Cars That Won't Die - But Should

Cars That Won\'t Die - But Should

Lexus SC430

This Lexus hardtop convertible came along in 2002. More boulevard cruiser than backroad dancer, the French Riviera styling is not aging well. As Mercedes offers updated SL models, Lexus sticks with niche versions of the convertible like the Pebble Beach edition. Trunk capacity is virtually non-existent with the metal roof folded but at least the Mark Levinson stereo rocks the house.

The only engine available is a 4.3-liter V-8. It may only have 288 hp but you're not going to play with other cars on the backroads with this Lexus anyway. Also, if you're anticipating an "F" version of the SC430 like the IS-F, it isn't going to happen.

Saab 9-5

2009 will mark the tenth model year the Saab 9-5 is sold in the U.S. market. No surprise, it's starting to show its age. Sure, the seats are still comfortable (like all Saabs) but ride and handling are not up to spec for this class, or most other classes. Plus, the only engine available is a 260-hp turbo four-cylinder and we're not so keen on the chrome exterior accents that were recently added.

The good news is that GM is working hard on their all-new 9-5 and we expect to see that for the 2010 model year. We have high hopes for this car and there are rumors that all-wheel drive may be part of the package. Kiss torque steer goodbye, finally.

Volkswagen Beetle

This retro-mobile was all the rage when it was first shown in concept form at the Detroit auto show in 1994. For the 1998 model year, VW gave us the production version and the buzz for the cute little car was huge. Two years later, a convertible came along. But, as the buzz faded, the reality of the two-door VW came to light. It offers very little cargo or rear seat room and the styling hasn't aged too well.

VW recently updated the car and added the not so smooth or powerful 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine from the Rabbit and Jetta and fuel economy suffered. In the end, the Rabbit is still the smarter choice if you're looking for a small VW. Plus, you don't have to deal with keeping fresh flowers in the dash-mounted plastic vase in the more conventional hatchback.

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