Another big sedan is rolling into the history books.
Crossovers are king, and in no segment is that more apparent than full-size sedans. Several automakers have been quietly dropping big four-door flagships from their lineups — most notably Ford (Taurus/Lincoln MKS), GM (Chevy Impala/Buick LaCrosse, Cadillac XTS/CT6), Hyundai (Azera) and Kia (Cadenza). Now, the Toyota Avalon will die along with that bunch after the 2022 model year, Automotive News reports. The automaker confirmed its decision, after informing suppliers that its Georgetown, Kentucky plant will no longer produce the car for the U.S. market.
After just three years, then, Toyota will cut the current XX50 generation short after three years, and scrap its mid-cycle refresh.
The Avalon first emerged in 1994, as a replacement for the straight-six, rear-wheel drive Cressida. The five succeeding generations over the next 27 years offered a front-wheel drive platform, along with a V6 powerplant. Toyota just added all-wheel drive as an option for the Avalon, and even a sporty-flavored TRD version. With just 10,328 examples finding buyers in the first half of 2021, though, it’s clear few people are taking Toyota’s flagship sedan these days. This year alone, the mid-size Camry sold 177,671 examples, while the three-row Highlander sold 144,380.
Even the Dodge Charger — one of three remaining full-size sedans in the American market — outsold the Avalon by 4 to 1. Avalon sales peaked in 2000, when it reached 103,878.
Now, there are just three large sedans left in the once competitive, profitable segment. The Dodge Charger is the best seller, by far, while its Chrysler 300 cousin also lingers on. Nissan’s Maxima will be the last front-wheel drive large sedan on the market, if it continues to hang on after the 2022 model year as well. It’s worth noting luxury sedans are a bit easier to find. There’s no word of the Avalon’s Lexus ES counterpart going anywhere just yet, for example.