SUV sales in the U.S. are off to a strong start in 2015 with near double digit gains compared to 2014. Second half gas prices will play a role in the sales or larger models, but with many compact SUV models topping 30-mpg freeway, there’s plenty of fuel efficient models too choose from.
Here are the best selling SUVs of the model year thus far, based on numbers compiled from manufacturers:
1. Honda CR-V
The CR-V is now Honda’s best-selling model in America, surpassing the mainstay Accord sedan. The CR-V is MotorTrend’s 2015 SUV of the Year and we picked it as our top SUV for families. All-new for 2015 the CR-V has seen a healthy increase in sales this year.
2. Toyota RAV4
In its third year of the model’s current generation, the RAV4 has seen surprisingly robust sales gains in 2015. The model’s carlike handling, comfort, and reputation for durability have helped solidify its place among the top compact crossovers.
3. Chevrolet Equinox
A familiar presence on the roads and in rental car lots, the Equinox remains a strong seller for GM. Despite being relatively unchanged for years, the Equinox does add 4G LTE Wi-Fi connectivity. It will be interesting to see how the new subcompact Chevrolet Trax debuting later in 2015 affects the Equinox’s sales.
4. Ford Escape
The Escape is the only model on our list to see a small dip in sales in 2015 compared to 2014. With its sleek styling, fuel efficient engine, utility, and nifty features like a hands-free liftgate, the Escape is still a popular choice.
5. Nissan Rogue
With its combination of utility, reliability, and fuel economy of 33-mpg highway with front-wheel drive, the Rogue has made a deeper impact in 2015. Redesigned in 2014, the compact Rogue features an advanced Xtronic transmission. The Rogue finished second in our list of most fuel efficient compact SUVs.
6. Ford Explorer
The only true midsize/three-row crossover model on our list, the Explorer remains a strong seller for Ford and has seen a healthy uptick in sales for 2015. The Explorer sales total benefit from sales of Police Interceptor Explorer models. 2016 could be even better for the Explorer as a revised model hits showroom floors.
7. Jeep Cherokee
Restoring the stand alone Cherokee model name (the larger Grand Cherokee carries on) has been a wise move for Jeep. The Cherokee’s distinctive styling and Jeep’s legendary off-road cability, help the model stand out in the crowded compact SUV segment.
Compacts stand strong for best selling SUVs of 2015. However, with larger margins, three-row and full-size crossover models are still a big focus for automakers. And with the growing number of subcompact crossovers coming to market, expect to see a model in this class make the list soon.