Yes, there are some new Lexus LFAs kicking around out there.
Every month, manufacturers report how many examples of each model their dealers managed to sell. Nothing unusual there, obviously. Except for one thing — even after manufacturers officially discontinue their cars, they’re still showing up in sales reports. For some time after a car meets its maker, manufacturers will still report sales as dealers clear out back stock. However, it does get a bit weird when cars that fell off the sales charts reappear. That’s the case with the Lexus LFA, which actually sold three units last month.
How many of what I like to call “zombie cars” did manufacturers report last month? Tommy and Mike go through ten of the vehicles that have officially ended production, but are still finding buyers through dealer networks and showing up on the sales charts.
10) Volkswagen Tiguan Limited (2017 – 2018): 56 units
When Volkswagen introduced the new Tiguan, they kept the old model as a rollover for one model year. The so-called Tiguan Limited kept the old body style going, and presented buyers a less expensive alternative to the new model. Folks opted more for the new Tiguan, though, so Volkswagen pulled the plug on the Tiguan Limited.
While you can technically “build” a version of the Tiguan Limited through Volkswagen’s configurator, the last model available is in the 2018 model year. This one isn’t a huge shock. After all, the 56 units that found buyers likely came from dealers clearing out back inventory.
9) Volkswagen Touareg (2008 – 2017 in U.S.): 38 units
Back in 2017, Volkswagen pulled the European-based Touareg from our shores and introduced the more American-friendly Atlas. In doing so, the company discontinued the Touareg in the U.S.
Overall, the Atlas is a much less expensive proposition than the Touareg was. While the outgoing car started around $35,000, the Atlas kicks off at $30,895 (both totals before destination charges). 38 units still managed to find homes, however, likely getting a good deal on what these cars would cost to buy while it was still in production.
8) Chrysler 200 (2011 – 2017): 12 units
Yep, the Chrysler 200 is still finding buyers. This car first emerged as a 2011 model to replace the aging Sebring. It also kicked off FCA’s “Imported from Detroit” marketing campaign. By changing the name, the company hoped it could align the midsize model more with its larger 300 sibling. Not only that, but it could distance itself from the Sebring, which had a checkered history of reliability and quality issues.
Neither time nor a 2015 refresh could ultimately save the Chrysler 200, though. That’s also to say nothing of the early nine-speed automatic transmission’s issues. It wasn’t exactly a money-maker for FCA, and the company ultimately dropped the models as truck and crossover sales took off.
7) Volkswagen CC (2008 – 2017): 9 units
Another Volkswagen makes the list, though this time fewer of them found owners. It wound up as one of the company’s slowest-selling models while it was still in production. In 2015, just 3,900 were sold.
While the CC is gone, it will eventually see a replacement in the equally style-focused Arteon. While that model is on sale in Europe now, it should find its way to the U.S. market this year. 9 people couldn’t wait for the new Arteon, it seems, and bought the CC instead.
6) Jeep Patriot (2007 – 2017): 6 units
The Jeep Patriot was the entry point for those looking to get in on the Jeep brand. It was cheap — starting at just under $19,000, but you didn’t really get any amenities for that. Nor did you get most of the off-road features that make a Jeep, well, a Jeep.
Wrangler Rubicon it wasn’t, but the Jeep Patriot still found relative success among those in this discontinued cars list. 2016 was the best year for the Patriot, when Jeep shifted 125,000 examples. In 2018, after the car was formally discontinued, 621 were sold. Now, 6 have found homes this year.
5) Infiniti QX70 (2003 as the FX, 2013 – 2017 as the QX): 4 units
These days, it’s fairly easy to remember Infiniti’s lineup. On the crossover side, you have the QX30, QX50, QX60 and QX80. You used to have the QX70 as well, which is similarly sized to the QX60. It stood as a remnant of Infiniti’s former nomenclature, when it was the FX35 or the FX50. Back then, Infiniti used the numbers to refer to the size of the car’s engine. The FX35 had the 3.5-liter V6, while the FX50 packed a V8.
As the company realigned its model lineup, the QX70 was the stepchild that had to go. It was built on a rear-wheel drive platform that underpins the Nissan 370Z, but that wasn’t enough. Just 4 of the remaining units found homes in January 2019.
4) Dodge Dart (2013 – 2016): 3 units
The PF-generation Dodge Dart was a short-lived car, spanning just three years in production. Like the Chrysler 200, this entry-level compact wasn’t a huge money maker. FCA did sell over 80,000 examples in 2013, 2014 and 2015. But again, as the market shifted to trucks and SUVs, the diminutive Dart was left out in the cold.
After production ended later in 2016, remaining Darts have been working their way off new dealer lots into owners’ driveways. However, so far in 2019, just 3 were sold to new buyers.
3) Nissan Juke (2011 – 2017 in N. America): 3 units
Those of you who know the Juke – frankly, how could you miss it – are likely in one of two camps. Either you praise Nissan’s small crossover for trying to stand out and look different, or you utterly can’t stand what Nissan’s styling department did with the looks.
The Juke sold decently while it was in production, with yearly sales cresting the 40,000 unit mark. However, that all changed in 2017 as Nissan discontinued the model. Now, we have the much more conventional, front-wheel drive Nissan Kicks to replace it. It still has speakers in the headrests on higher trims, but the bug-eyed look has gone away.
2) Chrysler Town & Country (1990 – 2016): 1 unit
Yes, the Dodge Grand Caravan is still in production. The other Chrysler-branded minivans it grew up with, however, are not. Back in the day, you used to be able to get the Caravan, the Plymouth Voyager or the Chrysler Town & Country. However, the Plymouth brand died entirely in 2001 and Chrysler has since brought out the new, much more modern Pacifica to take the Town & Country’s place.
Still, the Town & Country was one of the “original” minivans here in the U.S. Chrysler produced the model over 25 years and five generations before the new Pacifica — a rebranded SUV nameplate — came along. Someone thought the Town & Country was worth buying, as FCA reported one sale in January 2019.
1) Toyota Prius V (2012 – 2017 in U.S.): 1 unit
As someone found a home for a lonely Chrysler Town & Country, so too did one person buy a Toyota Prius V. This prius came along at a time when Toyota wanted to expand the Prius lineup beyond the single hatchback we all know. There was also the compact Prius C, which is still with us, and the larger Prius V.
When Toyota introduced the RAV4 Hybrid, and the RAV4’s sales have improved in general, fewer people took interest in the Prius V. It tops the list of discontinued cars still finding owners, thanks to that 1 unit sales figure.
BONUS: Lexus LFA (2011 – 2012): 3 units
What about the Lexus LFA I mentioned earlier? As of early January 2019, there were actually seven new LFAs that had yet to actually find owners. Three of them were actually sold in January 2019, meaning four new cars are still out there.
Yes, it’s Lexus’ only supercar to date, with a screaming 4.8-liter V10 and all sorts of technological wizardry at play. It was also ludicrously expensive, costing three times as much as the next most expensive Lexus. Only 500 units were built, so it may actually be a good investment, as values seem to be going up from here.
Here’s an odd one…the Mitsubishi Lancer: -3 units
Wait, how can a care have negative three sales? That’s what happened in January 2019, as Mitsubishi reported the now-defunct Lancer actually had -3 sales. It’s not completely unheard of, as manufacturers sometimes need to correct old sales reports. To balance the numbers, they may report “negative” sales, which do ultimately impact the manufacturer’s bottom line on sales figures. It’s only three cars, but still, Mitsubishi managed to shift just 8,708 cars in January.
The Lancer, and the enthusiasts’ dream Evolution X, sadly left us in 2017. By then, the company’s only remaining sedan had fallen far behind the competition, and Mitsubishi wanted to focus on crossovers instead. 1