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The best cars of 2022 that nobody bought last year

The best cars of 2022 that nobody bought last year

We’ll let you in on a little secret. These cars and SUVs may be overlooked at dealerships, but they’re all great choices.

Toyota Avalon

By Keith Barry

Data analysis by Anita Lam

Not every great car is a hit with buyers. Despite their excellent performance, reassuring reliability, and high owner satisfaction, some of the top-rated vehicles Consumer Reports recommends are dealer duds. Whether it’s because of style, size, vehicle type, or even the age of the design, these great vehicles tend to be in showrooms.

We think some of them are worth a second look, especially in the current tight market. That’s why we searched for CR-recommended vehicles that sold less than 20,000 units in 2021, based on information available in the Automotive News Data Center. Each model represents a small fraction of the 15 million cars, SUVs and light trucks sold in the US last year. By comparison, Toyota sold over 407,000 RAV4 SUVs for 2021.

Nearly all of the vehicles on this list are sedans, a body style that is going out of fashion as drivers are drawn to SUVs and pickup trucks. Many of these vehicles are also older models. For example the Chrysler 300 hasn’t had a meaningful update since 2011 and the Nissan Maxima was last redesigned in 2016. As parts shortages weigh on the automotive industrymanufacturers have reduced production of some slow-selling sedans and even discontinued a few others to focus instead on more profitable trucks and SUVs.

We don’t have slow-selling, high-end luxury models like the Audi A8 and BMW 7 Seriesbecause they are financially out of reach for most consumers. And as much as we love sporty two-seaters like the Mazda MX-5 Miata, Porsche 718 Boxster/caymanand Toyota Supra, they have always tended to sell in low volumes, although we would certainly support your decision to increase their sales by adding one to your garage. We’ve also left out EVs, which make up a small but fast-growing share of total car sales. New cars that debuted mid-year are not on the list and we verified that the 2021 numbers were not related to shortages by checking for low sales in 2020 and 2019.

The cars below are ranked by overall score. If any of them pique your interest, we suggest you grab one soon, as some, like the superb Toyota Avalonnot coming back until 2023.

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