When it comes to the cars we love, parting is not sweet sorrow. It’s downright frustrating. As manufacturers continue to tweak their model lines in an effort to find just the right combination for profitability in every part of the globe, enthusiasts’ wishes are often pushed aside.
2020 is no different. As we enter the third decade of the 21st century, automakers are once again selectively removing the models they don’t feel are needed. Some leave certain markets, while others will be discontinued entirely. If one of these seven has been on your list, you’d better hit the dealerships fast or risk never knowing what might have been,
1. Alfa Romeo 4C
Was the Alfa 4C perfect? Not even close. It lacked a manual gearbox and did nothing to combat Alfa’s reputation for building cars that smell like glue and suffer from co-dependence issues with your local mechanic.
However, the 4C’s passing is meaningful because it was one of the last pure sports cars on the road. Sure, you can argue that without the ability to row-your-own, it loses points. Fair play. When you consider the number of two-seat, lightweight, rear-wheel-drive cars that are available to persons other than the super-rich, you’ll be counting on one hand. Get one soon, and you can make your license plate RIP 4C.
2. Audi TT
Harkening from the slightly less-hard-edged segment of pseudo-sports runabouts, you might not remember what a big deal this car was when it landed on the scene way back in 1994. With Bauhaus styling unlike anything on the market then or now, it was confused for Porsches at gas stations and became the messenger of Audi’s ascension to style icon.
Subsequent generations of the TT were less iconic, but still stylish — with added performance to boot. Ultimately, it was probably time for the slow-selling TT to go, but its historical significance and the loss of another small, fun car make us wish it didn’t have to.
3. Ford Fiesta
Speaking of fun, the Ford Fiesta ST has been the effervescent hoonigan’s street-drug of choice since hitting U.S. markets in 2012. There is simply not a more potent sub-$20k solution if you need a one-car quiver that can play weekend warrior at the track and get you to work every day without fuss.
The ST has well-and-truly earned its cult following. However, for 2020, Ford is depriving U.S. dealers of not just the ST but also the entire Fiesta line. It’s all part of the conversion to a truck-forward lineup at Ford, and you basically just have to deal with it. For now you can get one for a very low price of $14,000, but once they’re gone, they’re gone. At least they will still be available in Europe.
4. Volkswagen E-Golf
Hello, car-buying public. How would you like to purchase this ultra-exclusive, largely untested and curiously styled electric car? You say you’d much rather buy the same great car that’s already the segment leader, just with an electric motor? What a concept!
The E-Golf is the harbinger of mainstream automakers’ adult teeth coming in when it comes to EVs. Don’t expect to see this one go unreplaced for very long. VW is building charging stations as its punishment for Dieselgate, and you can bet they’ll sell you a car to use at them.
5. Lexus GS
Never forget that Lexus’s reliability was built on the back of Toyota’s reliability. As the slightly larger, near-luxury upgrade from the IS line, the GS is a great example of the quiet excellence that makes Lexus what it is. If you need to consume copious mileage on the regular, the GS is your weapon of choice. There was even a sporty F variant. Come back, GS!
6. Infiniti QX30
If you missed this one, you’re forgiven. The QX30 blends in well with the current crop of crossovers. It’s built on Mercedes GLA bones, but for many, the Inifiniti is the more stylish and less pretentious option. It’s a nice size, offers enough ground clearance and is well-appointed inside. It also generally does the crossover thing without being as useless and offensive to enthusiasts as many crossovers are. If you’re particular about your powerplants, you might also like that the QX uses a Mercedes’-sourced turbo four and makes nearly 260 horsepower.
7. Ford Fusion Sport
The Fusion is not a hard car to say goodbye to. As the heir apparent of the fabled Ford Taurus, it was never destined to go down as one of the great collector cars. However, the Sport variant of this ubiquitous transport appliance might be missed more dearly than you’d expect.
That’s because the Fusion Sport came equipped with the same twin-turbo EcoBoost V-6 you get in the F150. It’s capable of producing 380 pound-feet of torque for brief stints. When combined with the Fusion Sport’s all-wheel-drive system, it becomes a bit of a poor man’s Audi S4. Don’t go telling all your friends, though — there aren’t many of these on the used market.
All Is Not Lost
We have to say goodbye to some old friends in 2020, but don’t start singing sad songs about the death of the driver’s car just yet. Despite the best efforts of brands like Google to convince us that self-driving vehicles are coming soon, a human is still the best computer to get you from point A to point B — with the help of GPS, of course.
Make a play on one of these soon-to-be collectibles now, and you might just get a great deal before the rest of the world realizes they’re gone forever.