US sales 2017 first half: Subcompact SUV segment

Segment no longer enjoying rocket growth, but new models can be expected to lift sales in the second half of the year


After registering the fastest rate of growth from among all non-premium SUV segments for the past four years, the subcompact SUV segment has been locked in a tight battle so far this year. As it stands, with 10.6% of growth in the first half of the year, the segments falls right in between the mid-sized SUV segment (9.5% growth) and the large SUV segment (11.1% growth). With the new Toyota C-HR making waves, the still relatively new Honda HR-V gaining sales at a fair clip, and the Hyundai Kona and Kia Stonic joining the party, it is reasonable to expect the segment will, just about, come out top by the year’s end.

Highlights for the first half of 2017:

Toyota C-HR

  • The segment entrants can be seperated, sales-wise, into three broad categories: the models that are gaining sales by the double-digits, the relatively steady segment leader, and the models that are losing sales in the double-digits
  • Jeep Renegade continues atop the segment, but its lead over the #2 shrank dramatically compared to where it was a year ago; in fact, in Q2’17 the model registered a sales decline (8.6% drop) for the first time in its history, suggesting its days as segment leader may be numbered
  • Hot on its heels are three cars, all of which gained more than 15% in sales compared to this time last year: Honda HR-V, whose sales were less than 1,000 behind those of the Renegade in the second quarter of the year, as well as the GM duo: Buick Encore and Chevrolet Trax
  • Behind these cars are three stragglers: the worthy but pricey Mazda CX-3, the aged Nissan Juke and the hapless Fiat 500X – of the three the Mazda did least bad by losing “only” 20% of its sales volume compared to this time in 2017 (the other two lost more than 40%)
  • In second-to-last spot was the new Toyota C-HR, however its lowly ranking belies its true potential – it handily outsold the Mazda, Nissan and Fiat in the second quarter of the year, and once its sales are fully up-to-speed, it may yet challenge the GM twins by the end of the year in monthly sales

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. Losange says:

    Good to see Americans appreciating the Honda HR-V. This new model is already declining in a very popular segment in Europe.

    • @Losange

      I was really well impressed with the HRV. Super spacious, practical ( those magic seats really are magical ), well made… I too don’t see why it hasn’t caught on in Europe, i actually though it would be their best seller, easily taking the place of the CRV and Civic ( which is now much larger ). Maybe it has something to do with the pricing…?

  2. A shame that Fiat is failing to find a foothold in the US. The 500X is a great little SUV.

  3. I think the HR-V probably is not successful ebcause of their engine range. No small turbo petrol engine, no small diesel engine… But I agree, IMO it’s one of the best offerings in the segment.

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