The same 10 SUVs show up on the list of bestsellers for July as June
, but that doesn’t necessarily tell the whole story. Predictably, the Honda CR-V
took top ranking (this author can’t remember the last time that wasn’t true), but the Ford Escape
made strides, leapfrogging most of the rest of the competition. Overall, industry-wide sales are up over last year, and not just for crossovers. The SUV market is as vibrant as it’s ever been.
Honda CR-V – 31,785, Up 11 Percent
Honda’s wildly popular CR-V is the company’s second-most popular model, outselling all Hondas save the Accord. Its efficient Earth Dreams I-4 and CVT powertrain help improve the crossover’s green cred, as does its wholesome, family-friendly image. While it’s not the most exciting crossover out there, it nonetheless provides singles, families, and empty-nesters alike a great option if they’re looking for reliable, economical transportation.
| 2015 Honda CR V Front Three Quarter View 21
Ford Escape – 29,253, Up 10 Percent
The Ford Escape is nipping at the CR-V’s heels, coming up just 2,532 units behind the Honda. The Escape’s sleek, European styling, powerful turbocharged engines, and cutting-edge technology features likely have much to do with that, as do Ford’s significant marketing efforts for its smallest SUV. We’ve driven several different versions of Ford’s compact, and they are all quite nice.
| 2015 Ford Escape Side In Motion
Toyota RAV4 – 26,709, Down 0.3 Percent
The RAV4 got pipped by the Ford this month, but don’t count the original compact crossover out just yet. With a significant styling refresh and a new hybrid model on the way for 2016, the Toyota’s appeal will likely broaden significantly. The hybrid will be positioned as a luxurious option rather than a stripped economy special, helping push the RAV4’s perception upmarket and providing urbanites an efficient new crossover option.
| 2014 Toyota RAV4 XLE Front View In Motion
The recently redesigned Nissan Rogue is enjoying a healthy sales bump compared to its numbers from July 2014. The larger, more efficient SUV got higher-end materials and a more sophisticated design for its 2015 renewal, and the extra space made room for an optional occasional-use third-row seat. While its sales trailed other Japanese crossovers this month, the Rogue has consistently been in the running, occasionally joining its compatriots on the bestselling podium.
| 2014 Nissan Rogue Three Quarters Drivers View 001
The Chevrolet Equinox’s sales have taken a bit of a nosedive compared to last year, although the compact SUV’s refresh is just around the corner and should help recapture a few customers. The Equinox has been on sale in its current form since 2010, so its consistent presence on this list is a testament to the appeal the crossover has for consumers.
| 2014 Chevrolet Equinox LTZ Front Three Quarters In Motion
The Ford Explorer’s excellent sales continue this month. Updated 2016 Explorers featuring new styling and refined powertrain choices hit dealers recently, so the refreshed metal likely drove a few sales, as did model year-end closeouts. The three-row Ford crossover is one of the industry’s bestselling family vehicles, and we doubt that trend will change any time soon.
| 2015 Ford Explorer Sport Front Three Quarter Turn 02
Jeep’s most iconic vehicle is also its best selling. The Wrangler enjoyed its best July sales ever, even eight years after its platform redesign. The Wrangler’s removable roof and rugged personality scream summer, and this time of year is always prime for Jeep sales. Anyone who has ridden in a Jeep with the roof folded or removed understands how pleasant these vehicles are in nice weather, and even base-model Wranglers are capable off-roaders.
| 2014 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara Front
Also enjoying a best-ever July sales performance, the Jeep Cherokee has helped contribute to the brand’s record-breaking recent sales. The crossover, which was new for 2014, gives Jeep a point of entry in the compact-crossover segment and has done very well in global markets, interestingly enough. Sized as a competitor to the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, it definitely markets a more rugged image than those crossovers.
| 2014 Jeep Cherokee Front Right View 02
The Jeep Grand Cherokee’s July sales increase helped contribute to the Jeep brand’s best-ever July performance and 22nd consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. We recently said goodbye to our EcoDiesel
tester, and we fully understand why it’s such a popular SUV. With loads of luxury and capability, the Grand Cherokee makes a compelling case for itself regardless of what a customer wants from his SUV.
| 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Left Front
The Subaru Forester also enjoyed a July 2015 sales increase compared to 2014, helping secure its spot on this list for another month. The Forester’s granola-friendly personality and eco-conscious performance are still popular with adventurous types and families alike, and it’s one of the few crossovers with standard all-wheel drive. Buyers who are considering any of the competition would do well to check out the Forester as well.
| 2014 Subaru Forester XT Front View