With high gas prices continuing, compact SUV sales have been strong in 2011. Sales figures are out for the first eight months of the year. During the January through August period, the best compact selling SUVS of 2011 were:
1. Ford Escape (140,842) – The Escape is a surprising top seller, with a sales increase of 24% this year. The model was last significantly revised in 2008 and hasn’t been changed much since. The Escape may be getting a boost from the attention on the all-new 2011 Ford Explorer, which has sold 75,720 units. The Escape is slated for an overhaul for 2013.
The 2012 Escape does offer a six-speed automatic transmission in upper trim lines and fuel economy of 20-mpg city and 27-mpg highway even with four-wheel drive. The 2012 Escape XLS front-wheel drive starts at a price of $21,240.
2. Honda CR-V (124,859) – The Honda CR-V was last year’s best selling model. Its sales are up 17%. A redesigned 2012 CR-V will debut late in fall 2011. The 2011 CR-V starts at a price of $21,895.
3. Chevrolet Equinox (112,932) – The Equinox is the biggest sales gainer in the compact class in 2011 with sales up 32%. It is likely helped by its fuel economy. The model has a four-cylinder 182 horsepower four-cylinder engine that is rated at 22-mpg city and 32-mpg highway with front-wheel drive. This is comparable to many midsize sedans but it offers much more space and utility.
The 2011 Equinox starts at $22,995. The GMC Terrain is a sister model to the Equinox. The Terrain has sold 48,666 units during the period with sales up 36% from last year.
These models are the best selling compact SUVs of 2011. Other solid sellers in the compact class include the Hyundai Tucson, Toyota RAV4, and Nissan Rogue.
The all-new 2011 Kia Sportage has seen a big sales increase this year, selling 29,302 units. This is up 180% from the less appealing 2010 model and good news for the company’s new Georgia assembly plant. However, its larger sibling, the mid-size Kia Sorento, has sold more than 2.5 times as many units (75,040).