If you've ever looked at a sales breakdown for a large manufacturer, you've probably seen at least one "zombie car" counted in those figures. They're sales of vehicles that went out of production before the year they were sold. There are always a few every year, mostly models that wrapped up production the year prior.
For this year, that means most of the zombie cars sold in 2023 were built in 2022. But there are a few that have been out of production for up to eight years. Stellantis alone accounts for 11 of the 17 vehicles on this list, including the oldest of the undead going back to 2016. Models from the likes of Acura, Ford, Hyundai, and Toyota also made appearances.
We're at a complete loss as to how some of these cars survived unsold for so long. And frankly, we'd love to meet the people who finally bought them. So let's take a closer look at the cars that refused to die in 2023.
Units Sold: 1
The Alfa Romeo 4C went on sale in the US in 2013 as the first mass-produced Alfa in America since 1995. The coupe spawned a Spider variant in 2015, but production lasted just six years for the hardtop and five for the convertible before it was discontinued for good in 2020. But at least one person still had a fondness for the 4C last year; a single new example was sold in 2023.
Units Sold: 1
Jeep Patriot production ended in 2016 after a 10-year run, although technically speaking, it did stick around until the 2017 model year. The compact Jeep was relatively successful in its decade on sale but was never a huge hit for Jeep. And yet, a single brave soul decided to take home a “new” Patriot SUV in 2023.
Units Sold: 2
With the arrival of the Integra, the ILX became redundant. The small luxury sedan was discontinued in 2022. But two examples were sold in 2023, though we suspect there aren't many more new examples out there despite being just a year old.
Chrysler Town & Country
Units Sold: 2
The Chrysler Town & Country lived a considerably long life prior to its 2016 departure. The original minivan debuted in 1990 and had an on-again, off-again production run until its official discontinuation eight years ago. But somehow, somewhere in America, two new Town & Country minivans found homes in 2023.
Units Sold: 2
Seeing average vehicles selling new after several years in limbo is mind-boggling, but with a specialty car like the Viper, it makes more sense. Dealers sometimes hold onto such machines to help draw folks into showrooms, but last year, two of them went to private garages after being discontinued for seven years. The question is: How many more might still be hiding in dealership storage?
Units Sold: 3
Remember the Dart? Dodge rebooted the storied nameplate as a font-wheel-drive sedan in 2012, making its debut at the Detroit Auto Show. However, production only lasted four years before the modern Dart was discontinued in 2016. Eight years later, three “new” models somehow made their way off dealer lots.
Units Sold: 4
Like the Dart, the Chrysler 200 was a compact, front-wheel drive sedan that survived only a few years before being discontinued. The 200 debuted in 2010 and went on sale for the 2011 model year before meeting its fate just six years later. The small companion to the enduring 300 sedan simply never caught on, but amazingly, four caught the eyes of buyers in the last 12 months.
Units Sold: 5
The Acura NSX has only been gone since 2022. But for such a limited sports car, it’s surprising to still see new models moving in 2023. Acura sold five new NSX sports cars last year, and there are still more of them sitting untouched on dealer lots.
Units Sold: 6
We’ll miss the Hyundai Veloster hatchback, especially the 275-horsepower N model. Production lasted for 11 years, from 2011 to 2022, but at least six new Velosters found homes in 2023.
Units Sold: 7
The larger Fiat 500L wasn't as popular as its showroom siblings the 500 and the 124 Spider. Only seven of these zombie SUVs were sold last year by comparison, but that’s still surprising considering production ended in 2020.
Units Sold: 7
Toyota had its fair share of zombie cars sold in 2023. It starts with the previous-generation Land Cruiser, which bowed out in 2021. Seven of the pricey SUVs were sold in 2023, and Toyota tells us there are still two unclaimed Land Cruisers out there somewhere. If you know where they are, please let us know.
Units Sold: 16
The gas-powered Fiat 500 left the US market for good in 2019, with an electric version set to replace it in 2024. But there were still some buyers who yearned for the fuel-sipping supermini. A surprising 16 new Fiat 500 models made it to 2023 before finding owners.
Dodge Grand Caravan
Units Sold: 27
The minivan that started it all back in the early 1980s died four years ago after a hugely successful 37-year production run. But some buyers still have a fondness for the iconic minivan; 27 families put a new Dodge Grand Caravan in their garage in 2023.
Fiat 124 Spider
Units Sold: 28
There must have been a bunch of 124 Spiders parked on Fiat lots next to those also-undead 500s. Even though the roadster was discontinued in 2020, Stellantis sales data shows no less than 28 Italian roadsters found homes last year.
Units Sold: 31
For years, the Accent reigned as the Hyundai’s budget option. But in 2020, it was officially discontinued. While it may be dead, the compact is still dishing up entry-level sales with 31 examples sold in 2023.
Units Sold: 36
With Dodge scaling back its lineup to focus more on performance, the dated Journey SUV handed walking papers in 2020. But apparently, there were still quite a few left on dealer lots going into last year. It clocked 36 sales in 2023.
Units Sold: 55
The Avalon still has fans in America, even with the new Crown taking its place. The Avalon was officially discontinued in the US in 2022, but even a year after the sedan’s departure, 55 new Avalons found homes in the US last year.
Units Sold: 777
The C-HR is something of a technicality on this list for a couple of reasons. Among other things, it's still available in markets outside the US, though it officially exited the States in 2022. Moreover, it was still fairly common at dealerships in 2023. 777 units were sold across America, making it the youngest and most popular zombie of them all.