The Honda CR-V once again tops SUV sales in May, but the gap between it and its next-closest rival narrowed for the month, with only 2109 units separating it from the Ford Escape. That gap could narrow even further in the months ahead, as the all-new 2013 Ford Escape stars hitting showrooms in larger numbers. The Chevrolet Equinox rounds out the top three for this month, and although down one in overall rank, is up over April, as well as up year-over-year. Among the midsize models, the Ford Explorer fared best, followed by the wilderness-ready Jeep Wrangler and the Grand Cherokee. The Toyota Highlander bumps off the Kia Sorento off the top 10 list, with the Toyota edging out the Kia by a slim 580 units to take tenth place.
1. Honda CR-V -- 25,186, Up 54 Percent
The Honda CR-V remains comfortably on top of the SUV sales charts, and posts a significant 54 percent year-over-year gain compared to May 2011. However, as noted, its lead over its next-closest competitor narrowed, and it's not improbable that it could be bumped off its perch in the months ahead. Compared to April, unit sales were up by 1559.
2. Ford Escape -- 23,077, Down 0.3 Percent
Although the Escape is down ever-so-slightly year-over-year, its May sales total was up a big 6091 over April. The all-new 2013 model is starting to roll off the line in Louisville, and into dealerships. As dealers begin stocking a larger inventory of the new model, the new Escape's prospects look good.
3. Chevrolet Equinox -- 20,238, Up 15.1 Percent
The Chevy Equinox saw gains both year-over-year, and compared to April sales, moving 1956 more units than last month. It even surpassed March's total of 20,064, which was among one of the strongest months to date for many of the automakers.
4. Toyota RAV4 -- 19,248, Up 123.2 Percent
In what has to be a statistical fluke due to unusually weak May 2011 sales, the Toyota RAV4 is up an incredible 123.2 percent year-over-year. Gains over April 2012 aren't quite as dramatic, but noteworthy nonetheless, up 4052 units.
5. Ford Explorer -- 14,662, Up 10.1 Percent
The Ford Explorer retains its fifth-place raking for May as it did in April. Year-over-year gains are up a solid 10 percent, and up 1243 over April and 1450 over March.
6. Jeep Wrangler -- 14,454, Up 44 Percent
For those that have pronounced the traditional SUV as dead, the Jeep Wrangler stands in proud defiance of the onslaught of car-based crossovers. Its sales are up 44 percent compared to May 2011, likely due in large part to the much-improved drive train of the 2012 model, among other factors. Sales are also up more than 2000 units over April's total.
7. Jeep Grand Cherokee -- 13,274, Up 40 Percent
The Grand Cherokee continues its popularity streak, with sales up 40 percent year-over-year, and unit sales up 1440 over April. But its May sales total fell short of March numbers by 795 units. It's seventh-place standing remains unchanged from last month's ranking.
8. Nissan Rogue -- 11,977, Up 72 Percent
The Rogue once again makes a top 10 appearance with a strong showing, up a solid 72 percent year-over-year, and up a big 3414 units over April 2012. But even its strong May performance can't match its March total of an astounding 16,972 units, which gave it a fifth-place ranking that month.
9. Ford Edge -- 11,749, Up 23.9 Percent
Nudged down one spot this month by Nissan's compact crossover, the Edge nonetheless showed a solid double-digit improvement from May 2011 sales. Unit totals were up 1229 over April, but down 2309 from March, when it out-sold the Explorer.
10. Toyota Highlander -- 11,657, Up 102.6 Percent
Yet another statistical outlier along with the RAV4, Highlander sales were up a huge 102.6 percent over May 2011, and a healthy 2305 over April. It also narrowly topped March's total of 11,044 by 613 units.