December 23, 2012

News & Features

It's the end of the line for these 2012 vehicles

New York Times News Service

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Clockwise from top left: Jeep Liberty, Chevrolet Colorado, Dodge Caliber and Kia Sedona.

For 2013, more than a dozen nameplates will not be returning, and two automotive brands have expired. Here are some of the more notable vehicles that are disappearing after the 2012 model year.

Aston Martin DBS

Aston's top model — save for the ultra-exotic, sold-out One-77 — is replaced by the 565-horsepower Vanquish coupe and convertible. Like James Bond bidding farewell with a sly wink and a raised martini, the DBS exits in style.

Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon

Pickup sales are big business, but midsize models such as these have struggled to find a following. The Colorado and Canyon will sit out the current model year, at least until more fuel-efficient and aerodynamic versions arrive, perhaps as 2014 models.

Dodge Caliber

Only operators of daily rental fleets might bemoan the loss of the cut-rate Caliber. Most consumers probably didn't notice that the boxy hatchback was still around, especially because the vastly better Dart sedan replaced it in the Dodge lineup.

Hyundai Veracruz

This midsize crossover has been pushed out of Hyundai's lineup in favor of the new Santa Fe, which now offers an optional long-wheelbase, seven-passenger version.

Jeep Liberty

The Liberty SUV remains ruggedly handsome, so it's too bad its clunky four-speed automatic and wheezy 3.7-liter V-6 amount to the mechanical equivalent of a pack-a-day smoking habit.

Kia Sedona

Kia's stylish hip-hop hamsters would steer clear of the Sedona, the South Korean automaker's bland entry in the minivan market. A more cutting-edge replacement, based on the KV7 design study, is planned for the 2014 model year.

Lexus HS 250h

The Lexus HS 250h sedan should have provided a steppingstone for Prius owners to move up to Toyota's luxury division. But the appeal of this plush eco-sedan was limited by a price significantly higher than the Prius', along with lower fuel economy.

Maybach

In 2003, Daimler dusted off this long-dormant brand to take on Rolls-Royce and Bentley. The interiors of the Maybach 57 and 62 sedans had all the trappings of a private jet. Unfortunately, the exterior styling, which managed to be unremarkable and gaudy, had more in common with a Mercedes S-Class from two generations ago.

Mazda CX-7

With demand for its nimble and attractive CX-5 crossover exceeding supply, Mazda simply doesn't need the five-passenger CX-7 anymore. The CX-9, which provides seating for up to seven, remains in the lineup.

Mercedes-Benz R-Class

With a station-wagon body that looked rather hearselike, the R-Class aimed for a market niche that proved not to exist. The performance-oriented R63 AMG model could become a cult classic, however.

Mitsubishi Galant and Eclipse

Mitsubishi is streamlining its lineup in what could be a make-or-break moment for the automaker in the United States. With the Galant gone, the brand lacks a mainstream midsize sedan. And the Eclipse sporty coupe has reached the end of the line after a tumultuous history in which it veered from a pocket rocket to an overstyled economy car.

Saab

Spyker, a Dutch maker of supercars, bought Saab from General Motors in 2010. Since then, Saab cozied up to Russian tycoons and formed dubious links to relatively unknown Chinese automakers. Plans include transforming the company into an electric-car manufacturer.

Tesla Roadster

A two-seater based on the Lotus Elise, with a zero-emission electric powertrain for scintillating performance, the Roadster made electric cars cool. But the travel range was limited and the price topped $100,000. Having made its mark with the Roadster, Tesla has turned its attention to the more affordable Model S sedan.

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