Every year, some car models pass from our midst, often dying quietly and unnoticed.
Here’s our list of the green cars that are no longer with us.
There were, of course, more cars than just this handful of the greenest models that died in 2012; here’s a more complete list.
While the Chevy Aveo nameplate actually left the building after the 2011 model year, Chevrolet will continue to sell subcompacts.
But GM’s mass brand had to acknowledge that the U.S. image of the Aveo was so underwhelming–most reviewers called it a substandard, cheap, unimpressive car that was long in the tooth from the start–that it was better to wipe the slate clean.
The fresh new model that replaces the Aveo, the 2012 Chevrolet Sonic, is a remarkably good little car.
It’s got spunky styling, it’s fun to drive if you get the 1.4-liter turbo, and it comes with some neat interior features and a minimalist style that doesn’t feel punitive.
And the turbocharged 1.4-liter engine offered in the 2012 Sonic is far more up-to-date than the larger, less-efficient lump in the Aveo.
But for the record, what we buy as the Chevy Sonic is known to the rest of the world as the … Chevy Aveo.
Ford Escape Hybrid
We’ve lamented the death of the original hybrid crossover before. Among others, we have a close relative who is very cross with Ford for dropping its only all-wheel drive hybrid.
The new 2013 Escape offers three different engine options, two of them direct-injected and turbocharged EcoBoost units (of 1.6 and 2.0 liters) that will deliver far better fuel economy than the boxy old 2012 model–which dates all the way back to the 2001 model year.
The Hybrid, introduced as a 2005 model, was the first U.S.-built hybrid and the first hybrid crossover. And it found a ready market in everything from green-leaning suburban enclaves to the taxi fleets of New York City and other major urban areas.
Ford built 122,850 of them, along with another 12,300 Mercury Mariner Hybrids before that brand was killed in 2009.
If you want a hybrid with mechanical all-wheel drive that’s smaller than a full-size SUV, look for any last remaining Escape Hybrids on your Ford dealer’s lot. There won’t be any more from Ford.