What Car Are You Surprised Hasn’t Died Yet?

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Photo: Toyota

The automotive industry is experiencing a sea change, and the causes are many. You’ve got electrification making smaller vehicles no longer viable — especially in Europe — while long-dormant brands attempt to reinvent themselves with a sustainable, youthful glow. Oh, and then there’s the ever-rising popularity of crossovers and SUVs killing off sedans, wagons and hatchbacks left and right.

The last one probably explains why we’re about to lose the Toyota Avalon. With that in mind, what vehicle are you surprised is still in production despite lagging relevance, lineup redundancy or the absence of any obvious business case?

There are many cars that come to mind, but ultimately I have to single out one as an example. I have no idea why Nissan still makes the Maxima. It caps a lineup of sedans that’s probably too large by half, starts at $37,000, and I can’t remember the last time I saw one on the road. Then again even if I did, it probably wouldn’t keep my attention long enough to confirm whether or not it’s an Altima instead.

Rumor has it the Maxima isn’t going to stick around much longer, indicating there’s at least one person in Nissan asking the same question I am today. Or the same question we asked two years ago. Full disclosure: I typed “Nissan Maxima Jalopnik” into Google to get myself up to speed on our recent Maxima coverage, and that article was the first result.

And this isn’t meant to disparage any current Maxima drivers, I promise. The purpose of this Question Of The Day isn’t to call out cars we dislike and therefore deserve to ascend to the big crusher in the sky. It’s merely to remark “they still make that thing?” with the same mild amusement that washes over you when you see a familiar character actor in an episode of Law & Order: SVU.

Anyway, what car are you surprised hasn’t died yet? And do you think it will soon?