It’s the circle of life: when a new car is released, an older one invariably dies. Sometimes a new company expands its model range while another, older company finally closes its doors.
This year, we lost everything from the Ford EcoSport and Honda City at one end of the price spectrum to exotics like the Aston Martin Rapide and Ferrari GTC4Lusso at the other. Some discontinuations affected us more than most and so we at CarExper have shared our personal choices below.
Lexus GS (specifically the GS F)
A fate that has befallen so many mid-size sedans on account of the global SUV-mania, but I don’t thing there has been anything close to the engineering perfection that went into the high-performance GS F that allowed us to drive it at ten tenths on multiple occasions at Japan’s famous Hakone Skyline – we ran down highly-skilled motorcycle riders with that car with video to prove it. For what it was it was cheap.
I feel like BMW had such a great chance to make that a standout supercar and instead went for the hybrid showcase, missing the real opportunity for an iconic car.
The Renault Zoe. Just kidding. It’s the BMW i8. I had the chance to do a road trip across Europe a couple of years back in an Audi R8 V10 Spyder and the BMW i8 Spyder.
We assumed the R8 would trounce the i8 in every regard, but we constantly found the i8 happily keeping up with the R8 regardless of the terrain or conditions. It was a highly impressive car and it’s a shame it didn’t live on for longer than it did.
I know, it got a bit fat later in life. But like Elvis, judging the state of the Subaru Liberty when it died isn’t really fair given it was so damn good early on.
My first car was a Liberty, and the first car I can remember of my parents’ was a Liberty. It’s a shame the next generation of car enthusiasts might not be able to say the same.
Subaru Liberty, Honda Jazz
Given its long history in Australia it’s sad to think the Liberty isn’t coming back. Having seen the new one in the flesh, it’s easily the best looking since the fourth-generation model. Sorry Australia.
I’ve banged on at length about my love for people movers and practical tall roof hatches, so it’s truly sad that the best-selling and most affordable car of this type, the Honda Jazz, won’t be coming here. With a hybrid drivetrain and a more upscale interior it could’ve (possibly) justified its inevitably too-close-to-Civic pricing.
Renault’s updated Zoe EV is one of Europe’s most popular battery-driven city cars. It’s become a sexier looking Nissan Leaf or Hyundai Ioniq hatch competitor there, and compared to the first generation car Australia got briefly looks a big step up.
But predictably, factory allocation is being sent to markets with CO2 caps, meaning little old coal-burning Australia is left out in the cold. The Mini Electric needs some competition, and this was an ideal contender.
Holden Acadia, Commodore and Equinox
I grew up in Holdens. My first car was a Holden. So the news the brand was being shuttered, though in hindsight perhaps unsurprising, really stung. That’s also because though it had some mediocre or dated products like the Trax, it finally had credible five- and seven-seat SUVs in the Equinox and Acadia after years of foisting the endlessly facelifted Captiva on us.
Both drove well and were relatively well-priced, though both were let down by decidedly uninspiring interiors. The Acadia seemed to be picking up some steam in sales but the Equinox was largely unloved – undeservedly so.
Unfortunately, enough people had misgivings about the Holden brand, particularly considering some of their past fare, to look past two of the most promising models the brand had introduced in a long time. Special mention to the ZB Commodore, too, which was a bloody good steer but hobbled by the weight of its name.
This might sound like a random choice, but it really saddened me to see the Mondeo axed – and it happened while I was still working with the Ford team.
The loss of many sedans and wagons in general is really sad (include the Kia Optima in that as well) but the Mondeo was so horrendously under-appreciated in Australia it hurts.
The updated model looked promising and I know plenty of current and previous Mondeo owners who no doubt will be frustrated to see their options dwindling.