The last couple of years have been tough for the car market. As SUVs and trucks sell in record numbers, sedans and coupe sales have plummeted.
In response, Ford(F) famously announced it would stop making all cars except the iconic Mustang. General Motors(GM) later announced that it would be axing a large number of sedans and shuttering the plants that build them.
Daimler, too, has found emissions regulations squeezing it at the top end and low demand for small cars pressuring its Smart brand. Before these vehicles depart, let's look at what we'll miss in years to come and what we can easily forget.
The ones we won't miss
While the death of the sedan market may leave consumers wanting for low-cost transportation, there's no doubt that there are a lot of uninspiring cars on the market. The Chevy Cruze and Ford Taurus, for instance, were far from our favorite cars in their respective classes.
Same with the Smart ForTwo, a car that never quite caught on. The idea was a small city car for young, urban buyers. Unfortunately, the ForTwo was uncomfortable around town, more expensive than bigger cars and not particularly fuel efficient. Daimler briefly tried selling only the electric variant of the ForTwo, but a paltry 58-mile range doomed it from the start.
Buick also missed the mark with the Cascada. The compact convertible was designed by what used to be GM's German marque, Opel. The Opel Cascada debuted in 2013, but the Buick version didn't go on sale here until 2016. It felt dated from the start.
Finally, the Cadillac XTS was the odd model in the company's lineup. While the company's other sedans are on bespoke rear-drive chassis and offer impressive dynamics, the XTS is an upgraded Buick LaCrosse. It was comfy but not exciting, a favorite among airport livery drivers and no one else.
The ones we'll miss
Maybe we won't miss driving the Chevy Impala and Buick LaCrosse, but we're sad to see these corporate siblings go. When the Impala came out, it seemed to signal a new era for Chevy cars. It looked better than competitors like the Toyota Avalon, was nicer to drive, and offered more value for your money. The Buick offered more luxury on top of that at an approachable price point. Unfortunately, no Chevy sedan since has been so widely praised.
The same could be said of the Chevy Volt. Easily the most popular and influential plug-in hybrid ever, the Volt showed that GM could deliver a world-beating car. Its 53-mile range could handle most daily driving, while the gasoline generator offered over 300 additional miles of range between stops.
On the other end of the efficiency spectrum is the Mercedes-AMG S65. In case the monstrous, 602-horsepower V-8 in the S63 wasn't enough for you, Mercedes offered a 621-horsepower V-12. The price increase for that 19 horsepower gain was a staggering $83,000, bringing the total entrance price for the S65 to $232,500.
And despite more power, worse fuel economy and a stratospheric price tag, the S65 was actually slower to 60 mph than the S63. It was the kind of ridiculous absurdity you could only get in an AMG and we'll certainly miss the smooth grunt of the Mercedes V-12.
Among Ford cars, it's easy to forget how important the Fusion was. After years of being stomped on by the Camry, Ford hit back with the Fusion. The first generation garnered wide acclaim, especially after its refresh. Then, in 2013, Ford shocked us with a gorgeous design that forced a styling arms race in the segment. More than anything, the Fusion pushed a segment of complacency into more competition and innovation.
Finally, we hate to see the Ford Fiesta go. We fell in love with the Fiesta ST, a delightful hot hatchback that offered more fun per dollar than just about anything else. And, with the Focus departing before the 2019 model year, Ford is now left without a true entry-level product. While the Fiesta started at $14,260, the EcoSport entry-level SUV starts at $19,995.