If you want one, you'd better move fast.
Not every bright idea or product captures the imagination of the buying public and many that do fail to sustain a high level of success over several years. Research shows that nearly half of all new businesses fail within the first five years, and even wildly successful products like the BlackBerry smartphone saw a dramatic fall from grace a few years ago. These unpredictable fluctuations in what people desire spill over into the automotive sphere, too.
While it's hard to envision a world where the Porsche 911 or Ford F-150 could ever fall out of favor, not every model attains legendary status and automakers must often accept the demise of what were once popular models. Whether the cars on this list are dated, trying to get by in a dwindling market segment, can't meet tightening emissions standards, or simply not good enough in 2022, they're all likely to be given the boot in the not-too-distant future. If any of these cars appeal to your head or heart - and if you live in the United States - the time to buy one is now as they won't stick around for much longer.
Demand for coupes has declined in recent years, and this applies to both ends of the price spectrum. Honda no longer sells a coupe version of the Civic and Mercedes-Benz won't produce a new S-Class Coupe. Seemingly headed in the same direction is the stylish Infiniti Q60 Coupe. According to a report from last year, the Q60 could be killed off in 2023, making the 2022 model year its last. Although not as good to drive as the BMW 4 Series, we'll be sad to see the Q60 go if this is the case. It has a powerful twin-turbo V6, a cushy ride, and a high-end interior. Last year, Infiniti sold 2,728 Q60s, a steady decline from 9,071 units in 2018, 5,043 in 2019, and 2,792 in pandemic-ravaged 2020.
Another product from the Nissan stable that could soon be on the way out is the Titan, and it's not every day that a truck is in danger of being killed off in the United States. The problem for the Titan, quite simply, is trying to earn a slice of the full-size truck segment that is utterly dominated by Detroit's big 3: Ford's F-150, Ram's 1500, and Chevrolet's Silverado. Late last year, a rumor emerged that the Titan would be killed off after the current generation. Although a Nissan spokesperson denied this, we wouldn't be entirely surprised if the rumor turned out to be true. Last year, Nissan sold 27,406 Titans. In the first two months of 2022 alone, Ford has already sold 95,795 F-Series trucks, and the Blue Oval sold 726,004 F-Series trucks throughout 2021. Chevy is leagues ahead, too, having sold nearly 530,000 Silverados last year. Clearly, Nissan is facing an uphill battle in this segment.
Subcompact hatchbacks and sedans have vanished from the US market at a rapid rate over the last few years. The Ford Fiesta, Toyota Yaris, and Honda Fit are all gone. This is a great pity since the latest generations of the Fiesta and Fit sold in other markets are excellent small cars. The Rio is another capable subcompact with refined driving dynamics and a well-designed interior that doesn't feel as cheap as the car's $16,250 starting price would suggest. Sadly, a report from August last year indicates that both the Rio sedan and hatchback could be discontinued after the 2022 model year. Although sales of the Rio aren't as high as the 40,000+ units moved in 2014, they aren't terrible either. Last year, the automaker sold 31,362 Rios in the US. Clearly, there's still a market for a car like the Rio and, hopefully, Kia acknowledges this by keeping this solid car around for longer.
It's pretty remarkable that the Chrysler 300 has stuck around for as long as it has. The second-generation model has been around since 2011, and it rides on a platform that's even older than that. But the 300 has survived for a couple of reasons. Its design has aged well, the 363-horsepower Hemi V8 engine will never completely lose its allure, and it's a fair amount of car for the money. But sales of large sedans have plummeted in recent years, and that's partially why the likes of the Chevrolet Impala have been canned. In America, the last Volkswagen Passat just rolled off the production line in another example of a large sedan meeting its fate. Over 50,000 Chrysler 300 sedans were sold in 2017, but the company sold little more than 16,000 units in each of the last two years. For the 2022 model year, Chrysler removed many 300 sedan options, which is hardly a sign that it is investing further in this model.
While we don't know exactly when some of the cars on this list will be discontinued, the same can't be said for the Ford EcoSport. Last year, Ford confirmed that the small crossover will be built and exported to America until mid-2022, after which it will no longer be available. The EcoSport was never as successful in the US market as larger Ford SUVs, so few customers will be bothered when it departs later this year. Developed for global markets, the EcoSport was perhaps not sufficiently attuned to the needs of US customers. The engines lack sparkle and rear-seat space is lacking. There are also a plethora of more practical alternatives like the Hyundai Kona and Honda HR-V. Last year, sales of the EcoSport declined by 32.8% in the US.
While waving goodbye to the Kia Rio and Ford EcoSport won't break many hearts, we'd hate to see the Dodge Durango go. In SRT form, it's possibly the most fun you can have on the daily school run. Even the cheapest model comes with a spirited V6 power plant. The Durango's macho looks, high towing capacity, and comfortable ride are further advantages in its favor. Reports from the second half of last year suggested that the Durango would follow the 300 sedan into retirement, but it would be a surprising move considering that Dodge sold 65,935 Durangos last year, a 14% increase compared to 2020. We expect the Durango to stick around until at least the end of 2023 in its current form.
2021 was a terrible year for the Chevrolet Bolt EV. A major - and costly - recall was issued for the Bolt EV over defective batteries that, in many cases, led to these hatchbacks catching fire. To attend to the issue, Chevrolet halted production of the troublesome hatch temporarily but we wouldn't be surprised if the car gets discontinued altogether. In the last quarter of 2021, a mere 25 units of the Bolt were sold in the US. As recently as February 18th, a further production delay was announced. The EV is now only expected to begin production again on April 4. Besides its tarnished reputation, the Bolt is hardly a new vehicle anymore and doesn't utilize the Ultium battery technology found in newer GM models. With an electric Equinox on the way at a price of around $30,000, the Bolt EV's immediate future looks decidedly bleak.
The Acura ILX will depart after the 2022 model year as the upcoming Integra takes over as the new entry point for the Japanese luxury marque. Besides the fact that the ILX had a posh badge and allowed those on a budget to drive off in a small luxury car, it became increasingly difficult to recommend above non-premium models like Honda's own Civic and classier alternatives like the Audi A3. Last year, Acura sold 13,900 units of the ILX in the US, a slight increase over the 13,414 examples sold in 2020. Never entirely able to disguise its Civic roots - it was based on the ninth-generation Civic, after all - the ILX nevertheless introduced many buyers to the Acura brand for the first time.
This will perhaps be the most painful departure of all. In November last year, Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis confirmed that the brand's Hellcat models won't survive beyond 2023. With an electric muscle car in the works, this news isn't a great surprise but it'll still be hard to say goodbye to the iconic supercharged V8 engine that powers the Challenger SRT Hellcat. This engine also does duty in high-performance versions of the Durango and Charger, but it was always most at home in the Challenger. In the Challenger SRT Super Stock, the V8 generates an astonishing 807 hp. There is simply no replacement for the sheer theatrics of this engine in the Challenger coupe, and it's a car that will be sorely missed when the time comes.