What Caused The Death Of The Big American Sedan?

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For decades, the big sedan was unquestionably what the American auto industry did best. Then the SUVs came and everything changed. What happened?

Is it simply the extra practicality buyers get with a hatch and folding seats? Is it just that the increased ride height makes it easy for to get in and out of? Or do we continue to be seduced by some false image of off-road ruggedness that hardly applies to most modern soft-ass crossovers?

It was all of these things and more. The sedan is dying, and the large sedan is all but extinct. One of the last of those dinosaurs was the 1995 Buick Roadmaster, the subject of the latest Regular Car Review.


This was a car so audacious it dared to call itself the Master of the Road but in quick order it became the ride of choice for the Early Bird Special crowd, and the ride of you-have-no-choice for broke college kids who inherited them once the powers that be decided to finally take grandpa’s keys away the third time he plowed into a farmer’s market thinking he was back at the Battle of the Bulge.

But like Optimus Prime, this Roadmaster is more than meets the eye. There’s something special the driver operates with his right hand. Check it out below, and pay your respects to the big American sedan.