By on January 7, 2014

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For the sixth time in seven years, the best-selling utility vehicle in America was the Honda CR-V. 2013 marked a record high for U.S. CR-V sales, as the current smallest Honda crossover climbed above 300,000 units for the first time.

Not since 2006 has any vehicle other than the CR-V or Ford Escape been crowned as America’s top-selling SUV. That year, the Ford Explorer led the way with 179,229 sales. Ford last sold more than 300,000 Explorers in 2004. In 2013, the Explorer ranked fifth among SUVs and crossovers. No three-row vehicle sold more often in 2013. 14,086 of the Explorer’s sales came in the form of Police Interceptors.

One of three Fords among America’s nine top-selling utility vehicles in 2013, the Explorer wasn’t the highest-ranking Blue Oval vehicle on the list. As Honda did with the top-ranked CR-V, Ford also set a record for Escape volume. At the end of July, Ford led 2013’s SUV rankings, and a repeat of 2011 looked possible. The Escape’s 5980-unit lead at that point was slim, however, and it wasn’t surprising to see Honda surge to the front with a 34,654-unit August.

The Escape led the next-best-selling Chevrolet Equinox by 57,801 sales in 2013, up from a 42,387-unit gap in 2012. The Equinox was yet another vehicle to report record-setting volume in 2013. Equinox sales have increased in five consecutive years. General Motors also sold 99,525 copies of the Equinox’s GMC twin, the Terrain. Combine the two for 337,717 U.S. sales in 2013. General Motors continues to dominate the full-size SUV segment, yet its four big Chevrolets and GMCs – Tahoe, Suburban, Yukon, Yukon XL – combined for 43,870 fewer sales than the Equinox.

Record RAV4 sales produced another fourth-place result for Toyota’s smallest crossover in 2013. As an example of how mainstream small utility vehicles have become, consider the fact that Toyota’s 2013 total was 4000 units stronger than the RAV4’s three-year total from 2003 through 2005. Toyota’s decision to kill of V6 and three-row RAV4s hasn’t had any negative impact in the U.S. market.

Nissan reported record Rogue sales as the first-generation model expired. Ford sold 129,109 Edges, just 1016 fewer than in the nameplate’s only better year, 2007. Toyota sold an average of 132,040 Highlanders annually between 2004 and 2007 and until 2013 hadn’t been able to approach that level. The Highlander outsold the Lexus RX, America’s leading premium brand utility vehicle, by 23,652 units in 2013. Jeep broke its one-year-old Wrangler sales record; and did the same with its Patriot and Compass. The Grand Cherokee reported its fourth consecutive year-over-year increase in 2013 but, like the Explorer, doesn’t sell the way it once did. Over 300,000 Grand Cherokees were sold in 1999.

If recent results mean anything about that which we’ll see in 2014, however – and there are reasons to believe they won’t – the Subaru Forester and Jeep Cherokee will knock two of these high sellers out of the top ten a year from now. There’s the distinct possibility that Jeep managed to sell 25,207 Cherokees over the final two months of 2013 because of pent-up demand. Yet, that would suggest that there is demand of some kind, and even if Cherokee sales slow considerably, the Cherokee won’t be rare. The Forester, a top ten member in each of the last five months, is part of Subaru’s increasingly mainstream wave. Freshness has helped the Forester of late, and the willingness of more and more Americans to contemplate a Subaru purchase could be enough for the Forester to land a more consistent top ten placement.

As expected, enthusiast favourites are rare on the SUV leaderboard. Mazda sold 79,544 CX-5s in 2013. Porsche sold 18,507 Cayennes. Nissan Juke sales, at 38,157 in 2013, have risen every since the model was introduced.

Rank
Best-Selling SUV/Crossover
2013
2012
%
Change
#1
Honda CR-V 303,904 281,652 7.9%
#2
Ford Escape 295,993 261,008 13.4%
#3
Chevrolet Equinox 238,192 218,621 9.0%
#4
Toyota RAV4 218,249 171,877 27.0%
#5
Ford Explorer 192,397 164,207 17.2%
#6
Jeep Grand Cherokee 174,275 154,734 12.6%
#7
Nissan Rogue 162,751 142,349 14.3%
#8
Jeep Wrangler 155,502 141,669 9.8%
#9
Ford Edge 129,109 127,969 0.9%
#10
Toyota Highlander 127,572 121,055 5.4%
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108 Comments on “Cain’s Segments: Crossovers and SUVs...”


  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Let’s see, flame suit on, check…

    I love my CUV, if you don’t like ‘em, don’t buy ‘em

    • 0 avatar
      ...m...

      …you’ll get no argument from me: hatchbacks make fantastically well-suited suburban utility vehicles, almost as cool as minivans…

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      + 1 Buhzillion. Rock on brother. Millions of C/SUVs sold, so someone must like them. Donning my flame suit too. Waiting for the C/SUVs Hate and Wagon Loving memes to spill out like verbal diarrhea. The “internet experts” and “internet cognoscenti” will gnash their teeth, wring their hands, and complain bitterly about C/SUVs. I like what’s parked in my driveway. The haters can kiss my ass. Unless they want to hand me the keys to what they consider “a proper vehicle.”

      • 0 avatar
        pragmatist

        I dunno.

        CUVs are kind of the Justin Bieber of the 4WD world. Fluff but no substance.

        • 0 avatar
          Zykotec

          As someone who bought a CUV because I needed it, you’re comment makes no sense. I’d say they are all substance, and mostly no fluff at all.

        • 0 avatar
          azmtbkr81

          +1, if you need an SUV buy an SUV, if you need a minivan buy a minivan. I don’t see a reason to buy a vehicle that drinks gas like and SUV but doesn’t tow or go off-road and that is the size of a minivan but lacks the cargo and passenger space. The CUV is a jack of few trades and a master of none.

          But hey, it’s your money buy Justin Bieber albums, doggie sweaters, box wine, a McMansion, a CUV or whatever it is that makes you happy.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            +the internets

          • 0 avatar
            Zykotec

            Beats being jack of one trade, and still master of none…
            PS, I know it’s a bit unfair, but here in Europe we are usually allowed to tow with just about everything, as long as it’s as heavy, or heavier than the trailer, so no one really needs a 7000 pound truck to go to the mall or daycare…on 10$ a gallon
            PS, how many ‘real’ SUV’s get 26 mpg, and how many minivans are shorter than 180 inches?

        • 0 avatar
          NormSV650

          I’ve had my Buick Encore for a half year now and could easily live with it as a sole vehicle to drive daily. Easy to get in and out of(coming from sports cars), more than enough handling in the long sweeping turns, and with Trifecta Tune on the engine and transmission it really scoots! I also have 300hp Saab 9-5 wagon and though the Encore is a bit small in the rear cargo area compared to the big wagon, the 500 lbs difference in weight make the Encore the car of choice when cutting through traffic. Plus it has better than wagon fuel economy and AWD all for just over $24,000. Can you buy a 200+ hp wagon for that much?

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      If the wagon whimperers were willing to go to a DEALERSHIP and BUY A NEW ONE from what is available, taking the inevitable depreciation, then other manufacturers would see that the demand is real and more station wagons would appear on the market.

      However, that’s not going to happen as the average internet denizen has a severe allergy to backing up his words with his own money. And you don’t find nice used five year old, well depreciated, versions if the new model hasn’t been built.

      • 0 avatar
        jhefner

        We have both — the wife drives a Durango; I drive a ’95 Taurus wagon that has been in the family since new.

        Since you can sit an eighth person in the middle of the front bench seat (though it wouldn’t be comfortable), the Taurus can hold one more than the Durango. But, it only has heater vents for the second row, none for the jump seat in the back; no cupholders, no head rests except for the front two (and they are not great.) So, when we are carrying our family of four, and extended family, it is the Durango.

        But, most of the time, it is just me, and sometimes one other person. The Taurus still gets better mileage (except when it is cold), is easier to drive in freeway traffic and park (much fewer blind spots), and is not buffeted by crosswinds. It takes the place that a sedan or pickup would in other families; but is more comfortable, easier to drive and park, and gets better mileage than a pickup; and has more room to carry stuff than a sedan.

        There is room in the market for a wagon; but most people go the same route as pickups, and buy a two or even three row SUV on the premise that one day, they may have to haul more people. SUVs are also easier to get and out of; but today’s SUVs are not as easy to drive hours on end in traffic. Wagons don’t carry three or more people in the same comfort as an SUV; but they are good for occassional carrying four or more; which is what most childless couples or single people do if they don’t carpool. There is room for both; but SUVs get the upper hand for obvious reasons.

    • 0 avatar
      philadlj

      I’m not in the habit of telling people what they should or shouldn’t like. I will say that a flame suit sounds awfully cozy in the POLAR VORTEX.

    • 0 avatar
      Astigmatism

      I like my wife’s CUV, but would trade it for a wagon in a heartbeat if she didn’t need the ground clearance (rock-hopping along the New England coastline in February).

      That said, it sure was fun busting through snowbanks in it last week.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Could always in theory add new shocks/springs to a wagon for ground clearance.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          Conversely you could lower a CUV/SUV and call it wagon.

          Interestingly there are companies that sell lowering kits for old BOF Explorers/Mountaineers/Aviators and Trailblazer.

          Aviator V8 with a drop kit anyone? Hot Rod Lincoln Wagon!

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            My MKT is the the Hot Rod Lincoln wagon. I should badge it an Aviator though. MKT is such a stupid name.

          • 0 avatar

            Lowering kits exist for everything, including Wrangler. So you can have a convertible SUV wagon. In fact if you’re creative and wealthy enough, you can take front driveshaft and transfer case off, drop a Hemi into it. Vroom Vroom.

          • 0 avatar
            Zykotec

            I did lower my 2nd gen CRV, and there is a possibility I’ll lower my ‘new to me’ 3rd gen.(it feels a lot more ‘car-like’ than the old one) If there was any wagon available here in Europe with such a huge backseat, I’d buy it. Even a Volvo V70 feels cramped after a few years of CUV driving. (but I wouldn’t miss the Honda front seats…)

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I agree but many of those vehicles are much taller than a comparable wagon.

        • 0 avatar
          JD321

          One can get one new from the factory…Subaru Outback. It looks incredibly silly from the side view.

    • 0 avatar
      billfrombuckhead

      Cherokee “KL” will be on this list next year, the punditocracy can’t stop it! Eagerly waiting for the new “Jeepster” 9 speed 4×4 coming to the Geneva auto show the beginning of March.

      Mopar über alles

  • avatar
    mike978

    “Toyota’s decision to kill of V6 and three-row RAV4s hasn’t had any negative impact in the U.S. market.” I am not sure that conclusion is accurate. There were more RAV4′s sold in a rising market, but they might have sold even more if they had a V6 option. The GM twins (which outsold the CRV) have a V6 and even if that only accounts for 10% of sales that is still over 30K a year – a useful sales bump.

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      Isn’t the general consensus on the I4 in the GM twins that it really struggles to get those ‘tweeners’ moving? The GM twins are probably the largest of the segment. They seem to be between a Highlander and a Rav4, for example. That heft probably increases the take rate of the V6 in the GM twins. (Note: I’ve not driven either of these vehicles… just going on some reviews I’ve read.)

      My mom has a previous gen V6 Rav4 and I’ve driven the current gen I4 Rav4. The I4 didn’t seem inadequate at all in the new Rav. The V6 in the last gen is borderline unsafe in the hands of my mother.

      • 0 avatar
        musicalmcs8706

        I test drove a 2013 Equinox LTZ AWD with the 4 cylinder this summer. It definitely didn’t feel slow and probably is just fine for almost every driving circumstance. And the gas mileage of the V6 in those things is a lot worse than the mileage from the 4 cylinder. If I were to get one, I’d get the 4 cylinder. It felt just fine, and probably similar to a lot of the CUVs out there.

    • 0 avatar
      Atum

      No one bought the RAV4 with the V6 or the third row. V6 was costlier and the third row was so small that it was pointless for anyone over 5′”. I tried convincing my mom to get a third row in hers back in 2012, in case we needed to carry some extra people, but she told me it would just take up space and none of us could fit in it (the smallest member of my family is my 5’8″ older sister). She was right; with five seats, we haven’t needed to do any more people carrying besides five people.

      Also, the third generation RAV4 doesn’t have any rear seat vents, and even from the second row, it gets really hot. Imagine the poor little kids that sit in the third row.

    • 0 avatar
      whynot

      Sales rose, which means that it didn’t have a negative impact. The whole “they might have sold even more if they had a V6 option” is a lame argument. They might have sold more if they had a V8. They might have sold more if it they offered a convertible version. They might have sold more if they offered a 2 door version. The fact of the matter is those are not available, but sales rose (and not a little- its sales increased the most out of all in the top 10). Hence no negative impact.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        It is only a supposition, but there may have been some people who would have bought a new RAV4 if it had the V6. Some previous RAV4 owners bought the V6. Yes sales rose, they should do in both a rising market, an increasing move to CUV’s and the replacement of an old model with a better new model.

        Toyota will be happy and it does reduce inventory issues of having to stock two engines.

        • 0 avatar
          whynot

          Well yes, of course there were people who turned down the RAV4 because it didn’t have a V6. But unless it has a huge effect on sales (which it clearly doesn’t) then Toyota (or any automaker) is not going to worry about it, and it doesn’t making the conclusion that there was no negative impact any less valid. There are people who turn down cars because of the smallest inane details.

      • 0 avatar
        Chicago Dude

        “The whole “they might have sold even more if they had a [SOMETHING]” is a lame argument.”

        BMW has been exploring this theory for a few years now and they seem to be doing quite well with it.

    • 0 avatar

      I had a RAV4 with a previous-gen 2.4L I4, and power was quite adequate. Transmission was terrible, but if they fixed that, the v6 would definitely be an overkill. The current generation (4.4) carries the 2.5L over and has a 5-speed auto.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I don’t have a problem with most CUVs—in fact, I actually *like* them—but the CR-V looks hideous to me. Just about everything else in the segment looks better. Still, it does what it’s supposed to do and it does it well, so I can’t hate it.

    • 0 avatar
      Atomicblue

      Agreed that tha CR-V is not a good looking vehicle. It’s OK, but we bought the Mazda CX-5 not only because it looked better, but it handled and felt so much better. The only thing the CR-V had on the CX-5 was the big storage bin between the seats. The wife liked that. But, the interior didn’t look as nice as the Mazda’s.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        One advantage the Mazda offers is a 40:20:40 split rear seat wo soyu can take long cargo and 4 passengers. Something that cannot be done in a typical vehicle with 40:60 split.

        Derek has mentioned the CRV being popular, justifiably, because it has some great space options. But this is one area Mazda exceeds the class leader.

        • 0 avatar
          Astigmatism

          Yes! This is absolutely fantastic. Four folks plus skis, or three plus all the scuba gear we can muster, all inside the car – this brings me actual joy every time I use it.

        • 0 avatar
          Chicago Dude

          The BMW X3 recently added the 40:20:40 split rear seat as standard equipment. All of the Volvo wagons and SUVs have it. We have it in our V70 and use it a lot. It’s wonderful, especially since our two kids are still in car seats.

          We brought our Christmas tree home, completely inside the wagon, with all four of us buckled in.

          A few months ago we chanced upon a great rug for the living room while out and about. We weren’t planning to shop, but passed a warehouse clearance sale and decided to stop. Folded down the middle section, slid the rug in, and off we went.

      • 0 avatar
        eggsalad

        The Mazda gets my nod (and they will probably get my money sometime this year) because they are essentially the only player left with a 2WD stick model.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        The CX-5 and Cherokee would be my two contenders. I want to like the Equinox and Terrain, being a GM fan and all, but they have too much hard plastic and don’t wear well.

    • 0 avatar
      LeeK

      Yep, I don’t hate them either with three out of my five vehicles belonging to that category. For urban assault (potholes, increasing amounts of those evil speed bumps and other “traffic calming” devices, endless congestion, frequent runs to Home Depot) I think they make a very good choice, much to the disgust of station wagon zealots. I do have a Generation 1 CR-V that is still going strong 15 years later and have to say that the Volvoesque design of the Generation 4 does not do anyone any aesthetic favors. Someone once posted here that it looks like the new CR-V went under a bridge that was too low and knocked the entire top part of the vehicle backwards. I think that aptly describes it and can’t get that thought out of my head every time I see one.

      But it sells by the bucket load so evidently others don’t seem to be bothered by its looks. I do marvel at how big the vehicle has become. What once was a providence of the Pilot (which has also grown) is now occupied by the CR-V in regards to interior space. When I park my little CR-V next to a new one there doesn’t seem to be any family resemblance whatsoever other than the H badges. The Generation 4 is ginormous compared to the original. But that is true for most cars too, eh?

      • 0 avatar
        bumpy ii

        Yep, which is why Honda is going to introduce a Fit-based CUV to slot in at the bottom of the size chart.

      • 0 avatar
        Zykotec

        I have to disagree a bit here. As for family resemblence, the gen 4 has some with the 3rd gen, which had some with the 2nd and so on. I don’t like the looks of the 4th myself, but back when the 3rd gen was new I hated it, and now I love it.
        And surpisingly , apart from width, the CRV hasn’t grown much in any generation, although the spare wheel on the rear hatch was replaced by a larger trunk. The 4th gen is almost exactly as long as the 1st, and not as tall. It has gained some weight though, and it seems the rear sets gets even less practical for each generation, even if they at least fold properly now.

        • 0 avatar
          LeeK

          You know Zytotec, you’re right. I was shocked to see the specs between the length, width, and height of the Gen 1 compared to the Gen 4 CR-V: they are within inches of each other. That makes it even more remarkable considering how big the new one looks when I park next next to it in my 1999 version.

  • avatar
    Quentin

    Compact CUVs are quickly becoming the segment with the best value. If you build an Explorer, Pilot, Highlander, etc with leather and moonroof, you seem to be looking at a $40k sticker. A top trim of the compact CUVs comparably equipped are usually under $30k. The compact CUVs are all available with 4WD, they all have room for adults in the back, and they have massive trunks without steeply raked C pillars that ruin the headroom in many sedans. I love my Prius v, but when I’m getting my 18 month in her car seat, it becomes very apparent where CUVs just wax the floor with a comparably sized wagon.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      I must say, my C-Max is more like a compact CUV than the Prius V. Getting my 13 month old in the C-Max is so much easier than it was with my GTI or Focus. I still want a Focus or Fusion wagon though.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        I agree – I have a Legacy wagon but when it comes tiem to change I can see the appeal of a CUV. Is that heresy as a wagon owner (not brown or manual!)??

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        The C-Max is more of a compact minivan that became a CUV, while the Prius is billed as a wagon, so that may explain your observation. Me, I’d rather have the C-Max, but to each his own.

  • avatar
    mjz

    I think the new Cherokee is going to be a big seller. Early owner reviews praise the performance, even with the 2.4, the interior design/quality, and the overall fit and finish. They seem to have a winner here.

    • 0 avatar
      Tim_Turbo

      I checked it out, the downsides for me were that the cargo area is actually very, very small compared to the competition-I would bet $$ that the cargo hold is more similar to the size of the smaller Subaru Crosstrek than the Forester/CX-5/Rav/CRV, it that it seemed to get expensive really quick.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “Nissan Juke sales, at 38,157 in 2013, have risen every since the model was introduced.”

    risen every year?

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Mazda, give us the manual trans with AWD and the larger 2.5ltr engine in the CX-5 and I’ll pretend that its a manual trans, AWD, station wagon. ;)

    • 0 avatar
      eManual

      Mazda, give us light colored (Sand) seats instead of Black for the CX-5 manual. Also, exterior colors other than Black and Silver. The new Mazda 6 has a Red exterior with Sand interior, but the back seat is smaller than the CX-5,

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Wifey drives a 2002 CR-V bought NEW! Just off the boat back then. it has 110k miles right now. It’s noisy, not very comfortable, but does the job with no complaints at all and has been pretty reliable, though time is taking its toll and everything wears out. Funny, my old 2004 Impala was just as reliable, too.

    Anyway, I’m sure the new CR-Vs are much more refined than ours, but though I’m not a CUV/SUV lover, these things and others like them are, second to minivans, the most practical vehicles on the market.

    Like it or not, CUVs ARE the station wagons of today, and much more practical. Some, like the Venza, you can even get in brown…

    Diesel stick shift? Yeah, right. Nobody aside for some VERY FEW commenters wants one, sorry. That’s why you can hardly find one.

  • avatar
    ash78

    I’m not anti-CUV, it just took me a while to stop worrying and learn to love the thinly disguised hatchback. They give up very little in driving dynamics for a better seating position and more vertical headspace, which to most people translates into a sense of roominess.

    However, their single major shortcoming (vs wagons, SUVs, or minivans) is the short hatch area. In the name of looking sporty — since most 65-year-old women have no idea about approach and departure angles — they cut the trunk off 6-12″ too soon, rendering the hatch area nearly useless for a lot of strollers and other long, everyday cargo (regardless of whether you have kids and their inevitable hoards of crap). So if I were ever looking at a CUV, I’d have to think really, really hard about why I wasn’t considering a GTI or Mazda3 or the like.

    I suppose for snowy climates, it helps to have some extra ground clearance, and for ingress/egress you can’t argue with the height — but how many buyers does that really affect?

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      My C-Max is lower to the ground than the Escape, and I’ve had no trouble this winter. Even with Snowmageddon 2014 and the previously mentioned Polar Vortex, ground clearance has been fine. I do wish I was able to purchase a Grand C-Max. The extra foot of cargo space would have been nice.

      • 0 avatar
        ash78

        The C-Max and Kia Rondo (dead?) are the only two traditional “cars” I can think of that aren’t really minivans, but aren’t really crossovers like the others. They’re just tall hatchbacks that make the most of interior space, much like the Nissan Versa.

        You and I commented the other day on this — I would also have signed on the dotten line for the Grand C-Max with just about any drivetrain. Unfortunately, the wife has gotten a taste of the Town & Country and it’s hard to convince someone to back down from the extra size. And I have to admit, it does “drive a lot smaller” than it should, given the dimensions.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          I completely understand the T&C love. My wife drives a 18 foot long Lincoln CUV. We probably don’t need such a monstrosity on a daily basis, but she loves it. I don’t think she’d want to go back to a compact or midsized hatchback/CUV now.

          Driving to Northern Michigan from Detroit twenty times a year is much better now than when we did it in a Focus hatchback. Not that it was impossible in our former Focus, its just way more comfortable now.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          If you remember, Ford was originally going to bring the Grand C-Max to the States, which literally *is* a sawed-off minivan, complete with rear sliding doors and competing against the Mazda5. However, I suppose they thought that a minivan would hamper sales, and so instead brought us the more-awkward version with conventional doors…

    • 0 avatar

      Try to visit a few dealerships with a measuring tape. I did back in 2006 and the worksheet was quite revealing. There’s a lot of variation. No always in favour of wagons, BTW.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      I think the abbreviated cargo area has more to do with keeping the car easy to maneuver in parking lots for women than it does sporty looks. Not looking terrible doesn’t seem to be a class priority in any other regard.

      Besides being too short front to back, the invariably dropping rooflines and raked back glass keep the cargo areas a lot shorter top to bottom than they ought to be, too.

  • avatar
    Tim_Turbo

    The future-wifes car is a 2014 Forester Premium with the 6spd manual. It’s no sports car, but it is a lot more fun to drive than expected. And she loves it, so that is what really matters. Plus with her having a good all around vehicle, and me having a company car-it means I have room in the stable for a fun car of some sort, just have not decided yet.

    • 0 avatar
      Speedygreg7

      Pay careful attention to the driving position of the Forester. The new Forester has very short bottom seat cushions and a small foot well. Its great if it works for your wife, but it does not work for me at 5’8″.

      • 0 avatar
        Tim_Turbo

        Works for me at 5’11″, and she is 5’8″ herself. I do wish I could tilt the front of the seat cushion up just a tiny bit more, but I am comfortable enough as is, even on the 4 hour trip we just took. I’ve never noticed a small footwell either, although I do only wear a size 10. Even in her old Impreza I had plenty of room.

        I find comfort issues to mostly really be a personal thing, probably because I worked in car rental for a number of years (thankfully only a short time on the counter before I went into management). When I was in rental I would have people shorter than me saying they just can’t fit in a Camry/Impala/Lacrosse etc when I fit just fine. Maybe they just wanted a free upgrade, but a lot of the time I’d swap them into an Altima or Malibu and those would work just fine, although they were smaller cars.

      • 0 avatar
        slance66

        I find this to be a problem with Subarus generally. I liked our Tribeca, which was bulletproof while we had it, but the ergonomics and legroom were awful. Looked at a Forester and Outback and both had the same problem. Short seats, tight, angled footwells, so the specified “legroom” numbers are misleading (for the front seats). Not sure if the low boxer engine is to blame.

        • 0 avatar
          Speedygreg7

          Odd enough, my 01 Impreza was better than my 07 Legacy/Outback which was better than the current Forester. It’s all too bad really, because I would like the new Forester XT.

  • avatar

    It’s quite surprising that Wrangler is on the list. Mine gets about 20-21 mpg in daily driving, with old 3.8L engine and 4sp auto. Let’s be generous and assign 24 mpg to the 2014 model with Pentastar engine. But the likes of new CR-V knock on 28, even 30.

    I often wonder who buys these things nowadays. Mine is a midlife crisis vehicle. It’s a 2-door convertible, so basically an MX-5 or Corvette, only 4WD. I suppose that’s fine, but the numbers sold are much too high for every buyer in that segment.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      Most of the new ones I see are the 4-door hardtop versions, usually with “trail-rated” bling wheels and crap.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      Many young men and ladies alike are drawn to them as lifestyle vehicles.

      I believe Barbie’s second favorite vehicle next to the pink Corvette is a pink Jeep.

      • 0 avatar
        pragmatist

        There is probably an element of truth to that. But even as an image vehicle, driving an actual off-road capable vehicle scores more points than a toy like the CRV.

        the good news is all these gently used Wranglers available a few years down the road.

    • 0 avatar
      ash78

      The 4-door outsells the 2-door pretty handily. I don’t have the breakout, but a few years ago I remember reading it was around 5:1. Coming out with the 4-door was quite a coup (and long overdo). I like to rhyme — do you?

      I completely agree that it’s more of a convertible lifestyle vehicle, like a sports car without the extreme handling or speed — and more practicality. Plus I personally LOVE the way Wranglers drive, at least under 50mph or so…

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        But there are some who say, “four doors won’t do”.

      • 0 avatar

        Indeed 4 door version is way more practical. Still, it’s somewhat surprising that it sells more than Forester.

      • 0 avatar
        Tim_Turbo

        You know, I have always thought the 4 door Wrangler would be the most logical replacement for my 99 Cherokee, should I ever replace it. The Cherokee is my tow a trailer/haul the dogs/bikes/gear go to the dump, go fishing/camping vehicle and is remarkably clean for its age. I never did like the Liberty, and wouldn’t consider the new Cherokee at this point because we also have a 2014 Forester and one CUV is enough.
        I had both a YJ and a TJ in the past, the new Wrangler while still crude by todays standards could actually pass as a daily driver for me, whereas my older Jeeps were pretty much weekend use only.

        • 0 avatar

          Keep in mind that the Fiatsler keeps tow rating of JK severily curtailed. Mine is only 2000 lbs. The 4D is a bit better (varies with model), but nothing close to Libbie’s 5000 lbs.

          • 0 avatar
            Wheeljack

            The frame and powertrain is probably capable, but the main issue with towing with a Wrangler is roll-center.

            High roll center is what prevented the 2012 and prior Ram 3500 trucks from towing as much as they are now able to starting with the 2013 models. They switched from the 5-link short arm suspension to a new 3-link long arm suspension that dramatically lowered the roll-center and made towing higher weights possible.

            Many lift kits for Wranglers swap out the 5-link short arm for a 3-link long arm arrangement – this improves stability with the large tires and increased ride height.

          • 0 avatar

            Fine, but swapping for 3-link isn’t going to increase the legal tow rating. If you get into an accident while towing anything, you may get criminally prosecuted.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    Why are SUVs and CUVs still combined?
    Very few people cross shop BOF SUVs with CUVs.

    I mean it makes as much sense as combining minivans to work vans, and saying based on the performance of the Town and Country, the transit connect needs major improvements.

    SUVs and trucks makes sense, but CUVs if anything need to be by themselves or combined with the cars they’re based on.

    • 0 avatar
      Chicago Dude

      “Very few people cross shop BOF SUVs with CUVs.”

      Very few people know the difference, and even fewer know which they have.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        The only vehicle that could possibly get lost in transition is the 4runner, otherwise everyone else that looks at SUVs have 0 interest in CUVs vis-verse

        Whether they know if its BOF or minivan wanna be, no one would ever by mistake cross shop the two, with the exception of maybe the 4runner.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          The Grand Cherokee is not BOF, though a lot of people think it is, so wouldn’t the GC be more of a large CUV then an SUV?

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Jeeps have been unibody for decades, I thought this was well known.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            It is, I’m trying to get a definition on what makes a CUV or an SUV, if it’s BOF, then the GC is not an SUV

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Lie2me, the GC can be whatever the owner wants it to be, but it is a heavy midsize, a little bit larger than the Highlander and smaller than the Tahoe or the Durango, its platform mate.

            Ours is rated to tow 5000 lbs, but it pulled my 2WD Tundra out of a muddy ditch last summer and the Tundra had a trailer attached to it.

            So CUV or SUV, the GC is more capable than many midsizers of the class.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            I’ve had three Grand Cherokees and a Cherokee, now I have what’s considered a CUV.
            I’m trying to establish what makes an SUV or a CUV, but I’m discovering it’s about as easy to define as AWD, 4WD or 4X4.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Lie2me, that’s why I wrote it can be whatever the owner wants it to be.

            From MY perspective, I consider our 2008 Highlander 4×4 to be a CUV, but I’ve always considered our used Jeep Grand Wagoneer and our 2012 Grand Cherokee to be an SUV.

            BOF has its advantages but Unibody has a lot more flex than a BOF. Our Unibody GC can take us places in comfort where our BOF Grand Wagoneer would have beat us to death getting there.

            As to AWD, 4WD and 4×4 with transfer case and lo-range, there are indeed many differences AND similarities that would fill a book to explain. And that’s before we get to Thorsen and other systems like the Mercedes 4Matic, Audi Quattro and BMW X.

            The bottom line should always be whether or not it will get the job done.

            In MY area the Subaru Symmetrical system is very popular because it gets the job done at a lower cost than the others in snow&ski country, without any hassles.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Me personally?
            One of the two, both are a plus

            -BoF
            -At least one solid axle.

  • avatar
    mhickman73

    CUVs are appliances…there are few that actually engage the driver. Yes, I would rather drive a wagon, but I’m in the minority…not to mention my wife has an irrational hatred for them. The Mazda is definitely my pick for this segment as well. It’s tough to find a vehicle that’s less fun to drive than a CR-V.

    • 0 avatar
      Atomicblue

      ^This^ mhickman73 is right on. We needed more space for cargo and the ability to carry passengers. Convincing the wife to buy a wagon was a non-starter, same with a minivan. She prefers sedans but a utility vehicle was the answer to our vehicular needs. We drove several CUVs including the CR-V and she picked the CX-5 because it was the sportiest handling of the lot. I would have to agree. My previous ride was a Miata and I currently drive a Boxster. I can say the CX-5 is no slouch in the handling department. Outside of the Porsche/Audi/BMW CUVs nothing else comes close.

    • 0 avatar
      ash78

      My wife is 100% pro-wagon and minivan, thinks CUVs are silly, and SUVs are downright ridiculous for daily usage. She could live with a pickup, but only if I drove it most of the time. She hates sedans.

      And this is not my indoctrination — she’s as much a “car appliance” driver as any average lady, and very style-conscious…but just not a trend-follower. We talked about the newer Explorer the other day and she stated that it was still “pretending to be an SUV” and she wouldn’t consider it. Hey, at least it narrows down the options.

      Man, do I love her.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Smart lady, you made a wise decision in hanging on to her.

      • 0 avatar
        mhickman73

        She’s spot on…don’t mess that up!

      • 0 avatar
        Atum

        When I take the time to think about it, CUVs are kind of ridiculous. They have less passenger room than minivans and less cargo room than wagons. My parents both own small CUVs with “big backseats”; a 2008 Nissan Rogue SL and a 2012 Toyota RAV4 Limited. The Rogue has no cargo space but a comfy backseat (cloth seats), while the RAV4′s front seats have firm pads on the back, preventing backseat passengers from pushing their legs into the backseat. This move by Toyota decreases passenger comfort. However, the RAV4 was able to fit a 55 inch TV my dad and I bought back in June.

        I wasn’t even five foot when my parents traded in their 2003 Mazda MPV LX in August 2008, but if I were my current height and my parents had the vehicle, I’d probably have more room than in their two crossovers. I’ve sat in normal sized minivans such as the Sienna and the Odyssey, and those have roomier backseats too. Ash78, your woman seems cool.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          There are intangibles such as image involved as well. Someone might not like the image that a mini-van projects, but likes what a SUV/CUV projects and will buy that even if the mini-van is better suited to their needs. Nothing wrong with that, everyone at some point chooses vanity over practicality, but if you go too far it can appear a little silly. A husband and wife with three kids buys a Miata as their primary car, because it’s cooler then a mini-van, not the smartest move

        • 0 avatar
          Quentin

          Huh? CUVs are just tall wagons. The Rav4 is based on the Corolla. My Prius v is basically a Corolla wagon and it has less cargo space and rear legroom than a Rav4 despite being a longer vehicle with a longer wheelbase.

  • avatar
    TybeeJim

    While no where near these numbers, I noted in a published report yesterday that Audi’s top seller in the US is the Q5!


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