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Compact SUVs Are the Most Popular Vehicles in America

By Jeff Youngs, March 31, 2014
Based on sales results during the first quarter of 2014, a total of 17.6% of new-vehicle buyers have selected a compact SUV compared with 14.6% during the same period one year ago, supplanting compact cars and midsize cars in the process. According to J.D. Power, compact cars and midsize cars each amounted to 14.9% of new-vehicle sales during the first quarter of 2014, trailing compact SUVs in terms of market share.

"The harsh winter weather has enticed some consumers to move into the crossover SUV market because of their all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive capabilities," said Thomas King, senior director of the Power Information Network(R) (PIN) from J.D. Power.

Not only are compact SUVs more popular, they also cost more. In March, the average transaction price of a compact SUV in the United States was $25,600, compared with $19,400 for a compact car and $22,200 for a midsize car, according to PIN. The result of increased small SUV sales at higher average transaction prices is that the overall average transaction price for the industry is rising.

King notes that in addition to foul weather, improvements to numerous compact SUV models are also responsible for increased sales. Of the 24 compact SUV models available to consumers, King says, nine are either all-new models or completely redesigned versions of previously available models.

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