Last month’s crossover and SUV sales charts demand a moment of silence, because for the first time in recent memory, the much-loved Jeep Wrangler
has been bumped from the Top 10 sales list. Let the record show, however, that the Wrangler’s year-over-year sales are actually up, proving January was a strong sales month for almost every SUV manufacturer.
The traditionally weak period of time that follows holiday spending but precedes tax-season refunds actually saw impressive gains (and even January sales records) for most crossovers and SUVs. Nevertheless, purists will be sad to see last month’s sales chart dominated exclusively by unibody vehicles.
Honda CR-V – 29,287, up 53 percent
A prime example of solid gains year over year is the Honda CR-V
. With a redesigned 2017 model drawing some buyers and heavy discounts on the outgoing 2016 CR-V drawing others, the compact Honda SUV smashed its previous January sales record and added 52.5 percent more sales compared to last year.
Nissan Rogue – 28,760, up 46 percent
The Nissan Rogue was the company’s bestseller in January 2017, proving a statement made by executives that the family SUV would become more popular than any other Nissan. Adding to the Rogue’s appeal is an extensive marketing campaign, an efficient hybrid offering, and available seating for seven.
| 2017 Nissan Rogue Hybrid Front Three Quarters 02
Toyota RAV4 – 22,155, up 3 percent
Toyota came up short compared to its Rogue and CR-V competition last month, but added sales compared to January 2016 are nothing to sneeze at. Like the Nissan Rogue, the compact Toyota SUV was the brand’s top-selling auto last month, outstripping the evergreen Camry and Corolla models.
| 2016 Toyota Rav4 SE AWD Front Three Quarter In Motion E1469034721507
Ford Escape – 20,588, up 7 percent
Impressive sales performance by the Ford Escape led the company’s SUV lineup to its best-ever January sales, though total Ford deliveries dropped 1 percent last month. We expect a redesigned Escape for 2019, at which point the current model will be one of the oldest designs in its class. For now, though, the Escape continues to outsell all of Ford’s other models save the F-Series.
| 2017 Ford Escape Titanium 20 EcoBoost Front Three Quarter In Motion E1477679744779
Chevrolet Equinox – 17,574, down 5 percent
The Chevrolet Equinox is one of few January losers, but its Top-10 performance is impressive in its own right. Sales may be slightly down last month due to reduced inventory as the company prepares to launch the redesigned 2018 Equinox
, which will be available with a variety of turbocharged gas and diesel engines.
| 2016 Chevrolet Equinox LTZ MT Homepage
Jeep Grand Cherokee – 17,301, up 24 percent
Jeep’s bestseller last month was the loveable Grand Cherokee, and it’s not hard to understand why. The Grand is a great SUV, regardless of which trim level is selected. Of note, Jeep seems to remain committed to the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer, citing those vehicles in its January sales release.
| 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland Front Three Quarter
Ford Explorer – 15,294, up 7 percent
The bestselling three-row family SUV in January 2017 was once again the Ford Explorer, owing to its model longevity (the Explorer was one of the first family-friendly SUVs on the market) and versatility (several different engines, trim levels, and options). The current version is getting a bit long in the tooth, but it’s still a popular, competent vehicle.
| 2016 Ford Explorer Sport Front Three Quarter In Motion 05
Subaru Outback – 13,186, up 17.8 percent
Subaru’s original “sport utility wagon” has morphed into a full-fledged crossover through the years, offering a very impressive 8.7 inches of ground clearance and the company’s trademark all-wheel-drive system. Though it lacks a third row of seating like other midsize crossovers, it’s still a popular choice for many families, as proved by its best-ever January sales last month.
| 2015 Subaru Outback 36R Front Three Quarter In Motion 03
Subaru Forester – 12,853, up 8.0 percent
Like its slightly more popular big brother, the Subaru Forester enjoyed a healthy sales uptick and record January showroom performance last month. Equipped with standard all-wheel drive, the Forester is arguably more capable than other small SUVs, and its flat-four engine layout is loaded with character.
| 2017 Subaru Forester Front Three Quarter In Motion 03
Toyota Highlander – 12,656, up 12 percent
Toyota Highlander sales are on a robust upswing lately, thanks to a refreshed design and updated mechanicals with better power and efficiency than before. The SUV’s available third row is on the smaller side, but it’s still a fine family vehicle.
| 2017 Toyota Highlander SE Front Three Quarter In Motion 02