The End of American Sedans

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mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
26,240
440
There are certainly sedans made in the U.S., but not by American companies. There are a few remaining hold-outs I think, but Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler Fiat are pretty much out of the sedan building business. Sedan customers go mostly for Toyota, Mazda, Nissan, Mercedes, and Subaru, and a few others. It seems even Lincoln has gone entirely to SUV's and crossovers. Okay, so I may have missed some specific models, but the U.S. isn't in the sedan business much anymore. I think the VW bug was the beginning of the end. The U.S. tried to come up with a good small car and has tried everything from the Saturn to the Cavelier, from the Pinto to the Dart, and dozens more, never quite getting the hang of the engineering or the marketing. As long as the old big three can sell SUV's, crossovers, and trucks-trucks-truck by the load, maybe it doesn't matter. But it's a moment in automobile history, maybe just before we go mostly driverless and/or electric. Do you lament or just look forward to whatever comes next? I miss 'em all, from the Studebaker Electric, to the Hupmobile, to the Reo and the Chrysler Imperial ... a great run with models miraculous and terrible. I love a classic car show, and all those bygone names. Kaiser, Henry J., Willis, and DeSoto.

 

irishearl

Preferred Member
Aug 2, 2016
880
30
I, too, rather lament the seeming passing of sedan-making. We have never owned a SUV-style car. But late last year we had to find a replacement for our big sedan, a 2000 Chrysler Concorde. Hey, I like big boats. :) Were looking @ just used sedans and ended up buying a Honda Fit, which is essentially a mini-SUV. Must say I really like it and don't miss a sedan now.

 

puffy

Preferred Member
Dec 24, 2010
2,441
6
North Carolina
Like a lot of other folks I like my SUV.I sit up higher and have a better view of the road.It also seems more practical for my life style.That being said most of the cars I've owned were sedans.I guess the car guys just feel that they're not selling enough of them.That could change in years to come..I still remember my first car.Handed down to me by my father.It was a 1953 Buick sedan.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
26,240
440
I'm sorry to say (really) that I have never owned an American brand car, though I had one of the Subaru Legacy station wagons built in Indiana with lots of bells and whistles, that needed lots of warranty work (a.c. twice, both engine fans replaced, and a blown wheel baring). After that it was dependable. I would always start at an American dealership trying to buy a Buick, an Oldsmobile, a Mercury, etc., but the sales people were always luke warm, didn't like the way I parted my hair. I'd go up the street for a Nissan, Subaru, or Mazda, and it was the red carpet, salesman came out after dark to bring me brochures. What was that about? I mean the cold shoulder from the Mercury salesmen? No wonder American sedans are defunct.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
26,240
440
Speaking of historical American automobile brands, guess who made the four diesel power plants on my minesweeper USS Gallant MSO 489. Packard! I actually had a friend who drove an old Packard limo to church youth group beach picnics and hauled six or eight of us on passenger and jumper seats. But that wasn't diesel.

 

brian64

Preferred Member
Jan 31, 2011
5,249
166
But it's a moment in automobile history, maybe just before we go mostly driverless
Here's a look at what that will be like:
Part 1:
https://dilbert.com/strip/2019-01-24
Part 2:
https://dilbert.com/strip/2019-01-25
Part 3:
https://dilbert.com/strip/2019-01-26

 

trouttimes

Preferred Member
Nov 26, 2018
1,350
776
Does Lincoln not stil make the town car? What are the folks in DC getting hauled around in if Town cars are gone?

 

ron123

Member
Jan 28, 2015
202
13
I think in DC there's more and more Suburbans, but Cadillac is still making sedans, too...and Lincoln is coming out with a cool Continental with rear suicide doors for 2019.

 
Mar 16, 2014
1,596
20
My first car was a manual Saturn SL1. The passenger side mirror was an option so my old man, of course, passed. My second car was a manual Chevrolet Cavalier. I drove it all over NYC in 2002. My third was a automatic rear-wheel drive Dodge Dakota. I moved onto a used 2003 Mercury Mountaineer and currently drive a manual 2017 VW Jetta. I've liked them all and hope I get to drive more cars in the future. The best car I've ever driven was a manual 1984 Trans Am.

 

woodsroad

Preferred Member
Oct 10, 2013
8,277
54
All of my cars have been manual, starting with a ‘79 Honda wagon, followed by several Subaru wagons, an Audi 90 Quattro Sport, a Subaru WRX, another Subaru wagon, a VW TDI wagon and now a ‘17 VW Golf AllTrac wagon. All have had their charms and strong points, but I don’t see myself ever getting another sedan.

 

verporchting

Member
Dec 30, 2018
296
0
I've owned some beautiful American sedans but I've just got little or no use for them anymore. Large pickups and SUVs are more practical for where I live, and honestly, the modern 4wd trucks ride like a dream, handle well in all conditions and get reasonably good fuel economy. Plus, they are safer and can pull a trailer and still seat 4 people.
What's not to like? Other than cost... but sedans aren't cheap either.

 

lordofthepiperings

Preferred Member
May 3, 2010
6,320
32
Las Vegas, NV
I bought a VW Tiguan a couple years ago. I love that it's a crossover car and SUV. I love the fact it's up a bit higher and there's definitely more room in it. As I play ice hockey I need a lot of trunk space for the smelly old hockey bag.

 

ashdigger

Preferred Member
Jul 30, 2016
5,271
33
I don't care about the demise of sedans, but I mourn the demise of the Chevy Avalanche. I own the 2011 version and absolutely love it. Best vehicle I've ever owned.

 

voorhees

Preferred Member
May 30, 2012
3,583
100
Gonadistan
American car manufacturers built some the most influential and beautiful sedans ever. The industry as a whole has evolved and while there are some wonderful new SUV and CUV designs they will never rival those sedans of yesteryear. I’m considering a new Bronco as my next ride, my life changed and I have not much need for a sedan, but still love the mid sixties Lincolns.

 

trouttimes

Preferred Member
Nov 26, 2018
1,350
776
Great ride for road trip cars. Huge trunks, you could live in those things. Carry all the luggage you could ever want to carry. Great cars for the drive-in. Really bad gas mileage. That's one of the main reasons they have mostly gone away. At 9 to 12 mpg, only the wealthy could afford to drive them.

 

madox07

Preferred Member
Dec 12, 2016
1,422
48
Personally I blame the low taxes and the price of gas in the US, for mso's dilemma. When I first bought a car in the US, you couldn't fit $20 worth of gas in the tank - that was a 1995 NIssan Altima. When I left the US, 6 years later, the price of gas was somewhat higher, so I would fill up the tank for roughly $28. In Texas I paid for DMV tax about $54 every two years, and a technical inspection cost about $100 or so. So ... who wouldn't want a big, comfortable, large load capacity, SUV/truck?
Here is Europe: in most EU countries for a 3.5 liter engine capacity or higher you pay anywhere between EUR 1000 and EUR 2000 / year in taxes. A liter of gasoline costs EUR 1.2 depending on region (the difference between the price of a barrel divided to a liter, and the price of a liter is due to high government tariffs). Diesel, which is cheaper than gas, in some larger cities in Europe - especially German cities, e.g. Munchen, it is illegal do drive in certain central areas based on some sort of pollution argument. Some cars with EURO 4 or lower pollution technical specifications are illegal to drive in some European cities. The "epoque" cars are exempt from this rule, but depending on region a car must pe up to at least 40 years old in order to be considered "epoque". Supply and demand works just as fine over here too, laissez faire not so much, on the other hand.

 

danish

Junior Member
Jun 12, 2017
58
4
For us here in Denmark it is the Beginning of American Sedans. The Tesla model 3 is finally coming to us now. The model S has been here for a while but it is very expensive for most, although you get more bang for the buck, due to lower taxes on the less polluting/electric cars. I have had many cars and also enjoyed driving for weeks in USA in a nice new Mercury Grand Marquis. If imported, that car would have been taxed 180 pct plus VAT and the gas prices are much higher here. Therefore American cars never sold well here, until now, where you have to wait months to get your Tesla. Since I never liked the noise and pollution from any cars (who does?), this is a great time. I have tried driving the semi autonomous Tesla models S and really loved it. A model 3 however would still be a dream car for me but a cheaper BMW i3, which has also gotten a bigger battery, could cover all our needs and be fun at it. Electric cars are faster, easier to drive and maintain and are also getting safer, due to the development in eg autonomous driving.

 

ssjones

Moderator
Staff member
May 11, 2011
14,176
172
Maryland
It's sad, I'm definitely a sedan guy, currently driving a Lincoln MKZ, which I love.

In DC, it's definitely about the large SUV's, tons of Tahoe's and Suburbans, all black.
We've had a great run of American sedans, even of late (first gen Taurus SHO, Fords SVT series). Pontiac GTO and sedan variant were all great cars. 94-96 Impala SS, then the Mercury Marauder. The last gen Chevy SS was an incredibly capable sedan. The Cadillac CTS-V variants were also world class vehicles. All gone, sad.
I owned a Subaru Forester for about a year, worst car I've ever owned, couldn't wait to unload that one.