Sales in the Mid-sized SUV segment increased by 4.4 percent in 2016 to a total of 1,803,382 units, a slightly faster rate of growth then the Compact SUV segment, but considerably slower than the double-digit growth registered by the other two, smaller mainstream SUV segments. 2017 will see the introduction of the new, super-conservative VW Atlas, as well as the second-generation Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse and the smaller (“right-sized”) GMC Acadia.
Highlights for 2016:
While there was no change in the order at front, the lead enjoyed by the segment leader Ford Explorer fell as its sales remained stable year-on-year, while the second-placed Jeep Grand Cherokee and third-placed Toyota Highlander closing in with sales growth of 9 and 20 percent, respectively; in fact, deducting sales of the Police Interceptor SUV would put Explorer’s lead over the Grand Cherokee to around 4,000 units
The all-new but super-conservative Honda Pilot is having trouble connecting with the buyers, resulting in an 11 percent fall in sales compared to 2015, and allowing the new Ford Edge and the facelifted Hyundai Santa Fe to surpass it in the rankings
Sales of the soon-to-be-replaced Chevrolet Traverse fell by 3 percent, while those of the recently-replaced GMC Acadia fell by 8 percent year-on-year, though the new model did results in fourth quarter sales rising by 43 percent compared to Q4’15
Toyota 4Runner enjoyed a surprising surge in sales (up 15 percent), presumably as a result of being the only body-on-frame model left in the segment
The new, aggresively-styled Nissan Murano saw its sales rise 38 percent compared to 2015, giving the model its best year (previous best was 2006), though part of this may have come as a result of sales cannibalization of its larger, seven-seat brother, the Pathfinder, whose sales were stable; it is important to note that while the models individually rank just outside of the top-10, their combined sales of almost 170,000 would be good-enough for a comfortable fourth in the segment
Sales of the six-year-old Dodge Durango rose by 7 percent, similar to its cousin (Jeep Grand Cherokee), while those of the eight-year-old Buick Enclave fell by 16 percent as the market expects the replacement to be revealed sometime in 2017
The second-generation Mazda CX-9 have so far failed to take off, with its 2016 sales being less than half of what the previous-generation managed in its best year (34,421 in 2011), suggesting the buyers are not super-enthralled by its oversized grille and length in combination with the downsized, turbo-4 engine
Despite its age (it’s in its fifth year on the market), the Grand Cherokee improved 11% in Q3, while sister model Dodge Durango was down 3% but still up 16% year-to-date
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
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