Say goodbye to the good, the bad, and the mediocre.
It's that time of year where automakers lean into a new model year and trim some fat from their lineups. That doesn't necessarily mean there's something fundamentally wrong with a vehicle being cut, though. Markets shift, platforms age, some cars miss the mark they're aiming for, and some vehicles simply don't sell well enough regardless of how good they are. Any which way, these are the 28 cars we won't be seeing for the 2021 model year. The most telling thing about this list is that there's not a single crossover or SUV on it.
The RLX wasn't Acura's finest hour, and it'll most likely be forgotten quickly. Acura already dropped the TSX and TL in 2014 and, now the RLX is taking a bow; the new Acura TLX becomes the one size fits all sedan in Acura's range. It makes sense for Acura to sink all of its passenger car development into making one fantastic car to bring the brand back to form rather than spread its resources across a bunch of models in a shrinking market.
Alfa Romeo's excellent little sports car is much loved but often passed over by people looking for something fun to drive. Alfa dropped the hard-top 4C from the roster in the US a while ago, but now the 4C Spyder is also leaving us. It's a crying shame as the 4C is a mini-supercar with a price to match. It's built around a carbon-fiber tub chassis with a mid-mounted 1.75-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. That sounds like underwhelming power, but in reality, the 4C is a lightweight car and will pop 60 mph from a standstill in just 4.1 seconds then dance its way through a snaking road. But after five years in existence, it's time for the curtain to come down on what was only ever meant to kickstart the Alfa revolution.
The Mulsanne first appeared in 1930, but the current generation became Bentley's flagship model ten years ago, powered by a 6.75-liter V8 engine harking back to the similarly-sized powerplant used back in 1959. Both the Mulsanne and the legendary engine are being retired together to end an important chapter in Bentley's history. The engine is a casualty of emissions regulations, and the Mulsanne makes way for a new flagship model with a new engine. The Bentley Flying Spur is on an all-new platform, and with a 6.0-liter W12 motor packing 626 horsepower and 664 lb-ft of torque, it's not shy on power.
The i8 is a fascinating car with wicked handling chops. It's a stunning-looking hybrid, and therein lies the rub. It packs a total of 369 horsepower that will push it to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds but will also get a combined 69 MPGe. Unfortunately, $147,500 is a lot of money for a novelty car that manages to be neither one thing nor the other. There's now a plethora of good looking hybrid vehicles on the market, or $147,500 will get you one hell of a performance car.
However, it won't get you a 2021 model year BMW M4 CS, though. A new generation of M4 coming next year means the current highest performance version of the M4 has taken its final bow.
The Buick Regal might be the most forgettable name on this list. It's also the end of Buick's last sedan in its current US lineup. Unfortunately for American boomers, they will have to find a different 2021 model for getting to the early bird buffet special.
And don't think the Regal TourX wagon will be available either - the nameplate is officially retired. The Regal name will carry on in China, though, and with a handsome looking redesign and a tech upgrade. The reason the Regal is no more is that it's one of the last models badge-engineered with formerly GM-owned Opel. Buick now has other SUV-shaped fish to fry.
With handsome styling but an uninspired interior, the CT6 was born an underperformer. Even in its CT6-V trim, Cadillac couldn't convince performance sedan buyers to move away from the German brands. The CT6 is a competent sedan, but it simply doesn't have the edge to compete with BMW or Mercedes models. We have a feeling the CT6-V could become a collector's piece, though. It came packed with the also-discontinued, handbuilt 550-hp Blackwing V8, but Cadillac only built around a thousand CT6-V models.
The Chevrolet Impala was supposed to end with the 2019 model year but got a stay of execution. That time is now over and the sedan that should have been more than a rental special is done.
Along with the Impala, we say goodbye to Chevy's uninspiring subcompact Sonic Sedan. With the Sonic gone, the Orion Township Assembly Plant can concentrate on the production of Chevy's refreshed Bolt EV and Bolt EUV.
After 36 years, the cheap and ever-useful Grand Caravan minivan is being retired. It's making way for the Chrysler Voyager, which is essentially a watered-down Chrysler Pacifica that joined us for the 2020 model year.
The Journey is also known for its low price and the odd fact it has the longest-running production transmission installed. The Ultradrive four-speed automatic transmission first appeared in 1989 model year cars, making it 31 years old as it goes out of production.
The Fusion's card has been marked since Ford declared its intent to no longer sell passenger cars in the US apart from the Mustang. Now, however, it's finally saying goodbye. On the flip side, the current generation Ford Shelby GT350 and GT350R have had short but intense lives, and the flat-plane cranked 526-horsepower V8 is a joy to behold.
With the GT350 going out of production along with its track-focused R sibling, Shelby's resources will be centered on the 760-hp supercharged GT500, while filling the void between the Mustang GT and the Shelby GT500 will be the all-new Mustang Mach 1.
America has never really taken to tiny cars, even ones as fun to drive and full of personality as the little Fit. With low sales, Honda had to draw the line somewhere, and 2020 is the last model year for the Fit here in the US. The replacement, which will be available overseas, will not make its way stateside.
Slightly higher up in the lineup, Honda is still selling enough four-door Civics despite crossover competition; however, the two-door Civic and Civic Si are also being struck off Honda's lineup for 2021. A new Civic will make its debut in 2022, but the two-door is likely dead and gone forever.
Subcompacts and compacts seem to be dropping like flies, and among them is one of Hyundai's pair of compact hatches - the Elantra GT. Similar in name, but different in personality to the Elantra sedan, the Euro-developed Elantra GT was fun to drive and had a low price tag, but it didn't really offer much that Hyundai buyers couldn't get in an Elantra sedan. The Veloster, with its quirky three-door semi-coupe design, also represents a sportier alternative, particularly in N guise. The Veloster lives on as the only Hyundai passenger hatch in the US for 2021.
The Jaguar XE is its entry-level luxury sports sedan, designed to revive flagging sales and take on BMW's 3 Series. It arrived in the US in 2017 but is just as quickly making an early exit. It's a shame, as the XE is a nice car to drive, but the writing has been on the wall for some time as the 2020 update already saw the potent 340-hp supercharged V6 dropped from the lineup.
As for the XF Sportbrake, well, sporty wagons haven't been stealing sales from crossovers in the US, and it's no surprise that Jaguar's stylish sedan isn't returning for another model year.
After nearly 30 years on the road, the Lexus GS is leaving us. Lexus explained its demise in an official statement, explaining: "We are constantly evaluating model mixes throughout our lineup. In the declining sedan segment, GS family has represented a small amount of sales in the last few years. In 2019, the GS represented 4 percent of overall Lexus passenger car sales (3,378 units) and less than 1 percent (0.88%) of sales in the overall mid-size luxury segment. This is down both almost 50 percent (-48.4%) since 2018." The Lexus ES fills a similar hole size-wise, and for Lexus buyers who value luxury, it's still a great go-to vehicle.
It's goodbye to the Lincoln Continental for now, but we expect to see this iconic nameplate again in the future. The current generation was a bit of an oddball: neither the old-school leather-bound land yacht for affluent boomers or a cutting edge status symbol for millionaire millennials.
As for the MKZ, well, we're shrugging our shoulders at its demise. It was not much more than a pretentious Fusion with a crappy name, and since the Fusion is dead, we're happy to see the MKZ go along with it.
The Mercedes SL was designed explicitly for the American market and is one of the oldest nameplates still on the road. However, the two-seater SL isn't on the Mercedes roster of cars for 2021. We doubt Mercedes will let the nameplate die, as the German marque has already confirmed a replacement is being developed by in-house performance gurus AMG. It should return to its roots for 2022 and will share a platform with the forthcoming AMG GT replacement.
The same story won't hold true for the SLC-Class. An evolution of the old SLK, the SLC bid farewell in 2020 with a Final Edition model, but it ends a long model span that quite simply couldn't compete with newer rivals from BMW and even Toyota.
The Nissan 370Z is now an old car, and the convertible version has disappeared from dealerships already. The 370Z debuted in 2009, making it an 11-year old platform, and it feels its age when sitting inside. We would be sorry to see the 370Z going if we didn't know a replacement was coming, as it's still a fun sports car to drive. The 370Z's replacement has us excited, but the 400Z probably won't arrive with its 3.0-liter twin-turbo engine until 2022 as a 2023 model. While Nissan hasn't explicitly stated the 370Z is dead, there's been no attempt to update it with 2021 MY information, so we suspect it'll disappear quietly.
Subaru has officially stopped taking orders for the BRZ, bringing to an end a successful first generation of the car that made its debut back in 2012. There's going to be a short break before a new version appears, and we've now seen spy shots of what will be the 2022 BRZ and Toyota 86 twin. The most significant gripe people have for the outgoing generation is a lack of turbocharged power, as the chassis was always deserving of more. Rumor has it that the next generation will have a turbocharged 2.4-liter engine making 255 hp - 50 more than the current naturally-aspirated boxer engine.
We've already touched on how bad the market is in America for subcompact cars with the Honda Fit. Toyota's Yaris faces the same fate despite being a fun and useful little car to drive. The current generation is basically a Toyota-clad Mazda2 and a great example of badge engineering done right. Unfortunately, tiny cars don't make money here, so 2020 is the Yaris's final model year for the US.
As for the Toyota 86, one might expect that since the Subaru BRZ is dead, the 86 might be as well, but all official sources say production is still in full swing. We'll wait and see if a 2021 model materializes.