And with the projected reduction in American car ownership thanks to emerging trends such as car sharing and autonomous-vehicle technology, CUV popularity only will increase, Zuchowski believes.

“I think what we’re going to see with Millennials is…less multivehicle families, so a vehicle has to be able to do more things, and a crossover allows you more flexibility,” he says. “I think that’s really a generational shift that will probably accelerate rather than slowdown.”

Paul Edwards, vice president-U.S. marketing for Chevrolet concurs: “There is just so much consumer demand for the capability of a crossover.”

Toyota’s Bill Fay says Millennials are driving the majority of the shift from cars to CUVs at his brand too, although he sees a second, older demographic also at play.

“A lot of the shift to compact sport utility, from what we can see, is a little bit of a (Baby) Boomer driver that wants a little bit more utility as they get older.”

LaNeve pegs both the Millennial and Baby Boomer groups at 80 million-strong, with Boomers staying or returning to CUVs because they are easier to get in than cars, and reasoning hipper CUVs make older buyers feel younger.

While Fay notes Toyota wants the Camry sedan to maintain its position as America’s No.1-selling midsize car, it also is working to increase capacity of its in-demand RAV4 compact CUV.

“We’re kind of challenged to maximize both,” he says, conceding, “(But) if midsize car continues to outflow, we may end up selling a few less Camrys as time goes on.”

From 2010 to 2015, RAV4 sales rose 85% (170,877 to 315,412), thanks to the more competitive current generation that debuted in ’13, as well as Toyota continually adding capacity.

The No.1 Japanese automaker believes there’s even more upside to the RAV4, targeting annual volume for the U.S. of 400,000 by 2017.

Meanwhile, the Camry last year had relatively flat sales of 429,355 and a high percentage of fleet sales, 17%-18%. Toyota typically sells 10% of a single model to fleets.