Sales of midsized crossovers and SUVs in Europe keep on growing, up another 8% in the first three months of 2014. And underscoring the stability of the segment, the top 5 ranking is stable, with the Nissan Qashqai still firm in the lead, despite sales down 13% due to run-out mode for the outgoing model while deliveries of the new generation have just started. This new generation will undoubtedly keep the British-built crossover in first position for the full year, and get it back into positive territory as well, selling over 200.000 units for the fifth straight year.
Surprisingly, the already over 6 years old Volkswagen Tiguan manages to outperform the market at +15% to stay in second position, well above its South-Korean competitors Kia Sportage and Hyundai ix35, both being updated this year with minor exterior changes and more fuel efficient engines. The Ford Kuga is the biggest gainer in the top 5, fighting off the still charging Mazda CX-5 which manages to increase it sales by over a third after already almost doubling last year. The CX-5 has therefore moved up the charts from 11th position in 2012 to 6th in the first quarter of 2014.
The biggest relative gainer of the segment is the new generation Toyota RAV4, up 61% on the first three months of 2013, leapfrogging the Skoda Yeti in the process. The Yeti has been updated last year, but sales are only up 3%. Behind it in 10th place is the only new entrant to the segment, the Suzuki S-Cross, already outselling the aging Mitsubishi ASX. After jumping 76% last year thanks to the PHEV Plug-in Hybrid version, the Mitsubishi Outlander seems to have stabilized this year, it would be interesting to see how it has performed by the end of 2014.
Other midsized crossovers to watch this year are the Nissan X-Trail, and the Jeep Cherokee, both are due to be replaced by unibody crossovers with sleek design, compared to their body-on-frame SUV predecessors with their more square and rugged looks.
Citroën C4 Aircross
Suzuki Grand Vitara
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