Every year, automakers send another batch of vehicles off into the abyss. This year is no different. In total, more than a dozen models from the major manufacturers will join the growing list of discontinued cars.
From the once-cheapest new car on the market to a pair of 30-year-old sedans with a number of compact SUVs in between, here are some of the notable discontinued cars of 2023.
With a turbocharged engine, upscale look and affordable price tag, the Buick Encore was a surprising success when it debuted a decade ago. But years of declining sales, including a nearly 50% drop in 2022, have led to its demise.
In a way, it’s surprising the subcompact SUV survived as long as it did. Buick unveiled the slightly larger Encore GX in 2020. It only made sense to trim its lineup of two similarly sized crossovers. The Encore GX will now serve as Buick’s entry-level vehicle.
Bargain hunters will grieve the demise of the Spark. The hatchback’s sub-$15,000 starting price (the last of its kind) made it the cheapest new car available in the United States until now. But alas, people simply aren’t buying small cars anymore, opting instead for small SUVs more and more. “Customers seeking comfort, function, and style at an approachable price still have strong options within Chevrolet’s family of compact SUVs,” a Chevy spokesperson said when the news dropped.
The Spark’s 10-year run officially came to an end in August. Chevrolet said that there are no plans to introduce a replacement model.
Ford’s cheapest and smallest SUV is no more. It was a short run for the subcompact crossover, which debuted in 2017. Sales of the EcoSport, however, have been declining since 2019.
The EcoSport never truly caught on with the American public (it will still be sold in Europe). The tiny SUV had plenty of faults: woeful engine output, poor fuel efficiency and crowded interiors, to name a few. All this made its relatively high price tag unjustifiable to many consumers, who likely veered toward one of the many competitive models available on the market.
The Honda Insight checked off many of the boxes the typical driver looks for in a new car: affordable, reliable, fuel efficient. That made it one of the top-selling compact hybrid vehicles in the country, with 70,000 units sold since its 2018 arrival. But ultimately, the sedan bared too many resemblances to the Honda Civic to warrant its existence.
The Insight’s departure makes way for the arrival of the Civic Hybrid, as Honda continues to hybridize its core models, including the CR-V and Accord.
Hyundai is getting rid of a few models, including the gas-powered Ioniq and Veloster N. It’s the Accent’s demise, however, that is noteworthy due to the car’s price tag. Like the Chevrolet Spark, the subcompact sedan was one of the cheapest cars on the market. And like the Spark, the Accent is going by the wayside to make room for bigger vehicles. Hyundai stated that the sedan was, “discontinued due to an expanded SUV lineup.” The Venue, a subcompact SUV, is now the automaker’s cheapest vehicle.
The Avalon has been in Toyota’s portfolio for nearly 30 years, but became vulnerable to the chopping blocks following several down years in sales.
The sedan also faced in-house competition. The Avalon has always been a slightly larger option than the popular Toyota Camry. But the latter’s next generation model is set to be bigger in size itself, thus making the Avalon expendable. It is being replaced by the all-new, hybrid-only Toyota Crown.
The curtain falls on the Passat for good in 2023. The Volkswagen model was, for all intents and purposes, discontinued last year. As a swan song, the German automaker offered the Passat as a limited-edition model that included subtle nods to Chattanooga, Tennessee, where it has been manufactured for the last decade. That limited run has now come to a close.
The Passat’s departure, which comes more than 30 years after its debut, leaves Volkswagen with only two sedans in its lineup: the Jetta and Arteon.
Other notable discontinued cars of 2023: Acura ILX, Ford GT, Infiniti Q60, Lexus RX L, Mercedes-Benz A-Class, Nissan Rogue Sport.
Do you own one of these discontinued cars? Are you sad to see it go? Let us know in the comments below!