Killed Off Cars And Our Picks For Their Replacements
Not every car can be a hit. Sometimes, even an automaker's best effort can fail to generate interest, critical acclaim or, most importantly, sales.
These are a few examples of cars that didn't quite cut it. Either because their sales were sluggish, their engines underpowered or they were made redundant by newer, sexier models, these cars were officially discontinued after their 2012 model year. If you're back in the market today after buying or leasing one of these vehicles a few years ago, we've got options for cars you'll want to consider.
Click through to see some well-known vehicles you won't find on dealer lots this year and our choices for good replacements.
Goodbye: Mercedes-Benz R-Class
MSRP: $52,690 - $53,840
Invoice: $49,002 - $50,071
Fuel Economy: 16 mpg city, 21 mpg highway
The Mercedes-Benz R-Class was retired after the 2012 model year. Although it employed a rather odd exterior design (it kind of looked like a hearse), it was a great luxury vehicle for people who needed room for six passengers and cargo. Interestingly, the R-Class will continue to be built at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Tuscaloosa, Ala., and exported to other markets around the world.
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Mercedes-Benz R-Class Photos & Information
Mercedes-Benz R-Class Specs
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Buy Instead: Infiniti JX35
MSRP: $41,250 - $42,650
Invoice: $38,205 - $39,499
Fuel Economy: 18 mpg city, 24 mpg highway
An all-new vehicle for 2013, we think that the Infiniti JX35 is a great alternative to the R-Class. With seating for seven, great technology features, a nice interior and very reasonable starting price, this crossover is a stellar combination of luxury and versatility.
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Goodbye: Fisker Karma
MSRP: $102,000 - $115,000
Fuel Economy: 54 mpg combined
The sexy and luxurious Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid sports sedan had a short ride marred by quality issues. The company is now on the verge of bankruptcy and while the car is technically still in production, it is not expected to be around for much longer. The good news out of all of this is you can get one for a huge discount right now.
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Buy Instead: Tesla Model S
MSRP: $59,900 - $94,900
Fuel Economy: 89 mpge combined
The Tesla Model S recently received the distinction from Consumer Reports as the highest-rated vehicle the company has ever tested. The fully electric luxury sedan can go up to 300 miles on a single charge, depending on which battery is employed. Inside, the car is dripping in luxury, with a host of comfort and technology features.
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Goodbye: Mazda CX-7
MSRP: $22,190 - $33,540
Invoice: $21,555 - $32,066
Fuel Economy: 20 mpg city, 27 mpg highway
The CX-7 was made redundant by the introduction of a new vehicle: The Mazda CX-5. The CX-5 comes with about the same versatility as the CX-7, but has better fuel economy, looks and driving dynamics.
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Mazda CX-7 Specs
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Buy Instead: Mazda CX-5
MSRP: $21,195 - $28,870
Invoice: $20,589 - $28,039
Fuel Economy: 26 mpg city, 35 mpg highway
Recently released for the 2013 model year, the Mazda CX-5, which has replaced the CX-7, is one of our favorite crossovers on the road right now. With great fuel economy, superb driving dynamics and attractive sheet metal, crossover buyers should absolutely give this car a test drive.
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Goodbye: Saab 9-3 Convertible
MSRP: $39,490 - $44,080
Invoice: $38,503 - $42,317
Fuel Economy: 20 mpg city, 33 mpg highway
Saab was sent to the chopping block during GM's restructuring, resulting in the death of a cult favorite: The Saab 9-3 Convertible. Sporty, attractive, safe and with a nice interior, the 9-3 was a solid sports sedan. Although GM probably made the right move in decreasing the size of its brand portfolio, we were all a little sad to see it go.
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Saab 9-3 Convertible Photos & Information
Saab 9-3 Convertible Specs
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Buy Instead: Volvo C70
MSRP: $41,200 - $45,000
Invoice: $38,728 - $42,300
Fuel Economy: 19 mpg city, 28 mpg highway
Although Saab is long gone, you can still get into a Scandinavian drop top with the Volvo C70. It may not be quite as sporty or refined as its German competition, but the C70 is sharp-looking, fun, well-appointed and safe -- a fitting alternative to the 9-3.
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Goodbye: Jeep Liberty
MSRP: $23,395 - $28,995
Invoice: $22,722 - $27,960
Fuel Economy: 16 mpg city, 22 mpg highway
The Jeep Liberty SUV hasn't done well in sales and has been criticized for its engine, transmission, gas mileage and reliability. Its replacement, the odd-looking Jeep Cherokee, will be here soon. We're all very curious about how it will perform.
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Jeep Liberty Specs
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Buy Instead: Hyundai Santa Fe Sport
MSRP: $24,700 - $29,700
Invoice: $23,728 - $28,182
Fuel Economy: 21 mpg city, 29 mpg highway
The Hyundai Santa Fe Sport is another one of our favorite CUVs. Available in all-wheel drive, it's versatile enough for you daily commute and some adventurous off-road pursuits, much like the Liberty. The Santa Fe Sport is fuel efficient, very attractive and has a great low starting sticker price.
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