There are some automobiles that have the ability to leave a lasting impression on the world even when they fade away into oblivion. They’re either great performers, or beautifully styled or in rare instances, change our perception of what an automobile can be. Cars like the Bugatti Veyron changed what we thought was achievable from a production car in the speed department. The 1984 Dodge Caravan was the first in a series of revolutionary people movers and was the twentieth centuries version of the Conestoga Wagon. Then there was the 1991 Ford Explorer, a mid-sized truck that introduced the buying public to the worlds first mainstream SUV. These are the cars that people remember.
Then there are those select few cars that even in times of production failed to garner any attention at all. Sure they may have been great sellers, but that doesn’t mean that they’d be missed if they were to vanish into thin air. Below is a list of cars that fit that profile. Cars that never got any real respect and were seen as more of disposable transportation than a real contribution to the automotive spectrum as a whole. There driven hard and put away wet and when they near the end of their life cycle they are taken out to pasture and left for dead.
• 2010 Nissan Altima
The Nissan Altima was first introduced in 1992 and slated as replacement for the departing Nissan Stanza. It was a mid-sized four-door sedan that was good reliable transportation without any real bells and whistles. Now in its eighteenth year of production the automotive mainstream has pushed it to the wayside to make way for a new crop of cars to take the stage. It’s unfortunate but if production of the Altima stopped tomorrow I doubt anyone would notice.
• 2010 Dodge Avenger
In 1990 Dodge was looking for a new two-door sports coupe and they felt the Avenger was the answer. Generation 1 began in 1995, but then went away in 2000 and in that time the car was pretty much a flop and never really sold well. Then in 2008 Dodge resurrected the Avenger name but transformed the car into a family four-door. It’s not overly stylish, it’s full of plastic and the performance numbers are adequate at best. The other thing is that 9 out of 10 car guys and gals have no idea what the current Avenger even looks like, therefore I feel it should be taken out into the parking lot and shot dead.
• 2010 Ford SportTrac
Oh the poor poor Ford SportTrac. It’s half SUV and half pick-up truck which means that it doesn’t do anything very well. Based now on the second generation Ford Explorer platform the SportTrac seems to be in a constant state of limbo and suffers from multiple personality disorder. It can’t hang with the SUV crowd and the bigger burlier pick-up trucks will simply make fun of it. Therefore SportTrac’s all over America are left languishing in dealer lots only to become the victim of massive rebates. Ford should do themselves a favor and simply let the SportTrac go. Trust me, it will not be missed.
• 2010 Chevrolet HHR
Built as a competitor to Chrysler’s ever annoying PT Cruiser, the Chevrolet HHR was touted as a little hot rod sports wagon. The problem was that it was too small to really be a wagon and too slow (even in SS trim) to be considered sporty. When first released it did gain some brief notoriety, but that was unfortunately short lived. Now the HHR just sits around in showrooms waiting to become the first car for some lucky kid on their 16 birthday. It’s time to go HHR, it’s time to go.
• 2010 Hyundai Azera
Yes, Hyundai really does make this car and they do currently sell it in showrooms. The Azera is actually quite a nice car and has been sold since 2005. The release of its new bigger, badder brother the Genesis has relegated the poor Azera to the back lot. One could probably walk into a Hyundai dealer right now and get a screaming deal on this thing. The problem however is that the value will fall faster than a tossed penny off the top of the Empire State building. The Azera really needs to be retired today.
• 2010 Chrysler Sebring
I always wondered about the Chrysler Sebring. From its name, to its shape, to its overall appeal, this car never even struck my weakest nerve. It was marketed to a crowd that was older than dirt. It was drab on both the inside and the out, and from a performance standpoint it simply stunk. Sharing a platform with the Dodge Avenger may be another reason that the Sebring needs to go the way of the dodo as well, because like the old saying goes – you can’t polish a turd.