The lifespan of a car model can be fickle. Market forces, manufacturing requirements, or just the inevitable march of technology’s change can lead to a vehicle becoming obsolete. Business decisions and the sometimes brutal forces of the automotive market can mean the end for a model, no matter how beloved that car might be. Here are the vehicles shuffling off their mortal coil for 2018. A few might become classic collectibles in a few decades. Most will likely just be forgotten.
BMW 5-Series GT
This was a half-wagon, half-hatchback, half-assed attempt at a shooting brake. In the end, it didn’t sell well at all in the United States. Largely thanks to its Honda Crosstour-like appearance and marginal marketability. BMW is replacing the 5-Series GT with a 6-Series GT that improves on some of the looks and uses the new 5-Series architecture introduced for 2017. Not coincidentally, the 6-Series Coupe is also on the outs for 2018.
Chevrolet Spark EV
The Spark was a great idea, on paper, and paved the way for the Chevrolet Bolt EV. The Spark never really managed to ignite volume sales, however, staying in relatively low numbers with not much interest outside of a small, urban set of buyers and GM employees. The Bolt has a far better life ahead of it and can thank the Spark for some of that.
The SS was an underappreciated Australian import from Chevy’s Holden marque. Powered by a ridiculously muscular 415 horsepower V8, the SS should have been heavy competition for the high-selling Dodge Charger sedan. Instead, it flopped like every Holden fish sent to the States, despite the provenance of the SS title. Interestingly, V8 muscle is losing popularity in Australia as well and the Holden SS will also cease production there.
This marks the end of an era. The Viper was perhaps the most-loved American muscle car of this generation, being one of the only American-made production vehicles with “supercar” regularly associated with it. With singularly American muscular looks and an extremely oversized engine, the Viper received two-and-a-half decades of love. Poor design elements and a lack of interest from Fiat-Chrysler eventually doomed the Dodge Viper.
Ford C-Max Energi
The plug-in hybrid version of the popular little C-Max will go the way of the Dodo for 2018 thanks to flagging sales and a complete lack of interest from both Ford dealerships and Ford engineers. The hybrid model will remain a steady seller, though, and the C-Max is likely due for a remodel soon as well.
Honda Accord Coupe
Honda is dropping the two-door version of the Accord. Although it’s been a relatively steady part of the Honda lineup since its introduction back in the 1970s, the Accord Coupe has seen a complete lack of interest from American buyers for the past several years. It follows the other popular Japanese models who dropped their two-door variants long ago.
Hyundai Accent Hatchback
The Accent has been completely redesigned for 2018 and part of that redesign is the dropping of the five-door hatchback variant. This was a surprise to many of us as hatchbacks often make up nearly half of all sales in this segment. Hyundai seems to have made this decision in order to push sales towards newer models with upward-swinging rear doors like the Elantra GT, Ioniq, and Kona.
The sedan nobody knew existed and even fewer people bought is now sinking into the abyss. There wasn’t much to tout about the Azera and there was even less to draw interest from buyers who had other options like the Sonata or the Camry, the Azera was a half-hearted attempt by Hyundai to enter the premium market.
This premium brand created the FX series a few years ago as a sporty model in the luxury coupe-styled crossover segments. The FX became the QX70 and buyers completely lost interest amongst a slew of competing, similarly-themed offerings from every nameplate on the market.
The Patriot became the kicking post of the Jeep brand, where automotive journalists would throw their sniggers and make side-glances with snorts. The Patriot is cheap in every way, though it did gain a very loyal following of Jeep fans who saw it as the entry-level to the “get anywhere” brand. The Patriot is largely being replaced by the newly-redesigned (and far more marketable) Compass and the fun little Renegade.
Kia Forte Koup
Like the Honda Accord Coupe, the Kia Forte Koup has seen little interest from American buyers who are just not into mainstream coupe designs with little beyond their dropping of two doors to their credit. Unremarkable except for the use of a K in its name, the Forte Koup is leaving for good.
This model in the Lexus lineup was a sort of enigma. It didn’t seem to have a good reason for existing, especially given the much better NX series and the smarter hybrids being offered throughout the Lexus lineup. The CT was basically a rebodied Prius with a few luxury additions inside. It never gained much acceptance, though, and was heavily panned by journalists and reviewers.
Mercedes-Benz B-Class EV
The B-Class was a Euro-styled B-segment vehicle sent to the U.S. as an electric vehicle for the Mercedes brand. Currently called the B250e, the electric is being discontinued in favor of Mercedes-Benz’ new EQ brand for electrified vehicles.
The fun little Juke is getting the axe for reasons we cannot quite fathom from a market viewpoint. As one of the most stylistic and easily-recognized vehicles in the subcompact crossover segment, the Juke was a favorite. Its disappearance comes with a less stylistically polarizing replacement in the Nissan Kicks and a slightly larger, but still similar Nissan Rogue Sport.
A steady-selling, but virtually ignored minivan, the Quest failed to appeal to buyers on any kind of large scale. Nissan’s marketing team lost interest in the Quest a few years ago and now it’s manufacturing division has as well.
Range Rover Evoque 2-Door
The Evoque you didn’t know existed has been ousted for 2018. The 2-door model will continue in Europe, but is being dropped in the United States. Yet, somehow, the oddball Range Rover Evoque convertible will stay.
Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe and Drophead Coupe
The coupe and convertible versions of the Rolls-Royce Phantom are no more, despite their ostentatious display of opulence and “I’m too rich to care” attitude. Huge wing-like suicide doors and an interior that came with everything but an expensive pinot couldn’t save the Phantom’s two-door variants.
Daimler Smart ForTwo
To no one’s surprise, the Smart ForTwo electric car is ending its stint as the most made fun of EV in existence. Even the Toyota Prius didn’t get the kind of flak that the Smart did. With poor fuel economy in the gasoline option and terrible dynamics in the electric, the criminally overpriced Smart ForTwo won’t be missed. Except perhaps by the coal rollers who needed targets for their smokestack pranks.
One of the more surprising losses on our list, the Touareg was a mainstay in the VW line and one of its more popular sellers. The Touareg did see sales dropping during Dieselgate and as better-priced competition began to eke out its market share. The Touareg is being replaced by the new Atlas.
Latest posts by Aaron Turpen (see all)
- 2019 Lincoln Nautilus Recalled for Lane Keeping Assist Issue - January 16, 2019
- Cadillac Shows Off First EV, More to Come - January 16, 2019