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What Changed? Four Door Trucks Are Cool…

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  • Leo

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    Tastes change. Full size sedans still exist, they don't sell that well. Just like stripper pickups, guys who complain they don't exist don't buy them anyway. We had a Taurus and it was a great car, not sales were junk and Ford discontinued them. 300C still exists but hasn't had any money put into development for years for the same reason. Station wagons are dead and buried because nobody wanted them. Sedans followed.

    Crossovers are more a function of CAFE regulations, then trucks I think. Largely just sedans with slightly raised ride height. So few SUVs are truck based any longer.

    Trucks are just so versatile. Plus lifestyle branding.
    Who sells new sedans? 2011 was the last of the Lincoln Town Cars, The big Buick sedans are gone, even the mid sized LeSabre was gone for 2005, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Plymouth, Mercury, all gone. Crown Vic's gone. The Cadillac ATS sedan is not as roomy as a Taurus. My wife still drives a Taurus as she likes the small car.

    I found a Grand Marquis with less than 50,000 miles a couple years ago through an estate sale. That is barely a full sized car. It is my forth one of that design. FoMoCo had never updated that car since it was introduced in 1992. It is like the manufacturers just stopped trying. Maybe CAFE regulations made them quit.
     

    jmarriott

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    Growing up I had a four door Chevy impala (1965) and a Pontiac bonneville ( 1965) now those were full sized cars.

    if someone made them today I would buy one. Who needs a truck when you could fit three to four people in the trunk.
     

    DragonGunner

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    N. Central IN
    They are half Cadillac and half truck. You get both birds with one stone. Drove a 1992 Nissan D21 for over 20 years. Was great small truck but no way to take folks anywhere. Have a Ram Sport 4x4 crew cab. Wife loves it, back seat has more room than you can believe and can still haul stuff. The hemi pulls anything and the ride is excellent. Only thing is the parking strategy, still feels like a tank.
     

    model1994

    quick draw mcgraw
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    Aug 17, 2022
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    glacial boundary
    had to special order our 2020 regular cab because all you can find is crew or extended. I'm a slave to aesthetics and don't need the utility of a crew, but that doesn't seem to be as popular today. kinda like how it's hard to find a revolver at shops anymore. you may every now and then but it's either cheap and basic (like fleet vehicle for trucks), or used to hell, or collection-grade... Lol
     

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    BehindBlueI's

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    Subaru seems to be selling rather a lot of them for that to in any way be true

    Which they sell as SUVs/crossovers and market as the same. Go to their website and see how many mentions of station wagon you find.

    While you're at it, take a look at annual sales figures vs, say, Ford or Toyota. "Rather a lot" isn't very many, comparatively.
     

    BehindBlueI's

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    Who sells new sedans? 2011 was the last of the Lincoln Town Cars, The big Buick sedans are gone, even the mid sized LeSabre was gone for 2005, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Plymouth, Mercury, all gone. Crown Vic's gone. The Cadillac ATS sedan is not as roomy as a Taurus. My wife still drives a Taurus as she likes the small car.

    I found a Grand Marquis with less than 50,000 miles a couple years ago through an estate sale. That is barely a full sized car. It is my forth one of that design. FoMoCo had never updated that car since it was introduced in 1992. It is like the manufacturers just stopped trying. Maybe CAFE regulations made them quit.

    Dodge/Chrysler. Charger/300. Toyota Avalon. BMW, Mercedes, I think Lexus still does.
     

    nucular

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    Dec 17, 2012
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    When I bought my current pickup (used), the 8' bed was a necessity. I decided on a single cab just to keep the overall length down and it was a pain to find. Very few 8 foot beds anymore and almost no single cabs.
     

    DragonGunner

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    had to special order our 2020 regular cab because all you can find is crew or extended. I'm a slave to aesthetics and don't need the utility of a crew, but that doesn't seem to be as popular today. kinda like how it's hard to find a revolver at shops anymore. you may every now and then but it's either cheap and basic (like fleet vehicle for trucks), or used to hell, or collection-grade... Lol
    When I got my big Ram Sport in 2020 I had a chance to buy a Ram single cab. Just want I was kind wanting. But dang, it was a fleet truck with 60k on it, older and they wanted $40k for it back then. I got the 2018 Sport loaded with everything including rhino lined bed and frame. Step ups and foot thingy to climb up to bed. With 23k on it for $33k and 5 year warranty. Crazy. Now my truck jumped up to almost $50k value a few months later. Got it just before covid and prices shoot up. And it’s still getting Siri free even though Siri says they shut it off 2 years ago… lol. Still ain’t figured that out.
     

    two70

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    Because regular cab trucks are not very useful for anything other than hauling stuff in the bed and most people that buy trucks today need/want a more versatile vehicle, especially if it is there only vehicle. A crew cab is the best of all worlds, enough bed to haul most anything most people will want to haul and interior space for up to 4 people or for gear that you don't want to throw in the bed.
     

    jkaetz

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    Dodge/Chrysler. Charger/300. Toyota Avalon. BMW, Mercedes, I think Lexus still does.
    I suspect the decline of the sedan was also a snowball. I love my big sedans but constantly find myself surrounded by taller vehicles that are difficult to see around even at normal driving distance. Enter the snowball of "I need to be taller so I can see." I believe that this, along with shrinking sedan sizes, pushed the proliferation of SUV/Truck/Crossovers as everyone wanted to have a higher seating position so they could see. Then add in that dealers/manufacturers were/are still making huge profit margins on the above mentioned vehicles and the end result is the tiny market for large sedans and huge market for 4 door trucks.
     

    Ingomike

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    I suspect the decline of the sedan was also a snowball. I love my big sedans but constantly find myself surrounded by taller vehicles that are difficult to see around even at normal driving distance. Enter the snowball of "I need to be taller so I can see." I believe that this, along with shrinking sedan sizes, pushed the proliferation of SUV/Truck/Crossovers as everyone wanted to have a higher seating position so they could see. Then add in that dealers/manufacturers were/are still making huge profit margins on the above mentioned vehicles and the end result is the tiny market for large sedans and huge market for 4 door trucks.
    Had several friends say they love their xxxxx sedan but are going SUV to see better.
     

    Ingomike

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    Which they sell as SUVs/crossovers and market as the same. Go to their website and see how many mentions of station wagon you find.

    While you're at it, take a look at annual sales figures vs, say, Ford or Toyota. "Rather a lot" isn't very many, comparatively.
    So if someone calls a girl a boy; opps, bad example…
     

    BehindBlueI's

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    So if someone calls a girl a boy; opps, bad example…

    Call them station wagons and they'll sell less. Make them AWD, barely increase ride height, market them as outdoorsy lifestyle accessories they sell. Which goes back to station wagons are dead. Nobody wants a Ford Squire, they want a 3 row Explorer. Minivans are all but dead for the same reason.
     

    BehindBlueI's

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    Had several friends say they love their xxxxx sedan but are going SUV to see better.

    I agree as well. I loved sedans, but now that trucks ride as well the only advantage is gas mileage.

    *edit* Ok, that overstated it. There are other advantages, particularly if you get in to the performance sedans. But ride quality is a big change in today trucks vs yesterday trucks.

    I said I'd never buy a 3/4 ton again after my Super Duty... now I'm in a Power Wagon. The ride is stupidly nice for a 3/4 ton and the visibility is incredible, even over a 1/2 ton.
     
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    tmcindy

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    Aug 19, 2014
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    Avon, IN
    I saw an old International four door pickup truck in the cars thread and it reminded me there have been four door trucks for 70+ years, why the explosion in the last twenty that huge majorities are four door trucks. What made them cool after years of existence?
    I've noticed recently nearly every pickup that passes me is 4 door.
     

    BugI02

    Grandmaster
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    0   0   0
    Jul 4, 2013
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    Columbus, OH
    Which they sell as SUVs/crossovers and market as the same. Go to their website and see how many mentions of station wagon you find.

    While you're at it, take a look at annual sales figures vs, say, Ford or Toyota. "Rather a lot" isn't very many, comparatively.
    First, marketing. Are you saying the big three aren't marketing tarted up trucks to you as a family vehicle? Are you not arguing that they still have the attributes of a serious truck? So what does how it is marketed have to do with it's essential nature? A station wagon is still a station wagon regardless of marketing hype

    Second, numbers. Using 2021 so as to get full year numbers for comparison purposes, Subaru sold 583,810 vehicles of which at least 282,000 can be definitely said to be wagons as I've broken out the models that only come in wagon form. There will be more than that submerged in other model designations, such as my wife's Impreza Sport Premium wagon which would only show undetectably as an Impreza. We did not need the raised suspension of the Crosstrek

    For the same year, Ram sold 569,388 pickups. So Subaru sold 50% as many station wagons as Ram sold pickups. Ergo, the wagon is hardly dead

    OH, and I drive a WRX because I can get a remarkable handling car with plenty of power and a 6 speed manual, something plenty of companies 'marketing' vehicles as sports cars no longer offer

    How does that Dilbert line go? "What we do here may seem to be criminal fraud but it's not, it's marketing"
     

    BugI02

    Grandmaster
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    0   0   0
    Jul 4, 2013
    27,860
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    Columbus, OH
    I suspect the decline of the sedan was also a snowball. I love my big sedans but constantly find myself surrounded by taller vehicles that are difficult to see around even at normal driving distance. Enter the snowball of "I need to be taller so I can see." I believe that this, along with shrinking sedan sizes, pushed the proliferation of SUV/Truck/Crossovers as everyone wanted to have a higher seating position so they could see. Then add in that dealers/manufacturers were/are still making huge profit margins on the above mentioned vehicles and the end result is the tiny market for large sedans and huge market for 4 door trucks.
    I would agree. The problem is analogous to being at a concert with good seats, and then the people in front of you begin standing in order to see better. In order to see at all, you have to do the same despite the fact that you had perfectly good visibility before people felt the need to stand (and so did they). Eventually, critical mass is reached, nearly every vehicle is now on an elevated platform, and the visibility problem finds a new equilibrium. Driving a low slung performance car, and driving often at a rate where I have to look around or through vehicles just ahead of me to see far enough into the flow of traffic, I can testify that an elevated driving position does not improve peoples driving skills an may in fact make them worse. They're pretty much just rolling chicanes

    As far as the profit motive, the anecdote I have is somewhat old but I was talking to a big three engineer and he opined that it cost his company around $18k to make a full size sedan and they could sell that for $20 -$24k or somewhat more with high option content. He said it also cost them about $18k to build a medium size luxury SUV, and they could sell that for $50k and up. It seems obvious what the company would prefer to sell in those circumstances

    My biggest complaint is that it is hard (and getting harder) to avoid getting stuck with some cute ute or SUV as a rental car
     
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