Does Honda Already Know The New CR-V Won't Be America's Best-Selling Crossover In 2017?

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain
does honda already know the new cr v wont be americas best selling crossover in 2017

Only once in the last nine years, and not once since the Ford Escape scored a victory in 2011, has the Honda CR-V failed to top America’s SUV/crossover sales leaderboard.

At its current pace, 2016 will be the Honda CR-V’s fifth consecutive year as America’s best-selling utility vehicle. Better yet, there’s an all-new Honda CR-V arriving for the 2017 model year. (We’ll post a First Drive Review of that CR-V on November 30th. –Ed.)

But Honda has little intention of ramping up CR-V production growth in 2017 simply to match the Toyota RAV4’s rapid ascent.

Jeff Conrad, American Honda’s vice president for the Honda division, said the company will sell more CR-Vs next year than the roughly 360,000 CR-Vs American Honda will sell in 2016. However, “We won’t tap out at 400,000 yet or anytime in the real near future, probably, but we have expanded capacity,” says Conrad.

Wards reports that Toyota aims to sell 400,000 RAV4s in the United States in 2017.

Presently, 13 percent of the RAV4s sold in America are RAV4 Hybrids. Nissan is adding a hybrid offering to the 2017 Rogue. Mazda is promising a diesel engine in the CX-5 next year. But all 2017 Honda CR-Vs are fitted either with the carryover 2.4-liter four-cylinder or a higher-horsepower version of the Civic’s 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder.

A small lineup won’t be the reason Honda can’t once again grab the No.1 position in 2017. Rather, as the automaker shifts production around to build more HR-Vs in Mexico, chasing additional volume for the sake of matching the RAV4’s pace simply isn’t the priority.

That said, we asked Honda for clarification on the subject, and company spokesperson James Jenkins didn’t deny the possibility of ramping up production if need be.

“We have the flexibility to match the corporate need. Our strategy isn’t to chase the competitors. It’s to have consistent and steady growth,” Jenkins told TTAC, explaining that Jeff Conrad was simply stating current sales forecasts.

Perhaps Honda can make it six consecutive years as America’s most popular SUV.

Timothy Cain is the founder of, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

Join the conversation
3 of 20 comments
  • Wjtinfwb Over the years I've owned 3, one LH (a Concorde) a Gen 1 300 and a Gen 2 300C "John Varvatos". The Concorde was a very nice car for the time with immense room inside and decent power from the DOHC 3.5L. But quality was awful, it spent more time in the shop than the driveway. It gave way to a Gen 1 300, OK but the V6 was underwhelming in this car compared to the Concorde but did it's job. The Gen 1's letdown was the awful interior with acres of plastic, leather that did it's best imitation of vinyl and a featureless dashboard that looked lifted from a cheaper car. My last one was a '14 300C John Varvatos with the Pentastar. Great car, sufficient power and exceptional highway mileage. The interior was much better than the original as well. It was felled by a defective instrument cluster that took over 90 days to fix and was ultimately lemon law' d back to FCA. I'd love one of the 392 powered final edition 300s but understand they're already sold out and if I had an extra 60k available, would likely choose a CPO BMW 540i for comparable money.
  • Dukeisduke Thanks Cary. Folks need to make sure they buy the correct antifreeze, since there are some many OEM-specific ones out there (Dex-Cool, Ford gold, Toyota red and pink, etc.).And sorry to hear about your family situation - my wife and I have been dealing with her 88-yo mom, moving her into independent senior living, selling her house, etc. It's a lot to deal with.
  • FreedMike Always lusted after that first-gen 300 - particularly the "Heritage Edition," which had special 300 badging and a translucent plastic steering wheel (ala the '50s and '60s "letter cars").
  • Dave M. Although the effective takeover by Daimler is pooped upon, this is one they got right. I wasn't a fan of the LHs, mostly due to reported mechanical, NVH and build quality issues, but I though Chrysler hit it out of the park with the LXs. The other hyped release that year was the Ford Five Hundred, which, while a well-built car with superior interior space, couldn't hold a candle to the 300.
  • Art Vandelay I always liked those last FWD 300's. Been ages since I've seen one on the road though. Lots of time in the RWD ones as rentals. No complaints whatsoever.