The Best Discontinued Cars

In response to your "The 10 Best Discontinued Cars" [usnews.com], I wanted to point out a few erroneous points...

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In response to your "The 10 Best Discontinued Cars" [usnews.com], I wanted to point out a few erroneous points, including the overall fact that neither Matrix nor FJ Cruiser are scheduled to be discontinued. Because the article "speculated" that both models were likely to be discontinued as part of a list with other models that are definitely discontinued per their original equipment manufacturers, it may inaccurately lead readers in thinking it was an equal likelihood. Both models were recently redesigned or launched (Matrix in MY09 and FJ Cruiser in MY07); they are still in the middle of a typical life cycle, and you will see MY11 models and beyond. One listed indicator for speculation was "manufacturing changes or declining shipments to dealers." In regard to Matrix, the article said "the Pontiac Vibe is nearly identical to the Matrix, since the two models are built on the same assembly as part of a joint venture. And the Vibe is being discontinued as part of the Pontiac wind-down." Matrix is actually built at our facility in Cambridge, Ontario, and isn't affected by the New United Motor Manufacturing Inc.'s closing. As for declining shipments, all models typically sell less mid-cycle than at the beginning of launch, but it doesn't mean that the model isn't profitable to both the manufacturer and the dealer. For FJ Cruiser, for instance, it was never intended to be a high-volume model but targeted to a specific active buyer who liked both its style and off-road capabilities.

Greg Thome, Manager, Toyota Division Communications


Torrance, CA My 2000 Chevy Malibu has been the best value car I have ever owned. It has all the options: leather, sunroof, alloys, etc., and is just about at 210,000 miles. It has been a very trouble-free car and still looks and runs great. I purchased this car in 2001 with 29K miles on it and have driven it everywhere, and it just keeps going and pleasing! GM has made some great cars of late ... everyone owes it to themselves and GM to at least have a look and compare.

Comment by Jeff of WA 

We're a two Saturn family (1998 SL2 and an 2008 Outlook XE). We love them both and are very sad to see GM kill off the brand. I've always bought American, in spite of the UAW, but I won't buy from a government-owned manufacturer, and I've never liked Ford, so looks like I'll be buying "foreign" from now on. Hey, they're made here, too.

Comment by Brian of TX 

I own a 2005 Vibe, which like the article says is virtually identical to the Toyota Matrix. This is the best car I have ever owned; 130,000-plus miles with zero problems. The car was even flooded three years ago; the water was so deep that I ended up with 4 to 5 inches of water on the floor of the car. I pushed the car out of the water, bailed it out, and it started right up. I drove it the 50 miles home that day and haven't had a single problem with the car since. I love this car and am sorry to see it go. I wish I could afford to buy another before they are gone.

Comment by L. Meade of MN 

How could you include the likes of the Volkswagen GLI and omit one of the finest cars for the money every made: the Acura RSX? Mine has 116,000-plus miles on it and gives the same performance as it did when new. Practically no maintenance or wear-out problems with this car (as with most Hondas/Acuras); just change the oil regularly, perform routine maintenance, and this car will give you driving pleasure forever. This car was one of Acura's better ideas and they don't make anything now that offers the same styling and performance. The Acura TSX comes close, but it's still a sedan, not a sports coupe. I also have very fond memories of my 1992 Honda Civic Si hatchback. I put over 300,000 miles on that car with only regular maintenance and a $2,500 engine replacement at about 220,000 miles. I wrecked the poor thing in a freak snowstorm in SC; otherwise it might still be running. As for the GLI...try putting more than 100,000 miles on it or any other Volkswagen without replacing the engine, transmission, brakes, CV joints, vital suspension parts...you get the idea. How many 15-year-old Volkswagens do you see on the road today vs. the number of 15-year-old Hondas and Acuras (and Toyotas, for that matter)? I rest my case.

Comment by Joe of PA 

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