By on July 13, 2015

TTAC midsize car sales chart June 2015

As U.S. sales of the best-selling midsize car — and best-selling car overall – declined 3% during the first-half of 2015, one would assume that an opportunity opens up for its nearest rivals. But while the Camry has fallen slightly, the Honda Accord tumbled 16% and the Nissan Altima slipped 3%.

Surely then, the second tier of candidates would make real headway? No, in the midst of this convenient moment, the Ford Fusion is down 7%. In fact, on a year-over-year basis, Fusion sales have declined in eight consecutive months.

It’s not just the Fusion, of course. The Toyota Camry, Hyundai Sonata, and Kia Optima have posted four consecutive U.S. sales declines. The Volkswagen Passat and Honda Accord have both decreased in five consecutive months. After four consecutive months of decline, Nissan Altima sales increased only marginally in June.

Overall, the core group of midsize cars is off 2014’s pace by 4% through the first-half of 2015. Compared with the first six months of 2013, sales are down 7%. The Camry leads its nearest rival, the Altima, by 43,785 units through six months, an even bigger lead than the 37,262-unit gap it had built up at the halfway point last year.

2013 Ford Fusion

We’ve included some segment outliers in the chart in the interest of greater disclosure. U.S. sales of the aged Volkswagen CC, for example, have tumbled in each of the last 23 months.

Meanwhile, the top three midsize cars’ small crossover siblings are on the rapid upswing. Toyota RAV4 sales are up 23% this year and have increased in 27 consecutive months. Nissan Rogue volume is up 36% in 2015; Rogue sales have improved in each of the last 11 months. The Honda CR-V, America’s top-selling utility vehicle, is up 5% this year. CR-V sales have improved in eight of the last ten months.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

187 Comments on “Chart Of The Day: Month After Month, Most Midsize Cars Are Posting Declining U.S. Sales...”


  • avatar

    Gee…

    The 200 offers a V6 and AWD with the best infotainment system on the market and the ability to parallel and perpendicular park itself for less than $35,000…

    …and LOOKS BETTER than everything else on the list.

    The FREE MARKET speaks loudly when people vote with their dollar.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      Free market, or all that cash on the hoods of 200s…

      I’ll be impressed by the 200 when it equals the Accord for % of sales to actual retail customers and average $ incentives/vehicle.

      • 0 avatar

        The Accord is a big name, a traditional big seller – which still can’t overcome the Camry – and while I’m sure they are good cars… The 200 offers better features for not much more money.

        FULLY LOADED: v6, AWD, Nav, panoramic roof is less than $34,000.

        Honda Accord fully loaded is closer to $38,000

        No AWD. NO v6.

        Just another soul-less econobox which we’ll see teenagers buying as used hoopties in 10 years.

        NO THANKS.

        • 0 avatar
          RideHeight

          *wheeze*

          Oh, thank you, Big Truck for that morning laugh!

          Paying 34K for a little cockroach car imported from Detroit!

          • 0 avatar

            Apparently, the people buying them don’t think I’m so funny.

            “LITTLE” – yes I’ll agree with you on that…but I’m 6’6 and over 350 so many cars are smaller than I might want.

            Thing is, AWD and a V6 with 300HP are still highly desireable options and help sway deals.

            It’s simply solved:

            #1 offer a high power engine option
            #2 Offer AWD

            The sad thing about the Big 3 is that at a time when all the imports are downsizing, people WANT Detroit’s traditional BIG CAR BIG ENGINE formula.

            It’s why full-sized SUV’s and Trucks still sell.

            I’m not saying “standard”. I’m saying: “make the powerful stuff OPTIONAL”

            for those of us who have CASH.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Is the 200 on par considering size, with the Camry and Accord? I feel like it’s not. I mean I think I’d choose even a Maxima over a loaded 200, even though I’d be doing without AWD.

            PS. No Chrysler person can accuse -other- makes of being used as “hoopties in 10 years,” unless they’re wearing sunglasses which block out the following cars:

            Pacifica
            Magnum Wagon
            300 gen 1/2
            Charger gen 1
            Avenger
            Sebring

        • 0 avatar
          sportyaccordy

          Nobody cares about V6s or AWD. If they did the biggest sellers wouldn’t be FWD 4 banger Camrys and Accords.

          And the Accord doesn’t outsell the Camry because Honda doesn’t do fleets. 200 has been, is and always will be a heavy fleet car and is still in no way a sales contender in this market.

          The 200 is also pretty much a hooptie out of the box as well. They are selling for damn near $5K under MSRP and with their heavy fleet presence will have terrible resale, like always. Brand new Ss and Cs are selling for damn near 8K under MSRP and used ones are already off of MSRP by five digits. So the market is speaking and it’s not saying good things.

          Shame as this 200 is one of Chrysler’s best cars in a long time, but it’s hardly the answer to the midsize sedan crisis. The CR-V, the RAV4, etc etc… those are, at least according to people actually buying them.

          • 0 avatar
            indi500fan

            Perhaps in 24 months, a 200 may be one heck of a used car value? One to watch for those interested I’d think.

        • 0 avatar
          bikegoesbaa

          “Just another soul-less econobox which we’ll see teenagers buying as used hoopties in 10 years.”

          Surely that won’t be the case for the 200.

          Because 2005 Chrysler Sebrings are valuable classics, and much more valuable on the used market than the Toyota and Honda equivalents; right?

          Nope, I’m sure that an AWD Chrysler with a panoramic roof will prove to be a very good long-term choice.

          • 0 avatar
            sportyaccordy

            Ha, yea my MIL has a ~3-4 year old 200 convertible. Terrible car. Feels like crap from the moment you close the door, and it sounds like a phlegmy cough.

            I’m sure the new one is leaps and bounds better, but again, the bulk sellers in this segment are the $18K white FWD 4 banger cars… all the bells and whistles BTSR is going on and on about have no bearing on the market.

            For $35K (and nobody is paying $35K for a 200) you are a few bucks short of getting into a Genesis…. no brainer.

          • 0 avatar
            an innocent man

            Yea, I think Panoramic Roof is a French phrase meaning, “leaks a lot.”

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            “you are a few bucks short of getting into a Genesis…. ”

            They’re getting into a 300 rather than a Genesis. Practically nobody buys a Genesis sedan.

          • 0 avatar
            TMA1

            Their loss. That Genesis is really nice on the inside, and from what I hear Hyundai is willing to knock a lot of cash off MSRP.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          “Just another soul-less econobox which we’ll see teenagers buying as used hoopties in 10 years.”

          Conversely, the 200 will be seen languishing on BHPH lots and listing with 2 donut spare tires in the ghetto in 5.

          • 0 avatar
            tonycd

            I’m laying in the weeds for a used Genesis V6 AWD in a couple years. At least, if something bad ever happens to my immortal Honda.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          What are you on about? The maximum Accord is the Touring. It has a V6. It costs $34,450.

        • 0 avatar
          George B

          Bigtruck, AWD is a net negative in the southern half of the US. Costs more initially, takes away foot room for the occasional middle passenger in the back seat, adds weight, hurts fuel economy, and requires a set of 4 matched tires. While I like the Chrysler Pentastar V6, Both the Accord and Camry offer comparable V6 engines. The Accord, Camry, and 200 will all be used hoopties before they become rebar and Chinese washing machines.

        • 0 avatar
          KixStart

          “Just another soul-less econobox which we’ll see teenagers buying as used hoopties in 10 years.”

          I don’t know what planet you’re from but, on this one, 10 year old Hondas aren’t hoopties for teenagers. They’re still satisfactory daily drivers for people with good jobs who like to drive decent trouble-free cars.

      • 0 avatar
        Mr. K

        +1

      • 0 avatar
        VenomV12

        Seriously, they give the 200s away, especially on the lease deals whereas with the Accord and Camry there is virtually no price discount.

        • 0 avatar
          Lorenzo

          I think you need to look at the current model of 200, not the old Sebring-based junk from Cerberus. It’s a different car, and not a rental fleet model anymore. Even Sergio knows enough to seek higher transaction prices with an all-new model. Sergio’s one big mistake was keeping the old name, when Chrysler still owns the LeBaron and Fifth Avenue nameplates. Then people wouldn’t be comparing it to a ten year old convertible.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Lorenzo, we ARE talking about the current 200. Avis/Dollar has loads of them in their fleet, as well as the prior 200.

            It’s why I chose a class DOWN and got a Cruze instead.

          • 0 avatar
            Lorenzo

            Corey, Nearly all the 200’s at the Avis lot in San Diego airport are 2014 and older. Yes, there are a few of the new model, but with the 2.4, not the Pentastar, and my sister couldn’t find one in Boston’s Logan airport with AWD in February – neither Avis nor Hertz carried them in a city that was buried in snow last winter.

            You can’t judge a car a rental queen unless you look up the numbers, and for Avis, you can find BMW 328i’s and 528i’s, Audi A4’s and Mercedes E400’s. More than a few people are willing to pay for quality rentals.

            The 200 is the designated midsize for Hertz and Avis because it’s bigger than a Malibu and quieter than an Accord, and Toyota prefers to sell fleet Corollas over Camrys. I would guess most retail 200s are going out the door with the V6, and nearly all the AWD models are retail.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Eh, the current Optima is still better looking and the 200 really isn’t any better looking than the 6 or the Fusion.

      Chrysler has a ton of $$ on the hood of the 200, rental fleet sales is tops in the segment (the other 2 being the Camry and Altima for the 1Q) and a big chunk of increased sales for the 200 comes from previous Avenger buyers.

      That being said, the 200 is now a credible competitor in the segment but it takes time for the marketplace to catch up to the realities – hence the $$ on the hood/heavy discounting by dealers and rental fleet sales.

      As for the Genesis sedan, YTD, it is the 3rd best selling RWD midsize lux sedan in the US and 2nd in Canada – so “practically nobody buys the Genesis sedan” is far from reality (the 300 is considered “upscale” and not luxury).

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    Nobody wants crampy isolation chambers. Die, see-dans!

    • 0 avatar

      The Hyundai Sonata is anything but small.

      Perhaps that’s why it’s down less than the Fusion?

      I think another issue is that people really don’t get to crosshop many different models in the mid-sized market. Salesmen are aggressive and won’t let you leave without a car. I wonder what would happen if there was a giant room with all these cars in it that allowed you to quickly gravitate towards, sit in and “experience” every different model.

  • avatar
    heavy handle

    If you are including the CC in this group, you may as well also include the S60/V60, A3, CLA and 3 Series. I assume that some part of the midsize market is going in this direction: you can get a nicer car (albeit sometimes slightly smaller) for similar money to a loaded mass-market compact.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    It’s by now a given that the CAFE-driven, inhospitable nature of sedans will lead to C/SUVs becoming a predominant American vehicle along with pickups.

    That just means those will be the only targets left standing for the giant boot of CAFE to crush till they’re merely higher-riding isolation chambers.

    Glad I’ll only be buying one more new vehicle before my days of drugs and shuffleboard.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      CAFE or not, CUVs are a better fit for the average American family’s needs in a car.

      And with CUV/sedan fuel mileage reaching parity, one of the biggest criticisms of CUVs is basically dead. Price parity is also approaching unity. CUVs are on the rise because they are better cars for the general public…. not because of some CAFE conspiracy.

      • 0 avatar
        RideHeight

        Every blessed vehicle I’ve checked out at a dealership for the past 6 or more years has had the RVM smack in my sightline due to the ever slantier A-pillars and windshields.

        That’s not CAFE?

        I’ve simply removed the mirror from my last two cars. I relocated it to a roof cross-beam in my pickup.

        I likes to SEE!

        • 0 avatar
          sportyaccordy

          Maybe you should lower the seat? Or look at cars besides Camaros? Lol.

          And you should file that gripe with the NHTSA, not CAFE. Their increasingly stringent (and life saving) front end crash requirements have forced better designed + more horizontal a-pillars. Back in the day the a-pillar would just buckle and put your steering wheel in your chest on a 35 MPH impact. Now they don’t. Given that fatalities are down I think their plan worked.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            Hokum. A-pillar regression to horizontal is solely to give the vehicle fluid stream slipperiness like a blood parasite.

          • 0 avatar
            1998redwagon

            but i think rideheight has a point. newer cars do put the rear view mirror in my line of sight too. even with the seat down. it’s obnoxious. even if it saves lives.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        One has to keep in mind that CUV-sedan fuel economy and pricing parity is with comparing a CUV sized one segment down from the sedan (CR-V vs. the Accord) – which is fine b/c that’s what most buyers end up doing.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      If CAFE were the culprit then there would be FEWER SUVs and CUVs made, because they all get worse mileage than the equivalent sedans.

      • 0 avatar
        RideHeight

        CAFE went for the easy meat first and that was sedans.

        Now it will notice that a new herd has arisen and must be culled.

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        CUVs are almost equal on price and fuel economy with cars from the same manufacturer with the same engines and number of seats. CAFE has no bearing on what’s going on… the only thing driving how many CUVs get built is how many the public wants to buy.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Since I can hear the calvary coming, I want to open the floor.

    How is a typical American family better served by a Camry, than by a RAV4? Or by an Accord, than by a CR-V? You can’t compare CUVs to the cars they are based on…. just off of interior dimensions and engine specs alone, it’s clear which CUV competes with which car in each manufacturers’ lineups. And once you do that, you see that the CUVs offer the same space, similar performance, much more utility, much higher ease of ingress/egress and child/grocery loading, and a driving position that regular people prefer, at a very small penalty on fuel economy (actually NONE for the Accord/CR-V, and only 2 MPG combined for the Camry/RAV4), and a dynamics disadvantage that only matters for the kind of driving people in this market never do.

    So come at me bros…. objectively explain why people should buy sedans when CUVs are so much better suited to their every day needs. If you can’t come up with a reason besides “I hate CUVs and everyone should drive what I demand they drive” you need not reply lol. This is BUSINESS, not FANTASY.

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      Definitely, especially for ease of access. The US market is composed of two dominant groups: Baby Boomers who can’t get into a low car anymore, and kids of Baby Boomers who sometimes need to drive their parents around.

      The other groups (Gen X and millennials) don’t buy enough cars to matter.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      CUVs are the elevator shoes of the automotive world. Practical or not, it’s about the height.

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        How is a sedan more practical than a CUV?

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          Generally better fuel economy and generally cheaper. For many people, that = practicality. Some people don’t actually want more vehicle.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          Does it matter what’s more practical? That doesn’t mean much in the scheme of things.

          Ford installed a car-like interior in the original Explorer, pitched their SUV to suburban woman (as opposed to the outdoorsmen and wannabes that Jeep targeted with their SUVs), and it sold like hotcakes.

          Many people like to sit up high. Just as long as drivers value height over handling, the car doesn’t stand much of a chance.

          The enthusiast segment also doesn’t seem to grasp that women are more influential in car purchasing decisions than they used to be. They are less impressed by flashy sports cars and more interested in a higher seating position. It’s more practical to buy a vehicle that won’t p**s off your wife than to be a brave soul and get something that she dislikes.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Depends on your idea of practicality. In my case, for the occasional instance I’d actually need something with hauling capacity, I can spend $30 at U-haul, versus another $4-5,000 on a CUV.

          It’s more practical for me to save the money on the purchase and buy capacity as I need it. Plus I save money on gas.

          Others might have different needs, which is OK by me.

          • 0 avatar
            Superdessucke

            FWIW, a VW Golf SportWagen has 66.5 cubic feet of cargo capacity. A Ford Escape has 68.1 cubic feet. So there wouldn’t be any real utility advantage of going with the CUV v. the wagon.

            As to passenger volume, the Golf has 94 cubic feet. The Escape has 98.1. Again, minimal difference. So that leaves us with the ride height, which I don’t have a need for.

          • 0 avatar
            sportyaccordy

            Not really a valid comparison, at all. X3 vs 328i sport wagon would have been better, but cargo space is only one piece of the puzzle, and not even an important one. 328i still loses on ingress/egress ease, seating position/visibility, and parking (since the X3 is shorter), which are every day issues, which cargo space is not.

          • 0 avatar
            Dan

            “I can spend $30 at U-haul, versus another $4-5,000 on a CUV.”

            Trim for trim, a FWD Rav4 or CRV lists within a couple hundred bucks of the equivalent Camcord. Often as not the CUV is cheaper.

            You can probably score another $1000-1500 in incentives on the sedans.

          • 0 avatar
            wsn

            “Trim for trim, a FWD Rav4 or CRV lists within a couple hundred bucks of the equivalent Camcord. Often as not the CUV is cheaper.”

            Good point, except that they are not equivalent.

            Rav4/CRV are equivalent to Corolla/Civic.
            Highlander/Pilot are equivalent to Camry/Accord.

    • 0 avatar
      Superdessucke

      What jumps out at me is that while MPG difference between car and crossover may be closing, ride height and weight will always result in lower MPG. CUVs have more of both. Whether 2 MPG or not it’s still lower. It will also result in less responsive and stable handling.

      And a complex AWD system I don’t need will add cost. And if I need it, I can get it in a better handling sedan or wagon. And if I need only 2WD, why put up with the negative characteristics of higher ride height?

      I’d want higher ride height if I needed an off-road vehicle of course. But car based CUVs are no more equipped to go off-road than their sedan platform mates.

      I’ve never had a problem loading my groceries or putting a child inside a car. Nor do I personally have trouble getting into or out of a car. So I don’t consider those issues selling points.

      So, in my calculation, CUVs make little sense. Of course many disagree. To each his own but I’d never buy one.

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        A 2WD CR-V is only ~100lbs more than a similarly equipped Accord.

        And I am not prescribing that everyone go out and buy a CUV. I drive a Civic and I hope to never have a CUV in my household. But it’s painfully obvious to me why CUVs have reached such prominence in the US auto market.

        • 0 avatar
          tonycd

          sporty, you’ve kind of answered your own question. The CR-V is and has always been built on a Civic chassis, not an Accord one. Yet it not only weighs more than a Civic, it weighs more than an Accord. More weight + poorer aerodynamics has proven to be a winning combination for sales, but it isn’t one for physics.

          I’m not suggesting that the CR-V isn’t a fine vehicle — I once bought one for my wife, who was insisting on that style of car. But I will say the appeal of CUVs/SUVs/cute-utes/crossovers over sedans, like their appeal over minivans, is based on emotion rather than reason (Exception: Hatchbacks are very practical. But like the now-extinct Legacy wagon vs. the inferior but wildly popular Outback, you don’t have to jack up a car 3 inches to give it the advantages of a hatch.)

          • 0 avatar
            sportyaccordy

            The CR-V has always been built on a Civic chassis, but also has been much more spacious than a Civic and offered with a bigger engine than was available in the Civic. We as car geeks are hung up on platforms and what not, but I doubt people like your wife are. To her a CR-V is like an Accord, not a Civic, on stilts.

            And minivans as we have them in the US have a lot of demerits vs something like a CR-V. If I have a small family, what do I need 3 rows for? That third row adds a good 1000lb of weight, makes the car much harder to park, and kills fuel economy. A theoretical small minivan would offer nothing more than a marginal increase in practicality and a big increase in cargo space, which again is not an every day concern for most folks. I think a CUV like the CR-V is about as rational an automotive purchase as one can make these days.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            At this point the CR-V’s Civic roots are irrelevant. It’s priced directly across from an Accord, it has the same powertrain as an Accord, it performs more or less like an Accord (albeit a bit slower and a bit rougher-riding), and it should be considered the Accord’s direct competition.

            Similarly, the Fit-based HR-V is competing square-on in the showroom with the Civic.

          • 0 avatar
            bd2

            Buyers tend to look at CUVs one segment down from the sedans, so is basically a moot point.

            5-6 yrs ago, the fuel economy on the CR-V was worse than for the Accord, now it is almost the same.

          • 0 avatar
            Maymar

            Even if minivans are supposedly so out of touch with what consumers really want, why can’t you get sliding doors on a CUV? That’d really help loading kids in car seats, wouldn’t it?

            Now, you can give all the hyper-rational justifications for CUVs you want (and I won’t deny they are practical), but let’s not pretend that there aren’t some very shallow factors at play, and I mean, hey, shallow’s fine, but if that kind of shallow is going to have such a huge impact on the market, I’m not going to feel bad for not liking it.

      • 0 avatar
        clivesl

        @Super

        That was an exceedingly rational take on this whole question.

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        “I’d want higher ride height if I needed an off-road vehicle of course. But car based CUVs are no more equipped to go off-road than their sedan platform mates.”

        Nobody takes these off-roading but another four inches of front end clearance to swing it over parking curbs, down from steep driveways, etc is more convenient than you’re giving it credit for. The modern slot car with a 12 degree approach angle and 5.5″ of bumper clearance is a real liability when there’s enough snow on the ground that you can’t see where the curb starts.

        • 0 avatar
          Superdessucke

          We’re not talking slot cars, we’re talking sedans. An Accord sedan has almost 6″ of ground clearance. I’ve never in my life scraped a bumper or the bottom of a regular passenger car on anything. And have we really reached the point where we need to barrel over everything and can’t even watch for curbs or driveway skirts??

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        “I’d want higher ride height if I needed an off-road vehicle of course. But car based CUVs are no more equipped to go off-road than their sedan platform mates.”

        Depends on what you mean by “off-road.” Can you bash rocks or go mudding in your CUV? Probably not. But at least some CUVs have enough ground clearance to get through fire roads, and the like, that sedans can’t. This is one of the main reasons we bought our Forester. 8.5″ of ground clearance really isn’t bad for a car-like vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      I like cars and don’t like CUVs. I have no children, my knees aren’t shot and I love where it never snows.

      Other people can buy whatever they want, but I don’t care at all what suits them best because I’m not their personal purchasing consultant. I also don’t work for or own stock in any of the automakers so I don’t care what makes them the most money, I just want them to build things I like. Just because I understand what is driving an automotive development doesn’t mean I have to personally like it.

      Your defense of crossovers is getting to be insufferable. Why do you care if everyone on TTAC is okay with CUVs becoming more popular?

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        His point is that some folks around here don’t understand that this is a business, and automakers try to appeal to their customers. Beating ones chest about one’s own personal tastes being better than the rest of the country’s tastes isn’t a rebuttal to his point, nor is blaming the guv’mint for trends that one happens to dislike.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          I think everyone here knows that automakers try to appeal to their customers.

          I don’t think my tastes are superior but I don’t think it is unreasonable to be annoyed when you are on the losing side or when things you persoanlly like are disappearing.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “I think everyone here knows that automakers try to appeal to their customers.”

            We must be reading different websites. There are plenty of commenters here who measure the world by their own personal tastes, and can’t fathom that others wouldn’t share those tastes. They assume that automakers are out of touch and that the consumers who defy them are idiots.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            “blaming the guv’mint for trends that one happens to dislike.”

            I doubt that enforced aero squashing of greenhouses resulted from consumer surveys.

            It’s even happening to pickups, after all.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            People don’t much care about A-pillars either way, but they really don’t want to die in car crashes.

            That, and automakers like to change things up a bit. Design trends come and go. You can’t be expected to like all of them.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            Every manufacturer, every model, for 20 years of persistently denuding the greenhouse strikes me as more than capricious trending.

            I’ll look into the NHTSA/safety claim above. Yes, that’s legit if aggravating. But that’s still governmental.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            There’s no shortage of window glass. I really have no idea where these claims are coming from.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            True, there are acres of window glass stretching horizontally, just like modern monitors and TV screens.

            Unfortunately, the top of that glass is level with the tops of the headrests.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            I believe that the second-generation Jetta began the trend of higher trunk lids. The reason for it was to provide more trunk space. It’s a bit harder to see out of the back as a result, but this doesn’t matter much if you don’t spend most of your driving time in reverse.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            Or if you live where backing into something/over someone don’t matter none.

            “Oh, dat jus’ Wayne..”

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        I don’t care what people like or dislike. I don’t like CUVs and I hope to never buy one (though at times I am tempted for my wife). I’m just growing weary of the infantile misunderstanding and ensuing opinions of the auto market that passes for insight and discourse here.

        Not to mention, I don’t see how we are on the “losing side” of this. People cry about the “death” of the stickshift…. I don’t think there have ever been as many great affordable stickshift cars available as there are today. Just off the top of my head, the Ford ST hatches, GTI, WRX, 370Z, the pony car trio, Accord Sport/V6 coupe, Mazda 3/6, Miata, A3, etc. etc. You claim you “just want manufacturers to build what you like”…. what exactly is it that you want that isn’t being buit, that WAS built in the past? The $20-30K fun car segment has literally never been more comprehensive.

        Similarly, pound for pound cars today are better values than ever. My 2700lb Civic is a much better car than my old 2900-3000lb 4 banger Accords could ever hope to be… same interior space, better performance, better gas mileage (by ~15%!), safer, just as fun to drive etc etc.

        My whole thing is, I have no problem with people complaining… about real things. But much of the complaining about the auto market today is just borne out of pure narcissism and ignorance, both of how exactly the auto market works, and often purely just out of not knowing what is available, what one wants, etc etc. People whine about how “awful” the auto market is just to play the victim card, have some kind of “cause” and to hear themselves speak. I’m calling those people out today.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          “What exactly is it that you want that isn’t being buit, that WAS built in the past?”

          I wanted a large RWD sedan with a larger displacement naturally aspirated engine and my budget was only $45k. I bought a Charger RT (brand new even!) as it was basically the only option unless I went used or joined the police force.

          • 0 avatar
            sportyaccordy

            When was this? What about the SS, or G8? There was also the M45/M56. Oh well, what’s done is done. More importantly though, the existence of CUVs hasn’t caused the disapperance of big RWD sedans… it’s the result of it.

        • 0 avatar
          1998redwagon

          the market is just as good as it used to be for what we want to drive? not for me. i needed a new vehicle 2 years ago and wanted a manual wagon (because that’s what i wanted!) my choice was a jetta/golf wagon or a subaru. guess what? both too small.

          sorry my choices have gotten worse over time not better. so yes, you hear me complaining.

          • 0 avatar
            wsn

            “my choice was a jetta/golf wagon or a subaru. guess what? both too small.”

            I don’t know much about VW. But Subaru models only grew larger with every refresh in the past many years.

            Maybe it’s you who “grew” faster than a Subaru :)

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Sportyaccordy, who are you to tell me that a CUV is “so much better suited to my everyday needs”? “Regular” people prefer the driving position in CUV – does that mean I’m “irregular”?

      Seems a bit presumptuous, like you’re trolling. Say it ain’t so.

      In my case, my “typical American family” – a single parent and two kids – would be no better served by a CUV, and the extra money I’d have to lay out would be better spent elsewhere. On the rare occasion I encounter something I can’t carry in my sedan, then there’s U-Haul, which is a lot cheaper than laying out thousands of dollars more for a CUV.

      You’re right, this is a business, and that’s my business decision. Others might make a different decision. But I wouldn’t think of them as “irregular” or silly for buying something different.

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        I dont know what your individual needs are. CUVs don’t fit my individual needs either. But on aggregate, CUVs fit more people’s needs than sedans. So it’s no surprise they are growing in sales while big sedans are in decline.

      • 0 avatar
        Superdessucke

        Something about some of the CUV fan bois on here smacks of self righteousness and a smugness that they understand what “everybody” wants or needs. It’s like bandwagon jumping. It’s easy to be on the winning side of something, especially if you need something to identify with to compensate for lack of success in other areas.

        Personally, I say buy a CUV of you want one. But, at least for this thread, a poster asked why somebody might not. So that opens up the floor for this.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          Who are these CUV fanboys exactly? What I see are some posters pointing out that your personal distaste for crossovers is irrelevant to the marketplace.

          So you won’t buy one. Really, WGAF?

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            It’s simple, logic is too much to handle and is being met with outrage and indignation.

            FWIW I don’t own a CUV and don’t care to buy one any time soon, and bemoan the passing of BOF midsize/compact SUVs. If I had a CRV/Rav4/Forester instead of my 4Runner this past weekend I’d still be stuck at the washed out/flooded stream crossing I needed to get through to get out of the woods.

          • 0 avatar
            Superdessucke

            Sportyaccord obviously gives a f*** because he asked people to explain why they would buy a sedan over a CUV. So I, and others, did that. If you don’t like the answers, don’t listen.

            As to who the fanboys are, I don’t need to say that. Everyone knows and I’m not here to call anybody out.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            He wasn’t really asking you about your personal preferences. He was asking people like you to offer a pragmatic argument for why consumers should switch. (And he did that with the expectation that you couldn’t, so mission accomplished.)

          • 0 avatar
            Superdessucke

            Well, your reading comprehension skills are obviously less keen than your trend spotting abilities.

            To summarize what I said — 1) ride height and weight will always result in lower MPG, and CUVs have more of both than comparable sedans (whether it’s 100 lbs or not, it’s more); 2) those two factors will also result in less responsive and stable handling; 3) AWD systems that many CUVs come with add cost to the purchase price and operating cost; and, 4) the availability of AWD systems on sedans makes the negatives of higher ride height and more weight pointless if you need that feature.

            So if you read the posts as a whole, myself and others are pointing out why it makes sense to sit a little lower and switch.

            P.S. The only argument I’ve heard in support of the high ride height is that people want to sit higher because they feel safer. But I’ve seen no objective data posted showing that they are actually safer by sitting up higher. In fact, the laws of vehicle dynamics would suggest the opposite is true, as several have mentioned.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The problem with narcissism is that you ignore the fact that your pros and cons don’t match the pros and cons of others.

            They don’t care about the things that you care about. Handling is not a compelling argument for those who don’t care about handling. MPG is not a compelling argument for those who are indifferent to a modest loss of fuel economy.

            For someone who wants a higher perch, your list means nothing.

        • 0 avatar
          sportyaccordy

          I think the reasons for not wanting a CUV are pretty obvious and have been preached ad nauseum here. This site might as well be called The Truth About Hating SUVs, Only Driving Stickshift, And Thumbing Ones Nose At The Typical Car Buying Public For Not Adhering To My Personal Whimsies. This faux smugness and self righteousness pales in comparison to the actual smugness and self righteousness inherent in the contrarian groupthink here that is “anti-everything that sells in large numbers”.

          I’ve heard time and time again that CUVs are impractical, stupid, awful etc with no validation. I want someone to demonstrate to me with data what exactly makes those claims true, for the general public.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Preach on, sporty!

          • 0 avatar
            tonycd

            “A theoretical small minivan would offer nothing more than a marginal increase in practicality and a big increase in cargo space, which again is not an every day concern for most folks.”

            sporty, an actual small minivan offers a massive increase in practicality. It’s called a Honda Fit.

        • 0 avatar
          Superdessucke

          “They don’t care about the things that you care about. Handling is not a compelling argument for those who don’t care about handling. MPG is not a compelling argument for those who are indifferent to a modest loss of fuel economy.”

          So what you’re effectively admitting is that these points are valid but “they” just don’t care about them. Ok. That just goes to support what I and many others think — CUVs are a trend that is based on consumer whim and not logic.

          I guess your only counter now is to say that my preferences aren’t valid because not enough others have them. But that would be hypocritical and circular, yes?

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Argh. You really don’t get it, and you probably never will.

            No, your points aren’t valid. You wrongly assume that the things that you like should be liked by everyone.

            Again, if someone wants a higher seat, for whatever reason, then you have offered them nothing with your list.

          • 0 avatar
            Superdessucke

            But I offered objective reasons why one might care about them — cheaper and safer, if you boil them down. Cheaper means you have more money for other things. Safer means you are less likely to be in an accident. Seems I need to get this basic.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            As noted, you won’t get it.

            It is objective to say that a higher MPG vehicle burns less fuel than a lower MPG vehicle.

            It is subjective to assert that the difference matters. Whether or not the difference should influence a purchasing decision is a matter of personal taste.

            The fact that you can’t grasp the distinction goes a long way to explain why this stuff flies above your head.

          • 0 avatar
            sportyaccordy

            They are valid for you, but not on aggregate. This is like saying, “automatics are bad stickshifts are good… so if a car isnt available in stickshift its bad”. Meanwhile most people can’t even drive stick, and don’t give a crap about it. So for MOST PEOPLE, stickshift is irrelevant.

            Similarly, for the wants/needs of MOST PEOPLE, the things a CUV has to offer outweigh the things a sedan/wagon does. Applying your subjective tastes as some irrefutable facts does not yield any legitimate A-HAs. Yes, CUVs handle worse than sedans… yes, CUVs get (increasingly marginally) lower fuel mileage than sedans… yes, CUVs weigh more than sedans. For all your bellyaching and keyboard pounding, you have yet to demonstrate why these things should matter to CUV buyers.

            This demonizing of CUVs on their subjective merits is especially rich on a site that is supposed to be for enthusiasts, who generally celebrate things about cars that have no practical value. We can go on and on about track performance and BDW rarity but the moment someone buys a CUV they are worthy of our wrath lmao. Hypocrisy thine name is internet auto enthusiast.

          • 0 avatar
            Superdessucke

            “It is subjective to assert that the difference matters. Whether or not the difference should influence a purchasing decision is a matter of personal taste.”

            As you say, it is not “subjective” to say that a heavier and less aerodynamic vehicle gets worse gas mileage, or that a car with a higher center of gravity doesn’t handle as well. Those are objective facts.

            You seem to be saying that these objective facts don’t matter to the CUV buyer, so we need to come up with some kind of earth shattering revelation beyond this which changes his/her personal tastes. Well, if obvious facts won’t do it, I’m not sure what will. A flashy ad campaign?

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            If a Honda CR-V buyer thinks that a high seat is worth 2 highway mpg, then that’s his idea of an acceptable trade off. Everyone makes tradeoffs.

            As noted, you’re never going to get this. You are so in love with your own ideas that you can’t even conceive of the possibility that not everyone has your exact priorities.

          • 0 avatar
            Superdessucke

            Why are you even asking people who don’t think a high seat is worth it for their perspective if, by your own admission, you are going to disregard even the objective facts they assert because some “tradeoff” (which seems to be subjective) makes it worth it to the CUV buyer?

            What else do you want us to say? They use more gas and are less safe. It’s really that simple. Cost and safety are very typical car buying factors. If they’re not to you, well, ok. I guess I could add that the CUV-buyer attitude en masse is causing a greater reliance on foreign oil than there has to be, which is contributing to the multitude of issues relating to that reliance. But, let me guess — they don’t care about that either right?

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The original point was that Sporty wanted to show that you didn’t really have a decent argument. And you don’t.

    • 0 avatar
      Sky_Render

      As much as I hate essyoovees, I must agree with you.

    • 0 avatar
      tonycd

      Why sedans, sportyaccordy?

      •Better ride. You don’t need to stiffen the springs as a handling compensation for having jacked up the car 3 inches on its suspension.

      •Greater safety. Emotionally, drivers subconsciously feel safer with the high “commanding” driving position of SUVs, not only from a crash perspective, but because our lizard brains feel more protected in the urban jungle while sitting still. But objectively, sedans’ lower center of gravity makes them much less susceptible to rollovers.

      •Better MPG for a GIVEN LEVEL OF PERFORMANCE. You can worsen the aerodynamics of a car and still match another car’s MPG by sacrificing acceleration, but that’s a false equivalency. Pushing a brick through the atmosphere does have a performance cost, and it must be paid in some combination of fuel efficiency or acceleration. The laws of physics won’t be entirely denied.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        Your idea of a better ride does not matter much to the marketplace.

        Stability control has addressed the rollover problem.

        The MPG differences aren’t meaningful to the market, either. For example, a 2.4L CVT CR-V is rated at 27/34 while a 2.4L CVT Accord is rated at 27/36. Not many people are going to give up their preferred elevation for 2 highway mpg.

        • 0 avatar
          tonycd

          Pch, your answer isn’t an answer.

          •”Your idea of a better ride does not matter much to the marketplace”: Funny, that’s the opposite of sportyaccordy’s question. He specifically asked, OK, CUVs are popular. But is there an objective defense of the sedan? Saying of my answer, “Yeah, but CUVs are popular, so therefore you’re wrong” rather misses the point.

          •”Stability control has addressed the rollover problem.” Addressed it, yes. Abolished it, no — that’s physically impossible. Which is why the owner’s manual of every new SUV for sale in America today contains a warning such as this one for the 2014 Jeep Cherokee:

          ROLLOVER WARNING
          Utility vehicles have a significantly higher rollover rate than other types of vehicles. This vehicle has a higher ground clearance and a higher center of gravity than many passenger cars. It is capable of performing better in a wide variety of off-road applications. Driven in an unsafe manner, all vehicles can go out of control. Because of the higher center of gravity, if this vehicle is out of control it may roll over when some other vehicles may not…. They are not designed for cornering at the same speeds as conventional two-wheel drive vehicles… If at all possible, avoid sharp turns or abrupt maneuvers. As with other vehicles of this type, failure to operate this vehicle correctly may result in loss of control or vehicle rollover.”

          •”The MPG differences aren’t meaningful to the market, either.” Again, your “meaningful to the market” proviso was not sportyaccordy’s question. We all understand CUVs are selling well. This was not the question. I also notice you deliberately skewed your comparison by using the FWD version of the CR-V, not the more popular AWD version that does worse in both acceleration and gas mileage.

          At the bottom line, did you get up on the wrong side of the bed this morning? Or do you just need to single out strangers on the Internet and bellow “Mine’s bigger?”

          P.S. It isn’t.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            You aren’t getting it either. A lot of you folks have trouble understanding that a lot of people don’t value the things that you value.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            “A lot of you folks have trouble understanding that a lot of people don’t value the things that you value.”

            I think we understand that part. We just wish our desires were more in the mainstream.

            What’s the proper reaction in your opinon for those that like niche segments or segments that are fading away? Should we just shrug our shoulders and STFU? I guess I can embrace that option too.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “I think we understand that part.”

            Superwhatever has gone out of his way to show that he doesn’t.

            Incidentally, I don’t care much for CUVs, either. But I understand that my preferences are not shared by everyone and probably will never be.

      • 0 avatar
        RideHeight

        “having jacked up the car 3 inches on its suspension”

        Go ahead and give it another 3″ over that. I’ll just drive slower.

        • 0 avatar
          tonycd

          Well, in fairness to you, you do sign your posts as RideHeight. :.)

          Just for the record, “3 inches” was not an arbitrary choice. I chose it because it’s about how much Subaru jacks up the very practical Legacy wagon to create the impractical* but much more popular Outback “SUV.”

          *Affirmed by Michael Karesh as ruining the ride quality of the vehicle compared to the otherwise similar Legacy sedan. Apologies to Pch’s opinion that sales totals render actual bucking over potholes “irrelevant.”

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            For many buyers’ of Outbacks purposes, that 3 inch lift is very much practical. At the very least to make getting in and out and loading car seats easier which is relevant to the vast majority of buyers. But to a goodly number of Subaru customers, the outdoors set I mean, that ground clearance is very welcome when getting out to a secluded camp site or trailhead. I know that’s what I use my 4Runner for, and I was very seriously considering an Outback or Forester as a do it all single vehicle specifically because they had a very decent 8+ inches of clearance.

            This is like the SUV bashing crowd of the 90s-00s crawling out of the woodwork to judge us all over again.

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        tonycd….

        Higher ride height = more suspension travel = better ride quality, all things being equal. Or I should say, less supension travel = worse ride quality, pretty much all the time. So the converse must also be true.

        Like dude said stability control has helped a lot and driven down fatalities per mile driven. I’m not really a big fan of these kinds of doe eyed “stay with me now” speculations presented as fact… do you have any data to support this?

        And clearly the car buying public in aggregate does not care much about the marginal added performance of a sedan vs a CUV. Again I keep coming back to the CRV vs Accord… difference from 0-60 between them is about a second. Noticeable but a mid 8 second 0-60 is more than adequate for the general public (as most top sellers are in that range). So what are these folks missing?

        The moment you demand that the buying public adhere to your individual priorities for what a car should have you throw away all your credibility in the discussion.

        To show how absurd you sound, I can flip your argument around for motorcycles.

        – PERFORMANCE- my bike, which costs $8K new today, can do 0-60 in under 4 seconds, and if you are good the quarter in the high 11s.

        – PRACTICALITY- yes, foul weather practicality is a negative, but they absolutely thrive in urban environments. I parked on the street both at home AND at work IN MANHATTAN with my motorcycle.

        – ENGAGEMENT- I have driven Ferraris. My bike is still more engaging, by an appreciable amount.

        – FUEL ECONOMY- If I get less than 40 MPG COMBINED it’s a bad tank.

        Etc etc. CLEARLY they are superior choices to cars, and anyone who doesn’t sacrifice what cars have to offer over them is making a bad choice and should be judged negatively as a human being. Lol.

        • 0 avatar
          tonycd

          sporty, I respect your original question, but at this point you keep moving the goalposts.

          As I understood your question, it was something like, “Okay, CUVs are more popular, and you CUV critics keep saying they have actual disadvantages that should make some of them shy away. Can you quantify those disadvantages?”

          But when others do so, the reply comes back, “Well, people are buying more CUVs in spite of that, so you must be wrong.”

          This thread documents that:
          •CUVs still get slightly worse gas mileage.

          •Their own makers still certify in writing that they handle less safely and they are more prone to roll over.

          •An independent and respected road tester has validated that one of this year’s most popular CUVs has substantially worse ride quality than its otherwise-identical sedan sibling, and the difference is directly traceable to its CUV ride-height conversion.

          I’ll make a distinction between you and Pch, insofar as you have respectfully refrained from descending into personally disrespectful comments about how other posters “don’t get it.” Obviously I am 100% capable of comprehending that the sales number next to a CUV is larger and the sales number of a sedan is smaller. His insistence on endlessly repeating this is convincing me at this point that one of his own numbers must be diminutive indeed.

          But I don’t know how to answer any better what I thought your quite valid question was in the first place: “If people are buying CUVs, what’s the case for telling them to consider sedans instead?” Clearly some people are making a reasoned comparison and concluding the CUV better meets their personal priorities. (And as I pointed out earlier, as a former CR-V buyer myself, I “get” that.)

          At the same time, I would humbly suggest that some other buyers are buying the CUV as a style statement or off-roading fantasy without giving the two body styles’ respective virtues a whole lot of logical thought. If you don’t believe it, check out Keith Bradsher’s biased but still infomative book “High and Mighty” — specifically the part where automakers’ own confidential research showed that many female buyers coveted rear “privacy glass” so that onlookers would fail to see the kids in the back and thus mistake the driver for a single woman. Not all buying motives stand up to logical analysis, for SUVs or other cars, and therefore I believe it’s fair to suggest that logic may speak in favor of buying decisions that many people don’t make.

          • 0 avatar
            sportyaccordy

            My rebuttal to all the demerits CUV haters are lobbying is simple. To the person buying something like a CR-V, they don’t matter.

            And for the tenth time, many of the disadvantages are either disappearing or gone. If your wife’s CR-V is FWD, it gets the same combined gas mileage as an Accord 2.4 CVT.

            I am still confused as to why we shame CUV drivers for buying cars on a subjective basis, but give everyone else a pass. Is the reasoning for an old man buying an F-Type any better? What about the young dude in a Charger HEMI? The female gym teacher in a Miata? Everyone has some silly subjective reason for buying whatever car they want… we are humans, we are generally irrational. So CUV drivers are no better or worse in that way. But on an ease-of-use and practicality basis, in the CUV vs sedan fight the CUV wins handily. And that’s really the only objective metric that matters to the people buying them.

          • 0 avatar
            Superdessucke

            As tonycd has eloquently pointed out, you (and THC101) keep moving the goal post around.

            If your question was “why do we shame CUV buyers for their choice?” that would be one thing. But your inquiry was for us to give objective arguments against buying a CUV over a sedan. And you have been given several good arguments. I don’t see what the problem is.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            “My rebuttal to all the demerits CUV haters are lobbying is simple. To the person buying something like a CR-V, they don’t matter.”

            Yes, obviously. /thread.

            This has really been made into an argument about nothing by a few commenters eager to shout someone down.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “Yes, obviously.”

            Judging from some of the comments, it clearly isn’t obvious to everyone.

            This is all quite comparable to the mentality of the small truck jihad.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            This thread looks more like the crusade of Don Quixote than that of the Small Pickup Jihad (SPJ) to me.

            Perhaps sporty should have started this thread in 4chan format:

            >Explain why someone would buy a sedan over a CUV.
            >PROTIP: You can’t.

          • 0 avatar
            sportyaccordy

            Superdessucke, I haven’t moved the goal posts at all. The question was rhetorical. Sedans don’t have anything CUVs don’t, for people who buy CUVs over sedans. If they did, people wouldn’t buy them.

            If you are going to shame CUV buyers for buying the cars they want, then you have to shame sports car buyers, station wagon buyers, and even sedan buyers too. The only people free of shame are folks buying Mitsubishi Mirages as there is no excess or pretense behind such a car. This whole exercise was just a means of exposing the boundless self-righteousness and complete void of self-awareness or empathy regularly touted by folks like you as “enthusiasm”.

            Having the ability to understand different perspectives and desires that don’t necessarily line up with your own is Adulthood 101. I hope you manage to grow up one day.

        • 0 avatar
          ninjacommuter

          Sporty,

          I think you have a 650R, right? My 2009 never gets below 51 mpg. What are you doing in Manhattan to apparently occasionally approach 40 mpg?

          You are spot on regarding performance, practicality and fuel economy. Cycles have their place, just like CUVs, pickups, and sedans with automatic transmissions. Regarding engagement, nothing comes close to a cycle when all four appendages are moving, the eyes are scanning, the wind is blowing, and the engine is revving. It has its place in my garage, and at 35,000 miles, under my butt.

          But on the other side, I just bought a 2015 CR-V for my wife who loves it; I even put an “I love my dachshund” license plate holder on it for her. We all want what we want…live and let live. Unofficially, that CR-V is very comfortable, quick enough for her, nice versatility but not like my pickup, looks great in her opinion, and provides her with a car she enjoys being in. What more to add?

          • 0 avatar
            sportyaccordy

            Ha, we love dachshunds too. Neither me nor my wife are ready to cross over into CUVdom yet though. I’m hoping we can bridge the gap with a VW wagon (hold the diesel please).

            My bike gets crap mileage because it is fairing free. I crashed it two months after I got it and just never put the fairings back on. I’m actually in NC now. My commute is pretty fast though… traffic moves at about 80-90 when the roads are clear, which is most of the time. I get better mileage when I take back roads. I am considering getting some cheap Chinese fairings though and moving on. I need that 1000….

    • 0 avatar
      clivesl

      I would also add, that you can’t tell someone that they just need to be in better physical shape and then you can dive a proper car.

      Man that’s annoying.

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        You can, but then you would be announcing your self-righteousness and lack of self-awareness in earnest. Better to judge silently and pretend to be a good person instead.

    • 0 avatar
      DevilsRotary86

      First, I agree with you in full that for the business of making cars CUV’s make wonderful sense and are popular now. There is no denying that.

      But in direct answer to your question “why should people buy sedans when CUV’s are better”, I can’t answer that for people at large. But I can answer that for me personally. I personally prefer having a vehicle with segregated cargo and passenger volumes. This is me being picky, but I simply prefer that. My current car, an Acura RSX, has an integrated passenger/cargo space, and it’s one of only 2 gripes that I have about the car. It sucks to put gasoline in the back for my lawn mower and have to smell it all the way home. And there are plenty of other dirty filthy stuff that gets moved I would rather keep out of sight and out of mind. I am probably never again going to buy another car with an integrated passenger and cargo volume.

      Again, I know I am being picky, but I have said before that I reserve the right to be picky when dropping tens of thousands of dollars on a purchase.

  • avatar
    Mr. K

    How much of CUV sales are explained by the fact that AWD Accords, Camrys, and Altimas are not built, while the CRV, RAV4, and Rouge all offer AWD?

    For folks who don’t want a Subaru (a shrinking pool to be sure), a smaller SUV or who can’t/wouldn’t spend the bucks for c/e, 2/3/4/5, 3/4/6, or 60/80 (and lets not forget the RDX/TLX, and the whatever Infiniti calls them now and the IS250/350) and want AWD the CUV is the only path.

    The only mainstream brand sedan with AWD offered are the Chrysler 200, the Ford Fusion and Ford Taurus. And, oh yeah, the one with 6 stars on the hood.

    Two phenomena (CUV and Subaru sales), one explanation.

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      AWD is definitely the Laetrile of the decade. I think you have a point.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I don’t think it’s the AWD as much as the body style that attracts people to CUVs.

      • 0 avatar
        RideHeight

        Form factor is why I drive one, but I’m old, experienced in big snows and therefore immune to the blandishments for AWD.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        The image! It’s all the image. Everybody wants to look like a North Face adventurist.

        • 0 avatar
          RideHeight

          Dang brat sees right through me!

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            My professional face almost slipped last week, when a colleague was discussing adventure clothing, and my sarcasm suddenly was boiling.

            He said, “Yeah, we had to go to Eddie Bauer to get one of the Blah Blah Fleece Polar jackets.”

            I almost blurted out, “Oh, paying a visit to 1998?”

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            Ewww.. projectile laugh!

            Came out green & tan.

      • 0 avatar
        tonycd

        FreedMike, I think the AWD and the body style work in tandem to attract people to CUVs. But neither attracts them for a functional reason. Like the thousands who buy a Jeep Wrangler and then pointlessly drive it only on-road, I think it’s mostly the fantasy aspect that you “could” hypothetically drive off-road because you’re just such an adventurous, above-average person. The tell here is that the actual engineering has drifted more and more decisively away from actual off-road ability.

        Of course, to be fair, I observed recently on this site that one of the paradoxes of modern carbuying is that cars are getting faster and faster at exactly the time that overcrowded roads have made traffic slower and slower. So it’s not as if fast-car buyers are immune to prioritizing fantasy over reality in their vehicle choices.

        • 0 avatar
          sportyaccordy

          Nobody who buys something like a CR-V has any off road aspirations. Things like the easier ingress/egress, smaller footprint for easier parking, and in snow belt states the higher ground clearance are things that make CUVs easy choices.

          The only one with a fantasy here is you… you think you live in a world where everyone must submit to your demands and parameters of car buying.

          • 0 avatar
            DevilsRotary86

            “Nobody who buys something like a CR-V has any off road aspirations.”

            Speak for yourself :)

            When I was a teen I worked at a Boy Scout summer camp/ranch. My father was generous enough to let me use his Honda CR-V (a pre-facelift first-gen 1997!!!) while working there. I on occasion used it on the camp back roads for various duties. It did surprisingly well, and didn’t even get stuck in the sugar-sand behind the warehouse.

            I know your point still stands. My dad didn’t buy the CR-V to off road, and noone does. I just happened to use it as such. But your comment brought that experience to mind: “Yes! I actually did sortof-offroaded a Honda CR-V one summer!”

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Ride height is a far bigger snow belt boon, and that is a place where sedans will always lose.

      Even Subaru had to jack their cars up, and for good reason. When you have a couple of inches of snow on the ground, AWD makes no difference if your bumper is a snow plow.

  • avatar
    nels0300

    We have both in our family, a 2013 Subaru Forester with a manual transmission, and a 2014 Camry SE V6. They were both roughly the same price.

    If we could only keep one car, it would probably have to be the Forester. It just fits more stuff and is obviously way better in the winter.

    BUT….the Camry is just a better vehicle to drive 95% of the time. It’s big enough 95% of the time, never been stuck in the winter (Minneapolis), it’s MUCH quieter and more relaxed on the freeway (and this would be the case vs. the RAV4 or CRV too), and has about 100 MORE horsepower while getting better real world mileage. I love manual transmissions, but I still prefer to drive our Camry with an automatic vs the manual Forester (unless there’s a blizzard).

    For all of the crap the Camry gets for being boring to drive, EVERY SINGLE CUV in the Camry’s price range drives like an absolute turd in comparison, even the Mazda. I know, because I drove all of them when we bought the Forester.

  • avatar
    turf3

    What is the y axis in the bar graph above? Is it percentage change in sales? Why isn’t it labeled?

    What is the meaning of “US Midsize Car Sales Streaks Measured by Monthly Year over Year Increases & Decreases as of June 2015”? If it means “Change in Sales, Jan-June, 2015 vs. 2014”, why didn’t you write that?

  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    Just to throw my hat into the ring: Has anyone over 5’6″ sat in the back of a modern sedan? I’m 5’9″ish with my shoes on and either my head hits the ceiling, or I’m so scrunched down/reclined that I can’t hear/see what’s going on up front. I get carsick easily if I can’t see what’s going on up front. That’s why I will always choose a CUV over a sedan. I don’t care about driving dynamics, and neither do most CUV buyers. This isn’t the Burgerkingring. I care about actually being able to sit up normally.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      I am 5′ 9″ w/a 31″ inseam and fit fine in the back of my 09 Civic.

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      C’mon guys, who’s riding in the *back* of any car discussed here?

      Eww…

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Oh also, I’m 6′ tall as mentioned, and can fit very comfortably in the back of my sedan. Plenty of leg and head room.

      Sitting in the back of a nearly new G37XS, I had not enough leg room, and much more limited head room.

    • 0 avatar
      nels0300

      I’m 5’11 and fit in the back of our Camry fine, in fact, the back seat is pretty damn big. It’s more comfortable than the back of the Forester.

      Also, you don’t need to drive the Burgerkingring to appreciate the better handling.

      Our Forester feels like it’s going to tip over on cloverleafs and higher speed curves on freeways. I’m used to driving our Camry and the Forester feels like a school bus.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        Also 5’11, Camry is plenty roomy, my 2012 Civic is doable for me pretty decently but folks 6’2″ and up bump the back of my seat. I actually much prefer the back seat of a camry to a new rav4, the actual shape of the seat is really uncomfortable in the RAV IMO. Feels like a park bench to me.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          Haven’t sat in the back of a RAV4 but I feel the same way about the CR-V’s back seat. It’s low, flat, and hard. I could go either way sitting in the front of a CR-V versus an Accord, but I’d so much rather sit in the back of the Accord.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      At 6’4″, I fit in the back of my C-Max, but not the Focus.

      Also, I do not fit in my current Delta MD88 seat.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        That’s because the M-D aircraft are rubbish and old!

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          http://www.airlinereporter.com/2013/08/hitching-a-ride-on-the-last-passenger-douglas-dc-8-flight/

          http://aviationweek.com/blog/dc-8-operations-us-winding-down

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          At least I’m in row 11. Sitting in the back of an MD80 with its JT8D engines screaming at you, while you are right next to the bathroom, is one of the worst things about traveling.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          The tightest aircraft Delta flies for passengers is also the newest in the domestic fleet — the 737-900ER. The MDs are old, but they’ve got a bit more room.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Oh I know. I have one of those torture devices on the way home. The seats are from hell.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            *I should clarify: the -88 has a bit more room. The -90 in the new configuration is a torture chamber even for me at 5’10”. I can’t imagine being 6’4″ in one of those.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            To be fair, my company pays for Economy Comfort+ on Delta. I have to buy the upgrade, but they’ll reimburse it. It is so worth the $60 each way to Tampa and $40 each way to Memphis. Next year, the upgrade will be free since I fly Delta enough now.

            As an aside, dal, Delta is really showing the love to your Emerald City. They want market share up there in the worst way. They even have a selection of Seattle themed movies in the IFE options.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Yep, they’ve decorated light rail trains and buses, taken out big billboard ads, and given us some ridiculously good fares. But the natives aren’t really biting. We’re stubbornly loyal to our local airline, Alaska (which despite the name is headquartered near Seattle).

      • 0 avatar
        Mr. K

        Any hope of an upgrade to the new 737/A319/320, or are you going to those 717’s they leased? Is the 717 any better then the MD88 for summer cockpit comfort?

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          I am not a pilot, but I asked the pilots when I exited the plane. Neither flies the 717. It’s a lower pay scale. Since the DC-9 through the 717 are basically the same thing, there isn’t much difference. Delta would like to move all the MD88/90 pilots to the 717 to save some cash. They will already be moving 757 pilots to A320s and 737s (which is a pay cut).

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      The G8 I just sold fit my 6’5″ friend in the back really nicely. Tons and tons of room back there, even with the front seat most of the way back. My Forester has more headroom but not nearly as much legroom.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Sad day. What did you buy to replace it?

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          I’m still looking for the right Lexus LS 460. We’re a one-car household for the moment.

          In constant Seattle traffic and with a young boy who’s just getting old enough to perceive how I’m driving, I needed less hooliganism and more luxury in my life.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I highly approve of the LS4xx so in your case the situation is precisely less hooliganism, more luxury. Hopefully one day I’ll have one myself.

  • avatar
    CincyDavid

    We have a 13 Civic, and a 14 Accord, both LX trim level, for the kids to drive. We also have a 2007 Kia Sportage, EX trim, 135,000 miles, in a horrible light greenish gold color. Guess which vehicle everyone tries to grab? The Kia. I have to confess, I like the tall seating position, but why the kids all want to drive it is a mystery to me.

    I drive my 97 Volvo V90 because of the high seating position and big glass area, and really don’t like sitting as low as the Hondas do…

    I wish there were more station wagons around, not just these “tall wagon” CUVs, but apparently I am an oddball in that sense.

  • avatar
    Fred

    A lady here at work recently traded her 2 year old S60 for a XC60. She wanted more trunk space. When I asked her about the V60 she didn’t know what it was.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      And good for her, the V60’s tiny, slantback trunk is basically for aesthetic purposes. Oh Volvo how far you have fallen!

      • 0 avatar
        Fred

        Curious…
        SC60 EPA interior = 132.7 Cargo 30.8
        V60 EPA interior = 12.0 Cargo 43.8

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          XC60 cargo cu ft seats up: 30.8 cu ft
          seats down: 67.4 cu ft

          V60 seats up: 15.2 cu ft
          seats down: 43.1

          In other words, the XC60 is worse than most compact crossovers ala CRV/RAV4. The V60 is horrendous, my gf’s Camry sedan has a larger trunk than that “wagon.” My parents’ subcompact ’07 Fit totally trounces the V60 on both measures.

          Pretty pathetic IMO.

          • 0 avatar
            Fred

            When I couldn’t fit a plastic lawn chair into the trunk of a Camry I knew I had to get a wagon/hatch.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Just yesterday I barely fit a boxed up mattress pad (20″ cubed if I had to guess) into the trunk opening of my 2012 Civic, absolutely pathetic. I had just come off of a weekend where my 4Runner carried a massive wheeled cooler, a craftsman toolbox, 2 tents and 4 portable chairs, and a bunch of other camping things, with the seats up (4 people in the truck). It is also a weird realization that my 4Runner is actually both narrower and shorter than my gf’s Camry.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Speaking in generalities; your mileage may vary…

    People like CUV ride height — enough that they’re easily willing to pay for the worse highway MPG that ride height brings. People just don’t care about handling unless they are in a weird tiny group of enthusiasts, but they don’t like a truckish ride, and thus CUVs are succeeding where SUVs failed.*

    People like room for stuff, but they dislike the image of hatchbacks (cheap poverty car), wagons (Clark Griswold), and minivans (yesterday’s mom car).

    The CUV is now the default car. The sedan is becoming an eccentric choice, the way the coupe did a few years ago. In 10 years, the makers will have a CUV lineup with a few sedans thrown in.

    *”Failed”: People bought one SUV during the SUV craze and then traded it for something else, usually because of truckish ride, poor fuel economy, and overly high step-in height.

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      Excellent summary, particularly the need to drop BOF.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        :( I’m glad Toyota stuck with it with the 4Runner, they could afford to by diversifying their SUV lineup into 7 vehicles. But I totally understand why for most people, a Traverse is much better than a S10 blazer, and a Volvo-platform transverse Explorer is much better than the old Ranger based one.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          I’m happy to see the 4Runner soldering on as well. It just depends on what you need your vehicle for.

          I’ve got a Highlander but if there was a stretched three row Outback with a competitive amount of HP that would have been on my list. The Highlander’s 8+ inches of ground clearance got me to Albuquerque during a snowstorm (had to fly to San Diego for a grant meeting), get’s me through the standing water/mud that have plagued this wet month, and the tall sidewalls (65 series) soften the ride on beat up dirt roads here in NM.

          If I needed to climb a mountain/go to Moab I’d have a Wrangler/4Runner etc.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            I mentioned this anecdote above, but I was really thinking about how I should consider just buying something like a Subaru since even most of my ‘offroading’ is pretty tame sort of stuff. In fact on the drive in to our secluded primitive campsite, we saw a minivan and an old 1990ish Corolla cruise through the pretty well graded gravel forest roads, no issues. That all changed overnight as a thunderstorm caused all of the creeks to swell up. What was a dry concrete slab over a barely trickling stream was now fast flowing water over a foot deep, with the gravel approaches to this crossing washed away. My 4Runner dropped into this water-dug trench deep enough to hit and dent the front skid plate, and we scraped our way out in 4H. This is on a truck with 10 inches of ground clearance and a fantastic approach angle mind you. So in summary, I don’t NEED a jacked up, skid plate equipped SUV for 99.5% of my driving, but that .5% makes it oh so worth it to me.

  • avatar
    1998redwagon

    6’3″ here with a 34″ inseam. wife with same inseam. 2 kids 12 and 14 yrs old at the time i was looking for a new vehicle both over 6′. i needed something that would fit us all. that has to be a larger car or c/suv.

    i bought a sedan mostly because it was cheaper, larger, and more fuel efficient than a c/suv and i could find one in a manual which i wanted. i drive about 25k miles/yr on mostly rural hwys at about 62mph. size and efficiency matter to me.

    upon delivery the sales person commented that it was the perfect car wasn’t it? perfect car yes, perfect vehicle no. that would have been a wagon (not necessarily brown btw) but they do not make them anymore.

    if someone made a midsize to full size wagon i would be sorely tempted to trade.

  • avatar
    GS 455

    I’m a sedan guy. I prefer my center of gravity to be at seat level rather than at chest level. But at times I feel like if you can’t beat them join them. With so many CUVs SUVs minivans pickup trucks on the road forward visibility is severely limited. Now, I have to maintain a reasonably close following distance or else more CUVs will just cut in front of me. The problem is even though the driver ahead of me has the advantage of better forward visibility they still slam on their brakes due to inattention to what’s going on in front. I hate being at the mercy of these knuckleheads so I’m may consider a taller vehicle in the future.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    I think a lot of the CUV hate from the guys who think a Guy Fawkes mask rocks is that CUVs are the most commonly visible indicator of women’s power in the auto marketplace.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      This is a really interesting thought. The rise of the CUV comes as a visual blow to masculinity….

      …never mind the fact that the biggest buyers of coupes ~20 years ago were women. But the CUV hate brigade has never been strong on facts or history.

      • 0 avatar
        tonycd

        That really is a fascinating suggestion.

        See, sporty, we can agree on something!

        • 0 avatar
          clivesl

          Well, let’s face it, the CUV is today’s wagon/minivan/FWD SUV mom-mobile. I wasn’t around when the station wagon ruled the earth, but I don’t remember my car loving Dad lusting over a station wagon.

          People are always going to need ugly boxes on wheels to haul their crap around. Car guys will always hate those boxes, because the people are putting more emphasis on the stuff they are carrying than on what they drive.

          If we are truly being honest, that’s the real sin here. They just don’t care about what we care about and it drives us nuts.

        • 0 avatar
          sportyaccordy

          I only disagree with bad ideas, not people.

  • avatar
    k1

    In Europe, car sales also declining middle class. It’s just that in our middle class is mainly station wagon, and so are the universal car.
    However, people prefer SUVs, mainly due to the higher driving position. It gives you a sense of security, good visibility and easy ingress.
    I have a station wagon middle class, but I do not think it’s wrong SUVs. Sometimes I drive a small SUV Nissan Qashqai first generation and so I can understand what people do love SUVs

  • avatar
    Jimal

    From the introduction of the automobile as a mass transportation device until the end of World War II, what we today consider to be a SUV/CUV was a common vehicle form factor in the U.S., except manufacturers weren’t calling them trucks in order to skirt regulations. Low, swoopy cars were the result of GIs coming home from Europe after seeing the comparatively tiny (and sporty) cars of Europe, and the Jet/Space Age. Now that we’ve got all that silliness out of our systems, the most practical form factor is becoming dominant once again.

  • avatar
    kvndoom

    American women want to ride up high.

    American men are afraid of their wives.

    This chart is simply a convergence of those two facts. There really isn’t anything to warrant so much bickering…

  • avatar
    jayzwhiterabbit

    Well, when the average price of midsize family cars drives up into over 30k in price, and the average worker is making $4k more than they earned in 1970 in adjusted dollars, a large amount of families in the US have been priced out of the market. They are just too expensive for what they are.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • SCE to AUX: “For starters, many government rides (particularly those used by the USPS) boast some of the...
  • dal20402: My younger kid’s bike got a hole in the front tube right by the valve, not patchable. I didn’t...
  • slavuta: Apple missed the message from Richard Branson – if you want to be a millionaire, invest a billion of...
  • EBFlex: “But if all you ever do is complain, and if the only tone you ever take is super-negative...
  • slavuta: I know how this will endup. ok? We’re going to run out of good ICE cars and will not have anything to...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber