Toyota is ending production of the Avalon large sedan after the 2022 model year, drawing the curtain on its plus-sized Camry after nearly a 30-year run. The news was first reported by Automotive News, which learned that Toyota had just informed suppliers of the move.
Here we have yet another plotline in the long, slow retraction of sedans from the American marketplace. Frankly, it’s a story we’re tired of telling, but in case you’ve been stuck under a rock for the past 20 years, Americans really, really, really like trucks and SUVs. That means they’ve been slowly abandoning corners of the car segment, from subcompacts, such as the Toyota Yaris, to full-size models, such as the Avalon.
Not every sedan segment has seen stampedes of customers giving up on it for SUVs. Compact sedans—such as Toyota’s Corolla—remain among the top-selling new vehicles. While midsize sedans have seen their ranks pared-down, sales leaders like the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Ending the Avalon’s story now seems like curious timing. On one hand, the Avalon was losing in the sales race to the Nissan Maxima and—by a long shot—the Dodge Charger. On the other hand, Toyota had been pumping some effort into the once wallflower-ish Avalon, injecting the previously Buick-like four-door with style and sportiness. The automaker even launched an eyebrow-raising Avalon TRD model two years ago—a car as surprising for its decent driving dynamics as for its boy-racer body addenda. Let’s just say an Avalon wearing a spoiler, hot wheels, and huge front intakes is like a grandparent rolling into Thanksgiving dinner with piercings, spiked hair, and leather chaps. Good for them, but you’d be stupefied.
Anyway, the Avalon is survived by the Camry, Corolla, and its similarly sized Lexus-badged counterpart, the ES. Sadly, we doubt it’ll be the last sedan to leave our shores.
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