February 2014 SUV Sales - Escape Back on Top, Equinox Surprise Second
Domestics Shake Up Pecking Order for February, Cherokee Gains
Month to month, the CR-V and Escape trade places on the sales chart, but for February, the margin was a fairly significant 2386 units. The status may flip-flop in March, but there's no denying the CR-V and Escape are the models to beat in SUV sales.
The Equinox scored a major upset in February, outselling the Honda CR-V by more than 800 units, and getting closer than it's ever been to the Escape's first-place performance. If you add in sales of the Equinox's sister vehicle, the GMC Terrain, the duo would comfortably occupy the first-place spot by a margin of more than 7000 units.
Despite being behind the Escape in overall volume for February, it actually posted a modest year-over-year February percentage gain, whereas the Escape declined slightly. Expect warmer weather to heat up CR-V sales in the coming months.
Another upset in the usual SUV pecking order was the Nissan Rogue knocking off the Toyota RAV4 with a 72.6-percent February sales surge. Remember the Rogue is selling in two different models, with the outgoing style still sold as the Rogue Select, and the all-new model bringing in shoppers with its sharp styling and three-row capability.
The RAV4 still rules Toyota's SUV sales charts, but got knocked down several notches from its usual third- or fourth-place ranking by surprisingly resurgent performances by Chevrolet and Nissan. Despite dropping on the charts by a couple of notches, it still managed a 23.4-percent year-over-year February gain.
The Explorer and Grand Cherokee trade places on the February chart, and we have a paradoxical scenario of the Explorer showing a double-digit year-over-year decline, yet still coming out ahead of the Jeep in overall volume. The Explorer is still solidly the second-best selling Ford SUV behind the Escape.
The Grand Cherokee came just a few hundred units short of the Explorer's February total, but nonetheless showed a strong 34 percent year-over-year February gain. Most dealerships should now have EcoDiesel models in inventory, and despite the substantial price premium, the Grand Cherokee diesel has an unmatched combination of capability and fuel-efficiency in its class.
February brought a respectable eighth-place ranking for the Highlander, with a 29.5 percent year-over-year February gain. The 2014 redesign with a much-larger third row likely appealed to practicality-minded family shoppers.
The Cherokee continues its hot streak with a solid February performance of 11,795 units, up from its January performance of 10,505. Mixed critical reviews don't seem to be hurting the Cherokee's popularity with customers, who appear to be embracing the fashion-forward SUV.
The Edge barely took the tenth-place spot ahead of the Subaru Forester, which posted a remarkable 95-percent year-over-year February gain. The Edge's 13.2-percent gain for February is respectable for the model, and gives Ford the distinction of having three out of 10 models on this month's list.