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14. Acura ZDX
As 2012 winds to an end, AutoGuide looks back at all the vehicles that received the axe this year, some that will be missed, while others surely won’t be.
Starting it off is the Acura ZDX, a crossover that had a very tough time breaking into the market. Priced at around $51,815 including delivery, the ZDX was hardly a hot seller for the Japanese automaker, and it’s clear that Acura can’t wait to move forward from it.
No real surprises here, but Chrysler has finally pulled the plug on the Dodge Caliber’s production in anticipation to the unveiling of the all-new Dodge Dart next month at the Detroit Auto Show.
We’re frankly surprised the Caliber even lasted this long, having debuted in 2006 as a replacement to Dodge’s Neon to much negative press. In fact, the majority of the media regarded the Caliber as the bottom of the barrel in terms of small compacts, and was considered the worst of an already bad bunch of econoboxes.
The all-new Dart should be a sleek successor to the Caliber, based on a platform by Fiat’s Alfa Romeo brand. Many anticipate the Dart’s sales to be much more successful than the Caliber ever was.
[Source: Detroit News]
Discuss this story at DartForums.com
Remember when your parents told you that if you didn’t do well the first time, try, try again? Fiat and Dodge have heeded that advice. So when you’re at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show, expect to see Caliber: Round Two.
A small hatchback in the vein of the Caliber will debut for the 2013 model year at the Detroit Auto Show in a few months. It will ride on Fiat’s C-Evo platform that also underpins the Alfa Romeo Giulietta, which is scheduled to arrive in America sometime this year.
Not much is known about the Caliber right now except for this Bigfoot-esque blurry, grainy render above: it’s not known what engines will be inside, or whether it will even be called Caliber. After the dismal vehicle it replaces, we won’t be surprised if Dodge chooses to damnatio memoriae that nameplate. But, in traditional fashion, it will be larger than the car it replaces.
[Source: Ward's via Autoblog]
Thanks to CaliberForums member ResumeSpeed we have this grainy photo of what is reported to be the interior of the 2010 Dodge Caliber. Along with that photo came a list of upgrades being made to the sub-compact’s interior in an effort to improve the overall look and feel of the cockpit.
As the photo shows, the upper instrument panel has been restyled, along with the doors, which now feature soft-touch armrests with vinyl on the top portion. The center console armrest also gets a soft-touch coating.
Other upgrades include electronic (rather than cable) temperature controls that can access an improved air conditioning system. As well, the handle for the reclining seat has been lengthened and the seat track covers have been improved.
Dodge is no doubt hoping the improved interior of the Caliber will help make it a more attractive option in an ultra-competitive segment where the vehicle has never really captured the interest of buyers.
According to a recent study by Edmunds for ABC News, the Dodge Caliber is the least popular car in America – and it’s not the only Chrysler product to rate highly on the list of the 10 worst selling cars in America. In fact, four of the top spots are Chrysler products, with the Dodge Avenger rating second, the Charger fifth and the Jeep Patriot sixth.
The list rates the worst selling cars in America according to the supply of vehicles left on dealer lots. What that number represents is actual demand for a vehicle as compared to expected demand. Currently Dodge has a stockpile of Calibers that will last 223 days.
Dealers also have 211 days worth of Avengers as well as 163 days worth of both Dodge Chargers and Jeep Patriots.
Other unpopular vehicles include the Pontiac G6 in third place and the Kia Optima in fourth. ABC even quoted AutoGuide on the Optima saying it, “rides far too loosely on its suspension,” and that the interior uses a “less-than-pleasing material.”
Kia and GM products appear later on in the list as well, with the Kia Spectra taking the seventh spot while the Chevy Cobalt and Colorado finish eighth and ninth respectively. The Ford Mustang (2009) finished 10th.
[Source: ABC News]