- 2006 Dodge Charger Police Package as seen on AMC's The Walking Dead / Photo Sourced from AMC

Dead But Alive: 10 Models That Haven't Had A New Generation In 10 Years

These 10 models are in desperate need of an upgrade, whether it be styling, chassis, or simply getting put out to pasture.

2y ago
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Every year there are plenty of models that get significant upgrades and redesigns to keep them competitive in their segments, and then there are some models that become the automotive equivalent of a zombie, dead in every respect, except they're still being churned out by their respective factories. Here are ten examples of vehicles whose automakers need to decide whether they are should be dead or alive.

1. Nissan 370Z

2020 Nissan 370Z Coupe / Photo Sourced from Car and Driver

2020 Nissan 370Z Coupe / Photo Sourced from Car and Driver

The Nissan 370Z is the perfect example of a car that doesn't know that it is dead. The 370Z debuted in 2009 to replace the 350Z which could've realistically stayed in the market for a little longer without too much complaint. Nevertheless, the 370Z outperformed its predecessor and offered a sporty driving experience thanks to its 3.7-liter high-revving V6. Power was a respectable 332 horsepower and 270 lb-ft in base form, and 350 horsepower and 276 lb-ft in Nismo form.

At the time, the American V8s were producing 300-375 horsepower, so the 370Z made a niche for itself in the sports car market. Now some ten years on, the 370Z looks horribly outdated, as the V6s in the Challenger and Camaro make similar figures, and even Ford's Ecoboost 2.3-liter four-cylinder puts out comparable numbers at a much cheaper price. It's time for a major overhaul.

2. Toyota Sequoia

2019 Toyota Sequoia TRD / Photo Sourced from Carfax

2019 Toyota Sequoia TRD / Photo Sourced from Carfax

The Toyota Sequoia is almost as old as the trees it is named after. It boggles the mind how this full-size SUV is only in its second generation even though it has been around for nearly two decades. In its current form, the Sequoia has seen several facelifts and minor upgrades to the 5.7-liter, 3UR-FE V8. Seeing as how the TRD edition Sequoia was unveiled within the past year, something tells me that a replacement, should Toyota even decide to build one, is a few years out.

3. Nissan Frontier / Navara

2017 Nissan Frontier / Photo Sourced from Car and Driver

2017 Nissan Frontier / Photo Sourced from Car and Driver

The Nissan Frontier is easily the oldest new vehicle on the market, with this generation being released for the 2005 model year. Still, the Frontier occupies an interesting space in the mid-size truck market, because of its simplicity. There's not a lot of technology in the Frontier, which makes it a great choice for buyers that are replacing their bare bones Rangers and Colorados. My cousin just bought one not too long ago, and scored a decent deal on it too. There is a new Frontier on the way, as Europe gets to enjoy the new Navara before it comes over here to do battle with the new Ranger, Colorado, and Tacoma.

4. Toyota Tundra

2019 Toyota Tundra / Photo Sourced from Toyota

2019 Toyota Tundra / Photo Sourced from Toyota

Much like its platform-mate the Sequoia, the Tundra hasn't received a major overhaul since its second-generation was launched back in 2007. A facelifted Tundra was launched in 2014, but the same engines and chassis carried over, without any significant upgrades to the overall vehicle. The same 5.7-liter, 381 horsepower V8 was carried over as the top engine choice, though the 4.0-liter V6 did receive an additional 40 horsepower. That didn't matter too much though, because the 4.0-liter was discontinued for 2015. With the exception of the TRD model, the Tundra has gone on relatively unchanged, and I think a major overhaul could see it continue to be a decent competitor in the class.

5. Toyota Land Cruiser

2020 Toyota Land Cruiser / Photo Sourced from The Torque Report

2020 Toyota Land Cruiser / Photo Sourced from The Torque Report

The Toyota Land Cruiser is one of the longest running nameplates in the world. This generation is also the fourth longest running Land Cruiser. The J200 generation has been in production since 2007, and has remained relatively unchanged since then. Surviving two facelifts and a host of upgrades back in 2013, the Land Cruiser continues to climb every mountain and ford every stream, all while coddling its occupants. Power for this brute in a suit comes courtesy of the same V8 found in the Tundra and Sequoia. As with the Tundra and Sequoia, it's time the Land Cruiser got a thorough overhaul.

6. Nissan GT-R

2017 Nissan GT-R / Photo Sourced from iLift Systems

2017 Nissan GT-R / Photo Sourced from iLift Systems

Nissan's incredible GT-R still turns heads, even after twelve years in its current body style. Although heavily revised for the 2017 model year, the GT-R still rides on the same chassis and has the same 3.8-liter, twin-turbo V6 that it debuted wit back in 2007. Power from the V6 has improved though, from 479 horsepower in the 2007 GT-R to 565 horsepower in the current GT-R. The Nismo version of the R35 GT-R produces 591 horsepower and 481 lb-ft of torque, and is capable of zero to sixty sprint in 2.5 seconds.

Though the GT-R50 is a thorough update to the R35, it is not the rumored R36 that we are still waiting for, until then Godzilla remains on the list.

7. Toyota Sienna

2018 Toyota Sienna SE / Photo Sourced from Top Speed

2018 Toyota Sienna SE / Photo Sourced from Top Speed

The Toyota Sienna makes this list because although this generation started as a 2011 model, the current generation was unveiled back in 2009. The Sienna looks okay after soldiering on through eight model years, and it has been significantly upgraded to the point where I thought it wouldn't have made this list at all, and yet here it is. The Sienna has also maintained a strong following, selling nearly 100,000 units per year since its launch back in 2011.

The "Swagger Wagon" appearance is reminiscent of the drivers of the Sienna, who are trying with all their might not to show their age, but at the end of the day, all that makeup wears off and what we are left with, is an aging minivan that needs to be upgraded if it wants to reclaim the throne from the Pacifica and Odyssey. Spy shots and rumors are pointing to a 2021 unveiling of the next generation.

8. Lincoln MKT

2019 Lincoln MKT / Photo Sourced from Automotive News

2019 Lincoln MKT / Photo Sourced from Automotive News

The Lincoln MKT is basically a rounded off version of the Ford Flex, which makes sense since they both use the same chassis and engines. The only thing that makes me love the MKT is the optional Ecoboost 3.5-liter V6, that makes a downright silly 365 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque, which helps haul this aging crossover from zero to sixty in about six seconds. Unveiled for 2010, and currently slated to be in production for the near future with no significant upgrades, the MKT is about as lifeless as the occupants of its hearse variants.

9. Dodge Journey

2019 Dodge Journey / Photo Sourced from Car and Driver

2019 Dodge Journey / Photo Sourced from Car and Driver

The Dodge Journey is one of the vehicles that spawned the idea of this list because unlike most of the entries on this list, I don't like the Journey. Now some twelve years since its launch, the Journey is somehow still in production and still in its first generation. Although the Journey has had significant upgrades such as the introduction of FCA's Pentastar V6 in 2011 and the latest UConnect system, the Journey as a whole hasn't been given a thorough update since its launch back in 2008. That's a shame too, because FCA still moves about 90,000 of these a year, and even if they go straight into rental fleets, a second generation would be nice to see when I pass them by on the road.

10. FCA's LX Platform

2016 Dodge Charger Hellcat and Challenger Hellcat in Go Mongo / Photo Sourced from Autoblog

2016 Dodge Charger Hellcat and Challenger Hellcat in Go Mongo / Photo Sourced from Autoblog

2018 Chrysler 300S / Photo Sourced from Motavera

2018 Chrysler 300S / Photo Sourced from Motavera

While we're on the subject of FCA, let's address these three. The LX-Body trio are probably the second-lowest hanging fruit on this list, the lowest being the Frontier. That being said, I have the most respect for these three cars. Conceptualized during the DaimlerChrysler era of the early 2000's the Chrysler 300 was launched in 2005, with the Charger following in 2006, and the Challenger in 2008. Since then, the three models have gone through life without much fuss. In 2011 they all got updates and again in 2016, and although they've received a host of engine, infotainment, and styling upgrades, they still ride on the same chassis that they launched with.

Mopar aficionados will be quick to counter this point by stating that there were chassis upgrades over time, and that is true, but a complete redesign based on new architecture has not been done, nor does FCA plan on updating these three vehicles significantly until 2021.

While they are old, FCA hasn't abandoned the LX cars at all, with a host of special editions and of course the plethora of performance variants of the Charger and Challenger, there's still plenty of life left in these three vehicles. Not to mention, FCA managed to move nearly 200,000 units, across the three models, last year.

The Takeaway

These models can continue to stay on the market for as long as they want, but without a significant overhaul to their chassis and styling, they're still hopelessly outdated compared to their respective competitors.

I personally would love to see completely redesigned versions of all of the vehicles on this list, because they're relatively solid vehicles.

Did I forget any models? Comment Below!

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Comments (106)

  • This is fine and all but how did you miss the Maserati GranTurismo? Or the Alfa Romeo Giulietta? Those are basically walking fossils.

      2 years ago
    • They don't make the Giulietta here, so I completely forgot about it, and I will concede that I totally forgot about the Maserati as well.

        2 years ago
    • FCA is a big fan of waiting until their products are so outdated and only then replacing them, considering they also are responsible for the Journey and Chrysler 300C

        2 years ago
  • Navara has a new generation here in Europe. But WHAT ABOUT FIAT 500? 😄

      2 years ago
    • As someone who loves the Fiat 500 (and actually owns one), I have to say that I'm not hopeful that we'll ever see the 2016+ redesign here in the US. In fact, over the past few months I've been given a lot of reason to suspect they'll end up...

      Read more
        2 years ago
  • I hear they're working on a new Charger/Challenger based on the Giulia's platform.

      2 years ago
  • 370z is basically just a facelifted 350z anyway.

      2 years ago
  • Mercedes G-class from 1979 onwards.

      2 years ago
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