Small crossovers top sales charts in 2014, taking crown from sedans

Polk: Crossovers best-selling segment for first time ever.

Small crossovers have reportedly become the most popular vehicles purchased in the US for the first two months of the year, outselling sedans for the first time ever, according to registration data analyzed by Polk.

Mainstream midsize cars have proven the best sellers for at least ten years in a row, however crossovers have finally taken the top spot after slowly gaining traction since the Subaru Forester, Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 were first introduced in the '90s.

"Crossovers have climbed the charts while minivans, station wagons, and frame-based SUVS have retreated," IHS Automotive's Tom Libby wrote in a blog post. "If the trend we have witnessed in the first two months of 2014 continues for the remainder of 2014, it would mark the first time in recent memory - if not ever - that a car segment did not lead the industry. It would also be a watershed moment for crossovers."

Among the small crossovers, several models stand out with particularly strong sales gains. The all-new Nissan Rogue has outsold its predecessor by a wide margin, while Jeep Cherokee sales are up more than five fold from the Liberty's numbers a year ago. Subaru Forester deliveries have risen more than 75 percent, and Mazda CX-5 sales are up by more than 50 percent compared to the same period last year.

"Time will tell if this segment can continue to outpace all the others," Libby added. "Ironically, upcoming small crossovers may actually hurt the segment, as most of the products in the pipeline are so small that they will carve out their own distinct category below the existing compact CUV space."

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