October 2018 Crossover Sales Report: X3 Sales Up Over 300 Percent, Forester Breaks Into Top 5 Compacts

October sales were a mixed bag, but some models gained huge ground

Subaru fails to meet deadline to submit findings on alleged fuel economy cheating
Subaru’s new Forester did well in October, while other compacts lost ground. [Photo: Subaru]

October 2018 crossover sales reports have been released – which manufacturers rose to the top last month?

Crossovers are a massively competitive segment. Across the size spectrum from compact to midsize, these vehicles accounted for hundreds of thousands of new car purchases just last month. But which manufacturer came out on top October 2018? Well, that depends on how you slice it. In this comprehensive sales report, we’ve compared each size category and their competitors to see which one was the best-seller, by sheer volume, last month. We report full-size SUV sales on TFLtruck.com. We’re including mainstream and luxury crossovers in different sections, listed by size category.

Another important note: General Motors now reports sales quarterly. The company’s next round of sales figures will be posted in January 2019.

This post may be updated as sales figures are released.

Jump to segment:

Subcompact Crossovers (Winner: Kia Soul)

 This month is a bit different than previous sales. As we’re working to change the way we gather and report this data, we added the Kia Soul in with compact crossovers. To some, it may be more of a hatchback, but Kia does market the model as a crossover. To that end, the Soul edges out the Jeep Renegade – the perennial winner in this segment – by about 300 units.

All models across this segment lost ground over last year, with the exception of the Toyota C-HR. Toyota’s smallest crossover saw a slight bump, but overall the segment is in a downward trend. Now, part of that may be down to increased competition – take the new Nissan Kicks, for example. However, while gas prices are rising again, they’re still low enough to nudge people toward larger crossovers and trucks.

Make Model Oct 2018 Sales Oct 2017 Sales MoM change
Kia Soul 7,951 9,254 -14.1%
Jeep Renegade 7,683 7,888 -2.6%
Honda HR-V 4,961 6,304 -21.3%
Ford EcoSport 4,673 0 N/A*
Hyundai Kona 4,330 No Data
Toyota C-HR 3,683 3,638 1.2%
Nissan Kicks 3,264 No Data
Mazda CX-3 1,052 1,278 -17.7%
Fiat 500X 308 561 -45.1%
Buick Encore No Data
Chevrolet Trax No Data


*New model or sales were not reported for this month (GM reports sales quarterly).

Compact Crossovers (Winner: Toyota RAV4)

Even though it’s one of the oldest models here, you all still seem to like the Toyota RAV4. So much so, that it (once again) comes out on top in October 2018. Sales were very slightly down over last year, while the aging Ford Escape lost significant ground. Mazda’s CX-5 also dropped this month, but almost all models across the rest of the segment gained ground.

The redesigned Subaru Forester gained some ground last month, breaking into the top five among compact crossovers, beating the Jeep Compass. It’s worth noting that the Compass is still doing well in sales, as is the revamped Hyundai Tucson. Volkswagen’s Tiguan has also hit its stride, after the 2018 model just went on sale late last year.

Make Model Oct 2018 Sales Oct 2017 Sales MoM change
Toyota RAV4 34,004 34,086 -0.2%
Nissan Rogue 27,748 30,286 -8.4%
Honda CR-V 27,285 27,773 -1.8%
Ford Escape 20,515 23,064 -11.1%
Subaru Forester 15,981 13,430 19.0%
Jeep Compass 14,083 11,207 25.7%
Hyundai Tucson 11,493 8,731 31.6%
Subaru Crosstrek 11,049 10,871 1.6%
Mazda CX-5 9,271 10,306 -10.0%
Volkswagen Tiguan 7,097 3,848 84.4%
Kia Sportage 6,626 5,979 10.8%
Mitsubishi Outlander Sport 2,605 2,537 2.7%
Mitsubishi Outlander** 2,461 2,397 2.7%
Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross 1,206 N/A*
Buick Envision N/A*

*New model or sales were not reported for this month (GM reports sales quarterly).
**Includes sales of the Outlander PHEV.

Midsize Crossovers/SUVs (Winner: Toyota Highlander)

It seems that Toyota and Jeep are going to keep trading blows in this segment for the foreseeable future. Both are getting fairly long in the tooth by now, but that doesn’t stop shoppers out there from buying them. Sales were up 17.7 percent for the Highlander over last year, while sales of the Cherokee were up 11 percent. Even the Explorer, which is also getting old at this point, was up 12.5 percent.

In fact, almost every model among this segment was up last month. The Subaru Outback was the notable exception, as buyers opt for the three-row Ascent instead. Hyundai’s Santa Fe was also down, but that’s likely due to the fact that we’re seeing a switch over to the newly designed 2019 model. Nissan’s aging Pathfinder was also down 22.6 percent, while its Murano cousin was slightly up last month. The refreshed 2019 Honda Pilot also did well, seeing a 31.1 percent gain in sales over this time last year.

Make Model Oct 2018 Sales Oct 2017 Sales MoM change
Toyota Highlander 20,548 17,461 17.7%
Jeep Grand Cherokee 19,109 17,215 11.0%
Ford Explorer 19,034 16,914 12.5%
Jeep Cherokee 18,598 16,138 15.2%
Honda Pilot 13,479 10,285 31.1%
Jeep Wrangler 13,318 13,391 -0.5%
Toyota 4Runner 12,624 11,153 13.2%
Subaru Outback 11,574 15,786 -26.7%
Ford Edge 10,264 11,036 -7.0%
Hyundai Santa Fe 7,728 13,024 -40.7%
Kia Sorento 6,560 6,478 1.3%
Subaru Ascent 6,008 N/A*
Dodge Journey 5,835 4,719 23.6%
Nissan Murano 5,737 5,714 0.4%
Nissan Pathfinder 5,195 6,708 -22.6%
Volkswagen Atlas 4,725 3,664 29.0%
Mazda CX-9 1,848 1,971 -6.2%
Buick Enclave N/A*

*New model or sales were not reported for this month (GM reports sales quarterly).


Subcompact Luxury Crossovers (Winner: Mercedes-Benz GLA) 

[Photo: Mercedes-Benz]
The Mercedes-Benz GLA is the oldest current model in this segment, but it did top last month’s sales charts, despite losing 5.7 percent sales over October 2017. The most notable reason for that is likely due to BMW splitting their sales, with the new X2 competing alongside the X1.

Last month, the X2 sold roughly as many units as its X1 stablemate lost this past month. People are switching to the more newer, more stylish X2 over the aging X1, whose sales were down 41 percent. In the larger picture, BMW did beat out Mercedes-Benz this month, as it has two models competing in this segment.

Make Model Oct 2018 Sales Oct 2017 Sales MoM change
Mercedes-Benz GLA 2,093 2,219 -5.7%
BMW X2 1,510 N/A*
BMW X1 1,497 2,537 -41.0%
MINI Countryman 1,070 1,203 -11.1%
Volvo XC40 1,056 N/A*
Audi Q3 878 2,021 -56.6%
Infiniti QX30 399 671 -40.5%
Cadillac XT4 N/A*
Jaguar E-Pace N/A*

*New model or sales were not reported for this month (GM reports sales quarterly).

Compact Luxury Crossovers (Winner: Audi Q5)

As with September’s sales, October 2018 proved luxury compact crossovers are still on a role. Several models gained huge ground over last year – like the BMW X5, Acura RDX, Infiniti QX50, Volvo XC60 and Alfa Romeo Stelvio. Once again, the Audi Q5 came out on top, but the Acura RDX nearly toppled it from the top spot last month.

The only models that were down in the segment were the Lincoln MKC and the BMW X4. The Lincoln is getting old at this point, and is due for replacement soon.

Make Model Oct 2018 Sales Oct 2017 Sales MoM change
Audi Q5 6,252 5,416 15.4%
Acura RDX 6,193 3,532 75.3%
Mercedes-Benz GLC 5,649 4,245 33.1%
BMW X3 5,564 1,194 366.0%
Lexus NX 4,180 4,540 -7.9%
Infiniti QX50 3,160 1,307 141.8%
Volvo XC60 2,552 1,210 110.9%
Porsche Macan 1,955 1,779 9.9%
Lincoln MKC 1,934 2,114 -8.5%
Alfa Romeo Stelvio 902 434 107.8%
BMW X4 428 625 -31.5%
Cadillac XT5 N/A*
GMC Terrain N/A*
Jaguar F-Pace N/A*

*New model – 2017 sales figures are not available.

***GM Quarterly Sales:
– Cadillac XT5: 15,093 units (Q3 2017: 20,042 units – down 24.7%)

Midsize Luxury Crossovers (Winner: Lexus RX)

The Lexus RX always enjoys a comfortable margin of victory in this segment, and October was no exception. In fact, while models like the Acura MDX and Mercedes-Benz GLE lost ground, the RX actually managed to pick up a bit.

Another notable trend in this segment, at least compared to last year, is midsize crossover sales seem to be slowing down. While luxury compact crossovers are red hot, these models – except the RX and Infiniti QX60, lost momentum last month.

Make Model Oct 2018 Sales Oct 2017 Sales MoM change
Lexus RX 8,608 8,374 2.8%
Acura MDX 3,955 5,287 -25.2%
Mercedes-Benz GLE 3,671 4,817 -23.8%
Infiniti QX60 3,392 3,227 5.1%
Audi Q7 3,146 3,438 -8.5%
Volvo XC90 2,301 2,550 -9.8%
Lincoln MKX 2,170 2,684 -19.2%
Lexus GX 1,936 2,090 -7.4%
BMW X5 1,379 4,254 -67.6%
Porsche Cayenne 1,215 1,202 1.1%
BMW X6 569 566 0.5%
Audi Q8 161 N/A*
Lincoln MKT 160 248 -35.5%
Infiniti QX70 7 151 -95.4%
GMC Acadia N/A*
Land Rover Discovery N/A*

*New model or sales were not reported for this month (GM reports sales quarterly).

Come back to TFLcar.com for more sales updates!