US car sales analysis Q4 2017 – Premium Compact SUV segment

New Infiniti QX30 and second-generation BMW X1, Mini Countryman help make this the fastest-growing segment

US premium compact SUV 2Sales in the US premium compact SUV segment rose by 6.4% to 31,966 in the fourth quarter of 2017, while overall sales in 2017 rose by 18.2% to 116,507. Given that the segment had grown by double-digits in the first three quarters the performance in the fourth quarter can be viewed as something of a disappointment, but it still leaves the segment as comfortably the fastest-growing overall in 2017, and the only one with double-digit sales figures. With sales of the new generation Mini Countryman picking up nicely, the imminent arrival of the new BMW X2, Jaguar E-Pace and Volvo XC40, as well as the arrival of the second-generation Audi Q3Mercedes-Benz GLA and Range Rover Evoque by the end of the year, the segments is likely to remain the fastest-growing in the new year. If the rumors are true and Lexus is about to reveal a production version of the UX concept, and Acura brings the so-far China-only CDX to the US, the segment might just double in size in the span of one year.


  • The new BMW X1 widened its gap to the second-placed Mercedes-Benz GLA in 2017, despite the latter outselling it in Q3’17, making it the first car in the segment to sell more than 30,000 units in one year
  • The aging Audi Q3 did well to gain 3% of sales less than a year before it is replaced by a new model, narrowing slightly the gap to the Mercedes-Benz ahead
  • The all-new Mini Countryman had a great finish to the year, seeing its sales grow by almost 60% in Q4’17, allowing the British-German car to jump ahead of the Infiniti QX30 in the year standings

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

  • Speaking of, Infiniti is likely to be disappointed in the performance of the QX30 – after an extremely strong start to the year, when it almost outsold the X1, it has since been unable to sell more than 3,000 units in the subsequent quarters, less than half of what it managed in Q1’17 – as a result it slid from second position after the first quarter to fifth overall in 2017
  • The facelifted Range Rover Evoque suffered a similar fate as the Inifiniti – it started 2017 very well, gaining sales in the double-digits on 2016, but by the second half of the year it was already seeing its sales fall on the same time in 2016; still, it maned to eek out 8% growth overall, not bad for a model that is on the bring of being replaced

Note: clicking on the model names in legend turns the display for that model on/off; data is displayed from 1990 onwards, but starts earlier – access previous years using slider on bottom