Sedans were once seen as the car’s default form. Four-door, three-box designs were the norm, but now, all is in flux. For many, the SUV has become the standard choice, and automakers have slowly been shifting their lineups to reflect this. Toyota isn’t immune from the shifting winds of change, and have recently announced to suppliers that the Avalon sedan will be axed after the 2022 model year, reports Automotive News.
It’s a sad state of affairs for lovers of the big sedan, but not a surprising one. In the U.S., sales of the Avalon peaked a full 21 years ago, with 103,878 units sold in 2000. In comparison, the first half of 2021 saw just 10,328 Avalons sold to customers. It’s part of a broader industry move away from sedans and traditional cars. It’s one that’s seen other companies like Ford take the drastic move of canceling the majority of its conventional lineup.
Produced at the Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky plant, the vehicle was due for a refresh in late 2022, but instead the Japanese automaker elected to pull the plug. In a statement to Automotive News, the company notes that “While Avalon will be discontinued after the 2022 model year, Toyota remains committed to the sedan segment and we encourage customers to stay tuned for future developments. Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky production capacity and employment will not be impacted.”
With the death of the Avalon in the U.S., only the Dodge Charger, Chrysler 300, and Nissan Maxima will remain in the segment. Buyers that simply must have a Toyota sedan can still purchase a Camry, but that necessarily involves switching to a smaller vehicle. As a guide, the Camry has a 2 inch shorter wheelbase and is 4 inches shorter overall, though is only 0.4 inches narrower in width.
It’s not always apparent on the surface, but the larger Avalon did find a way stand apart from its smaller and more popular sibling. It occupied an interesting spot in the market, with our 2019 review noting that while it was larger than the Camry, it was also smaller than most of its full-size competitors.
The last generation Avalon was certainly a capable car, but one that sadly failed to inspire Toyota executives to continue the narrative into the future. If you simply must have one, you’ve got one more model year to celebrate one of the only nameplates advertised by an Australian drag queen. Vale.
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