By on August 16, 2011

Sales of all car-based crossovers continue to climb, far outstripping demand for body-on-frame utes as well as pickup trucks. But strangely enough, a lot of the growth and volume among crossovers is in the compact-CUV segment, where the top-selling model last month beat July’s mid/full-CUV winner by some 10,000 units. This suggests that The Great American Downsizing, as we’ve called it, isn’t as simple as former SUV owners replacing their BOF beast with one of these comparable mid/full-CUVs. Still, this is an important segment because although the stakes aren’t wildly high, the competition is fierce. GM won by a whisker last month, but Ford’s got a strong one-two punch as well with its Explorer/Edge combo. Meanwhile, Honda’s Crosstour and Ford’s Flex have bombed all the way off our monthly volume chart. Hit the jump to find out their Year-To-Date numbers, and to find out who the somewhat surprising YTD volume winner is.

Is this a parable for the future of the US car market? All three Detroit automakers get at least one model past Honda and Toyota… only to be beat back by Kia’s red-hot Sorento. Though many in the pro-Detroit contingent have been crowing over Honda and Toyota’s recent misfortunes, it’s becoming clear that Kia and Hyundai are becoming equally important competitors. As, of course, is Nissan… which simply happens to no longer have a strong competitor in this segment, as the Murano fades away. In any case, only 25k units separate the top eight nameplates here, so expect more back-and-forth as the year goes on… just don’t expect this segment’s generous allotment of bonafide duds, including the Flex, Crosstour, and Venza, to go anywhere.


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54 Comments on “Chart Of The Day: Mid/Large CUV Sales In July And Year To Date...”

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    I didn’t know the Sorento was that large.

    Well the Cherokee is selling well, even better than the Durango. Am I wrong or shouldn’t the average transaction price of a Cherokee be more than a Durango? Notice with GMs Lambda triplets they sell in order of MSRP basically. Cheapest Chevy best selling, slightly more expesnive GMC – less sales than the Chevy, even more expensive Buick – less sales than the GMC. (And Sorento outsells Santa Fe.) I just find it facinating that Fiat-Chrysler is bucking that trend.

    • 0 avatar

      The Sorento is tops on our list when we go to trade my wife’s 2008 Japan-built Highlander Limited AWD in 2012 or 2013. It’s about the same size as her Highlander. I would not choose to buy a Highlander built in the US based on the problems her sisters have had with their Highlanders.

      The only other vehicle that appeals would be an AWD Sequoia, and that is way more vehicle than we want and need. Even the Honda Pilot has a history of transmission issues, as does the Murano. What ever happened to problem-free cars built in the US or Canada?

      • 0 avatar

        @ highdesertcat..Just for the record, do they build the Honda Pilot ,and the Murano transmission in the USA?

        Your much loved Tundra was built in Texas. I thought it was problem free?

        The Honda civic from Alliston Ont? Is it junk?

        Maybe “Jimmyy” aka “jj99” could give us an update from C.R.

      • 0 avatar

        Just traded my 9 Highlander on an 11 Highlander. Why? Only added 5300 plus taxes on the 5300 and plates. This is my first US highlander. I hope it is problem free.

        However, my brother has a 90,000 mile US camry that is perfect. I drove it and you would think it only has less than half of that mileage if you did not look at the odo. Other than the rear pads changed recently, and 2 sets of tires, no repairs. Nothing.

        I also have a 10 Pilot. I bought it because web sites claim the Honda transmission issues was 5+ years ago. I know of 2 very high mileage Pilots, one an 07 and the other an 08. One is a coworker, and the other is a neighbor. Not a single problem other than brakes and tires.

        But, I do have a complaint about the 10 Pilot. My issue is the console is scratch prone. My highlander does not suffer this. Must be different plastic. I wish honda would change that plastic.

      • 0 avatar

        I try to be as objective as I can be, calling a spade a spade when it really is a spade. And with the US-built Highlanders my wife’s sisters bought in 2009 and 2010, frankly, there have been quality issues and recalls. IOW, warranty visits where you lose the car for at least one day.

        Friends who bought a 2010 Pilot had transmission slippage problems while on a trip to California and had to spend three days down time there while their Pilot was being fixed (and the transmission fluid changed).

        People from church had the CVT in their Murano go out on them under warranty. Nissan made good on it, but they lost the car for a week.

        My Tundra was indeed made in San Antonio, TX, and it has been trouble-free (so far). I hope it stays that way. My wife’s Highlander Limited AWD was built in Japan and also has been trouble-free, so far, but it already has more than 70K miles on it since we bought it in 2008. It gets used a lot! I don’t claim my exceptional experience with these two vehicles is the norm. It could very well be the exception. Time will tell.

        Buying a new SUV or CUV in 2012 or 2013 is going to be a soul searching experience for us because my wife will retire and quit working as of 31 Dec 2011 and go on social security retirement, thereby reducing our income. You know, taking out instead of paying in.

        We won’t be trading cars every three to five years any more, so we want something that is going to be trouble-free. Deciding which brand or which manufacturer puts out the best vehicles is going to be a challenge in view of the fact that ALL manufacturers are sliding backwards on quality, reliability, dependability and durability. So far, the Sorento has gotten the best marks, but that could change. We’ll have to see.

        Please don’t tell me how good Ford and GM are these days. I’ve owned them before and they have just now achieved the quality level where the foreigners were at during the eighties and nineties. Much of it is made in Mexico. When you’re at the bottom, there is but one way to go, and that is up. And I’m very happy to see quality has improved at Ford and GM, but that does not mean I want to own another one of theirs. Why would I want to reward them for the problems that I had with their vehicles I owned, by buying another one from them?

        The drop in reliability is just one of the reasons my brothers have decided to leave the new-car retail business after more than thirty years of successful operations. As someone once so eloquently put it, “You gotta know when to hold them, and know when to fold them”.

        I’m getting too old to tool and wrench on my cars to repair them and keep them running. Now I want my cars to be as reliable as an appliance. And now I can afford it.

      • 0 avatar

        So far, my 2010 Pilot has been perfect, with the exception of a problem with the keys ( strange ). Fixed under warranty … car had 35,000 miles. That was close. Dealer said had I missed warranty, it would have been hundreds. Part that irritated me on that was dealer said the problem is known. Now, car has 45,000. Used heavily to travel between NYC and Boston. Transmission has been flawless, but I have been doing the fluid changes more than recommended just to be safe.

        Was thinking about flipping this on a 12 Pilot. But having second thoughts because the 12 Pilot has a new six speed transmission. I never like to roll the dice on a new transmission, especially since you indicated you know someone with a 2010 transmission problem.

        Thanks for the info. I will recheck before doing the trade.

  • avatar

    Consumer Report tested the ford explorer, edge. Came in near the back of the pack. I feel sorry for anyone who ignores these facts and buys the ford.

    Plus, would be intersting to see these numbers fleet sales adjusted. edge seems to be common on the rental circuit.

    How accurate are these numbers? Who does the counting? Would never guess the big numbers reported by domestics. I just don’t see many.

  • avatar

    What happened to Lambda sales this month? They’re up in a major way not only year on year, but from June to July.

    It’s interesting to see the JGC selling in much higher numbers than the roomier Durango. The third row seat seems to be an important feature to a lot of people in this segment, which is why I assume the Sorrento is doing so much better than its Hyundai Sante Fe platform-mate.

    I saw a truckload of Nissan Murano Convertibles go by last week, though I haven’t seen any on the road yet. I’ve been keeping my eyes open, as I’m curious how it will look at eye level in the flesh.

  • avatar

    “Honda’s Crosstour and Ford’s Flex have bombed all the way off our monthly volume chart”

    Thank God about the Crosstour part. The sooner this blight is gone, the better. As for the Flex…pity really, I like it.

    • 0 avatar

      The Flex is the vehicle for cool overbreeders.

      The bad news: the cool kids don’t overbreed.

    • 0 avatar

      Flex kinda proved that Mini Styling Cues are not really scalable (at least up to that segment, or on a Ford badged vehicle.)

      If the target demographic was really cool overbreeders, what would seem to be an exceedingly slim one, then I would say they reached their target demographic and have already saturated it.

      • 0 avatar
        Jack Baruth

        Ironically, I was thinking about getting a second Flex; my ex-wife took mine with her.

      • 0 avatar

        Actually I like the Flex, and its styling, but apparently the market doesnt really agree with me (or Jim Farley.)

      • 0 avatar

        I like the Flex. Its styling is clean and distinctive, and it has a very roomy and nicely trimmed interior. It is definitely preferable to any SUV I’ve driven.

        I suspect the styling successfully evokes the “station wagon” look a little too much for most perspective customers.

        The Crosstour is a very good vehicle masked by very unfortunate styling.

      • 0 avatar

        I like the Flex as well. It’s a little bit larger than I would like, I guess … at least in terms of exterior dimensions.

        Oddly, the little lady has decided it’s ugly and therefore wouldn’t consider one.

        Isn’t the guy supposed to be the one resisting the purchase of a minivan?

      • 0 avatar

        It’s the same in our house. My wife calls the Flex “the hearse” and has no interest in it whatsoever.

    • 0 avatar

      I would hate if a neighbor owned a Flex. I could not stand looking at that day after day.

  • avatar

    I’m astounded by the staying power of the Lambda CUVs, but it’s long since time they were replaced. We haven’t heard or seen anything about a replacement yet, which worries me.

    • 0 avatar

      I thought that the Lambdas were supposed to be redone in 2014. There was talk of the next-generation Escalade shifting to this platform in conjunction with this revamp.

  • avatar

    It’s like the Edge/Explorer is the way more successful (and larger) version of Chrysler’s Compass/Patriot experiment.

  • avatar

    I’m surprised the Murano is doing so poorly. The one I recently test drove was quite nice, and a valid competitor to the Edge.

    With that in mind, combining the Edge and Explorer (and negligible Flex) sales gives you the highest sales per platform.

    • 0 avatar

      The Explorer and Flex are D4 platform, the Edge is CD3.

      • 0 avatar

        Ah, well. Thanks for that. You’re right. I forgot. The D4 is the Volvo based platform, and CD3 is Mazda based. Whoops.

        Regardless, both are doing surprisingly well.

      • 0 avatar

        The D4 is basically just a beefed up embiggened version of the D3, which was Volvo designed before Ford bought Volvo. CD3 has plenty of Mazda influence, but was a Ford/Mazda joint venture and benefited from Ford’s early adoption of CAD and considerable resources compared to what Mazda could have done on its own.

        The upcoming CD4 (previously EUCD2) which will underpin the 2013 Fusion is an evolution of Ford of Europe’s EUCD platform with upgrades and enhancements provided to make it a fully global offering. From what I’ve read it is also designed to be more scalable in size than the current CD3, and will eventually underpin the Taurus as well, likely replacing the D3. I don’t know if it will find its way under the Explorer and Flex in the future, or if another large CUV platform will be worked out.

      • 0 avatar

        Wording in CR makes the Ford, Mazda, and Volvo designs a whole lot closer than your spin.

    • 0 avatar

      I think the Murano’s success was mostly style-based, so I can understand the novelty wearing off a little. Not saying it’s a bad vehicle.

  • avatar

    I understand the Sorento’s success, but not the Veracruz’s failure. Any ideas?

    • 0 avatar

      Veracruz failure = no supply + no advertising. No one knows it exists. Also, it is now too small vs other 7/8 passenger crossovers, and on the Hyundai lot, is way more expensive than the Santa Fe which is all most people need.

      • 0 avatar

        Veracruz failure also = not that much larger, far worse gas mileage. A lot more money for what boils down to a rarely used third row and some slightly more contemporary interior styling.

      • 0 avatar

        Agree with the lack of awareness. The post a while back with a picture of the hatch of a Santa Fe with Lexus badges sums up that lack of awareness. There were more than one comment about when Hyundai might have a true RX competitor. I was thinking, well they do, its the Veracruz and it is practically a knock off of the RX.

  • avatar

    In previous months the difficulty in characterizing vehicles in this segment was mentioned, but I still don’t think the Grand Cherokee and Durango fit in here.

    While they are not body on frame, they are the only ones on this list with longitudinal engines, available two speed transfer cases and skid plates, optional V8 power, etc.

    I think these two fit in better with “traditional” mid size SUVs, such as the 4Runner and Pathfinder.

    Also, what happened to the Subaru Outback? The current bodystyle is more a crossover and less a wagon. As the owner of an older Legacy Wagon I don’t much care for the latest redesign, but I thought sales of these were really up overall.

  • avatar

    “Is this a parable for the future of the US car market? All three Detroit automakers get at least one model past Honda and Toyota… only to be beat back by Kia’s red-hot Sorento.”

    This could well be the future. I think many buyers care most about utility / price, right now the Koreans and Detroit have a lower cost structure so they can offer more car for the money. It’s pretty hard to compete with that over the long run for a mainstream, high volume, non premium brand…

  • avatar

    Here is the transaction level data for July –
    Ed if you want to contact me – I can contribute
    the transaction level data for the segments each
    month – since it comes out all screwy if I try to post
    it as a reply. Days in inventory, then average incentive, then
    average transaction price.

    Buick Enclave 53, 3,177, 42,596
    Chev Traverse 65, 2,976, 34,158
    Dodge Journey 73, 3,259, 29,210
    Ford Edge 46, 3,415, 33,948
    Ford Flex 106, 2,842, 36,756
    GMC Acadia 46, 3,594, 43,583
    Honda Xtour 75, 3,029, 31,671
    Honda Pilot 61, 2,457, 33,425
    Hyundai SantaFe 39, 1,988, 27,137
    Kia Sorento 44, 1,684, 28,280
    Nissan Murano 100, 3,218, 35,622
    Toyota Highder 40, 3,080, 34,005
    Highder Hybrid 50, 588, 44,832
    Toyota Venza 81, 2,261, 28,988

    • 0 avatar

      A few surprises here..
      The Acadia’s ATP is higher than the Enclave. I used the think the Pilot and Highlander would have an ATP closer to the Acadia but higher than Traverse, not the case. The Highder hybrid is costing customers 10K more, for what is a 3 MPG rise? Must be a lot of math challenged people out there. You left out the Explorer.

      And how stupid should someone be to pay 31K for a Crossturd and 28K for a Venza?

      As the owner of a 09 Acadia, I am not surprised to see it commanding the highest transaction price. It is a solid machine and imo the best looking in the bunch.

      • 0 avatar

        sorry – Explorer was ATP of $33,008 with $1,912 in incentive in inventory for an average of 26 days.
        For those looking for Terrain and Equinox
        Terrain was $29,562 with $897 incentive – inventory was 31 days
        Equinox was $27,729 with $613 incentive – in inventory 24 days

    • 0 avatar

      Great info MH10. I am curious to know the ATP of all GMC vehicles compared to their Chevy platform mates. This would silence everyone who wants GMC canned. It would be stupid of GM to kill GMC when its just printing money for them. Also, GMC enjoys the highest conquest rate and loyalty of any GM brand, has a higher income, higher educated clientele compared to Chevy. Moreover, GMC sales have outpaced the industry in 2010 and in 2011 so far by a wide margin. GMC is like Lexus whose top selling models are tarted-up Toyota’s selling for a premium.

  • avatar

    Where are the Chevy Equinox and its GMC equivalent on this chart? Seem comparable to the Santa Fe, the Edge and the Venza to me.

    • 0 avatar

      Though the ‘Nox and Terrain belong here, the ‘Nox sells around 17K a month. So including it would make everyone else look very bad. Its included in the small crossover segment where it can be shown as beat by the Escape.

  • avatar

    My brother has an Acadia and I’ve got to admit that from a passenger point of view it’s a damn fine vehicle. It rides nice and the interior fit and finish is top notch. It wasn’t that long ago that I’d come back from the auto shows feeling the $10k Hyundai had a nicer interior than the $35k GM product. If the long term reliability is up there, they deserve their comeback “Government Motors” detractors or not.

    • 0 avatar

      just bought my wife a 2010 Traverse LTZ with 9k miles. Only issues are the USB plug in the center console fell into the dark recesses of the lower console. And a trim piece behind the driver side interior door handle broke a clip and fell off. And we got the wrong remote for the DVD player. The Mrs took it to the dealer. They ordered the parts (supposedly) and we haven’t heard from them in 3 weeks. I guess since there is no money to be made in our modest parts order and repair, we are not a priority – regardless of whether we might one day be a loyal customer.

      Oh – the other thing – we called the dealer that serviced the vehicle previously (different than the missing parts dealer) because there was some sort of transmission gear shift replacement item on the carfax. Previous dealer protected the repair history like it was a sacred document. Wouldn’t disclose the history citing a Dr/patient/attorney/client privacy statute. Seriously? Haven’t had much interaction with dealers in past years since I do all maint & repairs in house, but is this any way to act? I certainly haven’t behaved in any way that would warrant being ignored or acting like a Dbag about service records.

      • 0 avatar

        Would be worried about the transmission fix. Often, a transmission problem results in long term issues. Trade it in and make sure the next vehicle has a different transmission type. Fortunately, the Traverse should have decent resale. Don’t wait.

        While I have little Traverse knowledge, it is possible a different powertrain option exists that includes a different transmission. So, if you like the Traverse, kick in a few thousand and swap. It is possible your Traverse came from someone else who did just that.

        Personally, I like the GMC Arcadia. It is my third favorite CUV behind the Highlander and Pilot. I think the Arcadia is a great looking vehicle. Hard to imagine how the Traverse and Enclave came from the same set of designers. Those two look terrible. I would trade the Traverse on an Arcadia, assuming one exists with a different transmission. If only one transmission is available, get something else.

  • avatar

    I had a Buick Enclave for 2 weeks as a rental when I was backpacking and hiking in Glacier National Park. While the 4 of us were initially very impressed, we all grew to hate that vehicle over the 1000miles of driving. The space behind the 2nd row easily swallowed our 4 duffle bags and 4 internal frame backpacks, while the 4Runner that we drove to the airport was a bit of a squeeze. We got in thinking of how nice the interior was, too. Between plastic bits breaking off the 2nd row of seats, the sub-20mpg fuel economy, the unintuitive instruments, and the way the engine and transmission felt poorly suited to the mass of the vehicle, we were less impressed with the car as time passed. The power rear gate was a constant complaint. It worked way too slow and heaven forbid you have anything near the door when you closed it. The slightest “squeeze” would kick the door back open. I think we’d all have been far more happy in an actual minivan instead of this “minivan” that is compromised to give it SUV style. I’m willing to deal with the handling and fuel economy compromises that come along with a real SUV when I’m getting SUV capability off the pavement, but if I’m staying on the beaten path, just give me a minivan.

  • avatar

    Wow…fleets are loving the Explorer…

    • 0 avatar
      Secret Hi5

      OK, I don’t normally respond to Silvy, but in this instance, I have to say I’ve seen many Explorers on the rental lot. I rented a new Explorer last month and liked it, except for the horrid Sync thing.

  • avatar

    Motorhead10: Do you have that info for the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango?

  • avatar

    Sorry – I forgot Buick in this – and I just dumped all
    the Jeep stuff in. Hard to post this on here
    Again – first number is days in inventory, then incentive
    then atp

    Escalade, 70, 6410, 70740
    Escalade ESV, 81, 6279, 74765
    Escalade EXT, 46, 5225, 67489
    SRX, 50, 2143, 42635
    Avalanche, 75, 4584, 44743
    Colorado, 59, 2692, 25810
    Equinox 24, 613, 26781
    Silverado 1500, 73, 4589, 33291
    Silverado 2500, 60, 3292, 38348
    Silverado 3500, 64, 3528, 46080
    Suburban, 53, 4018, 52473
    Tahoe, 67, 3848, 45936
    Traverse, 65, 2976, 34158
    Dakota, 65, 5412, 23219
    Durango 57, 3223, 37637
    Journey 73, 3259, 29210
    Nitro, 67, 3067, 25973
    Ram Pickup 1500 101, 4711, 30326
    Ram Pickup 2500 79, 3269, 41120
    Ram Pickup 3500 72, 3588, 48508
    Compass 53, 1618, 22535
    Grand Cherokee 62, 2427, 38371
    Liberty 71, 4803, 26536
    Patriot 66, 1459, 19818
    Wrangler 82, 2171, 28823

  • avatar

    GMC stuff – sorry I’m a spaz
    Acadia 46, 3594, 43583
    Canyon 58, 2736, 26571
    Savana 41, 1713, 33315
    Savana Cargo 86, 1838, 27570
    Sierra 1500 65, 5041, 36148
    Sierra 2500HD 53, 3405, 43445
    Sierra 3500HD 50, 3320, 44930
    Terrain 31, 897, 29562
    Yukon 80, 4212, 51174
    Yukon XL 61, 4381, 54449

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