Halloween, a number of automobiles once touted as the latest and
greatest pass 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
2018 model year.
tricks or treats? Youíre about to find out, with wishes for a
Sold in China as the Excelle GT and in Europe as the Astra, the
Verano compact sedan isnít particularly fuel-efficient, nor is it
particularly fast. Although offered with turbocharged engines and
manual transmissions, it was never the sports sedan the brand so
eagerly wanted it to be. Instead, it was a compact, comfy cruiser,
sold in an age in which such values arenít always highly valued.
What a pity that few drivers ever got the chance to savor the
scintillating Chevrolet SS. Built by GMís Holden division, this
aggressive Australian sedan unleashes 415 horsepower from its
naturally aspirated 6.2-liter V-8 and channels it through a
six-speed manual transmission to the rear wheels. Few automakers
build cars like this and if they do, they come from the Fatherland
and cost twice as much.
While the Chrysler 200ís 2015 redesign was an enormous improvement
from the models that previously wore the name, it still earned the
wrath of Consumer Reports, which rated it one of the seven cars
owners regret purchasing. "It would be generous to say Chryslerís
200 is mediocre," the editors wrote in April 2017. That alone
is enough to seal its fate with potential buyers.
For 25 years, the Dodge Viper was a 10-cylinder fire-breathing
hellion, eschewing niceties to prove its machismo to those with Y
chromosomes. While born with no outside door handles, no side
windows, and no air bags, later models would make concessions to
civilization. Unrepentant to the end, its home was the track, where
its fierce abilities proved its name was no marketing exercise.
Initially sold as Hyundaiís flagship in 2006, its position as
Hyundaiís finest ride was pre-empted in 2008 by the
rear-wheel-drive Hyundai Genesis. When the Azera was redesigned for
2012, it was repositioned as a Toyota Avalon competitor in the large
car category. But its lackluster demeanor won few friends. With
demand declining for large sedans, the Azera bids the U.S.
Like all great sporting machines, the QX70ís styling ensures that
itís more sport than utility. For some drivers ó especially
those whose spouses pine for an SUV ó it makes the sacrifice of
driving one instead of a sports sedan easier to take. Always a fun
drive, the QX70ís look hasnít changed in a decade. And with
newer, sportier competitors on the market, the QX70 lingered a few
years too long.
For the past 11 years, the Patriot was the cheapest Jeep you could
buy. Performance, both on-road and off, was modest at best, as was
refinement. Ultimately, the Patriot was replaced the redesigned 2018
Compass, which inherited the Patriotís saving grace: it looks like
a Jeep, in this case, much like the Grand Cherokeeís little
Would you buy a five-door Lexus hatchback that uses the hybrid
driveline from the Toyota Prius? Before you answer, consider that
the Prius is larger and returns better fuel economy. OK, the Lexus
does boast very luxurious cabin trim, and it doesnít look as dorky.
But now that the Prius has been redesigned, buying the older Prius
wrapped in Lexus trimmings hardly seems like smart product planning.
B-Class: Designed as Mercedes-Benzís subcompact in the rest of the
world, the B-Class entered the states as an electric vehicle, a task
for which it was never designed. This explains its unimpressive
87-mile range. The B-Classís performance and styling were never
impressive enough to justify its price, let alone the three-pointed
star on its grille.
Lancer: Outdated and outclassed by virtually every compact sedan on
the market, the Lancer survived based on the goodwill of its
high-performance Evo model and the sales rub-off it engendered.
Those who couldnít afford an Evo could by a Lancer and tart it up.
The Evoís prowess only hid the flaws that were always present, and
were revealed once the Evo were no longer there to hide them.
i-MiEV: While this egg-shaped car has always looked delightfully
odd, its memorable styling was saddled with a name thatís
sales-proof. (In case youíre wondering, it stands for Mitsubishi
Innovative Electric Vehicle.) But itís the i-MiEVís anemic
70-mile range thatís truly sales-proof. Want to experience range
anxiety? This is your ride.
You might suppose that Nissanís minivan is dying due to its
challenging exterior aesthetics or its unremarkable handling. Maybe.
But these traits arenít high priorities for minivan buyers. In
fact, the Quest boasts an impressively posh interior and delivers a
quiet, comfortable ride. And its seats fold flat to create a
cavernous cabin for cargo. No, its Achilles heel was that it held
seven, not eight, passengers.
Touareg: With impeccable build quality, remarkable performance and a
stiff price tag, itís hard to escape the impression the Touareg is
way too premium to be a Volkswagen. In fact, it always felt like an
Audi. And its name invoked questions, not admiration for its
off-road prowess. Ultimately, the arrival of two mainstream SUVs,
the three-row Atlas and redesigned Tiguan, doomed the Touareg.