A Case Study On The SUV Boom: Are Sedans Dying?


I’ve talked a lot about the boom of the SUV market in a lot of articles recently.

Everyone from Ford to Rolls-Royce and (unfortunately) Lamborghini are jumping on the train to relatively fast money.

This massive boom of SUV sales has pushed companies to make vehicles that are our of their usual formula.

I’m personally not a fan of all of this, but I’ll go into that later.

But the question is: Is the sedan dying?  I don’t think so.

I remember back in 2008 and 2009, we kept hearing how the SUV and gas guzzlers were going the way of the Dodo bird.  They made no sense and no one needed the space.  I mean, gas was $5 per gallon at that point.

The thought was that the new way of the world was Smart cars and small sedans.

Well just like with most things, times completely changed 10 years later.  Now, people are talking about how the sedan is going away; slowly dying.

Sedans Aren’t Going Anywhere:

I really, really don’t think that sedans are going anywhere.  Perhaps SUV’s will certainly take over automakers lineups, but to get rid of sedans?  No.

There will always (at least for the foreseeable future) be people who want a sports sedan.  Or any sedan for that matter.  I can’t see it dying out any time soon.

The sedan market, even if it’s slowing down, just won’t go any where.

There are plenty of people who like sitting lower and some even enjoy the driving experience.

Now that’s a real rarity: enjoying the driving experience.  Simply having fun driving an entertaining car has become almost taboo.

Most people don’t care what a car drives like which leads them down the road of SUV’s in some cases (most of the time they like having the space of an SUV).

But the car made for the sake of fun driving, even as a daily driver, is getting rare.

The fact that most automotive companies are making more and more small luxury SUV’s like the new Lexus UX, Cadillac XT4 and BMW X2 (lots of X’s) and less sporty sedans.  They’re virtually disappearing.

But even if manufactures avoid really pouring money into sedans I don’t think they’ll axe them all together.  I think that’s just extreme.

The closest we’ll get to axing sedans is like what Mitsubishi has done with the new Eclipse Cross.  Be warned: it’s horrible.

If you remember the Mitsubishi Eclipse (a great sports coupe) you’ll know how wonderful it was that a brand offered a great sports car for relatively low amounts of money.

But Mitsubishi effectively killed off the Eclipse years ago.  Only to have it replaced recently with something that just boggles my mind.

Mitsubishi created something called the Eclipse Cross, which is an SUV of the same name of the previous sports car.

I see this happening to possibly other sedans out there.  It’s a painful death.  But not every brand is going to fall in line, here.

The Rise of the SUV:

In 2017, SUV’s across all nameplates held 42% of all vehicle sales.  Up from the 2016 number of 39.5%.

Why are SUV’s so popular?

I think that gas prices have a big to do with it.  Back in 2009 when the price of gas was astronomically high per gallon, SUV’s slumped off.

Now that the price of gas is much lower, SUV sales have massively increased.

On top of that, the efficiency of SUV’s in general has gotten very good.

This means that SUV’s (especially small ones) are less limited in the world.  More accessible.

I’ll go out on a limb and say that gas prices, even with massive improvements in tech, directly impact SUV sales.

People, especially in America, also like to sit high (generally) and have plenty of room to move about it (also generally).

All those reasons combined with the fact that less and less people care about what they drive all attribute to the rise of the SUV.

Life Is Short – Enjoy What You Drive:

I guess I’m in the small amount of people who say you should enjoy what you drive, and it should thoroughly entertain you.

There are even studies saying that driving exciting cars are good for your health if you don’t want to take my word for it.

I think that the automobile is a fantastic thing.  I think that no matter who you are, you should love what you drive.  You should absolutely pick a car or even an SUV that you love in some way before you pick something just to drive from A-B with.  Life is so much better than that.

While there are multiple reasons why people would get an SUV and it’s certainly a multi-varied equation, I don’t think it’d be wise to simply get an SUV because everyone else is.

Do yourself a favor and drive something awesome.  Awesome doesn’t mean expensive, either.

If your family requires an SUV, go ahead and save up for a Sunday car.  A fun car.

There is little else as fun as driving something that is entertaining to drive.  It doesn’t have to be fast, it doesn’t have to be flashy, but you should enjoy it.

Don’t be like everyone else in their Honda CR-V’s (though those are great SUV’s).  Get that 1999 Mazda Miata and enjoy the massive smile on your face.

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