Why SUVs and Crossovers Have Become America's Best Selling Vehicles

Why SUVs and Crossovers Have Become America's Best Selling Vehicles


When people think of the history of the Ford Motor Company, first founded in 1903, they often think the once-ubiquitous Model T, which was once the entire focus of Ford’s production. Recently, Ford made a decision that went back to its roots; deciding to sell only two non-truck models in the United States. These models? The iconic Mustang, and the crossover Focus Active


Ford’s somewhat surprising change in direction mirrors a clear trend in United States vehicle buying. SUVs and Crossovers are now America’s best-selling vehicles. In 2016, which was the best year ever for vehicle sales in the United States, pickup trucks and SUVs topped the list of best-selling models. According to Ford’s corporate research, SUVs could make up as much as half of the vehicles sold in the US in just a few years.


Ford wasn’t alone in changing direction. The rest of the “Big Three” car manufacturers, Fiat-Chryslerand General Motors, have also been making the shift away from sedans and towards SUVs and Crossovers. Customers have declared their love for these larger, family-friendly vehicles, and motor companies are rushing to accommodate this demand. 

The Shift in Numbers

Although the sudden demand for Crossovers and SUVs may seem to come out of nowhere, it’s a trend that has been gradually building since around 2010. When gas prices plummeted a few years ago, larger vehicles with lower gas mileage became even more affordable, spurring more demand.


While the trend is obvious in the United States, it’s also something that’s caught on abroad. According to the Canadian Globe and Mail, the popularity of the Crossovers even extends north of the US border. It’s also catching on in places such as Europe and China.


The raw numbers make this trend clear. According to the Motley Fool’s roundup of the top selling vehicles of 2017, topping the list was the Toyota Rav4, which boasted eleven straight record-breaking months of sales during the year. In the first quarter of 2017 alone, more than 1.4 million Crossovers were sold in the United States, which was about a third of the total vehicles sold. And according to Car and Driver, from 2016 to 2017, the lineup of top-selling cars saw several crossovers outselling sedans, bumping them down in the rankings. 

What’s the Appeal of SUVs and Crossovers?

There are lots of reasons why SUVs and Crossovers have gained so much popularity in recent years. Their larger size is ideal for families, who appreciate the space to carry more passengers as well as haul modern-day cargo from groceries to IKEA furniture. Their larger size also provides a higher level of safety. Drivers also appreciate sitting higher in the vehicle, which can give a better vantage point for maneuvering the vehicle. And for drivers who live in harsh climates, SUVs and Crossovers offer a rugged build and all-wheel drive that handles better in the snow than smaller cars do.


The appeal of the Crossover, specifically, lies in its perfect blend of car and SUV. While SUVs are built upon truck platforms, Crossovers maintain the look of the Crossover but are built on car platforms instead. This results in a vehicle that maintains the appearance of a larger vehicle, while being smaller and more maneuverable, not to mention easier to park. 


Over the last decade, SUVs and Crossovers have really come into their own. They’ve evolved over the last decade to become less clunky and unwieldy, and the frames they’re built on have become lighter. And key for budget-conscious consumers their fuel efficiency has dramatically improved, at the same time that prices at the gas pump have dropped.

The Top-Selling SUVs and Crossovers in the United States

The trend towards SUVs and Crossovers shows no signs of stopping. So, if you’re considering shopping for one of these vehicles, which ones should you consider? Here are a few of the models that perennially top the list of best-selling vehicles in the US.


?      Nissan RogueAfter maintaining a steady spot high in the rankings of bestselling cars over the past few years, the Rogue topped the list of Crossovers in the first quarter of 2018. Since 2017, Nissan has offered a hybrid version of this crossover. Starting this year, the Rogue is also available with Pro-PILOT assist, which is a step Nissan is making towards fully autonomous cars.

?      Toyota RAV4One of the first Crossover models on the market, the RAV4 remains popular, topping the list of Crossovers sold in 2017. The current hybrid model is the most efficient ever, with an EPA-estimated rating of 34 mpg city / 30 mpg highway / 32 mpg combined. 

?      Toyota Highlander: The popularity of the Highlander has climbed continually over the past few years. More spacious than some other crossovers, it offers three rows of seating and an eight-passenger capacity. The latest models offer both increased power and safety. There is also a hybrid version, on the market since 2006. 

?      Jeep CherokeeThe brand-new 2019 model features a new look, redesigned for the first time since the Cherokee returned to the market in 2014. The Cherokee comes with a multitude of options, including two engines and three different all-wheel-drive possibilities. 

?      Ford Explorer:First introduced as an SUV, in 2011 the Explorer was reintroduced as a crossover. Still, it offers one of the most spacious interiors on the market. Ford makes a special version of the explorer for law enforcement, which makes up a significant portion of the Explorers on the road.

?      Honda CR-VFirst introduced in 1997, this crossover is currently Honda’s most popular model in the United States. It was named Motor Trend’s 2018 SUV of the Year, due particularly to the design of its interior and superior engineering. 

?      If you’re hoping to purchase a fully electric crossover, so far you only have one option: Tesla’s Model X. On the market since 2015, it’s currently one of the best-selling electric cars on the global market. 


Car companies are rushing to compete in the booming SUV and crossover market, so it’s likely that in the next few years we’ll see both improvements and innovations within these product lines. More hybrid and even more fully electric models are likely to be on the market soon, even before the end of 2018.


If you foresee an SUV in your immediate future, be sure to check Highline Automotive’s extensive inventoryof quality pre-owned SUV’s and Crossovers. From Ford’s and Chevy’s to BM’s and Mercedes’, we’re sure you’ll find what you’re looking for at competitive prices. We work with all credit ratingsand budgets, and every vehicle we sell comes with a 5-Day Money-Back Guarantee and a Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty.

Categories: Pre-Owned Inventory

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