US sales Q3 2017: Mid-sized SUV segment

Strong growth from segment leaders and new models

US-sales-midsized_SUV-segment-2016-Kia_Sorento-Chevrolet_Traverse-Ford_Explorer-Dodge_Durango-Nissan_Pathfinder-Honda_Pilot-Toyota_HighlanderSales in the Mid-sized SUV segment increased by 9% in the third quarter of 2017, perfectly in line with the growth rate so far this year. Sales YTD now stand at  1,447,356, making this the fifth-largest segment, and only some 60,000 cars behind the rapidly-shrinking mid-sized car segment. If the trend condinues like this, the mid-sized SUV segment will jump ahead if not by the end of 2017, then most likely in 2018. That said, with Buick EnclaveChevrolet TraverseGMC Acadia and VW Atlas having hit the market recently there is a surprising dearth of new metal coming in 2018, the only exception being the new Hyundai Santa Fe, with the aging Ford ExplorerJeep Grand CherokeeToyota Highlander and Nissan Pathfinder all still some way off from being replaced.

Highlights for Q3 2017:

GMC Acadia
  • No change in the Top 3, as Ford Explorer, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Toyota Highlander all enjoyed a successful third quarter, with the latter two in particular seeing their sales rise by over 20%
  • The continuing slow rate of sales increase for the fourth-placed and still relatively new Ford Edge is likely to disappoint Ford, though probably nowhere as much as the fate of the unloved new Honda Pilot disappoints Honda, though it did finally eek out a 4% growth in sales in the third quarter
  • After a great start to the year, when its sales rose by 63% in Q1, the Hyundai Santa Fe has not had nearly as good of a Q2 and Q3, with sales falling by 21% and 10%, respectively, putting it in the red for the year so far, and allowing it to almost be overtaken by the remaining body-on-frame SUV in the segment, Toyota 4Runner
  • Right behind is a close pack of four models, with the new Chevrolet Traverse barely having gone on sale, the aforementioned Honda Pilot losing 7% YTD, the new “right-sized” GMC Acadia gaining 40% (third-highest in the whole segment), and the Kia Sorento finally eeking out a 2% growth in Q3’17 after a double-digit sales loss in the first half of the year
  • Further back the facelifted Nissan Pathfinder lost ground to the newer Nissan Murano, though both around 15% in sales in the third quarter, ahead of the Dodge Durango, which has recovered from a double-digit sales slide in the first quarter with a strong 10% growth in sales in the third quarter
  • With sales of the new Buick Enclave only just beginning in the third quarter, the nameplate suffered a 27% drop in sales in the third quarter, and was almost overtaken by its smaller brother, the imported-from-China Buick Envision
  • Towards the back the Mazda CX-9 continued to grow its sales quickly, albeit from a low base, the Ford Flex hung on for another year despite being eight years old, while the new VW Atlas made a successful debut in the market, outselling the Envision, CX-9 and Flex ahead of it in the third quarter, not to mention its too-small-and-too-expensive-for-the-US brother, VW Toureg

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