January 2019 Crossover Sales Report: Honda CR-V Gets A Head Start, No Ford Or GM Figures Until April

Honda gets a head start in the 2019 sales race

2017 honda cr-v
Honda’s CR-V [Photo: Honda]

Some surprises (and predictable outcomes) make up January’s crossover sales.

As we roll into 2019, automakers release their first round of sales reports. January 2019’s crossover sales were a mixed bag, with some models sliding downward compared to last year.

Historically, the Toyota RAV4 has largely been the best-selling crossover over the past year. However, as Toyota switches over to the new model, that’s allowed the relatively unchanged Honda CR-V to take the lead. The Nissan Rogue also slid versus last year, while the new Subaru Forester gained ground.

The recent polar vortex that struck the midwest also factored into some manufacturers’ month-end sales figures. At a time when dealers push sales to boost the numbers at the end of the month, folks staying at home during negative double-digit cold snaps have some impact on this month’s results.

Here’s a breakdown of January 2019’s mainstream crossover sales by segment. We’ve broken the figures down into three size segments: Subcompact, Compact and Midsize. Luxury crossover sales figures will come in another post, while TFLtruck.com reports large SUV and truck sales figures each month.

This post may be updated as sales figures continue to come in. Stay tuned for updates!

Important note: Both Ford and GM have switched to quarterly reporting, making it more difficult to accurately gauge crossover sales. We won’t have results to report for Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Ford or Lincoln until April 2019.

Subcompact Crossovers (Winner: Kia Soul)

There is a new Soul coming…More updates soon!

There’s more competition in this segment than there was in January 2018, but the aging Kia Soul managed to emerge victorious in the segment. There is a new Soul coming, but folks have continued to buy the old model in droves. The Soul is a tough car to fault: It’s funky looking, fun, practical, and relatively inexpensive. Sales are up 19.6 percent over this time last year.

The Honda HR-V took second place, with its sales down 4.6 percent. Honda did refresh the HR-V for 2019, with a new front fascia. In the same swipe, they took away the manual transmission (not that many people were buying it anyway). Hyundai’s Kona takes third place, selling a respectable 5,696 units. At this rate, it’s poised to overtake the HR-V and possibly the Soul in the coming months.

ModelJan 2019Jan 2018MoM change
Kia Soul7,1015,938+19.6%
Honda HR-V5,9746,259-4.6%
Hyundai Kona5,6960New model
Jeep Renegade4,8606,639-26.8%
Toyota C-HR4,1023,946+4.0%
Nissan Kicks3,8120New model
Mazda CX-39711,350-28.1%
Fiat 500X274488-43.5%
Buick EncoreN/AN/AQuarterly
Chevrolet TraxN/AN/AQuarterly
Ford EcoSportN/AN/AQuarterly

Compact Crossovers (Winner: Honda CR-V)

In a shift from last year’s trends, the Toyota RAV4 was not the best-selling crossover. The Honda CR-V took the top spot in January 2019, selling 29,152 units. It was also one of the few crossovers that picked up over January 2018, selling 19.8 percent more than last year. The Nissan Rogue also beat the RAV4, selling 26,113 units (although sales were down 27.8 percent). It’s worth noting that Nissan includes both the Rogue and the Rogue Sport together in its sales report.

The Toyota RAV4 rounded out the podium, selling 24,505 units. Sales were down 8.1 percent, as Toyota switches over to the selling the new 2019 model. The Subaru Forester did well in January, picking up 22.8 percent over this time last year, before the new model debuted.

ModelJan 2019Jan 2018MoM change
Honda CR-V29,15224,326+19.8%
Nissan Rogue26,11336,184-27.8%
Toyota RAV424,50526,655-8.1%
Subaru Forester13,31810,848+22.8%
Mazda CX-510,65213,463-20.9%
Jeep Compass10,29810,192+1.0%
Subaru Crosstrek8,2369,437-12.7%
Hyundai Tucson7,4447,637-2.5%
Volkswgaen Tiguan6,7058,370-19.9%
Kia Sportage5,9635,712+4.4%
Mitsubishi Outlander Sport3,0993,379-8.3%
Mitsubishi Outlander**2,4793,320-25.3%
Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross1,5630New model
Buick EnvisionN/AN/AQuarterly
Chevrolet EquinoxN/AN/AQuarterly
Ford EscapeN/AN/AQuarterly
GMC TerrainN/AN/AQuarterly

Midsize Crossovers (Winner: Jeep Cherokee)

Jeep continues to gain sales ground, taking a 1-2 finish in the midsize crossover segment. The Cherokee and Grand Cherokee both sold more than 15,000 units, more than the perennial top-seller, the Toyota Highlander. Cherokee sales were up 3.5 percent, selling 15,138 units. Grand Cherokee sales, on the other hand, were 7.9 percent down on last year, selling 15,075 units. The Highlander came in third, selling 14,413 units — down 6.9 percent.

Other standouts include the new Jeep Wrangler, which sold 13,024 examples. That was up 10.9 percent over last year, when the Wrangler JK was still on sale. The Toyota 4Runner also fared well, selling 10,335 units (up 6.9 percent).

Weirdly, the Dodge Journey picked up massive ground in January. Selling 7,232 examples last month, Dodge actually sold 115.1 percent more Journeys than at this point last year. It is a cheap three-row crossover, and many of these sales can be put down to fleets buying new models as part of their new tax year.

ModelJan 2019Jan 2018
MoM change
Jeep Cherokee15,13814,621+3.5%
Jeep Grand Cherokee15,07516,364-7.9%
Toyota Highlander14,41315,484-6.9%
Jeep Wrangler13,02411,739+10.9%
Subaru Outback10,94113,279-17.6%
Toyota 4Runner10,3359,669+6.9%
Honda Pilot8,55611,619-26.4%
Hyundai Santa Fe7,8327,677+2.0%
Dodge Journey7,2323,362+115.1%
Kia Sorento6,7266,123+9.8%
Nissan Pathfinder5,2685,286-0.3%
Subaru Ascent4,9810New model
Nissan Murano4,0806,792-39.9%
Volkswagen Atlas3,8034,303-11.6%
Mazda CX-91,8602,336-20.4%
Honda Passport1260New model
Buick EnclaveN/AN/AQuarterly
Chevrolet TraverseN/AN/AQuarterly
Chevrolet BlazerN/AN/AQuarterly
Ford ExplorerN/AN/AQuarterly
Ford EdgeN/AN/AQuarterly
GMC AcadiaN/AN/AQuarterly