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    Thursday, August 11, 2022

    Rust In peace: New cars that will not be returning for the 2022 model year

    The 2020 Toyota Land Cruiser. (Toyota/TNS)

    With Halloween just past, it’s time to revisit the vehicles whose time on earth is coming to an end. These vehicles will disappear for the new model year. But they merit more than a footnote for what they say about the auto industry and its buyers. But will they be remembered or reviled? Let’s take a look.

    —BMW i3: Dating from a time when designers mistakenly thought that environmentally friendly vehicles had to resemble alien spacecraft, this eclectic electric hatchback with a range of 153 miles is being replaced by the i4 sedan and the iX SUV. Both are far better looking and have 300 miles of range.

    —Honda Clarity: When comes to the popularity of the Honda Clarity, Honda is finally acting with great — um — clarity. They already axed the EV model in 2020. Now the plug-in hybrid and hydrogen fuel-cell models are given the heave ho except in California, where the fuel cell model will remain available for lease.

    —Hyundai Veloster: Entry-level buyers used to lust over sporty little hatchbacks like the Veloster, the funky funster with two doors on one side and one on the other. Now, they crave crossovers and with many affordable models available, all Veloster models except for the high-performance Veloster N are being terminated.

    —Mazda CX-3: Not all small crossovers are popular. Consider the petite CX-3. Yes, it is athletic and fun to drive. But its lack of space made it less useful than a Mazda 3 hatchback. Now that the larger CX-30 is available for a similar price, the CX-3 has little reason to exist. And it won’t for long.

    —Mazda 6: Beloved by the motoring press and the Mazda faithful, the 6 never won buyers’ hearts for its agility and good looks as some its competitors did. And Mazda allowed it to wither on the vine, depriving it of the newer technology and alternate fuel drivelines that might have increased its appeal to a diminishing pool of sedan buyers.

    —Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe and Cabriolet: Maybe you didn’t notice, but Mercedes-Benz has far too many models, which is affecting profitability. So the company has been cutting a few, including the opulent and alluring S-Class Coupe and Cabriolet, which will be replaced in the lineup by a new SL and the AMG GT.

    —Nissan NV Vans: Eliciting envy from no one, these awkwardly styled workhorses will vanish from the U.S. market for 2022, including the full-size NV vans and the compact NV200s. The question is, will anyone miss them? Not unless you crave ugly vans, in which case you can always opt for a Ram ProMaster.

    —Polestar 1: Why do those who are so beautiful have to die so young? James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, the Polestar 1. This powerful and sexy plug-in hybrid, the first product of a new brand, is built by Geely and Volvo and is the only one powered by gasoline. All the rest get their power from a charger stand or wall socket. So say goodbye.

    —Rolls-Royce Dawn and Wraith: Just because you have billions doesn’t mean you can have everything, like a 2022 Rolls-Royce Dawn or Wraith. OK, you can if you live overseas, where the pair will remain in production; they’re just being yanked stateside. So if you want a new one, it better be for your other home in — say — France.

    —Toyota Land Cruiser: Toyota’s oldest U.S. nameplate, the one that helped it survive the lean years of the 1960s, is being dumped. A victim of corporate neglect and a sky-high MSRP, a new model is being readied for overseas markets. In the U.S., it will wear Lexus drag, becoming the new Lexus LX.

    —Volvo V60 and V90: American car buyers hate wagons, even though they’re just as good as SUVs when it comes to hauling and can be more fun to drive. But hike them up like SUVs, and people are fooled into thinking that they’re more capable. Thus, the V60 and V90 wagons are history, but not their Cross Country high-riding relatives.

    The 2021 Hyundai Veloster N. (Hyundai/TNS)
    The Mazda CX-3, as introduced at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show on Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014. (Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
    The 2019 Rolls-Royce Dawn. (James Lipman/Rolls-Royce/TNS)
    The 2017 BMW i3 REx electric vehicle with a 2.4 gallon range extender. (Robert Duffer/Chicago Tribune/TNS)
    The 2018 Honda Clarity plug-in hybrid. (Robert Duffer/Chicago Tribune/TNS)
    The Volvo V90 Cross Country. (Volvo/TNS)

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