In an auto market dominated by SUVs, many buyers still want 4-door sedans. Here's what's available

Dave Kunz Image
Thursday, January 19, 2023
In auto market dominated by SUVs, many buyers still want 4-door sedans
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From large to small, sport utility vehicles are the most popular category of new vehicle by a wide margin. But many buyers still want to drive four-door sedans.

It seems like nearly everyone buys an SUV of some sort these days, and statistics bear that out. From large to small, sport utility vehicles are the most popular category of new vehicle by a wide margin.

But what about the good old conventional mid-size four-door sedan? Don't count that design out just yet. Lots of people still want to drive four-door sedans.

Last year, just the top three non-luxury models totaled nearly 600,000 in sales, led by perennial favorite the Toyota Camry, with more than half the total.

The also-popular Honda Accord was a distant second but still put up a respectable number of 154,612. The Nissan Altima placed third at 139,955. Altima sales were up 35% compared to 2021, while the Camry and Accord were down by 5.9%, and 24%.

Keep in mind that all car makers were struggling with microchip and supply chain issues, so fewer had vehicles coming off assembly lines.

Porsche's newest model, the 911 Carrera T, aimed at driving enthusiasts

For 2023, the Altima may keep that sales momentum going, with a refreshing interior and exterior. A revised front end design and new infotainment scree distinguish it from the 2022 model, starts at a price of just over $25,000.

Sedans, or non-SUVs, may be getting a renewed lease on life because of the electric vehicle revolution. Thanks to aerodynamic advantages, brands like Mercedes-Benz are very much in favor of making sure their new electric lines include sedans.

The hallmark German brand currently has four EV models, and two of them are four-doors, the newest being the EQE model. It's joined the larger EQS sedan in showrooms. While the EQS EV starts at over $100,000, the mid-size EQE has base prices beginning in the $75,000 range.

There is one area where a sedan has a distinct advantage over an SUV: it's more difficult for a thief to access a cargo area when it doesn't involve merely smashing a piece of glass. Breaking into a locked car trunk is much more difficult.

The bad news for sedan shoppers looking for a wide choice? All the Detroit brands have been saying goodbye to them. Ford, Dodge and Chrysler no longer offer mid-size four-doors, and the Chevy Malibu is the lone holdout in 2023, with an uncertain future.

So if you're a holdout in the "anything but an SUV" crowd, take heart. You should be able to buy a gasoline-powered mid-size sedan, or even an electric one, for years to come. The four-door could even be poised for some sort of widespread comeback.