But it was the utility vehicle category, particularly the small SUVs and crossovers, that really powered the market forward last month. Taking all sizes into account, mainstream and premium brands, SUV/CUV sales rose 11.7% in November. Sales of the Honda CR-V/Ford Escape class, however, jumped 16.9%.
Yet in November, that segment-wide growth didn’t have a whole lot to do with the Honda CR-V (up by 1176 units) and nothing to do with the Ford Escape. The Subaru Forester’s 135% jump – equal to 7707 extra sales – and the Toyota RAV4’s 56.5% increase – equal to 7024 extra sales – really propelled the category forward, as did the first full month of Jeep Cherokee sales.
GCBC has included the Cherokee here with small SUVs and crossovers despite the words used by some to describe it as midsize. It’s a matter of inches, regardless, and GCBC pays more heed to market positioning than those inches, anyway. The Cherokee is less than four inches longer than the Honda CR-V, less than two inches wider, and only one inch taller. It’s passenger volume is 1.2% greater than the CR-V’s; the CR-V’s cargo capacity is 50% greater with the seats up and 29% better with the seats down. The Cherokee’s base price is $50 higher than the CR-V’s base price. A mid-range all-wheel-drive Cherokee costs $200 more than a mid-range AWD CR-V. Topped out, the Cherokee Trailhawk at $36K goes places the CR-V doesn’t, but the Ford Escape does play in that field, as do the Volkswagen Tiguan, Subaru Forester, and GMC Terrain, among others.
One way or another, the Cherokee did a lot more volume for the Jeep brand in November 2013 than the Liberty did a year ago. The presence of a four-door Wrangler Unlimited, plus the Patriot and Compass, will likely stop Jeep from being able to sell Cherokees the way they once sold Libertys: 171,212 were sold in 2002.
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 small SUVs and crossovers any which way you like. Suggestions on how GCBC should break down segments can be passed on through the Contact page.