Zombie cars: Discontinued vehicles that aren't dead yet

·5 min read



Car models come and go, but as revealed by monthly sales data, once a car is discontinued, it doesn't just disappear instantly. And in the case of some models, vanishing into obscurity can be a slow, tedious process.

That's the case with the 12 cars we have here. All of them have been discontinued, but car companies keep racking up "new" sales with them.

There are actually more discontinued cars that are still registering new sales than what we decided to include here. We kept this list to the oldest or otherwise most interesting vehicles still being sold as new, including a supercar. We'll run the list in alphabetical order, starting with *drumroll* ...

BMW 6 Series: 55 total sales

BMW quietly removed the 6 Series from the U.S. market during the 2019 model year. It had been available in three configurations, a hardtop coupe, a convertible and a sleek four-door coupe-like shape.

BMW i8: 18 total sales

We've always had a soft spot for the BMW i8, despite the fact that it never quite fit into a particular category. It was sporty, but nowhere near as fast as similarly-priced competitors. It looked very high-tech and boasted a unique carbon fiber chassis design and a plug-in hybrid powertrain, but wasn't really designed for maximum efficiency or maximum performance. Still, the in-betweener was very cool too look at and drive, and 18 buyers took one home over the course of 2021.

Chevy Impala: 750 total sales

The Impala represented classic American tastes at a time when American tastes were shifting away from soft-riding sedans with big interior room and trunk space and into higher-riding crossovers. A total of 750 sales were inked last year.

Chrysler 200: 15 total sales

The Chrysler 200 was actually a pretty nice sedan, with good looks and decent driving dynamics let down by a lack of roominess, particularly in the back seat. Of course, as we said regarding the Chevy Impala, the number of Americans in the market for sedans is rapidly winding down, and other automakers are following Chrysler's footsteps in canceling their slow-selling four-doors.

Even if Chrysler never really found its footing in the ultra-competitive midsize sedan segment, apparently dealerships have a few leftover 2017 200s floating around. And for some reason, 15 buyers decided to sign the dotted line to take one of these aging sedans home last year. Interestingly, Chrysler sold nine 200s over the course of the 2020 sales year, so sales were actually up in 2021 for a sedan that ended production in 2017.

Chrysler Town & Country: 4 total sales

We're not sure how Chrysler dealers were able to log four Town & Country minivan sales last year, but here we are. Chrysler pulled the plug on its long-running minivan way back in 2016 when it was replaced by the sleek Pacifica. We hope those buyers got really solid deals.

Dodge Dart: 10 total sales

Dodge discontinued the compact Dart back in 2016, just three years after its launch. The automaker just wasn't able to compete with the segment leaders like the Honda Civic or the sales juggernaut that is the Toyota Corolla. Despite the fact that it's been dead for several years, Dodge managed to sell 10 Darts in 2021. A year ago, Dodge managed to move seven of 'em, so again, that's improvement!

Dodge Viper: 4 total sales

Dodge discontinued the rip-roaring Viper after the 2017 model year, but there are still a few left in dealerships around the country. Over the course of 2021, Dodge managed to sell four SRT Vipers.

It's interesting to think that these buyers had the option of driving home in a brand-new mid-engine Corvette, but chose to go in an entirely different direction. Something tells us they won't be disappointed with its 640-horsepower naturally aspirated V10 engine, even if it's mounted way out in front of the driver instead of the preferable sportscar location behind the passenger compartment.

Fiat 500: 51 total sales

Fiat hasn't exactly pulled itself entirely out of the U.S. market, but it's close. A quick glance at the Fiat USA website shows only one vehicle, the 500X crossover. Gone are the original 500, pumped-up 500L and 124 Spider. Let's all collectively hope the 51 500 buyers last year opted for Abarth models.

Infiniti QX30: 1 total sale

The Infiniti QX30, a collaboration designed and built with Mercedes-Benz, ended production after the 2019 model year. Still, one single solitary little crossover was sold to a new buyer in 2021. Odd choice; we hope they got a good deal.

Jeep Patriot: 16 total sales

Jeep discontinued the Patriot in 2017 when it introduced the latest version of its compact Compass crossover. Despite the fact that it's three full model years old, there are still some Patriots milling about on Jeep dealerships across America. In total, Jeep sold 16 Patriots in 2021, which somehow is 13 more than they sold in 2020.

Nissan 370Z: 36 total sales

Nissan axed the 370Z Roadster after the 2019 model year, with the replacement Z coming in 2023 with a twin-turbo V6 engine that spins out 400 horsepower. Earlier this year, Nissan confirmed in a statement to Autoblog that there were still a few 370Z stragglers sitting on dealership lots in 2021, with the total tally standing at 36 sales.

Toyota FJ Cruiser: 1 total sale

And now we come to the final, and oldest, new sale made by any automaker over the course of 2021. Somehow, some way, a lone Toyota dealership held on to an FJ Cruiser, a model that ended production in 2014, and sold it to a new buyer in 2021. To them we say: Congratulations. You bought the oldest new car in America (that we know of), and it's a cool one. Enjoy.

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