Death is an inevitability for everything, even for hearses like the newly discontinued Cadillac XTS.
Our list of cars that didn’t make the cut after 2019 is filled with sedans like the XTS that were sent to the great car lot in the sky—manager’s special window stickers, of course.
Beyond sedans, many other cars shelved this year are slow-selling variants that were specialists among buyers who generally prefer something else; a tall-riding something else, more specifically.
In retrospect, 2019 may become the year the American sedan died or the electric crossover was born. (Perhaps both?)
Until time gives us that kind of clarity in retrospect, we’ll look now to the cars that didn’t make the cut, and why.
2018 Aston Martin Vanquish S
Replaced by the DBS Superleggera atop the prestigious Aston Martin pecking order, we’re fine with the Vanquish leaving us this year. Heaven deserves to be packed with sonorous V-12 two-seaters anyway.
2019 Buick Lacrosse
One of many from the Detroit Three’s four-door purge, the latest generation of the LaCrosse evolved into a mild-hybrid by the end. A frugal powertrain complemented its quiet manners and refined character. Unfortunately, it also put buyers in the U.S. to sleep. Roughly 15,000 LaCrosse sedans were purchased last year, far from 2010’s mark of 60,000.
2019 Smart Fortwo
Daimler’s city car experiment went quietly. No really, the last year on sale they were all electric and didn’t make a sound. In the U.S., Smart struggled to gain a foothold among buyers who were unswayed by the benefits of a short turning circle and access to stamp-sized parking spots. The Smart’s short electric range and smaller cargo capacity take some of the blame.
2019 Cadillac XTS
The front-drive Cadillac XTS was always an outlier in the luxury lineup, but it dutifully performed. It’s aged well and the biggest Cadillac sedan found a home in livery services and hearse details toward the end of its life. Cadillac’s newest hearse vehicle, the XT5 crossover, will presumably carry the XTS to its final resting place. In lieu of flowers, send donations for the CTS and ATS sedans, also now gone as Cadillac tries to rejigger its entire non-SUV lineup.
2019 Infiniti QX30
The Daimler-Nissan partnership produced just one vehicle for Infiniti: the short-lived small QX30 crossover. Born under a bad sign—its name changed before it was launched and a lower version was scrapped—the hatchback struggled to find buyers, even though it looked good compared to the related Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class. Infiniti says they’ll offer another QX30 in the future, but without Daimler’s help.
2016 Ferrari 488 Spider
Replaced by the F8 Tributo in the Ferrari stable. Ciao.
2017 Chevrolet Cruze
The Cruze was a competent compact sedan or hatchback that history may remember more as a political football. When Chevy announced its demise, the plant that made it turned into fodder for President Donald Trump to fire at the auto industry. Angry tweets aside, the small car was respectable among competitors and offered a diesel version that almost didn’t stink as bad as the Cobalt that the Cruze replaced. We said almost.
2017 BMW 3-Series Gran Turismo
Not quite a sedan, not quite a crossover, the 3-Series on stilts is your next BMW loaner when the X3 is in for service.
2019 Hyundai Santa Fe XL
Follow us on this one: The Santa Fe XL was the outgoing three-row version of the Santa Fe for one year when the Santa Fe wasn’t called the Santa Fe Sport. There was a three-row Santa Fe in the plans that wasn’t going to be called the Santa Fe XL, but that didn’t happen. TL;DR? A Hyundai three-row crossover is called a Palisade and that’s easier to remember.
2019 Chevrolet Impala
A victim to shifting tastes, the Impala received a brief say of execution when GM announced that it would build the Impala up until the end of this year. GM says the Impala won’t be renewed for 2020, which means this year’s full-sizer is at the end of its life. Like our parents' Impalas, we hope this Impala serves as inspiration for a new generation of donks to come in 20 years.
2019 Ford Taurus
The Taurus has saved Ford a couple of times, but can’t save itself. The full-size Ford sedan was another victim of the Detroit sedan bloodletting, although it’ll live on in police interceptor form for a while longer. The Taurus ended on a high note: the high-performance version lived until the very end and was fun to drive. RIP SHO.
2019 Chevrolet Volt
Chevy’s electrified hatchback is survived by its rabid fans and owners, who celebrate the Volt’s engineering feats. In its final generation, the Volt had an impressive all-electric range of more than 50 miles, which meant owners that drove it for daily commutes seldom needed to fill up on gasoline. The Volt was practical, frugal, and even good looking.
2019 Chevrolet Corvette Final Edition for Europe
Even though a new Corvette is on the way for 2020, the Corvette C7 is an end of an era in more ways than one. In top ZR1 spec, the C7 Corvette rivaled supercars that cost 2-3 times more. The Stingray was a head-turner till the end, but we’ll look back at the C7 as the last ‘Vette with an engine up front. Next year, the Corvette moves to a mid-engine layout that’s more balanced.
2019 Ford Fiesta
In certain trims, its nickname was “FiST.” Perhaps that’s all you need to know about the Ford Fiesta that was on sale in the U.S. from 2011 to 2019. Available as a sedan or hatch, the Fiesta was best with five doors, ST badges, and a turbo-4 (FiST was a portmanteau of Fiesta ST), the small car was a vestige of higher gas prices from a decade ago. Fist cocked, the Fiesta is on its way out in the U.S.
2016 Jaguar F-Type S V-6 manual
Pour one out for manual transmissions and droptops with two seats. The F-Type won’t get one for 2020 and we’re not sure it’s ever coming back.
2017 Nissan 370Z
2017 Volkswagen e-Golf
Volkswagen’s competent and electric Golf was limited in range and availability. It was only sold on the coasts—and in emissions-restricted states, at that—but was one of our favorite Golfs to drive. Its weight was down low with ample acceleration and great handling. It was practical too, but we’re not overcome with grief. VW has committed to bringing many, many more EVs to the U.S. so the Golf gives way to a raft of new electric cars.
2019 Volkswagen Beetle
Wait, what? Is that right? That can’t be right. (Checks notes.) The Beetle is gone again? (Checks notes again.) Bye-bye, Beetle. We’ll miss you. Come back soon.
2018 Fiat 500L
Fiat hasn’t discontinued the Serbian-built, Italian compact hatchback but they aren’t selling many either. Maybe we’re a little early to write the 500L’s obituary, but it’s time for Fiat to turn the page.