happens every year. As the new model year dawns, various
automobiles pass away — some fondly remembered, some
ridiculed and reviled.
so we present the vehicles whose time has come and gone,
passing into the great beyond for the 2014 model year.
ZDX, 2010-2013: Looking very much like the upscale and
equally unsuccessful Honda Crosstour, but with a higher
price tag and less interior space, automotive designers
have proven once again that most modern buyers do not
like fastback styling — at least, not when it looks
Escalade EXT, 2007-2013: While the idea of a Cadillac
pickup still seems a bit strange, many lesser pickups,
such as the Ford F-150 Limited, Chevrolet Silverado LTZ
Z71, GMC Sierra Denali and Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn,
come close to this Cadillac in luxury appointments and
offer more utility.
hybrid trucks, 2009-2013: With the introduction of a new
line of full-sized pickups and SUVs, GM’s truck-based
hybrids all die a merciful death. Available on Cadillac,
GMC and Chevrolet pickups and SUVs, their mileage was
somewhat better than the rest of the line’s, but their
high cost easily obliterated any fuel savings.
Altima Coupe, 2008-2013: It’s hard to imagine that
midsize coupes were once among the biggest sellers in
the United States. With the passing of the Nissan Altima
Coupe, the sole survivor in this class is the Honda
Accord. Sadly, the Altima two-door still has the sporty
demeanor and moderate cost to attract buyers.
Matrix, 2003-2013: This five-door version of the Toyota
Corolla always trailed its four-door sibling in
popularity. Given the newfound variety of hatchbacks
among its competitors, such as the Hyundai Elantra GT
and Ford Focus, it’s odd to see the Matrix disappear
from the Corolla line.
Routan, 2009-2013: Given that Volkswagen introduced the
Type 2, aka the Microbus, in 1950, you have to wonder
why they couldn’t engineer and design their own van.
This thinly disguised Chrysler minivan never caught the
fancy of VW buyers, who never quite believed that the
Routan was a real VW.
C30, 2008-2013: Volvo’s attempt at an entry-level
vehicle mimicked the 1961-72 P1800 for its look, but
ignored two essential things needed for success. One:
The C30 was available with three doors, but not five.
Second: Its price was hardly entry-level. In the end,
Volvo is losing a car filled with character in a lineup
that is not known for it.
C70, 1998-2013: Convertibles appeal to those who are a
bit more carefree and extroverted than the rest of us.
It doesn’t matter if they show up to a business
meeting with tousled hair and reeking of fresh air and
sunshine. Maybe that’s why the C70 was never the
perfect fit for safety-conscious Volvo buyers.