Small And Midsize Luxury SUV Sales In America – December 2015 And 2015 Year End


2015 Volvo XC90

If an automaker wished to sell more new vehicles in the United States in 2015, stocking dealers with more SUVs was typically the answer. 

Sure, Americans were buying more Toyota Corollas, more Ford Mustangs, and more Volkswagen Golf GTIs in 2015 than in 2014. But those are exceptions to the rule: as the American auto industry reported record total new vehicle sales volume in 2015, passenger car volume actually decreased compared with 2014.

The turn toward SUVs and crossovers wasn’t just encountered in the mainstream, where all five of America’s best-selling utility vehicles (CR-V, RAV4, Escape, Rogue, Equinox) all reported all-time U.S. sales highs. In the luxury sector, particularly amongst more affordable small utilities, U.S. volume exploded in 2015.

U.S. Vehicle Sales Rankings By Model – 2015 Year End
U.S. SUV/Crossover Sales Rankings By Model – 2015 Year End

The BMW X1 was joined by new German rivals in late 2014. In 2015, sales of the X1 and those two rivals – Mercedes-Benz GLA and Audi Q3 – collectively grew 60% compared with 2014, a gain of 20,000 sales.

Their larger brethren and the rivals of their larger brethren posted a 20% gain, helped along by newbies like the Lexus NX and Land Rover Discovery Sport. The Audi Q5 was America’s top-selling small premium utility vehicle in 2015, the sixth consecutive year of growth for the Q5. Yes, 2015 was the seventh year in the first-gen Q5’s existence. Though cars often fall into the sales doldrums when left to linger without updates, the Q5 continues to grow in popularity.

But just a half-notch up in size and price sits America’s best-selling premium brand crossover, the Lexus RX. The RX isn’t “more” popular than all its rivals in the way that an order of large fries at McDonald’s includes “more” fries than the medium order. The RX is more like a supersize fries when everyone else is ordering a small. The next-closest competitor in 2015 was the surging Cadillac SRX, but the Cadillac was 31,760 sales back of the RX. 

RX sales declined marginally in 2015 as Lexus ended the year transitioning between generations. The SRX, like the painfully similarly-named RX, is a perfectly reasonable rival for smaller, less popular vehicles like the Q5, Acura RDX, and Lexus’s own NX. 

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USA luxury SUV sales chart 2015 calendar year
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And further up the ladder in size and price, the story of 2015 was not the most popular luxury SUV. Rather, it was among the most popular luxury SUV, lingered too long in first-gen form, and was finally replaced early in 2015. U.S. sales of the Volvo XC90 hit a seven-year high in 2015, and based on the Q4 pace, Volvo could sell more than 30,000 XC90s in 2015. 

A big deal? In December, the XC90 accounted for a third of Volvo’s U.S volume, helping to drive monthly Volvo sales to 9341 units, the highest December output since 2007. 

Globally, Volvo sold more new vehicles in 2015 than at any time in the company’s history. In North America, Volvo’s not back. Yet. U.S. sales in 2015 were half what Volvo achieved in 2004. But if Volvo’s flagship is rising, history suggests other Volvos will follow.

You can click any model name in the tables below to find historical monthly and yearly U.S. auto sales data. You can also select a make and model at GCBC’s Sales Stats page. These tables are now sortable, so you can rank luxury SUVs and crossovers any which way you like. Suggestions on how GCBC should break down segments can be passed on through the Contact page.

Click Column Headers To Sort • December 2016 • January 2016 • November 2015December 2014

Compact
Luxury SUV
December
2015
December
2014
%
Change
2015
2014
%
Change
1501
901 66.6% 13,229 3654 262%
1769
2591 -31.7% 14,420 22,808 -36.8%
2200
2074 6.1% 25,593 6884 272%
Total
5470
5566 -1.7% 53,242 33,346 59.7%

Small
Luxury SUV
December
2015
December
2014
%
Change
2015
2014
%
Change
4942
5156 -4.2% 51,026 44,865 13.7%
6057
4551 33.1% 52,006 42,420 22.6%
3126
2795 11.8% 31,924 33,824 -5.6%
884
820 7.8% 6429 2709 137%
1453
224 549% 5468 2727 101%
1674
7611
1
74 -98.6% 77 3619 -97.9%
1370
1426 -3.9% 14,583 12,440 17.2%
5134
2905 76.7% 43,764 2927 1395%
2566
2310 11.1% 24,590 13,077 88.0%
4062
4569
304
1857 -83.6% 23,333 35,000 -33.3%
1382
864 60.0% 13,533 7241 86.9%
3510
2079 68.8% 26,134 19,276 35.6%
Total
36,465
25,061 45.5% 305,047 220,125 38.6%

Midsize Luxury SUV
December
2015
December
2014
%
Change
2015
2014
%
Change
6254
6761 -7.5% 58,208 65,603 -11.3%
2 -100% 2 78 -97.4%
1189
1928 -38.3% 18,995 18,517 2.6%
6250
6098 2.5% 54,997 47,031 16.9%
1547
458 238% 7906 3896 103%
7031
4899 43.5% 68,850 53,578 28.5%
4987
3367 48.1% 41,770 31,192 33.9%
697
448 55.6% 5737 5213 10.1%
1315
736 78.7% 9031 4679 93.0%
2246
2036 10.3% 21,459 17,897 19.9%
3118
2707 15.2% 25,212 22,685 11.1%
11,899
13,625 -12.7% 100,610 107,490 -6.4%
406
356 14.0% 4696 4800 -2.2%
2960
1669 77.4% 22,199 23,995 -7.5%
6310
20,663
330
5625 -94.1% 32,550 46,726 -30.3%
1230
934 31.7% 16,474 16,205 1.7%
486
605 -19.7% 7037 6961 1.1%
432
470 -8.1% 5118 5093 0.5%
3135
68 4510% 12,777 3952 223%
Total
61,822
52,792 17.1% 534,291 485,591 10.3%

Source: Automakers & ANDC
* indicates a vehicle which is also shown in another GCBC segment breakdown
GCBC isn’t here to break down segments, an impossible task for any group, but to display sales data for the sake of comparison. The more ways sales data can be displayed, the better. This explains you’ll see the XC70 listed with luxury cars as well as with SUVs and crossovers and the Touareg with luxury SUVs and mainstream SUVs… because readers have wanted it both ways. You can always find the sales results for EVERY vehicle and form your own competitive sets by using the All Vehicle Rankings posts.

RECOMMENDED READING
Small & Midsize Luxury SUV Sales In America – December & 2016 Year End
Small & Midsize Luxury SUV Sales In America – January 2016
Small & Midsize Luxury SUV Sales In America – November 2015 YTD
Small & Midsize Luxury SUV Sales In America – December 2014 & Year End
Top 20 Best-Selling SUVs In America – December 2015
U.S. Auto Sales Brand Rankings – December 2015 & Year End