October 3, 2006
Consumers “crossing over” to crossovers
Top to bottom: Dodge Caliber, Nissan Murano and Toyota RAV4. Click image to enlarge
Costa Mesa, California – Vehicle information Web site NADAguides reports that traffic to the Crossover Vehicles (CUV) section of its site has increased significantly since January 1, 2006, due to growing consumer interest in these vehicles. The company says that traffic to the CUV section increased 37 per cent from January 1 to August 31, 2006, making it the company’s fastest-growing vehicle segment during that time.
CUVs have been on a consistent sales growth pattern in recent years, and industry analysts predict that sales will top those of traditional SUVs in 2006.
“Bottom line, car buyers love crossovers,” says Mark Perleberg, lead auto expert, NADAguide.com. “Unlike SUVs, which are built on a stiffer truck platform, crossover vehicles are built on a softer, less truck-like chassis, making them more attractive to a wide range of drivers in a variety of driving situations. What’s more, a crossover vehicle is more fuel efficient that its SUV cousin, which ultimately makes a CUV more affordable to own.”
While CUV popularity continues to rise, Perleberg says there will still be a portion of the car-buying population, albeit a smaller one, loyal to SUVs. “There will always be a buyer for the Suburban and the Expedition,” he says. “However, the midsize SUV market has certainly been hardest hit. This is the first time we’ve seen sales of SUVs decline since they were first introduced to the market in the early ’90s. I predict we’ll continue to see sales of midsize SUVs dwindle as more and more people opt for the flexibility and efficiency offered by today’s crossover vehicle.”
NADAguides says the top six most-researched crossover vehicles at its Web site during the January 1-August 31 period were the Toyota RAV4, Ford Escape, Toyota Highlander, Saturn Vue, Nissan Murano and Dodge Caliber. The Caliber was the most requested of all crossover vehicles in August 2006.