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As SUVs and crossovers become more popular, the midsize sedan segment becomes slightly smaller. However, consumer demand shows it’s still one of the most popular types of vehicles to own. Potential buyers have near-endless options considering the wide-ranging interior amenities, performance figures, and safety features of modern midsize sedans. One may believe those seeking smaller four-door cars want state-of-the-art tech and the most up-to-date model. However, three people thought otherwise in 2022 and bought a 2017 Chrysler 200 instead.

CarFigures reports that all three Chrysler 200 sedans sold in the first quarter of 2022. One question may not be why someone would want a five-year-old, now-defunct sedan, but how was it still brand new? The 2017 Chrsyler 200—those left—are what the automotive industry calls “zombie cars.”

What is a zombie car?

Occasionally, brand-new examples of discontinued vehicles may stay around long past their last model year. Even though dealerships are still paying to have the car on the lot, some cars fail to capture potential buyers’ hearts, minds, and wallets.

Dealerships can sometimes get stuck with undesirable models, especially those no longer in production. When automakers announce that they are moving on from a particular model, the model will no longer be shown in advertising. Since much of the public wants the latest and greatest in tech, entertainment, performance, and safety, predecessor models sink into the background.

A good amount of the unwanted vehicles end up as loaner vehicles for the dealership. In such a case, dealer tags mean the car can still be sold as “new.” Yet, dealerships sometimes manage to sell a zombie car, even long after its last mention in manufacturer brochures.

Was the 2017 Chrysler 200 a good car?

Chrysler 200
Chrysler 200 | Paul Warner, Getty Images

The 2017 Chrysler 200 may not have been able to compete with its lack of interior space, but it was a likable car. Base models weren’t particularly pleasant, with a weak engine and few standard features. Regardless, the top-of-the-line Touring had many advanced driver assistance and safety tech, a strong V6 engine, and the rare option of all-wheel drive.

Edmunds says the 200 did boast excellent crash test scores in each of its four trim levels. With an easy-to-use infotainment system and “clever interior storage,” there was nothing wrong with picking the midsize Chrysler sedan.

Why was the Chrysler 200 discontinued?

In the late 2010s, American consumers began wanting even more SUVs but also smaller, more manageable crossovers. Small cars like Chrysler 200, as well as the unlucky Dodge Dart, were casualties. FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne clarified his thoughts about the two models at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show. AutoEvolution reports that Marchionne was quite unhappy with the Chrysler 200’s sales figures or another failing FCA model.

“I can tell you right now that both the Chrysler 200 and the Dodge Dart…were the least financially rewarding enterprises that we’ve carried out inside FCA in the last eight years,” he said. “I don’t know one investment that was as bad as these two [nameplates] were.”