There are a few automobiles that have stood the test of time, where certain positive attributes – such as vehicle dependability, driver satisfaction, or simply popularity – has made their continued production a no-brainer. Of course, the opposite is also true, as dozens of car makes and models have come and gone, usually do to lagging sales.
Then there are those that you might think will always be around, but in reality have come to the end of their roads. Cars like:
1. Chrysler Town & Country
In the early 1990s, Chrysler introduced the automotive world to the Town & Country, a minivan that served as the ideal family vehicle for parents both current and prospective. The model went through several updates over the years, adding features that made parents’ traveling lives a bit easier – like “Stow’n Go seating,” introduced in 2005. But the heyday of the minivan has come and gone, and so too has the Town & Country, ending its 26-year run. It’s since been replaced by the Chrysler Pacifica, which Car and Driver magazine describes as “significantly better” than its predecessor.
2. Lincoln MKS
You probably remember the commercial for this model, featuring a motorist who enters the MKS, shifts into drive mode, launching the automobile into warp speed, as if in outer space. But witty marketing and impressive engine features – like its six-speed automatic transmission – apparently weren’t enough to keep the MKS around for very long, as Lincoln pulled the plug on production in 2016, seven short years after its birth. In its place is the Continental, a redesigned luxury sedan that’s been well received by major online auto information organizations like Edmunds.com and Cars.com.
3. BMW Z4
The Z3 Roadster was hands down one of BMW’s most successful models, getting lots of second looks from passersby and plenty of press, having served as James Bonds’ ride in the major motion picture “GoldenEye,” starring Pierce Brosnan as 007 himself. So when BMW updated the Z3, the Z4 was expected to be as popular as the MI6 agent. But its 335-horsepower engine didn’t give the model the juice it needed to last, with the German automaker deciding to scuttle its run last year. Appropriately, it’s been shelved for the Z5, though the new model has yet to be mass produced.
4. Cadillac ELR
Though hybrids are much more common today than they were even a few years ago, Cadillac – or more specifically, General Motors – decided to dip its toes into the fuel-efficient waters with the ELR. The luxury model sold for a cool $65,000 and featured all the bells and whistles, including a 16.5 kilowatt lithium-ion battery. But sales weren’t as long lasting, totaling less than 3,000, more than 95% of which were in the U.S. In short, it was a matter of dollars and cents that made the ELR’s discontinuation an inevitability.
5. Dodge Viper
If you’re looking for the epitome of cool, look no further than the Viper, a luxury sports car that’s very easy on the eyes. However, the head-turning automobile isn’t so easy on the wallet, boasting a manufacturer’s suggested retail price that starts at $87,900. The hand-crafted model has been through a number of iterations since it first came onto the scene way back in 1991 and ceased production for a three-year stretch. It’s reintroduction, though, never took hold, and will re-enter retirement after this year.
No car lasts forever, and the same rule applies to your comprehensive auto insurance policy. If you’re buying a new or used car – still produced or not – be sure to keep tabs on your coverage to ensure it doesn’t lapse.