Compact SUVs Grow at Expense of Car Segments, Key Insights Report Says | Edmunds

Compact SUVs Grow at Expense of Car Segments, Key Insights Report Says


SANTA MONICA, California — Compact SUVs such as the Honda CR-V and Ford Escape are winners with car shoppers, but the popularity of these vehicles is having an adverse effect on midsize and compact car sales, according to a new Edmunds' Key Insights report.

In other words, compact SUV sales are growing at the expense of car segments.

The market shares of midsize and compact cars are at an eight-year low.

"Compact SUV popularity is truly a product story," the report notes. "They are a desirable size, but concede very little in efficiency and are comparably priced with models in other popular segments. They combine aspects of the market's best-selling and pragmatic segments — establishing a new middle."

The report shows that 63 percent of all trade-ins for compact SUVs come from these three core segments: Midsize SUV, compact car and midsize car.

Curiously, only 14 percent of people buying a compact SUV with a trade-in had a compact SUV as their trade-in.

The report also notes that compact SUVs transact at a similar price as midsize cars. Midsize cars transact at an average of $25,887, while compact SUVs transact at $26,420.

Compact SUV popularity has an interesting effect on dealer inventory. Today, midsize and compact cars have among the longest days-to-turn numbers on record for those segments. Many compact SUVs sell significantly faster than their brands' compact car counterparts, according to the report.

For example, the Nissan Rogue SUV has 36 days-to-turn, while the Nissan Sentra compact car has 85 days-to-turn.

The roll call of compact SUVs includes the Buick Encore, Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, Mazda CX-5 and Toyota RAV4.

Edmunds says: A big-picture look at the impact of compact SUVs — something that car shoppers may want to think about as they peruse showroom offerings.

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