By on October 5, 2014

2014 Nissan RogueAfter a brief one-month hiatus in which Toyota’s RAV4 took over the title, the Honda CR-V was back on top of America’s SUV/crossover leaderboard in September 2014. CR-V sales were up 11%, year-over-year, to 23,722 units, the CR-V’s highest September sales result in the history of the nameplate. The CR-V’s 2015 revamp brings with it more LEDs.

America’s second-ranked utility vehicle in September, the Toyota RAV4, is 28,093 sales back of the second-ranked Ford Escape on year-to-date terms. The RAV4’s quite helpful 43% year-over-year improvement last month equalled 6798 extra sales for Toyota during a month in which total Toyota passenger car sales (Lexus and Scion included) were down 9%. In addition to the RAV4’s big leap, sales of the Highlander rose 22% to 10,542 units and 4Runner sales shot up 76% to 5659.

In September 2014, for the third time in three months, the Ford Escape ranked third among SUVs and crossovers competing for sales in the United States. But while July sales jumped 19% and August Escape volume was up 9%, Escape sales in September slid 4% to 21,718 units, a three-year September low for the smallest Ford utility.

The Escape was joined in the top six by the Ford Explorer. Civilian Explorer sales were up 1% to 13,770 units in September; Police Interceptor Explorers were up 55% to 2025 units, 134% more than the total achieved by the Taurus-based Police Interceptor sedan.

Rank
Auto
September 2014
September 2013
% Change
9 mos. 2014
9 mos. 2013
% Change
#1
Honda CR-V
23,722 21,439 10.6% 241,015 229,082 5.2%
#2
Toyota RAV4
22,724 15,928 42.7% 202,069 160,242 26.1%
#3
Ford Escape
21,718 22,607 -3.9% 230,162 228,290 0.8%
#4
Chevrolet Equinox
17,266 15,443 11.8% 184,805 185,420 -0.3%
#5
Nissan Rogue
17,229 11,353 51.8% 154,568 124,669 24.0%
#6
Ford Explorer
15,795 14,965 5.5% 158,652 145,934 8.7%
#7
Jeep Cherokee
14,639 128,133
#8
Jeep Wrangler
13,955 11,984 16.4% 134,068 119,941 11.8%
#9
Jeep Grand Cherokee
12,854 14,906 -13.8% 136,310 128,697 5.9%
#10
Subaru Forester
12,584 10,620 18.5% 117,940 84,372 39.8%

U.S. sales of the Chevrolet Equinox were up 12% in September. (Meanwhile, GMC’s Terrain, an Equinox twin, was up 16% to 8310 units.) The Equinox’s rise was part of a GM boost that saw the automaker’s September sales climb by 36,242 units – more than the totals achieved by Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, BMW, or Mazda, for example –  compared with the same period one year ago. The Equinox played a small role in this; the Silverado’s 54% leap was more certainly the more lucrative improvement.

At Nissan, where brand-wide sales have been steadily growing for a full year, Rogue volume jumped 52% in September 2014. Year-to-date, Rogue sales are up 24% to 154,568 units, 16% of the Nissan brand’s three-quarter volume. The Altima, Nissan’s best seller, accounts for 26% of Nissan’s sales. The Rogue slots in second, ahead of the Sentra (14%) and Versa (11%).

That Jeep, an SUV/crossover builder through and through, could land three nameplates in the top ten is not surprising. Although the Cherokee’s rise to the top of the Jeep heap has been steady, September does mark the first occasion in which the top-selling Jeep in America has in fact been the Cherokee. The new one, the one with the face.

Rounding out the top ten in September was Subaru’s best-selling model, the Forester. U.S. sales of the Forester have increased in 19 consecutive months. By the end of October, Subaru will have sold more Foresters in America in ten months than in all of 2013, a record year for the Forester.

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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67 Comments on “America’s 10 Best-Selling SUVs & Crossovers In September 2014...”


  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Ooh, Crossovers, my favorite

  • avatar
    sirwired

    If Mazda can’t break the top ten with the very well-regarded CX-5, then I’m not sure there’s much hope for the brand unless they grab a hold of a big partner again. Positive critical reviews don’t account for much if you can’t sell cars.

    • 0 avatar
      Zykotec

      As a CRV owner, I must say I love the looks of the CX5, and I see a lot of them around here lately. All the positive reviews have given it a bump in sales lately, adn I guess it’s probably a great car, but it just doesn’t have the practicality and space of the CRV. A few years down the line we will know if it has the reliability of the CRV and RAV4 and then we can truly know if it is a ‘better’ car. Like with all popular mainstream cars there are a lot of factors that decide if you get a sale or not, and the best sellig car is often regarded as the best, just because it is the best seller. Most people seem to feel safer when not maing a decision solely on their own.
      As for my own choice, I guess I could have bought a RAV4 or CX5 if I didn’t need the big back seat, but then again I could have just bought a large sedan or hatchback, or even stationwagon (brown manual diesel TSX ?).

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        The CX5 is practical and is certainly class competitive. It has 40:20:40 seats (unlike the CRV) which allows you to have three passengers and long items. Other CUV’s with 60:40 seats make you choose between cargo and a passenger in that situation.

        The CX5 sales have increased, the 2.5L certainly helped last year. Mazda has less dealers so I expect they will sell less. But I agree with the sentiment that if they can`t do very well with the CX5 then they will struggle.

      • 0 avatar
        Atomicblue

        It’s not a problem of people not wanting them it’s a matter off supply. I believe the problem for Mazda with the CX-5 is capacity. There are only a few plants making them, most in Asia. They can only make so many. Until they can expand capacity, they can’t sell many more than they are now. They still managed to hit a new record for U.S. sales this month. As it is, they sell them at close to retail with no rebates (except a $500 military). When we bought ours last year we had to order it from Japan to get what we wanted. They move off the lot very quickly. I’m sure it’s a money maker for Mazda.

    • 0 avatar
      ttacgreg

      Pity.
      Mazda is so much what Honda used to be, innovative, efficient driver’s cars, and sporty.

    • 0 avatar
      colin42

      How many CX-5’s did Mazda sell? We’re they 11 on this list or 20th?

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        Per Mazda:

        “Coming off best-ever August sales, Mazda CX-5 saw best-ever September sales with 8,097 vehicles sold, an increase of 28.9 percent YOY.”

        http://www.mazdausamedia.com/2014-10-01-MAZDA-CX-5-AND-MAZDA6-SET-RECORD-SEPTEMBER-SALES

        I would guess that would put it in about 11th to 15th place

  • avatar
    jeffrodigital

    We just bought a new car for my wife, a 2014 Honda Civic. Like the CR-V it is not regarded by enthusiasts for its driving dynamics but I think it drives well. I wanted to go look at the 3 but didn’t. Mazdas don’t have the long term reliability that Hondas have all around, to me. I’ve read data about repairs, but that is a small subset and sometimes numbers lie.

    Added to that but we took out a loan on the car and many Mazdas from 8 years ago look all dented and rusted. We plan to keep the car after we pay it off and it doesn’t seem like they hold up as well to my eye test, which is looking at all the cars I see on the streets and highways.

    I take critic reviews with a grain of salt- they love the car for the little while that they borrow it which is much different than owning it and paying for it every single month.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      I agree Mazda is not right at Honda’s level reliability wise, but it does very well in TrueDelta surveys. As for reviews it has consistently gotten very good reviews, look at Edmunds and the 12 month test. It isn`t a flash in the pan. And not all vehicles get good reviews whilst the review has it – Dart is an example.

    • 0 avatar
      tonycd

      It might be Mazda’s fault if older Mazdas look rusted, but it isn’t Mazda’s fault if older Mazdas look dented.

      I wonder how much of this is the self-fulfilling prophecy that owners will choose more often to fix a dented Honda because they think it still has value?

  • avatar
    Boxofrain

    Bottom line is, all these crossovers or whatever they call them are pretty much priced similarly, some would say overpriced and have much of the same content. I’m not sure why, in this segment at least anyone would go with a brand other than Honda or Toyota, due to the reliability and better resale value. Why would I spend the same money on Kia, Hyundai, Mazda etc and lose value immediately?

    • 0 avatar
      carsRneat

      Generally agree that many of these vehicles look similar, but there is one major distinction when comparing the CRV, RAV4, CX-5 and the Forester. Speed.

      The Forester XT actually goes much faster with the turbo-4. Made a huge difference when I compared all these vehicles last month. The Forester XT has a 0-60 time of 6.2 seconds, and a quarter-mile sprint of 14.8 seconds (Motor Trend) – there is a step change in the character of the vehicle, making for a very different ride from the rest of the pack. The CVT matches well with the turbo (not so much with the 2.5 liter naturally aspirated engine).

      There was no 6 cylinder available for the RAV4 anymore (so it takes 8.4 seconds 0 to 60, Motor Trend)- and the CRV never had that option (8.5 seconds 0 to 60).

      That difference in pick-up – and the tremendous visibility – made me go with the Forester.

      Most buyers of these vehicles do not want (“not willing to pay for”) the extra speed (XT sales are a small fraction of overall Forester sales), but for those of us who want a bit more excitement in these vehicles, Subaru at least offers a choice.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        The Escape offers a 2.0T which is pretty potent. Priced out with similar options they both tip the money scales at $35K

        • 0 avatar
          carsRneat

          Lie2me – you are right. I forgot to mention the Ford Escape with the 2.0T. It is a “zippy” car and it also looks different from the others (I think that is a good thing).

          The Escape did feel a tad slower, and I looked up the Motor Trend time and confirmed it hit 60 mph in 6.8 seconds and made the quarter-mile in 15.2 seconds.

          Not a major difference from the Forester – and much faster than the other choices.

          The only thing that gave me pause was the stark difference in visibility. I felt that the Escape had a high beltline compared to the Forester. Might have overly concerned me because of all the young kids that play in our neighborhood (sometimes they will run right behind me on our driveway).

          I realize that both of the vehicles have a backup camera – but I still like to see around me.

          Ford deserves credit for at least trying – they give customers several engine choices, and they tried to stretch the envelope on styling (they could have gone with safe and boring).

          • 0 avatar
            EMedPA

            I agree about the visibility out of the Forester: I drove a bunch of these vehicles back in the spring of 2013, and the Forester was the best in class hands down. I ended up choosing the Escape for its towing capacity. I know that people don’t buy these cars to tow with, but I wanted to be able to pull a small utility trailer, and Ford seems to be the only manufacturer to have paid any attention to that kind of capability.

      • 0 avatar
        Zykotec

        Yup, Subaru offers the speed (and some offroad/rally ‘cred’). Both the Toyota and Honda offers safety and reliability, but the Honda has (I havent checked every model of every generation) the widest rear seat and rear leg room, while the Rav4 is/was available 7-seater in some markets (as was the Outlander). So I guess you need to have reasonably specific needs to choose one only for objective reasons.

      • 0 avatar
        Boxofrain

        No doubt the option of a more powerful engine in a couple of these vehicles gives the consumer another option. However, for most people, especially here in Canada, these more powerful engines are more expensive and do not offer decent fuel economy. Now that the 2015 Honda CRV will be using the 2.4 Earthdreams engine, expect even better sales as this will boost performance and fuel economy at the same time.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        I suspect the visibility that you ranked below acceleration should be at the top. In fact, I think you can make the case that “4-door coupe” styling and its lack of rear visibility are what’s driving SUV/CUV sales.

        It’s too bad that the same stylists who have been killing sedan sales are now reducing rear windows, raising belt lines, and dropping rear roof lines on utility vehicles. The Chrysler minivan concept indicates that they’re the next to have their visibility compromised.

      • 0 avatar
        Skink

        As compared to the NA 2.5 Forester, the XT costs more to purchase, insure, and to fuel(mpg and premium gas). I went with the 2.5. I’m glad Subaru offers the XT for those who value the additional oomph.

    • 0 avatar
      jimmyy

      Boxofrain wrote:

      “I’m not sure why, in this segment at least anyone would go with a brand other than Honda or Toyota, due to the reliability and better resale value. Why would I spend the same money on Kia, Hyundai, Mazda etc and lose value immediately?”

      In my opinion, too many people fall for the “boring” label stuck on the Toyota and Honda brands by Detroit marketing departments. I question the IQ level of people that fall for the boring campaign by Detroit.

      • 0 avatar
        Zykotec

        It’s not just a Detroit thing. The Japanese have a vey low market share here in Europe for similar reasons. Much of it is because of the inherent reliability and craftmanship thatt somehow makes them ‘have no soul’ unlike a Jaguar or Citroen. And some of it is just lack of experience. Even as far up as the 90’s a lot of Japanese cars were downright awful to drive and had no thing even resembling ergonomics (Toyota and Honda stole a few things from old Fords so they had an advantage in ergonomics ) and their designs were to a large part either stolen or incredibly boring (much like the Koreans later) Driving most 80’s Japanese cars you felt like they had a list of parts that went into a car that they crossed out as they assembled it, and then sent it out of the factory without even test driving it. And as European cars stopped breaking down on a daily basis the Japanese never got a real hold over here.

  • avatar
    PRNDLOL

    How does Chevrolet continue to move so many copies of that junkboat Equinox, going into its sixth year no less?

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      price price price price

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        Fleet, fleet, fleet

        • 0 avatar
          VW16v

          I would have add RAV4 sales is a lot of fleet, fleet, fleet. Rental agencies are filled with RAV4’s. I would have to say more then the equinox. Company fleets in the U.S. are a different story. American companies, well some American companies still have a loyalty toward American branded products.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Last year, 16% of new vehicles in the US went to fleet.

            Last year, 5% of RAV4s went to fleet.

            I doubt that much has changed in the last nine months, which would make your point wrong, wrong, wrong.

            These “what I see” comments made on this forum are invariably bogus. What counts is factual data, not what you (want to) see.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Chevy has the Captiva for fleet only which is an Equinox with the old Saturn Vue body

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            “an Equinox with the old Saturn Vue body”

            What relationship to the Encore/Trax? Totally different, older platform?

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            “What relationship to the Encore/Trax? Totally different, older platform?”

            Ancient, GM Theta platform/GMT191 going back to the 2002 Saturn Vue, no relation to the prehistoric Gamma platform of the Encore/Trax which dates back to the 2000 Opel Corsa C

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      The Cadillac SRX is Cadillac’s best seller, and going into its now 6th year (before a rehashed one is unveiled – Art & Science my arse), it’s absolutely related in 95% of the way to the Equinox (from a chassis standpoint, despite GM trying to make ridiculous distinctions) and it is priced like an Audi.

      Worse yet, despite being far from GM’s (or even the segment’s) worst product (the 3.6 DI motor is one of GM’s more reliable, thus far, ones, as is the transmission), it pretty much is very mediocre, overpriced vehicle.

      So, it’s something other than price with the SRX.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        @Deadweight, you know who I see driving SRXs in my area? Cadillacs old customer base that can’t afford or can’t climb into an Escalade. In 1987 these same folks would have been driving shrunken DeVilles because they couldn’t afford Fleetwoods.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          But how many of Cadillac’s old customer base in 1987 would’ve been caught dead in a C-body DeVille?

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Given how many C-body Cadillac variants were sold in the late 80s, I would say a healthy percentage (Deville Coupe/Sedan, Fleetwood Coupe/Sedan, Fleetwood 75 “limo”).

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      visibility visibility visibility

      also,

      ease of entry/exit ease of entry/exit

      The youngest of 80 million boomers just turned 50, and the oldest are 68. Even the KIDS of the oldest are pushing 50, and they all have the money to buy new cars.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Rogue sales are exploding I’m seeing them left and right around here though I wonder if it is affecting Pathfinder sales?

    (Yes I know the Pathfinder is larger, available with the V6 etc., but when you have two products that are 3/4 and 4/4 versions of each other.)

    • 0 avatar
      whynot

      It doesn’t appear to be affecting the Pathfinder or Murano, both of which have higher sales this year than last. Although with the latter vehicle I’m sure you can find some good deals with it’s replacement coming soon

  • avatar
    Speed3

    Is the Jeep Cherokee stealing sales from the JGC? Sure the Cherokee isn’t selling at CRV volumes, but being #7,8, and 9 is still pretty good. Plus, Jeep has the Renogade coming online for 2015 and the Grand Wangoneer for 2016 (and redesigned Grand Cherokee and Wranger coming up too). I expect Jeep to keep up its current pace.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      It wouldn’t surprise me if the Cherokee was stealing a few sales from the Grand Cherokee, though it wouldn’t surprise me if there are few people who go in looking at the Cherokee and are swept up in the “For just $XX per month more you can step up to the Grand Cherokee”. So having a strong line up with a number of options likely helps them overall because it can keep someone in the store when they decide that one is too big, small, ugly or expensive.

      • 0 avatar
        tonycd

        I’m really impressed that Jeep can sell that many Grand Cherokees at their size and price.

        • 0 avatar
          el scotto

          The JGC has always been a favorite of the country club/horsey/embroidered pants set. You can haul a two-horse trailer, have a V-8 (Hemi-Powerrr!), and much, much more low key than bling-mobiles from Cadillac and Land Rover and actually cheaper than crew-cab pick-up.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            The current JGC (WK2) is a very nice mid-size CUV, especially if 4X4 equipped.

            But I doubt that Caddy or LR owners would want to change rides. Our 2012 JGC Overland Summit has a nicer interior that that of Caddy or LR but I suppose that is subjective.

            My son has a All-Black 2012 SRT8 with the 6.4 and it is a monster! Ours has the V6 and it is adequate for our needs and will haul up to 5000lbs draw weight with 1000lb tongue weight. We did that in March of this year.

            I believe the biggest reason for the decline in JGC sales is the price and lack of the lower trim levels like Laredo 4X4 with the E package. Most dealers have the high-priced upper-level trims in stock, like Limited, Overland and Summit and lots of 2015 models. Those are out of the price range of many people.

            Maybe the new and restyled 2016 model due out in March/April 2015 will boost sales.

  • avatar
    zach

    I hardly notice the Mirano anymore, the fist gen was striking and has aged very well, the update removing the horizontal rear lamps 2008? made it look like a Traverse IMHO.

  • avatar
    rdclark

    Really wanted to buy a CX-5 to replace our stolen 2002 MPV. That was our second Mazda (the first, a ’90 MPV, went 15 years and 200k miles and might have gone on had it not been totalled).

    CX-5 felt claustrophobic. Hit my head on the door frame getting in unless I purposefully ducked. Hard to see out the back, almost as bad as the CR-V. No excuse for the cramped-feeling interior in a car with the same weight and footprint as its competition.

    Ended up with a 2015 Forester. Best outward visibility in the class; great safety features; low cost-of-ownership; very pleasant to spend time in and drive.

    Maybe the Mazda is more nimble, but 99% of the time driving up and down the Interstate and local surface streets, handling differences make no real difference. And the Forester is no slouch.

    • 0 avatar
      baggins

      Agree with you on the Forester. Love the headroom and visibility.

      Visibility is both a safety feature and a driving enjoyment feature.

      Too bad styling and MPG motivations have made it difficult to fnd

    • 0 avatar
      Atomicblue

      Hitting your head when you get in make me wonder how the seat was adjusted. When the wife drives ours, she has the seat all the way up and I almost hit my head. I’m 5’10, but I drop the seat to the floor. Headroom is like 4″-6″ then. Visibility hasn’t been a problem. Love driving it.

  • avatar
    Ion

    I find it funny that everyone insisted the Cherokee was too ugly to sell anything, yet here it is at #7. I know they sell alot of fleet Cherokees but they sell alot of fleet Rav4, Escape, and Equinoxes too.

  • avatar
    petezeiss

    I had expected to see the Encore in the top 20. Is it too small for this segment or just a lousy seller?

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Buick Encore Sept 2014 sales 3848 down from a all time high of 5279 in March 2014. 36433 YTD compared to 22930 YTD 2013 up 38% YTD

      http://www.goodcarbadcar.net/2011/12/buick-encore-sales-figures.html

  • avatar

    Realted don’t – I still don’t understand why anyone buys the Altima.

    • 0 avatar

      the seats?

    • 0 avatar
      caljn

      Are you one of the many Honda kool aid drinkers that abound here?
      The V6 Altima, with the CVT, is a far better drive than any version of the Accord.
      The reliability argument? That hasn’t been an issue since the 80’s.
      Honda is better at creating a brand and image and sticking to it though.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Let me preface this by stating that I do not know if there’s a significant difference in driving dynamics/refinement between rental spec Altimas & upper trim retail ones, or if Boss’s. Has improved the Altima since 2011, but I can honestly claim that the 4 cylinder rental Altima I had sometime in 2011’was one of the worst vehicles I’ve driven, and felt really close to a Mitsubishi Diamond Star product.

        • 0 avatar

          DeadWeight – Amen to that, my neighbor drives a dump truck, he sold his Altima to buy an Accord. I will refrain from drawing any symbolism in this

          • 0 avatar
            frozenman

            I had a 2013 Altima rental for 3 weeks while my 2009 Accord’s collision damage was repaired, drive-line was liveable but the rest of the car came across as a cut-rate cheaply engineered POS.

  • avatar
    VoGo

    An updated Pilot cannot come soon enough for Honda. I wish they would stop the nonsense with the CR-Z, Insight and ZDX and focus on their top sellers.

  • avatar

    Being a retarded piston head, I buy over the top road machines. My wife, being one who slots the car in importance somewhere between the dishwasher and the fridge, goes out and buys a CRV, to me the automotive equivalent of Novocain. However, when it comes to carting the relations, stuff and groceries around, it shines. Plus it breaks down less than the dishwasher. I have to wonder what the percentage CRV buyers are females?

    • 0 avatar
      EMedPA

      And for some people that utility and reliability are paramount. I can’t fault Honda for baking that into the CRV’s DNA. I just hope that the CVT going into the 2015 models is as reliable as the rest of the vehicle.

  • avatar
    VW16v

    Mazda CX5 does not even make the top ten for crossovers. Great SUV. But with a poor out of date dealer network and driving position does not meet what buyers want as a whole. There are a lot of women drivers buying these smaller SUVs and the sitting down position with decreases greenhouse effect compared to the top sellers equals lower sales. Go check out a Honda or Toyota dealer then go to a Mazda dealer. Mazda dealers are run down and look like crap compared to the other dealers.

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