There is a general consensus that the second-generation BMW X1 is a very good-looking car, mostly because (whisper it) the primarily FWD platform endows it with much nicer proportions than its predecessor, whose 3-series-derived RWD platform gave it an awkward long-nose, cab-backward stance that did not look good on a crossover. However, if there is one way in which the new model is not great is the detailing, which looks a bit fussy in places, making the whole car look cheaper than it ought to. One such example is the taillights, whose amorphous shape not only lacks distinctiveness, it actually bears more than a passing resemblance to a car less than half its price…
Sales in the Compact SUV segment grew by 5 percent in the second quarter of the year, exactly the same rate of growth it achieved in the first quarter of the year. With growth continuing apace, and a total volume of 1,471,848 cars so far this year, the sector widened its lead over the shrinking Mid-sized sector as the largest single sector in the US. [Read more…]
Sales of compact SUVs and crossovers in the United States keep outgrowing the overall market in the first quarter of 2016, although growth has slowed from 15% over the full year 2015 to 4.9% in Q1 of 2016, compared to +3.3% for the overall market. Total segment volume for Q1 was 681,068 sales. Like in the subcompact crossover segment, there’s a new leader, and it’s actually an earthshaking phenomenon, because the Honda CR-V has led the segment since its first full year of sales, 1998. The first generation Toyota RAV4 came to market in 1996, followed by the CR-V a year later, and in that first partial year the Honda sold 66,752 units vs. the Toyota’s 67,487 but the next year the figures were 100,000 vs 65,000 and the CR-V hasn’t let go of its leadership since. Until this quarter, when the Honda was the only model in the top-4 to lose volume, giving the RAV4 the chance to take control while the Ford Escape held on to its second place to drop the perennial leader into third spot with the Nissan Rogue breathing down its neck, still plagued by supply shortages. [Read more…]
Sales in the compact SUV segment rose by 15% between 2014 and 2015, considerably faster than the industry average of 5% – not bad for what is the largest segment in the US by quite some margin. In addition to being the largest by volume, it is also one of the largest by number of models offered: 22 distinct models were offered over the past two years. Its success, and the proliferation of offering from carmakers, is driven by a long-term trend wherein mainstream consumers are moving away from the traditional “family car”, a mid-sized sedan, towards crossovers which offer greater practicality, flexibility and desirability. In fact, many offerings in this segment are little more than slightly taller, slightly butcher wagon version of mainstream models: the Honda CR-V was the first and remains the prime example of this kind of approach. On the other end are cars like the Nissan Xterra and Toyota FJ Cruiser, attempts by those carmakers to appeal to the outdoor, adventure-seeking crowd with funky styling and sturdy, body-on-frame construction; however, these models have long been losing popularity and will most likely be discontinued before long.
The Compact SUV segment grew by 13% over the period Q1-Q3 compared to the same period in 2014. As such, it is still the second fastest growing non-premium SUV segment, after the Subcompact SUV segment, and easily retains its mantle as the largest single segment in the US, widening its gap to the Mid-sized and Compact car segments (down 2% and up 2%, respectively, on Q1-Q3 2014). [Read more…]
The Subcompact SUV was the fastest-growing of all segments in the US, exactly doubling its sales compared to the first half of 2014. And if that was not enough to convince you that it was the place to be right now – half of the cars were new to the segment, making this also the “freshest” from among all segments.
The new segment leader is the Buick Encore, whose sales rose 29% year-on-year. The little SUV, developed in Europe as the Opel/Vauxhall Mokka, clearly found good traction in the market with its combination of good looks, small dimensions and reasonable spaciousness. Its success took parent GM by surprise (it is the first time that a Buick has led a segment in sales in… ever?), and it belatedly decided to start selling its sister car, the Chevrolet Trax, to the US market. The effect? Immediate jump to second spot with almost 25,000 sales.