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We Hardly Knew You: 15 Cars That Quickly Hit the Chopping Block

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 7/23/2015 Kelly Pleskot

The longest-running nameplate in the U.S. is the Chevrolet Suburban, an automotive staple that has stood the test of time for 80 years. But there have been cars that weren't as lucky, those that hit the chopping block almost as quickly as they were introduced. Manufacturers may try to forget these vehicles, but we haven't. Here is a list of recent cars that were discontinued after just one or two model years.


Kia Borrego (2009)

2009 Kia Borrego Front Right Angle© Provided by MotorTrend 2009 Kia Borrego Front Right Angle What happened, Kia? As a body-on-frame SUV, the Borrego performed well for its intended function, maneuvering easily over rough terrain and hauling lots of people and cargo. Unfortunately, it debuted right when crossovers were gaining popularity for their superior comfort and practicality. At the end of the day, the Borrego's bumpy ride, gas-hungry V-6 and V-8 engines, and aging interior just didn't fit in with the times. The SUV lasted for only one model year.

Hummer H1 Alpha (2006)

2006 Hummer H1 Alpha Front Quarter© Provided by MotorTrend 2006 Hummer H1 Alpha Front Quarter Hindsight is 20/20, but back in the day, Hummer seemed unstoppable. The brand's most formidable model was the H1 Alpha, which featured a more powerful 6.6-liter Duramax diesel engine, improved cooling, bigger brakes, a five-speed automatic, and a number of other improvements over the standard H1. Drawbacks? For one, its asking price was more than $130,000. The H1 was killed off in 2006, but Hummer still kept its H2 and H3 models around.

BMW ActiveHybrid X6 (2010, 2011)

2011 BMW X6 ActiveHybrid© Provided by MotorTrend 2011 BMW X6 ActiveHybrid Talk about a niche within a niche. If you can learn to love its fastback crossover design, you'll have to accept its strange powertrain. Under the sheetmetal of the BMW ActiveHybrid X6 lay a 4.4-liter V-8 engine combined with two electric motors for a total of 480 hp. Despite the "hybrid" name, the vehicle only delivered a meager 18 mph in combined city and highway traffic, according to EPA ratings.

Mazda Mazdaspeed Protégé (2003)

2003 Mazda Mazdspeed Protege© Provided by MotorTrend 2003 Mazda Mazdspeed Protege After bringing out the equally short-lived MP3, Mazda brought its first Mazdaspeed car to the U.S. With a 170-hp, turbocharged four-cylinder engine, the Mazdaspeed Protégé was quick, nimble, and more powerful than its predecessor. The model, however, was quickly replaced by the first-generation Mazda3.

Lincoln Blackwood (2002)

2002 Lincoln Blackwood© Provided by MotorTrend 2002 Lincoln Blackwood At the time, it was easy to make fun of the Lincoln Blackwood. Who on earth needs a luxury pickup with cooled leather seats and luscious carpeting? Did we mention there was no four-wheel-drive model? Lincoln quickly axed the model after its first model year. Despite its lack of sales success, the Blackwood ushered in a new era of premium trucks. Now we can't get enough of these luxury high-rollers, which include the Chevrolet Silverado High Country, Ram Laramie Longhorn, and Ford F-150 Limited.

Coda Sedan (2012, 2013)

Coda-All-Electric-Sedan-driver's-side-front-three-quarters© Provided by MotorTrend Coda-All-Electric-Sedan-driver's-side-front-three-quarters In music, a coda signals the end of a song, and in that same vein, an electric car company adopted the Coda name to signify the end of the gasoline car. It's hard to say whether the world wasn't ready for Coda's message or if Coda wasn't ready for the world. If we had to guess, we'd say the latter. The company's 10-year-old borrowed Chinese car wasn't much of a looker, and although the sedan had a decent electric range, it was expensive and offered little by way of driving excitement. To top things off, it earned only 2 stars in front crash tests by the government. Only around 100 copies were sold.

Chrysler Aspen Hybrid (2009)

2009 Chrysler Aspen Hybrid© Provided by MotorTrend 2009 Chrysler Aspen Hybrid The Chrysler Aspen only lasted three model years before its untimely death, but the Aspen Hybrid lasted for an even shorter period of time. Offered for the 2009 model year, the Aspen Hybrid brought improved fuel economy over the traditional version. That said, it still only reached 21 mpg in combined city and highway driving. A slew of more efficient crossovers were already on the market, and the entire Aspen lineup seemed less appealing. All Aspen models were discontinued after the 2009 model year.

Aston Martin Virage (2011, 2012)

2011 Aston Martin Virage© Provided by MotorTrend 2011 Aston Martin Virage It's pretty shocking that such a beautiful car as the Aston Martin Virage would fade away so quickly. Not only is it stunning, but both the coupe and convertible versions were also a blast to drive. It wasn't the fastest or most comfortable sports car on the market, but the growl from its 5.9-liter V-12 engine was enough to make almost anyone happy. The Virage slotted in between the DBS and the DB9 models in terms of power, but unfortunately it didn't stand out strongly enough among its similarly styled Aston brothers. Sales of the model ended after just 18 months.

Hyundai Entourage (2007, 2008)

2007 Hyundai Entourage front three quarter 1© Provided by MotorTrend 2007 Hyundai Entourage front three quarter 1 For the 2007 model year, Hyundai brought out its first minivan, the Entourage. But it was little more than a rebadged Kia Sedona. It was first offered with a 3.8-liter V-6 engine with 242 hp, but this output increased to 250 hp the following model year. Although Chrysler has succeeded for decades by offering the Town & Country alongside the Dodge Grand Caravan, the two-minivan strategy didn't pan out for Hyundai. Sales were slow, and there was simply no need to keep the Entourage around.

Chrysler Grand Voyager (2000)

1997 Plymouth Grand Voyager© Provided by MotorTrend 1997 Plymouth Grand Voyager From the Hyundai Entourage to the Volkswagen Routan, we'll never truly know why automakers love rebadged minivans. The Chrysler Grand Voyager was yet another one of these creations, based on a minivan from the outgoing Plymouth brand (the 1997 Plymouth Grand Voyager is pictured). And that minivan was essentially the same as a Dodge Grand Caravan. Will the madness ever stop?

Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid (2014)

2014 honda accord plug in© Provided by MotorTrend 2014 honda accord plug in Honda offered two new Accords for the 2014 model year: a plug-in Accord and a regular hybrid model. The plug-in model could travel 13 miles on electricity, but after that, it was no more fuel-efficient than the standard hybrid. It also came with a price tag approaching $40,000. Honda says it was a "very low volume" model and will be replaced by a new plug-in hybrid car by 2018.

Pontiac G3 (2009)

2009 Pontiac G3© Provided by MotorTrend 2009 Pontiac G3 It was supposed to be the fun, sporty alternative to the Chevrolet Aveo, but it simply wasn't. General Motors had no one fooled with this cheap-looking car that sacrificed everything Pontiac stands for in the search for better fuel economy. The G3 quickly faded into the sunset alongside the G5, G8, and the rest of the Pontiac lineup.

Rolls-Royce Park Ward (2001, 2002)

2001 Rolls Royce Park Ward© Provided by MotorTrend 2001 Rolls Royce Park Ward Not even Rolls-Royce is immune to the curse of the short-lived car. The Park Ward was introduced at the 2000 Geneva Motor Show before arriving in the U.S. as a 2001 model-year vehicle. It was 10 inches longer than the Silver Seraph it was based on and offered ample room for five passengers. It was axed after the 2002 model year like the Silver Seraph and was indirectly replaced by the Rolls-Royce Phantom.

Saturn Astra (2008)

2008 Saturn Astra Front Left© Provided by MotorTrend 2008 Saturn Astra Front Left General Motors didn't tweak the Saturn Astra much from its European brother, the Opel Astra. The economy hatchback suffered from the same anemic 1.8-liter, 138-hp engine and jumpy four-speed automatic. The Astra was discontinued after its first model year and was supposed to return as a 2010 model at a later date. Unfortunately, the Saturn brand didn't survive long enough to bring those plans to fruition.

Fisker Karma (2012)

2012 Fisker Karma Exterior Front Quarter© Provided by MotorTrend 2012 Fisker Karma Exterior Front Quarter Although Tesla has met success, history doesn't look kindly upon the company's biggest rival. The Fisker Karma suffered a number of blows, including fires, recalls, breakdowns, and the bankruptcy of its battery supplier, A123 Systems. Eventually, China's Wanxiang Group purchased the company's assets and has promised to reintroduce the Karma sedan with a new drivetrain. Word on the street is that the revamped model is tentatively slated to arrive in 2016.

15 Cars That Quickly Hit the Chopping Block© Provided by MotorTrend 15 Cars That Quickly Hit the Chopping Block

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