Home » Here’s Exactly When SUV Sales Overtook Sedan Sales In America

Here’s Exactly When SUV Sales Overtook Sedan Sales In America

Epa Crossovers Report Topshot2
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It turns out that the death of the sedan has not been greatly exaggerated. While a handful of automakers are still plugging along offering traditional low-slung automobiles, the vast majority of vehicles sold are crossovers and SUVs, and that’s a pattern we’ve seen accelerating at a rapid rate over the past few years.

That massive EPA report we’ve been chewing through contains a graph of total marketshare by body style, categorized somewhat confusingly like so:

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

– Sedans/wagons

– Car SUVs

– Truck SUVs

– Minivan/vans

– Pickups

The “car SUVs” and “truck SUVs” categories sound a bit nebulous, but they all encompass crossovers and SUVs, albeit in ways that might seem odd – more on that later. Let’s dive into this graph, which goes back to 1975, to see if we can find the exact year crossovers started to take over. With a little bit of basic math, that task turns out to be surprisingly easy.

Epa Production Share Chart

Basically, this graph always adds to 100 percent because it’s an overview of all vehicles produced, but the popularity of each segment changes over time. The minivan boom and bust is picked up in all its glory, while the sharp dip in SUV sales around 2008 is indicative of economic distress. Pickup truck demand has stayed pretty consistent over the past 48 years or so, while the traditional passenger car has only seen market share decrease. It’s in this graph that we’ll find the point where SUVs and crossovers surpassed passenger cars.

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How do we find a precise year if we just have a graph (we could get the data if we had more time)? Well, we’ll do it the old-fashioned way, just by counting the pixels. I started by taking a screengrab of the EPA’s chart at 620 pixels across and 573 pixels high. While that isn’t fantastic resolution, it’s enough to give us a ballpark of which point we’re looking for. The distance between the hash marks for 2015 and 2025 is 66 pixels. Divide that by ten, and you get 6.6, or not quite seven pixels, per year. Now, if we use that to find 2017, we’ll see that the area for sedans at that point on the x-axis is 171 pixels tall, while the area for car SUVs and truck SUVs combined measures 175 pixels tall. This means that 2017 was the year the sedan lost its lead to the crossover and SUV genre. In the years since, sedan market share has only shrunk while crossover market share has only grown.

Best Selling Vehicles Composite

Unsurprisingly, no crossover or SUV topped the best-selling vehicle list in 1975, 1980, 1985, 1990, or 1995. For 1975 and 1980, the Oldsmobile Cutlass was America’s best-seller, with the Ford F-Series pickup truck taking over in 1985. Interestingly, the Ford’s F-Series pickup truck hasn’t relinquished its lead since, and it’s still the best-selling vehicle in America. How about that?

2022 Toyota Rav4 Xse Profile B

So why has this happened? Well, part of it is due to how fuel economy regulations are calculated. Corporate Average Fuel Economy regulations set by the government feature one set of standards for cars and another, lower set of standards for trucks. As per the Code of Federal Regulations, for a crossover or SUV to qualify as a light truck, it must:

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An automobile capable of off-highway operation, as indicated by the fact that it:

(1)

(i) Has 4-wheel drive; or

(ii) Is rated at more than 6,000 pounds gross vehicle weight; and

(2) Has at least four of the following characteristics calculated when the automobile is at curb weight, on a level surface, with the front wheels parallel to the automobile’s longitudinal centerline, and the tires inflated to the manufacturer’s recommended pressure—

(i) Approach angle of not less than 28 degrees.

(ii) Breakover angle of not less than 14 degrees.

(iii) Departure angle of not less than 20 degrees.

(iv) Running clearance of not less than 20 centimeters.

(v) Front and rear axle clearances of not less than 18 centimeters each.

Here’s more from the EPA’s Trends report that the graph above comes from:

Manufacturers offer a wide variety of light-duty vehicles in the United States. Under the CAFE and GHG regulations, new vehicles are separated into two distinct regulatory classes, passenger cars and light trucks, and each vehicle class has separate GHG and fuel economy standards5 . Vehicles can qualify as light trucks based on the vehicle’s functionality as defined in the regulations (for example if the vehicle can transport cargo on an open bed or the cargo carrying volume is more than the passenger carrying volume). Vehicles that have a gross vehicle weight rating6 (GVWR) of more than 6,000 pounds or have four-wheel drive and meet various off-road requirements, such as ground clearance, can also qualify as light trucks. Vehicles that do not meet these requirements are considered cars.

So how do these regulations apply to crossovers? Let’s use the Toyota RAV4 as an example. Gasoline-powered models have a minimum ground clearance of 8.4 inches, and all RAV4s ride on a 105.9-inch wheelbase. Plugging those numbers into a basic formula for breakover angle, we get β=2tan1(2⋅8.4 / 106.3). The result? An 18-degree breakover angle that meets (2)(ii) of the light truck classification requirement. We already know that the vehicle’s running clearance is more than 20 centimeters, so that’s (2)(iv) sorted, and since the RAV4 uses independent suspension at all four corners, it’s safe to assume that (2)(v) is also satisfied.

The RAV4 also has a departure angle of 21 degrees, which satisfies (2)(iii) and should mean that all-wheel-drive RAV4s can be classified as light trucks. Front-wheel-drive models? Well, that’s where the EPA’s “car SUV” classification comes in. This set of light truck standards gives Toyota a huge break on meeting fuel economy standards, and the Japanese marque is far from the only brand to take advantage of these regulations. Ford famously killed its U.S. sedan lineup in favor of crossovers and the Maverick, leaving the Mustang as a sole survivor.

Preproduction Bronco Sport Free Wheeling With Optional Equipment Shown

In addition, high-margin vehicles generate higher profits. If you’re an automaker, you can take a car platform, raise it up, slap an SUV-like body on it, sell it for an inflated price, and can help bankroll your transition to electric vehicles. All that money has to come from somewhere, right?

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Cx 50 Meridian Hood Graphic Hr (8) crossovers

However, we can’t entirely blame automakers and bureaucrats for the proliferation of crossovers. Consumers love the things, and it’s easy to see why. They’re well-sized, they’re comfortable, they have the sidewall to deal with decaying infrastructure and the ground clearance to power through snowstorms. Their hatch-equipped forms are typically extremely practical, and they don’t drink nearly as much fuel as they used to. If you have a family, or hobbies that take up substantial space, or live somewhere particularly snowy, a crossover makes a ton of sense as a daily driver. Even traditional performance car enthusiasts can enjoy them, because just think of the car parts you can fit in them.

Not every vehicle needs to appeal to enthusiasts, and that’s okay. After all, when was the last time you saw someone autocross a Toyota Avalon? Even with the argument that normal crossovers aren’t as easy to turn into enthusiast specials as normal cars, how many of you bought an Avalon TRD? The industry-wide shift to crossovers just isn’t worth getting upset about.

(Photo credits: Hyundai, EPA, Oldsmobile, Ford, Toyota, Mazda)

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Ariel E Jones
Ariel E Jones
3 months ago

“The industry-wide shift to crossovers just isn’t worth getting upset about.”

That’s funny, because I’m furious.

Every truck has to have four doors, there’s (almost) no coupes left, and sleek sexy performance sedans are endangered. All of a sudden everybody needs ground clearance and a tiny bed that they might use someday. No. I posit that 95% or better of every person who bought a 3 row SUV would be better served by a minivan. But they don’t want to be seen in one. 95% or better of every person who bought a 2 row SUV would be better served by an Accord. But we are Americans, we don’t buy based on pragmatism. We buy image. Do I look cool in this Canyonero?

pizzaman09
pizzaman09
3 months ago
Reply to  Ariel E Jones

I’ve been trying to convince my one set of friend’s who have one child that they don’t need a 3 row SUV. It’s been a year since they had their kid and they have a JK Jeep Wrangler 4 door and a Jeep Renegade. They claim they need it to tow their small camper and take the kid and a few other family members along. Their other family members rarely ride with them and I am sure they could sort out taking a second vehicle in this rare instance. The Jeep Wrangler doesn’t tow the camper too well as it’s right near the limit of it’s rated tow rating. However there are many two row SUVs or possibly some minivans that would suit their needs much better. Then again maybe they just want a big vehicle, she grew up riding in a GMC Safari and enjoyed driving it even though it was a lot of vehicle for.

Doctor Nine
Doctor Nine
3 months ago

I don’t buy SUVs or CUVs. I will buy lifted wagons, like recent Volvo or Subaru things. I will probably get a RamCharger when they come out. But I already have a Tacoma in the fleet, and don’t tow, so i don’t need a Power Wagon or F250. And I’m less than six feet tall, so all full sized trucks are simply not built to fit me. My favorite car right now is my MB E350 sedan. I prolly won’t replace it with another MB, because their engineering is increasingly baroque. Which means it ends up BROKE.

At this point, I’m resolved to simply buy used stuff until I die, because the only new stuff I want is made in such miniscule numbers that I can’t find one for sale.

I guess the upshot, is that I am unsatisfied with the current state of consumer choice.

Joe The Drummer
Joe The Drummer
3 months ago
Reply to  Doctor Nine

I want a new car less and less each year, and there are fewer actual CARS each year. I needed a new ride in 2023 (new to me, anyway), and it took me the first half of the year to find something that ticked all my boxes. It’s not like my requirements were that demanding:

– Must be a car. Not a truck, not an SUV, not a CUV, not a crossover – a sedan. A hatchback. A wagon. You know, a goddamn CAR. With four or five doors. My wife has a truck already. I want a car.

– Must be a color. No black, no gray, no silver, and absolutely not under any circumstances white. Of the last ten cars I’d owned, six had been white, and three of the other four were neutrals.

– A few beans under the hood or some fun handling would be nice, but mainly, I want to be comfortable, so even an “old man car” would do the trick – in my 50s, I’m beginning to understand why my grandfathers and uncles preferred big-ass Buicks and Chryslers. I even took a long look at a beautiful red Buick Lucerne at one point, but it wasn’t the one, although it was hell of a nice car.

I finally ended up in an Infiniti G37X in blue slate. I’m in love. But I had to wade through a sea of gray blobs to find it, and it took six months of reading ads within a 150-mile radius. I bought it an hour away.

I can’t believe how hard it was to find a decent sedan in a decent color. I may never sell this car simply because it feels too much like the last good sedan I’ll ever have a chance to buy.

pizzaman09
pizzaman09
3 months ago

I understand you. My dearly departed Crimson red Oldsmobile Eighty Eight had to be replaced this year due to rust. I wanted another four door to replace it. My list was simple, four doors, peppy, preferably a manual transmission, preferably in a real color as my cars were increasingly becoming black or white. I really considered two vehicles, a supercharged Jag or an eighth gen Honda Civic Si. I ended up buying the cheapest four door Si available , it is in a wonderful shade of blue with a hint of teal. It’s clearly a low quality car, much more poor build the 99 Oldsmobile, but it has its good points. Particularly very comfortable seats, a great shifter and a fun dash layout, oh and a delightful 8300 rpm rev limiter.

Elhigh
Elhigh
3 months ago

The part that bugs me about SUVs, crossovers and trucks taking over the market means that, in addition to the new, brighter/more dazzling lighting technologies, all the headlights are mounted that much higher. The lights are going directly into my eyes.

Which just makes me want to get a taller vehicle – like maybe a crossover or SUV – just to get my eyes out of the blinder zone. It’s a vicious cycle.

pizzaman09
pizzaman09
3 months ago
Reply to  Elhigh

I frequently drive an Austin Healey Sprite or BMW E36, both have quite low seating positions. Modern truck lights are extremely annoying with their high mounting basically always blinding me. On occasion one of those very tall vehicles will get a courtesy flash of the 24k lumens of LEDs I have mounted in the e36s high beam housings as I am uncertain whether they have their low or high beams on.

Timbales
Timbales
3 months ago

IMO, the sedan audience set itself up for the sedan’s decline.

At one point, many models in each class of car came in a sedan, two-door coupe and wagon/hatchback. Even the small ones could fit 4 adults in relative comfort, even if it was a climb to get to the back seat of a coupe.

Then coupes and wagons fell out of favor. But the car designers and enthusiasts still wanted sleek coupes, so the practicality of the sedan – rear seat passengers and trunks – became more and more compromised for styling, giving us rear seats an adult can’t sit in without hitting their head on the roof.

So the wagon came back, riding on the coattails of the gentrification of the pick-up truck as cross-over.

All because the person who’d be happier driving a sporty coupe wants a sedan “because it’s more practical”.

GreatFallsGreen
GreatFallsGreen
3 months ago
Reply to  Timbales

There’s some truth to what you said. In the 2000s several automakers designed their sedans to be bigger or taller or sit higher to try stave off the shift toward SUVs. Even by brands that had hot-selling SUVs. Toyota did it with the Camry and Corolla, the full-size 2008 Accord, the 2005 Ford Five Hundred. Then in the 2010s when people kept buying SUVs/CUVs anyway work sedans started getting lower and the rooflines faster, because people weren’t buying them for space at that point.

But I think safety regs have also contributed to designing fewer bodystyles, and compromised some of the same for sedans.

Aerostarman89
Aerostarman89
3 months ago

My wife likes to sit up taller, and a taller vehicle is also much easier for my elderly mother to get in and out of. So we bought a RAV4. It is comfortable, does alright MPG on the highway and check all our boxes. I on the other hand would prefer a sedan or AWD wagon for the sportier dynamics. I am hoping to buy either a Golf R or A4 Allroad for my next daily.

Who Knows
Who Knows
3 months ago

Instead of counting pixels, try this- https://www.digitizeit.xyz/, I’ve used it to turn pictures of plots into data for some years now for work

Tbird
Tbird
3 months ago

My dad owned a progression of full sized Fords, several panther platform Grand Marquis’ and Town Cars. In his 70’s and retired he now has an Ecotec Escape. The high seating position was a big selling point, it is easier for him and mom to get in and out of than a traditional drop down sedan.

Joe The Drummer
Joe The Drummer
3 months ago
Reply to  Tbird

My parents are 78 and 75, and neither has owned a sedan or other “regular car” in nearly twenty years. Once my mom got an Explorer circa 2000, that was it for her. Today, there’s a Yukon and an Enclave in their driveway.

Mike Smith
Mike Smith
3 months ago

It’s a shame we can’t share pictures here (though I understand the security reasons why not). I just plotted inflation-adjusted US new car average transaction price on top of the ‘cars/trucks production share’ graph from this article; anyone care to guess how tightly they’re correlated?
The footprint rule change to CAFE happened in 2011, and the shift from cars to trucks in the product mix hooked up then and hasn’t deviated from its trajectory since. The free-market capitalist in me despairs whenever you see such concrete evidence of how little consumer choice actually drives these markets, when compared to the outsized influence of regulations. That’s how you end up with a market full of cars that nobody really likes, that are all too expensive to afford.

Maymar
Maymar
3 months ago
Reply to  Mike Smith

Loop interest rates into that as well though. About 15 years back also lines up with interest rates dropping to try and fuel the economy, and cheap money helps push up purchase prices.

Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
3 months ago

You forgot the most important reason that sedans went away: people would rather drive while assuming the same posture as sitting on a barstool. Also, people apparently like a lot of sideways head movement whilst turning.

Library of Context
Library of Context
3 months ago

Am I the only one who finds it disingenuous that Ford calls it their ‘F Series’?

Like somehow an F-450 is just a different trim level of the standard F-150.

So now everybody gets to use this paradigm – I present the best selling vehicle for 2023: the Toyota T Series.

Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
3 months ago

Actually, the mid-sized Toyota pickup from the 1990’s was the T-series. Later they went with Tundra and Tacoma.

The48thRonin
The48thRonin
3 months ago

Because “back in the day” they were just bigger versions of the same thing. Even today an F450, all the way up to an F750, uses the same cabs as the F150, just everything underneath is bigger. Just like how the E150 through the E-whatever that Uhaul used for their box trucks, just like how chevrolet suburban 1500 and 2500 were the same thing, one with higher gvwr than the other. Just like how every vehicle with more than one model is, except the difference on the F-series is more noticeable because the biggest one is massive. If you’re silly enough to think that “thing that looks bigger and has a different number in the name is the same as smaller one” then that’s kind of on you.

Chronometric
Chronometric
3 months ago

The first takeaway from the graphic is the utter absurdity of the EPA classifications. All RAV4s are designed to transport people. We can debate whether a Ridgeline is a truck, but everyone knows a RAV4 is a car.

And why is this even relevant? Set one CAFE standard, period. If a heavy duty pickup exceeds the standard it will cost more, ensuring that only those who really need the capability will pay for it.

Last edited 3 months ago by Chronometric
Spikedlemon
Spikedlemon
3 months ago
Reply to  Chronometric

Whilst you might debate the Ridgeline as a truck, that quad-cab-shortbox F150 that transports Dave to work 30 minutes down I75 every day that doesn’t see anything more offroad than a typical Michigan road, and doesn’t see anything in the back that couldn’t be transported in a Corolla – how does that get a pass?

EPA tried to define it by some physical characteristic; the automakers decided to play along and have their vehicles comply.

The better question should be why this category should exist.

Chronometric
Chronometric
3 months ago
Reply to  Spikedlemon

I think that is exactly the point of my second paragraph.

Spikedlemon
Spikedlemon
3 months ago
Reply to  Chronometric

I see you made edits, I can’t recall what it may have said when I first replied.

But, yes, I generally see the point of your second paragraph. But it’ll be some day where you’ll be able to convince the automakers to stop lobbying for this kind of thing as they love making money off people. Not to mention those people who’d eat up all the scare-mongering about ‘taking trucks away’ from people.

Chronometric
Chronometric
3 months ago
Reply to  Spikedlemon

“Last edited 2 hours ago”
Reply posted “1 hour ago”

Who Knows
Who Knows
3 months ago
Reply to  Chronometric

EPA has indicated they will be moving that way, at least significantly ramping down the footprint benefit. It’ll be interesting to see what happens in the coming years if they truly follow the path towards efficiency and closing loopholes, or if politics and industry whining that it’s “too hard” will get in the way.

AceRimmer
AceRimmer
3 months ago
Reply to  Chronometric

Yup. CAFE is absolutely the primary reason for all this. It is stupendously stupid.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
3 months ago

While cruising my old 300TD I bemoaned the entallification of NPCs for years.
Having recently driven my daughter’s CRV, I can at least understand it now. It works, it’s reasonably peppy for most people—and it’s not a task for her to install & remove her toddler. Unlike the 87 S10 Tahoe she was in at that age.

I have never felt so anonymous as when in that CRV—except maybe when in a gold 92 Camry

Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
3 months ago
Reply to  TOSSABL

I’ll take that XV10 Gold Camry any day!

Doctor Nine
Doctor Nine
3 months ago

“I’ll take ‘What is a reliable and trouble-free car?’ for $500, Alex.”

The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
3 months ago

I will never ever understand the “crossover bad” meme. Thomas laid out all the reasons why they’re perfectly fine and most certainly better than the average sedan in almost every way. They fill the gap wagons have left in the market. Some are downright zippy (I drive one with a naturally-aspirated 3.5L V6 engine and that mfer slaps). I like driving it almost as much as my precious vintage MBs.

Why are we supposed to hate the whole segment wholesale?

Madewithgenuineparts
Madewithgenuineparts
3 months ago

Because they consume more fuel, emit more pollutants, deliver power less efficiently, and either handle worse or ride harder (depends on tuning) than a comparable modern sedan/hatchback/wagon would, while almost always being priced higher. And with price parity, you’d get a larger sedan or wagon with more usable cargo space than the same budget in a CUV. CUVs also encourage more inattentive/careless driving behavior with the enhancement of perceived visibility and safety, which is negated with the industry-wide arms race for height.

Even for NPCmobiles, you can have significantly more fun in a 3/Civic/Corolla than a CX-5/CR-V/RAV4, same is true for Malibu/Camry/Accord vs Blazer/Venza/Passport on a good road, while consuming less fuel everywhere else for a significant discount.

GreatFallsGreen
GreatFallsGreen
3 months ago

People don’t generally buy a CX-5/CR-V/RAV4 instead of a 3/Civic/Corolla, they buy them instead of the midsize sedan. The interior space and pricing are similar, even the basic powertrains are usually the same.

Using standard Hondas as an example: an Accord with the 1.5T engine is rated at 29 city/37 highway/32 combined, and a CR-V with the same powertrain is rated at the 28/34/30 respectively. That’s a narrower gap than the same models from 10 years ago – 26/35/30 Accord, 23/30/26 CR-V – and if you’re coming from a 10 year old Accord, the CR-V gets virtually the same mileage. A new CR-V is a grand more, but either one is basically a $30k price of entry so big price jump either way.

And then if we do throw hybrids back in, because that’s where Honda is nudging you either way, even the 40 mpg combined of CR-V is going to be a big gain in fuel economy still.

Thevenin
Thevenin
3 months ago

Externalities. To summarize:

  • The auto safety arms race. The Honda HR-V didn’t get upsized because people didn’t like it, but because it couldn’t survive side impact anymore. As vehicles on the road get taller, heavier, and faster, new cars have to compensate with higher beltlines and more mass. Our vehicles are already bigger and heavier than the “land yachts” of the 60s, and there’s no telling where this arms race ends.
  • Pedestrian fatalities. The tall flat grille that differentiates an SUV from a van or MPV is particularly deadly for human beings. Reduced ground visibility also increases chances of low-speed collisions (children in parking lots). I expect forward cameras will soon be required on certain models in addition to backup cameras.
  • Environment. A crossover tends to have 15-20% greater fuel consumption than a hatchback with the same engine and interior volume. Even moreso when comparing an SUV to a small sedan. For fossil fuel vehicles, this means more CO2. For EVs, H2, synfuel, and biofuel, this means shortages of batteries, platinum, energy, and farmland respectively.
  • Cost. Crossovers and SUVs cost more, and any vehicle designed to survive on a road with them will cost more as well. Increased vehicle value increases insurance costs. Increased fuel demand increases fuel prices.
The48thRonin
The48thRonin
3 months ago

Because they’re exceedingly mediocre at everything, and only the only thing they’re truly good at is being worse than something that does what you do 90% of the time (like a sedan, wagon, truck, hatchback, etc etc etc)

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
3 months ago

All right, I’m gonna refute some(in my opinion) hogwash.

“They’re well-sized,” They come in literally every single size, so this doesn’t make sense.

“they’re comfortable,” My experience is that the comfort ranges from “average” to “awful”. I’ve spent too much time in a 2014 Buick Encore with remarkably terrible interior space, weird driving ergonomics, and surprisingly poor ride quality. And a Honda Pilot that was awful.

“they have the sidewall to deal with decaying infrastructure” So do sedans.

“and the ground clearance to power through snowstorms” Ground clearance is usually not the most important factor here, and so do sedans.

“Their hatch-equipped forms are typically extremely practical” Not more than a hatchback that isn’t a crossover, and often not at all. The aforementioned Buick Encore had a miniscule cargo area, less than any other car I have experienced, including a Sentra and a Chevy Cavalier.

“and they don’t drink nearly as much fuel as they used to” Still more than something that isn’t a crossover.

“If you have a family, or hobbies that take up substantial space, or live somewhere particularly snowy, a crossover makes a ton of sense as a daily driver.” Not more sense than other cars, for reasons already stated.

“Even traditional performance car enthusiasts can enjoy them, because just think of the car parts you can fit in them.” Less parts than other vehicles, because of the crap cargo area.

“The industry-wide shift to crossovers just isn’t worth getting upset about.” If cars being terrible isn’t worth getting upset about, then what is worth getting upset about as a car enthusiast?

What is more interesting is the pickup sales NOT going up recently. I am very confident that most of the white collar suburban dads driving crew cab half tons were not driving a pickup 25 years ago. That pickups have replaced sedans and the like, not replacing older pickups. So I expected a large increase in pickup sales in the last couple decades.

So am I totally wrong about pickup buyers, or have “traditional” pickup sales(fleets, farmers, blue collar workers, you know, work vehicles) considerably decreased at approximately the same rate?

Last edited 3 months ago by Rust Buckets
SonOfLP500
SonOfLP500
3 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

All of this, but especially the cargo space and snow comments.
Not mentioned in the article, but also relevant: in 37 years of driving, I have only seen four cars on their roofs after crashes on expressways. One was a tuned-up sedan that passed us so fast on a two-lane expressway with no hard shoulder, limited to 70km/h because of blind curves and crests and short slip roads, that I said to my wife we should remember where it passed us because it was likely to end in tears, which it did, on its roof, with another car rammed into the Armco. The other three were all SUVs, single-car crashes on wide sections of normal expressway.
Not to mention the number of SUVs that roll after impacts in the car crash video collections on YouTube.

The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
3 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

You’re generalizing a shit crossover’s shittiness. I have made hundreds of trips to the lumber yard or practice that no sedan could have accommodated in mine. It’s very comfortable and drives like a sedan.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
3 months ago

I have also made hundreds of(okay that’s an exaggeration, but many) lumber yard trips in my 1992 Accord station wagon that no sedan could have accommodated. It is very comfortable and drives like a sedan.

In a world with hatchbacks and station wagons, there is no excuse for crossovers. It’s just a worse version of a hatchback. Being a hatchback, it has some very relevant advantages over a sedan, but it has no advantages over a non-crossover hatchback.

The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
3 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

I’d drive a wagon if it was Japanese. They don’t exist. And a hatchback doesn’t fit 8′ long sheet goods with the hatch closed.

Last edited 3 months ago by The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
3 months ago

“I’d drive a wagon if it was Japanese. They don’t exist.”

Have you heard of Subaru? And were you not listening when I said I drive a Japanese wagon that definitely exists? Here’s one you could have bought, featured on a website I know you frequent: https://www.theautopian.com/might-just-run-forever-1992-toyota-previa-all-trac-vs-1993-honda-accord-wagon/

Japanese station wagons are literally the only kind on the market currently because it’s just Subaru. Japanese wagons also constitute most station wagons made in the last 30 years, because American wagons quit in the 80s mostly, while there has been 3 Toyota wagons, 2 Honda wagons, a Mazda wagon, a Suzuki wagon, and many Subarus. Plus a Daewoo, although that’s not Japanese.

If you want a vehicle more in line with the size of a long bed pickup than a small hatchback or crossover, good news! They make big hatchbacks, and they have since 1985! They’re called minivans!

The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
3 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

Ok let me rephrase. I’d drive a wagon if it wasn’t an unreliable underpowered wagon. 😉 and I don’t see how a minivan would be a superior option to my smaller vehicle. They’re all way too big for my needs. I’ve never had more than 3 people in my car. They don’t get better gas mileage. They use more materials to build.

I don’t particularly care, tbh, what I find irritating is the reflexive “hurr durr crossover bad” meme. Everything allegedly bad about them isn’t true of a lot of them AND is true of a lot of non-hated segments. So :shrug:. My RDX rocks for me and I’d buy it again to complement my sedan and roadster, because they’re good at different things.

Last edited 3 months ago by The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
3 months ago

I understand you’re making a Subaru joke, but there are plenteous non-Subaru options.

I honestly do not see any excuse for why crossovers exist or why anybody would buy one for any reason other than misleading marketing or ignorance.

The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
3 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

It’s not a subaru joke. Whenever I’m in the market, I test drive the Outback. It’s always been underpowered, and its reliability is worse than Honda. Since 2004 I have literally never had anything go wrong with my Honda/Acura vehicles. Never stranded, nothing to fix, perfect record.

For my needs a better vehicle than the RDX is not available. It’s literally just a wagon that’s easier to get in with sciatica.

I really don’t get the hate.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
3 months ago

My friends 2001 outback doesn’t seem underpowered at all, and Subaru AWD makes all others look positively useless. Because most FWD-based AWD systems actually are positively useless.

Since you like Hondas and Acuras, TSX?

The one use case where I think makes sense is when somebody who has issues getting into a lower car wants to drive something smaller than a minivan or SUV. Obviously this only applies to small crossovers. If this is your reason for driving one, that makes sense, and I don’t take issue with that.

The hate is because an RDX/CRV is just a Civic hatch that’s thirstier, heavier, less fun to drive, and can do approximately zero things a Civic hatch can’t. Why would a person not hate that?

I do want to point out that an RDX also does not fit 8′ sheet goods with the hatch closed.

Jim Zavist
Jim Zavist
3 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

For many tradespeople, cargo vans have replaced pickup trucks. At the bottom end of that market, well-used minivans and SUVs are far more common than pickups or sedans. Security for tools and supplies is simply easier in a closed vehicle than in an open one.

Spikedlemon
Spikedlemon
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim Zavist

Vans > trucks. Not just security by locking your tools away, it also keeps everything dry when it rains (including yourself if you’re looking for something).

Another Engineer
Another Engineer
3 months ago
Reply to  Spikedlemon

Every time I’m loading lumber, plywood, or drywall into my Odyssey I wonder how truck owning DIYers (because if you own a truck you are handy right?) get drywall home. Sure you can hang a few 2x4s or or plywood sheets over the tailgate of your short bed truck and look like you don’t have the right tool for the job. But wouldn’t it be embarrassing to have to get drywall delivered to your house with a supposedly useful pickup in the driveway?

Spikedlemon
Spikedlemon
3 months ago

One thing the pandemic has taught me: delivery is very convenient, and gotten comparatively much cheaper (read: it’s often free). I’ve not felt the need to load up my little hatchback like I used to.

Maymar
Maymar
3 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

To your last point, this is a half-baked theory, but with the rise in suburban commuter trucks (and also a rise in prices), there’s also a rise in clean 3-5 year old used trucks, and that a lot of new truck buyers 25+ years back might have shifted to buying used suburban trucks.

Citrus
Citrus
3 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

I am not a fan of CUVs, but basing your opinion on a Buick Encore is like basing your opinion of all cars on a Chevrolet Aveo. It’s easily worse than almost every CUV.

Last edited 3 months ago by Citrus
Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
3 months ago
Reply to  Citrus

Not my only experience. I specifically mentioned a remarkably terrible Honda Pilot(the most average of all large crossovers), and I’ve spent time in a rav4 that wasn’t terrible but also wasn’t better than a Camry in any way.

I understand that a Buick Encore is a very below average example, but I also know that a Honda Pilot is an extremely well-selling and very normal large crossover. I also know that a Honda Pilot has the worst third row seating and the worst ride quality of any car I have ever been in, short of a one ton pickup.

My experience is that good crossovers are as good as regular cars, and bad crossovers are considerably worse. No crossover is better than a typical not-a-crossover.

Last edited 3 months ago by Rust Buckets
Citrus
Citrus
3 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

I think you’re right, I just also think that a Buick Encore is an especially bad example of the breed.

Fun fact: My sister has one, and my feet don’t fit in the footwell, it’s way too narrow. I can’t wear boots if I’m driving with her.

The Dude
The Dude
3 months ago

I’d be fine owning an SUV if it’s off-road capable (like a 4Runner) or if it’s lower slung like the EV6.

I can say that when it was time to get my wife a new car a few years back I did the happy dance when she decided on a minivan and not one of those silly CUV things.

Mechjaz
Mechjaz
3 months ago

I’m not so convinced about the sidewall part. I’m on mobile/too lazy to go looking up sizes and ratios right now, but there is a lot of very narrow rubber wrapped around a lot of very, very big wheels.

In the spirit of fairness, I will offer that my spot check of 2013 vs 2023 RAV4 returned the same base tire size, 255/65R17. Still, I’ve seen a lot of desperate rubber where the sipes are well into the sidewall almost to the rim.

I can confirm the decaying infrastructure part as part of the reason I drive my truck around town for most things. I’d cracked two rims on the Z4 within a year of moving into this city & house.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
3 months ago
Reply to  Mechjaz

Okay, so I’ve seen decaying infrastructure mentioned often, seemingly implying that the quality of roads has gotten markedly worse in the last 10-20 years, fairly consistently across the whole country.

Am I the only one who thinks that this has not happened, even a little? In my experience roads are generally quite good, certainly not bad enough to be uncomfortable in a normal car, and not bad enough to be a concern at all for low profile tires unless you deliberately aim for potholes at high speeds. There are potholes and things here and there, but nothing bad. I’m not old enough to really know what roads were like 20 years ago, but nobody I know seems to think that roads suck now. So are roads just extra good in Idaho where I live? Well, I’ve driven all over the Western US, and a little in DC/Virginia/Maryland/Pennsylvania area, and my experience has been very consistent, and gives me the impression that Idaho is totally average.

So am I crazy and roads actually suck, or am I misinformed and roads were insanely perfect 20 years ago, or is everybody else crazy for thinking that roads suck? Or is the 50% of the country I’ve been to somehow the half of the country with great roads, and the other half actually does suck?

Mechjaz
Mechjaz
3 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

It varies dramatically even from city to city. I drove that car for years in a nearby city with no major issues. Meanwhile, on my street, there are three… Not even potholes, but just gaps in the asphalt bad enough to bounce the car. That’s on my street alone, where a couple months ago they helpfully painted new lines onto the cracks and in some places, utterly absent asphalt.

On a major road that leads to my street, there was a manhole cover set at least 1.5 inches below surface, but occupied every legal position your front left tire could occupy. I learned to tell people that had driven it before from the newbies by who swerved to straddle the hole.

Another minor road got repaved recently. Good news right? Nope. It was entirely additive and set an already below-surface manhole cover that would drop the car so hard the bottom scraped even lower. I could feel the chassis hit the ground.

I’ve had LED lenses shatter and fall off, and my tie rods aged a decade in two years. I’m amazed I haven’t lost an oil pan. Even in the f150, passengers exclaim and swear as they get gut-checked by pits in the road. In the Z4, it’s virtually undrivable around town.

I considered seeing what it takes to sue the city to fix the roads, but I had spent my money buying new wheels. (And I’m lazy, let’s not elide that.)

Edit: sorry for the big “ok go off” energy, I’ve just still got two cracked Style 107 wheels hanging out in the shed. I at least managed to sell one of the uncracked ones.

Last edited 3 months ago by Mechjaz
Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
3 months ago
Reply to  Mechjaz

Sounds like it really is bad, and I’m just lucky enough to have only visited the good half of the country. There is a city very near me where I’m often shopping, and the roads there are notably horrible and bumpy, but with few exceptions, there is no real danger of damaging even a lowered car.

If you don’t mind me asking, where is this that’s so bad?

Jim Zavist
Jim Zavist
3 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

Money is the best metric, followed by freezing weather. Rust Belt cities are the worst offenders. I live near St Louis, a city built for 850,000 people that now is surviving on the taxes generated by 280,000 residents. Missouri has one of the lowest fuel taxes in the country and one of the highest number of miles (per capita) to maintain.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim Zavist

Considering Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, Oregon, are all some of my experiences of great roads, I’m guessing freezing weather is not an especially major factor.

I wonder if salt is as detrimental to asphalt as it is to concrete? That might be why the rust belt has crappy roads.

Last edited 3 months ago by Rust Buckets
The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
3 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

In the very very rich San Francisco Bay Area and the city itself, this

> In my experience roads are generally quite good, certainly not bad enough to be uncomfortable in a normal car

Is completely not the case. Not even close. The roads are atrocious, Chicxulub-sized potholes get filled weeks after they form with garbage materials that wash away and reveal the potholes again within months, some of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake damage is still not fixed, and there isn’t a single day of driving that my back doesn’t cry out in pain from the unexpected dips and potholes and such, even in a land barge with hydro pneumatic suspension. The roads here are a flipping disgrace, and that’s not even talking about the surface streets with heavy truck traffic in Oakland. The roadways in greater Los Angeles aren’t great, but they beat SF handily.

Mike Honcho
Mike Honcho
3 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

Some of the roads are so bad here (MI) the county road commissions are actually converting them back to gravel instead of repaving them because of budgets.

CivoLee
CivoLee
3 months ago

The shift to crossovers would be a lot more tolerable if they didn’t keep replacing EVERY OTHER BODY SHAPE with one that has a similar wheelbase.

Just what’s wrong with full lineups with something for everyone? Why can’t manufacturers just make one “car-SUV” (RAV4, Escape) and one “truck-SUV” (4Runner, Explorer) and be done with them?

This article is basically the Acceptance stage of grief.

Last edited 3 months ago by CivoLee
Jack Trade
Jack Trade
3 months ago
Reply to  CivoLee

I’m hopeful there will eventually be automakers that’ll see the sedan/coupe segment as an opportunity. How cool would that be?

For now though, sure seems there’s a Hotelling effect (actually an economist’s name, not the places to stay) going on. The same reason we often see McDonalds and Burger Kings right next to each other, it’s all about maximizing exposure to potential customers.

Manufacturers appear to be doing this within their own lines right now, offering a lot of SUVs/CUVs that are barely different from each other, hoping to get every possible buyer.

Dogisbadob
Dogisbadob
3 months ago

A TRD GR Avalon would be fucking awesome! Lexus ES-F too! GR Camry, GR Highlander, GR Sienna, GR Rav4, why not?

Data
Data
3 months ago
Reply to  Dogisbadob

Now you have me thinking about A GR Prius with a manual and flared fenders. The Toyota GR Prius Primed.

pizzaman09
pizzaman09
3 months ago
Reply to  Data

With the Prius being the best looking new vehicle on the market today, I’m with you. I’m a manual purest but even without one, a GR Prius sounds like a phenomenal idea, particularly if it has the handling to back it up.

Pat Rich
Pat Rich
3 months ago

I seem to remember there were other alternate/supplementary qualifications for being a light truck or being defined as “capable of off highway operations” like an off-road mode for the traction control. Either way.

I’ve said for years that the SUV umbrella is misused and abused for whomever wants to benefit the most from their particular derivation of the term (manufactures or media) because no one is willing to accept that the crossover – i.e. the slighter taller hatchback – is the the “car”. People get so weird about it, but think about sedans for a second. How weird are they? Low to the ground so you have to climb out and fall in, completely impractical cargo space and aerodynamic shape. Stupidly long for their interior volume. Sedans are the things that never made sense.

Last edited 3 months ago by Pat Rich
Vee
Vee
3 months ago
Reply to  Pat Rich

The sedan makes sense when you look at the evolution of the automobile. Originally there was just the “carriage” and maybe the fenders riding suspended atop a wooden frame by leather straps. Then it evolved to have a “prow” in front of the carriage for the engine to sit in so that the carriage could be lowered. That automotive prow evolved to have a radiator, then a cover for the radiator, then a cover for the radiator and engine, then headlights were put at either side, and finally the carriage was enclosed to become a cabin. Throughout this time the vehicle still had all storage on the outside, as the cabin extended over the rear wheels and to the rear of the frame (funnily enough this is why the Mini had the shape it did with no hatch, it was aping older 1920s and 1930s cars) Then in the late 1930s, taking a note from coach built coupes and phaetons, sedans started placing an enclosed trunk storage in the rear, instead of leaving an actual trunk tied to the back. This was also a development of ride quality, as the cars getting heavier meant that having the rear seats directly over the rear axle created terrible sensations for the passengers. In the pursuit of having a smoother ride and having more enclosed storage space cars got longer and wider. Compare a 1948 Plymouth Sedan to a 1960 Plymouth Fury, and you’ll notice that while the wheelbase stayed the same, the length behind the rear wheels got longer because the trunk got bigger. With advancements in perimeter frames this also meant that instead of the body being placed on top of the frame, it could be placed inside of it, allowing them to lower the floor while keeping the height the same. It was only after these advancements in the late 1950s that styling took precedent over engineering for the maximum amount of interior and storage volume, as with the current drivetrain layouts they had approached the maximum amount storage and interior volume they could get.

This stayed true until 1973, when GM noticed that styling had pushed the cars to be bigger to the point of impracticality. Thus they designed the 1977 downsized B-bodies, where two major advancements were made: One was shoving the trunk forward and under the rear windshield, which conserved the total volume while reducing rear overhang at the cost of a smaller opening, and the second was pushing the cabin further back so that the rear seats sat just ahead of the rear wheels, preserving interior volume and engine bay space while allowing them to shorten the wheelbase. With the aerodynamic push of the mid 1980s to the late 1990s things got blurrier as a fastback shape began to emerge for sedans and the cabin was pushed forward thanks to FWD, keeping the car the same size while allowing an even larger interior.

It’s only in the last decade or so with the weird shit like the Ford Fiesta sedan (WHY?!), final generation Chevrolet Malibu, and the Lexus ES that you think “Wait why the fuck do people buy sedans?” thanks to their fastback bodies, tiny ass trunk openings, and front windshields raked back so steeply that your head will be forward of where the windshield meets the roof.

CivoLee
CivoLee
3 months ago
Reply to  Vee

If they’d just put goddamn liftback hatches on fastback sedans like European brands do, this conversation wouldn’t be happening. The shift is a totally self-fulfilling prophecy.

Toecutter
Toecutter
3 months ago
Reply to  Vee

This was an informative comment. Thank you.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
3 months ago
Reply to  Pat Rich

Sedans never made sense, but station wagons always did. A wagon is just a sedan with more storage space and better aerodynamics.

The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
3 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

Wagon > Hatchback > crossover > (modern) sedan > large SUV > Truck for passenger duty.

Older, larger 3-box sedans are much better than newer fastback sedans. Wtf is the point of that tiny trunk lid and opening.

Spikedlemon
Spikedlemon
3 months ago

It’s for letter mail delivery.

The original Hyundai Genesis coupe had quite mail-slot opening at the back. Want to go on a holiday and pack your luggage for travel? Best to use the back seat for storage.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
3 months ago

Gotta say that large SUVs have their place: my 2007 Expedition carries 8 people and their junk as comfortably and efficiently as anything could. Obviously it’s a terrible choice for transporting 1-3 people.

CTSVmkeLS6
CTSVmkeLS6
3 months ago

So that’s why I was able to transfer a B-rated truck plate from our old GMC Sierra to my wife’s new CX-5 a few years back. I remember thinking ‘this thing doesn’t even have a trailer hitch, how is this legit?’ But it is somehow

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
3 months ago
Reply to  CTSVmkeLS6

What state has special truck plates for a Sierra? Here in Idaho there’s the same light car plates on all vehicles registered for less than 20k lbs GCWR.

pizzaman09
pizzaman09
3 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

Depends on the state. In PA, trucks get their own plate and you pay extra based on it’s payload to register it every year. My Jeep Comanche is in the lowest payload so it’s like an extra $25 on top of the $50 reg. My friend has an 87 Suzuki Samurai, when he registered it they asked him if he wanted it registered as a truck or a sport wagon. He went sport wagon so that he wouldn’t have to pay the extra registration based on payload.
My other friend has a 1929 Ford Model A truck, she got antique plates for it and still had to pay the extra payload rating when registering it.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
3 months ago
Reply to  pizzaman09

Jeez some states do the most ridiculous things to tax commercial vehicles that objectively aren’t commercial vehicles.

CTSVmkeLS6
CTSVmkeLS6
3 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

I’m in Wisconsin. I believe it was the same cost as a ‘normal’ car plate. I did it to save some $ over getting a new plate for the Mazda. It’s amazing how many differences there are state to state.

The48thRonin
The48thRonin
3 months ago
Reply to  CTSVmkeLS6

Here’s a good one for ya: I went to get my first gen explorer registered at the DMV and the lady made me put truck plates on it because the previous owner brought it from out of state and wanted to tow with it, so he specifically asked them for truck plates (no I don’t understand that reasoning either but whatever). My previous trip to the DMV was to register my other first gen explorer, which they did not make me put truck plates on because it was correctly titled as an SUV. I have no idea why they even have different plates for trucks, because according to state code, you don’t have to have rear plates if you “tow on a regular basis”, so nobody with a truck and a tow ball uses rear plates, and nobody that doesn’t needs a plate that has the tow rating on it.

CTSVmkeLS6
CTSVmkeLS6
3 months ago
Reply to  The48thRonin

State to state differences are quite something! I wonder if LEOs have a handy reference guide for that LOL

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