The U.S. market is obsessed with pickup trucks and SUVs more than ever. In fact, larger automobiles represent 19 out of the top 25 selling cars of 2022. Americans have bought over 4.5 million vehicles this year, albeit Tesla’s numbers are only estimates. Although trucks and SUVs are popular, sedans still maintain respectable spots in the market. In fact, five of the top 25 vehicles bought this year in the U.S. are Toyotas. The Tacoma still commands the midsize pickup segment, beating out the Ford Ranger and Chevy Colorado. Yet, Toyota’s dominance in the market goes further as the two bestselling new cars are also Toyota models.
What’s so appealing about the 2022 Toyota Corolla?
Over 50 million Toyota Corolla cars have been sold worldwide since the compact car’s debut in 1966. Over twelve generations, Corollas have been small, dependable, fuel-efficient ways of getting around, and U.S. popularity continues to grow. Car and Driver reports that sales dropped 21 percent since the previous year, but the manufacturer still shifted 171,556 units this year.
The loveable, attractive small car has significant trim and powertrain changes for the 2023 model year. Along with a fuel-efficient 169-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder, the Corolla sedan offers a supremely economical hybrid. The hybrid will earn an EPA-estimated 53 mpg city and 52 mpg highway, a dozen more mpg than the non-hybrid.
According to Car and Driver, the SE and XLE trim levels to gain the hybrid and now offer all-wheel drive. Each trim level receives its own unique minor visual tweaks, but the base L trim has been removed. However, that leaves 11 other packages, 10 of which begin under $28,000. While the Corolla remains a popular pick, it isn’t the most-bought car in America.
Why do people like the Toyota Camry?
The Toyota Camry remains king at the top of the dwindling midsize sedan segment. Sales dropped 17 percent since last year, but far more were sold than the Corolla. The Japanese automotive giant shifted an impressive 214,403 units. The only vehicles that sold more were the Ford F-Series (467,307), Chevrolet Silverado (374,479), Ram Pickup (363,089), and Toyota’s RAV4 (303,341).
The Camry, much like the Corolla, was able to shrug off its boring style through a recent redesign. With a controlled ride and responsive handling, it’s no longer a car offering a forgetful drive. While sportiness is a higher priority for Toyota these days, the surprisingly athletic Camry is still a reliable pick.
For the 2023 model year, the Camry lineup receives more driver-assistance technology, including a forward-facing camera that can interpret road signs on a digital display. Moreover, the SE trim’s optional Nightshade package adds blackened exterior signatures and snazzy matte bronze wheels, Car and Driver states.
As the automaker’s competitors continue offering sedans in four-cylinder-only configurations, the top-of-the-line Camry comes with a mighty V6. The 3.5-liter powerplant provides 301 hp and 267 lb-ft of torque while managing an EPA-estimated 22 mpg city and 33 mpg highway. Yet, a 2.5-liter with 98 less hp can be had, allotting six mpg more in either driving condition. Regardless, there is a Camry for everyone across nine trim levels, all of which begin under $35,000.
Americans love trucks and SUVS, but these cars are still popular
Manufacturers have struggled to supply buyers as supply chain issues affect the global market. Therefore, a decline in sales numbers is expected, but some were able to gain ground. Through the first three financial quarters, sales numbers for Hyundai’s Tucson were up eight percent, as was the Chevrolet Equinox. Subaru had the largest increase with their Crosstrek—up 14 percent—making it the bestselling model in the lineup.
Even though pickup trucks and SUVs continue their growth in popularity, sedans aren’t going anywhere yet. Ford may have moved to cease all production of cars apart from the Mustang, but there is still a market for smaller vehicles. Luckily, Toyota’s Corolla and Camry and the 20 trim levels between them can cater to nearly any lifestyle.