America's SUV/Crossover Share Increased To 32% In 2014

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain
america s suv crossover share increased to 32 in 2014

U.S. sales of SUVs and crossovers grew at twice the rate of the overall industry in 2014 and at nearly three times the rate of the market for all passenger cars, pickup trucks, and vans.

There’s no hiding the fact that many of these SUVs and crossovers are nothing more than cars on stilts. (And some have all but forgotten their stilts.) But consumers have drawn a line between vehicles like the Audi A3 and Audi Q3; between the Ford Escape and Ford Focus; between the Honda Fit and the upcoming Honda HR-V.

• Ten top sellers account four out of every ten utility vehicle sales

• Most all-new utility nameplates come from premium brands

Sales on the car side of the ledger expanded hardly at all in 2014; sales on the utility vehicle side jumped 12%.

Traditional SUVs weren’t left out in the dark. The Jeep Wrangler is America’s ninth-best-selling utility vehicle. Wrangler volume jumped 13% to 175,328 in 2014. Full-size, SUVs based off pickup trucks from General Motors, Ford Motor Company, Toyota, and Nissan combined for a 15% jump to 339,923 U.S. sales in 2014, equal to 6% of the overall utility vehicle market.

Each of the two brands which only sell utility vehicles, Jeep and Land Rover, set calendar year U.S. sales records in 2014. The four top-selling utility vehicle nameplates on sale in America – CR-V, Escape, RAV4, Equinox – reported record-high sales levels, as well as the sixth-ranked Nissan Rogue, ninth-ranked Wrangler; and tenth-ranked Subaru Forester.

Seven new crossover nameplates were introduced to the U.S. market over the course of 2014. Six hailed from premium automakers: the Lincoln MKC, Porsche Macan, Mercedes-Benz GLA, Audi Q3, Lexus NX, and BMW X4. Chevrolet began selling the Trax in December. These seven vehicles generated less than 1% of SUV/crossover market’s 2014 sales, however. The ten major players produced 42.5% of all utility vehicle sales in 2014, up from the 42.1% mark set by a slightly different group of ten a year earlier.

SUVs and crossovers accounted for 32.2% of all new vehicle sales in the United States in 2014, up from 30.4% in 2013 and 29.4% in 2012. With pickup trucks and vans also claiming an increased share, passenger cars paid the price. Car sales increased, but only slightly, and cars formed a smaller portion of the auto industry’s pie: down to 48% from 50% in 2013.

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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2 of 23 comments
  • Brick Brick on Jan 16, 2015

    Full disclosure, I work in the car industry. I do have a CUV for my wife. But the daily driver is a Volvo V60 WAGON with a stick shift and diesel, unfortunately unavailable in the USA. Toy car is a Miata. My preference is to be close to the ground and drive... Unfortunately, most car buyers today prefer tall tall vehicles with automatics that are less than inspiring to drive.

  • Bd2 Bd2 on Jan 16, 2015

    Depending on size/hatch room - basically either a wagon or hatch on stilts and many don't really bother with the stilt part. Basically reason why Cadillac and VW have struggled the past year - as both have been slow in revamping/expanding their CUV lineups.

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  • MaintenanceCosts We need cheaper batteries. This is a difficult proposition at $50k base/$60k as tested but would be pretty compelling at $40k base/$50k as tested.
  • Scott ?Wonder what Toyota will be using when they enter the market?
  • Fred The bigger issue is what happens to the other systems as demand dwindles? Will thet convert or will they just just shut down?
  • Roger hopkins Why do they all have to be 4 door??? Why not a "cab & a half" and a bit longer box. This is just another station wagon of the 21st century. Maybe they should put fake woodgrain on the side lol...