Midsized SUVs in the United States continue to outperform the overall car market with sales down 16% in the first half of 2020. These family haulers now make up 16.8% of total car sales in the US, and the arrival of new models has expanded the class to 41 nameplates.
After reclaiming the top spot of the segment it basically helped create in the 1990s, the Ford Explorer holds it position for the first half, even though it was outsold by the Jeep Grand Cherokee in Q2. Still, the Explorer sees virtually stable sales year-on-year while the Cherokee and the Toyota Highlander each lose over 22% of their sales. The Toyota 4Runner was the #4 seller in Q2 and moves up to that same position for the half, up from #6 in Q1 and #8 in the first half of 2019. The Honda Pilot also leapfrogs the Chevrolet Traverse and Ford Edge to jump into 5th place. The Hyundai Santa Fe is the biggest loser in the top-10 with sales down 35% while sister model Kia Sorento also loses share at -20%. Still, Hyunai shouldn’t be too worried, as the slightly larger all-new Palisade sells over 35,000 units in the first six months of 2020, outselling the GMC Acadia (-45%) and Subaru Ascent (-22%).
The Nissan Murano is one of just four existing mainstream models to sell more than last year, and does so by double digits at +15%. Its sibling model Nissan Pathfinder on the other hand is down 26% but that still means Nissan is down by just 8.7% and gains half a percentage point of share. When comparing that to Nissan’s horrible results in almost every other segment, that’s a win in my book. The Dodge Durango is down 20% while the Kia Telluride is up 9% to move ahead of the Volkswagen Atlas and Buick Enclave. The Honda Passport is up 10% and the Mazda CX-9 is up 13%. Volkswagen has launched the Atlas Cross Sport to compete with two-row models like the Ford Edge, Nissan Murano and Honda Passport, landing in overall 33rd position.
In the luxury part of the segment, which makes up almost 20% of total midsized crossover sales, the Lexus RX remains ultra dominant, even claiming an overall top-10 spot. Still, sales are down 23% while its nearest rival Mercedes-Benz GLE is storming the charts as the best performing nameplate overall with sales up 19%. The BMW X5 and Acura MDX both lose 21%. The Infiniti QX60 was in fourth place among luxury models in Q1, but has dropped behind the MDX and the Volvo XC90 for the first half. The QX60 was in a distant 35th place overall in Q2, with just 3,100 sales. For now, it manages to stay ahead of the Lexus GX (+3%), Audi Q7 (-34%) and Lincoln Nautilus (-36%). The Lincoln Aviator stays ahead of its crosstown rival Cadillac XT6, although the Caddy outsold the Aviator by a small margin in Q2. The Range Rover Sport sits between these American crossovers and loses 24% of its sales, a similar figure as the Porsche Cayenne. The Tesla Model X is down 22% but still stays far ahead of its rival Audi e-tron.
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