The midsized SUV segment in the United States continues to outperform the overall car market with sales up 21% in the first quarter of 2021. A total of just over 700,000 units were sold this quarter, giving these family haulers a share of 18% of total car sales in the US, up from 16.6 in Q1 of 2020 and up from 17.3% in all of 2020. In the top-17 best sellers, only one nameplate is down on last year, and one other sees its sales grow by less than 10% with all others gaining by double digits.
The Ford Explorer continues where it left off last year: on top of the ranking. With sales up 16%, the Explorer’s share of the class is slightly down, and the Toyota Highlander is closing in quickly, up 33% and just 1,400 sales behind the leader. Former leader Jeep Grand Cherokee is up 10% and holds on to its podium position, despite being renewed later this year. The addition of a three-row version could potentially help the Grand Cherokee reclaim the top spot by next year. The next five nameplates all gain share of the segment, with sales up 26% or more. The Hyundai Santa Fe is the best performer in the top-15 with sales up 38%. Big loser in the top-20 is the Ford Edge, down 25% and into 8th place, just ahead of the Kia Telluride and Hyundai Palisade twins, both up 30%. The Dodge Durango is up 15% and stays ahead of the GMC Acadia, while the Kia Sorento loses share at +9%. The Volkswagen Atlas is up 25% and outsells the Subaru Ascent which is down 7%. Newcomer Toyota Venza lands at #19, ahead of the Honda Passport and the Nissan Murano, down 27% into 22nd place. The Murano’s sibling model Pathfinder performs even worse at -51%, but that’s partially due to a model changeover. The Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport is up to 23rd place, ahead of the Buick Enclave and Mazda CX-9.
The luxury part of the segment makes up 21.2% of total midsized crossover sales, up from 20.3% in Q1 of 2020 but down from 21.5% in all of 2020. The Lexus RX remains ultra dominant, even claiming an overall #8 spot. And with sales up 34%, its gains share of the class. The Acura MDX reclaims the #2 spot among luxury models, thanks to sales up 90% to leapfrog the Mercedes-Benz GLE, up 41%, while the BMW X5 is down to #4 among luxury models. The Volvo XC90 follows at a distance, ahead of the Audi Q7 and Lexus GX. The Lincoln Aviator continues to outsell the Cadillac XT6, while the Tesla Model X is down to #34 overall with sales down an estimated 5%. The Genesis GV80 lands at #35, just ahead of the Porsche Cayenne and Audi Q8.
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