Compact SUVs Gain Popularity At Expense Of Midsize, Compact Cars

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon
compact suvs gain popularity at expense of midsize compact cars

While compact SUVs are doing well in the showroom, their success comes at the expense of midsize and compact car sales.

In a report from Edmunds, 63 percent of compact SUV owners traded a midsize SUV, compact car or midsize sedan for a compact SUV like the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape and Nissan Rogue. Fourteen percent, meanwhile, traded like for like.

Either way, both groups have their reasons for choosing models from this segment:

Compact SUV popularity is truly a product story. They are a desirable size, but concede very little in efficiency and are comparably priced with models in other popular segments. They combine aspects of the market’s best-selling and pragmatic segments — establishing a new middle.

The report says that transaction prices for compact SUVs are on par with midsize sedans, averaging $26,420 compared to the latter’s $25,887 average. It adds that the popular segment is having an effect on dealer inventories as well, as midsize and compact cars take the longest to leave the lot; the aforementioned Rogue has 36 days-to-turn, while the Sentra takes 85 days to do the same.

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  • Whatnext Whatnext on Mar 27, 2015

    CUV's are the antichrist of vehicle design. You,can only style a breadbox so many ways. It always makes me laugh how many people deride minivans or station wagons yet think their CUV is so much cooler (not). Their prevalence will merely accelerate the decline of the "car" as object of desire to mere appliance.

    • See 2 previous
    • Bd2 Bd2 on Mar 30, 2015

      Crossovers are basically "lifted" wagons (more popular in the US) or lifted hatches (more popular in Europe).

  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Mar 27, 2015

    What I really want is for Kia to put its hybrid drivetrain into the Sportage.

    • Bd2 Bd2 on Mar 30, 2015

      Better yet, just go with e-AWD.

  • Nick Nick on Mar 27, 2015

    I hope that they don't keep moving toward tall compact SUVs on short wheelbases...some look better than others, but they all tend to look a bit like little birdhouses tootling around.

  • Jhefner Jhefner on Mar 28, 2015

    Cars are returning to a height of roughly 70 inches; which is what they were before the influcence of the jet and space age had designers building cars that are long and low (and with wraparound windshields and tail fins.) A more upright seating position does allow for more legroom. They are easier to get in and out of, as well as strapping car seats in. You can see better in traffic. Stability control means they have less of a tendency to roll over. I can easily see how they replaced both the station wagon and the minivan as the family truckster.