By on March 21, 2013

Recent talk of Chevrolet attempting to convert the 2014 Impala from 75 percent fleet sales to 70 percent retail sales seemed like an improbable figure. Judging the success of any new car is a crapshoot for most of us, but one thing is for sure; the full-size sedan segment as a whole, is declining.

Over the past half decade, the full-size segment as a whole has been in serious decline. The number of product offerings for sale has been cut in half, from 15 to 7. IHS Automotive, an independent research firm, reports that full-size car sales have declined by 42 percent since 2006.

From a peak of 311,128 units in 2007, Impala sales have nearly been cut in half – and the fleet mix numbers suggest that Chevrolet is only selling about 50,000 units at retail. At the other end of the spectrum, the Hyundai Azera is barely moving the needle, consistently selling below 10,000 unts over the past few years. Impala sales will undoubtedly decline with the introduction of the 2014 model – there’s no way that Chevrolet can sustain current volumes if they plan to sell 70 percent of cars to retail customers. But even with sales of 100,000 units, it would still be the segment leader – though the Dodge Charger would be nipping at its heels.

However, an almost-certain reduction in government fleet spending could put a dent in the sales of both models. Sources in D.C. tell us that this could be as much as a 20 percent cutback, or about 100,00-120,000 vehicles. The current Impala, along with the Chrysler LX cars and the Taurus, are darlings of government fleets, and stand to lose the most from this sort of reduction. Meanwhile, the same source tells us that Chrysler is ramping up promotion of its fleet program, with Ram trucks and the LX cars as its main focus.

For many potential large car buyers (whether retail, government or private fleets), a CUV is a much more attractive vehicle, with similar fuel economy and comparable interior volume. For consumers, a CUV is often more appealing to their emotional side, while daily rental fleets can charge more for than a comparable sedan. In other cases, the CUV has a similar footprint but also offers a third row of seats and more cargo room. It’s not a coincidence that some major police departments, like the California Highway Patrol, are opting for the Ford Explorer-based Police Interceptor rather than the Taurus variant.

Speaking of the Taurus, another rumor making the rounds right now is that the Taurus won’t be back after this generation. Poor margins and difficulties during the development process meant that the Taurus has been scrapped part way through the development process, and Ford is content with the Fusion acting as its flagship sedan. If this situation holds true, that leaves Chevrolet and Chrysler as the vanguards of the large American sedan.

Even though rear-drive sedans have fallen out of fashion with most of Detroit, Chrysler seems to have made a business case for the continuation of the rear-drive platform. With Alfa, Chrysler and possibly Maserati sharing the next generation large rear-drive platform, Chrysler and Fiat will have both economies of scale and some high margin luxury vehicles on the same platform.

Previously, Chrysler had little exposure to Europe, Asia and other markets where big engines and a big footprint are seen as negatives. This allowed them to go it alone with the LX chassis and their larger V6 and V8 engines, since their main focus was the United States. Without Fiat, it would have been tough to continue down this road, but now that they can spread the technology across multiple brands and price points, the future of at least one family of full-size sedans is secure.

Furthermore, Chrysler could be in a good position to absorb the rear-drive sedan segment in Australia if GM and Ford walk away from their offerings. The rear-drive Ford Falcon has become a victim of the One Ford policy  while the Holden Commodore will apparently adopt the front-drive Epsilon II platform for its next iteration. The 300C and its SRT8 version are gaining a bit of a following in Australia, which is also becoming one of the SRT brand’s hottest markets. Despite the declining sales of the Falcon and Commodore, it would be nothing short of amazing to see both GM and Ford cede that market to a relative upstart that had almost zero presence in Australia just a decade ago.

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137 Comments on “Chart Of The Day: Full-Size Sedan Freefall...”


  • avatar
    Marko

    Every time I see an dealer ad for a Maxima, it is heavily discounted. I recently saw a Maxima inside my local BJ’s Wholesale Club with “$10,000 off” on the windshield. (They have a financing program.)

    • 0 avatar
      DC Bruce

      The Altima makes the Maxima irrelevant. Nissan has grown the once smaller Altima into the Maxima’s size territory and, with the V-6 engine and the luxury interior there’s no daylight between them.

    • 0 avatar
      segfault

      Sounds about right–it’s hard to make a case for the Maxima’s much higher MSRP when it has a (possibly) nicer interior than the Altima, a power rear sunshade, and a dual-panel moonroof. Also, the Maxima lacks the lane departure warning and possibly other features which the Altima has.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Nissan totally screwed up and screwed over the Maxima. The line between it and the Altima is so blurry, it has no reason to exist.

      I remember back in 2008 the auto mags were all saying the new Maxima would be the “G8″ killer. GM incompetence took care of that, the new Maxima rolled out was a joke.

      My parents bought a Maxima in the late 80s while I was still in the nest – it was a great car.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        I can’t even imagine someone cross shopping a Maxima and a G8. A Maxima is bought by a middle aged female manager type who doesn’t really care about the dynamics of a car, but wants something that is is a “little nicer” than a plebian Altima.

        G8 shoppers actually care about having a somewhat stylish, but more importantly a very competant car.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          In the new normal, a huge % of those who would have purchased an Avalon, Taurus or LaCrosse in past times will buy a Camcordfusionbu.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Doubt the “bu” makes that list, having virtually no rear seat and all, but I agree with you.

            [insert in Soviet Russia joke here]

        • 0 avatar
          APaGttH

          …A Maxima is bought by a middle aged female manager type who doesn’t really care about the dynamics of a car, but wants something that is is a “little nicer” than a plebian Altima…

          Funny you say that. The only person I know driving a newer Maxima is a female manager type…

          When my mother bought hers in the late 80′s, she was a female manager type…

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Also agreed, but a friend recently traded a Maxima and got a nicely loaded up Altima instead. Evidently Maxima didn’t offer any more than a std V6 and cost too much in his opinion to pull the trigger.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            Right now the Maxima sweet spot is the used market. For some inexplicable reason they are cheaper than a V6 Altima with similar mileage and features. My proposal is that Nissan let the Maxima die as it currently is and replace it with a “NISIMO” version of the Altima that they badge as the Maxima.

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            I nominate @PrincipalDan to be Maxima product manager at Nissan.

        • 0 avatar
          vent-L-8

          Danio that made me laugh. Back in 08 my wife needed a new car and we actually looked at both the G8 and a Maxima (along with Mazda 6, SAAB 9-5 and Chrysler 300). She said the G8 looked too boring (like our 89 grand prix) and had a dated interior. She liked the features in the Maxima which were not available in the Altima at the time. Happy wife = happy life. Her Maxima has about 50k on the clock. Thus far trouble free. Agreed that If the current Altima was around back in 08 we would’ve bought one.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            G8 more boring looking than a Maxima? I guess it’s all in the eye of the beholder.

            I spent a lot of time in ’06-’08 Maximas and I can’t even admit the interior is nicer than a G8′s, I just don’t see it.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            Agreed.

            Let’s be honest; the Maxima is frumpy & lumpy looking, nothing resembling the 4 door sports sedan” it rightfully called itself in 1990, has a tight rear seat, weird velour materials in non-leather trim, and a CVT transmission.

            It’s not quick, it’s not graceful and it’s not economical.

            It’s a misfit.

      • 0 avatar
        zerofoo

        I wouldn’t simply blame the Altima for the Maxima’s decline. The Infiniti G35 also killed any high-end aspirations of the Maxima.

        Years ago I rented a Maxima and liked it (even with the appalling torque steer). I shopped the Maxima and found that I could get a G35 for a bit more. Rear-drive, better interior…etc.

        The Maxima needs to go away. There is no reason for it to exist.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      I don’t think the Maxima is a bad car. Nissan is kind of playing it smart, I think. The Maxima marque still has equity, and it probably costs them nothing to make it as it’s a warmed over Altima.

      The reason the Altima is encroaching on the Maxima’s territory is not because Nissan is out to destroy the Maxima. It’s because the whole midsize segment has stepped its game up into the Maxima’s territory. There’s no difference between an Altima V6 and a Maxima, but there’s also no difference between an Accord/Camry V6 and a Maxima either, in most metrics. When the Maxima was in its prime there was no V6 Altima. The V6 Accord and Camry were a joke and were unavailable with stickshift.

      Also don’t forget the G35. Maxima can’t move too much in either direction. It’s probably on its way out too, unless Nissan ditches the Altima V6 and creates some breathing room.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    As long as they keep making the LX cars, I’ll keep buying them.

    • 0 avatar
      morbo

      Amen brother. Nothing like feeling the Hand of God (or a stroked V8) wafting you along. I was miserable needing a mid/large sedan in 2003 and having the option of an overpriced Mercury Panther (Maurauder), a floaty Panther (G Marquis), or an expensive Panther (TC).

      I will miss the Full Size RWD American sedan should it ever permanently die

      • 0 avatar
        chas404

        I was thinking about all you smart guys (not sarcastic) making the comments about the low and scrunchy roofed ‘full size’ front drive taurus etc. The reason this 6 foot 3 280 pound big guy drives a loaded 15 mpg cowboy cadillac F150 is that is has BIG SEATS and square styling and big ole doors to get in and out of just like … .well….. a FULL SIZED CAR!!! kinda like a 1995 Lincoln Town Car!!!!

        with the exception of the rear drive LX there are really no more full size cars anyhow. I really the fwd cute utes have gotten better in terms of handling and mpg and space efficiency.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    There are more full-size sedans than what’s on this list. I guess we are not counting anything from a luxury marque?

    LS
    S-Class
    Lucerne
    XJ
    Panamera
    7-Series
    A8
    MKS
    STS
    DTS
    Town Car
    Equus
    RL
    (Yes I realize not all of these were available for the entire time)

    Or are we just counting the volume sellers? Either way you can’t claim “down to 7 from 15″ and not include the whole list.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m only counting mainstream non-premium cars commonly defined as full size. Buick doesn’t even make the Lucerne anymore the STS and RL are dead. Copypasting from wikipedia is not valid. Also, you’d never go to the rental counter, ask for a full-size and get an A8.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        I didn’t copy paste anything. I thought for a second and made a list. Also why I added that I know not all of those were available the whole time.

        • 0 avatar

          Corey,

          I retract my accusation and apologize to you for my testy comment. But this chart is a specific snapshot of a market during a set time. Cars like the A8, Panamera etc are not “full-size” and you, and I and everyone else here knows it. To suggest it is disingenuous. They are large luxury cars. The commonly accepted definition of “full-size” is a large, non-premium car like the Impala. Furthermore, including the Lucerne and Grand Prix would have been pointless. They are irrelevant to the current discussion.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        …you’d never go to the rental counter, ask for a full-size and get an A8…

        I know. I keep asking them that and keep handing me the keys to a Charger.

        • 0 avatar
          morbo

          I ask for the keys to a Charger and they give me an Altima, claims its ‘Full Size’.

          Granted I take the Avis Altima over the Enterprise Impala, but that’s my GM bias creeping in again

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            I asked for a Charger and Hertz handed me the keys to a Fusion (the prior gen one). Claimed it was a “full-size.”

          • 0 avatar
            200k-min

            This week National gave me a free “upgrade” to an Equinox. When asked how I liked my upgrade I told them it was the most miserable vehicle of theirs I’ve driven and would’ve rather had the Optima.

            They have given me a Hyundai Gensis before. That was a “real” upgrade.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    I think a big reason for this is product differentiation. Why would you buy a Maxima when a nicely equipped Altima will do 95% of what that car can for less money? Same goes for Avalon/Camry, Taurus/Fusion, Impala/Malibu.

    There’s not enough incentive to “step up”, you can get pretty well the same options in the D vs. E segment cars.

    The Chrysler LX cars are very unique, and have really carved out a niche for themselves. Sadly, I don’t see the other manufacturers making the investment to compete with them in today’s CAFE climate.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Nissan shot themselves in the foot by consistently aggrandizing the Altima while adding no new value proposition to the Maxima. The Altima is larger now anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      NotFast

      I guess I don’t know exact pricing, but why buy a Maxima when you can step up to a Infiniti?

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        There’s that aspect too. A G sedan has real cred, where a Maxima, while an OK car, is a poseur as a sport sedan.

      • 0 avatar
        MrWhopee

        The Maxima was simply squeezed from both sides, by the Altima from below, and by Infiniti from above. This isn’t new, it has happened in the past. Ford did the same thing to an entire brand of cars, the Mercury, squeezed by nicer Fords from below and ever more downmarket Lincolns from above. Before that, I believe DeSoto also suffered from the same fate.

  • avatar

    Anyone with common sense can see where Cars like the GM Chev Impala are going and its not nice for General Motors, but surely they too could see the writing on the Wall of Life!

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Given the success and reception of the Cruze, Verano, and Sonic – and the segment creating Encore, and the smaller ATS – (and the too small flop Regal) I think GM can see the writing on the wall.

      Their pricing strategy on the new Impala makes even more sense to me now. If you can’t make it up on volume *snicker* (back handed complement) then jack up the price point.

      I’d rather GM make $2 grand even with cash on the hood on a 2014 Impala then lose a few hundred or more a unit on selling to the NYC police department.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Fleet sales lose dealers money?

      • 0 avatar
        mikey

        As I understand it, GM knows full well that the 2014 Impala,will never match the old Impala in sales volume. Nor was it ever intended to.

        70 Percent retail,will be easily atainable with a 50 pecent reduction in production.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Addition by subtraction eh… I hope they didn’t bring in the Enron people for the sales/production figures/strategy.

          • 0 avatar
            doctor olds

            @28-Cars-Later- Dealer used to sell the big fleet accounts Oldsmobile for $16 over invoice plus prep allowance (which was more). Big fleets prep their own cars today and get vehicles drop shipped to their locations. The numbers are bigger now just due to inflation, but I’ll bet dealer margins are very skinny on big fleets. Not really a bad deal when they never see the car.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Was there a concept of “holdback” in those days Doc? Assuming there was, I could see this as the dealer’s only motivation to sell at invoice.

          • 0 avatar
            doctor olds

            Yes there was a 2% holdback allowance. I would guess the dealers got that, though I can’t recall for sure. That’s how dealers can still make money at invoice.

            In my ealiest days in the field, mid 70′s, it was simple. GM Divisions charged dealers 2% more than the “dealer cost”, which added to dealer marketing group AD fee was the invoice price.

            The 2% money was “held back” until year end when dealers got it as a lump sum for the whole year.

            The rationalization for the hold back was to offset the “free floorplan”, interest free period dealers have after receipt of the new vehicle before they have to pay for it.

            When interest rates skyrocketed, hold back percentages and free floor plan periods were jockeyed around. Dealers had options including quarterly payment of the holdback allowance. It got so tough for dealers to floorplan cars at 18% or so, GM released special floorplan assistance to dealers. A medium large dealer I called on at the time got up to $70,000/month in floor plan assistance from Oldsmobile for a time, if memory serves!

            I don’t know what the holdback details are today.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Edmunds has a chart on each brand, I’d take it with a grain of salt.

            http://www.edmunds DOT com/car-buying/dealer-holdback/

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    Probably the full-size sedan is no longer a mass-market item. The family car is now a CUV, for the reasons stated.

    That said, there will always be a market for a large car that has road presence: the big Benzes, etc. The Chrysler 300 has a road presence that both the Taurus and the various GM failed attempts (Buick, Cadillac) lack. That market segment just going to be smaller than it used to be.

    I confess a big weakness for the 300. It’s the only rental I’ve actually enjoyed driving, especially the revised version with the new V-6 and upgraded interior.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Yep, I agree. Our last full-size sedan was my wife’s 1992 TownCar, her daily driver for her Real Estate business. Since we retired it in 2008 we have bought a 2008 Highlander, Made in Japan, and a 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee, Imported from Detroit, for her.

      What I find comical is what people nowadays classify as “Large” sedans. Over the decades past I owned a Toronado, a Custom Cruiser and a series of used large sedans like Impala, Mercury, Buick, and Pontiac.

      Those were large sedans by any standard, especially when compared to the rolling tin cans of Europe like the S-class or 7-series.

      What is considered “Large” today would have been classified as compact in the past. To me, they still are compact cars when compared to all the full-size cars I have owned.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        My compact 1971 Plymouth Valiant Scamp was 192.1 inches long and 70 inches wide on a 111 inch wheelbase. It didn’t have any more passenger space than today’s best packaged compacts though.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Yeah, that was in the days when crush-zones were designed outside of the passenger cage, and crumple-zones did not exists except on Volvo, Mercedes and BMW cars.

          I remember seeing a wrecked Volvo on E-36 in Germany where the engine had dived under the passenger cage.

          In a similar wreck on a GI’s Chevy stationwagon, the whole front end had collapsed and all the exterior sheet metal had been crushed.

      • 0 avatar
        chas404

        crap i just WROTE the same thing above and you nailed it! I had a 1992 towncar and then a 1995 towncar. used. i bought them bec they were cheap and drove fantastic and i am 6 foot 3. and i could not afford a fancy suv at the time. i was only 29 yrs old when i bought the first one. later when i made more money and the suvs got luxo in year 2000 i got a new landcruiser and then escalades.

        the current cars are all too small and pinched on top.

        i always wanted a bmw 750 but now i am broke and they are all turbos.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          chas404, some people say that the US auto industry is evolving to be more in line with the rest of the global auto industry.

          I interpret this “evolving” as the slow demise of what the American personal mode of transportation was, is and should continue to be.

          That doesn’t mean that the US auto industry can’t use some design and engineering applications like making vehicles lighter, or using new high-strength materials in construction, or even to improve upon the efficiency of its engines.

          I could go for a ‘lighter version’ of the Crown Vic or TC with an engine identical to the Lexus LS460 or the Tundra 5.7. Those would get my attention. You bet!

          But what we are getting now, with few exceptions, is just cat-puke. It’s disgusting!

          Those of us who know better are forced to step up in class and size just to keep up with what we had, so as not to degrade our lifestyle.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    I can certainly understand this. Guys like me who like large cars are retired or preparing to, and the kids are trying to find a way to affix wheels and drive their IPhones. I’ve still got 4 years, but my current 2012 Impala is my last large car.

    Our next car, assuming I’ll be able to buy one, will be wifey’s, most likely another CR-V.

    I’m hoping my current ride will last as long as I drive my ridiculous commute, then, I’ll get something small and used for around town.

    Still, there’s nothing like a big car for eating up highway miles in comfort!

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Great chart Derek. It really puts the story into a clear view. I had no idea how irrelevant the Avalon and Azera are (suspected Azera).

    Does anyone know fleet numbers on the Avalon – I know National advertises them directly as their premium car of choice?

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      Avalon was 4.2% fleet in 2011.

      Other barges from the chart:

      Impala: 72.8%
      Charger: 54.4%
      300: 20.4%
      Lacrosse: 14.8%
      Taurus: 47.9%
      Maxima: 11.1%
      Azera: 1.3%

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Only the Azera surprised me, doesn’t strike me as “fleet”.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        2011 data would be VERY skewed on any Japanese brand due to the tsunami. Toyota in particular deferred a ton of fleet contracts due to limited capacity. I know there was a story here on TTaC as they were getting back on their feet in 2012 that they dumped a TON of Yarii and Avalons into the fleet world.

        I also know that Chrysler Co. has been trying hard to dial back the fleet presence on the Charger – I would suspect that number is lower.

        Do you have any more current data that wouldn’t show the tsunami supply chain impact?

        • 0 avatar
          bumpy ii

          Too soon for 2012, but here’s 2010, 9, 8, and 7.

          Avalon: 4.3, 17.3, 19.0, 11.2%
          Impala: 67.9, 57.1, 50.8, 56.4%
          Charger: 77.8, 44.8, 51.1, 48.7%
          300: 60.7, 29.2, 37.9, 38.3%
          Lacrosse: 13.8, 19.3, 23.1, 27.0%
          Taurus: 42.2, 50.4, 48.0, 79.3%
          Maxima: 5.8, 9.4, 15.5, 12.9%
          Azera: 0.4, 0.9, 35.5, 25.4%

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            Meh, 2010 Detroit was face down in the mud, governments and companies were deferring fleet purchases in general.

            It’s not you. We had a weird set of extreme circumstances from 2009 to 2011 and trying to read any kind of significant trend out of those tea leaves is hard.

            It’s not an Avalon, thing – I would say that about the data in general from that period.

  • avatar
    George B

    As “mid-sized” sedans get bigger, it’s hard to justify the need for a “full-size” sedan. Looks like the extra length is wasted in inefficient packaging, especially for the Taurus. I like the Dodge Charger, but not enough to pay for the gasoline necessary to accelerate all that mass in city stop-and-go driving.

    I saw a new Toyota Avalon on the way to work. The Avalon Hybrid potentially offers the full-size sedan experience with better than subcompact fuel economy.

    • 0 avatar
      morbo

      I get a solid 12 MPG city in my 300C. Totally logical for the 2 stop and go miles in city traffic I drive. Those 50 MPG hybrids that were designed for my commute can’t compete.

      I realize I’m in the extreme minority here as an urban professional with a subway accessible commute of 2 miles driving an LX daily. My parking lot is approximately 100 CR-Vs, 100 Camrys, 100 Corrolas/Civics, maybe 10 Suburbans, a couple Jeeps, and 3 LX cars. All but the Jeeps and the LXs are silver/grey

      At least it’s easy to find my car

  • avatar
    Summicron

    I’ve watched several senior managers move from luxury cars to heavily optioned 4-door pickups as daily drivers. Something about 60+ year-old bodies and the ever lower-rooflined sedans? Plus, we get a lot of snow.

    • 0 avatar
      Summicron

      Edit: Oops… bad sexist me… forgot about the lady admin who went sedan > SUV. On second thought, I think my examples are more due to local snow. Our office is only 10 yrs. old and most of us are from more southern/urban situations.

  • avatar
    cargogh

    Chrysler used to have more haters than GM. But they created some different, but desirably designed vehicles and kept banging them out until they drive great, and have tangible quality. Nobody complains about U-connect, ride quality, crappy interiors or automatics with too few gears.

    With every large car from Europe being so expensive, and the current offerings of Taurus and new Impala, I’d say the segment will continue to decline and Chrysler’s share will continue growing. There’s the XTS, and I’m sure it is nice enough, but I’ve seen three.

    While I’ve had several fwd vehicles, when it comes to receiving a citation, I like it better when the officer is in a Charger. A Taurus isn’t alfa enough to be chasing me down. Though I do stop anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      The Charger is an appealing car in some respects and out of curiosity I went on AAA and Truecar to look into price I was surprised to see close to $5000 off an SXT (MSRP $30K) – so they are giving massive discounts to achieve some volume.
      It is noticeable that the market never recovered from 2007 levels – fuel prices and economic issues have made people think what do I need. And a midsize car, which has generally grown in size, is now comparable to a full size. Compare and Accord or Passat with a Charger to Taurus. Why go “up” in size and cost?
      Europe did this 20 years ago when the Ford Granada and Vauxhall Omega died never to be replaced.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I’d advise stopping unless you’re in the Duke brother’s car… those Police Tauri are quick.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    It only makes sense that non-premium full-size cars are going away. They are a non-sensical niche to me. They don’t do anything that a mid-size or some sort of tall-wagon/faux-minivan won’t do more efficiently. NONE of them are big enough to carry more than 5 passengers at best, and even then, if you need to carry passengers you are better off in a minivan. The buyers are either dying off, or were the folks (common around here) who only bought them because they were stupid cheap, and they can’t resist a per-pound bargain no matter how dire the vehicle. If you are going to spend REAL money on something like this, you might as well step up to an actual premium brand.

    Also, I take issue with classifying the Chrysler LX cars as “full-size”, they have no more usable interior space than a Camcord, and massively less than a big FWD GM car or an Avalon. I don’t care what the Ping-Pong ball test says.

    • 0 avatar
      morbo

      “If you are going to spend REAL money on something like this, you might as well step up to an actual premium brand”

      The things that my 2011 300C has that a co-workers ’10 A6 does not have.

      1. 8+ inch Garmin SatNav fully integrated with voice commands and Bluetooth
      2. Nearly the same price, but with blind spot, collision warning, and backup sensors, displayed on said 8+ inch UConnect screen.
      3. Both go 0-60 in 5-ish seconds, though only one does it with five full size human adults in the car.
      4. Still get 25 MPG highway (admittedlly city is the Audi’s domain)
      5. Looks like the gangsta GodKing amongst cars, versus the Audi looking like the last generation Taurus’ little brother

      Admittedly styling is subjective, but I’m right.

      “Also, I take issue with classifying the Chrysler LX cars as “full-size”, they have no more usable interior space than a Camcord, and massively less than a big FWD GM car or an Avalon.”

      yeah, I got nothing. Impala kills it in the golf bag test. My 300C has as much trunk space as my Diamante I traded in on it. Still fits 4 suitcases or 4 bags of golf clubs (though not simultaneously)

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        But the Audi has those 4 interlocked rings on the front. Which for many folks trumps all. And much less bling. And you can get most all that stuff on the Audi, it just costs that much more.

        I will say, the current refreshed LX cars with the nice interior are really straddling the line between premium and non-premium. I think I will nominate myself king and say that a loaded 300 with a V8 and all the toys IS a premium car. Certainly GM makes nothing to compete that isn’t a Cadillac, and the Taurus even in SHO form is not really in the same ballgame. The less said about Lincoln the better. I can’t say I would ever buy one, simply not my sort of car but I can certainly see the attraction.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          ” I think I will nominate myself king and say that a loaded 300 with a V8 and all the toys IS a premium car.”

          I’ll agree with that. The 300C luxury has one of the nicest interiors this side of 80k.

        • 0 avatar
          PenguinBoy

          “But the Audi has those 4 interlocked rings on the front. Which for many folks trumps all.”

          For some people the interlocking rings are a bug, not a feature.

          There are no doubt some people who don’t want the stigma of driving a “cock’s car”, who are afraid of German repair bills, or who simply prefer American style vehicles.

  • avatar
    FordMan_48126

    What is really happening with the Taraus is this: management is deciding if the new one will be built on stretched Fusion platform which will cover all future C/D class vehicles, or make it RWD.

    The problem is the new Lincoln Motor Company; the talk/rumor is they are really pushing for a RWD car based on strecthed version new 2015 Mustang platform; if that is green lighted, then from a business case it makes sense for the new Taraus to also be built on that platform. The Fusion platform will still be stretched regardless, as the Edge, Flex, and Explorer will need a new platform once the existing US only D platform is expired in the next 2 years.

    BTW, existing Taraus makes plenty of money (margin) as basic platform bits, engines, and transmission are shared among 4 other vehicles (Edge, Flex, MKS, and MKT)

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      For Ford’s sake, I hope they do make some RWD E-segment sedans to at least differentiate their large cars from their midsize offerings.

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      I want to exist in your fantasy world. RWD and Taurus in the same sentence…

      • 0 avatar
        FordMan_48126

        @tresmonos – not a total fantasy, as much as 50% or less probability. Existing Taraus platform is scheduled to be retired in 2 years, and they need a replacement. Killing off Tauarus is less likely than it going to RWD, as it is an important model in lineup for variety of reasons (market segmentation, fleet buyers, platform capitalization, etc). It is more likely just a matter of which way they will go…

    • 0 avatar
      Athos Nobile

      All that chatter and they’re killing their only RWD E-segment car in the stable.

      3monos, no Taurus for me, you guys can keep it. Mine would be XR6T or G6ET with Fusion clothes. Even the current ones. The G6E with the light beige leather interior is gorgeous.

    • 0 avatar
      Hoser

      Ford lost the way on the new Taurus. I love my Five Hundred, but the new Taurus just tried too hard to be a 300. The center console is huge and you feel like you’re driving a 80s F-body. Rear seat is more cramped too. When it’s time to replace the Five Hundred, the Taurus isn’t on the list.

      • 0 avatar
        pdieten

        That makes two of us. I have no idea what will replace my 2009 Taurus when the time comes, but it won’t be a newer Taurus. I’ve test driven a few. Nice enough car but not the right thing for me.

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      “2015 Mustang platform; if that is green lighted, then from a business case it makes sense for the new Taraus to also be built on that platform.”

      That doesn’t sound good – I’ve never really seen a case where a small car was scaled up to a big car but (fifth gen Camaro is a glaring example as is the Nissan Z car) big cars scaled down to small cars happen all the time and with lots of unnecessary lard attached.

      If they are mass neutral (so to speak) compared with the current car and roughly the same size I wont complain, but a next gen Mustang that is physically smaller and weighs more because of a shared platform is troubling.

      • 0 avatar
        dtremit

        If I am not mistaken, the only Mustang ever *not* originally derived from a larger sedan was the Mustang II. Is this really the argument you want to make?

        Also, the Mustang really _isn’t_ that small. If you compare the Mustang to, say, the 300, it’s pretty much the same width (0.3″ difference in the body, 0.2″ in the track), and only 3″ shorter. The only big difference is the length; the 300 has a 12″ longer wheelbase and body.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Derek – Great article, especially on following Doug’s “fleet only” article a few days ago.

  • avatar
    WaftableTorque

    Owning a full size sedan, I’ve come to the conclusion that it makes no sense buying one over a mid-size CUV. In fact, our next car will either be a Model X or QX60h.

    The full size sedan category is dying because it offers a relatively small improvement in comfort over a mid-size sedan (as compared to the huge benefit going from compact to mid-size), and for the same money you can get a mid-size or full-size SUV/CUV and get most of the comfort in a more functional package.

    The 3-box will still continue because a lot of people find it more attractive and higher in status than 2-box designs. If anything, the manufacturers will take a page from Bentley and Rolls Royce and amortize their costs with 15+ years between major platform updates.

    • 0 avatar
      CelticPete

      “Owning a full size sedan, I’ve come to the conclusion that it makes no sense buying one over a mid-size CUV. In fact, our next car will either be a Model X or QX60h.”

      Yes but what does a mid-size sedan offer over a CUV? You can do the same thing with every size/kind of car. Why buy a Civic when you can buy a CX-5. Why buy a Charger when you can buy a Jeep Grand Cherokee?

      I actually agree with your sentiment – I am just pointing out this applies to all car types. I think the most ‘attacked’ segment by SUV is actually the midsize car. They seem pointless because they are FWD and don’t drive great..

      At least with the Charger/300M you can get a V8 and enjoy some burnouts and the torque. What kind of fun to you get out of camcord?! I’d rather have Jeep Grand Cherokee any day of the week..

  • avatar
    vvk

    I am a little confused about this “full size” designation. Seems like many “mid size” sedans actually have bigger interiors. Looking at limo-like room and overall body length of a 2012+ Passat, for example, why wouldn’t you call it “full size?”

    Is it the weight?

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      More about the marketing, really. Personally, I consider the Passat a full size car.

    • 0 avatar
      WaftableTorque

      It’s usually interior volume. I believe the full size cut off in America is 120 cu.ft (including trunk volume). But mid-size sedans are usually so well packaged that you’d be hard pressed to tell the difference. In fact, full size sedans are notorious for poor interior layout considering the size of the footprint. Sit in a back seat of a Caprice or Crown Victoria and ask yourself why a “mid-size” Prius has about the same legroom.

  • avatar

    There isn’t a big difference between fullsize and midsize cars anymore. I’d bet the Accord is already as big if not bigger than some cars in this list. CUVs have consistently replaced full size cars as the car of choice for large families. Large cars have also lost their appeal for people who want to make themselves look successful. It is not uncommon to see compacts and midsizers equipped with more premium content. The perception that large cars = premium does not exists anymore. While the Impala fell from 311,000 units a year in 2007 to 170,000 units in 2012, the Equinox+Torrent went from selling 122,000 in 2007 to 315,000 units in 2012 for the Equinox+Terrain. I am pretty sure GM doesn’t mind selling more CUVs at near 100% retail plus much higher transaction prices than the heavily discounted fullsizers with nearly 70% fleet.

    • 0 avatar

      Half of my comment disappeared. Wierd! Though the full size segment is not as large as it used to be, it is still important for Chevy to compete in. Unlike the 2013 Impala that rode on a unique platform, the 2014 model shares platform with at least 9 GM or GM affiliated cars and shares engines with at least 15 different GM cars and CUVs. Initial indications are that Chevy is going to price it for profit and not volume. If I were GM I would kill the W Body in its entirety right away and push the 2014 to fleets. They might risk losing residuals for the couple of years, but on the plus side, car renters will come away pleasantly surprised and a few might change their perception about Chevrolets. The 2013 Impala is only going to leave a bad taste in the mouth of anyone renting them. By pushing more 2014s to fleet, they can achieve economies of scale sooner. The 2014 is a stunning looking car and it would help to get as many as possible on the road for more people to see. A lot of people dont watch much TV and most do not follow the auto industry. In places like Northern Virginia and Southern Connecticut, the only Chevrolets on the road are rentals or the odd Cruze. People living in these parts are never going to see a 2014 Impala.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        You make an interesting argument, but W’s future is ultimately tied into CAW and Oshawa politics. If those factors were not in play your suggestion is much more doable.

        • 0 avatar
          mikey

          @28-Cars-Later….Yeah you sorta got it right. However the CAW wasn’t directly involved with the agreement…Yes GM needs to maintain 16 percent of production in Canada. That was an agreement between the Government of Ontario, the goverment of Canada and GM Canada.

          The two levels of governments then went to the CAW to agree to more concessions, before they wrote the check.
          The deal expires in 2016. The Impala line will shut down June 2014. Its looking like Cami Ingorsoll will get some production alocation? Oshawa Flex will get some of the 2014 Impala production.

          By 2016 the Camaro is going back to the USA.

          I believe that unless the Loony slides to about 80 cents USD,it could get kinda ugly.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Could flex handle BOF truck and SUV production?

          • 0 avatar
            mikey

            I think flex can run B.O.F. but I don’t think you could mix it with unibody?

            When they were building Flex,I was told it could run anything. Who knows?

          • 0 avatar
            tresmonos

            Does Flex have a marriage station? Probably not and that’s all you would need besides a seperate chassis line feeding the marriage prior to final. You can run whatever the hell you want, so long as the Final area is large enough and your paint shop isn’t contrained (dip tanks / tunnels large enough) and your body shop isn’t an out dated pile of crap (non-flexible).

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            My thought was if W is really gone in 12 months what could Oshawa profitable produce for two years till 2016? Unless the new Imp is gangbusters I would think production would just wind down unless you put a new model on the Flex line.

          • 0 avatar
            mikey

            Cami Ingorsoll is included in Canadian production,as is St Catherine engine plant
            Tres…The Flex plant was built in 2009 including body in white,the paint shop was completed in 2006 with the most up to date equipment avaiable including huge Elpo tanks.. There is also a contigous stamping plant,with an A.S.R.S servicing a mono rail with automated drop stands.

            Chassis has a massive final car area, but I’m not sure if there is a marriage station or stations.

            The consolidated Impala line was pieced together from what used to be plant 2. The consolidated does share the paint shop with Flex.

          • 0 avatar
            tresmonos

            It wouldn’t take much, then (just modifications to final). I didn’t know those additions were that new. Cool stuff and thank you for the information!

    • 0 avatar
      ranwhenparked

      The Accord is technically a full-size car already, and has been for some time. It is probably the smallest in the segment, but it is just barely out of the midsize category.

      • 0 avatar
        baggins

        The 08-12 was full sized per EPA classification, but only the lower end models without a sunroof. The couple of cubic feet that a sunroof consumes kept those models as mid sized

        The 2013 models are about 5% smaller in volume and are therefore classified as Mid Sized.

  • avatar
    dereklessing

    Sure, there’s a 2-year drop from 2007-2009. But I look at this chart and see that sales have been pretty stable since 2009. And for the Charger and Lacrosse, sales have gone up since 2009.

    • 0 avatar
      VA Terrapin

      2009 was a horrible year for car sales. Only 10.4 million cars and light trucks sold in 2009. By 2012, car and light truck sales were 14.5 million. Holding steady doesn’t change that full size, non-premium sedans are no longer as popular as they used to be.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    If the Taurus bites the dust soon, I won’t be sorry.

    This car has strayed far from its 1986 roots – it’s now too large on the outside, too small on the inside, and too expensive. It’s really not a family hauler anymore.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Taurus as it was died in 2007, remember this is effectively the Ford Five Hundred concept idea renamed “Taurus”.

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      The Fusion occupies the same market space that was held by the “old” Taurus. Ford even said that this was the plan when the original Fusion debuted, if I recall correctly.

      The Taurus name was supposed to go away, but that changed when Alan Mulally joined the company, and demanded to know why Ford was discarding a recognizable name. When the Five Hundred received a mid-cycle revamp, it became the Taurus. Ford essentially moved the Taurus up a slot in the market.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        The Taurus doesn’t make sense anymore. In fact, it really didn’t make that much sense when it was relaunched alongside the last gen Fusion.

        Unlike the Avalon, which does offer more front and (critically) rear than the Camry, the Taurus doesn’t versus the Fusion.

        Unlike the Avalon, which offers a premium ride, interior materials and a more serene cabin than the Camry, the Taurus arguably offers worse ride quality than the Fusion, worse interior materials, and dead numb steering versus the Fusion.

        Finally, whereas the Avalon with the sole V6 motor is just about as fuel efficient as the V6 optioned Camry, the Taurus is a gas pig in contrast to any version of the Fusion.

        The only reason I could see anyone picking a Taurus over a Fusion is if they had to have the 3.5 liter for some very specific reason, especially since that motor isn’t particularly refined while not living up to an even average reliability/durability rating (Consumer Reports makes both these observations, and I happen to agree with them. The 3.5 Ford is something of a pig performance wise, sucks down the gas, and doesn’t sound particularly refined doing it).

  • avatar

    I bought my 300M three years ago with the idea that I could use it for my family as well as a personal car. It was good for that while I had only two children, but when our third arrived a year and a half ago, I ended up buying a minvan for my wife and taking over her Pontiac Torrent as my daily driver. Now the 300 sits most of the time. I have only once tried to load three car seats in the back for a road trip and it was tight getting everything in there.

    So here I am, with a car too small to be my “family sedan” and too large to be my daily driver. If I had known it would play out that way, I’d have looked for a smaller two door coupe (or a 4 door economy/sporty car like the Mazda 3) for my own ride and put my wife into a van right away.

    I still love the car, by the way and I love to have a large family sedan for our family car, too. But the reality is that a minivan just makes a lot more sense.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I toyed with the idea of a used 300M a few years back after they were discontinued, then I read up on LH trannys and decided against it.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        The 300M was the good one. In 2nd generation form, the transmissions were much better too.

        Tom, what’s too big about the 300M that isn’t too big about a Torrent?

        • 0 avatar

          Danio – Truth is the Torrent feels a lot smaller to me. I like the AWD here in the winter and although it is a 2006, the Torrent only has 30K miles on it now.

          The 300 is my baby though, and since I street park here at work, I’m not anxious to leave it stting around on a busy street all the time. Still, a part of me thinks I need to get out there and just use it on up.

          Since we’re pretty much obligated to go back overseas next year I might as well use it. Of course, if we end up going back to Japan (long shot) I would take the 300. If we end up going someplace more rugged I’ll dump everything and get a full size SUV. I don’t want to, really, it just makes sense.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Many Chryslers in Japan? I would think you’d have somewhat of a rarity.

          • 0 avatar

            More than you think. They do sell Chryslers there in right-hand-drive, too. The 300M was sold there, but they are pretty rare and I have never seen a Special.

            The 300C is fairly common.

      • 0 avatar

        I don’t have much luck with transmissions, but I have never had an issue with this car. I make darn good a certain, however, that the lube places don’t add any fluid.

        I might get it out on summer days once in a while but I really only use it on road trips these days. If i get called down to DC or something I’ll take it, but otherwise it sits most of the time.

        One of these days I’ll tell the story, but I worked hard to find that car. I wanted a Special edition, had to be a certain color, certain interior, low miles and I wanted something from the South. I ended up getting one from Arizona. Despite several long trips with me in the seat, it still only has around 85K miles on it now.

        It’s hard to think about selling it because I really doubt I will get anything close to what I think it is worth…

  • avatar
    Junebug

    The year was 1974, there was a Ford in the White House and a Buick Electra (duece and a quarter) in my Dad’s garage. I was 15 and with my learner’s permit, my folks would conspire to ruin my future as I tried to pilot that barge down country roads in NC. That boys and girls was a fukin FULL SIZE car. You could lay down across either seat and be comfy, I know, I use to take my girl friend for a ride around the farm on that Motel 6 on wheels. Room for 6? Try 8 if you weren’t part of the all you can eat buffet crowd. It had the handling of a 25 foot tri-hull with a small outboard, but you could nail a speed bump at 35-50 and never feel it. Those were good times, gone and never coming back, just like the “large” cars of today.

    • 0 avatar
      gslippy

      A girl I knew in high school drove an Electra 225; I think it had a 455 engine. Ironically, she was only about 5’3″.

    • 0 avatar
      Mandalorian

      The spirit of those real full-sizers lives on in full size SUVs like the Suburban and Expedition. A little while ago I sat in the third row of a 2012 Sequoia, and it felt just as spacious and comfortable as the first row.

    • 0 avatar
      chas404

      love love love the deuce and a quarter. my friends dad had a red convertible when i was growing. car was old then but what a beauty. real metal. rwd.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Car companies are businesses. They have to go where the markets dictate. Large mainstream sedans are wanted by a shrinking pool of people.

    Personally I don’t see the point. Something like a Charger is too big to handle well, RWD or not. But it can’t match the practicality of something like a CUV either. And the practicality aspect is even more important with cars like the Impala, as they don’t have the personality angle to sell on. Let the cars die and let the companies remain profitable.

  • avatar
    nikita

    Most city police departments in California have been buying the Charger, while plenty of aging Crown Vics are hanging on. It will be interesting to see how many piggy back onto the CHP Exploder buy. San Bernadino County Sheriff still uses the Expedition up here in the mountains. There are a few GM-loyal FWD-hating departments with Tahoes that will be ordering the Caprice.

  • avatar
    mike978

    This is a good article, part of what makes TTAC great, with data and informed commentary. Much better than articles written by authors just stating their many varied life experiences.

  • avatar
    wsn

    Honda Accord is a full size sedan by EPA standard. Yet it’s missing from this analysis. Add that 300k+/year to the mix, and the full size market is actually expanding (as compared to when Accord was a midsize).

    And yes, other full size sedans did suffer, when the Accord grew in size.

    When the OP starts from incorrect raw data, there is no way to make it right.

    • 0 avatar
      ppxhbqt

      The Sonata is also legally a full-size sedan by EPA standards during the entire period of this chart. And guess what? The 2013 Avalon is now legally a mid-size car. So what? A few might have decided an Accord is big enough and not have bought an Avalon, but that doesn’t mean you can conclude it’s direct causation. I don’t think Avalon buyers are now checking out Accords (which by the way is no longer legally full-size) or Sonatas because the EPA says it’s not a big car; it certainly is. The EPA standard is capricious and measures room that you very well may not be able to use. Just because it’s the government official classification doesn’t mean it’s the relevant standard here.

    • 0 avatar
      baggins

      only the non sunroof Accord trimlines were classified as full sized from 2008-2012, the models with a sunroof fell below the cut off.

      All 2013s are mid sizers again

      So now for 2013, the large class just lost 300K units, according to your thinking.

      The other cars didnt suffer because the accord grew in size, any more than they lost sales to Camrys on one end and Explorers on the other.

      Your analysis is weak

      • 0 avatar
        wsn

        I agree my analysis was weak, as weak as the OP.

        What I wanted to point out was, the decision to include Honda Accord as a full-size is just as random as to exclude it (as you have shown that 2013 Accord is again mid-size).

        Instead of an all-or-nothing sampling, it would make more sense to do a percentile sampling. I.e. of all the sedans sold, what’s the interior volume of the 1st percentile? The 10th percentile and so on.

  • avatar
    alexndr333

    The accompanying chart is an eye-opener. In 2012, even 25% of Impala sales (the estimated retail part of its total sales) was well-above the Avalon. We can certainly fault GM for hanging the storied Impala name on such a dull vehicle, but it’s pretty hard to argue with the business case of using up the car’s amortized tooling when they can move so many of them.

  • avatar
    mikey

    The Oshawa Impala line is on a steady day shift. The overfow Equinox run with it. So maybe 400 Impalas a day? With only 14 months of production left. With holidays and summer shutdowns your looking at a little over a 100,000 cars.
    On the big picture thats F.A.
    To put into pespective, in 2007 we were running over 1500 Impalas a day on three shifts. Then we knock another 1000 or so off on Saturday.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I have always liked the feel and ride qualities of a large American sedan, but like everything its time has passed. Most of the midsize sedans have grown and have become the standard size sedan. The SUV or crossover has become the new family wagon and the choice of many empty nesters using smaller versions as their retirement vehicles. I have nothing against Impala or Chrysler 300 but they no longer fit into my current life style which is more of a transition into the Honda CRV or Kia Sorento. I want a more efficient vehicle that I can use for hauling things and transporting people, and if I am going to pay North of 30k I want it to be multifunctional and I want to keep it for at least 10 years. The more expensive vehicles become the more the average person wants a multifunctional and more practical vehicle. There will always be a market for the luxury and exotic but that is a niche market. I am not as much into the looks of a vehicle as much as the function.

    It is time to kill the W body old Impala. It is a good car but it has out lived its relevance and the new Impala is just much more appropriate for the times. It has more than enough passenger and trunk room and just overall a better vehicle for today. I had a chance to look at the 2014 Impala and it is a much better car.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    The large family sedan if falling out of favour here in Australia.

    The writing was on the wall a decade ago. When the cars go so will the V8 utes, but I’ve been predicting this for a while.

    The largest seller last year several times has been the Toyota Hilux. So larger vehicles are moving towards SUVs and utes.

    I think it was the Mazda 3 that became our largest seller.

  • avatar
    th009

    Economies of scale with Alfa Romeo and Maserati? Surely you jest, those two are barely breaking 5000 units per month between them for ALL models.

  • avatar
    ranwhenparked

    The trouble is that most full-size cars simply don’t offer a unique value proposition over midsize cars anymore.

    In the old days, a full-size car meant that 6ft adults could sit three abreast in the back seat without feeling cramped and stretch their legs out without the people in the front having to pull their seats forward. Full-size cars also used to mean 6 passenger seating, giant trunks (with full-size spare tire), and a smooth, mile-eating ride. There really aren’t any cars left that offer that sort of package, and if you take all that stuff away, you might as well just have a cheaper midsize.

    The gap in sizing between the two classes is narrower than it has ever been, part of it is the model bloat of midsize cars getting bigger, but the other side of the equation is that full-size cars have gotten smaller, becoming glorified midsizers themselves, and most of the extra length seems to be ahead of the firewall where it does squat all for passenger room.

  • avatar
    taxman100

    One thing that hurts full sized cars is the lack of a front bench seat. Most cars have a console that takes up too much space, and putting the shifter on the column is a much more efficient use of space.

    With a bench seat, your lady can snuggle up next to you as you drive with your elbow on the window, and two fingers on the wheel….

    If you need a car to fit three car seats in the back, my Grand Marquis will do it. Alas, my wife wanted a minivan too, so when we bought the 11 Routan, I kept the Grand Marquis as my back-up car.

    When it dies, I’m going used Town Car or Grand Marquis – there is really no new car sold that feels like more than a compromise to me.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    I blame record fuel prices, Cafe and today’s silly styling trends such as the lackluster LaCrosse with tiny windows, no trunk, absurd curbweight, poor interior space utilization with space stealing center consoles and bloated generic styling. I can think of 20 people right now off the top of my head that would buy a full size Caprice Classic RWD type sedan with a DI V6 engine, 30 highway MPG and true full size interior comfort for around 30 grand. Too bad GM refuses to make such a vehicle available to the public. Yes I know the SS is coming but that is going to be an over priced V8 powered gas swilling Niche car in very limited numbers.


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