This week, Automotive News released a series of articles describing its vision for the five-year product pipeline of Japan’s Big Three automakers (Honda, Toyota, and Nissan). It’s a compilation of rumors and facts that attempts to paint a picture of what we can expect from imported vehicles through the end of the decade. There’s a lot of potential in these projected timelines, but while not every bit is exciting, some things on that list are very unexciting. Whether the cars won’t resonate with their intended markets, or whether the car is just a half-baked idea that won’t go anywhere, we’ve worked through these pipelines to determine six cars that you shouldn’t be looking forward to
6. 2015 Honda HR-V – Yes, the Honda HR-V is also on our list of Japanese cars to look forward to. It’s on the other list because it fills a slot that Honda has yet to fill in the market, and it also looks to be smart on both space and gas, which will make it a hot seller. However, we have it on this list because, well, do we really need nine thousand different kinds of crossover? We’ve opined about crossovers plenty in the past, and to be honest, it won’t offer too much more utility than the 2015 Fit, so why not just stick with that and maybe downsize the CR-V a bit?
5. 2016 Toyota FCV – Toyota’s first hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle occupies a spot on this list because you probably won’t be able to buy it. Due to a complete lack of hydrogen-vehicle-related infrastructure in nearly every state, the FCV will only be sold in California. It’s also going to be insanely expensive – the Japanese version costs nearly $70,000. We’re hoping that, in order to remain viable against Hyundai’s Tucson Fuel Cell crossover, Toyota will institute a much cheaper lease-style plan.
4. 2017+ Honda Civic Si – While the European-market Civic will be receiving a turbocharged, 280-plus-horsepower Civic Type R (shown), we aren’t counting on this vehicle to make its way to the U.S. once Honda revamps the Civic for the 2017 model year. Instead, the automaker will likely bring over another Si model, with a powerplant that’s significantly underpowered compared to its competition (GTI, Focus ST, et. al). This could turn out completely differently, especially once the Civic starts using Honda’s turbocharged Earth Dreams motor, but given how Honda treats its sportier side, we’re not optimistic.
3. 2016 Toyota Avalon – The Toyota Avalon will receive a refresh for the 2016 model year, but the only question we can ask is, “Why?” The Avalon is little more than a sedan for the oldest of old people – and also Toyota executives – and its position in the market makes little sense. It’s fancier than a Camry, but it’s only a few thousand dollars cheaper than the Lexus ES, a Camry-based luxury car that does everything the Avalon does, except better.
2. 2016 Honda Crosstour – AN nailed its description of the Crosstour: “Awkward styling has hindered customer acceptance of this hatchback.” According to the publication, Honda’s looking to take a less cartoonish approach to the Crosstour’s styling for 2016, but no amount of lipstick can make this pig attractive. It’s not as versatile as a crossover, and its shape is nowhere near as attractive as a proper station wagon. It rides some weird middle line between the two, and between the Accord and the Odyssey, there’s little reason for this oddball to persist in existence.
1. 201? Nissan IDx – You probably won’t need to look forward to Nissan’s Datsun-throwback IDx sport coupe, because it probably won’t ever exist. Despite everybody getting excited for a small, rear-driven two-door, Nissan is having a hard time justifying production. Nissan has told Ward’s Auto that it’s not financially viable for the company to build a single, low-volume car off a completely new, dedicated platform. There would need to be other cars that can be built on the same body – imagine if Subaru tried to make a crossover variant of the BRZ. Toyota and Subaru were lucky in that they were able to split development costs of the FR-S/BRZ platform; without a partner in crime, it looks like Nissan’s IDx might become little more than vaporware.