By on November 13, 2017

2018 Honda Accord Sport 2.0T - Image: HondaU.S. sales of midsize cars plunged 16 percent to fewer than 130,000 units in October 2017, the lowest-volume month for the midsize sedan category since the winter doldrums of January.

For almost every player, from the forgotten Mazda 6 to the recently revamped Hyundai Sonata to the all-new Toyota Camry, there were fewer U.S. buyers in October 2017 than in October 2016. In most cases, far fewer. Hyundai Sonata volume plunged 49 percent, year-over-year, as Hyundai pulls away from daily rentals, clarifying just how little retail demand the Sonata truly musters. Double-digit percentage drops were also reported by the Kia Optima, Subaru Legacy, Volkswagen Passat, and Mazda 6.

But the sharp October tumble wasn’t reserved for each member of the midsize category. Newly launched this fall, U.S. sales of the 10th-generation 2018 Honda Accord predictably improved in October, driving Honda’s share of the segment up four points to 21 percent.

It’s a familiar story.


This is the seventeenth edition of TTAC’s Midsize Sedan Deathwatch. The midsize sedan as we know it — “midsizedus sedanicus” in the original latin — isn’t going anywhere any time soon, but the ongoing sales contraction will result in a reduction of mainstream intermediate sedans in the U.S. market.

How do we know? It already has.


Despite the Accord’s advances, midsize sedan market share slid to just 9.5 percent in October as the industry slowed at a much less noticeable rate. Overall auto sales volume was down just 1 percent last month, a modest drop of some 15,000 units. But midsize volume plunged by 24,000 units, dragging the segment’s share of the industry down by nearly two points.

As recently as 2012, nearly 17 percent of the new vehicles sold in America were midsize cars.

It hardly seems possible that this rapid decline in market share will support the continuation of a broad model lineup. Having already seen the departure of numerous cars which couldn’t sell profitably at current output levels, we must now ask whether a number of these cars can function profitably at the output levels predicted in the near future. After all, we don’t appear close to seeing the end of this decline. After 2016’s 11-percent slide, midsize volume is down a further 16 percent in 2017’s first ten months.USA midsize car market share 2014-2017 chart. Image: The Truth About CarsThe notion that this is still, and therefore forever will be, a high-volume category is beginning to appear less and less believable. “Americans will still buy 2 million midsize cars this year,” was the argument heard a year ago. 2017’s pace through the end of October, however, suggests fewer than 1.8 million midsize car sales this year. Assuming the rate of decline holds steady, and doesn’t accelerate as it has in 2017, 2018 volume will fall to 1.52 million units.

Granted, that’s still a lot of cars. But an ever larger number of those sales are being produced by an ever smaller group of top-tier players. Newly launched this year, the two most dominant vehicles in the category — Camry and Accord — now collect 39 out of every 100 midsize car sales in America. There’s very little oxygen left in the room for the also-rans. Only one year ago, Camry/Accord market share was 35 percent. Half a decade ago, it was 31 percent.

And next year? At the current rate of change, Camry and Accord market share is on pace to rise to 44 percent in 2018, leaving their eight key rivals to collect a total of only 850,000 sales. Only five years ago, Camry/Accord rivals were fighting over 1.6 million annual sales.

[Image: Honda; Chart: The Truth About Cars]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and Autofocus.ca and the founder and former editor of GoodCarBadCar.net. Follow on Twitter @timcaincars and Instagram.

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83 Comments on “Midsize Sedan Deathwatch #17: Trouble In October 2017, Unless Your Name’s Honda Accord...”


  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “When will it stop”

    When the cars suck less.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      Maybe. But the CUV mystique is so fully entrenched with today’s buyers that they have successfully infected every mainstream class of vehicle, and some of the entrants are really unappealing. CX-3, Trax, HR-V, and C-HR bring a suite of compromise and mediocrity to the subcompact class, and every big 3-row CUV is worse than the truly good minivans they are displacing. Bringing back rear seat headroom and a slightly higher hip point to midsize sedans might slow the decline a bit, but I think there a bigger factors. The 1990s showed how ga-ga we are for SUVs but those BOFs were really expensive. Now you can get the ride height and AWD and popular image for cheap and not be bothered by the clumsy handling and high fuel use and off-road ability that you never used anyway.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Even if they did not handicap the sedan, the faux SUV would still garner more sales. They handicap the sedan in order to further push you into one model over the other, which in addition to a price premium allows further economies of scale on the better selling of the two.

        • 0 avatar
          sportyaccordy

          How do they handicap sedans? Sedans have never been better.

          And this is before factoring the discounts that make them obscene deals.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            @sportyaccordy

            Horrible back seats and access to them. Terrible outward visibility. Horrible little trunk openings and often too small trunks. It’s no wonder people buy CUVs. If I had only those two form factors to choose from, I would go CUV every time and I hate the things. I just hate sedans more, especially modern ones that aren’t even good at being sedans.

      • 0 avatar
        Pete Zaitcev

        Trax and C-HR – yes. But HR-V and CX-3 are excellent, as long as the buyer understands that they are small and wants a car that is small.

        • 0 avatar
          30-mile fetch

          The only thing a CX-3 is excellent at is driving well compared to other subcompact CUVs. That’s it. It is more cramped and expensive than the Mazda3 that also drives well. The HR-V has a wheezing last-generation 1.8 CVT combo and it too has nothing over the cheaper Fit except a purer adherence to fickle market trends.

          The CX-3 and HR-V buyer is trading a significant amount of cost and utility for trendiness relative to other offerings on the same showroom floor and it baffles me.

    • 0 avatar
      Acbaby

      For me it is pretty simple. Boomers. It is much easier for the boomer generation to get in and out of the car based SUV than a sedan. The mpg delta is small. They like the additional space in the back and like sitting up a little higher as they shrink in stature.

    • 0 avatar
      theBrandler

      Seriously, how hard is it to put awd in a damn sedan? They put it in EVERY OTHER KIND OF VEHICLE but not a sedan. And then they wonder why no one buys them when half the USA population and all of Canada’s population live where AWD is needed half the year.

      Only luxury sedans offer AWD. WHY!? You want to sell sedans, make them AWD.

  • avatar
    Robbie

    28-cars-later has a good point. Trying to sell midsize cars that do not have driving dynamics that are superior to those of minivans and SUVS is just hard. Why not just get an SUV?

    • 0 avatar
      Cactuar

      You really think average consumers care about driving dynamics? I think it’s more about driving position, packaging and value, when it comes to sedans vs SUVs.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I’ve argued for years there is only so much engineering one can do with transverse front wheel drive, the final frontier being bolt on voodoo AWD. The sedans, minivans, and “suvs” all have similar driving dynamics because they are all essentially the same thing -transverse front wheel drive- with variations. Simply put, you’re being gamed. They made the sedans suck to push you into sedan-not-called-a-sedan for a premium, and you fell for the bullsh*t ‘Murica.

      • 0 avatar
        I_like_stuff

        “Simply put, you’re being gamed. They made the sedans suck to push you into sedan-not-called-a-sedan for a premium, and you fell for the bullsh*t ‘Murica.”

        Or maybe, you know, ‘Murica made a choice that you don’t like. It’s always funny how there must be a conspiracy theory out there when something doesn’t go your way. Maybe Putin was involved!! Yeah that’s it. Putin put up ads on Facebook saying how crappy sedans are and millions of people saw the ads and bought trucks instead. Damn Russkies!!

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Ha! Not a conspiracy but a deliberate action industry wide. Just like certain emails.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            It only makes sense. A CUV costs what, $1 more to design and build than the equivalent sedan, but sells for a multi-thousand dollar premium?

            Once the hook was set, they reeled as hard and fast as they could.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        So the solution is to give a bunch of interior volume back to a driveshaft tunnel and a FM-positioned engine, in exchange for an improvement in dynamics that 2% of buyers will notice?

        FWD is not the problem because it’s an advantage rather than a disadvantage for almost all buyers. The problem is that people now equate high ride height with both “modern” and “expensive.” Sedans are seen as cheap cars for poor people, in general. Sedans that are obviously non-cheap are seen as cars for old people.

        This is why my wife, who is very attuned to general consumer sentiment, would really rather I replace my Lexus sedan with a Range Rover or Mercedes CUV of similar vintage. She’s never said so, but it’s obvious from context that she thinks the Lexus ages me 10 years.

      • 0 avatar
        HuskyHawk

        Nobody cares about driving dynamics anymore. Are Mustang and Camaro sales strong? No. RWD isn’t the answer. Cars are appliances now. If you’re going to get an appliance, get the most practical one. I hauled a large piece of furniture 200 miles in my CX-5. Find me a midsize sedan that can do that? It’s got AWD to get up my driveway in the snow, and has as much room as those sedans, while being shorter and easier to park. The handling is only marginally worse, and better than sedans of 20 years ago.

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      Actually, the better mid-size sedans do have better driving dynamics than minivans and SUVs because of physics, their weight is lower to the ground. Sure, you can find some sport SUVs that cost much more w/ as good driving dynamics, but that would be the exception.

    • 0 avatar
      Robbie

      Perhaps I should refine 28-cars-later’s point to: the midsize cars on the market today have no advantages over SUVs and CUVs that can make them a compelling purchase.

      • 0 avatar
        thornmark

        MPG. That’s what’s killed SUV’s in the past. If gas were to spike to $4/gal that would be compelling for many where a midsize gets gets much better mileage.

        • 0 avatar
          Mandalorian

          The MPG argument doesn’t really apply to today’s CUVs. Back in the day of the 12mpg BoF Explorer, sure.

          For the average person, especially in-town the difference is minimal.

          • 0 avatar
            George B

            Mandalorian, the lower height of a sedan makes a big difference in aerodynamic drag at normal 75 mph highway speeds. The EPA “highway” fuel economy numbers use an outdated test cycle combined with an adjustment. In my household the Accord comes noticeably closer to meeting the window sticker numbers than the Escape. The Escape also gets pushed around more by crosswinds than the Accord.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            @Mandalorian

            I’ve rented most of the midsize CUVs and ALL of the midsize sedans. There is still a significant mileage penalty with the CUVs. No, they don’t get 12mpg, but they struggle to get low 20s when the equivalent sedan gets low-mid 30s. Weight, aerodynamics, and AWD add up.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      “Why not just get an SUV?”

      Maybe you don’t feel like overpaying?

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      It’s got more to do with speed limits and enforcement, as well as congestion, keeping de facto travel speeds from keeping up with advances in dynamic ability. It used to be sedans were meaningfully “better” than the CUV/SUVs of the day, at the speeds people felt comfortable driving. Now, they no longer are. Sedans have gotten better, but they were already good enough, so no change. SUV/CUVs have also gotten better, and have now achieved good enough status. Ditto for pickup trucks, even 1 tons.

      In the US, that is. In Germany, and other parts of Europe, people still buy sedans and wagons, as less oppressive speed enforcement allows the superior driving dynamics of the lower COG, more aerodynamic cars to retain an advantage.

      The same development is seen in motorcycles. Speed limits and travel speeds are now so low relative to dynamic capability, that “ancient” Harleys, and oversized dirtbikes, have no practical disadvantage over purpose built sports bikes at de facto allowable road speeds. So why not ride a couch?

  • avatar
    geozinger

    My next door neighbor got an Accord back in September, she seems to like it very much, but she also owned other Hondas.

    I don’t know what it will take to stem the loss of sedan sales. While I’m not a huge fan of SUV/CUVs, I can certainly understand their appeal. I think cars are no longer seen as the Swiss Army Knife they once were. Unless were talking about S class vehicles, they’re not really seen as the status symbols they once were, either.

    As a member of the Baby Boomer generation, I think our influence is waning and younger generations and attitudes have changed the automobile industry permanently. I don’t know that our kids and successors will ever see cars the way we do/did. It’s only bad news if you really like sedans (I do), but I also realize that my opinion will only matter for a little time longer.

  • avatar
    ajla

    0% of the people I know are planning on buying a ‘car’ for their next vehicle.

    Although none of them want a mass-brand CUV either. It’s either trucks, BOF SUVs, or premium brand CUVs.

  • avatar
    I_like_stuff

    How can this be? I have been assured by very smart people that millenials hate SUVs and trucks. And whatever the precious millenial does is all that matters.

    To me it’s weird that this is an either/or conversation. The typical family has 2+ vehicles. One can be a sedan for day to day driving, one can be a truck/suv when you need to haul people or stuff.

    That’s how my family has been forever. I always kinda assumed every other family was like that too. Guess not. In either case, I did my part in helping sedan sales AND truck sales this year. Do I get a gold star?

  • avatar
    I_like_stuff

    One other thing to consider is people who used to buy sedans, don’t drive anymore. Sedans were purchased by urbanites who had size as a factor in their decision. It’s tough to parallel park a Suburban on city street. Much easier in an Accord or Camry or Civic. But now a lot of those buyers, just aren’t buying cars anymore. With the advent of Uber, the “use my car on the weekend” crowd simply gave up ownership of cars.

    On the other hand, people who buy evil trucks and SUVs, out in the evil ‘burbs, are still buying them. So it’s not so much as a shift in preference between one class of car and another, it’s also a shift in buying one class and not buying anything at all.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      To be fair, most of the most compact crossovers are actually shorter than the midsize cars they are outselling. I think the answer is simpler: CUVs have become civilized and efficient enough (when compared to sedans) that the increase in utility (especially having the large upright cargo space to haul crap home from the store, or haul pets and people at the same time) is worth the premium in price and the palatably small difference in fuel economy and handling.

  • avatar
    brucebanner

    I would love to have a sport model with mt.

  • avatar
    DearS

    I’ve own Drift cars, E30 BMWs, and Rice Rockets. I have no issues with owning an Accord or CR-V both are great cars and just make sense. The CR-V more so right now, its a bit more practical.

  • avatar
    kam327

    I went from an Explorer to a Focus years ago and never looked back.

    My neighbor went from a 3-series to a Grand Cherokee a few months back and regrets it – he misses his sports sedan terribly and has even contemplated taking a bath by trading in the nearly new GC.

    My brother was looking to trade in his Sierra for a Chevy SS sedan a while back. Still considering it.

    My coworker traded in his Dodge pickup he’s been driving for 15 years on a Lexus RC. Loves it (ok it’s a coupe not a sedan, but still he went from a truck to a car).

    My gut says the car market will hit a low in the foreseeable future and then gradually trend back up over time.

  • avatar
    Tinn-Can

    What does the mid sized sedan do better than any other segment? Nothing? Ok then…

  • avatar
    musicalmcs8706

    I am pretty sure that I won’t ever own a sedan again now that I have my station wagon. However, I am more than okay with not having an SUV or crossover. I enjoy the driving dynamics of my wagon, even with it being a FWD vehicle. My mom is the same way with her station wagon. She would only ever buy an SUV or CUV if that was needed for my dad if he couldn’t get in or out of her wagon.

  • avatar
    deanst

    As much as people want to deny it, vehicle sales are determined by fashion. Most people acknowledge the practicality of mini-vans, but wouldn’t be seen dead in one. This phenomenon is now being seen in the sedan market. Eventuallly, CUVs will be seen as your dad’s Oldsmobile and the trend will reverse. All the talk about fwd, rear seat room, etc. Is nonsense – people follow the crowd in their attempt to be individualistic.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I have to agree. Now I believe it is time for Bender’s plan of Kill All Humans.

    • 0 avatar
      I_like_stuff

      All the talk about fwd, rear seat room, etc. Is nonsense

      ___

      The FWD part for sure. Other than people who have to endure lots of snow, nobody cares about RWD vs FWD. In fact, I’d bet if you ask 100 people at random to tell you what drive their car has, 75% wouldn’t have a clue.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Yep, this. Again I use my wife as the barometer of general car fashion. We were out on a walk in the neighborhood yesterday and spotted a brand-new ’18 Odyssey Touring Elite in the driveway of a very expensive, immaculate house. I asked her what she thought. “It’s still a minivan. Ew.”

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I hope she’s still feeling well.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          Yes, thanks. Things are much improved since we moved away from the pipe plant, stopped ever using our oven (sous vide and outdoor cooking FTW), and got rid of our emit-o-rama EJ255-powered Forester.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Interesting, it may be she has specific allergies to airborne pollutants. Nice to hear good health has been sustained.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            As far as we can tell from two years of living with this issue, it’s all about byproducts of incomplete combustion. That includes food (with oven-generated smoke by far the worst), but also dirty cars and factories.

            We figured out after some time that she had a reaction a day or two after most times we drove through the massive industrial area in Seattle’s southern suburbs (which is located in a poorly ventilated river valley) and now we go around it whenever going south. We also try to avoid traffic jams when possible, as there are always some dirty-burning vehicles in them. In our new place we rarely need to do any driving in traffic jams and I think that’s been a benefit.

      • 0 avatar
        Sam Hell Jr

        Dal: Aside from anti-minivanism, most female car shoppers IME strongly dislike the feeling of being cowed by other tall vehicles (F-250 headlights in the rearview, not seeing over the hood of the adjacent Tahoe when you’re trying to make a right turn). They will say they prefer a taller vehicle for “safety” but what they seem to mean is “visibility and relative eyeline”.

        Contrast that to the enthusiast (read: male, basically always male) in a sedan who re-frames those experiences as affirmation of his superior automotive purchase decision-making skills.

        • 0 avatar
          George B

          This! The main advantage of a CUV is that you can see over more vehicles in the height arms race without most of the ride quality downsides of driving a truck. The short length also makes a compact CUV easier to park than a similar interior volume midsize sedan.

    • 0 avatar
      Sam Hell Jr

      Dean: I showed my wife, who doesn’t care a whit a about cars, a picture of the Tesla Model 3 without telling her what it was, and she said it “looked like money”. So it’s not that sedans cannot be fashionable. But some combination of branding and proportions / design language in the current crop of sedans relative to SUVs and trucks is just not getting the job done from a female vantage point.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      I get the idea of purchasing for fashion but I don’t understand how stumpy, slip N’ grip equipped, lifted hatchbacks with gremlin styling that people buy because the added height doesn’t aggravate their aged/injured joints somehow became fashionable. To me CUVs are still Mom Jeans and socks with sandals.

      These things are not the reincarnation of a ’55 Thunderbird or anything and the next James Bond movie isn’t going to have him driving a Forester (or an Evoque). How can a Giulia sedan be a thing for oldsters while a family truckster like the Explorer is where its at?

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        I never understood skinny jeans either, but we’re now just coming out of a whole decade when they absolutely took over the world. Fashion often doesn’t make sense.

        • 0 avatar
          Mandalorian

          A Gulia sedan is terribly impractical compared to even other sedans, let alone similarly priced SUVs/CUVs. It’s really a retiree rocket.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            I’m a 31 year old single guy. Would I seriously be ‘cooler’ and ‘more youthful’ in the eyes of the general public if I was rolling in a slate gray Acadia instead of a bright red Alfa Romeo?

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Right now? As implausible as it is to the enthusiast, yes.

            If you’re a 31 year old single guy and want to get lots of female attention these days, the vehicle to drive is a pickup truck.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            @ajla – Sierra in a low enough trim to get a bench seat.

            You’ll thank me later.

          • 0 avatar
            DownUnder2014

            I’ll agree with Dan here as well. A pickup truck is currently pretty cool here to have as a single male…

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      I am eagerly awaiting the return of “longer, lower, wider”.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    If Model 3 production ever gets going, it should slow this trend for a while*. If its production meets Tesla’s optimistic promises, it will match Camry volume*.

    *Technically, I guess the Model 3 will fit into the ‘midsize luxury car’ category, so it won’t be relevant to this discussion, even though many Model 3 buyers are cross-shopping cars in both classes.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I agree. I think we will see a consolidation of sedan size classes. We’re already witnessing full-sized sedans die out. I’m not sure why Kia just redesigned the Cadenza, but it’s pretty much dead on the vine. I doubt there’ll be another Azera. We know there won’t be a replacement in the U.S. for the D3-based Taurus. The Maxima is a niche car these days, and the Impala and LaCrosse may soldier on a bit longer than the rest, but are probably on their way out as well.

    What I predict, though, is that we’ll see a consolidation of compact and mid-sized classes. Volkswagen, for example, seems to have struggled with the Jetta and Passat lately. Usually, one succeeds while the other languishes. What if they just had one good-sized sedan?

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      “What if they just had one good-sized sedan?”

      Agreed. They could call it the “Pasta”.

    • 0 avatar
      SC5door

      “I’m not sure why Kia just redesigned the Cadenza, but it’s pretty much dead on the vine. I doubt there’ll be another Azera. ”

      KIA sells the Cadenza here just to keep the assembly line running—they know that by a long shot hence why dealers don’t stock very many of them and it’s not a car that they advertise either.

      Hyundai already redesigned the Azera for 2018 and it was shown over a year ago. It will not be sold in the United States.

      https://www.autoblog.com/2016/10/27/2018-hyundai-azera-redesign-style/

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    I am, honestly, shocked at how much and how quickly this class is cratering.

    I suppose I get it. The upsides of CUVs are true. The downsides are minimal.

    Outside truly superior highway fuel economy, and better handling, what can a sedan do better?

    And I really do like sedans. Especially expensive ones. They will always be associated with class and money, no CUV shape can pull off.

    But for the average person, with cheap fuel, it doesn’t really matter, and nobody seems to care beans about handling anyway….and frankly, most CUVs are “good enough”.

    I go back and forth. Something like a Mazda6 (or any of these cars) can be had for peanuts, and they’re great vehicles. The fuel economy is nice. Better handling is nice.

    But I also am pulled by 4runners and Grand Cherokees. But for totally different reasons.

    What I cannot really grasp is why the center-of-the-market CUV market is so hot. Maybe just is good at everything but truly excels at nothing? And then generally costs thousands more for the “equivalent” to the sedan.

    Those who mention fashion….i’m sure that has to be there too.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      As I have said many times, sedans are fundamentally useless. A hatch or a proper not-jacked-up wagon gives driving dynamics AND utility. But most people don’t care about driving dynamics, and they are lemmings.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        Hatchbacks only give utility if no one is in the backseat. People with kids in carseats understand this. Regardless of how often it is parroted, not every definition of “utility” involves a single driver carrying a bike or a big box home with the seats flipped down.

        Try taking two young kids on a road trip in a Golf. Our family of four has been quite comfortable in a midsize sedan doing that. Tucked quietly away in the 15 cubic foot sealed trunk was an assortment of luggage that never would have fit in the short cargo bay of a Golf, even if stacked to the ceiling where it could avalanche down over the seat back.

        Hatchbacks are for single guys, DINKS, commuting, and titillated automotive journalists who are never faced with the realization that the short & tall cargo area of a hatchback doesn’t match well with stuff a family often carries. For us lemmings who want our vehicle to simultaneously carry people and cargo, a midsize sedan offers more utility assuming you’ve picked one that hasn’t totally surrendered to the 4-door coupe profile.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          I agree, sedans in general are just better family vehicles and many have fold down seats for long items.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          So you get the long version of the Golf, aka a Golf Wagon if you need more storage space. Hatchbacks don’t have to be truncated – see Tesla Model S, Audi A7, Saab 9000, 900, 99, KIA Stinger, etc. Though given a choice, I prefer a proper wagon to a hatch anyway.

          Apeing actually strapping a steamer trunk to the back of the car as done in the 20’s and 30s is STUPID.

          I would also say that if you can’t fit a family of four and thier stuff in a Golf, you travel with too much crap. Modern Golfs are absolutely enormous by any reasonable standard.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            No, what’s *stupid* is single guy pontificating arrogantly about the needs of a family because he has a superiority complex built upon the unremarkable trait of European car ownership. Recommending the liftback body style that isn’t offered for sale in this country outside a niche Kia and $70K electric car isn’t much brighter.

            What we can buy is Golf et al. And apparently the Golf isn’t “absolutely enormous” if I need to get the “long version”. I already owned that long version and did so because the Golf was too damned small to fit a dual folding stroller for across town use, let alone a two week vacation with two toddlers. But please, do tell me more about how I should be traveling with my kids, and I’ll tell you how a single guy owning a 5 seat family hatchback is a complete waste when you could have something much more fitting of your lifestyle like a 2 door coupe.

    • 0 avatar
      DownUnder2014

      It was the same here with the ‘full-size’ Falcons and Commodores. They used to be really common. But sales dropped alarmingly as the years went by, and now they are no more…now the ‘mid-size’ sedans (Camry, Accord, Mondeo, 6, Sonata etc.) are the full-sizers (of sorts) these days…

      The boots in sedans (at least with Falcons and the 2011 Camry) can be huge and they are good for families. Both fitted more than the Corolla Hatchback we have. I went on week-and -a-half long roadtrips in both the Falcon and Camry and they swallowed all the luggage without an issue.

      Don’t get me wrong, hatchbacks have their advantages (shorter length etc.) of course but the mid/full-size sedan really is very good for family duty.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    I’ve read this in several places that the current SUV/CUVs are really the reincarnation of 1930’s sedans, with the higher seating and decent sight lines. Consider that most sedans went lower, longer, wider from the the 1950’s to about the 1990’s; the shift to SUV/CUVs is really about rediscovering the values from the earlier part of the last century.

    Higher, more natural seating positions, better sight lines, more capable machines (compared to many cars). These are the attributes that sold most cars back in the first four decades of the last century. As much as I like the current iteration of the family sedan, maybe there’s more common sense to the SUV/CUV adoption than we realize.

  • avatar
    TrinNY

    So with the Accord’s good showing I wonder if a current leasee can get a good lease deal on a 2018 in the next 4 months

  • avatar
    Daniel J

    One of the reasons’s I’m getting farther and farther away from wanting a sedan is the huge center consoles with the tiny seats. The seats on a 2007 Mazda 3 are the same width as the seats on nearly all the mid sized sedans these days. My 2010 mazda 6 seats are huge compared to anything in the midsized category today. The charger seats are about the same size. Why in the world do I have to go up to a full sized boat to get decent seats with decent hip room?

  • avatar
    ra_pro

    I think one of the reasons sedans are declining, and this has been mentioned by other people on other threads, is that sedans are becoming more and more sporty and are marketed that way. I think this goes back to the 80-ties when BMW really broke through as the car to have not just with yuppies but most of the public. The other manufacturers decided that it must have been the ‘sportiness’ of the BMW that appealed to the public and from then on every sedan become more and more sporty. However that was just a short fad and even BMW has backed out of the sportiness in its cars though not in its advertising. In short even BMWs are not that sporty any more, drove a bunch of them in them last few months.

    Currently being ‘sporty’ is not in-vogue, moreover general public never cared that much about sportiness in its cars in the first place, certainly not in NA. No wonder Joe & Jane Public are choosing what they perceive as more practical auto products.

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