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Rust in pieces: From an unloved Mazda electric car to one of Kia's cheapest vehicles, these are the cars scrapped in 2023 - but should the LandCruiser 70 Series V8 be on the list?

Kia's P-plate favourite is farewelled this year.

Another year means another fleet of vehicles sent to the big scrapyard in the sky, with flagging sales, a change in company direction or, in one potential case, too much popularity, all contributing to the end of times for some of the country's most well-known nameplates – and a few of the lesser-known ones, too.

And so, with tissue in hand and tear in eye, let's bid adieu to the vehicle nameplates that will no longer be with us in 2024.

1. Mazda MX-30

(Mazda MX-30 featured)

Farewell, Mazda MX-30, we hardly knew ye. And I mean that literally – hardly anyone got to know Mazda's first foray into the MHEV and, more importantly, EV space, with just 2232 examples finding homes since its launch in 2021.

The stylish and sleek SUV was Mazda's first electric vehicle, but copped criticism for a less-than-stellar driving range in the EV model (it's also available as a mild-hybrid).

Technically, the MX-30 will be on sale until Q1 2024, or until its stocks run dry, so if you want to snap up a piece of Mazda history, act fast.

2. Mazda CX-8

(Mazda CX-8 featured)

Like its CX-9 big brother, the CX-8 appears to have fallen victim to Mazda's move upmarket – it's making way for the CX-80 – because unlike the MX-30, slow sales weren't the issue.

In fact, more than 25,000 example of the family favourite have found homes since its launch in 2018, with the CX-8 offered in FWD or RWD, petrol or diesel, and with six or seven seats.

But the march of time slows for no man (or car), so long live the new CX-80.

3. Mazda CX-9

(Mazda CX-9 featured)

It's a similar story for the CX-9, which has also been axed to make way for the more premium CX-90.

Still, this one is probably the most shocking, with the CX-9 among Mazda's most popular vehicles, collecting more than 50,000 customers over seven years.

"It has left an indelible mark in our line-up and continues to be universally loved for its quality, versatility, timeless design and signature driving dynamics," says Mazda Australia Marketing Director Alastair Doak.

4. Suzuki Baleno

(Suzuki Baleno featured)

The popular Baleno was officially culled in 2022, but supply lasted until the last of Suzuki's affordable city cars was snapped up earlier this year.

It's sad for a number of reasons, but not least because the Baleno was one of the few sub-$20k vehicles left in Australia, listing at $18,490 before on-road costs for the GL manual.

Safety was the issue, with Suzuki telling CarsGuide the reason it had decided not to import the revised Baleno was because it was designed to cater to emerging markets in Asia.

“The specifications, at least for the Indian market, probably wouldn't meet the standard necessary for the Australian introduction for a new model in 2023. So that being the case, we decided to channel everything into Swift for the light segment,” the brand said at the time.

5. Renault Megane RS

(Renault Megane RS featured)

If you have even a passing interest in top-shelf hot hatches, then you'll know of the Renault Megane RS, with the fast French rocket wowing fans for generations.

But no longer, with the RS to be replaced by the Megane E-Tech Electric, which may inspire its own EV hot hatch variant some time in the future.

Still, it's quite the send-off, with the Megane RS Trophy (the only trim available towards the end) generating some 223kW and 420Nm from its 1.8-litre turbo-petrol engine.

Au revoir, RS. You kicked, well, RS, in the hot-hatch segment, and you won't be forgotten.

6. Mercedes-Benz CLS

(Mercedes-Benz CLS featured)

After a 20-year global run and a credit as a pioneer of the four-door coupe body style, the trend-setting Mercedes-Benz CLS is was waved off this year, essentially to allow the brand to free up production for the new E-Class.

A relatively slow seller in Australia, you'd have to think the model is also being retired to reflect our ever-growing love of SUVs, and the brand's shift to all-electric models like the EQE.

7. Mercedes-Benz B-Class

(Mercedes-Benz B Class featured)

How to put this nicely? The B-Class was always a kind of less attractive sibling to the super-cool A-Class, and the sales data showed it, with the more practical hatch being outsold by it's more sleek sibling in a big way.

You might think, then, that the clock was always ticking on the B-Class, but from 2007 to 2010 it outsold the A-Class.

That all changed in 2012, and last year, the A-Class found 2840 buyers, compared to the B-Class's 284.

It lives on in Europe, but it's curtains here in Australia.

8. Kia Rio

(Kia Rio featured)

Another small car follows the Suzuki Baleno (and the Ford Fiesta and Mitsubishi Mirage before it) into the abyss, with the Kia Rio killed by our changing tastes (yes, SUVs) and increased safety requirements, the latter of which impacts the value proposition.

A damn shame, too, because the Rio was a fine small car, and one that almost came with P-plates as standard equipment.

“The award-winning Rio has been a tremendous car for Kia in the Australian market with 162,494 sold since its debut in mid-2000. While the Rio nameplate will not continue locally, Kia does continue to offer its popular Picanto and Cerato ranges, with new models across various segments currently under study for our market,” the brand said in a statement.

9. Jeep Cherokee

(Jeep Cherokee featured)

One of the first vehicles on this list to bow out, the Cherokee only made it to January, with Jeep running out the final models after announcing its demise in October 2022.

This time, though, the finger can be pointed overseas, with Jeep killing off right-hand-drive production, leaving it only the USA, Canada and Korea as markets for its mid-size SUV.

It does seem bonkers, to be honest. The mid-size SUV is one of Australia's – and the world's – most popular segments, and something tells me Jeep won't leave it abandoned for long.

10. Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series V8

(Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series featured)

Ok, I admit this one is a little controversial, but you will not be able to buy a 70 Series LandCruiser with a V8 engine in 2024 (though the brand will continue working through its order bank).

In fact, the brand says it will be "at least" 12 months before the V8 order bank is resolved, which means it could stretch beyond 2025, and it has committed to not reopening the order books before every customer already in the queue for a V8 has a vehicle on their driveway.

So will you ever be able to order a V8 again? The jury is out. For one, the brand has a four-cylinder alternative already on sale, and two, with Federal Fuel Efficiency Standards on their way – and 2025 being a long way away - there's a real chance the V8 engine will be off the table long before anyone new can order one.

But you'll have to watch this space on that one.

Andrew Chesterton
Contributing Journalist
Andrew Chesterton should probably hate cars. From his hail-damaged Camira that looked like it had spent a hard life parked at the end of Tiger Woods' personal driving range, to...
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