November 2014 SUV Sales — Honda Holds its Head High
Excellent Month Industry Wide Bodes Well for Companies
SUV purists may want to avoid news of November SUV sales. As usual, crossovers dominate the month, displacing a common bestseller, the Jeep Wrangler.
That’s right: For the first time in months, the iconic off-roader failed to make the Top 10 list.
Other than that bit of news, it’s mostly business as usual for SUV sales. Ford, Jeep, and Subaru enjoyed strong demand for their SUV offerings, with these brands getting two spots each on the list of the 10 bestsellers. Small crossovers from Honda, Toyota, Nissan, and Chevrolet occupy the rest of the list. Interestingly, all of the bestsellers boasted year-over-year sales increases from November 2013, thanks to strong growth industry wide.
1: Honda CR-V: 32,378, up 43.2 percent
The bestselling SUV this month is again the Honda CR-V. Motor Trend’s 2015 SUV of the Year got an extensive refresh for 2015, making the aging crossover very competitive against newer offerings.
2: Ford Escape: 25,528, up 21.6 percent
Sales of Ford’s small crossover trailed its Honda rival by nearly 7,000 units last month, but it’s still selling very well compared to other competition. All that showroom traffic from people curious about the 2015 Mustang and F-150 must be giving sales of other Fords a boost.
3: Toyota RAV4: 21,108, up 12.9 percent
Redesigned for 2013, the current RAV4 is the best looking one yet. Even though it’s not the cheapest, most powerful, or most efficient SUV in its class, it still sells very well, and even though this month it takes the number-three spot on the list, it often trades places with its competitors sales-wise.
4: Chevrolet Equinox: 18,536, up 0.8 percent
Even though it’s the crossover we’re most likely to forget about, the Equinox almost always shows up on bestseller lists. Its anonymity is probably a great attribute for people looking for spacious, reliable transportation, and little more.
5: Jeep Cherokee: 16,945, up 67 percent
The Jeep Cherokee is really hitting its stride. It’s already the bestselling Jeep vehicle on the market, giving crossover buyers a legitimate off-road-ready option, while not sacrificing reliability or efficiency.
6: Jeep Grand Cherokee: 15,307, up 3 percent
Hot on the heels of its little brother, the Jeep Grand Cherokee continues to sell very well. In spite of only being available with two rows of seats (often a liability in larger SUVs), the Grand’s combination of tasteful styling, available diesel efficiency, and all-terrain capability make it very popular.
7: Nissan Rogue: 15,067, up 43.7 percent
The new-for-2015 Rogue is selling very well. It’s available with a third-row (tiny) seat, which gives it an added dose of versatility, and it looks pretty good for a compact SUV. It’s also selling much better than it did last year, which isn’t surprising given how much better it is than its predecessor.
8: Ford Explorer: 14,949, up 13.1 percent
Ford recently sold its 7 millionth Explorer SUV, and the current model is doing nothing to slow those excellent sales. Although it lost some of the prior Explorers’ ruggedness, it is more efficient and easier to drive than its predecessors. An updated Explorer is coming for 2016, which will recapture some truckiness for what Ford calls America’s favorite SUV.
9: Subaru Outback: 14,128, up 59.6 percent
Redesigned for this year, the Outback boasts nearly 9 inches of ground clearance, which is more than the Jeep Grand Cherokee, although no true low-range all-wheel-drive system means the Outback is best for snow and dirt than mud and rocks. Conveniently, that matches most crossover buyers quite well.
10: Subaru Forester: 13,879, up 3.5 percent
Like the Outback, Subaru’s Forester has grown from a tall wagon into a bona fide crossover. The Forester is smaller and cheaper than the Outback, and unlike its Japanese and American competition, it comes standard with all-wheel drive and a cult-like following -- Subaru owners really, really love their cars.