Dead end

Winnipeg Free Press - Section F - - AUTOS - By Larry Printz

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, 2010-2013

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 most mod­ern buy­ers do not like fast­back styling — at least, not when it looks like this.

Cadil­lac Es­calade EXT, 2007-2013

While the idea of a Cadil­lac pickup still 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, 20092013

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, 2008-2013

It’s hard to imag­ine 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 de­meanour and mod­er­ate cost to at­tract buy­ers.

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, 20092013

Given Volk­swa­gen in­tro­duced the Type 2, a.k.a. 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 the Routan was a real VW.

Volvo C30, 2008-2013

Volvo’s at­tempt at an en­try-level ve­hi­cle mim­icked the look of the 196172 P1800 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, 1998-2013

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 safe­ty­con­scious Volvo buy­ers.


The demise of the Volvo C30 can, in part, be at­trib­uted to its high price and the fact it was only of­fered in a three-door model.


Say say­onara to the Toy­ota Ma­trix.

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