The midsized SUV segment in the United States continues to outperform the overall car market with sales up 11% in 2021. The class tops 3 million units for the first time ever, giving these family haulers a share of 20.1% of total car sales in the US, up from 18.8% in 2020. In the fourth quarter, midsized SUV sales were down 12% in an overall market down 21%.

Helped by the new generation and the addition of a first-ever 3-row version, the Jeep Grand Cherokee sets a new annual sales record and reclaims the top spot it also took in 2019 before the Ford Explorer struck back. The Explorer has been the class leader from 2011 through 2018 and in 2020. The Toyota Highlander had been leading the class this year, right up until December, but the Grand Cherokee had a very strong fourth quarter, outselling the Highlander by over 18,000 units to claim the annual victory by just 316 deliveries. Still, this is also a new annual sales record for the Highlander, which is also about to be joined by a 3-row version. The Japanese SUV was also outsold by the Explorer in Q4, and the latter at least recovers to finish the year on the podium, as the Jeep Wrangler was in P3 after the third quarter. There’s another new annual sales record for the Toyota 4Runner in 5th place, up 12% on last year. The Honda Pilot is up 16% to jump back ahead of the Chevrolet Traverse (-7%). The Hyundai Santa Fe (+10%) stays ahead of the Kia Telluride (+25%) and Hyundai Palisade (+6%), both of which set new annual sales records and move ahead of the Ford Edge (-22%). The Santa Fe’s sibling Kia Sorento is also up 10%, while the Volkswagen Atlas is up 22% to distance the Dodge Durango (+14%).

Newcomer Toyota Venza is up to #17 ahead of the Subaru Ascent (-11%) and GMC Acacia (-17%), while the Honda Passport (+34% to a new annual record) leapfrogs the Nissan Murano (-21%). The Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport (+49%) is also closing in on the Murano, while the Nissan Pathfinder is down 15% due to a model changeover, dropping behind the Buick Enclave (+9%). In the fourth quarter, the Pathfinder was up 13% again. The Ford Bronco lands at #28, but if Ford can get deliveries under way properly anytime soon, the Bronco should be a top-6 contender for 2022, challenging the Wrangler and 4Runner. The Mazda CX-9 sets a new annual sales record with sales up by a quarter, but remains the slowest selling mainstream midsized SUV in the class at #29.

The luxury part of the segment makes up 19.8% of total midsized crossover sales, down slightly from 20% in 2020, with sales improving 10% in the 2021. In Q4, luxury midsized crossovers were down 20% compared to -10% for the mainstream models. The Lexus RX remains ultra dominant, even claiming an overall #8 spot and setting a new annual sales record with sales up 14%. The Acura MDX had a harsh fourth quarter with sales down 20% and dropping it from #2 after the third quarter to #4 for the year. The MDX is still up 26% for the year but finishes behind the Mercedes-Benz GLE (+35%) and the BMW X5 (+20%), both of which also set new annual sales records. The Volvo XC90 (+13%) follows at a distance, ahead of the Lexus GX (+14%) and Audi Q7 (stable on 2020), the latter of which had very slow second half of the year, down 24% in Q3 and down 65% in Q4. The Lincoln Aviator and its main rival Cadillac XT6 are both down 9% for the year, falling behind the Range Rover Sport, while the Genesis GV80 jumps to #36, moving past the Land Rover Defender and Porsche Cayenne (-4%). The BMW X6 (+31%) is closing in on the Audi Q8 (+4%) and sets a new annual sales record, and so does the Mercedes-Benz G-Class. The Audi e-Tron EV improves as well and leapfrogs the Tesla Model X (-76%), even without the e-Tron Sportback version which is up 77% on its launch year.

US midsized SUV sales 2021

Midsized SUV segment 2021 2020 Change 2021 Share 2020 Share 2021-Q4 2020-Q4 Change
1 Jeep Grand Cherokee 264.444 209.786 26% 8,7% 7,7% 74.816 56.930 31%
2 Toyota Highlander 264.128 212.276 24% 8,7% 7,8% 56.564 70.975 -20%
3 Ford Explorer 219.871 226.217 -3% 7,3% 8,3% 59.697 66.008 -10%
4 Jeep Wrangler 204.610 201.311 2% 6,7% 7,4% 39.900 51.109 -22%
5 Toyota 4Runner 144.696 129.052 12% 4,8% 4,7% 39.221 42.225 -7%
6 Honda Pilot 143.062 123.813 16% 4,7% 4,5% 28.395 33.811 -16%
7 Chevrolet Traverse 116.250 125.546 -7% 3,8% 4,6% 22.052 41.534 -47%
8 Lexus RX 115.320 101.059 14% 3,8% 3,7% 30.695 34.808 -12%
9 Hyundai Santa Fe 112.071 101.513 10% 3,7% 3,7% 22.415 30.337 -26%
10 Kia Telluride 93.705 75.129 25% 3,1% 2,7% 22.981 28.514 -19%
11 Hyundai Palisade 86.539 81.905 6% 2,9% 3,0% 21.866 22.078 -1%
12 Ford Edge 85.225 108.886 -22% 2,8% 4,0% 30.274 32.024 -5%
13 Kia Sorento 81.785 74.677 10% 2,7% 2,7% 19.530 14.185 38%
14 Volkswagen Atlas 72.384 59.422 22% 2,4% 2,2% 14.656 20.366 -28%
15 Dodge Durango 65.935 57.828 14% 2,2% 2,1% 13.004 12.372 5%
16 Mercedes-Benz GLE 65.074 48.154 35% 2,1% 1,8% 17.495 15.994 9%
17 Toyota Venza 61.988 13.073 374% 2,0% 0,5% 11.495 11.405 1%
18 BMW X5 60.725 50.642 20% 2,0% 1,9% 18.945 18.657 2%
19 Acura MDX 60.057 47.816 26% 2,0% 1,7% 12.243 15.263 -20%
20 Subaru Ascent 59.980 67.623 -11% 2,0% 2,5% 16.937 17.788 -5%
21 GMC Acadia 59.913 72.537 -17% 2,0% 2,7% 4.234 21.378 -80%
22 Honda Passport 53.133 39.567 34% 1,8% 1,4% 11.119 11.902 -7%
23 Nissan Murano 46.117 58.255 -21% 1,5% 2,1% 6.830 13.396 -49%
24 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport 43.303 29.069 49% 1,4% 1,1% 8.216 11.079 -26%
25 Buick Enclave 41.962 38.480 9% 1,4% 1,4% 8.626 12.338 -30%
26 Nissan Pathfinder 41.324 48.579 -15% 1,4% 1,8% 12.439 11.054 13%
27 Volvo XC90 38.657 34.251 13% 1,3% 1,3% 8.560 11.716 -27%
28 Ford Bronco 35.023 0 New 1,2% 0,0% 24.819 0 New
29 Mazda CX-9 34.493 27.638 25% 1,1% 1,0% 5.694 7.226 -21%
30 Lexus GX 32.509 28.519 14% 1,1% 1,0% 8.650 9.942 -13%
31 Audi Q7 25.362 25.371 0% 0,8% 0,9% 3.021 8.588 -65%
32 Lincoln Nautilus / MKX 24.443 22.742 7% 0,8% 0,8% 6.267 6.690 -6%
33 Range Rover Sport 22.090 20.054 10% 0,7% 0,7% 8.100 7.000 16%
34 Lincoln Aviator 20.924 23.080 -9% 0,7% 0,8% 5.450 7.280 -25%
35 Cadillac XT6 20.662 22.609 -9% 0,7% 0,8% 2.940 7.155 -59%
36 Genesis GV80 20.316 1.517 1239% 0,7% 0,1% 4.852 1.517 220%
37 Land Rover Defender 19.413 9.100 113% 0,6% 0,3% 7.400 7.200 3%
38 Porsche Cayenne 17.299 18.092 -4% 0,6% 0,7% 2.191 5.939 -63%
39 Audi Q8 12.538 12.074 4% 0,4% 0,4% 1.375 4.395 -69%
40 BMW X6 9.591 7.313 31% 0,3% 0,3% 2.916 2.866 2%
41 Mercedes-Benz G-class 8.523 7.723 10% 0,3% 0,3% 2.287 2.557 -11%
42 Audi e-tron 7.429 6.232 19% 0,2% 0,2% 1.981 1.064 86%
43 Tesla Model X 7.306 31.000 -76% 0,2% 1,1% 1.000 11.000 -91%
44 Infiniti QX60 5.829 22.880 -75% 0,2% 0,8% 1.455 5.375 -73%
45 Land Rover Discovery 4.296 5.811 -26% 0,1% 0,2% 1.600 1.000 60%
46 Audi e-tron Sportback 2.266 1.283 77% 0,1% 0,0% 383 970 -61%
47 Volkswagen Touareg 6 50 -88% 0,0% 0,0% 0 14 -100%
48 Ford Flex 0 4.848 -100% 0,0% 0,2% 0 159 -100%
Segment total 3.032.576 2.734.402 11% 725.586 827.183 -12%

Source: Manufacturers.