Cars are no different than anything else in this world—even the best will meet their end at some point. It happened with the original Volkswagen Beetle, it will happen soon for the Land Rover Defender, and there are rumors swirling about the future of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class.
With all the announcements of new models in Geneva last week, we got to thinking about what won’t be around next year. There are a lot of truly great cars that will not see 2015 (along with plenty we wished never made it to 2014). While not all of them will be gone forever (some are simply moving on to their next incarnation with a redesign), others will be saying their final farewells once automakers start shipping 2015 models to dealer lots. For a closer look at what we’re going to miss, keep reading to see the 10 cars we’re not quite ready to see go.
10. Kicking off our list is an American workhorse: the Chevrolet Tahoe. No, Chevy is (thankfully) not discontinuing the Tahoe in 2015, but it is giving the SUV a much-needed (and significant) redesign. That being said, the 2014 Tahoe is something we will miss. Over the last 9 years it has helped General Motors largely dominate the full-size SUV segment and has remained relevant and competitive in a market increasingly turning toward small SUVs and crossovers. For that we are thankful and will miss this Tahoe, but, considering GM’s impressive offerings of late, we would still prefer the 2015 Tahoe.
9. In at number 9 is a car many people tend to overlook that has steadily made fans out of those who have given it a chance: the Subaru Legacy. While the Legacy is not among the models slated to meet their maker (or lack thereof) in 2015, the car will be undergoing a significant redesign. For some reason, Subaru tends to think “redesign” means “vastly improve mechanically but make much, much uglier.” We’ll be honest, the current Legacy’s design has grown on us over the years, especially with the sport package. It’s a pretty standard move for Subaru, though. In a few years’ time, when the Legacy is up for another redesign, we’re willing to bet that we’ll be lamenting the loss of the most recent design to grow on us. Either way, the current model is a fantastic car, and we hope the 2015 will be even better.
8. Moving up we come to a truck that has been a headline-grabber as of late: the Ford F-150. Scheduled for a much-touted redesign for the 2015 version, 2014 is the end of the line for one of Ford’s best F-150s. The twelfth generation of the truck went into production for the 2009 model year and was instrumental in helping the Ford F-Series maintain its title as America’s best-selling vehicle. While Ford never made anywhere near as much of a fuss about the twelfth-generation F-150 as it has for the thirteenth, the truck has never been one to fuss about too much (with the exception of the SVT Raptor). Sturdy and dependable, we’re going to miss this F-150 and hope the next generation lives up to the reputation it upheld.
7. When looking for a luxury performance car, few venture beyond BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Cadillac lots. However, those with a sense of adventure often bypass the big luxury brands and end up somewhere like Maserati. Trident fans appear to have a big year ahead of them: It’s time for a new Maserati GranTurismo. That of course means that it’s now time to say our final goodbyes to the current GranTurismo. Unveiled at the 2007 Geneva Motor Show, the GranTurismo has played an important part in improving Maserati’s sales and perception since its introduction. Following the 2013 update to the Maserati Quattroporte and the 2014 introduction of the Maserati Ghibli, it’s time for Maserati to update a car that has seen much success. We’re excited to see the progress Maserati has made recently, even if that means having to watch a car that helped the company become what it is today go. If it’s any consolation, the new GranTurismo sounds like it should be pretty sweet—we’ll be standing by for details.
6. In the sixth spot is our first pick that really is bidding its final adieu this year: the Jeep Patriot. Launched in 2006 as a 2007, the Patriot has received mixed reviews. Some love it for the fact that it’s a trail-rated small crossover. Others hate it for the same reason. Whatever your feelings are, Jeep did a good job maximizing space in the car and was also able to give it pretty reasonable off-road abilities, although it can in no way compete with the likes of the Wrangler. That all goes away in 2015, though, with the coming of the newly revealed Jeep Renegade subcompact.
5. Over the past decade, fun, affordable, rear-wheel-drive sports cars have become a rare breed in the U.S. In that time period, Toyota discontinued its MR2 Spyder, Honda said farewell to the S2000, and BMW priced the Z right out of affordable. While other companies were abandoning this segment, Mazda capitalized on it and made the current Mazda MX-5 Miata one of the best yet. Put into production as a 2006 model, the current Miata has maintained a starting price below $24,000, giving it one of the best dollar-to-fun ratios of any car on the market today. While we’ll truly hate to see this one roll off to its end, the 2015 does look to be even better—the new Miata should shed quite a few pounds and will be styled with Mazda’s new Kodo design language in mind.
4. Just like the Legacy, the Subaru Impreza WRX is a car that improves greatly with every redesign (while simultaneously getting less attractive). We have no doubts the 2015 Subaru WRX (Subaru is dropping “Impreza” from the name next year) will be another spectacular piece of engineering from Shinjuku, but we are a bit teary-eyed to see the 2014 model go. After all, it’s now provided us with years of all-wheel-drive rallying awesomeness for a pretty decent price (a 2014 starts at $25,995). Those looks have grown on us, too, and we’re not too sure about taking the time to let the 2015s do the same when the 2014 is right here, right now. However, if past experience is any indicator, one drive in the 2015 will make us forgive everything about its suspect looks. We’re going to miss the 2014, but probably only until we get our hands on a 2015.
3. Our next pick is a car that has never had its appearance questioned: the Lamborghini Gallardo. Introduced for the 2004 model year, the Gallardo quickly became Lamborghini’s best-selling car ever, claiming that title in 2005. With a starting price well below that of its big brothers (first the Murcielago, now the Aventador), the Gallardo has been a favorite of those lucky enough to be considering a Lamborghini, but wanting to keep the budget more reasonable (if you consider $181,900 reasonable). Like all good things, the Gallardo’s production will come to an end this year, with the recently revealed Lamborghini Huracan set to replace it. For all it has done to make Lamborghinis more common (and slightly more accessible—slightly), we are deeply saddened to hear of this Raging Bull’s departure.
2. Ford has been making quite the ruckus lately, announcing that both its current Ford Mustang and Ford F-150 would be replaced in 2015. While it’s no secret we’re sad to see the F-150 go, it’s the Mustang we’re going to miss a little more. For almost 50 years, the Mustang has won fans based on a simple formula of reasonable cost plus rear-wheel drive equals fun. Next year, the ingredients in that formula will change slightly, as the Mustang ditches its solid rear axle in favor of an independent rear suspension. While we’ll be the first to admit that the 2015 Mustang looks pretty darn cool, there’s something about this current Mustang that grabs us. 2015 looks promising, but the present is something worth savoring.
1. When it first went on sale in 2006, the Toyota FJ Cruiser put up some seriously impressive sales numbers. That early promise didn’t last long—the FJ Cruiser’s North American sales quickly fell to less than a quarter of what they were during its first year on the market and have remained relatively flat ever since. For an impressive piece of automotive engineering, that’s a real shame. With 9.6 inches of ground clearance, 8 inches of front suspension travel (9 in back) and the ability to ford almost two-and-a-half feet of water, there’s no denying the FJ’s abilities on the trail. Unfortunately, poor gas mileage, a fairly high sticker price and a market shift away from SUVs to crossovers spelled early doom for Toyota’s 6-cylinder beast. We’d love to say it was simply being replaced, but that is not the case. After this year, Toyota’s fun, quirky and retro SUV will be dead, leaving hardcore off-roaders only one real choice: the Jeep Wrangler. For those lucky enough to get their hands on one, Toyota is making a limited-production “Ultimate Edition” FJ Cruiser, a version that will pay homage to all the great cars to wear the FJ badge.
What cars will you hate to see go next year?
Used Chevrolet Tahoe
Used Subaru Legacy
Used Ford F-150
Used Maserati GranTurismo
Used Jeep Patriot
Used Mazda MX-5 Miata
Used Subaru Impreza WRX
Used Lamborghini Gallardo
Used Ford Mustang
Used Toyota FJ Cruiser