Sales of midsized SUVs in the United States continue to outperform the overall car market with sales down 6% in 2020 and up 7% in the last quarter of the year. A total of just over 2.5 million units sold gives these family haulers a share of 17.3% of total car sales in the US, up from 15.8%. The arrival of new models has expanded the class to 46 nameplates.

The Ford Explorer has reclaimed the top spot of the segment it basically helped create in the 1990s. However, the Toyota Highlander outsold the Explorer in Q4 and leapfrogs the Jeep Grand Cherokee for second place. The Explorer and Highlander will be fighting for the top spot in 2021, as the Grand Cherokee is due for a redesign at the end of the year. Jeep will launch a 3-row version called Grand Cherokee L in the second quarter, giving it finally a long-awaited 7-seater option in this segment. The Toyota 4Runner is surprisingly stable at -2%, especially considering its age, an it moves up three spots into #4, ahead of the Chevrolet Traverse, Honda Pilot and Ford Edge. The Hyundai Santa Fe is in 8th place, just ahead of its larger sibling Palisade and that model’s platform sibling Kia Telluride. These latter two have been blockbuster successes for the South-Korean brands, who were latecomers with crossovers of this size. They immediately outsell two other relative latecomers, the Subaru Ascent and Volkswagen Atlas, both losing share this year.

The Nissan Murano and Dodge Durango also lose ground, and distance the Nissan Pathfinder. The Honda Passport is up 10% in its first full year of sales, moving past the Buick Enclave. We welcome the Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport to the ranking at #25, ahead of the Mazda CX-9, up 3%. The Toyota Venza lands at #36.

In the luxury part of the segment, which makes up 21.5% of total midsized crossover sales, up from 20.9%, the Lexus RX remains ultra dominant, even claiming an overall #9 spot. And with sales down 9% (0% in Q4), its market share remains relatively stable at double that of its nearest luxury rival. The BMW X5 leapfrogs both the Mercedes-Benz GLE and Acura MDX to reclaim its #2 spot among luxury models, despite a 7% loss of sales. The GLE lost just 4%, and the MDX was down 8% to fall off the podium. The Volvo XC90 follows at a distance, with the Tesla Model X and Lexus GX in tow, both up on last year. These latter two, as well as the Audi Q7 and Lincoln Aviator passed the Infiniti QX60 which is due for a redesign with sales down by almost half. The Aviator outsells its direct rival Cadillac XT6, which is in overall #33, behind the Lincoln Nautilus. The Range Rover Sport loses 22% but stays ahead of the Porsche Cayenne, while the Land Rover Defender lands at #38 with less than half a year of sales. We welcome the Genesis GV80 with its first sales in November, and the Audi e-tron Sportback, the coupe version of Audi’s electric crossover.

US midsized SUV sales 2020

Midsized SUV segment 2020 2019 Change Share Share
1 Ford Explorer 226.217 184.653 23% 8,9% 6,8%
2 Toyota Highlander 212.276 239.437 -11% 8,4% 8,9%
3 Jeep Grand Cherokee 209.786 242.969 -14% 8,3% 9,0%
4 Toyota 4Runner 129.052 131.864 -2% 5,1% 4,9%
5 Chevrolet Traverse 125.546 147.122 -15% 5,0% 5,5%
6 Honda Pilot 123.813 135.008 -8% 4,9% 5,0%
7 Ford Edge 108.886 138.515 -21% 4,3% 5,1%
8 Hyundai Santa Fe 101.513 127.373 -20% 4,0% 4,7%
9 Lexus RX 101.059 111.036 -9% 4,0% 4,1%
10 Hyundai Palisade 81.905 28.736 185% 3,2% 1,1%
11 Kia Telluride 75.129 58.604 28% 3,0% 2,2%
12 Kia Sorento 74.677 95.951 -22% 3,0% 3,6%
13 GMC Acadia 72.537 99.429 -27% 2,9% 3,7%
14 Subaru Ascent 67.623 81.958 -17% 2,7% 3,0%
15 Volkswagen Atlas 59.422 81.508 -27% 2,3% 3,0%
16 Nissan Murano 58.255 68.361 -15% 2,3% 2,5%
17 Dodge Durango 57.828 67.599 -14% 2,3% 2,5%
18 BMW X5 50.642 54.595 -7% 2,0% 2,0%
19 Nissan Pathfinder 48.579 65.691 -26% 1,9% 2,4%
20 Mercedes-Benz GLE 48.154 49.980 -4% 1,9% 1,9%
21 Acura MDX 47.816 52.019 -8% 1,9% 1,9%
22 Honda Passport 39.567 36.085 10% 1,6% 1,3%
23 Buick Enclave 38.480 51.156 -25% 1,5% 1,9%
24 Volvo XC90 34.251 35.760 -4% 1,4% 1,3%
25 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport 29.069 0 New 1,1% 0,0%
26 Tesla Model X 29.000 19.225 51% 1,1% 0,7%
27 Lexus GX 28.519 25.945 10% 1,1% 1,0%
28 Mazda CX-9 27.638 26.861 3% 1,1% 1,0%
29 Audi Q7 25.371 34.649 -27% 1,0% 1,3%
30 Lincoln Aviator 23.080 8.323 177% 0,9% 0,3%
31 Infiniti QX60 22.880 43.162 -47% 0,9% 1,6%
32 Lincoln Nautilus / MKX 22.742 31.711 -28% 0,9% 1,2%
33 Cadillac XT6 22.609 11.559 96% 0,9% 0,4%
34 Range Rover Sport 20.054 25.768 -22% 0,8% 1,0%
35 Porsche Cayenne 18.092 19.001 -5% 0,7% 0,7%
36 Toyota Venza 13.073 9 +++ 0,5% 0,0%
37 Audi Q8 12.074 14.256 -15% 0,5% 0,5%
38 Land Rover Defender
9.100 0 -New 0,4% 0,0%
39 Mercedes-Benz G-class 7.723 7.348 5% 0,3% 0,3%
40 BMW X6 7.313 4.240 72% 0,3% 0,2%
41 Audi e-tron 6.232 5.369 16% 0,2% 0,2%
42 Land Rover Discovery 5.811 9.184 -37% 0,2% 0,3%
43 Ford Flex 4.848 24.484 -80% 0,2% 0,9%
44 Genesis GV80 1.517 0 New 0,1% 0,0%
45 Audi e-tron Sportback 1.283 0 New 0,1% 0,0%
46 Volkswagen Touareg 48 160 -70% 0,0% 0,0%
Segment total 2.531.089 2.696.663 -6%

Source: Manufacturers.