Canadian auto sales continued to climb in early 2018, rising 2 percent year-over-year, as the industry attempts to post a sixth consecutive year of record volume. At the heart of the growth are SUVs and crossovers. Meanwhile, many of the most popular luxury utility vehicles are soaring, selling better than ever. The result? Only 7 of the 25 most popular luxury-brand vehicles in Canada are passenger cars. 18, including the leader, are utility vehicles.
SUVs dominate list of Canada’s most popular luxury vehicles in the first quarter of 2018
#25: Jaguar F-Pace
#24: Volvo XC60
#23: Land Rover Range Rover Sport
#22: Infiniti Q50
#21: Infiniti QX60
#20: Audi Q3
#19: Mercedes-Benz E-Class
#18: Audi A5
#17: BMW 4 Series
#16: Acura MDX
#15: Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class
#14: Audi Q7
#13: Cadillac XT5
#12: BMW X5
#11: BMW 3 Series
#10: Audi A4
#9: BMW X1
#8: Acura RDX
#7: Lexus NX
#6: Lexus RX
#5: Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class
#4: BMW X3
#3: Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class
#2: Mercedes-Benz C-Class
#1: Audi Q5
- #25: Jaguar F-Pace
- #24: Volvo XC60
- #23: Land Rover...
- #22: Infiniti Q50
- #21: Infiniti QX60
- #20: Audi Q3
- #18: Audi A5
- #17: BMW 4 Series
- #16: Acura MDX
- #14: Audi Q7
- #13: Cadillac XT5
- #12: BMW X5
- #11: BMW 3 Series
- #10: Audi A4
- #9: BMW X1
- #8: Acura RDX
- #7: Lexus NX
- #6: Lexus RX
- #5: Mercedes-Benz...
- #4: BMW X3
- #3: Mercedes-Benz...
- #2: Mercedes-Benz...
- #1: Audi Q5
– 2018 Q1 Sales: -3% to 671 – With the E-Pace’s early 2018 arrival, it won’t be surprising to see a reduction in demand for the larger Jaguar F-Pace. Prior to 2018, F-Pace sales had risen in six of the past eight months.
– 2018 Q1 Sales: +123% to 717 – Taking over from the Volvo XC90, the Volvo XC60 is now ready to once again become Volvo Canada’s best seller. The arrival of the second-generation XC60 has spurred far greater demand for Volvo’s middle-rung SUV. Together with the XC90 and new XC40, utility vehicles now account for more than eight-in-ten Volvo Canada sales.
– 2018 Q1 Sales: -8% to 730 – Facing more in-showroom challenges from the new Discovery and Range Rover Velar, the Range Rover Sport’s sales are decreasing. But it’s still the top-ranked vehicle at a Land Rover brand that’s up 5 percent so far this year.
– 2018 Q1 Sales: +75% to 812 – Closely challenging the QX60 for status as Infiniti’s top seller, the resurgent Infiniti Q50 has improved its volume by an average of 116 units per month so far this year. The Q50’s G35 predecessors were responsible for Infiniti’s rebirth. Now Infiniti is selling more vehicles than ever in Canada.
– 2018 Q1 Sales: -7% to 823 – The Nissan Pathfinder-based Infiniti QX60 is beginning to show signs of age when compared with top-selling competitors. The QX60 is also faced with a forthcoming challenge from compatriot Lexus: a three-row version of the dominant Lexus RX. QX60 sales hit an all-time high in 2017, and despite a 7-percent slowdown in early 2018 it’s still Canada’s favourite Infiniti, at least until the all-new QX50 arrives.
– 2018 Q1 Sales: +12% to 843 – Outdated compared to its rivals and overshadowed in its own showroom by the infinitely superior Q5, Audi Q3 sales are nevertheless relatively healthy. Audi’s smallest utility vehicle isn’t just an SUVified version of the current Audi A3. The Q3’s platform dates to the fifth-generation Volkswagen Golf. (Volkswagen is now selling the seventh-gen Golf.)
– 2018 Q1 Sales: +10% to 861 – Including the CLS-Class (as Mercedes-Benz Canada doesn’t release a breakdown) sales of Mercedes-Benz’s mid-range sedan are rising modestly in early 2018. This is a welcome turn of events for the sedan faithful, for the few that remain. E-Class/CLS-Class sales rose to a five-year high in 2017.
– 2018 Q1 Sales: +442% to 872 – Thanks to an expanded product range that now includes a four-door Sportback equivalent that’s meant to challenge the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, total Audi A5 sales are soaring. Prior to 2017, the A5’s best-ever year resulted in 2,351 sales. Audi is on track in 2018 to sell closer to 4,000.
– 2018 Q1 Sales: +45% to 958 – With Canadian sales of its BMW 3 Series sibling fading, BMW has fortunately been able to find a major increase with the 3’s 4 Series offspring. At the current rate of growth, 4 Series sales are on track to top 5,000 units for the first time.
– 2018 Q1 Sales: -16% to 995 – Often considered the obvious choice among three-row premium utility vehicles, production changes and a transition to a revamped model appear to be slowing sales of the Acura MDX in early 2018. Unfortunately for Acura, other models aren’t really picking up the slack, and brand-wide sales are down 5 percent in a growing market.
– 2018 Q1 Sales: -11% to 1,035 – Ranked second among premium subcompact utility vehicles, the Mercedes-Benz GLA hasn’t yet lived up to its early sales pace. Nearly 4,500 GLAs were sold in 2016; fewer than 4,100 in 2017. In the face of increasing competition, Mercedes-Benz is on track for barely more than 3,600 GLA sales in 2018.
– 2018 Q1 Sales: -4% to 1,073 – Historically, Audi was never capable of selling even 2,000 Q7s in Canada per year. Then along came the second-gen Q7 and sales exploded past the 4K mark in 2016 and 2017. Audi is on track for similar numbers in 2018.
– 2018 Q1 Sales: -8% to 1,201 – Record Cadillac Canada sales in 2017 were fuelled largely by the success of the SRX-replacing Cadillac XT5. In early 2018, Cadillac sales are falling. The XT5’s 8-percent drop isn’t solely to blame – Cadillac car sales are plunging – but as Cadillac’s most important product, the XT5’s drop is keenly felt.
– 2018 Q1 Sales: -18% to 1,219 – With rising sales of the slightly smaller BMW X3, Canadian sales of the BMW X5 are currently falling. The X5 is part of a growing BMW SUV portfolio that’s up 6 percent so far this year. The six-member fleet accounts for six-in-ten BMW sales.
– 2018 Q1 Sales: -24% to 1,227 – As recently as 2014, the best-selling premium vehicle in Canada was the BMW 3 Series. With a loss of one-quarter of its sales in early 2018, the BMW 3 Series currently ranks 11th. Two BMW utility vehicles sell more frequently, not to mention eight rival vehicles.
– 2018 Q1 Sales: -21% to 1,251 – The long-awaited arrival of an all-new Audi A4 caused demand for Audi’s core sedan to jump in 2016 and jump even more in 2017. But that rate of growth wasn’t sustainable, and now we’re seeing demand for Audi’s leading car fall sharply as demand for Audi’s leading SUV skyrockets.
– 2018 Q1 Sales: +6% to 1,252 – The BMW X1 is one of two BMW utility vehicles in the top 10, a startling achievement given that the BMW 3 Series (which has frequently topped Canadian luxury vehicle sales charts in the past) ranks 11th overall.
– 2018 Q1 Sales: +1% to 1,566 – With car sales continuing to decline at Acura and a sharp decline in sales of the MDX utility vehicle flagship so far this year, the Acura RDX is attempting to pick up the slack in advance of the third-gen RDX’s arrival this year. RDX sales have increased in five consecutive years.
– 2018 Q1 Sales: +15% to 1,572 – The entry-level Lexus crossover could soon become Canada’s favourite Lexus if demand for its big brother doesn’t soon rise. Prior to 2017, sales of the NX grew gradually in Canada. But after an 18-percent uptick last year, sales of the NX are growing by roughly 70 units per month in 2018.
– 2018 Q1 Sales: -12% to 1,638 – Long a luxury powerhouse (the RX is America’s favourite utility vehicle), the Lexus RX could soon see a further boost in demand with the launch of its first three-row variant. The RX’s decline in the first quarter of 2018 is largely to blame for the Lexus brand’s 6-percent year-to-date drop.
– 2018 Q1 Sales: +34% to 1,920 – Canadian sales of Mercedes-Benz’s middle SUV child fell 12 percent in 2017, but there’s been a huge rebound in early 2018. Formerly known as the M-Class, which wore the ML badge, the GLE helps Mercedes-Benz’s utility vehicles account for 53 percent of the brand’s luxury vehicle sales.
– 2018 Q1 Sales: +34% to 1,920 – Launching in an all-new third-generation form, the new BMW X3’s sales have taken off in one of the auto industry’s hottest categories. Two of the three premium vehicles that are outselling the X3 are direct rivals. At this rate, the X3 could end 2018 as BMW Canada’s best-selling vehicle for the first time since arriving in 2004.
– 2018 Q1 Sales: +18% to 1,959 – Powering forward with an 18-percent year-over-year improvement, the Mercedes-Benz GLC isn’t far off the pace of the best-selling Benz, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class. The GLC is nevertheless trailing the top-ranked vehicle, a direct GLC competitor, by nearly 300 sales per month.
– 2018 Q1 Sales: -8% to 2,505 – In 2015, 2016, and 2017, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class was Canada’s most popular premium brand vehicle. After C-Class sales hit a record high in 2017, year-to-date volume is down 8 percent in early 2018, enough to drop the C-Class into the No.2 position. The C-Class is still the leading luxury car by a wide margin, with the next-best-selling car selling half as frequently as the Benz.
– 2018 Q1 Sales: +54% to 2,804 – By no means is it a new thing for the Audi Q5 to be Canada’s top-selling luxury SUV/crossover. But through the first-quarter of 2018, the Q5 – the top-selling premium brand SUV in each of the last three years – is currently Canada’s best-selling premium brand vehicle overall. Audi is on track for its ninth consecutive year of Q5 sales growth.