The 30 lowest-volume vehicles in Canada in 2017, a tremendous year for other vehicles
#30: Porsche Panamera
– 2017 Sales: +86% to 559 – Relaunched just this past year as a second-generation model, the Porsche Panamera is actually more popular now than it’s ever been. It also only barely squeaks under our $100,000 base price barrier. Regardless, it’s a low-volume car, but if the current rate of growth continues, the Panamera won’t be on this list a year from now.
#29: Lexus RC
– 2017 Sales: -3% to 512 – In 2017, it wasn’t easy selling coupes. It was less easy selling coupes that weren’t brand new or significantly refreshed. Furthermore, it was remarkably difficult to sell divisively styled coupes that tread the middle ground between sports cars and casual personal luxury coupes. In that domain sits the Lexus RC, sales of which barely ticked above 500 units in 2017. For perspective, Audi sold 3,671 A5s.
#28: Lexus GX
– 2017 Sales: -8% 508 – In a lineup with two hugely popular luxury crossovers (the RX and NX), the Lexus GX460 is an aging body-on-frame SUV that struggles to compete with more refined and car-like utility vehicles. Sales took a hit in 2017, falling to 508 units, a four-year low for the GX.
#27: Jaguar XF
– 2017 Sales: -9% to 494 – Although the second-gen Jaguar XF is a newer model, it has quickly faded into the background in a Jaguar lineup that now features the more affordable XE sedan and the most popular F-Pace SUV. The arrival of a Jaguar XF wagon is unlikely to change that. XF sales hit a five-year low in 2017.
T25: Volvo V90
– 2017 Sales: 444 – On sale since the very beginning of the year, the Volvo V90 (including its V90 Cross Country sibling) has proven to be a rarely seen large luxury wagon. No surprise: when Volvo buyers want a practical cargo hauler, they look to the Volvo XC90, which produces as many sales in a two-month period as the V90 does all year long.
T25: Toyota Avalon
– 2017 Sales: -24% to 444 – Toyota has already revealed the fifth-generation, TNGA-based Avalon that will launch this year. In the meantime, sales of the current Toyota Avalon continue to nosedive as buyers flee a segment in which the Avalon was already a small player. As recently as 2013, Toyota sold 1,264 Avalons in Canada. Demand has since cratered.
#23: Jaguar F-Type
– 2017 Sales: -20% to 417 – From the 2013 launch through 2016, Jaguar F-Type sales volume didn’t do anything but grow in Canada. 2017, the F-Type’s fifth on the market, put an end to the F-Type’s growth. That’s not unpredictable in the sports car universe, particularly as Jaguar turned its attention to the XE and F-Pace.
#22: Volvo S60
– 2017 Sales: -42% to 380 – While Volvo passenger cars like the V90 and S90 appear on this list in part because of their operation in a lofty sphere where Volvo has never proven acceptable, the Volvo S60 is among Canada’s worst-selling vehicles because it’s a seven-year-old car attempting to attract buyers in a hotly contested segment. Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class? They all sell in huge numbers.
#21: Volvo S90
– 2017 Sales: +275% to 379 – Launched late in the summer of 2016, the Volvo S90 is Volvo’s largest and most costly sedan. But it is and will continue to be a forgotten car in a Volvo lineup where the XC90, XC60, and upcoming XC40 steal all the limelight. Volvo always struggled to find a Canadian market for the S80. Now it will continue to do so with the S80’s successor.
#20: Smart Fortwo
– 2017 Sales: -80% to 368 – Quickly approaching an all-electric future, the Smart Fortwo has all but disappeared from the Canadian car buyer’s shopping list. Remember, Mercedes-Benz dealers sold more than 4,000 Fortwos in 2005, more than 3,700 in 2008, and 2,550 as recently as 2014.
#19: Cadillac CT6
– 2017 Sales: +41% to 352 – It’s Cadillac’s flagship sedan, newly launched in early 2016. But while the Cadillac CT6 is an impressive car, it’s a car Canadians have little desire to own. Cadillac sold more new vehicles in 2017 in Canada than at any prior point in history, but the CT6 (and Cadillac’s other sedans) had very little to do with that record.
#18: Porsche Boxster
– 2017 Sales: -1% to 340 – Porsche set a sales record with its iconic 911 sports car in 2017, selling 1,234 copies. But the distinctly more affordable Porsche Boxster fell five units to a five-year low of 340 sales. Even combined with its hardtop sibling, Porsche’s affordable sports car range produced only 610 sales.
#17: Lexus GS
– 2017 Sales: -21% to 328 – Unlikely to last much longer in North America as Lexus will focus on the flagship LS, entry-level ES, and IS sports sedan, the Lexus GS tumbled by more than a fifth to only 328 sales in 2017. Only five years ago, GS sales were 155-percent stronger.
#16: Maserati Ghibli
– 2017 Sales: +3% to 328 – Maserati reported another year of record sales in 2017, nearly doubling its brand-wide volume to 1,246 units. The Ghibli was Maserati’s best seller in 2016, but it now accounts for just 26 percent of the brand’s sales as Maserati relies more heavily on the Levante SUV.
#15: BMW 6 Series
– 2017 Sales: -29% to 327 – With the 6 Series now focusing on the Gran Coupe four-door, a forthcoming 8 Series will take the position as BMW’s big coupe. With changes to the lineup, 6 Series sales fell in 2017 to a six-year low.
#14: Porsche Cayman
– 2017 Sales: -22% to 270 – Half of Porsche’s entry-level sports car lineup, along with the Boxster, the Porsche 718 Cayman is the hardtop. Porsche Canada sold more Caymans in 2016 than ever before. Matching that pace in 2017 proved impossible, and Cayman sales fell by more than a fifth.
#13: Jaguar XJ
– 2017 Sales: -26% to 239 – Canadian sales of the Jaguar XJ fell for a third consecutive year in 2017, tumbling to a five-year low as a result. The XJ’s main rival, Mercedes-Benz’s S-Class, rose 5 percent to 1,096 units in 2017.
#12: Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class
– 2017 Sales: -21% to 221 – In Mercedes-Benz’s vast fleet of convertibles and sports cars, the Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class (formerly known as the SLK) appears to increasingly be lost in the shuffle. Mercedes-Benz offers convertible versions of the C, E, S-Class, and AMG GT, along with the SL-Class. SLC sales nearly hit 800 units in 2005 and topped 500 units as recently as 2012.
#11: Lincoln MKT
– 2017 Sales: +96% to 200 – Not destined for a long future, the nearly decade-old first-generation Lincoln MKT is now twice as popular as it was in 2016. But that still means the Ford Flex-based Lincoln crossover is dramatically less popular than it was in the past. Lincoln sold more than 900 MKTs in 2010, but only 200 copies of the Canadian-built MKT in 2017.
#10: Audi A8
– 2017 Sales: -14% to 186 – At the top of an Audi four-door heap that now includes an A3, A4, A5, and A6, the Audi A8 is not surprisingly the least common in Canada. While never popular in Canada, the Audi A8 fell to a seven-year low in 2017.
#9: Kia Cadenza
– 2017 Sales: -25% to 124 – While the Kia Cadenza does things the Kia Amanti never did – look good and go fast – the Cadenza was always destined for the same kind of niche status as the Amanti. It’s an expensive, front-wheel-drive Korean sedan in a category that lacks interest even in the once popular segment leaders like the Ford Taurus and Chevrolet Impala.
#8: Genesis G90
– 2017 Sales: +142% to 92 – Known in the past as the Hyundai Equus, the next-generation Equus debuted instead as the top-of-the-range sedan in Hyundai’s new Genesis sub-brand. Equus sales had topped out at 116 units in each of the model’s first two years.
#7: Infiniti Q70
– 2017 Sales: -58% to 66 – It is possible for Infiniti to sell Q70s (or Ms as they were once called) in relatively large numbers. Or should we say, it was possible. Infiniti reported more than 1,000 sales in this category as recently as 2006. 2017 sales plummeted to an all-time low.
#6: Alfa Romeo 4C
– 2017 Sales: -9% to 62 – A carbon-tubbed two-seater from a new-to-Canada Italian brand with few dealers and a reputation for breakability? Yes, it’s rare. But we knew it would be. The Alfa Romeo 4C has generated 271 Canadian sales so far. In 2017, Alfa Romeo also sold 596 Giulia sedans and 455 Stelvio SUVs.
#5: Acura RLX
– 2017 Sales: -45% to 59 – Forgotten at the top of the Acura range is the forgettable Acura RLX. It’ll be revamped for the 2018 model year, but don’t expect a facelifted RLX to be significantly more popular than the current car. Acura’s basically just as likely to sell an NSX supercar as the company is to sell an RLX sedan.
#4: BMW Z4
– 2017 Sales: -41% to 59 – Set to return soon because of a partnership with Toyota, the BMW Z4 will likely see a measurable boost thanks simply to newness. But will BMW, which sold more than 5,000 Z4s as in 2004, ever return to the Z’s glory days? Times have changed.
#3: Fiat 500L
– 2017 Sales: -86% to 42 – It hardly seems plausible, and yet Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will persist with the Fiat 500L in 2018. Months have passed – February, May, August, December – in which no Fiat 500Ls have been sold. Making matters worse, sales of the Fiat 500 also declined in 2017, albeit not nearly so sharply.
#2: Lexus LS
– 2017 Sales: -58% to 40 – As Lexus prepares to launch the fifth-generation flagship LS sedan, the outgoing sedan encountered a dramatic decrease in demand. That’s not terribly surprising, and yet we know that the segment’s top seller, Mercedes-Benz’s S-Class, is much more able to sustain a higher level of demand in the lead-up to a relaunch.
#1: Kia K900
– 2017 Sales: -73% to 7 – The Kia K900 never stood a chance, and the full-size Kia luxury sedan stands even less of a chance of attracting buyers now that the more engaging, sportier, and less costly Kia Stinger is available. In December, for example, Kia Canada reported not a single K900 sale but sold 87 Stingers.
In a record year for the Canadian auto industry, the 30 best-selling vehicles accounted for nearly 60 percent of the market’s volume. The 30 lowest-volume vehicles, on the other hand, produced less than one half of one percent of all new vehicles.
And these aren’t just any low-volume vehicles. To discover which vehicles truly represent the narrowest of niches in the Canadian auto market, we’re excluding vehicles with base prices above $100,000, vehicles which are formally discontinued or for which discontinuation have been announced, and vehicles that weren’t on sale at the beginning of 2017.