Sometimes an automaker brings a canceled car back to much success. The Chevrolet Camaro, for example, was killed off in 2002, but after an eight year break, Chevrolet brought it back. Likewise, Dodge brought back both the Challenger and the Charger after an extended hiatus.
Not every attempt to bring a car back from the cancelation graveyard is a roaring success. Some cars just shouldn't have been brought back at all. Here are seven of them that should never have made a comeback, according to you.
Up until a few months ago, people remembered the Blazer as a badass two-door body-on-frame SUV that competed with the Bronco. Now, the name is being used on Chevy's latest Camaro-faced crossover.
Given the popularity and history behind the Blazer name, it's a smart marketing move. But for old-school enthusiasts, it feels like a sort of betrayal.
Instead of letting the 6-Series badge gracefully fade away into history (to be replaced by the 8-Series lineup), BMW did something strange: It took the weird-looking 5-Series GT and rebadged it as the 6-Series GT.
We're not sure why, but honestly, it would've been nice to remember the modern 6-Series solely as a nice-looking big comfy coupe (occasionally with four doors). Oh well.
From the 1950s all the way until the mid 1990s, the Impala was a floaty rear-wheel drive beast. The later SS models were incredibly cool, with clean examples still demanding a premium on the used car market.
The name was brought back in the year 2000 to be used on Chevy's front-wheel drive mid-size sedan, and it's never really been the same since.
The original Eclipse was an incredibly fun car that tuners loved. The name had a bunch of positive history behind it, which is probably why Mitsubishi's marketing division decided to call its latest crossover the Eclipse "Cross."
What was once a sweet, light, fun-to-drive, front-wheel drive coupe has turned into just another generic small SUV. And that's too bad.
The original Chevy Nova (formally called the Chevy II until 1969) shares a long history with many Americans of the era, whether that be growing up in the back seat or owning one themselves. Built to replace the rear-engine Corvair, it used a more conventional front-engine, rear-wheel drive layout. The Nova was the embodiment of American motoring in the '60s and '70s.
Chevy decided to bring back the Nova name for 1985, this time in the form of a rebadged Toyota hatch. Unlike the Novas of old, this car was much smaller and economy-minded, with a transversely mounted four-cylinder engine and front-wheel drive only. A far cry from the original cars where the name originated.
Like the Nova, the original Dart was a household name in the '60s and '70s, sold as a mid-range daily-driver to families everywhere. Like most domestic cars of the era, it used a front-engine, rear-wheel drive layout, with buyers having the choice between a slant-6 or a handful of V8 engines.
Dodge decided to resurrect the Dart nameplate in 2013 for its new compact economy car, based on Fiat chassis architecture. It shares virtually nothing with the original Dart, save for the Dodge branding. Slow sales forced Dodge to discontinue the Dart for good in 2016.
For decades, the Commodore name was synonymous with Australian rear-wheel drive V8-powered muscle cars you could drive every day. They could even be optioned in a wagon bodystyle. Chevy was even nice enough to bring a rebadged version of America, the SS sedan, before the Commodore factory was shuttered.
The Commodore lived on, however, as a rebadged Buick Regal Sportback. Gone is the rear-wheel drive layout and fantastic LS-powered V8 powertrain, replaced by front-wheel drive-based AWD and an optional 3.6-liter V6.
When the first generation Ford Taurus debuted, it was a major step forward for the brand. Enthusiasts might not have been happy about the switch to front-wheel drive, but the styling was a significant improvement over the car it replaced – the LTD. Compared to the Ford LTD, the Taurus was more attractive, but it was also efficient and surprisingly competitive.
Unsurprisingly, it was also a huge success. Sadly, by the end of the Taurus' run, years of neglect meant it was no longer the stylish, well-built sedan that initially impressed buyers.
The car the Taurus name made its return on, though, was a disappointment. The Taurus also jumped up a class since the Fusion was already doing well in the mid-size segment. Ford improved the Taurus with a redesign, but it never managed to reclaim the sales success that Ford saw with the first three generations. Now, like the rest of Ford cars in North America, it's getting canned for good.
When the Chevrolet Malibu made its return for 1997, it had turned into a fairly forgettable, front-wheel drive sedan. It was disappointing for people with fond memories of earlier Malibus, but the car has stayed in production since then and has sold fairly well, so you can't necessarily call reviving the name a mistake.
What was a mistake, though, was Chevrolet's brief attempt at bringing back the Malibu SS in 2006. It wasn't the worst car ever made, but the 240 horsepower Malibu SS and Malibu Maxx SS were far from inspiring and weren't worthy of the SS badge. At least the Malibu Maxx was quirky enough to be interesting, though.
Following the initial success of the Mustang, Ford created a Mercury version called the Cougar. It became the performance face of Mercury. Over the years, Mercury moved the Cougar away from its pony car roots and made it more of a luxury car. By the time it was cancelled, it was a shadow of its former self and needed to be put out of its misery.
For 1998, though, Mercury took another shot at the Cougar and brought it back as a successor to the Ford Probe. Unfortunately, it was front-wheel drive and didn't deliver the level of performance that you would expect from the Mercury Cougar. Ford's new design language didn't exactly do the Cougar any favors either.
Originally an options package for the Pontiac Tempest, the GTO proved popular enough to earn its own model designation in 1966. It also ignited the muscle car wars between the other American automakers. Today, it's still remembered as perhaps the greatest muscle car ever made. Sadly, like many of the cars on this list, by the end of its original run, its development had been neglected to the point that it wasn't worth keeping around any longer.
For 2004, though, Pontiac decided it was time to bring back the GTO name. Instead of being used on a distinct model worthy of such a name, it was revived to give a name to the imported Holden Monaro. The car itself was solid, but it was expensive, and the styling was too conservative for the revival of a legendary muscle car name like "GTO.
In response to the Chevrolet Corvette, Ford introduced the Thunderbird in 1955. It wasn't intended as a direct competitor, though, and was less sporty and more luxurious. It's also credited as the first personal luxury car. A back seat was later added to increase its appeal, but overall, the Thunderbird was a success.
Instead of letting it go after 1997, Ford decided to bring back the Thunderbird as a 2002 model with retro styling. It was interesting for the first year or so and got a lot of attention, but after that, sales dropped off drastically. Even though it was a fairly comfortable and competent cruiser, the retro styling of the Thunderbird left it with limited appeal, and it was finally cancelled in 2005.
As a brand, Maybach has a long history of building large, luxurious cars for the wealthy. Before World War II, its cars were well regarded and desirable. In 1960, the brand was purchased by Daimler-Benz and mostly sat dormant. When BMW bought Rolls-Royce, though, Daimler decided to bring back the Maybach brand.
The result was the Maybach 57 and the long wheelbase version, the Maybach 62. Despite having a long options list and features that should have made it competitive with Rolls-Royce and Bentley, the new Maybach was still too closely related to the Mercedes S-Class.
Sales were slow, even by ultra-luxury sedan standards, and in 2013, Daimler gave up on keeping Maybach as a separate brand. Nowadays, Maybach is used as a trim level for the top-tier luxury Mercedes-Benz cars.
A long time ago, back when Lincoln was actually a competitive, respected luxury car manufacturer, it introduced a sub-brand called Lincoln-Zephyr that offered smaller, less expensive vehicles. For Lincoln, it was a huge success, but the sub-brand was merged into Lincoln after a few years.
For 2006, Ford decided that instead of continuing to develop the LS, it would rebadge a Fusion and call it a day. The resulting vehicle was called the Lincoln Zephyr. Unlike the LS, there was never much to differentiate the Zephyr from the Fusion or make it competitive in the near-luxury segment.
The car still lives on as the MKZ and is much improved, but for such a half-hearted attempt at a car, there wasn't much reason to revive the Zephyr name.