Times change, tastes change, popular attributes and features in personal vehicles change. Once-indefatigable SUVs fall out of favor, as smaller more fuel economic cars come back with a vengeance. But no matter what the current trends dictate, it seems that there’s always room for a stylish sports car. So yes, once-popular cars do get retired, but sometimes come back.
Inspired by the introduction of the new (no longer known as the "New Beetle") Beetle, we consulted Marty Padgett, Editorial Director for TheCarConnection.com, for a list of comeback cars. See some of the biggest revivals below.
Whether it’s a pony car or a muscle car, the Camaro has always been one cool ride. Well—almost always. “GM didn't even sell a Camaro from 2003 to 2009, but it stuck with plans to bring back the storied nameplate even through its difficult bankruptcy,” says Padgett.
The new resurrected Camaro comes in coupe, convertible, and hot SS versions. And as Padgett points out, this comeback kid is outselling the Ford Mustang this year.
Current MSRP: $23,000 - $32,000
The feisty Italian import Fiat 500 is returning to America with a 2012 model after a 27-year absence. “Not many drivers have fond memories of the Fiat brand, which evacuated America in the late 1970s, leaving behind bad memories of X1/9 sportscars that burned, and 124 roadsters that failed to light any fire,” observes Padgett
“While it's in charge at Chrysler these days, [the brand is] also bringing back its sprightly 500 minicar to the mix, with great fuel economy at just the right time in our automotive history.”
Current MSRP: $16,000
The Explorer spent most of the past decade ducking scandal, after its Firestone tire recall debacle nearly killed the name in 2001. Padgett says the Explorer “limped along through a rather successful redesign in 2002, just in time for SUVs to fall out of favor.”
But now it's enjoying another revival in the Ford lineup, featuring some car components under its SUV-ish body. “It's never been better,” Padgett says, citing improved fuel economy, a new turbo four-cylinder for better gas mileage. The panel at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show agreed: they named it Truck of the Year.