Say goodbye to these three car models from Mazda, Nissan and Mitsubishi

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As we said hello to a new year, the auto industry said goodbye to several formerly significant models. (KABC)

As we said hello to a new year, the auto industry said goodbye to several formerly significant models.

The Mazda 5 was among those. Even though it made it through two generations, Americans never fully warmed up to the scaled-down minivan design that's very popular in Europe.

Those who were in on the secret loved its roomy interior and efficient size. But one of its best features may have been its downfall: sliding side doors. The practicality was often overlooked by younger family buyers who had a distaste for anything resembling a minivan.

Another car geared toward the younger set also bid a fond farewell: the Nissan Xterra. It saw 2015 as its last year after debuting in 2000 and greatly helping Nissan when the company was in a bit of a slump.

But of all the vehicles disappearing, the one that probably brought the most passion was the Mitsubishi Evolution. It's a compact sedan on steroids, thanks to rally technology like all-wheel drive and a very powerful turbo-charged four-cylinder engine.

Forums for the Evo, as it's affectionately called, have been awash in tributes to the car that's headed for extinction. But there is one bit of good news for fans, Mitsubishi came up with a special final edition. The bad news? There are only 1,600 of them - all 2015 models.

Cash-strapped Mitsubishi declined to spend money to create a new Evo, instead choosing to focus its efforts on compact crossover SUVs and hybrid technology.

The same goes for the Xterra - people are crazy for car-like crossovers and not necessarily hard-edged four-by-fours.

The Mazda 5 was probably doomed by the advent of more Mazda crossover models in various sizes. But the good news is that if you really want one of the discontinued models, dealers may still have some in their inventories.

But remember - once they're gone, they're gone for good.
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automotiveauto industryauto newsmazdanissan
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