Contrary to what many are saying, the mighty sedan isn’t dead. Despite declining sales figures, many analysts would agree that sedans would never go away entirely. Unlike some models that have gone the way of the dodo (station wagons, anyone?), sedans will always have their buyers. For those who don’t need an SUV or a crossover, the sedan is there to satisfy such requirements, and with auto trends changing seemingly on a dime, sedans could retake their place atop the pecking order.
Because of their rich legacy, some of them have become household names, and others represent major shifts within the auto industry. The cars below are not only some of the most popular, but also some of the most important sedans ever produced.
10 Tesla Model 3
The leader of the EV revolution, the Model 3 is not only Tesla’s best-selling model, it’s also the best-selling plug-in in recent years. It’s easy to see why, as it has a range starting at 240 miles, a wealth of cutting-edge tech features, and luxury accents that treat the driver like a million bucks. In what other car is your key an app on your phone? And where else can you sit back and let autopilot drive you to work? The Model 3 truly is the future of the automotive industry, and you can already see its influence emerging everywhere.
9 Acura Legend
When Honda entered the competitive luxury field in the late ‘80s, many were skeptical. After all, Japanese cars were inexpensive economy cars driven by families and young people. However, it turns out that Honda did their homework, and when they launched Acura in North America, the results were nothing short of, well, legendary.
The Acura Legend benefited from a modern, upscale interior, a comfortable ride, and a wealth of technological features that left its competitors scrambling. It even convinced rivals Toyota and Nissan to launch Lexis and Infiniti respectively, and thus, a new section of the luxury market was born.
8 Subaru Legacy
While the Legacy didn’t reinvent the wheel, it did show us that sedans were more capable than we originally thought. One of the first, and still only, sedans to have standard all-wheel drive, the Legacy is loved by commuters who want the peace of mind knowing that, whatever the condition, they can get to where they need to be regardless.
Subaru’s best-selling car to date, the Legacy is a capable ride that embraces the company’s thirst for adventure. And along with a few luxury additions, the Legacy is guaranteed to love the driver back.
7 Ford Taurus
Sure, it may not be the most fun car to drive, nor is it particularly exciting. But for years it was to Ford what the Chevy Impala was to GM. A staple of the American highway for thirty years, the Taurus was created with the driver in mind, literally. Ford conducted considerable research into market trends to pinpoint exactly what customers wanted out of a sedan, ensuring that the Taurus had something to please everyone.
The later generation Taurus added technological enhancements that put it in line with some entry-level luxury cars. Sadly, Ford killed the Taurus earlier this year, bringing an end to a proud legacy.
6 Volkswagen Passat
One of the German automaker’s best-selling models, the Passat may not look particularly noteworthy on the outside. However, ask anyone whose owned one, and you’ll know that the car has a reputation for comfort and refinement. Unlike many sedans, the Passat does not sacrifice interior quality for the sake of value.
While it is priced a little higher than its competition, those extra dollars go to luxury features that aren’t often seen on most cars in its class. The Passat of today has two models, and both come standard with a wealth of features. And while some may dismiss the styling, it’s hard to ignore the imposing presence the Passat conveys on the highway.
5 Toyota Camry
Part of a holy trinity of famous sedans (including our number 4 and 3 picks), the Camry continues to sell well even into the next decade. While many criticize it as boring, the Camry has a few tricks up its sleeve to prove the detractors wrong. It’s big, but nimble, spacious, yet fuel efficient. Its styling has even gotten better over time, with later models employing a bold, new look that its sure to make drivers do a double. And don’t forget about the new SRT model, which promises enhanced performance and interior features.
4 Honda Accord
The quintessential Japanese sedan, the Accord routinely surprises drivers with all it can do. While it may look like a typical, full-size sedan on the outside, get behind the wheel, and you realize it’s one of the most refined cars on the road today. Forty years’ worth of craftsmanship and design went into making the Accord as perfect as could be, resulting in a car that is both sensible and sophisticated. With higher-end models packed with the latest luxury features, there’s really nowhere else to go but up for the mighty Accord.
3 Chevy Impala
The Impala is to Americans what the Ford Escort is to the British. A cultural icon that is a culmination of GM’s best attributes, the Impala was America’s family car for generations. While it has fallen behind some of its competition in recent years, the Impala is still a household name, with many still waiting for the day when they can get behind the wheel of one of the vintage models.
While the ones dating from the mid-to-late ‘60s are the most cherished, every generation had an Impala they could love. The Impalas of today are the most refined of them all, implementing premium-grade materials and a host of amenities that places it at the top of the pecking order. Sadly, much like the Taurus, the Impala too was recently killed off by its creator, but its legend will won’t die so easily.
2 Ford Escort (Europe)
You Europeans got one hell of a package out of the Ford Escort. Your Escort was loved by everyone, from families to rally drivers and everyone in between. The Escort is still Ford’s best-selling sedan, years after they decided to end its production. But unlike us, who forgot we even had our own version of the Escort, you kept the legacy of yours alive.
You guys have owners’ clubs dedicated to that car, particularly in Britain, where it’s as much a cultural institution as the Royal Family and Fawlty Towers. There, the Escort was a champion at the racetracks, but was still cheap enough that the regular folk could own one as well. Your Escort truly was an amazing car, and we ‘Mericans will forever be jealous.
1 BMW 3 Series
It’s BMW’s best-selling car for a reason. Fast, sleek, and polished to the upmost sheen, the 3 Series is regularly regarded as one of the best luxury cars of all time. It’s a sporty little car that’s also practical, and is just as home on the highway as it is on the track.
Designed with the upmost precision, it is one of, if not the, most driver-centric car of all time. And while the regular model may be enough for some, the serious gearhead gets chills at the thought of driving the M3, the 3 Series’ turbocharged brother. A common sight at racetracks across Europe and around the world, the M3’s reputation is unmatched. The BMW 3 Series may not be the greatest car ever made, but among sedans, it’s the one everyone wished they had.