Edmunds.com reports that the love of midsize sedan such as the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord for families is waning while SUVs, trucks and compacts are are more popular. They contend that once owners get used to the utility and comfort of an SUV, they seldom go back.
Midsize sedans were the top-selling vehicle segment as recently as 2014, but so far in 2017 have tumbled to fifth behind compact SUVs, large trucks, midsize SUVs and compact cars. Market share for midsize sedans is now a meager 10.7 percent — the segment’s lowest share since Edmunds began its tracking in 1991. After spending 20 of the last 27 years as the best-selling vehicle segment in the U.S., midsize sedans have taken a dramatic downward turn in popularity.
As recently as three years ago, the Accord made up nearly 30 percent of all of Honda’s sales in the U.S., and so far in 2017 it’s down to 22 percent. Now that shoppers can now get an SUV for a similar price as a sedan and not have to pay much more at the pump, it’s hard to convince them the smaller vehicle is a better choice, notes Edmunds.com
In the midst of this dramatic pivot in shopper tastes, the two of the most popular cars in America — the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord — are all-new for 2018. While sales of both vehicles have declined in recent years, they’ve pulled further ahead of their rivals and are now competing closely to catch the attention of interested shoppers.
Even if the new Accord and Camry launch with rave reviews from media and car buyers, Edmunds analysts contend, it’s highly unlikely the midsize sedan segment will ever return to its former glory. Nearly one-quarter (23.5 percent) of midsize sedan owners who trade their vehicles in and buy a new vehicle purchase a small SUV, a figure that was 16.9 percent just three years ago.
Even if gas prices spike and the economy takes a downward turn, Edmunds.com doesn’t see this trend reversing. Edmunds.com notes be that onnce drivers gets used to the higher ride, extra space and creature comforts they can get in an SUV, it’s almost a fool’s errand to convince them to go back to a sedan.