The Truth About Cars » Honda CR-V http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Sat, 04 Jul 2015 15:51:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars » Honda CR-V http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com America’s 20 Best-Selling Vehicles: February 2015 YTD http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/americas-20-best-selling-vehicles-february-2015-ytd/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/americas-20-best-selling-vehicles-february-2015-ytd/#comments Wed, 04 Mar 2015 15:45:47 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1015162 After an especially strong start to 2015, Ford F-Series volume failed to increase in the United States in the second month of the year. The F-Series was outsold by GM’s full-size twins in February 2015, just as it was in the final five months of 2014. Through the first two months of 2015, however, the […]

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2015 Ford F-150After an especially strong start to 2015, Ford F-Series volume failed to increase in the United States in the second month of the year. The F-Series was outsold by GM’s full-size twins in February 2015, just as it was in the final five months of 2014. Through the first two months of 2015, however, the F-Series isn’t just America’s best-selling vehicle line, it’s also ahead of the GM twins.

Slightly.

By 327 units.

It’ll be the race to watch in 2015, not because there’s any real possibility of the F-Series being unseated – the Silverado would need to outsell the F-Series by an average of 2811 units in each of 2015’s remaining ten months to take the top spot by year’s end – but because 2015 is a major year for Ford’s truck line.

Can Ford strike the balance between incentive-boosted volume and profitability on their new aluminum-intensive F-150? If the F-Series’ market share continues to be strong, does it matter if the GM twins can muster more sales?

Ford and GM trucks aren’t alone at the top of best sellers lists: the Ram P/U line is the third best-selling vehicle range so far this year, 211 sales ahead of the best-selling car, Toyota’s Camry. The Camry’s February results, a 14% jump to 32,942 sales, meant the Ram was temporarily knocked down to the fourth position for the first time since August.

Rank
Best-Selling Vehicle
2 Months 2015
2 Months 2014
% Change
#1
Ford F-Series
109,606 102,418 7.0%
#2
Chevrolet Silverado
81,501 65,510 24.4%
#3
Ram P/U
59,916 54,374 10.2%
#4
Toyota Camry
59,705 52,330 14.1%
#5
Toyota Corolla
55,196 48,052 14.9%
#6
Nissan Altima
54,882 54,364 2.8%
#7
Honda CR-V
45,509 38,991 16.7%
#8
Honda Accord
42,627 45,226 -5.7%
#9
Ford Fusion
42,426 44,615 -4.9%
#10
Toyota RAV4
41,767 33,331 25.3%
#11
Chevrolet Equinox
41,278 36,134 14.2%
#12
Ford Escape
40,969 42,604 -3.8%
#13
Honda Civic
39,737 43,399 -8.4%
#14
Nissan Rogue
37,068 31,028 19.5%
#15
Chevrolet Cruze
36,994 38,664 -4.3%
#16
Ford Explorer
35,649 26,734 33.3%
#17
Ford Focus
32,497 27,929 16.4%
#18
Chrysler 200
29,962 22,958 30.5%
#19
Nissan Sentra
29,749 21,466 38.6%
#20
Jeep Cherokee
29,180 22,300 30.9%

This list was updated at 11:34 AM ET to reflect former Corolla/Altima exclusion.

The Camry, meanwhile, led all cars in February. On the one hand, that’s not surprising. On an annual basis, the Camry is routinely America’s best-selling car. On the other hand, this was just the third time in the last seven months that the Camry’s topped the car leaderboard, as the Honda Accord took top honours in August and September and the Nissan Altima was the best-selling car in December and January.

The Accord, however, isn’t even the top-selling Honda these days. Honda’s CR-V continued its streak atop the Honda leaderboard in February, the fifth consecutive month in which the CR-V outsold the Accord and Civic. Through the first two months of 2015, the CR-V began just where it left off, as America’s top-selling SUV/crossover.

The odd story in February’s utility vehicle sales race was the positioning of the Ford Escape. Sales of Ford’s smallest utility declined 10% in an SUV/crossover category which grew by more than 8%. This decline opened up the door for the Toyota RAV4, Chevrolet Equinox, and Nissan Rogue to all outsell the Escape, albeit by narrow margins. The Escape, typically America’s second-best-selling SUV, ranked fifth in February and fourth through the first one-sixth of 2015.

Overall, this list of the 20 best-selling vehicles includes three pickup trucks, ten passenger cars, and seven utility vehicles, including the Ford Explorer and Jeep Cherokee. At this stage in 2014, all of these vehicles except for the Chrysler 200, Jeep Cherokee, Nissan Sentra were also among the 20 top sellers. The Hyundai Elantra, Chevrolet Malibu, and GMC Sierra – which ranked 15th, 17th, and 20th, respectively, at this stage a year ago – were knocked off.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures.

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Question Of The Day: Will The CR-V Continue To Be America’s Best-Selling Honda? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/question-day-will-cr-v-continue-americas-best-selling-honda/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/question-day-will-cr-v-continue-americas-best-selling-honda/#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 15:21:12 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1008298 After averaging around than 230,000 U.S. sales between 2007 and 2013, a period in which Honda averaged 295,000 annual Civic sales and 324,000 annual Accord sales, the CR-V was the second-best-selling Honda in America for the first time ever in 2014. Much of the CR-V’s Civic-besting work was done in a second half which saw Civic […]

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2015 Honda CR-VAfter averaging around than 230,000 U.S. sales between 2007 and 2013, a period in which Honda averaged 295,000 annual Civic sales and 324,000 annual Accord sales, the CR-V was the second-best-selling Honda in America for the first time ever in 2014.

Much of the CR-V’s Civic-besting work was done in a second half which saw Civic volume slide 10%. Moreover, 54% of the CR-V’s 2014 U.S. volume was generated in a strong second-half.

But the CR-V didn’t stop with the Civic. In each of 2014’s final three months, the CR-V also outsold the Accord, America’s second-best-selling car.

A brief spurt of extraordinary achievement? Perhaps not. In the first month of 2015, the CR-V was once again the best-selling Honda in America.

The CR-V outsold the Accord by 2129 units in October; the Civic by 5103. In November, the gap widened considerably, with the CR-V outselling the Accord by 7103 units; the Civic by 9318. In the final month of 2014, as Accord volume slid 2% year-over-year, the CR-V outsold the midsize Honda by 780 units; the Civic 7032. In the fourth-quarter of 2014, American Honda reported 94,004 CR-V sales, equal to 28% of the brand’s total, up from 23% the same period one year earlier.

Honda sales chart 2014-2015The Civic’s share of Honda’s pie fell from 26% in the fourth-quarter of 2013 to 22%. The Accord’s share slid from 26% to 25%.

Then, in concert with its fifth consecutive month as America’s top-selling SUV/crossover, the CR-V was the top Honda for the fourth month running in January 2015. As non-CR-V Hondas collectively achieved a 7% year-over-year improvement, equal to 4415 extra sales compared with January 2014, CR-V volume jumped 27%, or 4979 units.

In fact, despite being outsold by Nissan, the Honda brand reported record January sales in 2015, with no large amount of thanks to their car division, which slipped 1.5%. But in addition to a record January from the CR-V, a clear-out of remaining second-gen Pilots helped the bigger Honda crossover to a near-doubling of January volume: 12,315 units, up 89% from 6224 in January 2014.

The CR-V is not alone in its car-conquering ways. Pickup trucks aside, the Escape, America’s second-best-selling utility vehicle, was Ford’s top seller in each of the last five months, although it trailed the Fusion by a scant 648 units at year’s end. The Escape was Ford’s best-selling non-pickup-truck in 2011, 2012, 2013, as well.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures.

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America’s 10 Best-Selling SUVs And Crossovers In January 2015 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/americas-10-best-selling-suvs-crossovers-january-2015/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/americas-10-best-selling-suvs-crossovers-january-2015/#comments Sun, 08 Feb 2015 15:02:45 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=994442 The Honda CR-V, soon to be the middle rung on Honda’s crossover ladder, was America’s best-selling SUV in January 2015. This was the CR-V’s fifth consecutive month atop the SUV/CUV leaderboard. 2014 was the third consecutive year that the CR-V led the category on an annual basis. • CR-V accounted for 26% of Honda brand […]

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2015 Jeep Wrangler UnlimitedThe Honda CR-V, soon to be the middle rung on Honda’s crossover ladder, was America’s best-selling SUV in January 2015.

This was the CR-V’s fifth consecutive month atop the SUV/CUV leaderboard. 2014 was the third consecutive year that the CR-V led the category on an annual basis.


• CR-V accounted for 26% of Honda brand sales

• Pilot sales nearly doubled, YOY

• Jeeps grab three top 10 spots for tenth time in eleven months


Perhaps of more interest than the CR-V’s position relative to its peers is its new-found dominance in Honda showrooms.

Although the CR-V didn’t outsell all non-pickup trucks in January as it did during the previous two months, the CR-V was Honda’s most popular model for the fourth consecutive month.

One month might be a fluke. Two months may simply require the alignment of stars. Three months indicates something. Four months might just be a trend.

Rank
SUV/Crossover
January
2015
January
2014
%
Change
#1
 Honda CR-V 23,211 18,232 27.3%
#2
 Ford Escape 20,054 19,459 3.1%
#3
 Toyota RAV4 19,824 16,880 17.4%
#4
 Chevrolet Equinox 19,555 14,547 34.4%
#5
 Ford Explorer 17,036 12,810 33.0%
#6
 Nissan Rogue 15,649 13,831 13.1%
#7
 Jeep Cherokee 15,154 10,505 44.3%
#8
 Jeep Grand Cherokee 12,806 12,207 4.9%
#9
 Honda Pilot 12,315 6,224 97.9%
#10
 Jeep Wrangler 11,683 9,553 22.3%

Although all of America’s 15 best-selling SUVs and crossovers posted measurable year-over-year sales improvements in January 2015, the Ford Escape and Jeep Grand Cherokee stood out for their lack of double-digit expansion. The overall utility vehicle market was 19% stronger last month than it was at the same time one year earlier. The CR-V, Chevrolet Equinox, Ford Explorer, Jeep Cherokee, Honda Pilot, and Jeep Wrangler all grew at an above-average rate.

Toyota’s RAV4, the utility vehicle which most recently outsold the CR-V, recorded a 17% jump to 19,824 units, just 230 sales shy of the second-ranked Escape. Set to be replaced shortly, the Honda Pilot nearly doubled its January 2014 U.S. sales total and, in the process, outsold newer and older three-row crossovers like the Toyota Highlander (up 4% to 11,060) and Chevrolet Traverse (up 89% to 10,151), respectively.

January 2015 SUV best sellers chartTogether, the top ten produced 14.5% of all new vehicle sales activity in America in January 2015, up from the 13.8% managed by January 2014’s ten most popular SUVs and crossovers. The overall utility vehicle market generated 34% of the auto industry’s January 2015 volume, up from 32.4% a year ago.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures.

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Editorial: The People’s Champion http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/editorial-peoples-champion/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/editorial-peoples-champion/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 15:00:17 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=991114 One thing that sets TTAC apart is our appreciation for the kind of cars that most people would write off as “boring”. Part of it is born from our commitment to serving our readers – more often than not, there is a strong desire to read about cars one would actually purchase, rather than just automotive […]

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IMG_9742

One thing that sets TTAC apart is our appreciation for the kind of cars that most people would write off as “boring”. Part of it is born from our commitment to serving our readers – more often than not, there is a strong desire to read about cars one would actually purchase, rather than just automotive pornography featuring the latest supercars. The other half of it is a bit more selfish. The cars that drive the industry (no pun intended); the Corollas, Camrys, Accords and Escapes may not be terribly thrilling to drive (Jack will beg to differ), but they have their own merits, even if they tend to be sneered at by most of the enthusiast press. Case in point, the Honda CR-V.

While Tim Cain was able to test a top-spec Honda CR-V Touring, mine was the equivalent to a CRV EX (known as the SE in Canada). Neverthless, my assesment of the CR-V was the same as Tim’s, even though my example lacked a sunroof, leather interior or some of the other touches that are found on competitors

The CR-V is certainly not the most exciting small utility vehicle on the market today, nor is it the only one capable of cramming a shocking amount of humankind and stuff into a small space. But it does most things better than most of its potential competitors.

The CR-V doesn’t handle like a Mazda CX-5, have the quirky appeal and sophisticated AWD of a Subaru Forester, the off-road cred of a Jeep Cherokee or the high-end tech of a Ford Escape. It’s not much to look at outside, and the interior, while improved in terms of cabin materials, is arguably a step back from the version first introduced in 2012. The new touch screen system looks as dated as the non-touch unit in the first generation Acura RDX, the menus are not intuitive and the tiny buttons are a hassle to operate. The seats are on the wrong side of firm.

On the other hand, the CR-Vs rap for being a boring drive is unfounded. It’s not thrilling, but the steering is decently weighted and fairly accurate, the brakes are linear and strong and the CVT transmission is a great match to the 2.4L four-cylinder engine. I couldn’t see myself buying one ever, but a week with this trucklet immediately opened my eyes as to why Honda sells over 300,000 annually.

The current generation CR-V is without a doubt one of the best packaged cars in the history of the automobile. The H-point is just about perfect, making for one of the most natural ingress/egresses you can find in a new vehicle. The ride height is just high enough, the flat floor in the rear means that three adults can sit in relative comfort in the rear and with the seats in place, there’s still 37 cubic feet of cargo room.

Most brilliant is the load floor. At 5’10 and a 32 inch inseam, the cargo floor hits just at my knee. It may seem like an inconsequential detail, but the difference in ease of loading is immeasurable. Loading anything from grocery bags to strollers to walkers is made so much easier. If the seats need to go down, all it takes is one tug of the strap-like lever and the rear row folds instantly. I’d be willing to bet that those two features, demo’d on the showroom floor by a minimally trained salesman, do more to sell the CR-V than any advanced powertrain, AWD-system or infotainment package. The well-known virtues of Honda reliability and resale value don’t hurt either.

Unlike most enthusiasts, I don’t reflexively hate the CUV. I think they offer a lot of value and practicality in the real world of boring commutes, errands, carpooling and recreation activities, and they’ve gotten to the point where buying one doesn’t necessarily mean abandoning the idea of having fun behind the wheel (see: CX-5, Juke ). The CR-V wouldn’t necessarily be my choice in the segment, but it would be the one I’d recommend to somebody who needs to ask for advice on what car to buy. After all, 300,000 people can’t be wrong.

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Capsule Review: 2015 Honda CR-V Touring http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/capsule-review-2015-honda-cr-v-touring/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/capsule-review-2015-honda-cr-v-touring/#comments Mon, 26 Jan 2015 14:20:21 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=988578 The Honda CR-V was America’s best-selling SUV in 2014, just as it was in six of the seven previous years. (We’re using the term “SUV” loosely here in order to avoid constant delineation.) CR-V volume increased to previously unseen levels in 2014. Honda reported 335,019 CR-V sales last year, 28,807 more than Ford managed with […]

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2015 Honda CR-V TouringThe Honda CR-V was America’s best-selling SUV in 2014, just as it was in six of the seven previous years. (We’re using the term “SUV” loosely here in order to avoid constant delineation.) CR-V volume increased to previously unseen levels in 2014. Honda reported 335,019 CR-V sales last year, 28,807 more than Ford managed with its second-best-selling Escape; 31,115 more than Honda achieved with the CR-V one year earlier.


• USD As-Tested Price: $33,775

• Horsepower: 185 @ 6400 rpm

• Torque: 181 @ 3900 rpm

• Observed Fuel Economy: 23.8 mpg


American consumers look favourably upon Honda’s reliability reputation. The CR-V is also a long-established nameplate in a relatively fresh category. But there must be numerous other reasons for the CR-V’s wild success.

More specifically, there must have been numerous other reasons at the tail end of 2014, as a refreshed 2015 CR-V like the one Honda Canada sent to our driveway began to outsell not only all other SUVs with increasingly large margins but also all passenger cars, as well.

2015 Honda CR-V TouringClearly tens of thousands of consumers are willing to overlook the CR-V’s faults, few though there may be. The CR-V’s new continuously variable transmission, implemented surprisingly well alongside the a 185-horsepower 2.4L four-cylinder, periodically allows revs to fall so low that an unnecessary amount of vibration enters the cabin. This Touring-trim CR-V is the full meal deal, but it lacks any form of power adjustment for the passenger seat. The interior, particularly at this lofty USD $33,775 price tag, is mostly inoffensive but offers luxury only in terms of equipment, not in its materials or design flair. And the interior can certainly offend, with Lilliputian buttons accompanying a touchscreen which failed on all but one occasion to come to life before the five-minute mark of a morning drive. Speaking subjectively, the CR-V is not the prettiest girl next door – Paris’s Place de l’Étoile doesn’t have as many intersecting lines as the CR-V’s front end. We’re also left to wonder why Honda hires wheel designers whose efforts wouldn’t be good enough for Pontiac circa 2001.

However, the CR-V is near perfect where it counts. It’s less than 180 inches long but packs 101 cubic feet of completely usable passenger volume into the tidy package. Rear seat passengers enjoy a flat floor that makes three-across trips a distinct possibility. Rear seats up, the CR-V provides 37 cubic feet of cargo capacity. The Ford Escape is one inch shorter than the CR-V, bumper to bumper, but offers 8% less cargo volume, 3% less passenger space, and 4% less rear legroom. It feels like the dimensional differences are more distinguishable than those figures suggest, especially aft of the rear seat.

2015 Honda CR-V interiorFor young families who might have sought out an Accord in a previous era, the 2015 CR-V’s space efficiency, easily accessed seat-folding levers, low load floor, and semi-lofty ride height form a winning ticket.

Fortunately, it drives nicely, as well. There is nothing sporty here, although the steering is well weighted and the brake pedal is nicely modulated. The CR-V accelerates more swiftly than you might expect for a 3642-pound high-rider: Car & Driver says 0-60 mph takes 8.2 seconds. Especially as revs rise to a more Honda-like level, the CR-V doesn’t require more power, but don’t take that as an indication that the CR-V will adequately satisfy your urge to scoot up off-ramps like your fellow hockey parents in their Santa Fe Sport 2.0Ts and Forester XTs. It won’t.

The CR-V may not ride quite as sweetly for MY2015 as it did before the refresh, but overall refinement is still the name of its game. Of greater consequence is the fact that the 2015 CR-V continues to marry subdued ride quality to a nimble chassis. Honda engineers crafted an SUV that feels decidedly compact in routine driving and one which remains rather level-headed through corners, seemingly treading the middle ground between the mature Nissan Rogue and the enthusiastic Mazda CX-5.

2015 CR-V Tourings include most of the features from Honda’s storehouse: all-wheel-drive, navigation, LaneWatch (right side only, of course), keyless access, perforated leather seating, power tailgate, sunroof, and a bevy of safety abbreviations from ABS, EBD, and VSE to CMBS, ACC, LDW, and LKAS, the final being a semi-autonomous steering function that helps to reduce driver fatigue on long highway stints.

CR-V touchscreenCR-Vs start at $24,325 in LX trim. All-wheel-drive adds $1250 to the price of any equipment level: LX, the $26,425 EX, $29,025 EX-L, $30,525 EX-L Navi, or the $32,525 Touring. We averaged 23.8 mpg over the course of a week with the CR-V Touring AWD, which tips the scales with 145 extra pounds compared with the base all-wheel-drive CR-V. Cold temperatures, winter tires, frequent snow coverage, and a disproportionate amount of time spent in the city caused the CR-V’s observed fuel economy to come up short of both the official combined rating of 28 mpg and the 26 mpg city rating.

The CR-V is certainly not the most exciting small utility vehicle on the market today, nor is it the only one capable of cramming a shocking amount of humankind and stuff into a small space. But it does most things better than most of its potential competitors. There are a couple of niggling issues Honda could quickly resolve, but clearly no issues Honda needs to resolve in order to keep the CR-V at the top of the sales leaderboard.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures.

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America’s 10 Best-Selling SUVs & Crossovers In 2014 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/americas-10-best-selling-suvs-crossovers-2014/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/americas-10-best-selling-suvs-crossovers-2014/#comments Tue, 06 Jan 2015 13:03:41 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=972122 American Honda grabbed its third consecutive best-selling SUV crown with the increasingly popular CR-V in calendar year 2014. The CR-V’s lead over the next-best-selling Ford Escape grew to 28,807 units (about one month of sales for the CR-V) in 2014 from 7911 units in calendar year 2013. • CR-V leads SUVs & crossovers in seven […]

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2015 Honda CR-VAmerican Honda grabbed its third consecutive best-selling SUV crown with the increasingly popular CR-V in calendar year 2014. The CR-V’s lead over the next-best-selling Ford Escape grew to 28,807 units (about one month of sales for the CR-V) in 2014 from 7911 units in calendar year 2013.


• CR-V leads SUVs & crossovers in seven of the last eight years

• Seven of the ten best sellers post record U.S. sales

• Explorer is America’s best-selling three-row vehicle


The CR-V was alone on top, but it was not alone in its ability to achieve record-high U.S. sales volume. Along with the CR-V, the Ford Escape, Toyota RAV4, Chevrolet Equinox, Nissan Rogue, Jeep Wrangler, and Subaru Forester all sold more often in 2014 than in any prior year.

Utility vehicles accounted for 32% of new vehicle sales in the United States over the last twelve months, up from 30% a year ago. Segment-wide sales jumped 12% in an industry which reported collective gains of 6%. These ten best sellers alone produced 367,298 more sales for the U.S. auto industry in 2014 than they did in 2013 while generating more than four out of every ten SUV/crossover sales.

No vehicle exemplifies the more-than-gradual turn toward utility vehicles more than the CR-V, and not just because it leads the category. In each of 2014’s final two months, the CR-V didn’t just lead the SUV/crossover world, it outsold all passenger cars, as well. Best sellers don’t always speak for the overall industry, but the CR-V’s ability to conquer all non-pickup trucks is more than simply symbolic.

Rank
SUV / Crossover
2014
2013
%
Change
#1
 Honda CR-V 335,019 303,904 10.2%
#2
 Ford Escape 306,212 295,993 3.5%
#3
 Toyota RAV4 267,698 218,249 22.7%
#4
 Chevrolet Equinox 242,242 238,192 1.7%
#5
 Ford Explorer 209,994 192,397 9.1%
#6
 Nissan Rogue 199,199 162,751 22.4%
#7
 Jeep Grand Cherokee 183,786 174,275 5.5%
#8
 Jeep Cherokee 178,508 25,786 592%
#9
 Jeep Wrangler 175,328 155,502 12.8%
#10
 Subaru Forester 159,953 123,592 29.4%

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures.

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America’s 10 Best-Selling SUVs & Crossovers In November 2014 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/americas-10-best-selling-suvs-crossovers-november-2014/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/americas-10-best-selling-suvs-crossovers-november-2014/#comments Sun, 07 Dec 2014 13:37:29 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=955794 If ever there was a month to highlight the popularity of America’s best-selling SUVs and crossovers, November 2014 is it. The Honda CR-V, the top-ranked utility vehicle in each of the last three months, didn’t just outsell all SUV and crossover nameplates, it outsold all passenger car nameplates, as well. CR-V sales improved by 8869 […]

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2014 JEep CherokeeIf ever there was a month to highlight the popularity of America’s best-selling SUVs and crossovers, November 2014 is it. The Honda CR-V, the top-ranked utility vehicle in each of the last three months, didn’t just outsell all SUV and crossover nameplates, it outsold all passenger car nameplates, as well.

CR-V sales improved by 8869 units as the four cars which sold more often one year ago – Camry, Accord, Civic, Altima – all registered fewer sales this November than last, combining for 8359 fewer total sales. During a month in which passenger car sales held steady, utility vehicle sales jumped 9.5%.

The CR-V was by no means the only popular utility vehicle to post major gains in November 2014. All of the ten top sellers shown here (indeed, all 14 top-selling SUVs and crossovers) reported increased volume, year-over-year. The second-ranked Ford Escape was up 22%. Jeep’s Cherokee, still new at this time a year ago, was up 67% in November 2014. Nissan Rogue volume jumped 44%.

Rank
SUV/Crossover
Nov.
2014
Nov.
2013
%
Change
11 mos.
2014
11 mos.
2013
%
Change
#1
 Honda CR-V 32,378 23,509 37.7% 302,650 275,145 10.0%
#2
 Ford Escape 25,528 20,988 21.6% 280,609 271,531 3.3%
#3
 Toyota RAV4  21,108 19,447 8.5% 244,701 197,279 24.0%
#4
 Chevrolet Equinox  18,536 18,397 0.8% 220,944 220,980 -0.02%
#5
 Jeep Cherokee  16,945 10,169 66.6% 160,793 10,748 1,396%
#6
 Ford Explorer  16,382 14,268 14.8% 191,530 175,490 9.1%
#7
 Jeep Grand Cherokee  15,307 14,798 3.4% 166,610 157,758 5.6%
#8
 Nissan Rogue  15,067 10,487 43.7% 184,320 148,075 24.5%
#9
 Subaru Forester 13,879 13,410 3.5% 144,790 110,363 31.2%
#10
 Jeep Wrangler  13,592 11,753 15.6% 161,325 143,474 12.4%

For this KL Cherokee, November’s fifth-place result was its best finish since arriving in North America more than a year ago. This was also the third consecutive month in which the Cherokee was Jeep’s best-selling model. For the ninth consecutive month, there were three Jeeps in the top ten.

After sitting in the tenth spot in each of the previous six months, the Subaru Forester’s move up to ninth came as year-over-year volume increased 3.5%. The Forester is Subaru’s best-selling model through the first 11 months of 2014, but not in November. For those who see the Outback as an SUV of some kind and not a wagon, its 14,128 November sales would have placed it ninth, knocking the Forester down to the tenth spot. Perhaps the Outback is simply the true crossover, capable of competing in one category or another, not unlike Kemba Walker’s ability to cross over to the right, then the left, then the right, before pulling up and nailing the three.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures.

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Chart Of The Day: How Many Subcompact SUVs Are Automakers Selling? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/chart-day-many-subcompact-suvs-automakers-selling/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/chart-day-many-subcompact-suvs-automakers-selling/#comments Sat, 29 Nov 2014 13:32:26 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=950481 The Chevrolet Trax, Fiat 500X, Honda HR-V, Jeep Renegade, and Mazda CX-3 are coming. The Buick Encore, a pair of taller Minis, and the Nissan Juke are already here. It’s a burgeoning segment, silly in the eyes of many, but useful for automakers who want to cash in on consumers’ desire for fuel efficiency and […]

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subcompact SUV sales chart October 2014The Chevrolet Trax, Fiat 500X, Honda HR-V, Jeep Renegade, and Mazda CX-3 are coming. The Buick Encore, a pair of taller Minis, and the Nissan Juke are already here.

It’s a burgeoning segment, silly in the eyes of many, but useful for automakers who want to cash in on consumers’ desire for fuel efficiency and slightly higher driving positions, consumers who are forever interested in a little wheelarch cladding.

However, these vehicles don’t even combine to sell as often as the Honda CR-V, America’s top-selling SUV/crossover. That’s not to say they won’t. Nor are we suggesting that buyers of these vehicles would consider something as mainstream as a CR-V, Escape, or RAV4, America’s top-selling utilities.

But the CR-V’s numbers do provide a great deal of perspective. While the figures achieved by this latest breed of cute-ute will grow, the CR-V enjoyed a record-setting year in 2013 and will break that record in 2014.

While studying today’s chart, please don’t admit that the first question that springs to mind involves the Suzuki X-90. Mask that. Erase that question before you submit your comment. Don’t let it get the better of you. America’s torrid love affair with Suzuki, and the X-90 in particular, must surely be a distant memory.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures.

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The CR-V Tops Honda’s October 2014 Leaderboard, Outsells Accord And Civic http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/cr-v-tops-hondas-october-2014-leaderboard-outsells-accord-civic/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/cr-v-tops-hondas-october-2014-leaderboard-outsells-accord-civic/#comments Fri, 07 Nov 2014 12:50:24 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=942529 In October 2014, for the first time since March 2012 and just the sixth time in the last five years, the Honda CR-V was American Honda’s best-selling model. Finishing the month ahead of the Accord and Civic, given their longstanding status as two of America’s best-selling cars, is no easy feat. Only a handful of […]

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2015 Honda CR-VIn October 2014, for the first time since March 2012 and just the sixth time in the last five years, the Honda CR-V was American Honda’s best-selling model.

Finishing the month ahead of the Accord and Civic, given their longstanding status as two of America’s best-selling cars, is no easy feat. Only a handful of new vehicles typically do so every month, including the Ford F-Series, Chevrolet Silverado, Toyota Camry, and Ram P/U. (The Civic also trails the Toyota Corolla and Nissan Altima this year.) Yet in October, the CR-V outsold the Accord by 2129 units and the Civic by 15,103.

Compared with 2011, when the CR-V managed this feat on three occasions, circumstances have changed dramatically. Or rather, the numbers have dramatically improved.

Honda averaged fewer than 20,000 CR-V sales during the three months in which it topped the Honda leaderboard that year, as the market was still in recovery mode.

Moreover, the CR-V didn’t even end that year as America’s top-selling utility vehicle, as the Ford Escape – which outsold the Honda in two of the months in which the CR-V led all Hondas in 2011 – took over the crown that had been worn by the CR-V in the four previous years.

Now, however, the CR-V is routinely putting up big numbers, averaging slightly more than 27,000 monthly U.S. sales, topping 30,000 units twice this year, achieving its best ever October in October of all things, and finishing six of the last seven months as America’s best-selling SUV/crossover.

American Honda Sales Chart October 2014 YTDIs there a deeper meaning behind October’s results? It’s not as though the Accord was unpopular, with an 8% increase and a position as America’s second-ranked passenger car. The Civic has struggled of late to match last year’s pace – sales have declined in four consecutive months compared with particularly lofty results a year ago – but with more than 24,000 October sales, the Civic is an extraordinarily common car. But yes, of course there is a deeper meaning.

Car sales in October were up nearly 3%, which was a surprisingly strong increase given the year-to-date improvement of just 1%. SUVs and crossovers, on the other hand, jumped 10% in October and are up 12% this year. The CR-V’s October status in Honda showrooms was simply a symbol, a rather large and shiny symbol, of a gradual changing of the guard in the market as a whole.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures.

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2015 Honda CR-V: Will it Hang On To Compact SUV Sales Crown? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/2015-honda-cr-v-will-hang-compact-suv-sales-crown/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/2015-honda-cr-v-will-hang-compact-suv-sales-crown/#comments Tue, 30 Sep 2014 13:28:18 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=921713 The Honda CR-V has been the compact SUV sales champion for 7 of the past 10 years. But with competition in the segment heating up, Honda is hoping that their mid-cycle refresh will keep the CR-V attractive to buyers in the fastest-growing segment in the new car market. Styling tweaks aside, the CR-V gains a […]

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The Honda CR-V has been the compact SUV sales champion for 7 of the past 10 years. But with competition in the segment heating up, Honda is hoping that their mid-cycle refresh will keep the CR-V attractive to buyers in the fastest-growing segment in the new car market.

Styling tweaks aside, the CR-V gains a new direct-injection 2.4L engine. Horsepower is unchanged, but torque is up 11 percent to 181 lb-ft, while a CVT replaces the venerable 5-speed automatic gearbox. The interior has also undergone a restyling that adds a more modern look and what appear to be better materials.

As of September 1st, the CR-V led the Ford Escape by just under 10,000 units in year-to-date sales. The new mid-cycle changes should help put a bit more distance between the two vehicles, but the CR-V must also contend with new entrants like the Nissan Rogue, Jeep Cherokee and Subaru Forester, which are vying for market share in a segment ripe with conquest sales.

crv1 crv2

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2015 Honda CR-V Gets New Look, New Transmission http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/2015-honda-cr-v-gets-new-look-new-transmission/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/2015-honda-cr-v-gets-new-look-new-transmission/#comments Mon, 22 Sep 2014 14:23:19 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=916346 Our own Jack Baruth is full of praise for Honda’s CVT transmission, and it looks like the 2015 CR-V could be the next vehicle from the Big H to adopt it, replacing the 5-speed automatic gearbox. While Honda has released just a single photograph of the 2015 CR-V, we have it on good authority that […]

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Our own Jack Baruth is full of praise for Honda’s CVT transmission, and it looks like the 2015 CR-V could be the next vehicle from the Big H to adopt it, replacing the 5-speed automatic gearbox.

While Honda has released just a single photograph of the 2015 CR-V, we have it on good authority that the CVT will be part of the CR-V’s mid-cycle refresh. It’s unlikely that consumers will notice the changeover, despite the howls of protest from certain corners of the enthusiast community. And the CR-V is unlikely to lose its dominant spot on the top of the crossover sales charts.

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Yes, Honda Sales Are Down, But Key Hondas Aren’t http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/yes-honda-sales-key-hondas-arent/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/yes-honda-sales-key-hondas-arent/#comments Thu, 21 Aug 2014 11:36:51 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=897314 Honda sales are decreasing in a market that’s increasing, a fact to which Honda drew attention when the company’s U.S. sales boss called out the industry for short-term tactics that artificially expand the size of the market. U.S. new vehicle sales are up 5% through the first seven months of 2014, yet sales at the […]

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2014 Honda CR-V EX-L AWDHonda sales are decreasing in a market that’s increasing, a fact to which Honda drew attention when the company’s U.S. sales boss called out the industry for short-term tactics that artificially expand the size of the market.

U.S. new vehicle sales are up 5% through the first seven months of 2014, yet sales at the Honda brand are down 1.3% and sales at Acura are down 1.8%.

The good news at Honda includes their lack of reliance on fleet sales, the strong loyalty-building resale values of their vehicles, and their lack of emphasis on incentives.

Yet lost in the overarching statement that says, “Honda sales are down,” are the sales figures displayed by their core models.

Sales of the best-selling Acura, the MDX, are up 55.5% through the first seven months of 2014. The MDX is nearly 20,000 sales back of the dominant premium brand crossover, Lexus’s RX, but it leads the Buick Enclave and Cadillac SRX and easily outsells the Mercedes-Benz M-Class and BMW X5. With RDX sales sliding slightly and Acura’s car division in the throes of undesirability (ILX and RLX) and major model changeovers (TL and TSX to TLX), the MDX’s strength is a true bright spot.

Over at the headlining Honda brand, the company’s three best-selling models are collectively up 3.1% this year. The Accord, Civic, and CR-V account for more than three quarters of the Honda brand’s U.S. volume, and sales of this trio are not less common this year than they were last year.

July sales of the Accord jumped 11.3%, taking the midsizer’s year-to-date tally up to 220,351 units, a 0.9% increase. Among America’s five top-selling midsize cars, the second-ranked Accord’s growth is slowest: Camry volume is up 8.3%, Altima sales are up 2.9%, sales of the Fusion are up 4.3%, sales of the Sonata are up 5.8%. But midsize sales overall have fallen 1.6% in 2014 as the Malibu, Optima, Passat, 200, defunct Avenger, and Legacy have all declined. The overall passenger car market has not expanded at the same rate as the Honda Accord, either, rising just 0.7% year-to-date.

Meanwhile, while compact car sales have risen just 1.2% this year, Honda Civic volume is up 3.1%. It is now America’s second-best-selling small car, having led the compact category in both 2012 and 2013. While sales of the Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra, Volkswagen Jetta, Mazda 3, and Dodge Dart have fallen, Civic sales have risen.

Finally, the Honda CR-V is America’s top-selling SUV/crossover through the first seven months of 2014. The CR-V owns a much smaller portion of the utility vehicle market this year than last, however, as overall utility vehicle sales are up 17% in 2014 and the CR-V’s own category is up nearly 19%. CR-V volume has grown 5.9% year-over-year.

Simply put, Honda’s most successful models aren’t the models holding the brand back. As Acura will surely be helped to some degree by the new TLX, there is anticipated growth from Honda via the HR-V and a replacement for the aging Pilot, sales of which are down 19% in 2014.

Combined sales of the Odyssey, Pilot, Ridgeline, Crosstour, CR-Z, Fit, and cancelled Insight are down 13.3% in 2014, a loss of 28,192 units over the span of seven months.

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2015 Honda CR-V Adopts CVT http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/2015-honda-cr-v-adopts-cvt/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/2015-honda-cr-v-adopts-cvt/#comments Wed, 23 Jul 2014 14:27:54 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=872058 The last word in functional, utilitarian crossovers will now move even further towards the middle of the road, as the Honda CR-V adopts a CVT for its mid-cycle refresh. Replacing the outdated 5-speed automatic, the CVT gearbox is, by our own EIC’s admission, a fantastic transmission. Furthermore, nobody buying the CR-V will know the difference, […]

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The last word in functional, utilitarian crossovers will now move even further towards the middle of the road, as the Honda CR-V adopts a CVT for its mid-cycle refresh.

Replacing the outdated 5-speed automatic, the CVT gearbox is, by our own EIC’s admission, a fantastic transmission. Furthermore, nobody buying the CR-V will know the difference, or care enough about it. The bland, practical formula that Honda appears to have perfected has made the CR-V the top-selling crossover for years and years. Don’t expect that to change any time soon.

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In Defense Of: The Honda CR-V http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/03/in-defense-of-the-honda-cr-v/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/03/in-defense-of-the-honda-cr-v/#comments Mon, 03 Mar 2014 15:17:39 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=760329 I’ve spent a fair amount of time driving and writing about crossovers. It’s not exactly the way I wanted things to work out, but we can’t all be Chris Harris. Having spent the last few months behind the wheel of the segment’s big players, I’ve come to a conclusion that seems to be a frequent […]

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I’ve spent a fair amount of time driving and writing about crossovers. It’s not exactly the way I wanted things to work out, but we can’t all be Chris Harris. Having spent the last few months behind the wheel of the segment’s big players, I’ve come to a conclusion that seems to be a frequent theme of my automotive recommendations: what I’d pick for myself is not what I’d recommend to anyone else.

Having just had seat time with an Ecoboost-powered Escape and a Mazda CX-5, I am pretty sure that if I ever needed some kind of two-box vehicle, those would be at the top of my list. Both the Escape and the CX-5 are the only entrants that could be called “fun to drive” with a straight face. The Ecoboost powered versions of the Escape have plenty of power and decent chassis dynamics, while the Mazda trades some of that grunt for a much better chassis, and an overall car-like feeling. The Escape gets pretty awful fuel economy, while both are hobbled by frustrating infotainment systems – the Mazda’s looks like something from the 32-bit era of video gaming, while the Escape’s options range from “unusable” to “distracted driving hazard waiting to happen”.

I could find a way to cope with their respective quirks, but that’s because I value some kind of driver engagement, no matter what kind of car it is. The CX-5 would make a great daily driver for someone like me. But I am not most people. Most people don’t care about how a crossover drives. If they’re asking for advice on any car, it likely means that they need the simplest, most trouble-free experience possible. If they’re asking for advice on a crossover, it’s probably somebody in Daniel Latini’s shoes, who has a young family, and is looking for something that makes their life easier.

This is where the Honda CR-V comes in. I’ve driven the CR-V plenty of times. It’s about as exciting to drive as eating Bran Flakes. The interior looks like a more contemporary version of 1990’s Honda fare (lots of hard plastic, plenty of buttons). It’s a little noisy and a little down on power, like most Hondas tend to be. But it’s one of the most brilliantly packaged CUVs ever created.

Rather than lift objects up and into the cargo compartment, the floor sits at about knee height, eliminating the much of the strenuous motion required to put strollers and suitcases into the cargo area. For anyone who has to load and unload something like a stroller or suitcases, it’s a wonderfully thoughtful touch. If more room is required, a pull-tab located on the rear seatback will let the rear bench fold with just one pull. No fiddling with headrests and levers – it’s easily accessible from the cargo compartment and takes two seconds. The cherry on top for the CR-V’s triad of useful gadgets is a backup camera, which was integrated with the navigation unit on our EX-L test car. The backup camera has three modes; a standard view, a wide-angle lens and a 90 degree downward view, akin to a periscope, that gives the driver a better view of protruding objects (pillars, poles and the like) that can cause expensive bumper damage with only light contact.

Instead of going for the Ford or Mazda route with fancy tech or engaging dynamics, Honda chose to focus on little incremental improvements, things that will sell the car on the showroom floor during the dealer’s sales pitch. It seems to be working. The CR-V was the best-selling crossover last year, with over 300,000 units moving off showroom floors. I don’t expect that lead to evaporate any time soon. As long as people like Daniel come knocking for advice, my recommendation will stay the same.

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Chart Of The Day: Here’s What The Jeep Cherokee Is Up Against In 2014 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/01/chart-of-the-day-heres-what-the-jeep-cherokee-is-up-against-in-2014/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/01/chart-of-the-day-heres-what-the-jeep-cherokee-is-up-against-in-2014/#comments Tue, 21 Jan 2014 14:00:14 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=704050   With the first month of 2014 sales nearly wrapped up, we’ll soon get our first look at how the Jeep Cherokee has fared, following the initial shipment of delayed units. Much has been made of the Cherokee selling 10,000 units in November and 15,000 units in December: it was a great storyline for Chrysler […]

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With the first month of 2014 sales nearly wrapped up, we’ll soon get our first look at how the Jeep Cherokee has fared, following the initial shipment of delayed units. Much has been made of the Cherokee selling 10,000 units in November and 15,000 units in December: it was a great storyline for Chrysler to promote in the run-up to NAIAS, and one for the hometown media (in both Detroit and Toledo) to rally around. Left out of the cheerleading was the fact that these figures accounted for the 25,000 units reportedly sent to dealers in one fell swoop. Can you say “pent up demand”?

But even if the Cherokee continued to sell at that pace – say, 15,000 units per month as an optimistic projection, where would that place it in the larger picture of the small crossover segment?

crossovergraph2

Small crossovers may not be popular with enthusiasts, but it’s impossible to deny how important this is to the industry at large. In 2013, five of the top 10 best selling SUVs in America were small crossovers, while the Honda CR-V and Ford Escape (the top selling small crossovers) were the 8th and 10th best selling vehicles in America. Together, those two made up just under 1/3rd of the segment’s volume. Add in the third place Chevolet Equinox and fourth place Toyota RAV4 and you have 57 percent of the segment represented in just four nameplates.

The graph above represents the uneven distribution of the segment’s sales, with the top four nameplates sitting comfortable, while a number of small players compete for scraps at the bottom of the graph. This isn’t unique in the market either – Juan Barnett’s analysis of the midsize market shows a somewhat similar distribution of nameplates clustered at the top and bottom. Like the midsize segment, the small crossover category is a crowded one, and the addition of the Cherokee just adds to the competition.

Assuming the 15,000 unit pace holds through 2014, that would give the Cherokee 180,000 units at year end, placing it above the Nissan Rogue (which sells roughly 160,000 units) but below the RAV4. In that context, the 15,000 unit per month figure being bandied about is far less impressive, but it’s important to note a couple things.

The Toldeo, Ohio factory that builds the Cherokee is capacity limited to about 250,000 Cherokees per year. Even running flat out, Jeep wouldn’t be able to catch the CR-V or Escape. Considering that some of the 250,000 units will go to Canada and other global markets, 180,000 is a respectable number. Even more significant is what the Cherokee will do for the Jeep brand compared to the Liberty (as demonstrated in the chart below).

 

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The comparison with the Rogue will be an interesting one. In the same way that the 200 should sell at the level of the Optima, Malibu or Sonata, the Cherokee and Rogue will likely inhabit the same stratosphere in the segment. The new Rogue has also undergone Nissan’s patented process of making cars suitably bland for American tastes, through their expanded dealer network. Similar to the Altima’s gradual climb through the midsize ranks, the combined capacity for 180,000 units of the Rogue (100,000 in Smyrna, Tennessee and 80,000 at the Renault-Nissan facility in Korea), combined with additional units of the Rogue Select (which Nissan will likely not break out from Rogue sales) should enable to Rogue to post higher sales figures by the end of 2014. On the other hand, don’t expect things to change at the top.

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Cain’s Segments: Crossover Sales http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/09/cains-segments-crossover-sales/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/09/cains-segments-crossover-sales/#comments Thu, 19 Sep 2013 13:00:49 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=523393 In every month since April, the four best-selling utility vehicles in America have fallen under the “small” banner. In July, the five top sellers were small. With one-third of 2013 remaining, the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, Chevrolet Equinox, and Toyota RAV4 are both America’s top-selling small crossovers and America’s four leading crossovers overall. Together with […]

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In every month since April, the four best-selling utility vehicles in America have fallen under the “small” banner. In July, the five top sellers were small. With one-third of 2013 remaining, the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, Chevrolet Equinox, and Toyota RAV4 are both America’s top-selling small crossovers and America’s four leading crossovers overall.

Together with their rivals, they accounted for 14.4% of industry sales in August and 13.4% of the new vehicles sold in the United States in the first two-thirds of 2013. The vehicles listed in the accompanying table represent more than four out of every ten SUVs or crossovers sold in the United States.

Allow the popularity net to spread further afield and the Honda CR-V isn’t America’s favourite crossover. Combining the Chevrolet Equinox and its twin, the GMC Terrain, results in a General Motors total that’s 31,885 units better than what Honda has managed with the CR-V so far this year. It takes two to tango, and two to top the CR-V and Escape.

2012 marked the first year in which Chevrolet sold more than 200,000 copies of the Equinox. The Equinox’s total should top 240,000 units by the end of the year.

GM benefits from also selling the fleet-only Captiva Sport, which sells more often than the obviously retail-oriented Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sportage, Mitsubishi Outlander, and the Volkswagen Tiguan.

Honda appears set to top 300,000 U.S. sales with the CR-V this year. Ford’s current pace could see the Escape top the 300K barrier, as well. After setting a Rogue record in 2012, Nissan’s continued clear-out of the outgoing Rogue has resulted in a 15,659-unit increase through eight months. The Rogue nameplate should easily top 150,000 units in 2013. Subaru last sold more than 85,000 Foresters in 2010 but is on pace to climb above the 100K mark by New Year’s Eve. In all cases, supply will be an issue.

In seven attempts, Mazda has yet to report a year-over-year CX-5 result in the negative. In fact, all of the CX-5’s monthly gains have been above 50%. Dodge will set a Journey sales record this year thanks in no small part to a pricing strategy imported from Canada by Reid Bigland. (The Journey is typically one of the four top-selling crossovers in Chrysler-friendly Canada. http://www.goodcarbadcar.net/2013/09/canada-suv-crossover-sales-rankings-by-model-august-2013-ytd.html)

Kia’s overall inability to keep up with the market’s rate of growth is partly the fault of its two SUVs. Sportage volume is down 23% (6248 units) after falling 31% in 2012. Sorento sales slid 9% in 2012 and the arrival of the a revamped 2014 hasn’t generated an improvement as Hyundai steals some capacity for the Santa Fe. In ten of the last eleven months, Hyundai’s own Tucson has reported year-over-year declines. The Volkswagen Tiguan, meanwhile, is selling only slightly more often this year than it did last year, in a market which is up 9.5%; in an SUV/crossover market that’s up more than 13%.

—-

Auto
August 2013
August 2012
August
% Change
8
mos. 2013
8
mos. 2012
YTD
% Change
Chevrolet Captiva Sport
5735 2464 + 133% 33,045 24,299 + 36.0%
Chevrolet Equinox
25,073 20,231 + 23.9% 169,977 151,027 + 12.5%
Dodge Journey
8890 7922 + 12.2% 57,834 51,724 + 11.8%
Ford Escape
26,714 28,188 – 5.2% 205,683 176,927 + 16.3%
GMC Terrain
11,120 9143 + 21.6% 69,651 63,340 + 10.0%
Honda CR-V
34,654 23,877 + 45.1% 207,643 207,643 + 8.6%
Honda Element
2 3 – 33.3%
Hyundai Santa Fe
8102 4524 + 79.1% 56,105 43,583 + 28.7%
Hyundai Tucson
3886 5376 – 27.7% 30,042 33,271 – 9.7%
Jeep Compass
5249 3756 + 39.7% 37,249 28,368 + 31.3%
Jeep Patriot
7170 5056 + 41.8% 52,857 43,633 + 21.1%
Kia Sorento
10,568 10,529 + 0.4% 73,531 78,098 – 5.8%
Kia Sportage
3140 3097 + 1.4% 21,037 27,285 – 22.9%
Mazda CX-5
8506 4665 + 82.3% 54,388 24,904 + 118%
Mazda CX-7
204 – 100% 1 11,187 – 99.99%
Mazda Tribute
502 – 100%
Mitsubishi Outlander
1233 607 + 103% 7588 5306 + 43.0%
Nissan Rogue
17,273 12,626 + 36.8% 113,316 97,657 + 16.0%
Subaru Forester
13,163 6956 + 89.2% 73,752 50,505 + 46.0%
Suzuki Grand Vitara
381 – 100% 1037 3416 – 69.6%
Toyota RAV4
23,502 15,685 + 49.8% 144,314 120,371 + 19.9%
Volkswagen Tiguan
2948 2746 + 7.4% 20,744 20,652 + 0.4%
Total
216,926
168,033 + 29.1% 1,429,796 1,263,701 + 13.1%

—-

Disclaimer: We’ve included the Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sorento in the mix, although they’re potential competitors for larger two and three-row SUVs. The Santa Fe Sport, for example, is more than six inches longer than the class-leading Honda CR-V with four more cubic feet of passenger volume. But it’s also nearly seven inches shorter, bumper to bumper, than the Honda Pilot, and it offers significantly less overall passenger volume. The price points for the CR-V and Santa Fe/Sorento also line up more appropriately than if we were to compare the Hyundai and Kia with the Pilot. Automakers don’t consult an official TTAC B&B Encyclopedia of Dimensions before development of a new vehicle gets underway, and models don’t always fit into the boxes labelled small, midsize, and large.

17,277 more small crossover sales came from the Buick Encore, Mini Countryman, Mini Paceman, Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, Nissan Juke, and Subaru XV Crosstrek in August. And of the 18,297 sales collected by the Toyota FJ Cruiser, Nissan Xterra, and Jeep Wrangler, the Wrangler attracted 86%, or 15,825, of the trio’s volume.

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The Top 10 Best-Sellers World Wide In 2012 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/04/the-top-10-best-sellers-world-wide-in-2012/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/04/the-top-10-best-sellers-world-wide-in-2012/#comments Tue, 16 Apr 2013 11:00:30 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=484953 Polk released their list of 10 best-selling nameplates in 2012 – and while the list led to a bit of a spat between Toyota and Ford over who won had the race – the rest of the list gives us a picture of what’s popular around the world. While Bertel is claiming that Toyota came […]

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Polk released their list of 10 best-selling nameplates in 2012 – and while the list led to a bit of a spat between Toyota and Ford over who won had the race – the rest of the list gives us a picture of what’s popular around the world. While Bertel is claiming that Toyota came out on top, I am merely reporting the Polk data. Any disputes or accusations pro or anti (insert nationality here) bias can be meted out in the comments. I’ll go grab the popcorn.

1. Ford Focus:  1,020,410 units sold

 

 

2. Toyota Corolla: 872,774 units sold

3. Ford F-Series: 785,630 units sold

4. Wuling Zhiguang: 768,870 units sold

5. Toyota Camry: 729,793 units sold

6. Ford Fiesta: 723,130 units sold

7. VW Golf: 699,148 units sold

8. Chevrolet Cruze: 661,325 units sold

9. Honda Civic: 651,159 units sold

10. Honda CR-V: 624,982 units sold

autoblog_cn_img_8770 Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail Focus-SE-front-quarter-550x412. Photo courtesy TTAC Corolla-Axio-11-450x300 Photo courtesy TTAC 2011f1504-550x307 Photo courtesy TTAC Wuling Sunshine. Photo courtesy vwvortex.com Camry-SE-4-side-550x412 Photo courtesy TTAC Ford_Fiesta_Mk7_seit_2008_front_MJ-450x269 Photo courtesy wikipedia Golf lineup side-550x315 Photo courtesy Chevrolet 2013-honda-civic-450x275 Photo courtesy Honda IMG_51901-550x366 Photo courtesy Brendan McAleer

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Analysis: In The Land Of Boring, Honda Is King http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/03/analysis-in-the-land-of-boring-honda-is-king/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/03/analysis-in-the-land-of-boring-honda-is-king/#comments Tue, 26 Mar 2013 23:04:29 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=482404   Honda’s 2014 Odyssey doesn’t have any of the stuff that enthusiasts care about. Never mind the fact that it’s a minivan, but there’s no powertrain upgrades or shiny rims for its midcycle refresh. But you know what it does have? A vacuum cleaner. Honda partnered with ShopVac to create a vacuum cleaner for the Odyssey, one that can […]

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Honda’s 2014 Odyssey doesn’t have any of the stuff that enthusiasts care about. Never mind the fact that it’s a minivan, but there’s no powertrain upgrades or shiny rims for its midcycle refresh. But you know what it does have? A vacuum cleaner. Honda partnered with ShopVac to create a vacuum cleaner for the Odyssey, one that can run indefinitely with the engine on, or for as long as 8 minutes with the engine off. If you have small children or pets, this is a god send. I won’t label it a game changer or say that Honda is about to dominate the minivan market, but it is going to sell a lot of buyers on the showroom floor when they see this.

It’s funny that despite their astounding sales success and frequent ingenuity, the automotive press persists with the “Honda has lost its way” narrative.  The CR-V is the top selling crossover. The Civic is the best selling compact car, and the third best selling car in the land 0 the Accord was in second place, behind the Toyota Camry. The Odyssey is the second best selling minivan, right behind the Dodge Grand Caravan. Among the top selling vehicles in the United States last year, three of the top 10 were Hondas, more than any other OEM. And they did it barely any fleet sales.

The CR-V is a great example. It frequently gets taken to task by the automotive media for being “boring/soulless/an appliance/whatever demeaning adjective” but I’ve long maintained it has three items that effectively sell the car to buyers; a standard backup camera, one-touch rear folding seats and a cargo floor that is at knee level. No amount of Skyactiv technology, stick shifts or European inspired handling can make up for those three things, not when all of them are directly functional in the context of grocery shopping or picking up the little ones from daycare. The proof is in the sales charts. On the other hand, it’s an interesting reflection on how relevant the automotive press is to the average consumer  and their needs. “Not at all” looks to be the answer.

Honda’s lineup may be boring, sterile and unattractive to the people who bought Integra GS-Rs in 1995. But for the people actually in the market for a new car, these are the things that make them sign on the dotted line. I may have lost faith that we’ll ever see another CRX or S2000, but if Honda keeps up this sort of ingenuity, they will be around long after other niche makers fall by the wayside during the industry’s inevitable consolidation.

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In The SUV Sales Race, Boring Is King http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/10/463346/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/10/463346/#comments Wed, 10 Oct 2012 16:38:40 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=463346 What do the Honda CR-V and Ford Explorer have in common? Both recieved lukewarm receptions from the automotive press. The Explorer was doomed from the get-go for abandoning its body-on-frame construction and whatever connotations of rugged off-road capability that came with it. Of course, nobody understood that CAFE and economies of scale, the two driving […]

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What do the Honda CR-V and Ford Explorer have in common? Both recieved lukewarm receptions from the automotive press. The Explorer was doomed from the get-go for abandoning its body-on-frame construction and whatever connotations of rugged off-road capability that came with it. Of course, nobody understood that CAFE and economies of scale, the two driving forces behind every decision in today’s automotive world, were responsible for the switch. The CR-V lacked exciting EcoTurboPowerBoost engines and swoopy styling, and so it was largely forgotten by the press. But now both trucks have the last laugh.

In the small SUV segment, the CR-V is still king. While the Ford Escape edged out the CR-V in September, the year-to-date figures show the CR-V on top by about 13,000 units. We are investigating rumors that Ford has been dumping hail-damaged Escapes onto fleet customers at cut rate prices, while Honda traditionally avoids fleet sales. I’ve long maintained that the CR-V has the kinds of features that matter to buyers in this segment, and as nice as some of the more upscale offerings are, it’s hard to argue with a vehicle that just works in ways you need it to.

The Explorer has a near 6,000 unit lead over the second-place Jeep Grand Cherokee in the YTD rankings. September sales were much closer, with only 1,500 units separating the two. The incentive war heading into the final months of 2012 should make this race particularly interesting.

The full-size SUV standings are pretty much decided in favour the Chevrolet Tahoe, and one can only wonder how much GM’s massive government fleet sale in June helped push the Tahoe to the top of the standings. As gas prices continue to climb, this segment will matter less and less. Most of the field saw double digit declines in September.

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Meanwhile In Europe, Honda Can’t Get Enough Capacity http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/09/meanwhile-in-europe-honda-cant-get-enough-capacity/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/09/meanwhile-in-europe-honda-cant-get-enough-capacity/#comments Thu, 06 Sep 2012 15:52:51 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=459167 Auto makers in Europe are freaking out about excess capacity, but Honda can’t get enough of it. With a $424.9 million investment in its Swindon, England plant, Honda is doubling down on European production, and for good reason. A report by Reuters claims that 40 percent of Honda’s sales in Europe are imports, and that […]

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Auto makers in Europe are freaking out about excess capacity, but Honda can’t get enough of it.

With a $424.9 million investment in its Swindon, England plant, Honda is doubling down on European production, and for good reason. A report by Reuters claims that 40 percent of Honda’s sales in Europe are imports, and that means exchange rates are playing havoc with profitability.

The wire service also mentions that Honda is looking for a big push in localized manufacturing

“Honda, which has seen three straight year of losses in Europe, aims to be profitable in Europe in 2013/14, when 80 percent of cars sold in the market will be sourced from the Swindon plant.”

According to the article, Britain is now a net exporter of vehicles for the first time since 1976, and Honda says that 60 percent of Swindon production will be exported. Currently, the Civic, CR-V and Jazz (our Fit) are built at the plant.

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The CAW’s Long, Futile Road To Organizing Honda Plants http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/07/the-caws-long-futile-road-to-organizing-honda-plants/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/07/the-caws-long-futile-road-to-organizing-honda-plants/#comments Mon, 02 Jul 2012 15:56:45 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=450997 If you believe Ken Lewenza, president of the Canadian Auto Workers union, the CAW is well on its way to organizing Honda’s Alliston, Ontario assembly plant. Lewenza told Ward’s Auto that “We’re getting some enthusiastic and strong support, but we’re not there yet.” The biggest problem for Lewenza is that the CAW has been in that position […]

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If you believe Ken Lewenza, president of the Canadian Auto Workers union, the CAW is well on its way to organizing Honda’s Alliston, Ontario assembly plant. Lewenza told Ward’s Auto that “We’re getting some enthusiastic and strong support, but we’re not there yet.” The biggest problem for Lewenza is that the CAW has been in that position for almost two decades with respect to Alliston and hasn’t made any progress.

You may not know that, if the only thing you’ve seen so far are totally inaccurate, poorly aggregated articles like “CAW Begins to Organize Workers at Honda’s Ontario Factory“. This is simply not true. The CAW isn’t begging to organize workers at Alliston. Nor are Honda’s Canadian plant employees a bunch of pinkos who want to revolt against their foreign overlords while reaping the benefits of a union card. The truth is far more mundane and less exciting, as it usually is.

Honda hasn’t gone on the record with any publication regarding the CAW’s attempts – but we have sources that are familiar with the company, and are willing to talk to us. According to our source, the CAW has been trying this since at least the early1990s, but has never had much success.

There are assembly line workers at Alliston who want to unionize, but the majority apparently have no desire; wages are competitive and union dues don’t have to be paid. The union hasn’t been warmly received in the past either.  Alliston, which builds the Honda Civic, CR-V, Acura MDX and ZDX, is one of Honda’s crown jewels in North America, and to Honda brass, the idea of unionization is anathema to the Big H’s corporate culture.

“It runs counter to the Japanese concept of loyalty,” our source said. “The whole idea is that if you’re loyal to the company, they’ll look out for you and your best interests. The workers shouldn’t need a union for that.” Honda also doesn’t want an outside force interfering in the way their plants are run. As our source put it “…[Organizing] interferes with the management structure of the plant itself – which is unacceptable to them.” As for what would happen if Alliston, or another Honda plant unionized? “Well,” said my source “remember what happened to Wal-Mart in Quebec?”

The idea that the union is making “progress” like so many blog headlines suggest, may be relative to say, being nearly dead in the water over the past two decades. The CAW is, to put it lightly, f***ed if they don’t sign up new members, and in a world where even the Oshawa plant is at risk, their future is precarious at best.

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Review: 2012 Honda CR-V Take Two http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/review-2012-honda-cr-v-take-two/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/review-2012-honda-cr-v-take-two/#comments Tue, 06 Mar 2012 22:12:19 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=433942 In a very small way, my family was involved in bringing the Honda CR-V to North America. As Honda hemmed and hawed about bringing their first in-house SUV to the continent, they quietly shipped over a few right-hand drive examples in late 1995 for employees to evaluate. As a car guy with two kids, my […]

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In a very small way, my family was involved in bringing the Honda CR-V to North America. As Honda hemmed and hawed about bringing their first in-house SUV to the continent, they quietly shipped over a few right-hand drive examples in late 1995 for employees to evaluate. As a car guy with two kids, my father, who was Honda’s in-house attorney at the time, was a perfect candidate, and got the bright blue CR-V for a few days. Festooned with chrome accents, graffiti-like graphics, a JDM fender mirror and brush bars, the right-hand drive CR-V got lots of attention. The CR-V finally came to North America two years later, without all the awful acoutrements that Japanese versions had in spades.

12 years have passed, and the CR-V really isn’t that much different from its first iteration, a rare quality in a segment where everyone from Ford to Kia to Mazda is trying to re-invent the segment. Avant-garde styling, high-tech engines and motion-activated tailgate sensors are all well and good, but the CR-V continues to be the sell strongly, despite its utterly utilitarian packaging.

The CR-V has neither a fancy Ecoboost engine or Laguna Seca-capable handling. Instead, it proudly boasts the segment’s lowest loading floor – a dubious accomplishment among the “CUVs drool, wagons rule” segment, but a brilliant feature for doing normal people things like grocery shopping or going to IKEA. My family bought a CR-V in 2003 – 6 months prior to that, my mother was bedridden for 6 months due to a severe gastrointestinal illness – while she was able to drive, she wasn’t strong enough to load groceries into the CR-V, and I had to accompany her. Hardly an arduous task for a teenage boy, but the low loading floor would have been a help for her at that time. Rather than lift objects up and into the cargo compartment, the floor sits at about knee height, eliminating the lifting motion. For anyone who has to load and unload something like a stroller or suitcases, it’s a wonderfully thoughtful touch. If more room is required, a pull-tab located on the rear seatback will let the rear bench fold with just one pull. No fiddling with headrests and levels – it’s easily accessible from the cargo compartment and takes two seconds. The cherry on top for the CR-V’s triad of useful gadgets is a backup camera, which was integrated with the navigation unit on our EX-L test car. The backup camera has three modes; a standard view, a wide-angle lens and a 90 degree downward view, akin to a periscope, that gives the driver a better view of protruding objects (pillars, poles and the like) that can cause expensive bumper damage with only light contact.

In motion, the CR-V drives how you would expect it to. Not remarkable in any area, but hardly the porridge pile that most car guys expect from a small crossover. The 2.4L 4-cylinder makes 185 horsepower, an adequate amount of power for a vehicle this size. Why didn’t Honda opt for a more powerful engine, along with something more advanced than the 5-speed automatic transmission? Simple – customers don’t care how many forward gears it has. On the road, the combination works seamlessly and delivers 22 mpg in town and 31 mpg on the highway. The all-wheel drive system has been revised to always send a nominal amount of torque to the rear wheels – again, this wasn’t noticeable on the road, but a CR-V conquering anything more severe than a light dusting of snow on a paved road would surprise me. Steering feel is no longer the lifeless “oars in a bowl of yogurt” feel that was present in my mother’s 2003 model, but it doesn’t provide much feedback. Really, the only extreme driving that happened on the entire drive was a panic stop, and the CR-V’s brakes helped prevent a Honda/Corolla sandwich from occurring.

The interesting thing about the CR-V is that when everyone else is trying to advance the game to new levels of equipment, technology and gadgets, the CR-V is making incremental improvements to a formula that has proved successful. In a sense, Honda is placing a bet that consumers don’t care that the drive to Costco is more important than driving with Ecoboost or SKYACTIV technology. Honda made a similar bet with the Civic – and while sales are strong, Honda is throwing a lot of cash on the hood as it clears out the current car before a refreshed design debuts in 2013. Nevertheless, I am confident that Honda got it right here.  The CR-V was tops in small SUV sales last month – don’t look for that to stop any time soon.

Brendan McAleer previously review the CR-V here

 

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What’s Wrong With This Picture: The 2012 Honda CR-V (In Concept) Edition http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/07/whats-wrong-with-this-picture-the-2012-honda-cr-v-in-concept-edition/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/07/whats-wrong-with-this-picture-the-2012-honda-cr-v-in-concept-edition/#comments Mon, 25 Jul 2011 16:57:16 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=404198 Has Honda been gazing longingly at the new crop of Kia crossovers? From the pulled-back, smoked headlights to the sharp Hofmeister kink in the C-pillar, this “concept” version of the forthcoming 2012 Honda CR-V looks like it’s been stealing cues from Peter Schreyer’s sharp-looking lineup. Which is not to say the design is wholly unoriginal: […]

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Has Honda been gazing longingly at the new crop of Kia crossovers? From the pulled-back, smoked headlights to the sharp Hofmeister kink in the C-pillar, this “concept” version of the forthcoming 2012 Honda CR-V looks like it’s been stealing cues from Peter Schreyer’s sharp-looking lineup. Which is not to say the design is wholly unoriginal: the grille protruding into the headlights is one cue that I’ve seen precisely nowhere before. And lest we draw too many conclusions from this “near production” design, let’s just remember that the real thing won’t debut until later this fall.

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