Saying farewell to dying rides
It happens every year. As the new model year dawns, various automobiles pass away — some fondly remembered, some ridiculed and reviled.
And so we present the vehicles whose time has come and gone, passing into the great beyond for the 2014 model year.
• Acura ZDX, 2010-13: 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 like this.
• Cadillac Escalade EXT, 2007-13: While the idea of a Cadillac pickup 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.
• GM's hybrid trucks, 2009-13: 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.
• Nissan Altima Coupe, 2008-13: 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.
• Toyota Matrix, 2003-13: 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.
• Volkswagen Routan, 2009-13: 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.
• Volvo C30, 2008-13: 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.
• Volvo C70, 1998-13: 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.
Larry Printz is automotive editor at The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Va. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pipeline companies weather downturn in prices of natural-gas, oil
- Super Bowl ads win by playing to viewers’ emotions, experts say
- U.S. Steel maps out greater efficiency for 2015
- ‘Patient’ Fed keeps interest rates flat
- Super Bowl draws big increase in first-time advertisers
- Alibaba ripped in report
- McDonald’s replaces CEO amid sales decline, effort to transform image
- Obamacare enrollment up in Pennsylvania
- Pennsylvania shale gas producers received hundreds of environmental citations in 4 years, PennEnvironment says
- SEC alleges BNY Mellon bribed foreign investors by handing internships to their relatives
- U.S. Steel warns it may lay off almost 2,000 workers in Alabama, Texas