With all the excitement surrounding the new C8 Corvette and the reintroduction of the Blazer SUV, Chevy seems to have let the rest of their lineup fall by the wayside. But plenty of current models remain in desperate need of upgrades if Chevy hopes for them to stay relevant in the evolving automotive market.
On the other hand, the return of the Blazer is a reminder that Chevrolet has forgotten some of its most successful models. The time could be right to revisit some classics, especially given the escalating power wars going on between the Detroit Big Three of late.
For now, Chevy might be content to rest on their laurels and talk up a mid-engine Corvette selling for under $60,000 or a Blazer that's not a full-on crossover, but keep scrolling to learn more about the Camaro and 17 other models Chevy can't afford to forget about.
The Chevy Camaro remains one of America's most legendary cars, having been a stalwart in the muscle car industry for decades in the latter half of the 20th century. Then, in 2010, the Camaro helped bring muscle cars back into the public eye, leading the charge for the latest generations of Mustangs, Chargers, and Challengers. But with Shelby models, Hellcat, Demons, Redeyes, and more out there, the Camaro is in need of a reboot.
GM has tried repeatedly to use rebadging as a tool for increasing profits, especially with their Australian subsidiary, Holden. The Chevy SS was a Holden that got shipped to the States with a bowtie on the front, as well as a V8 engine paired to a six-speed manual transmission and four doors. But despite the unicorn status of the SS, Chevy let the model fall by the wayside.
16 Cruze Hatchback
Sure, the new Corvette is going to get all the press in the world for a few months, but Chevy needs to keep their eye on the ball in this era of quick news cycles. One way they could easily up their game would be to drop a more powerful drivetrain into the Cruze—preferably with all-wheel drive—to put it in the Hot Hatch category that Ford recently abandoned.
In the early-2000s, plenty of American automakers brought back defunct models and attempted to use retro styling as a lure to attract buyers. Chevy was no exception, with the SSR and HHR hitting the market. But one model Chevrolet execs seem to have completely forgotten about is the Chevelle, one of the most raw muscle cars of the muscle car era. Dodge has both the Charger and Challenger, so why not bring back the Chevelle?
The Chevrolet Malibu may still exist as a sedan, but Chevy has clearly forgotten all about the car's roots as a muscle car. Where Dodge brought the Charger back as a beefy sedan alongside the Challenger coupe, Chevy has let the Malibu become more of a large commuter car with little to offer compared to its predecessors.
13 Bel Air
Along with the Corvette, Camaro, and Chevelle, the Bel Air may be one of Chevrolet's most famous car. And yet, the company has let the Bel Air remain out of production since 1981. A Bel Air concept was unveiled in 2002 but still, GM hasn't gotten their act together enough to actually create a solid new option for today's marketplace.
GM led the world's automotive industry with the EV1 released in the 1990s. Even though that project ended up being scrapped, for a few years now, Chevy has led the way in terms of Detroit's electric and hybrid vehicle production with the Volt and the Bolt. But now the Volt has been discontinued after only a nine-year production run, leaving Chevy seriously in the lurch.
With the Volt plug-in hybrid leaving the market, perhaps GM has decided to focus entirely on all-electric cars like the Bolt. And yet, given the little electric hatchback's design, it seems like Chevy has forgotten all about how much styling influences vehicle purchasing. They need to revamp the Bolt so that larger families can make an EV their primary vehicle.
The real truck that Chevy forgot all about—somehow—is the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor. For years, the Raptor had a market slot all to itself. Chevy has realized their mistake and now offers the Colorado in ZR2 Bison trim, and still—somehow—the Raptor is way better in just about every single way.
Chevrolet has been able to bank on sales of their Silverado pickup trucks for decades now. However, with RAM coming to the market with improved styling paired with Cummins and Aisin powertrain options, not to mention Ford's pickups getting more and more rugged, Chevrolet needs to remember that the Silverado requires significant periodic updates, as well.
The Suburban, alongside its upscale sibling, the Escalade, remains America's large SUV of choice. Ford tried to get into the game by upping the ante with the Excursion, but that experiment failed in a big way. But just because the Suburban is essentially in a class of its own doesn't mean that Chevrolet should forget it needs work and stop improving the model.
The new Chevy Blazer is a gimmicky attempt to resurrect a nameplate that worked well and has a bit of nostalgia built in. But most of the new model's fans probably don't remember that Chevrolet had the Trailblazer going for most of the 21st century—and that a smaller crossover version is being built alongside the new Blazer.
Tiny commuter cars have their place in the market, even if they are typically bland, underpowered, and uninspired. But Chevy needs to remember the Sonic is an effort to reach an economy of scale—plenty of people are going to be willing to buy the car if it was just a little bit nicer, which would translate to lower profit margins but higher volume.
The Spark is another tiny car from Chevy that could do well with a bit of help. No one expects the Spark to blow them away with either luxury or performance, but a bit of an interior upgrade would go a long way towards helping Chevy claim a portion of the economy car segment from other brands that have been able to combine design and engineering slightly better.
The Chevy Tahoe is essentially an ever-so-slightly-smaller Suburban, but that doesn't translate to the kind of neglect the model has suffered over the years. Rather than making the Tahoe look so similar to its big brother, a better bet for Chevy would be to help it differentiate itself within an SUV market that is flooded with options.
Chevrolet has forgotten all about their Astro van, which enjoyed a production run from 1985 to 2005. A class above the ubiquitous minivans of the era, the Astro used many light truck components, which combined to allow for all-wheel drive and even a bit of towing capacity. Plenty of people might think the Astro should remain shelved, but with the success of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and Ford's Transit, perhaps the Astro deserves resurrection.
Like the ill-fated SSR, the Chevrolet Avalanche is another truck that the brand would do best to continue ignoring. As one of the lame attempts to combine pickup truck utility with SUV comfort, the Avalanche can go down as an ugly vehicle that was bad at both truck stuff and hauling the family around town.
Unlike most of the cars on this list, the Chevrolet SSR is a vehicle that Chevy definitely should have forgotten. Why anyone at GM thought a hard-top convertible pickup truck with a bed cover might be a good idea remains a mystery. This isn't even a case of remembering mistakes and learning from them, Chevy should erase this experiment from the record entirely.
Sources: Wikipedia, Jalopnik, and Car and Driver.