Every model year, a handful of vehicles are discontinued as new models are introduced. In some cases a manufacturer will not replace the discontinued model with a new one or may skip a model year before bringing an all-new vehicle to the market.
Domestic manufacturers used to routinely drop model names as new models were introduced. In essence, Ford, GM and Chrysler devalued the vehicles they stopped producing, enabling consumers to snap up some great deals. Then again, those cars such as the Ford Escort, Chevrolet Cobalt and Dodge Caliber were worth much less than comparable models such as a Toyota Corolla or a Honda Civic, making some steals look like not such great deals after all.
We found seven 2012 models that are no longer being produced, with just two from the domestics. If you are in the mood to buy a discontinued model and want to save a bundle, the following vehicles may be worth your consideration.
1. Kia Sedona — Among small vans or minivans, the Kia Sedona has not routinely been named among the segment leaders including the Toyota Sienna, the Chrysler Town & Country, the Honda Odyssey and the Dodge Grand Caravan. Nor to its main sales competitor, the Nissan Quest. The Sedona may be more popular than the Volkswagen Routan, but this vehicle has never been a serious contender in its segment, even when a Hyundai Entourage version was sold.
The one advantage with considering a Sedona is that this model typically came in better equipped and at a lower price than its competitors. Sedona is priced from $25,000 and fully equipped can be had for less than $30,000. Well-equipped minivans usually cost far more, topping $40,000 at the upper range. This front-wheel-drive model is powered by a 3.5-liter V-6 engine paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission. Although Sedona is going away, its disappearance may be a temporary one. A possible replacement for the 2014 model year is being weighed reports Automobile magazine, but for now the Sedona bites the dust.
2. Jeep Liberty — Sold for 11 years from 2002 through 2012, the Jeep Liberty straddled two generations and briefly offered a diesel model. A Dodge version, the Nitro, was sold for five years from 2007 through 2011, but it was canceled as the revived Chrysler Group wanted to move away from brand rebadging.
The trouble with the Liberty is that it was positioned against other small SUVs that got far better gas mileage. Although Liberty carried the trail-rated distinction, its unibody frame was heavier than the competition and suffered. Rumors that a new Liberty might resurface in 2014 have not been denied by Chrysler. Quite possibly, it could ride on a ported Alfa Romeo platform and still be offered in 4×2 and 4×4 configurations. If you want to buy one of the last Libertys (Liberties?) available, you can get one for $3,000 off or with zero percent financing. Visit Jeep.com for more information.
3. Mitsubishi Eclipse — At one time, the Mitsubishi Eclipse was an exciting model, a front-wheel-drive sport coupe based on the Galant platform. This vehicle originally showed up in the 1980s as part of a collaboration with Chrysler Corporation that was called Diamond Star Motors. Mitsubishi had the Eclipse and Chrysler sold the Eagle Talon and the Plymouth (Chrysler) Laser. When the Eagle and Plymouth brands were discontinued, only the Eclipse remained.
The last Eclipse was the fourth generation model and with a price point ranging from just under $19,000 to just above $27,000, the Eclipse was a good buy. But, its so-so handling, cheap interior and dated design have sent customers looking elsewhere including to the Hyundai Genesis Coupe and to the Nissan 370z. If you manage to find a new one, that may be a big surprise as Mitsubishi has been effectively managing its inventory and does not offer a special deal for this retired model.
4. Mitsubishi Galant — It is never a good thing when a car manufacturer discontinues a model and does not replace it with something new. The Galant is one of two Mitsubishi models that have bitten the dust following the 2012 model year, underscoring the difficulties this small-time Japanese automaker has with competing in the tough U.S. car market. A third model, its Endeavor SUV, was discontinued after the 2011 model year. Yes, Mitsubishi is struggling to survive stateside and may eventually exit the market.
The Galant has been around since the 1985 model year and received several generational updates over the next two decades. The final Galant was redesigned in 2004 and that shows you the problem with this model. Nine years is a long time to go without a new model, thus it underscores the poor sales of a vehicle that offers dated looks and is simply outclassed in the ultra-competitive midsize sedan market. Galant is priced from $21,899 and comes with a $3,500 rebate or customers can choose zero percent financing for 60 months.
5. Hyundai Veracruz — The largest SUV in the Hyundai arsenal has been discontinued. Instead of keeping its Veracruz, Hyundai is bringing a stretched-wheelbase Santa Fe to the market in early 2013. Hyundai hopes that the extended model with its five extra inches between the wheels will appeal to current Veracruz owners. Choose the GLS and you’ll get room for seven; choose the Limited and you’ll be able to carry six people.
The incentives on the Veracruz as of this writing are modest, with Hyundai presenting special offers including $1,000 cash back or zero percent financing for 36 months. Look for incentive sweeteners to improve if you spot Veracruz models on Hyundai lots when the extended length Santa Fe rolls out in early 2013.
6. Infiniti G25 — Infiniti’s G Sedan lives! What is no longer available is the G25 — the model powered by a 2.5-liter four cylinder engine. Now, only the G37 sedan is sold, powered by a 3.7-liter V6 engine. The G25’s history was a short one, with just two model years under its belt. The reason it was dropped is not clear, although Auto Guide may have uncovered that reason when it noted that the G25 was too close in pricing to the G37.
As for incentives on the 2012 G25, Infiniti has not published this information. A local dealer lot has turned up several unsold 2012 models including the G25, but no special pricing has been listed. Clearly, there is much room to negotiate here.
7. Chevrolet Avalanche — Technically, the Avalanche does not belong on this list. Chevrolet is still making this model for 2013, but in only limited quantities. That model is known as the “Black Diamond Avalanche” and it retails from $35,980. With this model you get a lot of goodies standard including a remote vehicle start system, power adjustable pedals and leather-appointed heated front seats.
With 2012 models still sitting on dealer lots, you are not stuck getting a limited edition model. What you can find are current offers featuring low interest rate financing or up to $4,500 back on each model.
Not every new car buyer relishes buying a vehicle that is no longer in production. If this is no concern to you, then you can take advantage of your bargaining position to seal a deal that can knock off thousands of dollars from the sticker price. Yours sales associate may cry poverty when you offer a low price, but don’t believe the tears as manufacturers typically offer dealers extra incentives to move vehicles that are no longer in production.