Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

A red 2021 certified pre-owned Chrysler 300 Touring L is shown parked on the side of a city street.

Sales of Sedans Have Dipped Dramatically, but Don’t Bury Them Just Yet

If you keep up with automotive news and trends, then you are aware that sales for sedans have been plummeting over the last several years. It seems that drivers have switched gears and now prefer to drive trucks and SUVs instead. And since the law of supply and demand exists in the automotive industry, the popularity of trucks and SUVs means a loss of interest in sedans. Open up any residential garage 40 years ago, and in all likelihood, there would be a sedan parked in it, but this was long before terms such as crossover even existed. The sedan was America’s choice of transportation for many years, and for very good reasons. The sedan boasted ample seating and a huge truck to store your stuff. The sedan was the family mobile for the ages. Now, say you visit your local dealer for a Certified Pre-Owned Chrysler or some other model, you will find several SUVs, minivans, and trucks, but finding any model sedan will be far more difficult. Does this mean the eventual end of the sedan?

The Surge of the SUV

There are a lot of valid and compelling reasons why SUVs have gained in popularity over the years, and a lot of it starts with changing up the size of it and offering more fuel-efficient engines. Drivers who were skeptical about driving a large SUV with a big, gas-guzzling engine now have a choice in the segment. If you happen to have a large family, you could either squeeze them into a sedan, or you could opt for a station wagon or van. A station wagon really didn’t offer a whole lot more passenger space, plus it did come with a stigma that was difficult to shake, the same stigma attached to the modern minivan.

If you are from an area where cold and snow are a part of winter, driving a sedan has its downfalls. For example, sedans don’t have good ground clearance, making traveling through snowy roads a white-knuckling event. In addition, sedans usually only offer front-wheel drive and no four-wheel-drive option, which is obviously beneficial in winter driving conditions.

Revisit the classic movie National Lampoon’s Vacation and picture the Griswold’s station wagon, a modified 1979 Ford LTD Country Squire, topped off with several pieces of luggage, knick-knacks, and even a deceased Aunt Edna. Had Clark Griswold owned a truck, cramming that gear on the roof rack would have been unnecessary. A truck would definitely have made that trip better.

A silver 2020 Toyota Camry XLE Hybrid is shown from a rear angle driving over a bridge.

Death of the Sedan?

While it is no secret that SUVs have enjoyed a significant increase in popularity and are now outselling sedans, it does not mean the death of the sedan. The fact of the matter is that sedans are still highly sought by a segment of the population, and there are several sedan models that remain popular and are appealing.

One of the reasons why sedans aren’t going anywhere anytime soon has to do with the inherent savings you enjoy with them. While there are several obvious money-saving features in a sedan, there are ways you save money that are less obvious. For example, when it comes time to buy a new set of tires, the bigger tires on an SUV are much more expensive than the smaller tires on a sedan. Even washing your sedan is less expensive than washing an SUV, thanks to the smaller size.

One of the more popular features of the SUV is the all-wheel drive. The good news for fans of the sedan is that this feature can be enjoyed on several models. Now, you still can’t really go off-roading in a typical sedan, even if it does have all-wheel drive, but this holds true for some SUV models as well.

Sedans That Are Alive and Well

Sedans may no longer dominate the streets of our country, but that does not mean they will soon be extinct. There are several models currently on the market that remain popular. These are cars that are stylish, high-quality, comfortable, practical, and a joy to drive. So keep your eyes peeled next time you are out and about running errands; you are sure to spot a few of these models.

The Hyundai Elantra is a staple for many commuters; it is a car known for its stylish looks, upscale interior, and superior reliability. In addition, the Elantra enjoys a stellar reputation as a car that offers drivers a host of features without emptying their wallets. For example, the base level Elantra includes wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as a standard feature. While it is not entirely on the same level as the Toyota Camry, it holds its own rather well.

The Honda Accord continues to be a beloved choice for car buffs. This is a model that can best be described as just right. For example, the Accord offers engine choices that aren’t too powerful and not too weak; the choice is just right. That is, you aren’t going to get the most powerful engine award for its class, but not the least powerful award either. Looking at models from 2020-2022, the base engine is a 1.5 liter with 192 horsepower, and the available turbocharged 2.0 liter boasts 252 horsepower. So really, there isn’t a bad choice. In fact, everything about the Accord is just right, including the interior, style, and comfort.

This list would not be complete unless the Toyota Camry is included. Experts agree that the Camry will remain one of the best-selling cars in America, and for compelling reasons. One of the biggest reasons for its popularity is due to its outstanding reliability; you can drive these things for decades without experiencing a severe problem. The all-wheel drive option is just another reason why so many drivers are drawn to the Camry. While many drivers are quite content with the standard four-cylinder engine thanks to its fuel economy, there will be drivers who can’t pass up the powerful V6.

A red 2020 Honda Accord LX is shown parked on the side of a city street.


The Chrysler 300

The sedan you should really pay attention to is the Chrysler 300, which is a bonus when you find one that is Certified Pre-Owned. We felt it necessary to give the Chrysler 300 its own section, mainly because it is in a class by itself. One of the reasons this full-size sedan remains a hot seller is its bold styling. Say what you will about the styling, but you cannot deny it’s a good-looking car. On a busy road, the 300 stands out in a crowd, even among big trucks and luxury SUVs.

Another reason driving enthusiasts gravitate to the 300 is the powertrain; finding a V6 in a sedan is relatively rare, but a V8 under the hood of a car nowadays is almost impossible to find. So, in addition to style, you get plenty of substance with the 300 in the form of impressive horsepower. Pair that power and snappy acceleration with excellent handling, and you have a driver’s dream car.

As with any full-size sedan, cabin space is ample. In addition to plenty of room to stretch your legs, the interior of the 300 is pure luxury. Not only will you ride in comfort, but the cabin is also a quiet oasis that will have you forgetting about the noisy road. The 300 is a joy to drive to be sure.

Sedans Still Have a Place in the Market

Nobody knows for sure what the future holds for sedans, but we don’t see them disappearing from the landscape anytime soon. There are several models that offer excellent driving dynamics and remain a great value. While some automakers are altogether dropping sedans, others are producing sedans with more features, power, and versatility. This makes sedans a better value and more practical than ever. So if you are in the market for a Certified Pre-Owned vehicle, it would be wise to at least check out available sedans.