The Most Popular SUVs for Women

SUVs used to have their drawbacks. They were heavy, a bit rough on the roads, and not fuel-efficient. But as SUVs become easier to drive, more fuel-efficient, and still offer great utility, they become more compelling models for female drivers.

Edmunds Inside Line has published a list of the top ten 2011 models with the highest proportion of female drivers. While there is only one crossover in the top 5 among all cars, the 6-10 ranked models are all crossovers. This shows just how popular crossovers have become with women.

Below are the Top 5 most popular SUVs for women based on the percentage of ownership according to Inside Line.

#1. Nissan Rogue. The Rogue is a stylish compact crossover that debuted in 2008. According to the study, it is the most popular SUV for women in terms of percentage of ownership with nearly 57% of 2011 Rogue owners being women. The Rogue ranked #2 overall in the Inside Line study, behind the Volvo S40. The model is being refreshed for the 2013 model year.

Rear quarter view of the 2011 Nissan Rogue

2011 Nissan Rogue

#2. Hyundai Tucson. The Tucson is a compact crossover that lacks in cargo room but has a curvy design. The Tucson is highly fuel-efficient with front-wheel drive, obtaining up to 32-mpg highway.

#3. Honda CR-V. The CR-V was the top selling SUV in America in 2011. It is a fuel-efficient and offers good cargo carrying capacity for a compact. CR-V’s are also known for their reliability.

#4. Toyota RAV4. The RAV4 was last refreshed in 2006 but still remains a strong seller. It is the SUV with the most cargo room in the compact class and offers optional V6 power while still delivering good fuel economy. The RAV4 has also been among the safest SUVs for years.

#5. Tie – Nissan Juke & Jeep Compass. The Juke is a sporty, turbocharged subcompact crossover that debuted for the 2011 model year. It offers little in the way of cargo space but has unique curvy styling and powerful performance. The Juke stands out in the crossover field and also offers excellent safety features.

Driver side view of the Nissan

2011 Nissan Juke photo: Nissan Juke Tekna

The Compass is Jeep’s smallest model. While the model is Trail Rated by Jeep and is among the best small SUVs in the snow, it seems better suited in an urban environment. 52.7% of 2011 Juke and Compass owners were women.

These most popular SUV for women, in terms of proportion of buyers, shows what female drivers are looking for in a vehicle. Price is also important as half of the above models were in the group of the top 5 cheapest 2011 SUVs. In terms of newer models, with its appealing styling, roomy interior, reasonable starting price, and highly fuel-efficient engine, it is likely the new Mazda CX-5 will be well-received by female drivers.

The predominance of compact crossovers in this top 10 list show that women value the higher ride hide, practicality, and available all-wheel drive that these models offers. As crossovers become easier to handle and offer increased fuel economy, look for more female driver ownership.

Which is your favorite crossover model among the six listed below?

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