At the moment, the SUV segment is by far the most competitive on the US market, and it’s so for a reason as SUVs are easily killing off minivans and wagons. When it comes to practicality, nothing beats a good SUV which offers both the space and unmatched sense of security. So, whether it’s about crossovers, subcompact, compact, mid-sized or full-sized SUVs, companies are battling hard for their fair share of the market. At the moment, there’s more than a hundred SUVs for sale in the USA, and we are here to explore the underdogs, the cars that fly under the radar in spite of their qualities, design and price. So, here’s our list of twenty best SUVs nobody is buying in the United States.
20. Mazda CX-3
We’ll start the list with small, but very practical subcompact SUVs. In this segment, Mazda has a lot to offer with its CX-3, a car that sits five passengers, has AWD as standard and starts at $19,960. In addition to great build quality, and a fine list of features, the CX-3 offers an amazing design, but still falls short with 24% loss compared to Q1 of 2016. The CX-3 sold in just a bit less than 3,200 copies, and compared to over 25,000 sold copies of the Jeep Renegade, that result is fairly tragic. Nevertheless, the CX-3 is one of the best contenders in the class, and it’s definitely worthy of your attention.
19. Fiat 500X
Another compact SUV that’s charming, well-built and fun to drive is the Fiat 500X, and despite its qualities, it is the worst selling car in the segment with just 1,966 sold copies and a fall of 50% compared to the first quarter of 2016. What’s particularly strange, and what should concern the FCA group is that the bestselling car in the segment shares its platform and most of the mechanical components with the 500X. So, it’s another fiasco for Fiat in the US market, as it still fails to establish itself as an upscale lifestyle brand.
3 Kia Sportage
Compact SUV segment is among the more competitive SUV segments, with more than twenty offerings from various manufacturers. The class is dominated by Nissan, Honda and Toyota, and Kia Sportage is far from the top with 15,400 sold copies and a 12% fall compared to 2016. That’s pretty strange considering the fact that this SUV has raked up nothing but positive reviews, has an appealing design, and it starts at $23,200 which is a pretty competitive price in the segment.
4 Volkswagen Tiguan
Volkswagen is still recovering from the 2015 Dieselgate scandal, and it reflects on their sales figures in all market segments. The Tiguan is by all means a decent SUV with trademark Volkswagen quality and conservative, yet nice design. Still, it can’t find almost any buyers in the North American market with just 10,000 sold copies, which is truly nothing compared to over 101,000 Nissan Rogues sold in the US. However, the Tiguan has a 10% increase over 2016 Q1, so it’s safe to say that its sales could go up in the next several months.
5 Mini Countryman
Mini’s compact SUV is another car that currently struggles in the North American market, but that is due to the fact that it has been replaced by the new generation. So, the number of 2,672 sold copies isn’t completely representative, as a significant bump in sales is expected during Q2 and Q3 of 2017. Still, premium compact SUV segment isn’t that big, both in terms of competition and sales figures, so it’s safe to say that the Countryman is not a car bought by many people in the US after all.
6 Mazda CX-5
Another Mazda on the list is the CX-5, a car that has sold in less than 25,000 in the market segment where the leaders sold in over or close to 100,000 copies. Similar to the CX-3, the reasons for such poor sales figures can’t be found, as the CX-5 is a great SUV that offers truly beautiful looks, decent performance and great build quality that earned this car positive reviews both from the press and the buyers. The CX-5 has shown a 3% increase in Q1 2017, which is a good start indeed, but it still doesn’t get the love it truly deserves.
7 Mitsubishi Outlander
Mitsubishi has had it rough in the past few years, and their cars just can’t seem to get to any customers despite good overall quality and decent design. Such is the case for the Outlander, which still sells poorly even though it had a 65% increase in sales since the facelift. In Q1 of 2017 the Outlander sold in less than 10,000 copies, which is ten times less than the segment leaders. Regardless of everything, the Outlander is a good car to consider if you’re looking for a mid-sized SUV.
8 Jeep Compass
As one of the pioneers which shaped the SUV as we know it, Jeep knows how to make an SUV, and its Compass gained mostly positive reviews from the press and the consumers. However, its sales figures are quite poor, especially considering the fact that Jeep is a domestic brand with a strong heritage in the United States. With a 58% decrease in sales figures, the Compass sold in just a bit over 8,500 copies in Q1 2017. On the other hand, as the new Compass Q2 is about to arrive very soon and replace both the Compass and the Patriot, those figures are fairly understandable. With that in mind, keep your eyes open on some deals Jeep will probably offer.
9 Mazda CX-9
The third Mazda on the list is also doing pretty badly in its segment, although it has the biggest increase in sales in the whole class. With a 478% increase over 2016, the Mazda CX-9 is expected to make a good breakthrough by the end of the year, but currently, it sits pretty low with 6,300 sold copies. That is ten times less than the Ford Explorer which sold in more than 62,000 examples during the first quarter of 2017. Despite relatively poor sales figures, the CX-9 is by far the most beautiful contender in the segment, and it’s a car to consider as it has nothing but positive reviews.
10 Ford Flex
As a lifestyle SUV, boldly designed Ford Flex doesn’t get the love it deserves as its looks don’t seem to attract many buyers towards it. With a little less than 6,100 sold copies in Q1 of 2017 the Flex is barely outsold by the Mazda CX-9, but it shows a 5% decrease compared to Q1 2016 sales figures. Also, what’s killing the Flex is another Ford product, the Edge, which sold in almost 32,000 copies in Q1 2017. The price difference between base Flex and base Edge isn’t that big, and if you want to stand out from the crowd in the best possible way and still drive a good, reliable SUV, you should choose the Flex.
11 Volkswagen Touareg
Once a decent seller, Volkswagen Touareg is now among the worst selling SUVs on the American market. The Touareg is just one of many Volkswagens suffering from Dieselgate-induced sales flops, and in Q1 2017 it sold in just 802 copies which is truly terrible. The Touareg continues its downfall despite being a good car, and as the replacement in form of the new VW Atlas is about to arrive, keep an eye for some Touareg deals that are bound to happen.
12 Volvo XC60
Volvo always had reliability, build quality and safety on its side, but despite having all that, the Volvo XC60 isn’t doing well in the United States. Current sales figures stand at 3,736 sold copies, a 2% increase over Q1 2016. With the replacement on its way, these rather low figures are somewhat expected, but we still can’t comprehend how the XC60 can’t find more customers in the United States. When it comes to the XC60, we hope that the new generation will leave a bigger mark, as it’s a pretty amazing car in all aspects.
13 Tesla Model X
Even though it had a significant bump in sales figures with 4,300 sold copies in Q1 2017 compared to 2,400 from Q1 2016, the Tesla Model X is still a car that isn’t bought by many despite great bold design, zero emissions, ridiculous performance and more than decent equipment. Alternative power hasn’t caught on yet, and Tesla’s capacities aren’t that big after all, so even though sales numbers are not that impressive compared to other vehicles in the class, Model X is a great success for Elon Musk and his company.
14 Mercedes-Benz G Class
Compared to other Mercedes-Benz SUVs, the G Class sells in such low volumes in the United States that not many people even know that it’s available on the market. In Q1 2017, it sold in just 1,005 examples, showing a shy 3% increase over 2016. The G Class is one of just a few SUVs which offer true off-road performance combined with luxury, and that makes it a great car that’s completely forgotten by the customers. One of the main reasons for that is its 1979 design which hasn’t changed much since then, and the starting price of $122,400 isn’t helping either. Nevertheless, the G-Class is one of the best, most versatile SUVs on the North American market, and it’s really worth considering if you look for usability rather than the looks.
15 Range Rover
With a little more than 5,500 sold copies in Q1 of 2017, sales figures of the Range Rover sound pretty good, but this luxurious SUV is among the worst selling in the class despite obvious qualities, endless amounts of style and decent off-road performance. Truthfully speaking, the Range Rover has a starting price of $85,650, which really limits its market share, but it’s still an amazing car which doesn’t get the share it deserves.
16 Toyota Sequoia
The largest Toyota SUV can hardly battle the competition from Chevrolet and Ford, having sold in just 3,437 copies in Q1 of 2017, pretty low compared to the bestselling Chevrolet Tahoe which stands at 22,653 sold copies. The Sequoia is an aging model, and as such it has a pretty surprising growth of 11% compared to the same period in 2016. The Sequoia gained pretty good reviews and with the price fairly similar to the Tahoe or Ford Expedition, it’s a car that can offer a lot, but is still chosen by just a few.
17 Cadillac Escalade
With its sales figures falling 14% compared to Q1 2016, and with 4,300 copies sold, Cadillac Escalade does relatively well in the full-size premium SUV segment in the United States, but compared to the whole premium SUV segment, that number isn’t that significant. Despite being one of the most recognizable names in the segment coming from a reputable domestic brand, Cadillac Escalade is slowly losing the game against the Mercedes-Benz GLS.
18 Lincoln Navigator
Another domestic SUV that doesn’t sell in large quantities is the Lincoln Navigator. The premium SUV sold in a little less than 2,500 examples, but as the all-new Navigator is on the market, we can expect some growth in sales figures. Still, the Navigator is not what you could call a good seller, despite the fact that it was positively reviewed by the press and the consumers, especially for its safety. We’ll see how the next Navigator will do in the marked, but until then, you might still find a sweet deal on the leaving model.
19 Lexus LX
By merging the Land Cruiser with Lexus luxury, the Japanese manufacturer created a monster that offers the comfort of a Lexus with amazing abilities of Toyota’s most iconic SUV. The Lexus LX is a capable offroader as much as it’s a luxurious land barge, and all that comes at a starting price of $89,880. The LX sold in just 1,491 copies, which is less than any other contender in the class. The market for expensive terrain conquerors was never big, and sales figures of the LX show that things aren’t going to change anytime soon.
20 Bentley Bentayga
At the very end of the list, there’s the Bentley Bentayga. To be honest, the reasons for its low sales numbers are completely different from the rest of the cars on the list, but with just 209 sold examples, this ultra luxurious SUV with the price of almost $250,000 is a car that virtually nobody has the money to buy. Bentley never intended it to be a model that’s selling in many copies, so the sales figures of the most extreme SUV currently on the market are perfectly comprehensible.