January is traditionally a very slow month for automobile sales. As consumers gear up for tax season and recover from the holidays, automakers traditionally expect flagging sales and empty showrooms. That’s not always the case, though.
While January 2015 saw fewer new SUVs change hands than December 2014,
it nevertheless was a good month for sales. Industrywide, almost every single SUV and crossover enjoyed healthy sales gains compared to January 2014. The most dramatic of these improvements was the Lincoln Navigator
, which sold more than double the units of the same time period last year (916 versus 375, or a 144-percent increase).
That said, the big Lincoln’s volume couldn’t touch that of our 10 bestsellers, listed for your convenience below. It’s clearly a good month to be a crossover or SUV.
| 2014 Honda CR V Rear Side View
1) Honda CR-V - 23,201, up 22.4 percent
Unsurprisingly, Honda’s CR-V takes the Number One sales spot again this month. The CR-V is an excellent commuter and daily driver, offering a decent amount of Honda lighthearted fun, along with excellent fuel economy and reasonable practicality. Although its sales are down compared to December 2014’s numbers (32,369), it nevertheless is a valuable player in Honda’s lineup.
| 2015 Ford Escape Side Profile 02
2) Ford Escape - 20,054, up 3.1 percent
Ford boasted that this was the best January ever for the Escape, which nips at the CR-V’s heels again this month. The Escape outsold every other Ford but the F-Series pickup this month, helping the company enjoy January 2015 sales that were up 15 percent compared to last year.
| 2013 Toyota RAV4 Front View
3) Toyota RAV4 - 19,824 up 17.4 percent
Joining the Escape and CR-V on the podium is again the Toyota RAV4, maintaining its bronze finish from November and December. Its sales are up compared to last January, thanks to a newly confident consumer market.
| 2015 Chevrolet Equinox LTZ From Above Motion View
The Equinox outsells the Cruze, Sonic, and Spark, so it’s a very important vehicle for Chevrolet. Even though it’s been some time since it was redesigned (we expect a mid-cycle update soon), the Equinox’s combination of low price, good quality, and excellent fuel economy make it an excellent decision for those on a budget.
| 2014 Nissan Rogue Front Side View
5) Nissan Rogue - 15,649, up 13.1 percent
Rejoining this month’s bestseller list is the Nissan Rogue. The third-row seat no doubt helps sales, and the new Rogue is now Nissan’s de-facto entry-level conventional crossover, thanks to the elimination of the old 2014 Rogue Select, which was a carryover model of the previous-generation Rogue.
| 2015 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk Front Three Quarter
6) Jeep Cherokee - 15,154, up 44 percent
As Cherokee production settles into full swing, Jeep must no doubt be pleased with the new SUV’s sales. The Cherokee is an excellent crossover SUV that is also selling extremely well overseas, helping Jeep sell 1 million vehicles for the first time ever in 2014. Updates for 2015 include an optional auto stop-start system, increasing efficiency while reducing emissions.
| 2015 Ford Explorer Sport Front Three Quarter 02
7) Ford Explorer - 14,995, up 28.2 percent
Enjoying its best January since 2005 is the Ford Explorer. One of two full-size crossovers on this list, the Explorer posted numbers it hasn’t seen since the SUV-crazy mid-2000s, when fuel was relatively cheap and interest rates were low. Of course, the new Explorer is much more fuel efficient and refined than its predecessor, no doubt helping it fit in with new consumer tastes. A 2016 refresh of the crossover, due later this year, should keep interest high.
| 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT Side In Motion
Sales of the Jeep Grand Cherokee don’t look to be slowing down any time soon. Available with three reasonably efficient and capable engines (including our favorite, the 3.0L EcoDiesel V-6), the Grand Cherokee can be spec’d as a base-model family wagon or a sumptuous, powerful executive transport vehicle, with numerous stopping points in between. That variety
no doubt helps the Grand Cherokee find homes with lots of different people.
| 2015 Honda Pilot EX L Rear View
9) Honda Pilot - 12,315, up 90.3 percent
Making its first appearance on a Top Ten sales list in months, the Honda Pilot enjoyed a ludicrous 90 percent year-over-year sales increase. That blows our minds, especially given how old the Pilot’s design is. However, there’s always something to be said for Honda reliability and owner loyalty. Plus, sales of SUVs were up almost universally in January 2015, and we bet new Pilot owners enjoyed some rebates last month.
| 2014 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited X Front Three Quarters
10) Jeep Wrangler - 11,683, up 22 percent
Jeep was the only brand with three SUVs on this month’s list. The Wrangler rejoins the group after taking November and December off. Although the legendary Jeep’s on-road refinement and efficiency leave a little to be desired, its excellent sales prove that for some people, there’s no replacement for the Wrangler’s rugged styling, off-road reputation, and fun-to-drive nature that we at Truck Trend love.