Even though premium sub-compact SUVs have been around for a while, the segment has recently experienced a boom as new nameplates from the likes of BMW, Volvo and Jaguar have joined in.
According to analyst firm LMC Automotive, European sales in this class could surpass half a million this year for the very first time, on their way to more than 700,000 units by the year 2021, more than double what they were in 2016, reports Automotive News Europe.
“The segment has really taken off this year and it’s set to enjoy further significant growth,” stated David Oakley, EMEA analyst for LMC. “New model activity is driving this pace.”
BMW’s X1 crossover, basically the founder of the segment, continues to dominate sales, moving 62,287 units in the first half. However, its crown is being threatened by the likes of the Volvo XC40, Jaguar E-Pace and even the DS 7 Crossback, all of which went on sale this year. Also, let’s not forget about the BMW X2, which could also convince some X1 buyers to go for something a little more stylish.
The numbers also show Audi doing really well in the first half of the year, with 46,422 units of the Q2 sold, to go with a further 36,833 units of the Q3. Fourth, fifth and sixth places are held by the Mercedes GLA (34,835), MINI Countryman (28,630) and Range Rover Evoque (22,400), whereas the final four spots belong to the previously mentioned XC40, E-PACE, X2 and DS 7, in that order.
While diesels still account for 65% of the segment in the first half of 2018, petrol units are quickly closing the gap (35% up from 24% in the first half of last year). Overall sales point to the UK as the biggest market for the segment in Europe, followed by Germany, Italy, France and Spain.