Total vehicle sales for the first half of 2019 are down 2.4 percent compared with the same period in 2018, but the popularity of SUVs and crossovers continues, with total SUV sales up just over 2 percent. Despite this modest increase, SUV sales are cooling as well, down from the nearly 10 percent increase for the category in 2018. Looking at the top-selling SUVs, sales of the 10 most popular models are down 5.6 percent for the first half of 2019 compared to 2018, with seven of the top 10 dropping in sales. Sales for the 25 SUV models are off 4.3 percent for the year. Here are the top-selling SUVs in America based on total sales for the first half of 2019, according to numbers compiled from individual auto manufacturers’ sales reports.
2019 Sales: 50,352
Vs. 2018: -8.9%
The redesigned 2018 Terrain went on sale in summer 2017 and sales increased nearly 34 percent for 2018. Things have cooled for the first half of 2019, with numbers dropping close to 9 percent compared to 2018 and falling three positions in the top 25 rankings. The new Terrain features a bold grille, sculpted headlights and C-shaped rear light graphics. In addition to the top-line Denali trim, Terrain is available in SL, SLE and SLT trims with three engine choices, all with available all-wheel drive. The standard engine is a turbocharged 1.5-liter unit that produces 170 horsepower and 203 lb-ft of torque, combined with a 9-speed automatic transmission. An optional turbocharged 2.0-liter powerplant produces 252 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, also mated with a 9-speed automatic. An available 1.6-liter turbodiesel produces 137 horsepower and 240 lb-ft of torque. For 2019 Terrain adds the Black Edition available on SLE and SLT, highlighted by 19-inch gloss black aluminum wheels, darkened grille insert, black grille surround, black mirror caps, roof rails and black badging.
2019 Sales: 53,795
Vs. 2018: +6.5%
A full-size truck-based SUV, the Chevrolet Tahoe traces its roots back to trucks designed to carry people to the train depot or work crews to the job site, long before the label sport-utility vehicle was conceived. Today’s Tahoe covers a broad spectrum from utility work vehicle to top-shelf luxury transportation and even offers a Tahoe Police Pursuit Vehicle. Tahoe moves back into the Top 25 with a sales increase of 6.5 percent for the first half of 2019. Available in rear- or 4- wheel drive, the bold SUV is offered in LS, LT and Premier trim levels. Last year the Tahoe RST (Rally Sport Truck) special edition added a street-performance look with most of the chrome deleted; a gloss black grille and mirror caps; and black roof rails, window trim, badging and Chevy bowties. The Performance Package includes a 420-horsepower 6.2-liter V8 engine, a 10-speed automatic transmission and Magnetic Ride Control suspension with performance calibration.
2019 Sales: 57,331
Vs. 2018: +3.5%
Sales of Volkswagen’s redesigned Tiguan continue to be strong for the first half of 2019 compared to the first half of 2018, when Tiguan sales were more than triple the previous year. (Tiguan finished 2018 with sales up more than 119 percent for the year.) Volkswagen’s compact crossover was redesigned specifically for the U.S. market, and the new generation Tiguan is 10.7 inches longer than the previous model with a 4.4-inch longer wheelbase, offering more interior space and third-row seating. Adopting Volkswagen’s current design language, the exterior includes sharper, stronger lines and a lower, wider stance. Motivated by a new version of the German automaker’s turbocharged 2.0-liter TSI engine producing 184 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque, Tiguan delivers power to the front wheels through an 8-speed automatic transmission. Volkswagen’s signature 4Motion all-wheel drive with Active Control is optional and offers four drive modes to maximize traction in different driving conditions. Other options include Volkswagen’s Digital Cockpit display, and an available Car-Net system offers connected vehicle services.
2019 Sales: 58,459
Vs. 2018: -21.5%
Subaru’s Crosstrek was redesigned for 2018 and finished the year at No. 17 with a 31 percent increase in sales over the previous year, but sales have fallen for 2019, dropping Crosstrek five positions on the best-sellers list. The latest generation Crosstrek is longer and wider than the previous model, with new styling that features the familiar hexagonal grille, “hawk-eye” headlights and an impressive 8.7-inches of ground clearance. Built on an all-new global platform that significantly enhances body and chassis rigidity, the Crosstrek receives suspension improvements, a lower center of gravity and more responsive steering to improve driving dynamics. Inside, the seats have been updated, the steering wheel has been redesigned and more space is available for passengers and cargo. The infotainment system features an 8-inch touchscreen display and Apple CarPlay / Android Auto connectivity. Crosstrek is powered by a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder Boxer engine producing 152 horsepower and 145 lb-ft of torque.
2019 Sales: 59,620
Vs. 2018: +19.2%
The midsize GMC Acadia posted nearly a 20 percent sales increase for the first half of 2019 year-over-year in the U.S. market, moving Acadia to No. 21 on the top-sellers list after finishing 2018 at No. 30. Acadia was redesigned for 2017 and the current model is about 7 inches shorter in length and 3.5 inches narrower than the previous model, while still offering similar or better interior space. GMC even managed to knock 700 pounds off the total weight for better performance and fuel economy from either a new 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine or a 3.6-liter V6. Available with 5-, 6- or 7-occupant seating, Acadia is offered in SL, SLE, SLT and top-of-the-line Denali trim levels. The All Terrain is offered for SLE and SLT trim levels and includes a body-color grille surround, dark chrome trim, unique wheels, 5-occupant seating, All Terrain interior accents and available 17-inch wheels with all-terrain tires. For 2019 the Acadia Black Edition is available on the SLT, which includes 20-inch machined aluminum wheels with black accents, as well as black accents at various points of the exterior, such as mirror caps and roof rails.
2019 Sales: 62,873
Vs. 2018: -3.0%
After 35 years, 4Runner remains one of the few truck-based SUVs on the market. This highly-capable contender continues to be popular, finishing the first half of 2019 with sales down 3 percent over 2018, after finishing 2018 with sales up almost 9 percent compared to 2017. For 2019 Toyota adds the 4Runner Nightshade Special Edition for the Limited trim, which adds 20-inch black-colored wheels, black grille accents, black roof rails, black badges and a black exhaust tip. Inside, Nightshade adds a black steering wheel, center cluster, shift knob and shifter panel. The TRD Pro returns for 2019 with new additions including a new suspension package, 2.5-inch Fox Internal Bypass Shocks, a TRD roof rack, a moonroof and a new front skidplate with red TRD lettering. The 4Runner continues to be powered by a 4.0-liter V6 engine that produces 270 horsepower and 278 lb-ft of torque, delivered through a 5-speed automatic transmission with sequential shift mode.
2019 Sales: 64,234
Vs. 2018: -5.6%
Ford’s midsize crossover receives a new exterior look for 2019, but Edge sales continue to drop 5.6 percent in the first half of 2019 compared to the same period of 2018, following a sales drop of 5.9 percent for 2018. Edge is offered in SE, SEL and Titanium trim levels, as well as the new Ford Edge ST — the first utility vehicle from Ford Performance. All trim levels receive new front and rear fascias as well as a new grille, hood and liftgate. The Edge ST is motivated by a 2.7-liter twin-turbocharged EcoBoost engine producing 335 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque. It also has an 8-speed automatic transmission, standard all-wheel drive with selectable traction control, ST-tuned suspension and an available performance brake package. A new Titanium Elite Appearance Package includes 20-inch bright machined aluminum wheels with premium dark stainless-painted pockets; a body-color front bumper and lower fascia with chrome inserts; a body-color rear bumper; and body-color side cladding with bright chrome inserts.
2019 Sales: 65,954
Vs. 2018: -5.7%
Tucson sales have dropped off with a decrease of 5.7 percent for the first half of 2019 compared to the same period for 2018.The compact Tucson finished 2018 in a strong position with a 32 percent sales increase in December and a 24 percent increase for the year following the fall arrival of the redesigned 2019 model. The updated Tucson includes a Hyundai cascading grille similar to the new Santa Fe, a new headlight design with LED daytime running lights, a new rear fascia, redesigned taillights and new wheels. Two new engines are added: a 164-horsepower 2.0-liter and a 181-horsepower 2.4-liter — both combined with 6-speed automatic transmissions with an electronic shift lock system and SHIFTRONIC manual shift mode. Interior updates for 2019 include a new center stack, instrument cluster, leather seat design, vent design and rearview mirror.
2019 Sales: 67,571
Vs. 2018: +14.2%
Santa Fe has been Hyundai’s most successful SUV in the U.S. market, and with the arrival of an all-new fourth-generation 2019 model, sales show a strong increase for the first half of 2019,fueled by a 36 percent increase in June sales year-over-year. The 2019 Santa Fe features a bolder design, more interior space, improved ride comfort and new safety, comfort and convenience technologies. For 2019 the Santa Fe name will be assigned to the 5-seat version, dropping the Santa Fe Sport name used for the 2018 model, while the 7-seat version will now be known as the Santa Fe XL. The 5-seat Santa Fe will offer more interior room thanks to a 2.8-inch increase in overall length and an increase of almost a half inch in width. To improve driver visibility, the outside mirrors are mounted lower and farther back from A-pillars, and the rear quarter glass has been increased by more than 40 percent. Hyundai’s rear cross-traffic collision avoidance assist is standard; safe exit assist uses radar to detect cars approaching from the rear, and cautions passengers looking to exit the vehicle. Safe exit assist also alerts the driver, and the rear doors remain locked until the approaching vehicle has passed.
2019 Sales: 68,452
Vs. 2018: -10.0%
Honda Pilot sales dropped 10 percent in the first half of this year despite the arrival of a refreshed 2019 Honda Pilot last August, which helped Pilot gain a 25 percent sales increase for 2018. The refreshed 2019 Pilot features more aggressive exterior styling, an available hands-free power tailgate, powertrain refinements, and an available new Display Audio touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Pilot is powered by a 3.5-liter 280-horsepower V6 engine combined with a 6-speed automatic transmission and an available all-wheel-drive system. The Honda Sensing suite of safety and driver-assistance technologies is standard on all trim levels and includes a collision mitigation system with forward collision warning, road departure mitigation, lane-keeping assist and adaptive cruise control.
2019 Sales: 72,375
Vs. 2018: -2.3%
Chevrolet’s 3-row crossover, Traverse sales were down 2.3 percent for the first half of 2019 after 2018 sales were fueled by the redesigned 2018 model, which hit the market in fall 2017 resulting in an 18.6 percent increase for 2018. The 2018 Traverse features a bold new look that follows Chevrolet’s larger full-size SUVs with a focus on interior volume, including seating for up to eight. The standard engine is a 3.6-liter V6 that produces 310 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque, combined with a 9-speed automatic transmission with either front- or all-wheel drive. The Traverse RS is offered with a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that delivers 257 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque, paired with a 9-speed automatic transmission. For 2019 the Traverse RS AWD is offered with a V6 engine. The LT Premium Package includes surround vision, 20-inch aluminum wheels, a rear camera mirror, an 8-inch-diagonal navigation radio, Bose speakers and a 110-volt outlet.
2019 Sales: 74,387
Vs. 2018: -8.2%
Mazda CX-5 sales were up 4.2 percent in June compared to 2018, but sales for the first half of 2019 dropped 8.2 percent following three consecutive years of record sales. In fact, 2018 CX-5 sales were higher than the combined sales of all other Mazda models. Adopting the styling of the larger CX-9, the CX-5 is refined in nearly every way, with a revised chassis, an updated SKYACTIV-G 2.5-liter gasoline engine, a new interior and many available features. The new CX-5 is the first Mazda to feature G-Vectoring Control, which enhances vehicle responsiveness and stability while reducing sideways sliding of occupants. For 2019 Mazda turns up the heat by adding the Grand Touring Reserve and Signature trim levels, both powered by the turbocharged SKYACTIV-G 2.5T engine producing 250 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque; i-ACTIV all-wheel drive is standard.
2019 Sales: 75,513
Vs. 2018: -13.7%
Jeep Compass sales have cooled in the first half of 2019 compared to 2018, but to be fair first half sales in 2018 were up more than 200 percent over the previous year after the Compass was redesigned for 2017. The new Compass looks a lot like a miniature Grand Cherokee. Built on FCA’s small-wide 4X4 architecture, Compass is offered in four trim levels: Sport, Latitude, Limited and Trailhawk. Compass is powered by a 2.4-liter Tigershark engine producing 180 horsepower and 175 lb-ft of torque, combined with a 9-speed manual transmission for 4X4 models and a 6-speed manual for 4X2 versions. Two full-time 4-wheel-drive systems are offered: Active Drive and Active Drive Low. For 2019 Jeep Compass Sport adds the Upland special edition with 17-inch Trailhawk wheels, front Trailhawk fascia, black tow hooks, a front-suspension skidplate and gloss black accents. Also new is the Compass Limited High Altitude Appearance Package, which includes 19-inch Satin Gloss Granite wheels, HID headlights with an LED signature, LED taillights and tungsten stitching.
2019 Sales: 86,219
Vs. 2018: +8.8%
Despite overall U.S. sales trending downward, Subaru Forester sales are up 8.8 percent for the first half of 2019 following the arrival of the fifth-generation 2019 Forester last fall. The 2019 Forester is the roomiest version ever offered with a 1.2-inch-longer wheelbase, more rear-seat legroom and more rear cargo capacity, as well as improvements in crash protection, comfort, quietness and driving dynamics. EyeSight driver-assist technology is standard, and Forester Touring debuts DriverFocus safety technology that can alert the driver of fatigue or distraction, and also will automatically adjust many driver settings at startup. The new Forester is powered by an updated direct-injection 2.5-liter Boxer engine that produces 182 horsepower and 176 lb-ft of torque. The 2019 Forester is available in standard, Premium, Limited, Touring and a new Sport trim level.
2019 Sales: 93,711
Vs. 2018: +3.0%
One of the original crossovers, Outback combines SUV utility with the comfort and convenience of a wagon. Outback sales are up 3 percent in the first half of 2019 — an impressive number given the all-new 2020 Outback debuted at the New York Auto Show in April and is scheduled to arrive in fall 2019. The current Outback model was updated for 2018 with revised exterior styling and interior updates with more premium materials. Chassis suspension and steering updates target a smoother ride with a more direct driving feel. New multimedia features include Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Nuance voice recognition, while steering-responsive LED headlights are offered. The 2019 Outback includes EyeSight driver-assist technology for all trim levels. EyeSight includes adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking, lane departure warning and lane-keeping assist.
2019 Sales: 97,210
Vs. 2018: -14.5%
The 2019 Jeep Cherokee went on sale in 2018 with a refreshed design for the first time since returning to the Jeep lineup as a 2014 model, bringing the styling in line with other Jeeps. Sales have dropped off nearly 15 percent for the first half of 2019; however, the new model increased 2018 sales by 40 percent over the previous year. Exterior changes include a revised, more vertical 7-slot grille; a new fascia; new headlights and a lightweight aluminum hood. An all-new turbocharged 2.0-liter direct-injection engine is added, producing 270 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. Also available is a 3.2-liter Pentastar V6 that produces 271 horsepower and 239 lb-ft of torque, as well as a 2.4-liter Tigershark MultiAir2 four cylinder that produces 180 horsepower and 170 lb-ft of torque. A new 9-speed automatic transmission is standard.
2019 Sales: 101,823
Vs. 2018: -20.9%
The best-selling SUV of all time, Explorer sales dropped more than 20 percent in the first half of 2019 with the all-new, redesigned 2020 Explorer expected to go on sale in the summer. The first major redesign in 10 years, the new Explorer is built on an all-new rear-wheel-drive flexible architecture designed to improve ride, handling and capability, and the new structure is 25 percent stronger while reducing weight. About the same size and width as the previous model, the wheelbase is more than 6 inches longer. The standard engine in the new Explorer will be a 2.3-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder unit producing 300 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. Also available is a 3.0-liter EcoBoost V6 that bumps power to 365 horses and 380 lb-ft of torque. Two new versions will be added: the powerful ST and the Limited Hybrid.
2019 Sales: 111,183
Vs. 2018: -2.7%
Toyota Highlander sales are down slightly for 2019 after posting a 13 percent increase in 2018 for another record year. The all-new 2020 Highlander debuted in April at the New York Auto Show and is scheduled to go on sale at the end of 2019. The 2019 Highlander is powered by 3.5-liter V6 engine producing 295 horsepower and 263 lb-ft of torque, combined with a new direct-shift 8-speed automatic transmission. Highlander is available with front- or all-wheel drive and a choice of 4-cylinder, V6 or hybrid powertrains. The fuel-efficient Highlander Hybrid features a direct-injection 3.5-liter V6 gas engine teamed with an electric drive motor-generator to produce a total of 306 horsepower while delivering a combined 29 mpg.
2019 Sales: 116,985
Vs. 2018: -12.4%
Following the introduction of the all-new 2018 Jeep Wrangler in 2017, Wrangler set an all-time sales record for 2018, making it the top-selling Jeep model. Sales have dropped 12.4 percent for the first half over 2018, but at that time the all-new Wrangler JL arrived in showrooms and Jeep continued to produce the outgoing Wrangler JK as well as a 2018 model. If any vehicle deserves the “iconic” label, it’s the Jeep Wrangler — the modern descendant of the original U.S. military vehicle that spawned the Jeep name and began the legacy of extreme off-road capability. The 2018 Wrangler retains its 7-slot grille and round headlights but is more aerodynamic than the previous generation. Two hardtops, a new Sunrider soft-top and a new Sky One-Touch power top are offered. Both 2- and 4-door versions are available in Sport, Sport S, Sahara and Rubicon trims.
2019 Sales: 123,272
Vs. 2018: +13.0%
Sales of the flagship Grand Cherokee were down slightly for 2018 but have rebounded with a 13 percent increase for the first half of 2019. Despite remaining true to the original formula it debuted more than 25 years ago — and without a major redesign since 2011 — Grand Cherokee continues to face strong competition, even from its sibling Compass, Cherokee and Wrangler, but takes back the position as the top-selling Jeep model for 2019. Offered with several 4WD systems as well as trim levels, the Grand Cherokee line now boasts the off-road-focused Trailhawk, the luxurious Summit, as well as the Trackhawk, which gets motivation from a supercharged 6.2-liter engine producing 707 horsepower and 645 lb-ft of torque — providing capability to accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds.
2019 Sales: 133,100
Vs. 2018: -8.0%
Ford’s compact 5-seat crossover, Escape had been the best-selling American-brand SUV for a long time, but after record sales for 2017 the small SUV lost the title thanks to declining 2018 sales. The downward trend continues into 2019 but that should change now that an all-new 2020 Escape debuted in April with fresh styling and new powertrains; the new model is expected to arrive in showrooms in fall 2019. For 2019 Escape is offered in four trim levels: S, SE, SEL and Titanium. Ford has packaged more features as standard equipment including SYNC 3 and FordPass Connect as standard on Escape SE, as well as a unique seating material for Escape SEL. Two EcoBoost engines are available: a turbocharged 1.5 liter producing 179 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque, and a turbocharged twin-scroll 2.0-liter unit producing 245 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque. The standard engine is a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder producing 168 horsepower and 170 lb-ft of torque.
2019 Sales: 174,157
Vs. 2018: +11.4%
Chevrolet’s second-best-selling vehicle after the full-size Silverado pickup, the redesigned 2018 Equinox went on sale in September 2017, pushing numbers to nearly a 20 percent increase and continuing into 2018 with a 14.5 percent increase and record sales for the year. Traverse also took the title as the best-selling American-brand SUV and thanks to robust first-half sales retains that title in 2019. The new Equinox features a new exterior design with projector-beam headlights, LED running lights, wider horizontal taillights and LED taillights for upper trim levels. Inside, the new Equinox features a down-and-away instrument panel with a low windshield base for improved outward visibility. Three engine choices for Equinox in the U.S. market continue to be a 170-horsepower 1.5-liter turbo, a 252-horse 2.0-liter turbo combined with a new 9-speed automatic transmission, and a 136-horsepower 1.6-liter turbodiesel.
2019 Sales: 175,267
Vs. 2018: -18.6%
Rogue is the best-selling Nissan model in the U.S. and finished 2018 as the second-best-selling SUV in America. With a drop in sales of 18.6 percent for the first half of 2019 compared to the previous year, Rogue drops to third position for the first half of 2019. The Rogue’s success can be attributed to updated styling and added features, as well as the addition of the smaller Rogue Sport to the lineup for 2018. Rogue features a 170-horsepower 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine with an advanced Xtronic transmission with Eco mode, boasting an EPA fuel economy rating as high as 33 mpg. Rogue also includes a new hybrid in the lineup. Rogue Sport rides on a 2.3-inch shorter wheelbase and is 12.1 inches shorter than Rogue, motivated by a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine producing 141 horsepower. The 2019 Rogue is the first model to offer Nissan Safety Shield 360 — a suite of six advanced active safety and driver-assist technologies, which is standard equipment on Rogue SV and SL.
2019 Sales: 176,944
Vs. 2018: -1.5%
With first half sales nearly the same as last year, the Honda CR-V moved to the No. 2 position on this list. Redesigned for the 2017 model year, the fifth-generation CR-V continues to be Honda’s top-selling model in the U.S. market, with more than 4.5 million sold since its introduction in 1997. The CR-V offers consumers a comfortable, small crossover with great utility and excellent fuel economy. In fact, CR-V’s 2.4-liter 184-horsepower engine teamed with a new continuously variable transmission makes it one of the most fuel-efficient crossovers on the market. Available with front- or all-wheel drive, the CR-V can now be equipped with a 1.5-liter turbocharged engine producing an impressive 190 horsepower and 179 lb-ft of torque from 2000 to 5000 rpm. Higher trim levels also come with Honda Sensing — the brand’s suite of high-tech safety features — as standard equipment.
2019 Sales: 200,610
Vs. 2018: +1.1%
The Toyota RAV4 finished 2018 as the best-selling crossover SUV in America thanks to another record sales year due to the arrival of the redesigned 2019 RAV4. Sales slowed in the first quarter of 2019, dropping RAV4 to fourth position on this list, but strong second quarter sales moved RAV4 back to the top position for the first half of 2019. One of the original compact crossovers on the American market, the new RAV4 receives bold styling, improved capability, better performance and an array of new safety and convenience features. In addition to the updated styling and efficient powertrains, the RAV4 now comes with automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, as well as lane departure alert, as standard equipment. The next-generation Toyota Hybrid system in the RAV4 HV is more compact, more efficient and quieter than the previous version; the driver will notice more linear acceleration, while Sport mode will optimize torque to prioritize acceleration. The 2020 RAV4 TRD Off-Road is scheduled to arrive in fall 2019.