Larry Printz: Rest in peace: These cars wonít be returning for 2019

McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

Oct. 29, 2018

Soon it will be Halloween, the time when automakers turn the page from one model year to another. Itís also when automobiles once touted as the latest and greatest die, passing into the history books either fondly remembered or ridiculed and reviled. And so, itís time to mourn the vehicles whose time has come and gone, passing into the great beyond for the 2019 model year.

Were they tricks or treats? Letís find out.

ó Alfa Romeo 4C Coupe: If youíre going to have fun in an affordable Italian sports car, one that has a Formula 1-inspired carbon fiber monocoque chassis, youíd want it to be a droptop, right? Thatís why Alfa Romeoís seductive 4C Spider convertible remains in production, while the 4C Coupe has been axed.

ó Cadillac ATS Sedan: Cadillacís compact sedan joins the Catera and Cimarron as GM consolidates its sedan line-up. Given consumersí preference for compact crossovers like Cadillacís excellent new XT4, itís little wonder this cramped car is dying. The ATS Coupe survives, but only for another year.

ó Chevrolet City Express: This badge-engineered version of Nissanís NV200 was never popular, despite offering two years of free maintenance. The NV200ís sales were more than double Chevyís; Fordís Transit Connect outsold it by more than 4-to-1. Even the Fiat-based Ram ProMaster City outpaced it.

ó Ford C-Max: Neither good looking nor popular, Fordís hybrid and plug-in hybrid never reached Toyota Prius levels of acceptance, and no wonder. Its fuel economy never matched the Priusís either. And while the C-Max is fun to drive, Ford has failed to update it, a problem that plagues most of its line-up.

ó Ford Focus: Despite its age, the Focus is still agile and fun to drive, something most of its competitors never mastered. While the Focusís older platform is smaller than newer rivals, it still offers decent practicality and fuel economy. And itís offered as an EV or in high-performance RS and ST trim.

ó Volkswagen Tiguan Limited: When Volkswagen introduced a larger, better equipped, they continued selling the older, smaller Tiguan as the Tiguan Limited. But the old modelís price wasnít cheap enough when comparably equipped to make it competitive. And who wants the old Tiguan anyway?

Not long for this world: The Ford Taurus will be built through March; the Ford Fiesta through May. The Volkswagen Beetle will survive through July, offered as ďThe Final Edition,Ē Opel plans to stop building the Buick Cascada, although GM has not confirmed the report, or when it could happen.