A red 2024 Chevy Malibu is shown parked outside a building after visiting a dealer with a Chevy Malibu for sale.

What Keeps These Sedans Selling Well in the Age of the SUV?

When most of us think of a car, we think of a sedan-style vehicle. This preconception of what a standard vehicle is might have been challenged in recent years by the surge in popularity of SUVs, but sedans have been the consumer standard for decades. In fact, sedans have been the vehicle of choice since the 1920s and 1930s. Since automobiles became widely accessible for family and personal use, the sedan has reigned supreme. Over the years, consumer preferences and needs have changed. Trends and fads have come and gone. New features and technologies have become standard equipment, like antilock brakes and Bluetooth integration, or faded away, like the eight-track player and CB radio. It is surprising that some sedans are still on the market today when so many other models have been discontinued. For example, consumers can still go into a dealership and find a Chevy Malibu for sale.

We’ll examine five sedans that have stood the test of time. Their manufacturers continually innovate to incorporate new features without losing the essence of the model. Why do you think these sedans are still seen on streets across America? We will give you our take on why.

Toyota Corolla

The Toyota Corolla was first introduced in 1966 and is the longest-running sedan in our lineup. It’s also the best-selling car ever, surpassing even the Model T Ford and the Volkswagen Beetle. The Corolla was introduced to fill a need for economical and reliable vehicles for individuals and small families. These days, its status as a compact car lends it more toward individuals, especially individuals who live in urban or suburban settings. Unlike SUVs, the Corolla’s small size makes it highly maneuverable on city streets, and it’s known for being fuel efficient, which are both highly desirable traits. To focus more on the driver, Toyota has renewed its focus on adding advanced technological features to the Corolla. Newer model years are fully kitted out with connectivity and entertainment technology, making the Corolla a great choice for commuters. Because of its consistently high safety ratings, folks who value reliability and safety continue to choose the Toyota Corolla year after year.

Chevy Malibu

Chevrolet has sold an incredible 8.5+ million Chevy Malibus since its introduction in 1964. It’s one of Chevy’s longest-running nameplates and is a classic mid-size sedan. When it first hit the market, the Malibu was a trim level of the popular Chevelle. The Chevelle was available in a number of different configurations, including a coupe, a convertible, a four-door sedan, and even a station wagon. During its first production run, the Malibu was only offered with rear-wheel drive and was designed with a roomy seating area. It also came with various powerful engine options that kept it popular with folks who wanted a more muscular and capable car. It even won spots in NASCAR’s winner’s circle a whopping 25 times between 1973 and 1977.

The first era of the Chevy Malibu came to a close in the 1980s as consumer preferences for smaller sedans mounted. The Malibu was reintroduced to the market in 1997 with a significant redesign and many new features to cater to changing consumer tastes. It was designed to look more modern and appealing and was now only offered as a sedan. New and advanced safety features were included, and performance and efficiency ratings were increased. This new design won over the hearts and minds of the American consumer.

Today, the Malibu is a competitive mid-size sedan. It’s known for its comfortable and spacious interior, stylish design inside and out, balanced performance, and fuel efficiency. Chevy continues to innovate each generation, adding the most up-to-date entertainment and safety technology. There are no signs that this classic sedan will lose popularity anytime soon.

A silver 2022 Volkswagen Jetta GLI is shown driving.

Volkswagen Jetta

The Volkswagen Golf hatchback was first introduced in 1974 and continues to see strong sales today. Americans preferred sedans to hatchbacks, so for the 1980 model year, Volkswagen introduced the Jetta as a sedan version of the Golf. Even though it isn’t a top seller among its peers, Volkswagen loyalists love the Jetta and continue to buy it year after year. It was designed with a wide audience base in mind, appealing to young professionals and car enthusiasts in particular. It provides a fun driving experience that keeps people coming back for more. Its fun-to-drive nature is one of the main reasons the Golf has maintained its popularity. In addition to being a practical choice for commuting and city driving, its energetic nature wins it many compliments from drivers.

Over the years, the Jetta has sold more than 18 million copies worldwide. As a German company, Volkswagen is known for its reliability and practical engineering. It has a reputation for quality design that drivers love. It has global appeal and is sold across North America, Europe, Australia, and even parts of Asia. The Jetta has a cult following that has helped it stand the test of time.

Honda Civic

The Honda Civic is probably one of the most utilitarian and practical sedans, which has also been available as a hatchback, coupe, and station wagon, that comes to mind when you think of a regular car. The Civic is much loved for its economy, reliability, and practicality. Ever since 1972 when they were first introduced, drivers have been relying on Honda Civics to get them around without a fuss. As an economy car, there was always a possibility that they would fall out of favor due to inferior design or quality. This has never been the case, however. Despite being a budget-friendly vehicle, Honda Civics are known for their durability over the long run, making them a continually practical choice for the average driver even 50 years later.

A blue 2024 Nissan Sentra SR is shown driving.

Nissan Sentra

The Nissan Sentra is the last sedan in our lineup that has been for sale for decades. It was first introduced in 1982 and has been in production for over 40 years. Nissan conceptualized it in response to the oil crisis of the 1970s when everyone was extra-concerned about fuel efficiency. The Sentra has long been an economical choice, similar to the Honda Civic. It places a major emphasis on efficiency without sacrificing comfort. Even as it focuses on efficiency, the Nissan Sentra caters to its fans by offering various trim levels so drivers can customize their rides. These days, drivers can choose more upscale trims to boost the curb appeal of their Sentra. Nissan has kept the Sentra relevant for their target audience over the years by incorporating modern technology and adding configurations to appeal to a wide variety of people.

Sedans That Stand the Test of Time

All of these sedans have withstood the years by innovating and changing as consumer preferences have changed. New technology is introduced, design preferences change, and the scale of fuel efficiency to power balances at different centers. We love seeing new generations of these classic sedans introduced. There are always similarities to previous model years but with updated designs and modern features. Whether you’re looking for a new Chevy Malibu for sale to stretch out in, a compact Toyota Corolla to save money, or a zippy Volkswagen Jetta, any of these great sedans deserve your attention.