The CR-V Tops Honda's October 2014 Leaderboard, Outsells Accord And Civic

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain

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 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.

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

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  • Chan Chan on Nov 07, 2014

    I'm very glad my wife dislikes large cars. Americans continue the march towards CUVs with unnecessarily high ride heights. Meanwhile, underappreciated "large hatchbacks" sell for $10k less than your average RAV4/CR-V. The $18k Scion xB languishes with mediocre sales and an interior from 2002, despite having nearly as much max cargo space as a CR-V. It's all the car anyone needs for basic family transportation. What Toyota needs to do is add sliding rear seats to trade passenger/cargo space, 1 more transmission gear for MPGs, an interior update and finally $3k to the sticker price. Instant segment leader for $20-21k. ...and that would eat into $30k RAV4 sales, so let the car sit as is and sell to the people who really want it. Convince everyone else to finance the RAV4.

    • See 1 previous
    • Chan Chan on Nov 08, 2014

      @petezeiss I have both what I want and what we need in terms of cars. The xB isn't one of them--we willingly spent more on a car that has a nicer interior and ride quality. Nothing to do with what is really necessary just to get from A to B.

  • Chicagoland Chicagoland on Nov 07, 2014

    I have a hatchback real car, and I will give it up when you can take the keys from cold dead fingers! jk. Or when my nieces say I'm getting too old to drive.

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