially in comparison with the much more capable and contemporary Toyota Tacoma.

Maybe Nissan has felt that it wasn’t worth investing in the smaller truck category any more? After all, they’ve sure dumped a lot of cash into the larger Titan truck line. Maybe they’re just broke after all that. Their Infiniti QX50 is going on nine-years old too. That’s a car that I’ll be you haven’t given any thought to in a while.

Consider that, there are cars and trucks out there that you probably wouldn’t even notice if they weren’t there any more. What about Mitusubishi’s entire lineup? Would you care if it all disappeared? What are some of the cars—and maybe manufacturers—that you think ought to buy it in 2017?

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  • duurtlang

    While probably preaching to the choir here, I could do without all the appliance-only brands. Honda, Toyota, Hyundai, Kia, VW/Skoda, Chrysler, Mitsubishi, Opel/Vauxhall/Buick, Lexus, Nissan and probably a few more.

    • Kiefmo

      Plenty of them can go away, sure. But while I’m perfectly happy having a 36-yo DD that never gets more than about 30 miles from home, we do roadtrips, and I am not interested in doing them Roadkill style. Our Odyssey road warrior has taken us all over and has the back window full of stickers to show for it. She’s got 180k on the ticker and is probably good to go for another 150-200k. That’s a damned good appliance.

      I can do without the appliances of lesser durability, such as Nissan and Mitsubishi.

    • Sjalabais

      Honestly, I don’t think any “appliance” brand needs to die as long as they don’t pull shenanigans like the lousy quality control and cost savings program GM introduced at Opel in the late 90s, or Mercedes-Benz’s press-suppliers-to-death-approach that resulted in their cars rusting faster than most everything on the market. Stuff like that needs to be punished, because they are avoidable management f*-ups. But not with death.

      A lot of the brands above have cool cars. Honda has the Jade, Odyssey and NSX, Toyota is at least trying very hard and still making reliable fair, Kia has the Soul, Škoda builds very pragmatic cars often way better than mother VW can do it themselves, Chrysler did enrich the world with the Hellcat, Lexus has terribly uglified their entire product range, but I’d still like to sit in one…yeah. Death is too hard.

      • crank_case

        Toyota get a free pass for building the GT86 and potentially the new Supra. Even the appliance stuff, love it or hate it – the Prius is really good at “appliance motoring”, as is the Jazz which is more useful than an Accord in many ways, They do what they do well, so I can’t hate on them. Lexus still build the LS and now the SC500 looks like finally getting the SC/Soarer back on track. Hyundais i10 (I know the US probably doesn’t get this model) is one of the best sub-fiesta sized cars you can get and they’ll be making some proper hot hatches in future. Opel –

  • Lokki

    This may seem like an unusual choice of victim, but I would like to see the Fiat 500 eradicated in 2017. I was very disappointed that Fiat chose that that particular car to reintroduce the brand to the American public. Sure, I love the Abarth, but the cooking variety 500 is just the wrong car for typical American driving – it’s a niche car, more like the Smart than anything else. Too tiny to be taken, or used, seriously. Further when you put the average (i.e. big) American inside a pastel-painted one, the overall effect is like a hardshelled chocolate covered cherry; after an accident with an SUV you have a soft gooey center.

    Finally, the quality has been, well, of Chrysler on a bad day traditional Fiat level horribleness. This article from 2015, admittedly a bit hyperbolic, calls the 500 “the most hated car in America”

    People who had never even heard their grandfathers joke “Fix It Again Tony” now accept that as the true meaning of the name….because you see it IS the true meaning of the name.

    Why do I care about these bed-bugs? Because FIat owns Alfa Romeo, and Alfa’s fate is in their hands. I fear the almost-certain second Italian retreat from American shores will doom Alfa Romeo, and I’m not quite ready to face that.

    Fiat needs to build a larger good quality car designed for use in middle-America. The 500’s only justification was good gas mileage but with current gas prices that’s not going to be enough to save the car, and right now’ the 500 is the brand in America. So, kill it. kill it with fire!

    • Maymar

      I see why Fiat led with the 500 – it’s the one bit of the brand to have any positive associations in North America. FCA just failed to successfully and organically grow the brand. The 500L is odd looking, and the 500X is too late. The Panda might have made sense, although I don’t know if the public was ready for a Fiat without an adorable cartoon face

      We might mock how big Minis have gotten, but they took a car that’s largely irrelevant to our market and at least keep trying to find ways to stretch that into new ideas.

      • I am surprised that Fiat hasn’t given us cladding-crazed Americans the Strada Adventure. Unless its crash test results prohibit that.

        • Maymar

          I think we’re about overdue for another active lifestyle vehicle aimed at kayaking 20-somethings who can’t actually afford a new car (which will inevitably flop, but be absolutely beloved by the 5 people who actually bought them).

          • caltemus

            A la subaru baja and honda element?

            • Maymar

              Even the Pontiac Aztek fell into that group.

        • outback_ute

          No doubt it would need work, and I expect it is too far through the product cycle to do this. FCA probably have higher priorities, no resources (no hope?!?)

    • P161911

      I stopped by a Dodge/Chrysler dealer a few months ago to look. The salesman was trying to tell me how Fiat had improved Chrysler’s quality. I laughed out loud. The response was “Well, they also own Maserati and have put a ton of money into Chrysler/Dodge.”

      • JayP

        My pal who isn’t a fan of American cars (he’s at a Lambo shop) check out a Hellcat Challenger. He really liked it to the point of almost loving it. The interior on the new ones are awesome. I wouldn’t bite on anything around the Great Recession.

        That said, my dad’s 2008 Grand Cherokee got a new engine and trans under the lifetime powertrain warranty.

        • P161911

          He remembered to bring it in for the 100k inspection, or it failed before then. They hid a little gotcha clause in the “Lifetime Warranty” that required periodic dealer inspections. That’s why my dad no longer has a Dodge Caliber company car.

        • engineerd

          I had a Charger SXT as a rental over Christmas. I was surprised by the car. Not bad. I am still hesitant about buying an FCA product based on quality, but if someone were to write me a check for $70,000 to use on anything I would run down to my local dealer and get me 707 hp of family car awesome.

      • ptschett

        You may laugh, but they’re better than they were in the latter days of the DaimlerChrysler rape and pillage“merger of equals”.

    • outback_ute

      “Fiat needs to build a larger good quality car designed for use in middle-America.”

      Aka the Chrysler 200, Dodge Dart, Jeep Cherokee, etc. Fiat has not been a “large car” (ie mid-size in the US) brand for decades, and with combined dealerships that sell the whole FCA portfolio I would argue they don’t need to build them.

      Mind you this would require a revision of the dealership network (get out of the hole they dug for themselves), and un-cancelling their smaller sedans!

    • Vairship

      Actually, the 500e (the electric version) drives about as well as the Abarth, and 3 year old ones are now coming off lease and can be snapped up for less than $7000. Not a bad deal if you don’t have a family to cart around!

      Of course it wasn’t a great deal for the first owner with that kind of depreciation…

  • stigshift

    Smart. Because if that’s a smart car, all other cars are genius…

    • JayP

      The MkII may not be absolutely terrible.
      It’s making a case with a real manual transmission.

      • stigshift

        At least there’s that. But that is akin to praise by faint damnation…

    • Maymar

      Again, it serves a real purpose, it’s just one that’s largely irrelevant in North America. It’d be the same as myself (a condo-dwelling urbanite) declaring duallys stupid cause whaddya need extra wheels for, and the things don’t even fit in my parking spot, so they’re awful and pointless.

      Plus, for now, it’s our best way to get a Renault, and it’s still a Beacon for weirdness in North America. The new one is also a fair bit better, although slightly less charming.

    • SlowJoeCrow

      So smrt to Smart!
      (smrt is death in Czech and some related Slavic languages)

      • Or, for those who prefer Latin:

        • That’s Norwegian and means “mother’s”.

  • P161911

    Traverse and all its GM siblings. Bring back a mid sized RWD SUV (Trailblazer) on the new Colorado platform, with a diesel option even!

    • outback_ute

      The Trailblazer does exist, so presumably it would be a case of going through the motions to compliance a mix-and-match of existing US components with a new rear-half bodyshell.

    • caltemus

      Good looking too

  • Maymar

    I realized you can no longer buy a RWD 3-series here without going for an M-car, and a manual isn’t available on the low-power engines. So for that, BMW Canada can go ahead and die. We’ll live, we still have Audi.

    • JayP

      I’ve been out of the BMW for a while… is that true?
      Standard 3’s are FWD?

      Update… RWDs are still available in the US. For now.

      • Maymar

        Yup, the F30 is a RWD platform, but Canuckia only wants the AWD/Auto/Lease-special models unless you drop serious coin (you can at least still get a manual 340i, but the 320/328 get the 8-speed and the 8-speed alone).

        • Kiefmo

          I want an 8speed manual in a Bimmer, but with a 4-speed H-pattern and a range selector!

          • Maymar

            Truly, the twin-stick Mitsubishi Colt was the pinnacle of automotive achievement, and it’s all been downhill since there.

  • Jeep Patriot. They updated the Compass to a new platform for ’17, but the Patriot is still based on the carcass of the horrible Caliber. I thought FCA had stated that 2016 would be the Patriot’s last year, but it’s back anyway. I guess like Jason and Chucky, it just won’t really die, even when you thought the horror was over.

    • JayP

      Sergio said the same about the PT Cruiser.
      But it probably cost $2000 to make and people were still buying it.

      I don’t totally hate the Patriot. A lift kit and some tires make up a lot.

      • Vairship

        And now there’s a very PT Cruiser-like Fiat 500L, which strangely enough isn’t selling. I guess weird styling and unreliability aren’t a winning combo.

    • Fresh-Outta-Nissans

      It’s Caliber-based? Patriot SRT4 must happen.

  • dukeisduke

    The whole Fiat brand needs to disappear from the US – it’s basically dead in the water already. What I’d like to see is for the dealers to show up with torches and pitchforks outside FCA headquarters in Auburn Hills, demanding payback for the money that Sergio made them spend to build standalone Fiat stores. Maybe they could burn Sergio and Olivier Francois in effigy, too.

    • JayP

      The standalone dealer req did suck. They pulled back on that I think.

      Had Alfa been up with their new cars 18 months ago… maybe?

      The shop in McK looks like a candy store. With $6k off the 500L’s at one time.

    • Vairship

      I’ve never understood the FCA strategy. They bought the Chrysler and Dodge nameplates, both of which were in need of new models. But instead of rebuilding those brands, they launched each new vehicle as a new nameplate (i.e. Fiat 500, Alfa Romeo Giulietta, RAM, SRT even (for a while)). And each of those new brands needs lots of investment to build name recognition, a new dealership network, and lots of expense that FCA doesn’t have the cash for…

  • James Dugan

    Anything Tesla needs to go. Anything that is a Hybrid needs to go. All motorcycles need to go and Ferrari’s as long as their are still producing FUGLY SHIT and……….. HOONIVERSE

    • That’s a rather harsh assessment of motorcycles, don’t you think?

      • James Dugan

        No not really. Their owners/riders are usually Arrogant Asses as well

    • Rudy™

      Agreed–Tesla needs to go. It isn’t so much the car as it is the arrogant, conceited ***** (insert favorite derogatory name there) who runs it. It’ll be gone soon enough, though, at its own hands. Financially, the company can never support itself long-term–it is running on borrowed time (and false promises) as it is, the fools investing in the company falling for that arrogant *****’s fluffery rather than looking at the bottom-line financials. Tesla operates on robbing Peter to pay Paul. The only ones I feel sorry for are the owners who will be stuck with those cars once the company goes under.

  • Anything that doesn’t offer a wheel smaller than 18 inches diameter.

  • outback_ute

    One wonders what it means that they haven’t brought over the newer D23/NP300 model to replace the Frontier? Perhaps because it is less than top of class they decided it wasn’t worth the upgrade.

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