Chart Of The Day: How Many Subcompact SUVs Are Automakers Selling?

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain

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 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, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures.

Timothy Cain
Timothy Cain

More by Timothy Cain

Join the conversation
14 of 76 comments
  • Jimbob457 Jimbob457 on Nov 29, 2014

    The Buick Encore is a good example of a niche product (designed and built in Germany and Korea) salable in multiple markets. It was mostly aimed at the Chinese. It makes utterly no sense for me, but it has a very nice interior and drives OK. In 50 years people may be restoring them for car shows. Somehow I doubt it, but who knows?

  • Praeliber Praeliber on Nov 29, 2014

    I think most people underestimate how much "compact suv" (cuv...) Grew fast. My dad just traded his second gen rav4 (2001) for a trax. They are so close to each other when you compare the spec, inches away when not identical in size, same weight, close power numbers (but torquier little turbo and 6spd make it seem peppier), etc. For a retire like him, going bigger than is 2001 rav4 didn't make sense, the trax is size and power wise in the same ballpark has is older Toyota. People don't buy those to get smaller, they actually refuse to buy bigger....

  • Whatnext Whatnext on Nov 29, 2014

    I can't imagine trading off the handling that comes with a low centre of gravity just for the benefit of sitting a little higher in one of these tippy shopping carts. No thanks.

    • See 8 previous
    • Drzhivago138 Drzhivago138 on Dec 01, 2014

      @Lie2me I came to my Mazda from fullsize pickup trucks, mid-90s minivans and tractors. To me, it drives tighter than a 911.

  • Stevelovescars Stevelovescars on Dec 01, 2014

    What I see in this chart are a bunch of manufacturers chasing small volumes in a crowded new segment which is largely driven by fashion. It also makes me question when they come up with BS like there being no market for manual transmissions or wagon body-styles in the U.S. Call me naive, but it seems to me that chasing small volumes (and passionate buyers) by importing an optional transmission or body style already being made for another continent has a higher ROI than spending billions developing a useless car/truck niche because everyone else is doing it.

    • Drzhivago138 Drzhivago138 on Dec 01, 2014

      The difference between making a new class of vehicle and offering an option, AFAICS, is that growth in emerging segments is driven by non-"car people".