US sales 2016 Compact SUV segment


Sales in the Compact SUV segment increased by 3.9 percent compared to 2015, to a grand total of 3,067,307 cars sold. This is quite the result – not only does this give the segment a big lead over the second-largest segment, Mid-sized with 2,311,850 sales, but it is the first time ever any one segment has crossed the 3 million threshold. With a bevy of new models entering the market in 2017 (Chevrolet EquinoxGMC Terrain, Honda CR-VJeep Compass and Mazda CX-5) it is reasonable to expect the segment will continue growing in the future, as it solidifies its position as the golden middle of the market, and a firm family-favorite.

Highlights for 2016:

Honda CR-V
  • Honda CR-V retained the segment lead it has held for the past decade, despite the imminent release of the new-generation model resulting in a slower rate of growth (3 percent) than its closest competitors, second-placed Toyota RAV4 (sales up 12 percent) and third-placed Nissan Rogue (sales up 15 percent), though better than the fourth-placed Ford Escape (no change)
  • Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain lost 13 and 22 percent in sales, respectively, in anticipation of the new generation models that will go on sale in early 2017
  • 2016 was a solid year for Jeep until Q4, when three of its four models (Cherokee, Wrangler and Patriot) saw their sales fall – this was especially worrying for Cherokee, whose sales seems to be suffering from cannibalization by the smaller Renegade, and are likely to suffer further once the new, similarly-sized but more posh Compass goes on sale in early 2017
  • Models ranked 8th to 12th all enjoyed unspectacular, single-digit growth, a particularly impressive feat in the case of the eight-year-old and decidedly average Dodge Journey
  • Hyundai Tucson and Kia Sportage made great progress in 2016, with sales growth of 41 and 51 percent, respectively, which may at least partially explain the mediocre performance of the carmakers’ mainstream models (Hyundai Elantra, Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima)
  • VW Tiguan registered its best year yet just as the new generation model is about to go on sale, partly as a result of the brand drastically reducing the price of the once-overpriced model
  • After a slow start sales of the new Buick Envision are slowly picking up, allowing the model to outsell the Mitsubishi duo in Q4, though time will tell whether the Chinese-made model will ever be truly accepted by the market

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