After more than 1 million small crossovers and SUVs were sold in Europe in 2015, this remains one of the fastest growing segments with an increase of 16% to 1,4 million sales in 2016, more than half the volume of the subcompact hatchbacks, Europe largest segment and the models on which most of these crossovers are based. The growth is mostly fueled by recent model introductions, as proven by the fact that the entire top-4 loses share of the segment. Still, only two models in the top-10 lose volume in 2016, although that figure doubles to four in the last quarter. As expected, the Renault Captur holds on to the segment lead and becomes the first small crossover to sell over 200.000 units annually in Europe. More surprisingly, the Captur manages this performance without having been updated since its launch while its two closes rivals have been facelifted in 2016. Of these two, the Opel/Vauxhall Mokka sees stable sales and loses its second place to the Peugeot 2008, the fastest growing model in the top-4.
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
*We have to make a sidenote here that we’ve shuffled up the small and midsized crossover segments a bit since last quarter, in order to give a better reflection of the market. This means the Skoda Yeti, Mitsubishi ASX, Suzuki S-Cross and Kia Niro have been moved down from the midsized crossover segment.
In fourth place we find the Dacia Duster again, holding on nicely despite being one of the oldest models of the segment together with sixth place finisher Nissan Juke, as both were launched in 2010 and both have received only minor facelifts without any changes to the sheetmetal. As a result, the Juke is down 4% in sales and drops below 100.000 sales, while the Fiat 500X does the exact opposite thanks to a 41% increase. However, the 500X was down 5,7% in Q4, indicating the model has reached its peak. The same can’t be said of its sibling Jeep Renegade, which also improves 41% for the year, but this includes a 26% increase in Q4, making it the fastest growing model of the segment top-10 in the last quarter. As a result, the Renegade passes the Citroën C4 Cactus and Skoda Yeti and fends off the Suzuki Vitara. The C4 Cactus is down 10% for the year and down 24% in Q4 and the Yeti is down 7% for the year and down 6% in Q4, when the Ford Ecosport and Mazda CX-3 were close behind these two models. In fact, in November both these models outsold their quirky French rival. Still, the Ecosport was also down in the last quarter and proves its facelift with the updated interior, improved ride comfort and removal of the retro spare wheel on the boot has helped the flopped model slightly but not enough.
The fastest growing model in the segment in both Q4 and the full year is the Honda HR-V which moves to 14th place, but it’s unlikely to move up the ranking any further as the gap to the #13 is too large, and there’s also a newcomer storming the charts: the love-it-or-hate-it design of the Toyota C-HR proves to find enough love-its to already outsell the HR-V in the fourth quarter (including a 9th place in December) and make it a true top-5 contender in 2017. The C-HR is the second model in the segment to offer a hybrid version, as the Kia Niro offers such a powertrain as standard. The Toyota appears to have the edge over its rival, also helped by the brand’s familiarity as a maker of hybrid cars.
In 2017 the new product onslaught will continue thanks to VW Group and Hyundai-Kia: we will finally see the long-awaited Polo crossover (Taigun?) and Seat will bring the Arona based on the new Ibiza. The replacements to the Hyundai ix20 and Kia Venga MPVs will become crossovers too, making the South-Koreans compete in this segment too, at last. Nissan will also present the second generation Juke and at the end of the year Dacia may show the new Duster, but that won’t hit the market until 2018, just like the next gen Mitsubishi ASX which will become a bit smaller to make room for the Eclipse Cross between it and the Outlander. Also in 2017 the Captur will be facelifted, but don’t expect any major cosmetic changes, as the Clio also needs a second or even third look before you see what’s new. The Suzuki S-Cross has just been facelifted and the Vitara will follow soon, as well as the EcoSport.
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