In the dead of winter, Canadians snap up luxury SUVs like they’re going out of style, which they aren’t: over the last three months, sales have risen 16%
#25: Land Rover Discovery Sport
– November 2016-January 2017 Sales: -27.8% to 408 – Launched as a replacement for the Land Rover LR2, which was previously known as the Freelander, the Discovery Sport plays on Land Rover’s heritage in advance of the new, larger Discovery’s arrival. Unique in its class because of an available third row, the Discovery Sport is popular by entry-level Land Rover standards, but not in comparison to class leaders.
#24: Lincoln MKC
– November 2016-January 2017 Sales: -21.7% to 487 – Ford’s Escape-based Lincoln MKC crossover has hardly struck a chord with the compact luxury crowd. As utility vehicle sales soar in Canada – they accounted for 43% of the market in January, for example – MKC sales keep falling. And they weren’t high to begin with. Fewer than 3,000 were sold in Canada in 2015. MKC sales have decreased in 8 of the last 11 months.
#23: Porsche Cayenne
– November 2016-January 2017 Sales: up 15.5% to 498 – Long before the Macan, the Porsche Cayenne turned Porsche’s brand fortunes into, well, fortunes. Nearly 15,000 Porsche Cayennes have been sold in Canada over the last decade. No longer relied upon to produce the lion’s share of Porsche’s sales, Cayenne volume is still far higher now than it was when its reign began. 2016 sales totalled 2,325 units, down only slightly from its 2,389-unit peak.
#22: Jaguar F-Pace
– November 2016-January 2017 Sales: 534 – The first-ever SUV to come from the storied British brand known for E-Types and low-slung large sedans is a hit, if not by the standards of top sellers then certainly for Jaguar. The F-Pace turned Jaguar into Canada’s fastest-growing brand in 2016, a trend likely to continue in 2017 as the F-Pace continues to roll out and the new XE sedan takes hold.
#21: Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class
– November 2016-January 2017 Sales: down 31.8% to 608 – Not unlike the Cadillac Escalade, the Mercedes-Benz GLS’s level of popularity is astounding given its lofty price point. MSRPs for the GLS, formerly known as the GL, start above $80,000, yet this big, three-row Benz outsells a bevy of more affordable luxury crossovers.
#20: Volvo XC90
– November 2016-January 2017 Sales: up 91.1% to 684 – It’s obvious that the Volvo XC90 has brought Volvo back from the brink in North America, where the XC60 is ancient and the cars sell rarely. 2016 was the XC90’s best ever year in Canada — albeit not the Volvo brand’s best year ever — as sales soared to nearly 3,000 units, nearly more than Volvo sold in the previous five years combined.
#19: Porsche Macan
– November 2016-January 2017 Sales: up 79.1% to 695 – On an almost entirely consistent basis, Porsche Macan sales just keep growing in Canada. Now the brand’s best-selling model, Macan sales have increased in each of the last six months and in 18 of the last 21 months. In January, 61% of the Porsches sold in Canada were Macans.
#18: Audi Q3
– November 2016-January 2017 Sales: down 22.0% to 700 – The least expensive utility vehicle in Audi’s Canadian lineup, the Audi Q3, is also the least popular. And while sales of the Q7 and Q5 have grown of late, the Q3’s volume slipped noticeably in October, November, and December before ticking up slightly in January. In a fight against the BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLA, the Q3 comes in third place, ahead of the GLA-based Infiniti QX30.
#17: Lincoln MKX
– November 2016-January 2017 Sales: down 23.4% to 715 – Easily Lincoln’s best-selling model, the Ford Edge-based Lincoln MKX nearly matched its all-time record from 2012 last year. But sales began to fall in the final one-third of the year. In fact, MKX volume has decreased on a year-over-year basis in each of the last five months.
#16: Audi Q7
– November 2016-January 2017 Sales: up 116% to 868 – Finally the rapid growth of the second-generation Audi Q7 slowed, albeit only in January, and only by a modest degree. Compared with the departed first-gen Q7, sales of the new model in 2016 more than doubled any prior annual achievement. January 2017 sales, in comparison to the January 2016 launch of the new model, slid by a modest 22 units.
#15: Cadillac Escalade
– November 2016-January 2017 Sales: up 82.2% to 911 – Combined sales of the Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV increased for a third consecutive year in 2016, surging to a level not seen before. Nearly 3,000 Escalades were sold in 2016, and sales of the duo have now improved in 10 of the last 12 months.
#14: Infiniti QX60
– November 2016-January 2017 Sales: up 4.6% to 965 – Infiniti’s Nissan Pathfinder-based family crossover is among the least expensive three-row vehicles Canadians can purchase from in a premium brand showroom. Though often forgotten in discussions that centre around German outlets, volume generated by the Infiniti QX60 (previously the JX35) has increased every year since its 2012 launch.
#13: Land Rover Range Rover Sport
– November 2016-January 2017 Sales: up 21.4% to 971 – At the only premium brand that doesn’t bother to sell a single car, the Range Rover Sport is the most popular model. As Land Rover readies the LR4’s Discovery replacement, the Range Rover Sport will have a better in-showroom rival. But sales of the middle rung on the Range Rover ladder have improved in seven consecutive years, more than tripling during that period.
#12: Acura MDX
– November 2016-January 2017 Sales: down 25.0% to 1,111 – Acura’s flagship crossover should, in theory, become more readily available as Honda moves production in its entirety from a plant the Acura MDX shares with the Pilot, Odyssey, and Ridgeline, to the company’s Ohio facility. In the meantime, the MDX plays the value card in the three-row luxury arena, but sales have declined in two consecutive years and in each of the last three months.
#11: Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class
– November 2016-January 2017 Sales: up 21.6% to 1,173 – Based on the Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class, which is itself based on the Mercedes-Benz A-Class that’s closely related to the B-Class sold in Canada, the Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class is an increasingly popular tall hatchback Mercedes-Benz markets as its entry-level crossover. January 2017, with 539 sales, represented the GLA’s best month to date, more than two years into its run.
#10: Cadillac XT5
– November 2016-January 2017 Sales: 1,214 – The replacement for the Cadillac SRX has essentially been just as well-received as the SRX was in second-gen form. The Cadillac XT5 is the brand’s most popular model in Canada, the U.S., and around the globe. In Canada last month, the XT5 outsold Cadillac’s whole car division by roughly 1.75-to-1.
#9: Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class
– November 2016-January 2017 Sales: down 11.3% to 1,347 – All-time record sales for the Mercedes-Benz GLE, formerly known as the M-Class, were powered by big gains early in the year. But sales of late have been sliding, with GLE volume down in each of the last three months.
#8: BMW X1
– November 2016-January 2017 Sales: up 84.4% to 1,355 – The first subcompact luxury crossover to take hold in North America is still the leader of the pack. Now joined by the Mercedes-Benz GLA, Audi Q3, and the GLA-related Infiniti QX30, the BMW X1 proves it pays to be the trendsetter. Sales have grown in each of the last 15 months.
#7: BMW X3
– November 2016-January 2017 Sales: up 37.2% to 1,394 – Canadian sales of the BMW X3 have now increased on a year-over-year basis in 10 of the last 12 months, including each of the last three. Combined, the X3 and its four X siblings accounted for more than six in ten BMW sales in January 2017, up from 45 percent one year ago.
#6: Lexus NX
– November 2016-January 2017 Sales: up 18.4% to 1,431 – Despite a face that at first seemed highly controversial, the Lexus NX has nevertheless managed to walk straight into the Canadian luxury SUV/crossover mainstream. Sales have increased in 9 of the last 14 months and total 13,028 since going on sale in late 2014. The NX and its bigger RX sibling account for nearly two-thirds of Lexus’ Canadian volume.
#5: Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class
– November 2016-January 2017 Sales: up 34.1% to 1,498 – For too long, the Mercedes-Benz GLC seemed like the highly regarded replacement that the GLK deserved, but a replacement that failed to engage the Canadian luxury SUV-buying public. After averaging 5,500 GLK sales per year, only 4,774 GLCs were sold in an SUV-crazed market last year. Evidently, however, GLC sales are picking up steam, rising in three of the last four months.
#4: BMW X5
– November 2016-January 2017 Sales: up 55.1% to 1,746 – BMW’s most popular utility vehicle produced record annual sales in Canada in 2016, surging 27 percent past the previous record set in 2014. Now 2017 gets off to an explosive start with BMW X5 sales jumping 58% in January, marking the end of a three-month span in which sales jumped 55%, a gain of more than 600 sales.
#3: Acura RDX
– November 2016-January 2017 Sales: up 26.8% to 1,791 – In an Acura lineup that’s seen sales of cars tumble and sales of the larger MDX flag, the Acura RDX proves just how vital it is to the brand’s fortunes. In January, for example, the RDX accounted for 44% of Acura’s Canadian volume.
#2: Lexus RX
– November 2016-January 2017 Sales: down 0.2% to 1,903 – By far the most popular luxury utility vehicle in the United States, the Lexus RX begins Canada’s 2017 sales year in a healthy position. January sales rose 6% to 554 units, tops among all premium brand SUVs/crossovers.
#1: Audi Q5
– November 2016-January 2017 Sales: up 3.6% to 1,907 – For the Audi Q5, 2016 was its best Canadian sales year ever. It was also the final year for the first-generation Q5, ending an eight-year run in which Q5 sales steadily improved. 2017 begins with another month of improvement for the Q5, which is expected to sell even more often in second-gen form.
Between November 2016 and January 2017, Canadian sales of luxury SUVs/crossovers grew 16% to more than 30,000 units. As the passenger car market quickly dries up and premium auto brands are left with rapidly shrinking demand for traditional money makers, demand for premium utility vehicles is skyrocketing.
And while new vehicle sales slow as the new year begins, the winter period – especially over Christmas – is still a bright one for luxury SUVs. These are the 25 top-selling models from premium brands over the last three months.