Sales of Premium Compact SUVs in the US rose by 24% in 2015 to 84.926 vehicles, helped by the two newcomers of 2014 and record volume of one existing model, while the other two of the three existing models lose volume. This means the ranking is shuffled and we have a new segment leader: the Mercedes-Benz GLA.
The GLA has proven to be an instant hit with American carbuyers, proving that hatchbacks are not hard to sell in the United States, as long as you call it a crossover. The 2014 leader BMW X1 loses three places and drops into fourth as its sales are down 37% as a result of increased competition and an upcoming new generation, which will arrive in BMW showrooms early 2016. This will no longer be based on the platform of the 3-series, but on BMW’s new front-wheel drive platform for the European 2-series minivans and the new Mini.
The Mini Countryman holds on to its second place despite losing almost a quarter of its volume. Mini will continue its product renewal with the Countryman next up on the list, so expect to see the current model continue losing share until the second generation arrives. The Range Rover Evoque is closing in with sales up 17% to a new annual record for the model. In fact, the Evoque has managed to increase its volume each year since its introduction in 2011. The Audi Q3, introduced in 2014 like the GLA, stays in fifth place for now, but less than 2.500 sales off third place, and it outsold the Evoque in December.
The segment will keep growing in 2016 as the new generation X1 will give it a boost, but also from the arrival of the Infiniti QX30 in showrooms this year.
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