After briefly stabilizing in 2017, sales of small crossovers in Europe continued their booming growth curve with a 29% increase in 2018, to 1,94 million. As a result, this segment now accounts for 12,6% of the overall European car market, up almost three percentage points in a single year. Undoubtedly, over 2 million small crossovers will be sold in Europe in 2019, and it could very easily become the second largest segment after subcompact cars, but overtaking compact cars (the “Golf class”). It’s not only one of the biggest segments in terms of volume, but also in the number of players, with no less than 28 models by the end of 2018 and another handful of newcomers arriving in 2019. Meanwhile, the Renault Captur celebrates a fifth consecutive year on top of the ranking and remains the only nameplate in the segment to sell more than 200.000 copies per year, and it has done so for three years in a row without any rival coming close, even with a second generation coming out this year. In fact, the Captur’s closest rival in 2018 comes from its own ranks: the Dacia Duster sets a new annual sales record for the third straight year, improving an impressive 24% on last year’s record. Still, the Duster also loses share as that is less than the overall segment growth. The Peugeot 2008 sees stable sales, just like the Captur, but manages to stay on the podium despite losing almost 3 percentage points of share, again: just like the Captur.
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
The big winner of the segment this year was the Volkswagen T-Roc, coming out of nowhere straight into 4th place, although at a distance from the dominant top-3. The T-Roc is sized and priced slightly above the rest of the segment and leaves room for a smaller model below it. And that’s exactly what VW is planning to do: a two-proned attack on this segment as the T-Cross will arrive in 2019. The Opel/Vauxhall Mokka X is knocked off the podium and into 5th place as it’s the biggest loser of the class, due to also being one of the oldest (except for the Nissan Juke) and internal competition from the Opel/Vauxhall Crossland X in 8th place. That means the Crossland is outsold by its French sibling Citroën C3 Aircross, and by more than 15.000 sales. The Aircross is just behind the Ford Ecosport, which is up 75% on its score of 2017 thanks to an update and improved interior quality. The small Ford has significantly improved its sales every year since its launch in 2014 and jumps 3 places into #6, its highest ranking since then.
The FCA twins maintain their sales volume at 95.000 sales for the Fiat 500X and 72.500 sales for the Jeep Renegade, but they’re split in the ranking by the newcomer Seat Arona, claiming 10th place. The South Korean players still have some catching up to do, with a #14 place for the Hyundai Kona (including the EV version) and a #18 place for the Kia Stonic. They are split by the Citroën C4 Cactus and the Mazda CX-3, two models that slightly improve their sales but therefore lose market share and a handful of positions in the ranking. Below the Kia Niro in 18th place, most models are starting to show their age and are falling down the ranking, with the notable exception of the MG ZS in 25th place and the Mahindra KUV100 in 29th place. Suzuki has already launched a new generation of the segment’s grandfather Jimny so that nameplate should be able to move up the ranking again this year.
2019 promises yet again a lot of product news, with new versions of the Captur and Juke (Nissan won’t bring the Kicks to Europe, unless it changes its mind after all), the aforementioned VW T-Cross as well as the Skoda Kamiq. Ford is planning a second model for the segment as well, and this time one that’s specifially developed for the Western markets. It may be named Puma, after its small sports coupe from the late ’90s and early 2000’s. Kia will launcha third generation of the Soul, including an EV version again and MG may finally decide to cross the Channel and start sales in mainland Europe. Mitsubishi will give the ASX yet another facelift (its third).
Also check out the subcompact SUV segment in the US, where the Jeep Renegade still rules but its closest two rivals are closing in and newcomers are storming the charts as well.
|Small SUV segment||2018||2017||Change|
|7||Citroën C3 Aircross||110.394||16.982||550%|
|8||Opel/Vauxhall Crossland X||95.180||38.964||144%|
|15||Citroën C4 Cactus||57.637||56.245||2%|
Click on any model to see its annual sales from 1997-2018 and monthly sales from 2015 to 2018, or use the dropdown menu in the top right of this site.
Car sales statistics are from the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.
Sources: Manufacturers, ANDC, JATO Dynamics.