15 Lovely Cars That Will Be Discontinued For 2018

As is the case with professional sports teams, automakers’ rosters tend to be fluid, with new players being added and others put to pasture with regularity. While in recent posts we highlighted the rookie cars and crossover SUVs that will be making their big-league debuts for 2018, here’s a last look at the models that will be out of options by season’s end.

With sport-utility vehicles now the heavy hitters in the auto business, it should come as no surprise that passenger cars account for most of the models on this list, including two short-lived full-electric cars. At opposing ends of the automotive market, the most notable models being reassigned for 2018 include the venomous Dodge Viper sports car and the at once sensible and senseless Smart ForTwo microcar

Here’s the 15 nameplates you can scratch off your fantasy automakers’ rosters for next year.

Volkswagen Touareg 2004 -2017

One of the first of a new wave of upscale crossovers when it originally hit the market, the Touareg is sportier and more luxurious than most mainstream-brand SUVs, which tended to price it out of the reach of most VW loyalists. It’s being replaced in the brand’s U.S. lineup by the new-for-2018 Atlas, which is both built here and is designed to more efficiently meet the needs of American families.

Volkswagen CC 2009-2017

While it’s sufficiently stylish and is a solid overall performer, the CC four-door coupe is the brand’s lowest-volume car, with sales down nearly 46% over the first seven months of the year. The more-affordable midsize Passat out-sells it by a 40:1 margin in the U.S., which helps explains the CC’s demise. Perhaps curiously, VW isn’t giving up on the near-luxury four-door-coupe market, with the equally swoopy looking midsize Arteon expected to take over for the CC later in 2018.

Smart Fortwo 2008-2017

While it’s sufficiently stylish and is a solid overall performer, the CC four-door coupe is the brand’s lowest-volume car, with sales down nearly 46% over the first seven months of the year. The more-affordable midsize Passat out-sells it by a 40:1 margin in the U.S., which helps explains the CC’s demise. Perhaps curiously, VW isn’t giving up on the near-luxury four-door-coupe market, with the equally swoopy looking midsize Arteon expected to take over for the CC later in 2018.

Nissan Quest 1993 – 2016

While it’s sufficiently stylish and is a solid overall performer, the CC four-door coupe is the brand’s lowest-volume car, with sales down nearly 46% over the first seven months of the year. The more-affordable midsize Passat out-sells it by a 40:1 margin in the U.S., which helps explains the CC’s demise. Perhaps curiously, VW isn’t giving up on the near-luxury four-door-coupe market, with the equally swoopy looking midsize Arteon expected to take over for the CC later in 2018.

Mitsubishi Lancer 2002 – 2017

Typically forgotten in a crowded segment of compact cars, the Lancer is perhaps best known for its fast and furious Evolution iterations. With sales of all small cars on the decline, Mitsubishi has decided to double down on its more-popular line of SUVs, with the Lancer’s spot in the showroom being taken early next year by the new Eclipse Cross crossover.

Mitsubishi is cancelling its tiny egg-shaped battery-powered i-MiEV this year. The car’s estimated range of just 59 miles on a charge is barely good enough for around-town or on-campus use, and it’s underscored by underwhelming performance and accommodations. The i-MiEV is eminently affordable, especially after factoring in the $7,500 one-time federal tax credit, but it’s even cheaper as a used car, with low-mileage models easily found within the $6,000-$8,000 range.

Mercedes Benz B-Class Electric Drive Electric Drive 2014 – 2017

The luxury automaker’s slow-selling subcompact EV will be phased out for 2018, with no immediate replacement planned. Having an estimated 87-mile range, it pales, however, against newer models like the Chevrolet Bolt and Tesla Model 3 that can run for more than 200 miles on a charge.

Lexus CT 200h 2011-2017

Introduced back when the national average price for a gallon of gas peaked at close to $4.00 a gallon, the compact CT 200h hybrid hatchback is an entry-level luxury hatchback that’s tuned sportier than most other hybrids. Its sales have fallen along with gas prices, however, and it’s being dropped from the line after receiving a 2017 freshening.

Jeep Patriot 2007 – 2017

Lingering for a decade with only incremental changes, the compact Patriot crossover SUV originally debuted alongside the mechanically similar Compass as the more traditionally styled of the two models. At the time, it was the only crossover to boast bona fide off-road skills via an available “Trail Rated”4×4 system. It may have been the more military-looking of the two, but the Compass has since won the war with a major redesign for 2017, while the Patriot is being given its discharge papers.

Infiniti QX70 2003 – 2017

Originally sold as the Infiniti FX, the midsize QX70 was a bit of a ground-breaking luxury crossover SUV when it debuted for 200,3 with soft and curvy styling that flew in the face of the then-boxy norm. Unfortunately, its sales have since dropped, and the model will be abandoned for 2018 in the U.S. in favor of a redesigned version of the QX50. With the burgeoning popularity of SUVs these days there’s a chance the QX70 or at least a similar model might return to Infiniti’s lineup in a later model year.

Hyundai Azera 2006 – 2017

Left behind when Hyundai spun its large Genesis and Equus sedans off to launch its Genesis luxury division this year, the midsize near-luxury Azera is being sidelined in favor of the refreshed-for-2018 Sonata. The Azera is pleasant enough, but is unnecessary at a time when the brand could instead use a larger crossover SUV; it will continue to be sold elsewhere in the world as the Grandeur.

Dodge Viper 1992 – 2017

The biggest name, though far from being the biggest seller, to hang it up at the end of 2017, the Dodge Viper coupe/roadster helped bolster Chrysler’s fortunes a quarter century ago, when its otherwise dull-as-dishwater lineup consisted mostly of minivans and boxy “K-cars.” The rip-roaring V10-powered Viper was and is big and brutal, and has always been something of an acquired taste, enjoying a loyal following of committed fans. Though nobody ever claimed the car was profitable, it endured two changes of corporate ownership, and will probably be one of the few models on this list that will be truly missed.

 

Chrysler 200 2011 – 2017

The midsize 200 sedan is being killed off this year with less of a bang and more of a whimper, following the discontinuation of the compact Dodge Dart at the end of 2016. While fairly stylish and a decent performer, it never quite caught on in a crowded segment, and with sedan sales suffering, FCA read the tea leaves and decided to free up production capabilities for its more profitable truck and SUV lines.

Chevrolet ss 2014 – 2017

The full-size SS sedan was brought here from General Motors Holden subsidiary in Australia, as Chevy’s sportier – and costlier – rear-drive alternative to the sedately cast Impala. The SS was a hoot to drive, but has been on life support the last couple of years as few people outside of a small cadre of loyalists probably even know the car exists. Sales only amounted to around 2,600 units through the end of July, and that’s with a 21% increase over the same period in 2016.

Buick Verano 2012 -2017

Though eminently likeable, small car sales are way down, and so Buick is dropping its low-volume Verano sedan after a shortened 2017 model year. A fairly plush entry-level luxury car, at least Buick chose to stay true to its brand identity and avoided the temptation to make the Verano another BMW 3 Series contender. Its spot in the lineup has been usurped by the popular Encore compact crossover SUV.

 

 

Please follow and like us:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *