Sales of compact crossovers continue to surge in Europe, with a 30% gain in 2017 to nearly 1,5 million sales or 9,6% of the overall market, up from 7,7% in 2016. The entire top-5 has set new sales records in 2017. We’ve decided to separate the tables of the compact and midsized crossover segments but still feature them in one post and in one graph as the models in these classes are so close to each other in size and there are so many different opinions on which models belong in which of these segments. Combined, sales in these segments are up 32% to 11,9% of the total European car market, of which Renault-Nissan controls 26% and VW Group 20%. The Nissan Qashqai is still the best selling crossover in Europe, despite adding just 6% to its record volume of 2016 to close in on a quarter million sales. Its closest rival is still the Volkswagen Tiguan, up 31% to become the second nameplate in this segment to top 200.000 sales and to close the gap with the top spot to less than 14.000 sales. The new Peugeot 3008 immediately jumps onto the segment podium with nearly 170.000 sales in its first full year, an impressive performance against any standard. It beats the two South-Korean rivals that have fought for the segment podium for years as well as the Ford Kuga which shows an impressive 27% growth despite being 5 years old already, apart from a facelift in 2016.
Note: clicking on the model name opens the sales data page for that model; clicking year in the legend turns the display for that year on/off
The Kuga outsold the Hyundai Tucson in the second half of the year and came to within 600 sales of stealing 4th place. It did manage to outsell the Kia Sportage by a large margin as the Sportage is one of only 2 models in the top-15 to lose volume last year, the other being the disappointing Renault Kadjar which is down by 14% and loses almost 4 percentage points of share of the segment, as well as 2 places. The Toyota C-HR has proven a hit with over 100.000 sales in its first full year, almost 50.000 sales more than the Mazda CX-5 which also sets a new sales record thanks to the new generation. Between these two Japanese players we find the Seat Ateca with 5% of the segment in its first full year, exactly as Seat had expected. It will be interesting to see how the new Skoda Karoq will perform agains the Ateca in 2018, as usually the Czech version should be able to outsell the Spanish sibling by a comfortable margin. The new Jeep Compass jumps to 11th place and sets a new sales record for the brand in this segment, even though it was only available in the second half of the year. The Subaru XV managed to finish the year in the black thanks to the new generation boosting sales 19% in Q4. It managed to stay ahead of the Opel/Vauxhall Grandland X, which was still gaining traction in the last quarter. Lastly, we welcome the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross to the ranking, arriving in Q4.
In 2018 the Tucson will be facelifted and be joined by the new Nexa FCEV to replace the ix35 Fuel Cell, Jeep will bring the new Wrangler to Europe but perhaps most importantly Citroën will finally have a true contender with the C5 Aircross which is already on sale in China.
The midsized crossover segment accelerates its growth to a whopping 62% in the fourth quarter and an impressive 44% in 2017, making it the fastest growing mainstream segment, thanks to a handful of popular new entrants. After leading the segment from March right until November, the Nissan X-Trail finishes the year in second place behind the Toyota RAV4, as it did in 2016. At least the gap between the two Japanese contenders shrank to just 1.200 sales, but this may very well have been the last shot the Nissan had at grabbing the annual title in this segment, as two newcomers ruled the charts in the fourth quarter. The Peugeot 5008 was the best seller in Q4, followed by the Skoda Kodiaq which also outsold the two full year leaders. Having been launched earlier, the Czech player was able to grab the last spot on the podium ahead of its French rival. The Mitsubishi Outlander lost 11% and finished in 5th place, leapfrogging the Honda CR-V, down 20% as the new generation is due in 2018. The Renault Koleos is a lot less successful than the other two newcomers, lacking fuel efficient engines. It still manages to outsell the Subaru Forester which is also due for a redesign. The Jeep Cherokee is the loser of the segment, with a facelift coming up. The final newcomer is the Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace, the 7-seater version of the Tiguan. It sold almost 2.800 units as customer deliveries didn’t start until the end of the year.
Besides the news already mentioned above, in 2018 we’ll welcome another Seat crossover that’s based on the Tiguan Allspace and the Kodiaq.
Also check out the compact SUV segment in the US, which combines these two segments but the top-2 is exactly the same as the European midsized SUV segment.
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