This article notes how sedans are no longer big enough to haul around the "bevy of sports gear, pets, and offspring that now make up many American families."
I would disagree that American family's "gear" is bigger, and that's why they went to SUVs. Families are actually smaller than they were in the '60s or '70. I suspect families left sedans because of the enormous size of car seats, and the need to have a car seat or booster seat even for six-year-olds.
Back when I was a kid, in the old days of striped polyester tops, a sedan easily held four or five kids across the bench-like backseat. Everyone pile into Mrs. Willer's car and we can go to the pool!
These days, every kid needs a safety seat, and these big padded pods take up a lot of room. If you have more than two kids, or if you ever want to transport someone else's kid along with your own, you're forced into either having an SUV or a crossover, or else breaking the law by not having everyone in a required safety seat. This makes things tough for parents who want to be green or even economical. Is there anyway to make car seats safe but more space-efficient?
I have three kids -- two teenagers and a toddler who needs a car seat. After a lifetime of having small, fuel-efficient cars, I switched to a Subaru Forester, which is a small SUV. I never thought I'd go in this direction, but there it is. Anyone else had to face this problem?