2016 has been a tumultuous year, pretty much everywhere, and we’re not talking political upheavals or even celebrity deaths – may Carrie Fisher, Muhammad Ali, John Glenn, and Robin Williams all rest in peace. Still, what about the top cars of 2016? Just like political parties and celebrities come and go, car brands and models also come and go.
For example, Dodge and Chrysler actually have retired a bunch of models this year, including the Chrysler Town & Country / Dodge Grand Caravan, Chrysler 200, and Dodge Dart. Minivans just aren’t selling, though fleet sales might continue for a time, and the 200 and the Dart were just too ho-hum to make differentiate themselves in an ever-diverse market. On the other hand, there’s the…
No domestic supercar has ever been so singularly recognizable, a pure sportscar if there ever was one. First introduced in 1992, Dodge Viper differentiated itself from the pack with the roar of an 8.0L V10 engine and sinuous curves befitting the serpentine moniker. It wasn’t just another tuned unibody mass-produced car, but individually and purposefully built to drive, handle, and behave like a pure sportscar. Still, the Viper never gained enough traction in the market to overtake traditional sportscars. Though the Viper is “cancelled,” it does one good to note that Viper wasn’t produced between 2010 and 2013. Is this really “the end” for the Viper?
Scion and Scion tC
Toyota’s young and “hip” brand, Scion, was originally introduced in 2003. It was an effort by the automaker to attract younger buyers, with smaller and less-expensive models. Ostensibly, the rebadged international models, an array of compact sportscars, was even “cool.” As of 2016, however, the brand has been discontinued, and most Scion models will continue on as Toyota models. Unfortunately for many who crave a unique sporty commuter, the Scion tC is not on that list. Still, the sportier Scion FR-S might be worth your attention when you see it as the Toyota 86.
A luxury car based on the thrifty Chevy Volt, a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, is a car in search of a buyer. Most people associate luxury with power, and the Cadillac ELR luxury coupe didn’t really have either of them. Even before the ELR went on sale, in 2013, General Motors executives said as much, remarking that the car “couldn’t have enough amenities and electric range to be compelling to buyers and produce a profit.” Still, GM ignored its own advice and managed to squeak out just shy of 3,000 of the $75,000 automobile before calling it a night.
Can nostalgia make for car sales? Looking at the Honda CR-Z, one sees a clear resemblance to the late-1980s Honda CRX. The CRX was renowned as a “fun little car” that happened to be fuel-efficient. Plenty stylish, but underpowered and a little too thirsty, the Honda CR-Z just couldn’t bring back those good feelings, even with a six-speed manual gearbox.
Where some of may have missed our chances at buying one of these cars new, it seems that most everyone is looking forward to what will replace them. Will the new Genesis lineup shine? Will the Toyota 86 make us yearn for the AE86 Corolla? Will the Chrysler Pacifica take the place of the minivan or will it go the way of the Toyota Venza? Only time will tell!Tags: cars 2016