US car sales analysis Q1 2018 – Subcompact SUV segment

Segment bounces back from Q4’17 decline to post fastest growth in Q1’18


Sales in the US Subcompact SUV segment rose by 33.3% to 133,488 in the first quarter of 2018, bouncing back strongly from the segment’s first quarterly sales drop registered in Q4’17, and handily outpacing the overall 7.0% growth in 2017. With the new Nissan Kicks about to replace the segment stalwart, Nissan Juke, and the new Hyundai Kona and new-for-US Ford EcoSport just having entered the market, the prospects for the segment look as bright as ever.


  • The erstwhile segment leader Jeep Renegade had to relinquish the crown to the Buick Encore, whose facelift helped it to sales growth of over a quarter – not bad for a six-year-old model
  • Following a good way back were the closely-matched Honda HR-V and Chevrolet Trax, with the latter narrowing the gap to third place as it too enjoys a boost from a facelift

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

  • The new Toyota C-HR remained in fifth spot, same where it ended 2017, but for the first time sold more than half of what the segment leader sold, indicating a steady climb for the attractive model
  • One model which enjoyed more than a “steady climb” was the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, whose sales almost doubled from Q1’17
  • The new-for-US Ford EcoSport did well to claim seventh spot, ahead of fellow market debutant Hyundai Kona, both outselling a few more established market rivals out of the gates
  • The same good fortune did not shine on the Mazda CX-3 or the Fiat 500X, with the two models propping up the rear, ahead only of the about-to-be-replaced Nissan Juke

Note: clicking on the model names in legend turns the display for that model on/off; data is displayed from 1990 onwards, but starts in 1973 – access previous years using slider on bottom