US sales 2017 first half: Compact SUV segment


Sales in the Compact SUV segment grew at a leisurely 1.4% pace in the second quarter of 2017, a step down from the rate of growth the segment enjoyed in the first quarter (7.8%). Taken together, the segment grew at an average 4.4% in the first half of the year, a much better performance than the market as a whole (sales fell 2.3% overall), but still a slower rate of growth than the other three non-premium SUV segments, all of which grew at around 10%. Still, the segment is assured in its utter dominance of the market, and its sales of over 1.5 million in the first half of the year are 36% higher than in the next-largest segments: compact car and large pickup. What’s more, with a raft of new models either already on the market (Honda CR-VChevrolet Equinox, Mazda CX-5Jeep CompassKia Niro) or hitting the market in the next few months (GMC Terrain, Subaru XV Crosstrek, VW Tiguan) it would take a brave person to bet against the segment continuing to thrive in 2017.

Highlights for the first half of 2017:

Nissan Rogue

  • After opening a big lead over its pursuers in the first quarter of 2017 with almost-50% growth, Nissan Rogue held onto the segment lead with relative ease – while it outsold its closest competitor, the previous segment-leader Honda CR-V, by a mere 1,000 units in the second quarter, its sales growth in 2017 so far still averaged to an impressive 31%. It will be fascinating to see these two cars duke it out for the segment lead in 2017, with the new-for-2017 CR-V taking on the Rogue and its new smaller twin, the Rogue Sport (Qashqai in Europe)
  • The car which held the segment lead by the halfway point in 2016, Toyota RAV4, is down in third, with little prospect of improvement anytime soon, as its new-for-the-recent-facelift Hybrid model seems to only have brought in so much improvement
  • From the cars outside the top 3, there is a group of models that gained good ground so far in 2017, but while some of those were to be expected (the new Chevy Equinox, up 10%; new Mazda CX-5, up 11%, Hyundai Tucson up 21%), the cars that gained most may come as a surprise: the geriatric Dodge Journey gained 20%, while the facelifted Mitsubishi Outlander gained 28% 
  • Among the aging cars in the segment a few models did rather well to hold onto their sales volume so far in 2017 (Ford EscapeJeep Wrangler, the about-to-be-replaced Subaru XV Crosstrek), while others suffered rather more: Jeep Cherokee lost 21%, and fell from 6th to 8th in the rankings, while the less-than-two-year-old Kia Sportage lost 13% in sales
  • Still, this is nothing compared to the close-to-halving of sales of the two older Jeep models, Patriot and Compass – the new Compass, finally available in the US, has a lot of ground to make up
  • The new Kia Niro, the only dedicated hybrid in the segment, is still finding its footing, but should sell well enough to move up a few spots in the rankings by the end of the 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

About Krzysztof Wozniak

Kriss grew up in Poland reading German car magazines, before moving to England and graduating to the British magazines, which he still considers the best in the world and continues reading them after he'd moved to the US. In college he promised himself he's buy himself a used Porsche before he turned 30 (not to be accused of having a mid-life crisis), but instead family needs dictated a Subaru Outback. Still waiting for that perfect moment to buy a used 2008-ish Cayman...
You can find all his articles Here.


  1. Mary Singleton says:

    Thank you…great breakdown. I just purchased a 2014 Ford Escape and wanted to know how the Escapes have been ranking in sales, compared with the other SUV models. I LOVE my Escape.

  2. Krzysztof Wozniak says:

    Mary, glad you like the site, enjoy your Escape

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