It was at the beginning of the year when Volkswagen ended production of the Passat saloon in Europe and now Renault is following suit with its saloon.
While the Wolfsburg folks are still making the estate, the French have discontinued the long-roof version as well. In other words, the Talisman is entirely dead. The writing had been on the wall for some time as the company with the diamond logo announced plans to drop the midsize car in December 2021.
Renault stopped making the Talisman at the end of February but that doesn’t mean saloons are no longer available in its portfolio. In select countries, you can still get the compact Megane Saloon as well as the smaller Taliant, a rebadged version of the Dacia Logan. Having axed the Clio Estate when the supermini switched to the fifth generation in 2019, it means Renault's only remaining estate is the Megane Estate.
Gallery: Renault Talisman restyling (2020)
Because saloons are so yesterday, Renault doesn't have any plans for a direct replacement. It is widely believed the Passat saloon won't return for the new generation as rumours state only the estate will survive. In addition, the Opel Insignia is expected to morph into an SUV while China's swanky new Ford Mondeo won't be coming to Europe.
The fate of the 508 is unknown for the time being, but we’re hoping it will stick around since it's one of the most attractive cars on sale today. The Citroën C5 has technically returned, but its formula has changed since it’s now an estate/crossover mashup. Fingers crossed Mazda will bring the next-generation 6 to Europe, complete with a rear-wheel-drive platform. As a refresher, Toyota sells the Camry Hybrid in this part of the world, but it's not exactly a top seller.
Consequently, the stage is set for the next Skoda Superb to become the most popular midsize saloon in the mainstream segment. The Czech brand has confirmed the estate will live to see another generation as well, so not all hope is lost for the anti-SUV crowd. To be built in Bratislava, Slovakia, the flagship will transition to the new model in 2023 when it will receive the VW Group's last combustion engines along with a completely revamped cabin.