September is never a great month for new-car sales, with tax refunds spent and back-to-school expenses looming on the horizon. As such, it’s no surprise sales are down slightly over the previous month. Even so, many of the industry stalwarts that usually appear on Top 10 lists suffered some losses in September 2016 compared to the same time period in 2015. Notable in its absence is the Jeep Wrangler, an SUV that usually makes an appearance toward the middle of this list. With sales that fell 18 percent year over year, the off-roader just couldn’t muster enough sales to make it into the Top 10.
The news wasn’t bad for all manufacturers, though, with Toyota SUVs and crossovers selling quite a bit better in September 2016 compared to the previous year. Honda and Nissan saw some gains, as did the Jeep Grand Cherokee, long a Truck Trend favorite.
Honda CR-V: 31,884, up 7 percent
Those who are surprised to see a CR-V at the top of the list have been living in a hole. The compact Honda crossover combines loads of cargo space with trim exterior dimensions and excellent fuel efficiency.
| 2015 Honda CR V Touring AWD Front Three Quarter In Motion 021
Toyota RAV4: 29,438, up 9 percent
Take all the positive attributes of the Honda CR-V, wrap it in Toyota styling, offer an optional Hybrid model, and you’ve got the RAV4. A longtime rival of the Honda CR-V, the Toyota RAV4 offers plenty of substance for crossover shoppers, with all the dependability Toyota loyalists have come to expect of the brand.
| 003 2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
Nissan Rogue: 26,459, up 6 percent
The Nissan Rogue’s sales improvement enabled it to leapfrog some of its competitors this month, placing it on the podium with a bronze medal. With an optional third-row seat, the Nissan Rogue is very versatile, and its popularity should only increase with the advent of attractive new styling and an added hybrid powertrain for the 2017 model year
| 2014 Nissan Rogue SL AWD Front Three Quarter
Ford Escape: 25,065, down 12 percent
One of the segment’s biggest losers was the Ford Escape. However, even with double-digit percentage losses compared to last year, the Escape still managed to attract more than 25,000 new owners, which isn’t too shabby. Three available engines and a very good optional infotainment package can have that effect.
| 2017 Ford Escape Titanium 20 EcoBoost Front Three Quarter In Motion 02 E1475530985850
Jeep Grand Cherokee: 18,507, up 18 percent
Have we told you lately how much we love the Jeep Grand Cherokee? Particularly with the EcoDiesel V-6, the Grand Cherokee is an efficient, capable SUV, and with several different trim levels, it can serve either family or executive transport duty with equal aplomb.
| 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit Front Three Quarter In Motion
Jeep Cherokee: 17,995, down 12 percent
Jeep’s most controversial SUV is also one of its bestsellers, in spite of a year-over-year slump that brought sales to less than 18,000 for the first time in recent memory. Still, the Cherokee’s bold styling, reasonable efficiency, capable Trailhawk trim level, and Jeep-signature adventurous attitude make it a popular machine for both loyal fans and brand newcomers.
| 01 2015 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk
Ford Explorer: 16,667, down 12 percent
The original family SUV took a little sales downturn this month like its sibling, the Escape. Still, it continues its sales dominance over other large crossovers, outselling just about everything in its class. The three-row SUV is a good choice for families that need a little more room.
| 2016 Ford Explorer Limited EcoBoost Front Htree Quarter In Motion 02
Subaru Forester: 15,883, up 3 percent
Subaru enjoys some of the most loyal owners in the industry, and the Forester is no exception. Forester owners love their cars, and this month, almost 16,000 of them brought one home to stay. That makes the Forester one of the most popular compact SUVs on the market and Subaru’s second-bestselling vehicle.
| 2017 Subaru Forester Driving
Chevrolet Equinox: 15,261, down 29 percent
With the all-new 2018 Equinox just around the corner, we presume Chevrolet may be slowing down production of the current SUV to retool its plants and prepare them for the new version, which will come with an all-turbo engine lineup and optional diesel I-4.
| 2016 Chevrolet Equinox LTZ MT Homepage
Toyota Highlander: 14,937, up 21 percent
Breaking into the list for the first time in awhile is the Toyota Highlander. The Highlander competes with the Ford Explorer, but like the larger Chevrolet Traverse, it offers optional seating for eight.
| 2017 Toyota Highlander SE AWD Front Three Quarters In Motion E1475253754882