Best-Selling SUVs in America 2016

© Nissan North America, © Subaru of America, © Ford Motor Company, © American Honda MotorsTop Sellers
Sport-utility vehicles — or crossovers, as many are now called — continue to be among the most popular cars sold in America. SUV sales are continuing to climb — increasing almost 8 percent in 2016 versus 2015, following a 16 percent increase a year earlier. The SUV category covers a wide spectrum of vehicles, ranging from car-based 5-passenger models with limited off-road abilities to vehicles that can tackle just about any terrain to ultra-luxury and high-performance models. Not all of them can be top sellers — so here’s a look at the 20 best-selling SUVs in America during 2016.

© Toyota Motor Sales USA20. Toyota 4Runner
YTD Sales: 111,970
Vs. 2015: 15.4%
One of the few truck-based SUVs left on the market, the 4Runner has been a part of the Toyota lineup since the mid-1980s. This highly-capable SUV has experienced impressive sales, with December numbers surpassing 11,000 units for the first time this decade. For 2017 Toyota is adding the TRD Off-Road and TRD Off-Road Premium trims to the 4Runner lineup, offering excellent off-road capability while maintaining a luxurious, comfortable interior.

© Mazda North America19. Mazda CX-5
YTD Sales: 112,235
Vs. 2015: 0.7%
Mazda seems to have found the sweet spot with the CX-5 — the small 5-passenger crossover had a 5 percent increase in December versus 2015, making it the best sales month ever. In fact, 2016 was the best sales year the CX-5 had since its introduction in 2012. This figure is even more impressive given that an all-new 2017 CX-5 is coming to showrooms shortly. The new CX-5 features updated styling, a choice of engines and G-Vectoring Control, which is designed to achieve high levels of vehicle responsiveness and stability while providing a more comfortable ride.

© Kia Motors America18. Kia Sorento
YTD Sales: 114,733
Vs. 2015: -1.3%
Sales may be down slightly for Kia’s 7-passenger crossover, but the Sorento is still holding its own in this very competitive segment. Redesigned in 2016, the Sorento is available with front- or all-wheel drive and comes in a number of trims with three engine options, including a powerful 290-horsepower V6. The latest version of Kia’s UVO entertainment and communication interface offers services such as Geo Fencing, Speed Alert and Curfew Alert.

© General Motors17. Chevrolet Traverse
YTD Sales: 116,701
Vs. 2015: -2.7%
Chevrolet’s largest crossover has had a slight decline in sales for the year; however, it did end 2016 with a bang thanks to a 13 percent increase in sales versus December of 2015. Traverse features a suite of high-tech safety features including OnStar 4G LTE connectivity with a Wi-Fi hotspot. Earlier this year Chevrolet debuted an all-new 2018 Traverse at the Detroit Auto Show. Featuring updated styling and a roomier interior, the new Traverse will offer seating for up to 8 occupants and is expected to deliver best-in-class third-row legroom.

© American Honda Motors16. Honda Pilot
YTD Sales: 120,772
Vs. 2015 -11.3%
The Honda Pilot was all new for the 2016 model year and had a huge sales increase in 2015. So the drop in sales last year is somewhat misleading — the new Pilot is still selling at a higher level than the previous generation. Reengineered from the ground up, the updated Pilot features fresh styling inside and out, a 3.5-liter 280-horsepower V6 engine and the latest in high-tech safety equipment.

© FCA US LLC15. Jeep Patriot
YTD Sales: 121,926
Vs. 2015: 0.5%
One of four Jeeps on this best-sellers list, the Patriot had a strong start to 2016 but has experienced a steady decline in sales over the last three months. One of the older models in the Jeep lineup, the Patriot is available with front- or four-wheel drive in a variety of trim levels. This is likely the last year for Patriot since it will be replaced by an all-new Compass, which is scheduled to arrive later in 2017.

© Hyundai Motor America14. Hyundai Santa Fe
YTD Sales: 131.257
Vs. 2015: 11.1%
Hyundai engineers made a number of improvements to the Santa Fe for the 2017 model year. The stylish crossover receives an updated exterior, fresh interior and — more importantly — the latest in high-tech safety features. These updates have been well received; thanks to an increase of 14 percent in December versus a year earlier, 2016 marked the best December ever for Santa Fe.

© Ford Motor Company13. Ford Edge
YTD Sales: 134,588
Vs. 2015: 8.4%
Edge sales had been dropping off a few years ago, but in 2015 the stylish crossover received a major refresh and sales have improved ever since. Ford sells the Edge in more than 100 markets around the world, and it can be equipped with an array of high-tech convenience and safety features. Three different engines are offered for Edge, including a twin-turbo 2.7-liter EcoBoost that generates an impressive 315 horsepower.

© Subaru of America12. Subaru Forester
YTD Sales: 178,593
Vs. 2015: 1.9%
One of Subaru’s best-selling models, the Forester had its best December ever in 2016. The Forester gets updated for 2017 with revised exterior styling, new driver assistance technology, added interior comfort and improved fuel economy. Offered with either a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine or a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-banger, all Foresters have standard full-time all-wheel drive. The Forester earned an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ rating via Subaru’s innovative EyeSight system, which integrates Adaptive Cruise Control, Pre-Collision Braking and Vehicle Lane Departure Warning.

© Subaru of America11. Subaru Outback
YTD Sales: 182,898
Vs. 2015: 20.1%
Subaru set an all-time sales record in 2016, and the popular Outback led the sales charge. Sales of Outback in December were up almost 30 percent compared to a year earlier, making it the best sales month ever for the crossover wagon. The Outback was one of the original crossovers, combining SUV utility with the comfort and convenience of a wagon. Completely new in 2015, Outback has remained true to its original formula. This is the largest Outback Subaru has built, and clearly it resonates well with consumers, since it’s Subaru’s best-selling model in 2016.

© Toyota Motor Sales USA10. Toyota Highlander
YTD Sales: 191,379
Vs. 2015: 20.4%
The Toyota Highlander had a 58 percent increase in December sales versus a year earlier, making it the best sales month ever for the midsize crossover. That helped the Highlander achieve its best annual sales ever in 2016. Highlander is available with front- or all-wheel drive and can be equipped with a variety of safety and luxury features. Highlander is available with a choice of 4-cylinder, V6 or hybrid powertrains — the latter delivering up to 28 mpg on the highway.

© FCA US LLC9. Jeep Wrangler
YTD Sales: 191,774
Vs. 2015: -5.2%
There really isn’t anything else on the road quite like the Jeep Wrangler. The modern descendant of the original U.S. military vehicle that spawned the Jeep name and began the legacy of extreme off-road capability, this body-on-frame SUV is one of the most capable off-road vehicles around. Wrangler had a slight sales increase for December, but did end 2016 slightly lower than the year previous.

© FCA US LLC8. Jeep Cherokee
YTD Sales: 199,736
Vs. 2015: -9.5%
Things continue to look good for Jeep — the brand sold more SUVs in America last year than any other brand. However, the Cherokee seems to have hit its peak, experiencing a sales drop of 33 percent compared to December of 2015. Cherokee delivers legendary off-road capability with available task-specific features that include a lifted off-road suspension with skidplates, tow hooks, Selec-Terrain traction control, Jeep Active Drive Lock with rear locker and Selec-Speed Crawl Control.

© FCA US7. Jeep Grand Cherokee
YTD Sales: 212,273
Vs. 2015: 8.1%
The Jeep brand had an overall sales increase for 2016, and the Grand Cherokee certainly did its part to help achieve the bump. Overall the Grand Cherokee was Jeep’s best-selling model, continuing its tradition of offering impressive off-road capability in an attractive SUV package. Available with a number of 4WD systems as well as trim levels, the Grand Cherokee line added the off-road-focused Trailhawk and the luxurious Summit to bolster sales momentum.

© General Motors6. Chevrolet Equinox
YTD Sales: 242,195
Vs. 2015: -12.8%
One of just two Chevrolet SUVs among last year’s top 20 best-sellers, the Equinox is holding its own in the very competitive compact SUV market. Although overall sales are down, December had a nice recovery of sorts with a healthy 25 percent increase over 2015. The small crossover receives a number of updates for the 2017 model year; however, an all-new 2018 model has been announced and will be coming to market soon.

© Ford Motor Company5. Ford Explorer
YTD Sales: 248,507
Vs. 2015: -0.3%
The Explorer has experienced ups and downs in sales this year, but this family-sized SUV has been a fixture on the best-sellers list and continues to retain its position. The Explorer was refreshed for the 2016 model year with updated styling, new features and a new 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine good for 270 horsepower. Note: Explorer figures include sales of the Explorer-based Police Interceptor Utility, which is reportedly the most popular vehicle for law enforcement officers and has experienced a 30 percent sales increase year over year.

© Ford Motor Company4. Ford Escape
YTD Sales: 307,069
Vs. 2015: 0.2%
This small 5-passenger crossover from Ford remains the best-selling American-brand SUV, despite a drop in December sales versus one year previous. Ford recently introduced a redesigned 2017 Escape that features a new exterior look, new interior, new engines and more driver-assistance technology. Most obvious is the new raised trapezoidal grille that ties Escape’s look more closely to other Ford SUVs.

© Nissan North America, Inc.3. Nissan Rogue
YTD Sales: 329,904
Vs. 2015: 14.9%
Nissan has discovered the perfect crossover formula with the Rogue, and it continues to have impressive sales growth. December sales had an impressive 53 percent jump versus the same month last year, helping Rogue become Nissan’s best-selling model for the first time. Nissan recently introduced a 2017 Rogue with updated styling and features. The new Rogue features a 170-horsepower 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine with an advanced Xtronic transmission with Eco mode, boasting an EPA fuel economy rating as high as 33 mpg. The 2017 Rogue also includes a new hybrid in the lineup.

© Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.2. Toyota RAV4
YTD Sales: 352,154
Vs. 2015: 11.6%
Toyota’s RAV4 crossover experienced impressive sales in 2015, and with the redesigned model that trend continues. December was an all-time best-ever month for RAV4, helping the small crossover to record sales in 2016 and ending up just a few thousand units behind the — spoiler alert — best-selling Honda CR-V. The new RAV4 features edgier styling and it’s now available as a hybrid. All RAV4 hybrids are 4WD — the gas engine combines with an electric motor to drive the front wheels, while an additional electric motor provides power to the rear wheels.

© American Honda Motor Co., Inc.1. Honda CR-V
YTD Sales: 357,335
Vs. 2015: 3.4 %
The CR-V has managed to hold onto its title of best-selling SUV in America, helped by record sales in December and its best annual sales ever. The CR-V continues to offer consumers a comfortable, small crossover with great utility and excellent fuel economy. In fact, CR-V’s 2.4-liter 185-horsepower engine teamed with a new continuously variable transmission makes it one of the most fuel-efficient crossovers on the market.


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