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.
The growth of the compact crossover segment in Europe slows down slightly in Q3 of 2017, but it’s still the second-fastest growing mainstream segment at +25% in the third quarter and +32% year-to-date. Almost 1,13 million compact crossovers have already been sold so far this year, virtually the same number as the small crossover segment whose growth curve has flattened. The Nissan Qashqai still tops the ranking and continues to win sales, but it’s losing share of the segment as it increased by just 8% both in Q3 and YTD. Its main rival Volkswagen Tiguan gained just 4% in the third quarter, as the new generation had just reached its full potential in the same period last year. Behind these two leaders, three players are having a pretty close race, selling within 2.000 units of each other in the third quarter. The Peugeot 3008 holds the final step of the segment podium and behind it, the Hyundai Tucson feels the Ford Kuga breathing down its neck in the third quarter as the Ford improves 11% while the Tucson sees stable sales. This top-5 holds almost two thirds of the segment with the rest of the top-10 holding nearly the other third as the remaining models make up just 2,6% of the segment. [Read more…]
We’ve discussed a handful of new model introduction of this summer in part 1, and will continue with a few other newly launched cars that we think will either hit, miss or just don’t stir our senses at all. This is a series all about opinions on a site totally dedicated to facts, just to balance it off a bit. Here we’ll give our views on new cars and invite you to give yours, be it in the poll at the bottom or in the comment section below. Fortunately, every opinion is personal so even Kriss and I don’t always agree and we hope you don’t either.
BMW 6-Series Gran Turismo
I get it, the 5-Series GT, which was actually based on the platform of the 7-Series, has been more of a commercial success than it was an aesthetic success. And by renaming it 6-Series they can make the new generation more expensive, because it has a higher number. Cynicism aside, this car should’ve been called the 6-Series GT since the first generation. And I get why that appealed to the people who’ve bought one: it was more spacious and almost as luxurious and comfortable as a 7-Series for less money, all while being less ostentatious than said 7-Series. And there are plenty of shoppers in this price range who couldn’t care less about the looks of their car, as long as it did best what it’s been bought for. With the new generation they’ve actually succeeded in designing a somewhat graceful car, thanks to stretching it by almost 9cm (3 inches) and lowering it by 2cm (almost an inch), which makes it a lot less bulky than the 5-Series GT. I’m actually starting to warm to this car the more I look at it. And it’s also a great alternative for those who’d love to drive a comfortable BMW and can do without the sportiness that BMW has to put into the 5-Series sedan (and wagon) in order to keep its reputation of maker of sports sedans.
I have mixed feelings about this car. From a rational, sales-oriented perspective, BMW did exactly what it had to do to build on the moderate success of the first generation – it based it on the tour-the-tech new 5-series, made it better-looking (less ugly?), and gave it a posher name. But it remains, at its core, a fundamentally contrived and ungainly car, sort of a 5-series for people who will benefit from the extra space and the easier entry/exit that the higher driving position affords (so, basically, plus-sized and older people). And while the 6-series GT is less environmentally-unfriendly than SUVs, it makes for a much less attractive look on the roads.