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When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

A red 2020 Chevy Impala is shown parked near a restaurant after visiting a used Chevrolet dealer.

The Best Used Chevys You Can’t Get New

There are plenty of reasons that people shop for used vehicles rather than new ones, such as the desire to save money or wanting to skip the depreciation that hits new vehicles. Some drivers just like the idea of keeping a vehicle on the road longer, especially if it’s still in good shape, or simply to help reduce the need for new vehicles to be manufactured. And then there are folks who head to a used Chevrolet dealer because they like certain models that are no longer being made, discontinued treasures that had their day come and go.

The truth is that not every car model that hits the road is a winner, and plenty of them are discontinued for good reason. In most cases, car companies stop making a vehicle because people stop buying it, or never start. But there are times when fashions change, or a company introduces a new model that takes over for an older one, so they discontinue something that some drivers still want. That’s why looking at used cars is so much fun, since it lets you see vehicles that aren’t available anymore. And I’m not talking about a classic Chevy Nova or El Camino. Plenty of recent entries into Chevy’s Hall of Discontinued Models qualify as great vehicles.

The Chevy Impala

Dating back all the way to 1957, with a few gaps here and there, the Impala was a full-size Chevy sedan that earned a lot of fans throughout its lifespan. Its initial run went from the 1958 model year through 1985. Then it took about a decade off before returning for a couple years in the 1990s as the bulbous but powerful Impala SS, then disappeared again. Chevy brought the Impala back again for the 2000 model year, and throughout the 2000s and 2010s, it was the full-size sedan of Chevy’s lineup.

Sadly, at least from my view, the Impala was discontinued after the 2020 model year, and Chevy’s lineup has lacked much in the way of sedan variety ever since. This is something we’ll see a lot of here. Anyone interested in a full-size sedan would do well to seek out a used Impala, since it still has a lot to offer. I’d love to see Chevy bring this model back and offer more sedans, but until then, pre-owned ones will have to do.

The Chevy Cruze

The Chevy Cruze might not date back as far as the Impala, but it served a similar purpose in Chevy’s lineup by creating more sedan options for drivers. While the Impala was the full-size model, and the Malibu remains as the midsize option, until recently the Cruze was the compact car that filled out this selection. It replaced the Cobalt, which was Chevy’s compact model throughout the mid-2000s, when it was released for the 2010 model year. Sadly, despite receiving a facelift and update for the 2019 model year, the Cruze was discontinued afterward. There hasn’t been any sign of a replacement for it since then, which makes it a fantastic used model.

The Chevy Sonic

As small as the Cruze was, it wasn’t the smallest car that Chevy sold. The Sonic was a subcompact model that was perfect for anyone looking for something nice and demure. As a hatchback, the Sonic not only fits neatly into pretty much any lifestyle and home, but it was also surprisingly functional despite its miniature size. Unfortunately, it’s also been a victim of Chevy leaving the car market largely behind, and it was phased out of release in numerous markets. The Sonic left Canada after 2018, and then the US after 2020, a popular model year for Chevy cars meeting their demise.

The Chevy Spark

Next we have, as far as I’m concerned, one of the biggest recent losses not only from the Chevy lineup, but the auto industry in general. Developed by Daewoo in the late 1990s, this car was eventually released in the US as the Spark after GM purchased Daewoo Motors. We didn’t get it until the 2013 model year, which was the third generation for this vehicle. It became the smallest option in Chevy’s selection of vehicles. It also had the lowest MSRP of any Chevy model, and was the least expensive car of any brand available in the US. The Spark was discontinued during its fourth generation after the 2022 model year, eliminating yet another new option for people who need a vehicle on a tight budget.

The Chevy Monte Carlo

Most of the models we’ve looked at so far were discontinued just in the last few years, but I want to go a bit further back for this one. The Monte Carlo got its start for the 1970 model yea,r and ran through 1988 when it was discontinued. Chevy brought it back for 1995, and then it ran through 2007 as a luxurious two-door coupe. I understand that Chevy isn’t generally seen as the luxury brand within GM’s lineup, but it’s not like there’s a Cadillac coupe that filled in the hole left by this model’s cancellation, though some would argue the Camaro did that just fine. Now that the Camaro as we know it is being discontinued, it will be interesting to see which model inevitably makes a return in this slot, likely as an electric option.

The Chevy Avalanche

One of the more controversial cancellations by Chevy in recent years was the demise of the Avalanche, a full-size truck that looked a bit like a pickup that decided it wanted to be an SUV for Halloween. Introduced back in 2001, the Avalanche ran through the 2013 model year. In that time, it made a significant number of fans, even though it was often overshadowed by the Silverado. The popularity of the Silverado was likely a big part of why the Avalanche met its demise. The full-size truck market is competitive enough without Chevy fighting against itself.

Still, the design of the Avalanche was interesting, and it created a great option for drivers who couldn’t quite decide between a truck and SUV. One of its most distinctive features was the “midgate,” which sectioned off the back seats from the bed behind it, but could be opened for access to the front of the bed, or used with the back seats folded down to create a longer bed. This unique feature was very popular among a certain segment of drivers. The last Avalanche models are now a decade old, but these are still quite popular among drivers looking for a different kind of truck with a lot to offer.

Which Chevy Models Will Join Next?

Looking at this graveyard of fantastic Chevy cars and trucks, I can’t help but wonder which models will join them soon. We already know the Camaro has reached the end of its run, at least for the moment. The shift to an all-electric lineup is sure to have more casualties before the dust settles. Even with the introduction of more electric vehicles, Chevy’s starting model from the last few years, the Bolt EV, is on its way out and will soon be little more than a memory. With the Malibu remaining as the last holdout in Chevy’s once-great sedan lineup, I wonder if it will still be offered in another decade, or if it will join the Impala and Cruze in this motorized mausoleum. Chevy’s SUV lineup is arguably bloated, and it’s hard to argue that the Equinox, Trailblazer, and Trax all have room to exist together. There’s no telling what the Chevy lineup will look like five years from now, let alone ten, but it will certainly be interesting to see.

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