August 2016 was more of the same in terms of utility vehicle sales in the United States. Unibody SUVs dominated the list with just one exception: the evergreen Jeep Wrangler. Furthermore, there were a few upsets, including standout sales from Subaru. Nevertheless, the list included the usual suspects.
Honda CR-V: 36,517, up 5 percent
No surprises here: The Honda CR-V continues its sales domination. Although its crossover competition from Toyota, Nissan, Ford, and Chevrolet frequently overtake it at the top of the podium, that wasn’t the case this month, with the CR-V moving an additional 3,000-plus units compared to the second-place finisher. Credit its blend of cargo space, efficiency, and Honda reputation.
Toyota RAV4: 33,171, up 9 percent
The edgy RAV4 takes the silver spot for August 2016. One of the first crossover SUVs, the RAV4 has consistently been a great seller for Toyota, attracting small families, empty nesters, and recent college graduates with efficiency and surprising interior space. The RAV4 was also updated for 2016, adding a hybrid model and an updated visage to the small Toyota’s resume.
Nissan Rogue: 32,979, up 19 percent
A relative newcomer to the compact crossover segment, the Nissan Rogue nevertheless continues to sell in great numbers. The second-generation Rogue’s aggressive styling, spacious interior, and optional third-row seat attract people to showrooms, as does the crossover’s excellent value equation. Sales were up an impressive 19 percent over August 2015.
Ford Escape: 28,061, down 3 percent
Ford Escape sales took a little tumble last month, dropping about 3 percent from where they were a year ago. The Ford Escape was refreshed for the 2017 model year, and once those updated SUVs hit dealerships in large numbers, expect Escape sales to rebound. August is a typically soft month for vehicle sales anyway.
Jeep Cherokee: 23,932, up 41 percent
One of the most controversial Jeeps on the market is also the company’s bestseller for August 2016. The Cherokee saw a significant boost in sales volume for this month compared to the same time period last year, a change we can’t figure out. Not much has changed for Jeep’s impressive compact SUV, so maybe word is just getting out about how much customers like their Cherokees. Our favorite is the off-road–ready Trailhawk.
Subaru Forester: 19,658, up 12 percent
Subaru says August 2016 was the company’s best month ever for new vehicle sales, at more than 60,000 total vehicle sales. Partial credit for the boost goes to the Subaru Forester, which moved nearly 20,000 units last month. The Forester has long been one of Subaru’s bestsellers, giving customers a distinctly outdoorsy take on the compact crossover. Adding to its cred is the fierce loyalty Subaru customers feel for the brand.
Ford Explorer: 18,294, down 16 percent
The Ford Explorer is long credited for initiating the family SUV in America. Originally based on the same platform as the compact Ranger pickup, the Explorer has grown through the generations to become a car-based crossover offering plenty of space, a few different powertrain options, and even a fair dose of off-road capability, thanks to a sophisticated terrain-management system and optional all-wheel drive.
Jeep Grand Cherokee: 18,409, up 12 percent
Jeep Grand Cherokee sales surged last month, a fact that surprises no one in the Truck Trend office. We love Jeep’s midsize offering, and even though it uses a unibody design, it features genuine off-road capability thanks to Jeep’s legendary experience building vehicles for the rough stuff. The Grand Cherokee lineup includes everything from the family friendly Laredo and the mid-spec (and luxurious) Limited to the off-roadable Trailhawk and full-lux Summit, with an on-road SRT performance model thrown in for good measure.
Subaru Outback: 17,358, up 56 percent
The jury is still deciding on whether to include Subaru’s high-riding Outback in the list of crossovers and SUVs, but we’re going to at least acknowledge the big-and-tall station wagon’s unreal sales growth last month.
Jeep Wrangler: 15,290, down 16 percent
The body-on-frame Jeep Wrangler keeps this list slightly old-school, thanks to its solid front and rear axles, world-beating off-road reputation, and squared-off styling. The key to Jeep’s success is the Wrangler’s reputation as both a utility vehicle and a lifestyle vehicle. Its summer-friendly removable roof and rugged part-time four-wheel drive make it the perfect summer accessory.