US sales 2017-Q1 Subcompact SUV segment


After booming growth rates in the last couple of quarters, the Subcompact SUV segment takes a brief moment of pauze, although its 12.1% growth rate to 93,249 sales is still much better than any of the other mainstream segments with the exception of the Full-sized SUV segment. The reason for the slower growth pace is the lack of new models to the segment lately, but that will pick up later this year as Hyundai and Kia are expected to launch their small crossovers Kona and Stonic, Toyota will launch the C-HR and Ford will bring an updated version of its EcoSport to the US, while Volkswagen will be traditionally late to the party with the T-Roc which isn’t expected Stateside before 2019.

In the meantime, the segment is shifting between winners and losers, with the entire top-4 consolidating thanks to double digit increases, with the #4 growing the fastest and the #1 the slowest, while the bottom 3 are all losing by double digits and therefore falling further behind.

Highlights for Q1 2017:

  • US-sales-subcompact_crossover-segment-2017_Q1-Buick_EncoreThe segment leader since last year Jeep Renegade continues to improve but its closest 3 rivals all outgrew it in the first quarter. It still has a commanding lead of over 5,000 sales to the #2, though.
  • The 2015 segment leader Buick Encore has recently been facelifted and reclaimed the #2 position after dropping to 4th for the full year 2016. It can feel both the Honda HR-V and the Chevrolet Trax breathing down its neck. The HR-V was one of the fastest growing models last year, jumping to 2nd place and it continues its steady improvement in 2017. The Trax was also facelifted and adds more than a third to its volume this year.
  • The segment trailblazer in the US, and sales leader until 2013, Nissan Juke is falling behind quickly as the model is aging fast. However, with no replacement on the horizon, the Juke will have to sit this one out for a bit longer. There have been rumors of the South American Nissan Kicks making it to the US market, but those haven’t been confirmed yet.
  • After a promising 2016, the  Mazda CX-3 catches the Mazda virus of underperformance and loses almost a quarter of its volume on the first quarter of last year, when it was still in start-up mode. Then again, it still outperforms the Fiat 500X which loses half of its already low volume and is a total embarrassment for the Italian brand. The model that’s selling pretty well in Europe and was supposed to put Fiat on the map in the US has turned out to be an utter wallflower that sells at less than 8% of the volume of the segment leader with which it shares its platform and technology and which is built alongside it in Italy.

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. The new Juke is supposed to be presented later this year ( maybe in Tokyo ) and should be on sale this time next year, so Nissan won’t be too worried about it. Pretty sure the current Juke has already paid for itself.

    Curious the the Encore and the Trax are both improving in sales, with no apparent cannibalization. Are Buicks and Chevys sold side by side in the US?

  2. Toyota C-HR will change everything very soon. This crossover is a huge deal everywhere in the world these past 3-4 months since the production started.

  3. Such a shame the Americans haven’t taken to the 500X. It is a good looking and great car and adds a bit of character to the still bland US market. I feel sorry for Fiat with this.

  4. Losange says:

    I’m not surprised the 500X is a wallflower in the States. Apart from being a Fiat, Jeep offers a Renegade 4×4 for the same price as a 500X FWD. You can even drive a Renegade Altitude 4×4 (i.e. 3rd trim level) for only 300 dollars more than a 500X Pop AWD (i.e. first trim level).

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