One-third of the way through 2016, these are Canada’s favourite premium-brand new vehicles
#25: Land Rover Discovery Sport
– April 2016 YTD Sales: 970 – Land Rover Canada hasn’t sold more than 1,000 LR2s in a full calendar year since 2007. Yet in just four months of 2016, the LR2’s Land Rover Discovery Sport successor has already approached the four-digit crest and become one of Canada’s 25 top-selling premium autos.
#24: Lincoln MKX
– April 2016 YTD Sales: up 95.5% to 1,087 – All-new for the 2016 model year, the Ford Edge-based second-generation Lincoln MKX doubled its volume in the first-third of 2016. Producing more than four out of every ten Lincoln sales, the MKX is thriving in early 2016 as last year’s top-selling Lincoln, the smaller MKC, has fallen 5 percent.
#23: Land Rover Range Rover Sport
– April 2016 YTD Sales: up 36.4% to 1,098 – Sales of Land Rover’s best-selling model, the Range Rover Sport, more than doubled between 2010 and 2015, the model’s best year yet. In 2016, Range Rover Sport sales are rising yet again. In the first four months of 2016, the Range Rover Sport – on its own – outsold the whole Jaguar brand by more than two-to-one.
#22: Audi A3
– April 2016 YTD Sales: down 5.1% to 1,165 – Audi’s entry-level model, now available as a sedan, plug-in hatchback, and two-door convertible, is wildly more popular than the previous-generation Audi A3 hatchback ever was. Afflicted by the 2.0L TDI emissions scandal that was largely linked to Volkswagen, sales of the A3, without its diesel offering, are down by 63 units in the first-third of 2016.
#21: Mercedes-Benz E-Class/CLS-Class
– April 2016 YTD Sales: up 33.7% to 1,214 – Smack in the middle of Mercedes-Benz’s passenger car lineup, the E-Class is chock full of bodystyles: sedan, coupe, convertible, wagon, and coupefied sedan. Mercedes-Benz Canada produces only 18 percent of its car sales with the E-Class and its CLS-Class offshoot now, down from 37 percent in 2005, before Mercedes-Benz introduced a handful of entry-level models.
#20: Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class
– April 2016 YTD Sales: down 20.4% to 1,255 – The Mercedes-Benz GLC is the SUV version of Mercedes-Benz’s best-selling car, the C-Class. Including sales of its GLK-Class predecessor, the recently launched GLC’s volume is down sharply in early 2016. As supply ramps up, expect the GLC to become one of Canada’s top-selling premium utilities. At present, it ranks 14th in the sector.
#19: Audi Q3
– April 2016 YTD Sales: up 27.8% to 1,279 – A challenger to the BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLA, the Audi Q3 is a small crossover based on the previous-generation Volkswagen Golf. The Q3 may not bear any resemblance to the Volkswagen compact, but it does in some ways feel like it’s lacking the modernity of other Audis. The Q3 nevertheless sits at the heart of a growth market. It’s affordable, premium, and elevated.
#18: Infiniti QX60
– April 2016 YTD Sales: up 14.4% to 1,299 – The steady Canadian sales growth of the Nissan Pathfinder-based Infiniti QX60 – up 47 percent in 2013, up 13 percent in 2014, up 7 percent in 2015 – continues unabated in early 2016. Infiniti’s best-selling model, QX60 volume is up by 164 units through 2016’s first four months. More than one-third of Infiniti’s Canadian volume is QX60-derived.
#17: BMW X1
– April 2016 YTD Sales: up 59.5% to 1,313 – Rather quickly, Canadian sales of the BMW X1 tumbled after the smallest BMW crossover, not originally intended for sale in the United States, began its U.S. lifecycle. After climbing to nearly 5,000 sales in its first full year of 2012, BMW Canada hasn’t since topped the 3K mark. But the new X1 has taken off in early 2016, and the X1 is now on track to approach, if not top, its 2012 Canadian sales peak this year.
#16: Acura TLX
– April 2016 YTD Sales: down 13.1% to 1,347 – The replacement for Acura’s TSX and TL sedans is clearly not an unpopular car. Only five premium cars are selling more often this year. By the standards of Acura, of course, the TLX accounts for only one out of every five Acuras. Most Acuras sold in Canada are MDX and RDX crossovers, sales of which are on the rise.
#15: Cadillac SRX
– April 2016 YTD Sales: down 4.3% to 1,376 – Set to be replaced shortly by the XT5, the second-generation Cadillac SRX posted Canadian sales records in each of the last three years, jumping 67 percent to 4,886 units in 2015. Even while declining in early 2016, the SRX outsells all Cadillac cars combined.
#14: Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class
– April 2016 YTD Sales: up 21.5% to 1,430 – The Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class, the entry-level sedan from Canada’s best-selling luxury brand, undeniably pulls the brand downward. Also undeniable: the CLA is a hit. At some point in April, Mercedes-Benz Canada is expected to sell their 10,000th CLA, a car which went on sale in late 2013.
#13: Audi Q7
– April 2016 YTD Sales: up 200% to 1,439 – It’s not difficult to quantify the success of the second-generation Audi Q7, which took nearly a decade to arrive. Audi has never sold more than 2,000 Q7s in Canada in a single year. At the current rate, Audi Canada will sell more than 4,000 Q7s in 2016.
#12: Audi A4
– April 2016 YTD Sales: down 19.5% to 1,478 – Fittingly, as Audi transitions between old and outdated A4 to an all-new A4, Canadian sales decline. But if Audi’s recent launches are anything to go by, A4 sales will rapidly improve very quickly. On the other hand, if the market continues to move toward vehicles like the Audi Q5 and Q3, the new Audi A4’s launch may not be nearly as exciting for Audi dealers would hope.
#11: Acura MDX
– April 2016 YTD Sales: up 2.7% to 1,620 – The Honda Pilot-based Acura MDX reached its Canadian sales peak in 2013 before sliding back somewhat in calendar year 2015. With a slight increase in early 2016, Acura is on track to once again sell 6,000 MDXs in Canada over the course of this calendar year. Among premium SUVs/crossovers with a standard third row, no vehicle sells more often than the MDX.
#10: BMW 4-Series
– April 2016 YTD Sales: up 16.6% to 1,676 – While sales of the BMW 4-Series’ donor vehicle, the 3-Series, plunging rapidly in early 2016, some of those lost sales are fortunately made up by the 4-Series coupe, convertible, and four-door liftback. (BMW’s 2-Series has also taken off, more than doubling its sales in early 2016.) BMW Canada reported 788 fewer sales in the first four months of 2016 than in the same period of 2015. 4-Series volume is up by 239 units; 2-Series sales are up by 374 units.
#9: BMW X3
– April 2016 YTD Sales: up 3.1% to 1,688 – The second BMW SAV to launch is now in its second-generation and ranks seventh among premium utility vehicles in Canada. In addition to the 1,688 BMW X3s sold in 2016’s first four months, BMW Canada also reported 383 sales of the X3-based X4.
#8: Lexus NX
– April 2016 YTD Sales: up 9.8% to 1,788 – Launched in late 2014 as an all-new entry-level Lexus crossover, the Lexus NX almost instantly became Lexus’s number-two player. The Lexus NX outsells the brand’s three best-selling cars combined. Together, the NX and its RX sibling produce more than six in ten Lexus sales in Canada.
#7: BMW 3-Series
– April 2016 YTD Sales: down 28.3% to 1,996 – Historically Canada’s top-selling premium vehicle, the BMW 3-Series is now the second-ranked car and a distant member of the pack in terms of all luxury brand autos. Admittedly, some of the sales which used to be attributed to the 3-Series now fall under the 4-Series banner. Together, 3-Series and 4-Series sales totalled 3,672 units in 2016’s first four months, enough for top spot on this list.
#6: BMW X5
– April 2016 YTD Sales: up 30.6% to 2,007 – Plunging 3-Series sales combined with the BMW X5’s surge to make the company’s big SUV the brand’s best-selling model in Canada in the first-third of 2016. Only two vehicles on this list, the top-ranked Benz and the top-ranked Land Rover, have a higher Canadian base price than the BMW X5.
#5: Acura RDX
– April 2016 YTD Sales: up 5.0% to 2,208 – Honda Canada’s best-selling Acura reported consecutive sales increases in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015, when the Acura RDX broke its one-year-old sales record with 7,380 sales. In 2016’s first four months, the RDX accounted for more than one-third of Acura’s total volume.
#4: Audi Q5
– April 2016 YTD Sales: up 6.0% to 2,411 – In 2015, the Audi Q5 was Canada’s top-selling premium brand utility vehicle. Q5 sales are still rising, just as Q5 sales have steadily risen ever since its 2009 introduction. But there are two other premium brand utilities that are simply growing their sales more rapidly.
#3: Lexus RX
– April 2016 YTD Sales: up 22.8% to 2,452 – The overall premium brand leader in the United States, the Lexus RX is on track to break its two-year-old Canadian sales record in 2016. More than 100,000 copies of the RX will be sold in the United States this year, the fourth consecutive year in which the RX will top the 100K barrier.
#2: Mercedes-Benz C-Class
– April 2016 YTD Sales: down 27.0% to 2,573 – Although Canadian sales of the Mercedes-Benz’s C-Class are nosediving, the best-selling Mercedes-Benz car is in no danger of surrendering its status as Canada’s top-selling premium car. After all, sales of its next-best-selling rival, the BMW 3-Series, are down 28 percent so far this year.
#1: Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class
– April 2016 YTD Sales: up 45.9% to 2,649 – One of five Mercedes-Benzes on this list of Canada’s 25 top-selling premium brand autos, the Mercedes-Benz GLE has the second-highest base price on this list and the biggest year-over-year percentage gain of any vehicle in the top 12. Formerly known as the M-Class, wearing the ML badge, the GLE is on track to make 2016 a fourth consecutive year of growth and the best year ever for the M-Class/GLE-Class.
Through the first four months of 2016, luxury automakers expanded their share of the Canadian market from 10.2 percent (in early 2015) to 10.5 percent. In order to gain market share, premium auto brands needed to grow their sales faster than a surging industry. Collectively, premium brands are up 12 percent in a market that’s grown eight percent.
Audi, BMW, Infiniti, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Maserati, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, and Volvo are all expanding their sales at a faster rate than the market average. These are the 25 top-selling premium brand models so far this year, with vehicles sold by the aforementioned bands plus Acura, Alfa Romeo, Cadillac, and Lexus.
Tesla doesn’t report monthly, model-specific Canadian sales figures, but there were 564 Model Ss sold in the first four months of 2015, presumably more in the first four months of 2016.