The Compact CUV is Now Soccer Moms' Favorite Chariot

Downsizing appears to be the latest trend.

For many of us, it was either the station wagon or the minivan. When gas became extremely cheap in the 1990s, the truck-based SUV became the preferred choice. Then came the full-size crossover, such as the Toyota Highlander. But today, it’s the compact crossover that’s become the top choice for soccer moms across the US. A new study has just revealed that compact CUV sales have increased by almost 27 percent from February 2013 until February 2014.

Overall market share for these CUVs has also gone up by nearly 12 percent over that same period. In other words, compact CUVs have now become the third largest segment in the US, directly behind non-luxury midsize sedans and non-luxury compact cars. These popular CUVs include the Jeep Cherokee, with nearly 12,000 units sold last month, the Nissan Rogue, Buick Encore, and the Subaru Forester and XV Crosstrek. What’s particularly interesting about the Cherokee’s sales numbers is that they’re more than seven times higher than that of its predecessor, the Liberty, just one year ago. This has given Jeep a 47 percent year-over-year gain, the largest in the entire industry.

So why are consumers going crazy for small CUVs? Those who conducted the study believe that these cars provide the ideal balance between fuel economy, cargo space, pricing and driving dynamics. This sales trend will likely slow down somewhat in the coming years, partly due to yet another rising segment: the subcompact CUV.

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