The sedanocalypse is upon us. And I’m not really sure I care.
Buyers are fleeing from traditional three box sedans to SUVs, trucks and crossovers so fast you’d think scientists discovered most four-door cars actually come standard with venereal disease. Blame cheap gas prices and the fact that these aforementioned SUVs, trucks and crossovers are more fuel-efficient than ever.
Well, that, and the fact that when given the chance, Americans will default to something big and rugged-looking (as much as a Honda HR-V or a Chevrolet Trax is “rugged-looking,” which is to say not at all) over sedans in particular and smaller cars in general.
At the same time, as someone who drives a lot of new cars, I can’t say I’ll miss a whole lot of sedans. For every one truly inspiring sedan around, like a Cadillac CTS-V or a BMW M3, there are a dozen more thoroughly underwhelming and unimpressive sedans like the Volkswagen Passat—or worse, faux-fun pretenders like the Nissan Maxima. Generally, this is not a segment where many automakers try that hard.
The sedan body style is inherently a compromised one, so the way I see it, if you’re going to get a car that doesn’t even bother with good driving dynamics you may as well get the SUV or the tall wagon. The current Subaru Legacy is an absolute dud. If you’re buying that you don’t care about handling or going fast; why not just get the Subaru Outback instead? You get an actual hatch and you look all outdoorsy and shit. Can’t get that in the Legacy.
And as the autonomous car takeover seems all but inevitable, it’s tough to imagine many of them won’t be roomy pods, almost like self-driving minivans. Deal with that image as you wish.
But then there are the actual sedans I will miss, if they ever went away entirely. The good ones. The ones worth driving. A Mercedes S-Class is automatically far cooler than any Mercedes SUV crammed with the same level of tech and equipment. I love the Volvo XC90, but the S90 is infinitely more appealing to me, somehow. And I’d still take a Mazda 6 with a stick shift over a great many cars, including bigger and faster ones.
What do you think is the best sedan you can buy right now?