2015 Sales Wrap-Up: Compact and Subcompact Crossovers [Sales Report]

2015_honda_cr-v_front
2015 Honda CR-V

2015 will go down as the year of the crossover.

The Honda CR-V took the title as the best-selling compact crossover for the year, despite the Toyota RAV4 taking the lead for the month of December.

For the year, though, all compact crossovers on the list have seen sales increases over 2014, from a low 0.1 percent for the Ford Escape to 45.8 percent for the Mitsubishi Outlander. No less than 10 competitors saw double-digit increases.

The CR-V had a down month – only it and the GMC Terrain sold less in December 2015 than in December 2014 – but it was still plenty to take the crown with more than 30,000 more sales than the second place RAV4.

The Escape was the only other compact crossover to sell over 300,000 units for the year, but the new and much improved Nissan Rogue nearly hit that mark, and had a 44.2 percent sales increase for the year.

Chevy’s aging Equinox continues to post strong sales, and Jeep’s Cherokee was the brand’s best-selling model.

There are some surprises down the list. The ancient Jeep Patriot and Compass still continue to sell well, with the more traditional Patriot outpacing the Compass by almost a two-to-one ratio. Hyundai’s Tucson has sold much better since its substantial upgrade and should end up much higher in 2016. VW’s Tiguan seems invulnerable to the company’s diesel emissions woes as sales have increased across the board.

Compact Crossover Sales – December 2015

Dec 2015 # Nov 2015 # Dec ’15/Nov ’15 % Dec ’15/’14 % YTD 2015 # YTD ’15/’14 %
Toyota RAV4 31,866 27,368 16.4% 38.6% 315,412 17.8%
Honda CR-V 31,185 25,931 20.3% -3.7% 345,647 3.2%
Ford Escape 27,954 20,807 34.3% 9.2% 306,492 0.1%
Nissan Rogue 26,479 22,565 17.3% 78.0% 287,190 44.2%
Jeep Cherokee 24,049 17,426 38.0% 36.0% 220,260 23.0%
Chevrolet Equinox 21,827 19,634 11.2% 2.5% 277,589 14.6%
Subaru Forester 16,797 13,655 23.0% 10.8% 175,192 9.5%
Mazda CX-5 11,417 8,756 30.4% 47.9% 111,450 12.4%
Jeep Patriot 11,206 8,348 34.2% 19.0% 118,464 27.0%
GMC Terrain 9,649 8,999 7.2% -12.5% 112,030 6.7%
Jeep Compass 8,825 4,886 80.6% 78.0% 66,698 9.0%
Hyundai Tucson 8,311 6,906 20.3% 166.9% 63,591 34.4%
Kia Sportage 6,044 4,211 43.5% 83.3% 53,739 25.1%
VW Tiguan 4,900 3,907 25.4% 131.6% 35,843 42.7%
Mitsubishi Outlander 1,936 1,717 12.8% 76.6% 19,055 45.8%

 

2015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk
2015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk

Over on the burgeoning subcompact crossover list, the Jeep Renegade again took monthly honors with a strong sales month, although the ringer, the Subaru XV Crosstrek, took top sales honors in the category.

The Renegade also came in fourth overall for the year despite not being available until later in the year. If sales continue at this pace, it should be the top seller for 2016.

The Buick Encore, one of the pioneers of the class, outsold its cheaper and more mainstream sibling, the Chevy Trax, both for the month of December and for the year. It’s not too often to hear the terms “Buick” and “top seller” in the same sentence, which speaks for the appeal of the brand’s cute ute.

In a class where most of the entries are brand-new, 2016 should be an interesting year as the newer models gain traction. Fiat has a hit with its 500X and the new Mazda CX-3, despite being at the bottom, has been improving in sales each month.

Subcompact Crossover Sales – December 2015

Dec 2015 # Nov 2015 # Dec ’15/Nov ’15 % Dec ’15/’14 % YTD 2015 # YTD ’15/’14 %
Jeep Renegade 8,975 7,345 22.2% NEW 60,946 NEW
Subaru XV Crosstrek* 8,090 6,786 19.2% 47.6% 88,927 25.3%
Buick Encore 6,498 5,133 26.6% 109.5% 67,549 38.2%
Chevrolet Trax 5,323 6,481 -17.9% NEW 63,030 NEW
Honda HR-V 4,737 3,505 35.1% NEW 41,969 NEW
Mitsubishi Outlander Sport* 3,356 2,955 13.6% 21.8% 36,966 19.0%
MINI Countryman 2,148 1,260 70.5% 10.7% 16,686 -26.3%
Fiat 500X 1,996 1,833 8.9% NEW 9,463 NEW
Nissan Juke 1,958 1,897 3.2% -9.1% 27,121 -29.0%
Mazda CX-3 1,663 1,323 25.7% NEW 6,406 NEW

*NOTE: The Subaru and the Mitsubishi are based on compact car platforms. However, their interior space, price and market positioning put them in direct competition with the other cars on this list.

Check out this snowy, off-road review of the top compact crossovers, the 2015 Honda CR-V and the 2015 Toyota RAV4: