The compact and midsize crossover/SUV segments are two of the most toughly contested segments in the business. With January under 2012's belt, the sales race has just begun to heat up. In the compact segment, the Honda CR-V beat out hopefuls at Ford, Chevrolet, Toyota, and Nissan for the crown, while in the midsize segment Jeep came out of nowhere with the Grand Cherokee to take the lead over Ford, Chevy, Kia, and Toyota.
1) Honda CR-V – 18,960 Sold
Buoyed by sales of the all-new 2012 model, the Honda CR-V took the top-spot among compact SUVs and Crossovers for the first month of the year. Honda's 18,960 CR-V sales represent a 16.0 percent increase versus the same period last year. There may still be 11 months left in 2012 but with the new CR-V continuing to roll out, it seems as if Honda's got the right tools to attempt to maintain its lead in the segment.
2) Ford Escape – 17,259 Sold
Trailing not far behind the Honda CR-V was the Ford Escape, which is likely moving in such numbers due the 2013 Escape's impending roll out. In 2011, the Ford Escape outsold the CR-V, earning it the number five slot of the top ten vehicles sold in the U.S. – the Honda CR-V didn't make the cut last year. Thus far in 2012, Escape sales were up 23.5 percent year-over-year, and with the 2013 Escape on its way we only see the battle for first heating up.
3) Chevrolet Equinox – 13,662 Sold
Third place in the first month of compact SUV sales for 2012 is the Chevy Equinox which has been selling at a steady pace for a while now. Chevy's 13,662 Equinoxes sold represented a small bump in sales as compared to last January, bringing the model up 6.3 percent, and out-selling its GMC Terrain cousin which had just 5649 in sales.
4) Toyota RAV4 – 9819 Sold
Toyota's RAV4 sales were just shy of 10,000 last month with 9819 of the aging cute-utes sold. That represented a 12.3 percent dip in RAV4 sales as compared to last January when 11,196 RAV4s found homes. RAV4 sales will likely pickup throughout the year when an all-electric variant finally hits the streets.
5) Nissan Rogue – 9904 Sold
Rounding out the top best-selling compact SUVs for the start of the year was the Nissan Rogue. With 9904 Rogues sold, Nissan noted a 5.1 percent gain over the same period last year. The Rogue outsold the similarly-sized Juke by about 4:1.
1) Jeep Grand Cherokee – 10,683 Sold
Somewhat surprisingly it’s the Jeep Grand Cherokee sitting pretty at the start of 2012 at the top of the midsize SUV best-sellers list. Jeep sold 10,683 Grand Cherokees last month, which represents a 40 percent increase versus last January. With the Grand Cherokee supposedly getting an eight-speed automatic later this year, and Jeep sales currently up 37 percent across the board it looks like the Grand Cherokee is going to make a strong showing for staying king of the hill.
2) Ford Explorer – 9966 Sold
Hot on the tail of the Grand Cherokee is the new Ford Explorer. Ford sold 9966 Explorers last month, which represented an impressive increase of 35.6 percent. The Explorer was also the only SUV other than the Grand Cherokee to post a year-over-year increase in January, every other model on this saw a drop compared to last year.
3) Ford Edge – 8315 Sold
Rounding out the podium is yet another Ford; the sporty-ish two-row, midsized Edge was the third-best-selling midsize SUV/crossover of January 2012. Ford's 8315 Edges represented a slight drop compared to last year, with Edge sales being down 6.8 percent.
4) Jeep Wrangler – 7896 Sold
It's unlike anything else in its class, but the traditional Wrangler continues to resonate with buyers, especially after gaining Chrysler's new 3.6-liter V-6. the Jeep Wrangler. Wrangler sales have been booming as of late, and last month was no exception -- Wrangler sales were up a solid 23 percent in the U.S. alone.
5) Kia Sorento – 7322 Sold
The fourth best-selling crossover/SUV thus far this year was the Kia Sorento. Kia sold 7322 of the midsize three-row Sorento last month. Though it earned a spot on this list, Sorento sales were down 9.8 percent versus January of 2011.
Source: Chrysler, Ford, GM, Honda, Kia, Nissan, Toyota