Even though many expected 2016 to be a slower year in terms of automobile sales after a record-setting 2015, automakers once again recorded incredibly high sales throughout the year. SUVs once again continued to be popular, with three in particular making the list of the top 10 best-selling automobiles of 2016.
The Honda CR-V ended the year as America’s best-selling sports utility vehicle for the fifth straight year, barely edging out the Toyota RAV4. Sales increased by only 3.4 percent from 2015 to reach a total of 357,335 units sold, but most of that can be attributed to the fact that Honda began to phase out its old CR-V models at the end of the year.
Look for even better sales for this SUV in 2017, which was the 2015 Motor Trend SUV of the Year. Top compact crossovers could even win over those who prefer lighter cars to SUVs.
Even though the Honda CR-V was the best-selling SUV in the U.S. in 2016, the Toyota RAV4 had a greater increase in sales for the year. Sales climbed 11.6 percent for a total of 352,154 units thanks mostly to an increased demand for utility vehicles.
The RAV4 is known for its reliability and solid fuel economy with many option choices. It’s very competitive in its class on price and performance. Both the RAV4 and CR-V were among the safest 2016 compact SUVs.
The Nissan Rogue didn’t sell as many units as the Honda CR-V or the Toyota RAV4, but it did have an excellent 2016. Sales for this SUV model increased 14.9 percent for a total of 329,904 units. Sales were so strong that the Rogue is now Nissan’s best-selling vehicle since it has beaten out the Altima sedan for the first time.
In order to capitalize on the popularity of the Rogue, Nissan has unveiled the smaller Rogue Sport at the 2017 Detroit auto show. With two different models available, we can expect the Nissan Rogue to have even better sales in the coming year. And Nissan’s advertising tie in with the success of the Rogue One Star Wars movie, should only help sales in early 2017. You can learn more about the 2017 Rogue here.
SUV Categories as Strong as Ever
If we can take anything away from these sales numbers, it’s that compact SUVs seem to be increasing in popularity. While still not as popular as smaller cars such as the longstanding and efficient Toyota Corolla or Honda Civic, they have proven to be popular for those who want a larger, more practical vehicle while still maintaining fuel economy.
All three of these best selling SUV models are certain to be great sellers in 2017, so keep a close eye on them. While not nearly as profitable per unit as larger, more luxurious SUVs, these volume sellers have been a boon for the respective automakers. Their sales are also less susceptible to gas price fluctuations. The fourth best selling SUV model was the Ford Escape, which sold 307,069 units. Combined these four compact SUV models accounted for an impressive 21% of the total new SUV market.
Will a subcompact SUV model emerge on the list of top sellers in 2017? Stay tuned.