America's 10 Best-Selling SUVs & Crossovers In September 2014

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain
america s 10 best selling suvs crossovers in september 2014

After 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.

RankAutoSeptember 2014September 2013% Change9 mos. 20149 mos. 2013% Change CR-V23,72221,43910.6%241,015229,0825.2% RAV422,72415,92842.7%202,069160,24226.1% Escape21,71822,607-3.9%230,162228,2900.8% Equinox17,26615,44311.8%184,805185,420-0.3% Rogue17,22911,35351.8%154,568124,66924.0% Explorer15,79514,9655.5%158,652145,9348.7% Cherokee14,639——128,133—— Wrangler13,95511,98416.4%134,068119,94111.8% Grand Cherokee12,85414,906-13.8%136,310128,6975.9% Forester12,58410,62018.5%117,94084,37239.8%

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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  • Theswedishtiger Theswedishtiger on Oct 05, 2014

    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?

    • EMedPA EMedPA on Oct 05, 2014

      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.

  • VW4motion VW4motion on Oct 06, 2014

    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.

  • BklynPete So let's get this straight: Ford hyped up the Bronco for 3 years, yet couldn't launch it to match the crazy initial demand. They released it with numerous QC issues, made hay for its greedy dealers, and burned customers in the process. After all that, they lose money on warranties. The vehicles turn out to be a worse ownership experience than the Jeep Wrangler, which hasn't been a paragon of reliability for 50 years. The same was true of the Aviator, Explorer, several F-150 variants, and other recent product launches. The Maverick is the only thing they got right. Yet this company that's been at it for 120 years. Just Brilliant. Jim Farley's non-PR speak: "You don't get to call me an idiot. I get to call myself an idiot first."Farley truly seems hapless, like the characters his late cousin played. Bill Ford is a nice guy but more than a bit slow on the uptake too. They have not had anything resembling a quality CEO since Alan Mulally turned the keys over to Mark Fields - the mulleted glamor boy who got canned after 3 years when the PowerShi(f)t transaxles exploded. He more recently helped run Hertz into the ground with bad QC and a faulty database that had them arresting customers. Ford is starting to resemble Chrysler in the mid-Seventies Sales Bank era. Well, at least VW has cash and envies Ford's distribution reach and potential profitability.
  • Mike Beranek This guy called and wants his business model back.
  • SCE to AUX The solid state battery is vaporware.As for software-limited pack capacity: Batteries are obviously the most expensive component of an EV, so on the rare occasion that pack capacity is dramatically limited (as in your 6-year-old example), it's because economies of scale briefly made sense at the time.Mfrs are not in the habit of overbuilding pack capacity just for fun, and then charging the customer less.Since then, pack capacities have been slightly increased via software because the mfr decides they can sacrifice a little bit of the normal safety/wear margin in the interest of range. We're talking single-digit percentages, not the 60/75 kWh jump in your example.Every pack has maybe 10% margin built into it, so eating into that today (via range increases) means it's not available to make up for battery degradation tomorrow. My 4-year-old EV still has its original range(s) and 100% SOH, but that's surely because it is slowly consuming the margin built into the pack.@Matt Posky: Not everything is a conspiracy to get your credit card account, and the lengthy editorial about this has nothing to do with solid state batteries.
  • JLGOLDEN In order for this total newcomer to grab and hold attention in the US market, the products MUST be an exceptional value. Not many people will pay name-brand money for the pretty mystery. I can appreciate the ambition of selling $50K+ crossovers, but I think they will go farther with their $30K-$40K offerings.
  • Dukeisduke They're where Tesla was when it started - a complete unknown. I haven't heard anything about a dealer network. How are they going to sell these? Direct like Tesla? Franchises picked up by existing new car dealers?
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