With the year almost over, it’s time to revisit the vehicles whose time on earth is drawing to a close. These vehicles will be phased out for the new model year. But they deserve more than a footnote for what they say about the auto industry and its buyers. But will they be remembered or vilified? We will take a look.
BMW i3: Dating back to a time when designers mistakenly thought that eco-friendly vehicles had to look like alien spaceships, this eclectic electric hatchback with a range of 153 miles is replaced by the i4 sedan and the iX SUV . Both are much more beautiful and have a range of 300 miles.
Honda Clarity: When it comes to the popularity of the Honda Clarity, Honda is finally acting with great – er – clarity. They’ve already phased out the EV model in 2020. Now plug-in hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell models are given the green light, except in California, where the fuel cell model will remain available for rental.
Hyundai Veloster: Entry-level buyers used to covet small sporty sedans like the Veloster, the funky funster with two doors on one side and one on the other. Now they’re thirsty for crossovers and with many affordable models available, all Veloster models except the high performance Veloster N are being terminated.
Mazda CX-3: Not all small crossovers are popular. Consider the little CX-3. Yes, it’s athletic and fun to drive. But its lack of space made it less useful than a Mazda 3 hatchback. Now that the larger CX-30 is available for a similar price, the CX-3 has no reason to exist. And it won’t last long.
Mazda 6: Adored by the automotive press and Mazda loyalists, the 6 has never captured the hearts of buyers for its agility and beauty, unlike some of its competitors. And Mazda left it to wither on the vine, robbing it of new technology and alternative fuel transmissions that might have increased its appeal to a shrinking pool of sedan buyers.
Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe and Convertible: You may not have noticed it, but Mercedes-Benz has far too many models, which affects profitability. So the company has cut a few of them, notably the opulent and attractive S-Class coupes and convertibles, which will be replaced in the lineup by a new SL and the AMG GT.
Nissan NV Vans: Not the envy of anyone, these clunky-styled workhorses will disappear from the U.S. market by 2022, including full-size NV vans and compact NV200s. The question is, will anyone miss them? Unless you fancy ugly vans, in which case you can always go for a Ram ProMaster.
Polestar 1: Why do those who are so beautiful have to die so young? James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, the Polestar 1. This powerful and sexy plug-in hybrid, the first product from a new brand, is built by Geely and Volvo and is the only one to run on gasoline. All others are powered by a charger or wall outlet. So say goodbye.
âRolls-Royce Dawn and Wraith: Just because you have billions that you can have it all, like a Rolls-Royce Dawn or Wraith 2022. OK, you can if you live overseas where the pair will remain in production; they’re just shot in the United States. So if you want a new one, it better be for your other home in France, for example.
âToyota Land Cruiser: Toyota’s oldest nameplate in the United States, the one that helped it survive the lean years of the 1960s, is being scrapped. A victim of corporate negligence and an exorbitant MSRP, a new model is being prepared for overseas markets. In the United States, it will carry the Lexus brake, becoming the new Lexus LX.
âVolvo V60 and V90: American car buyers hate station wagons, even though they are just as good as SUVs at transportation and can be more fun to drive. But ride them like SUVs, and people are fooled into thinking they’re more capable. So the V60 and V90 wagons are history, but not their Cross Country cousins.
Larry Printz is an automotive journalist based in South Florida. Readers can email him at [email protected]