US midsize sedan popularity drops as shoppers shift interest to SUVs

SANTA MONICA, Calif. - 

Once the No. 1 top-selling vehicle segment as recently as 2014, midsize sedans have been bumped to fifth by compact SUVs, large trucks, midsize SUVs and compact cars, according to Edmunds. respectively. 

The latest analysis data from Edmund’s shows market share for midsize sedans is now just 10.7 percent.

This is the segment’s lowest share since 1991 when Edmunds first began its tracking, according to the company.

Roughly 24 percent of midsize sedan owners who trade their vehicles in and buy a new car purchase a small SUV, compared to just 16.9 percent of owners three years ago, according to Edmunds.

“While it’s common for consumer tastes to change over time, it’s surprising to see just how quickly shoppers have made the switch from sedans to SUVs,” Edmunds executive director of industry analysis Jessica Caldwell said in a news release.

“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,” she explained.

Despite the declining interest in the midsize sedan, the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord remain two of the most popular cars in the U.S.

Though popularity for both vehicles has also waned in recent years, Edmunds said the Asian brands have continued to out-perform others within the midsize sedan segment.

“As the pool of buyers shrinks, you have to put out that much better of a product to keep your share of the segment, and that’s exactly what Honda and Toyota are trying to do with the new Accord and Camry,” Caldwell added.

“Both are leaning on edgier design and a sportier image to convince shoppers that their vehicle is the stylish, fun choice in a segment that has a reputation for being overtly practical.”

As shopper interest in SUVs and other segments continues to grow, it’s unlikely the midsize sedan segment will ever have the popularity it once had among American car buyers, according to Edmunds.

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