A blue 2017 Hyundai Accent, one of many used cars for sale.

Dearly Departed: Our Favorite Discontinued Cars

If you’re searching for used cars for sale, you might find yourself asking, “Where did they all go?” As the industry continues to embrace crossovers and carries on with its steady march towards electrification, traditional cars are becoming harder to find than ever before. As recently as 2018, car sales represented 22 percent of the auto market, a number that has dropped to just 15 percent in a few short years. The growth of EVs and the continued success of the crossover segment has led many automakers to all but abandon the production of new sedans, coupes, and hatchbacks, but that doesn’t mean that drivers seeking a more conventional ride are out of luck just yet.

Today’s preowned market is full of recently discontinued cars whose only sin was not being a crossover or EV. Whether you prioritize performance, efficiency, cargo, or passenger room, many of these cars pack significant value, allowing drivers to enjoy trims and features that might otherwise be outside their price range. As sedans continue to disappear from automaker’s lineups, we thought it would be the perfect time to look back on some recently deceased models that we’re still lamenting. We’ll focus on cars produced between 2016 and 2022, touching on subcompact, compact, full-size models, and even an EV for good measure. Read on and learn why going against the current industry flow can yield some real value as we look at some great used cars that were discontinued.

For Those Seeking Value and Efficiency: The Hyundai Accent (2017–2022)

There’s certainly a lot of savings to be had when shopping used, but if you’re looking to stretch your dollar even further, the Hyundai Accent is worth a closer look. Noted for its clever blend of affordability, efficiency, and style, the Accent was a victim of Hyundai’s push towards electrification. The subcompact’s decades-long run came to an end in 2022, though it has been rebranded as the Hyundai Verna for the Indian market. US drivers will find that the fifth-gen Accent (2017-2022) represents the sweet spot on the used market, allowing drivers to enjoy some thoroughly modern features and styling while avoiding the steep depreciation common to most new vehicles.

Originally retailing for just $16,645 (or $19,600 for the range-topping Limited trim), the Accent is all about value. That value isn’t just limited to the sticker price; it also extends to the vehicle’s overall cost of operation. Boasting an EPA-estimated combined 36 MPG, the Accent’s thrifty 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine is the real star of the show. It might not be burning any rubber with an output of 120 to 130 hp, but it’s the perfect complement for the diminutive subcompact.

Most impressively, the Accent manages to maintain its budget price without creating a noticeable budget feel. Hyundai has crafted a clean, refined interior that—while lacking in some of the bells and whistles found in pricier models—doesn’t edge into the territory of “cheap.” The Accent sports a surprisingly roomy cargo area for its class and is brought firmly into the modern era thanks to its available 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system complete with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth connectivity, and SiriusXM satellite radio.

Two 2020 Toyota Avalons, one maroon and one white, parked on a city rooftop.

For Those Seeking Spaciousness and Luxury: The Toyota Avalon (2018–2022)

When you’re on the hunt for a reliable pre-owned vehicle, it’s hard to do better than a Toyota. The Japanese brand regularly ranks towards the top of the list when it comes to reliability, earning a 76 out of 100 from Consumer Reports in 2023. In fact, Toyota is only bested by its own Lexus luxury sub-brand (79/100), suggesting there must be something in the water in the Aichi Prefecture where they’re both based.

From the rugged and reliable Tacoma and Tundra to the crossover sensation that is the RAV4 and exciting new hybrid models abound, it’s hard to go wrong when picking a Toyota model. The Toyota Avalon is a prime example of the brand’s seamless fusion of value and refinement, with the full-size sedan offering some borderline luxury features while staying south of the all-important $40,000 mark. Unlike many of the other cars on our list, the Avalon was not retired in favor of a new electric or crossover. The Avalon was actually replaced with an entirely new full-size offering in the Toyota Crown, which, with its raised suspension, aims to bridge the gap between the sedan and crossover segments.

The fifth-generation Avalon was offered with either a 3.5-liter V6 or 2.5-liter four-cylinder hybrid engine, with the latter offering an impressive 43 MPG combined. Efficiency aside, it’s the Avalon’s roomy, well-appointed interior that really sets it apart from the rest of the full-size segment. The sedan features all the expected tech features, including a 9-inch touchscreen, WiFi hotspot, and a full slate of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), but it’s the spacious cabin that landed the Avalon on our list. With 103 cu.ft. of passenger volume and a massive 16-cubic-foot trunk, the Avalon is built for comfort. This even extends to the often-forgotten second row, where even taller passengers should have plenty of space to stretch out their legs.

For Those Seeking Performance and Fun: The Ford Focus (2016–2018)

If there’s a poster child for the Great Sedan Extinction, it’s Ford. Detroit’s Big Blue Oval has largely abandoned smaller vehicles in recent years as crossover, hybrid, and electric models became a bigger part of the equation. In fact, there’s currently only one traditional car in the current Ford lineup: the iconic Ford Mustang. That storied pony car isn’t likely to be retired anytime soon, but the Ford Focus is a different story. As recently as 2012, the Focus was not only Ford’s best-selling car but the best-selling car the world over. The last decade saw declining sales, leading Ford to discontinue the Ford for the North American market in 2018.

It’s easy to see why the Focus was such a popular model throughout its 20-year run. The compact earned a solid reputation for fun and performance, especially when it came to the ST and RS models. Investing in a 2018 Focus RS can get you up to 19 MPG in the city and 26 MPG on the highway. Powered by a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine, the Focus RS is a true hot hatch, giving drivers 350 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque.

Combine this with the RS’ all-wheel drive setup, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, and six-speed manual transmission, and you’ve got a punchy compact that’s just begging for a little pedal-mashing fun. The RS is the priceless of the bunch—and was made in fairly limited quantities during the compact’s later years—but those seeking a little value should be able to find many of the lower trims on the preowned market for as little as $15,000.

A silver 2022 Chevy Bolt EUV parked in front of an outdoor goods store.

For Those Seeking Value and a Taste of the Future: The Chevy Bolt (2016–2023)

All-electric vehicles might represent an exciting new era of personal transportation, but they can also be a little exclusionary. As with any new technology, EVs still come at a bit of a premium, which can leave some drivers on the outside looking in. The Chevy Bolt EV and its larger crossover cousin, the Bolt EUV, sought to close this gap between the haves and have-nots, offering an affordable, efficient EV that was well within the reach of the average driver. While the Bolt boasts a roomy interior, tech-centric cabin, and 259 miles of range, it’s the EV’s price that marks its most compelling attribute.

The subcompact hatchback was already a steal with an MSRP of $27,495 for the 2023 1LT model, but once you factor in the $7,500 tax credit, the EV could be had for under $20,000. That’s less than half the average EV price of $53,376, which is why it’s little surprise to learn that the Bolt EV and EUV were only topped in sales by the Tesla Model 3. While those shopping the preowned market aren’t eligible for the generous $7,500 tax credit, a new incentive aimed at used EV models should allow buyers to deduct $4,000 from the sale price. Qualifying models must be priced below $25,000 and be more than two years old, but nearly every Bolt should meet those criteria by this point.

The Bolt is a bit of an outlier on our list for one simple reason: it might not actually be discontinued. Communication from GM HQ has been a little spotty, but it seems like rumors of the Bolt’s demise are greatly exaggerated. Some recall-related issues saw Chevy halt production in late 2021, but it was restarted less than six months later. The Bolt got its final walking papers in late 2022 as the brand announced 2023 would represent the EV’s final year, but CEO Mary Barra has also hinted at plans for a revived 2025 version that would ride on GM’s new Ultium battery platform.

There Are Lots to Enjoy in the Used Market

If you know what to look for, the preowned market can be a fertile hunting ground when you’re in the market for your next car, truck, or SUV. While some models are discontinued for obvious—and alarming—reasons, others have just fallen victim to market forces well outside their control. As EVs and crossovers continue to gobble up market share, some of yesteryear’s most beloved sedans, coupes, and hatchbacks have gone the way of the dodo.

The market’s loss is the value-shopper’s gain, with models like the Chevy Bolt and Hyundai Accent allowing drivers to get the best value for their money. Other discontinued models, like the Ford Focus, offer new car performance at a used car price, ramping up the excitement behind the wheel without breaking the bank. Full-size cars like the Toyota Avalon are largely absent from today’s market, but a quick test drive will prove that the days of the spacious family sedan aren’t quite gone for good. No matter what traits you prioritize in a vehicle, the used market is full of alluring options worth a second look.