The Toyota Avalon is the latest sedan to fall victim to the SUV frenzy

"Another one bites the dust"

6w ago

The Toyota Avalon was introduced in 1994, specifically designed to be sold primarily in North America, the Middle East and China, and after 27 honorable years and five generations, Toyota has decided to axe it.

SUVs have been killing sedan and wagons for years and if we're looking for someone to blame, well, we just gotta look in the mirror. The problem is most markets are now SUV-centric and when top-flight auto execs sit down to talk about their quarterly results (or whatever it is they talk about), they look at the numbers and realize that people aren't buying sedans anymore, and so they just get rid of them.

With the Avalon on its way out, Toyota only has two sedans on sale in the U.S. - the Camry and the Corolla - but in a letter sent to suppliers to announce the news, the Japanese manufacturer stated that it "remains committed to the sedan segment" and encourages "customers to stay tuned for future developments."

In the letter, Toyota also made it clear that this won't affect Toyota's Kentucky factory employees because the plant will still be used to build the RAV, the Camry as well as the Avalon's replacement, which at this point is almost certainly going to be yet another SUV.

Both European buyers, historically in love with wagons, and North American customers, traditionally more attached to full-size sedans, are now becoming SUV evangelists and this, incidentally, is actually helping manufacturers because they usually end up developing two or three platforms on which they build a trillion different models.

Volskwagen Group, for example, has launched a total of 20 SUVs based on variants of the same platform (MQB) since 2016. Meanwhile, the Avalon is built using Toyota's TNGA-K (GA-K) platform, the same architecture that the brand also utilizes for 6 more models, all of which are SUVs except for the Camry.

I don't mind SUVs per se but I still prefer sedans. Apart from the tangible advantages - they're usually easier to park, cheaper to buy and run, faster and more fun to drive - I guess I just prefer them. They just look better. And feel better.

Open-ended question: why are Sedans dying?

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Comments (21)

  • I can offer some reasons. They are only guesses, because I have no scientific evidence one way or the other:

    • SUVs have a higher driving position and give a better view of the road.

    • SUVs have larger luggage capacity and easier access through the lift back.

    • Most larger SUVs have three row seating for more passengers.

    • Most SUVs (of any size) have 4WD/AWD and off-road capabilities.

    • Because of their construction and (generally) extra weight, many SUV owners view them as safer.

    • Advertising campaigns are giving the perception that SUVs are more powerful, versatile and sporty than their sedan counterparts.

    • For families with children, SUVs generally offer more entertainment features.

    If I think of more reasons, I’ll post them.

      1 month ago
    • The main reason people buy SUV's, is 1: Status. 2: View 3: They "FEEL" safe.

      Personally I enjoy seeing a SUV owner standing next to their rolled over SUV. I wonder if they still fell safe afterwards.

        1 month ago
    • I believe there are social and mental variables at play which make SUVs popular in America. SUVs convey authority and dominance which feeds insecurities and fears. Americans are constantly told by our “leaders” that the world...

      Read more
        1 month ago
  • Chop, chop, let's get those SUV's moving, we have a planet to kill, it's much faster this way...

    "Can I have a guzzling V8 with useless 500+ HP?"

    "We'd love to finish earth before the end of this decade."

      1 month ago
  • Honestly the Avalon was pointless. It was just a Camry with some additional leg room. If Toyota axed the Avalon I wonder if Lexus will axe the ES.

      1 month ago
  • This was in the works for the last few years. Kind of a "we know it's coming, just not 100% sure when" type of thing. Toyota I think sabotaged the Avalon. They wanted to kill it off, so what's the best way to do so? Price it higher than the Lexus (which is the same damn car, with better materials), and slap a TRD badge on a few and stiffen up that car designed for the older buyers. Because we all know that's exactly what retired demographics want.

    The Avalon should have been killed off years ago. The middle eastern markets eat them up, but only if they are LOADED to the gills. That is basically the only people buying it. We have a saying at the plant, "if it makes sense, Toyota won't do it." We have others, but that's another story. lol

      1 month ago
  • Sad to see another one go, I’ve driven a few Avalon’s on holidays in the US, and enjoyed them, but it really does ask, why can’t our SUV craze end!

      1 month ago