This year, a lot of vehicles are seeing their last showroom. Automakers are nixing some beloved models for various reasons. Sometimes it’s relating to fuel economy. Some are just slow sellers. Others are being given the pink slip because a more efficient or electrified model is replacing it. Some are likely just temporary layoffs that will rehire soon.
But all are now victims of cancel culture. At least, that’s what talk radio says.
Here, we take a look at those models getting the nix and give our speculations about why they’re going dodo or why we think it’s just a short-term breakup that will make its return when ratings start to drop.
Audi TT, TTS
The Audi TT and TTS, in both coupe and convertible formats, is getting the headsman’s axe. These sports tourers are based on the Golf platform. We suspect that when the Golf reemerges as an electrified hot hatch, which has all but been officially confirmed, the TT might also make a comeback shortly thereafter. On the same platform. Because come on, this has basically been VW’s “people’s halo car.”
Another halo sports car being nixed by Audi? Say it ain’t so! Unlike the TT above, the R8 has never been affordable. It’s always been a borderline supercar. This one probably won’t make a return. Instead, something similar (and electric) will be coming instead. The Rnext, as it’s currently known, is purportedly coming in 2029.
Chevrolet Bolt EV and EUV
This one is a temporary layoff. The problems with this car have been some serious growing pains for General Motors’ electrification moves, but promises of a replacement for the Bolt (with or without the name) have been made. Maybe 2025?
The Chrysler 300 is no more. Long live the Bentley 300! Arguably one of Stellantis’ best sedans, the 300 shared a platform with the Charger and Challenger muscle cars over at Dodge. All three models are getting the axe, though the other two are set to return as electric vehicles soon. The fate of the 300 is less clear, but we think it’ll also make a comeback eventually.
The Challenger is, for many, the very definition of Dodge. It was the Challenger which introduced the various versions of V8 hells on the land: Hellcat, Demon, and other SRT-labeled monsters. What’s happening is the Charger sedan will return to its two-door roots as a battery-electric model. Thus we come full circle as the Charger that once was a two-door became a four-door and will now come back as a two-door again. Meanwhile, it appears that the Challenger may also make a return eventually as well. Maybe as a minivan? Who knows. I’ve been personally lobbying for a Pacifica Hellcat.
Being replaced by the electric 500e, the 500X (which shares a platform with the Jeep Renegade) will no longer be sold in North America. To be frank, this is the forgotten Fiat that just didn’t find much of an audience here. The smaller 500e is closer to the roots of the 500 name that Fiat has tried to milk so hard.
Ford Transit Connect
All of the compact vans have died out, with this lone holdout becoming the latest. The reasons are largely due to Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards. These little vans just couldn’t be efficient enough. Ford’s attempt to electrify the Transit Connect went belly up a few years ago after it was learned that nobody wants that.
This is the second time the Cherokee has been dumped by the Jeep brand. Sometimes controversial for its name, we suspect that the idea of the Cherokee will make a return sooner than later (probably as a plug-in hybrid or battery-electric), but maybe not with its same Native American moniker.
Sadly, the favored compact Jeep is also getting dodo’d. Like the 500X above, this one just isn’t turning heads. It’s popular, but expensive since it’s an import (these are made in Italy). And it’s not really all that fuel efficient for its size. It appears that the Compass will remain and be considered the replacement for this quirky ride. It’s also obvious that a name as good as “Renegade” won’t be left lying around for too long. If nothing else, Dodge can Hornet it into something.
Although the Rio was popular for its segment, the compact car segment isn’t exactly a bustling business. The Rio is being replaced by the similarly-designed, but more expensive K3. Sucks to be named after a city right now, I guess.
Popular for a minute, but then exposed for the questionably middle-aged-feeling not-very-sporty sports sedan that it was, the Stinger is now being blunted. It was engaging, for a Kia; but, compared to other sedan options, it was pretty middling. It’ll become some kind of niche collector’s item, though. Watch.
The MX-30 was only sold in California because it’s all-electric and as anyone knew 10 years ago, only Californians will buy an EV. The real reason it was only sold in California was for compliance requirements. Mazda lost money on these vehicles and is probably glad to see it finally get the axe.
Mercedes-Benz C-class and E-Class Coupe & Convertible
Mercedes-Benz redesigned the C-Class sedan in 2022 and the new E-Class sedan this year. It continued the previous-generation coupe and convertible models for both through to this year. Now they’re getting nixed completely and won’t be returning. Instead, the CLE-class will replace them all.
Also getting tossed by Mercedes is the CLS. Fitting in some sort of weird space between the C, the E, and the GT, the CLS mostly got ignored. As Merc simplifies its lineup to eliminate potentially competing products, the CLS gets the same treatment as the C-Class coupe and convertible models.
This mid-sized van, which wasn’t a minivan but wasn’t a full-sized van either, fit into a perceived commercial niche that never appeared. Absolutely no one will be surprised to see this one go. Except maybe those hoping to get one to convert for the #vanlife.
This one wasn’t a surprise to anyone either. The full-sized sedan segment just isn’t all that popular and sales have been slowing for a long time. What might come as a surprise, though, is that Nissan does have plans to make the Maxima’s return, but as an electric sedan. A few questions about size and timing still remain.
Cars Simply Changing Names
Some nameplates are leaving, but aren’t really. They’re just changing names. The Mazda CX-9 is now the CX-90, for example, and the McLaren 720S is now the 750S. Because more Tim Allen was added. We didn’t include those models on our nix list here.