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Check Out These 5 Recently Discontinued Models Destined to be Future Classics

Car models come and go. Sales will decline on once-popular models with decades-long manufacturing runs, and once they no longer prove viable for an automaker they are discontinued.  As sad as that may be, (former Honda Element owner here), this is just a part of the automotive lifecycle. Some vehicles will be forgotten and others will gain cult status with a possibly rabid, forum-posting following.  Below are some recently discontinued models, that while no longer in production could become desirable collectibles in the coming years.

FIAT 500 (2011-2019)

2019 Fiat 500The FIAT 500 or Cinquecento is a retro-revival sub-compact car that was imported to the United States with the merger between FIAT and Chrysler. Introduced to Europe in 2007, it eventually made its way to our shores in 2011 and was sold here until 2019. While the FIAT 500’s sales eventually slowed here in the U.S., it continues to be sold in Europe, where it remains popular. It is a perfect city car, capable of squeezing into the tiniest of parking spaces, and despite its small size, there is enough room for groceries, but barely enough room for full-sized adults in the back seats.  Notably, the high-performance “Abarth” trim features a 160 hp turbocharged engine over the stock 136 hp, with a snorty exhaust note that makes this sub-compact a hoot to drive.  Used models can be had quite affordably, and there are even a few brand-new 2019 units sitting on dealer’s lots, perhaps waiting to be stuffed into a collector’s time capsule. Find a Fiat 500 for sale

Volkswagen Beetle (1997-2019)

2019 Volkswagen Beetle


The Volkswagen Beetle is the most produced and recognizable car in history, but America’s demand for crossovers and SUVs has led to the discontinuation of this iconic automobile. Originally built from 1939-2003, the rear-engined, air-cooled Volkswagen Beetle was modernized on Golf underpinnings and relaunched in 1997 as the New Beetle.  Although the New Beetle has little in common mechanically with its rear-engined predecessor, there is a tiny flower vase integrated into its dashboard, hinting at its 1960’s flower power cultural cache. Offered with a fixed roof or as a convertible, it was produced from 1997-2011, and then refreshed with a lowered, more angular look for the 2012 model year. With huge production numbers, they can be had relatively inexpensively, and with cool special edition models like the lifted Dune Beetle, Fender™ Guitar branded trim, and turbocharged R-line, these cars will remain attractive for many years to come. Find a Volkswagen Beetle for sale


Audi TT (1998-2021)

2021 Audi TT

Introduced in 1998, the Audi TT is a small sports coupe named after the famed motorcycle race Isle of Man TT, which was dominated by DKW and NSU — two brands that later merged to become Audi. Produced over three generations, it is available as a 2+2 coupe, or 2-seater convertible. Offered with Audi’s trademark Quattro all-wheel drive system or front-wheel drive configurations and engines ranging from 180 to 225 HP, the Audi TT is sporty, but not race car quick. Audi later remedied the lack of performance by introducing high-performance models designated TT S and TT RS in its second generation, producing 292 and 394 horsepower respectively.  In addition, the Audi TT is of the prettier designs seen on the road in recent years.  While the Audi TT is still in production, its run will come to an end next year to make room for upcoming electrified models in Audi’s lineup. Find an Audi TT for sale

Cadillac ATS/ATS-V (2014-2019)

Cadillac ATS



When you think Cadillac, a sports coupe isn’t exactly what comes to mind, and that should indicate that the ATS was not popular enough to stay in the flagship automaker’s portfolio known for plush sedans and SUVs. Compared to competition from Audi’s A5/S5 coupe, BMW’s 4-Series, as well as the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, the Cadillac was relatively forgettable, despite being offered with engines producing 272 and 321 horsepower, rear or all-wheel drive, a manual transmission, and even a high-performance model pushing 464 horsepower.  That being said, the scarcity of the ATS and ATS-V coupes could be seen as credentials to become a future-classic in the years to come. Find a Cadillac ATS for sale

Nissan Juke (2010-2017)

2016 Nissan JukeAt its debut in 2010, the Nissan Juke was one of the first compact SUVs on the block. With a uniquely styled exterior, the Juke stood out from a growing segment that now includes competition from the Kia Soul, Honda HR-V, Toyota C-HR and more recently Mazda CX-30. Powered by a 1.6L turbocharged four-cylinder engine, the Juke produced 188 horsepower, with a modest boost to 197 horsepower in its sporty NISMO trim.  Nissan even stuffed the 545 horsepower performance-oriented GT-R engine into 23 special Juke R’s, just to show off.  Replaced by the more spacious, budget-friendly Nissan Kicks, the Juke was dropped for the 2018 model year, while continuing on with an updated second generation in Europe and Asia. Find a Nissan Juke for sale

Sam Keller
Sam Keller is an Editorial Contributor for Autotrader & Oversteer since 2017. He enjoys covering everything from auto history and classic cars, modern and vintage driving impressions, as well as everyday car news stories. Currently based in Los Angeles, California, Sam can be found on Instagram at @hamptonwhipz where he documents interesting vehicles he encounters on his travels.

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