All-Wheel Drive Latest Makers’ Trick To Prop Up Sedan Sales

Sales of traditional sedans in the U.S. continue to fall, but that doesn’t mean automakers aren’t still trying to sell as many as they can.

In recent years, an increasing number of saloons, including the Mazda6, Nissan Altima, and Toyota Prius, have been offered with all-wheel drive, The Detroit News notes.

With the increasing popularity of SUVs, consumers have become accustomed to all-wheel drive and car manufacturers believe introducing sedans which send power to all four wheels is one way to boost sales.

“The transition to SUVs has primed American auto buyers for additional capabilities,” Edmunds manager of industry analysis Jeremy Acevedo says. “The recent increase in cars offering AWD is an attempt to level the playing field between cars and SUVs.”

Also Read: 2019 Nissan Altima Revealed, Gets AWD Option And 2.0L Turbo

Following the introduction of an all-wheel drive option to the range in November last year, the company says that 20 per cent of its Altima sales are now made up of all-wheel drive models while half of Altima buyers in the Northeast are opting for all-wheel drive.

All-wheel drive systems were long relegated to off-road vehicles and SUVs and not overly popular in sedans as they traditionally increase fuel use while adding weight and complexity to a vehicle. However, a growing number of traditional car types are starting to get all-wheel drive, including models from Ford, BMW, Dodge, Audi, Acura, Infiniti, Toyota, and Lexus.

There are also reports that Chrysler will add all-wheel drive to the Pacifica minivan while Mazda could make all-wheel drive an option for the Mazda3 and Mazda6.

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  • TheBelltower

    I wouldn’t call it a “trick.” AWD makes a vehicle much more substantial than one that’s FWD.

    • Elpatore

      yeah i think it’s the natural evolution of cars to become all wheel drive… i mean it’s the optimal drivetrain

      • Bash

        Agreed, I imagine that at some point all cars will be evolved and AWD SUVs, Its already happening.

    • Jason Miller

      Unless you live where it snows, don’t really need it. Just added weight and fewer MPG.

  • MarkoS

    The new Mazda 3 already has a AWD option.

  • Paul

    It’s a good feature especially for those areas that experience inclement weather and harsh winters.

  • charlotteharry57

    Mazda 6 doesn’t offer AWD…yet. This is a great feature IF YOU NEED IT. I’m always shocked by the number of AWD vehicles in places like Florida. Seems like an oversold gimmick to many in places that don’t need it.

    • brn

      Torque vectoring AWD does some neat things for handling even in dry weather.

    • lagann

      Florida gets lots of rain during summer so….i would say they DO need it.

  • BlackPegasus

    I have AWD on one of my sedans and I was grateful for it during a spell of icy weather.

  • john1168

    I don’t understand why some people think AWD is only good in snowy conditions. It’s also very good for wet slippery conditions. Example, summertime and it just rains and the roads become very slippery. It’s good for that too. And if the AWD system is tuned for performance, its great for handling too.

  • john1168

    Car manufacturers were purposely NOT putting AWD systems on their sedans because they didn’t want to steal sales away from their suv’s. Now they have all these sedans sitting on their car lots and they need to do something with them to get them to sell. We have all been on sites like this one, complaining how manufacturers weren’t including these features on sedans and it’s only now that they’re doing it to get people to buy them again.

  • KAG25

    AWD sedans have been around since the 70’s with the AMC cars. Then again, 3 decades in Utah and have only ran FWD with snow tires with now problems.

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