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  • March 2015 SUV Sales – Compacts Crushing It

March 2015 SUV Sales – Compacts Crushing It

Nissan Rogue Takes Second Place, Explorer Leads Midsizers

Apr 1, 2015
The dominance of compacts in the SUV sales chase is nothing new, with the smaller, car-based models leading the pack for the last several years. As has usually been the case, the perennially popular Honda CR-V lead the pack once again for March. However, Second Place was a bit of an upset, with the Nissan Rogue overtaking the usual second-place holder, the Ford Escape. The Toyota RAV4 takes Fourth, while the Chevrolet Equinox gets knocked down to Fifth Place.
Among the midsizers, the Ford Explorer leads the segment, followed by the Jeep Grand Cherokee. The Cherokee also saw one of its strongest sales months ever. The Top 10 chart is rounded out by the rugged and practical Subaru Forester.
Photo 2/11   |   2015 Honda CR V Front Three Quarter View 1
1. Honda CR-V – 27,618, Down 3.6 Percent
The Honda CR-V still reigned supreme for March 2015 but was down a tick year over year from 2014. The 2015 model received a significant refresh including a new powertrain with a direct-injected engine and CVT transmission, to improve both fuel economy and performance. Honda’s modest, incremental approach to improvements seems to be paying off for them, with the CR-V being Honda’s best-selling model for the month.
Photo 3/11   |   2014 Nissan Rogue Front Three Quarters
2. Nissan Rogue – 27,418, Up 41.2 Percent
The Nissan Rogue served a surprise Second-Place upset to the Ford Escape, out-selling it by more than 1,000 units for the month. Nissan still has a two-model strategy with the Rogue, with the previous-generation model still sold as the Rogue Select for budget-oriented shoppers.
Photo 4/11   |   2015 Ford Escape Front End
3. Ford Escape – 26,303, Down 8.4 Percent
Once the reliable second-best-selling SUV, the Escape was nudged aside this month by the Rogue, but the Escape remains Ford’s best-selling SUV by a substantial margin. A wide selection of trim levels and powertrains offers something for nearly every need and budget.
Photo 5/11   |   2014 Toyota RAV4 Limited Front Three Quarters
4. Toyota RAV4 – 25,234, Up 27.9 Percent
Toyota’s redesigned RAV4 continues to resonate with customers, with its more car-like design putting it more in line with its competitors than its somewhat truck-ish predecessor. An upcoming 2016 hybrid model promises to broaden its appeal even further for economy-oriented buyers.
Photo 6/11   |   2015 Chevrolet Equinox LTZ With Sunlight
5. Chevrolet Equinox – 24,335, Up 22 Percent
The Equinox continues to be a strong seller for Chevrolet, posting a 22 percent year-over-year gain for March. However, surprisingly strong performances by the Rogue and RAV4 consigned it to Fifth Place this month. A freshened model is due for 2016, before an all-new model arrives for 2017 or 2018.
Photo 7/11   |   2015 Ford Explorer Sport Front Three Quarter 04
6. Ford Explorer – 20,765, Up 17 Percent
The Explorer took the sales crown among midsizers, posting a solid 17 percent year-over-year gain for the month. An updated 2016 model is due later this year, adding the upscale Platinum trim and a grille design that some have compared to the Range Rover, as well as the I-4 EcoBoost getting a bump in displacement from 2.0L to 2.3L, boosting output by 30 hp and lb-ft, respectively.
Photo 8/11   |   2015 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk Front Three Quarter 03
7. Jeep Cherokee – 19,033, Up 38 Percent
Any doubters of the Cherokee’s success have likely been silenced by now, as it continues to be the brand’s best-selling model, posting a strong 38 percent year-over-year gain for March. Its styling makes it a standout from the typically conservative compact SUV segment, and it seems buyers have embraced its individuality.
Photo 9/11   |   2015 Jeep Wrangler Willys Wheeler Edition Front Three Quarter
8. Jeep Wrangler – 17,524, Up 21 Percent
The oldie is still a goodie for Jeep, with sales up 21 percent for March. The Wrangler’s defiantly traditional packaging and layout has not affected its popularity in the least, with an especially strong and loyal following among off-road enthusiasts for its easy modification and abundant aftermarket support. An all-new model is due soon, with a focus on improved fuel economy while maintaining its legendary off-road capability.
Photo 10/11   |   2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited Front Three Quarter 02
9. Jeep Grand Cherokee – 16,815, Up 5 Percent
The Grand Cherokee showed a modest gain for the month. Getting a comprehensive refresh for the 2014 model year, which added an eight-speed automatic across the board, as well as an optional 3.0L EcoDiesel V-6, the Grand Cherokee continues to offer a wide variety of trims and configurations for buyers looking for everything from a suburban mommy-shuttle all the way up to a luxury SUV.
Photo 11/11   |   2015 Subaru Forester Front Side View
10. Subaru Forester – 14,967, Up 8.1 Percent
The Forester continues to gain popularity among buyers looking for something other than the mainstream models from the name brands. Standard all-wheel drive and a zippy optional turbo engine give the Forester a unique personality in the typically homogenous compact SUV segment. Sales showed an 8.1 percent year-over-year gain for March.

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