With unprecedentedly low inventory and global manufacturing problems, it might seem like an inopportune time to send vehicles off into the abyss. But death waits for no man — or machine. As such, the list of discontinued cars will continue to grow in 2022.
Last year, automakers said goodbye to more than 20 different vehicle models. We won’t see quite as many sail into the sunset this go round, but there are still a number of notable cars that have met their demise. Many of them share similar qualities, most notably being small and gas-powered, two vehicle traits growing less popular by the day.
The Honda Clarity is unique amongst its now-deceased counterparts in that it’s not gas-powered. First introduced in 2015, the Clarity’s all-electric model was discontinued in 2020 and now the hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell versions are getting the axe as well.
Ironically, Honda announced earlier this year its plan to sell only electric and fuel-cell vehicles by 2040. The Clarity is the marque’s only current offering to fit that bill. Ridding the sedan from its lineup, however, allows the Japanese automaker to focus on developing its future models, such as the Prologue, which will be Honda’s first fully electric SUV when it arrives in 2024.
A quick look at the best-selling cars of the year proves, yet again, American prefer larger vehicles. The quirky Veloster had its strong points but, ultimately, the three-door hatchback was too unique, and perhaps too compact, for its own good. Saying goodbye to one of its least popular vehicles gives Hyundai opportunity to focus on its far more likeable models, such as the Kona and Tucson.
All is not lost for Veloster aficionados. The hatchback’s high-performance Veloster N model will live on, at least for now.
Mazda CX-3 and 6
When Mazda unveiled the CX-30 in 2020, it was only a matter of time before the smaller CX-3 crossover was added to the list of discontinued cars. And alas, 2022 will mark the end of the road for the subcompact vehicle. The CX-3 was simply too small to satisfy American’s taste for larger models. One package model offered even less cargo space than Mazda’s smallest sedan.
Speaking of sedans, the Japanese automaker’s midsize Mazda 6 is also disappearing in 2022. It’s somewhat of a surprise, considering the car was routinely ranked as one of the top options in its segment. This has led many to speculate the Mazda 6 is simply taking a year off and will return new-and-improved at later date. Unlike many of its competitors, a hybrid version of the car was never made available, something that could change in the future.
Toyota Land Cruiser
A year after saying goodbye to one of its smaller vehicles, the Yaris, Toyota is bidding adieu to one of its largest. The Land Cruiser was the Japanese car maker’s longest-running model, but that streak will come to an end in 2022. The SUV has long been a capable vehicle but failed to evolve with its modern competitors, resulting in declining sales.
News of the vehicle’s demise, interestingly enough, brought an unexpected jolt to those sales numbers. In January, just a month after Toyota announced the SUV’s discontinuance, more Land Cruisers were sold than in any month in the last 10 years, according to Car and Driver Magazine. A newly designed Land Cruiser will be sold to the rest of the world — just not in the U.S.
The Passat often found itself buried in the shadows of other models in its own Volkswagen family, such as the Jetta, as well as those in its midsize sedan segment, like the Honda Accord and Hyundai Sonata. As such, the German automaker is pulling the plug on the Passat to focus more on electric vehicles. The Chattanooga, Tennessee, plant where the Passat was manufactured will transition to making VW’s ID.4 crossover EV.
As a sendoff, VW is offering a Passat Limited Edition model. The car features nods to its Tennessee home, including “Chattanooga 2011” seat tags, as well as aerial maps of the city and drawings of the plant on the cupholder mats.
Volvo V60 and V90
“To remain successful, we need profitable growth,” Volvo’s CEO Håkan Samuelsson said in March. “So instead of investing in a shrinking business, we choose to invest in the future – electric and online.” The proclamation came as Volvo was announcing its plans to become a fully electric car manufacturer by 2030. Just four months later news arrived that the Swedish automaker was discontinuing not one but two of its gas-powered models: the V60 and V90 wagons.
Volvo’s decision, as Samuelsson alluded to, is an acknowledgment of where automotive market is today and, more importantly, where it’s headed. Station wagons simply don’t sell anymore. Instead of investing in a “shrinking business,” the car maker will use its resources to expand its electric vehicle lineup, which currently includes just two models. Fans of the V60 and V90 shouldn’t be too distraught. Volvo is still selling the taller, crossover Cross Country models of both cars.
Do you own one of these discontinued cars? Are you sad to see it go? Let us know in the comments below!