Small Crossovers Are the New Midsize Sedans

Once upon a time, in a world not so different from our own, midsize sedans dominated the market as the number one most purchased class of vehicle. All across American highways you’d find them being driven by happy motorists on their way to work, and for dropping off their kids at school. Then in the 90’s something interesting happened. SUVs, which were once vehicles used only for navigating rough and uneven terrain, began to be introduced to the family market as a luxury option. This was in stark contrast to a vehicle known as a station wagon, which has now gone the way of the dodo.

While SUVs were great for transporting multiple passengers to and from various destinations, and had a remarkable amount of both cabin and storage space, they also handled like over-bloated trucks. That, however, didn’t stop Americans from buying them in massive quantities, nor getting spoiled by having a higher vantage on the road. SUVs soon garnered a reputation for being both road bullies and the perfect family vehicle.

A few years later, companies began to catch on to what the market was telling them and hosted a number of consumer focus groups that aimed at discovering why families were more and more reluctant to invest in sedans as their primary vehicle. According to these surveys, consumers simply wanted vehicles to become bigger, and so they did, becoming larger and larger each year, as more and more focus groups were recruited only to find out that the sedans that they had created for that year simply weren’t big enough.

Suffice it say, car companies were not building their vehicles the right kind of big.

“In the last few years, compact and subcompact crossover vehicles like the Nissan Juke have taken over the spotlight that midsize sedans once occupied as the most popular segment for American car buyers,” says one market analyst from Santa Ana. “It happened quite suddenly, but drivers like being higher off the ground, and that’s precisely what crossover SUVs are. They’re not wider than midsize cars, and they’re still quite easy to park. They handle like cars too and they’re easier to maneuver. They should be because they’re built on the chassis of cars, and so they behave like cars, but what people want is bigger as in higher off the ground, and that’s what crossovers are and why they’re so popular.”

Meanwhile, sedans, big as they have become, continue to languish in the annals of American history as a vestige of a bygone era, as crossover SUVs of all sizes are being bought up like they’re going out of style.

“It’s a good year for crossovers,” he said.