2015 Hyundai Azera
Some vehicles get all the love, others don’t; these cars are just plain forgotten.
Automakers still make forgettable vehicles today; some are popular while others aren’t. These are the unpopular ones.
The cars on our list aren’t necessarily bad vehicles, but they aren’t getting much in the way of sales love or advertising dollars.
Be prepared to say “Oh, they still make that?”
Mitsubishi i-MiEV – $22,995
The June sales charts weren’t kind to the i-MiEV, with 23 vehicles sold. But then again, only 1,829 of the little EVs have moved off dealer lots since it arrived in 2011.
Our West Coast senior editor Mark Vaughn spent a month doing his daily driving in an i-MiEV and liked it so much he bought the first one available for sale in the U.S.
Toyota Land Cruiser – $80,155
Toyota’s Land Cruiser has been around a long time, but with June sales of just 158 units, we’re wondering how. The Land Cruiser is a capable vehicle with a lot of creature comforts, but there is almost no promotional advertising done for it, and the price is, well, high for a Toyota.
It’s been two years since we had Land Cruiser in the office and when we did have it, we had mixed feelings. Some of us liked what Toyota offered with the vehicle packaging, but all of us thought the price was way too much for such an outdated vehicle.
Kia K900 – $54,500
Kia came out swinging with the K900. It gave the flagship model a heavy advertising run which featured LeBron James as the “K900 Luxury Ambassador.” But the campaign has vanished and sales numbers show that the ads didn’t help much. Hovering around 200 cars per month since its U.S. debut, Kia sold just 160 for the month of June.
We had a K900 in the garage just a few months ago and we were impressed with the vehicle overall, but the badge, mixed with the price, still gave us some second thoughts. Nearly $55,000 for a Kia? Our tester rang in at $66,000! No matter how nice of a car it is, some people still have a problem shelling out that much money for a Kia.
2015 Hyundai Azera
Hyundai Azera – $31,000
With competition such as the Ford Taurus, Chevy Impala and Dodge Charger, the Hyundai Azera faces stiff competitors. One of the most forgotten vehicles made by the Hyundai/Kia powerhouse, the Azera is the little brother living in the shadow of his big brother, the Genesis. For what the vehicle offers and how much you get for the money, the Azera, priced at $31,000, is a steal.
Our editors loved the Azera and its value. We found the car to be a competent cruiser and a true competitor in the market, especially for those looking into a Buick LaCrosse or Toyota Avalon. It’s almost bewildering to see that dealers moved only 349 Azeras during June, but with zero advertising and the overall decline in large car sales, how will people remember the Azera exists?
Volkswagen Touareg – $44,705
When it came out in 2002, the Touareg struck a chord with consumers and the media, probably because it came with a name nobody could pronounce; a very nice ploy by Volkswagen. Sometimes that hurts a vehicle, other times it’s a blessing. In the case of the Touareg, it was a blessing. At first.
Selling just 561 examples in June, the Touareg is slowly withering on the sales vine. Despite the slow sales, VW is keeping it updated and fresh, but according to our editors, a slight drop in price might help move more SUVs. A well optioned Audi Q5 comes in around $1,000 less than the an upper level TDI Touareg; granted it’s smaller, but the back seat offers more room and the Audi has more prestige and flash.
Nissan Xterra – $23,660
The Nissan Xterra stormed beaches and raided the backroads when it was introduced for the 2000 model year, but it has since given up on storming and raiding. Along with the Armada, the Xterra is one of the most forgotten vehicles that Nissan makes, selling just 1,184 units in June. It’s so forgotten that Nissan announced its discontinuation after the 2015 model year and nobody really noticed.
Our last bout with the Xterra was in 2011, during a snowy winter. We were impressed by the way the it handled the snow, but found a few nit-picky things that only slightly dulled our thoughts of the Xterra. Rest in peace, Xterra, you’ll be missed … by those who remember you.
2015 Scion xB
Scion xB – $17,740
The box that started it all will soon be no more. Just days ago, Scion announced that 2015 will be the last year for the trendsetting xB. June sales were a wimpy 1,316 vehicles, but the Scion brand is getting a small rejuvenation with the newly released iM and iA. However, in order to make room for the new i’s coming in, the last remaining “x” has to go.
“Vanilla” was the biggest descriptor for the xB when we had it last. The car straddled the offensive/inoffensive line so well, there was no concrete love-it-or-hate-it factor. Even though it started the boxy trend, it has been surpassed by the Kia Soul, and 2015 marks the end of the line.